Tags: Categories: Bedrooms, Lighting Ideas

18 Types of bedside lamps so that you don’t fumble around in the dark


Think about it. If you're like me, you use your bedside light twice a day; at night and again in the morning. Most people do so that's why you shouldn't make the decision lightly. Figure out how and for what purpose you'll use your bedside lamp and choose the one that best meets your need. We explain each type here.

Master bedroom with matching bedside lamps

A bedside light of some kind is a necessity, at least for me.

I like reading in bed or watching Netflix on my phone or iPad before going to sleep.  I prefer not doing any of that in the dark.

Sometimes our young kids show up in the middle of the night where I need to flip on the light to see what’s going on.

Come to think of it, the bedside lamp is one of those lights I use daily – often twice a day – in the evening and in the morning.

While I’m not terribly particular about which lamp I use, there are many different types of bedside lamps.  Here they are.

Related: 19 Types of Lamps

Below I don’t cover the different types lightbulbs – read our expansive article setting out all the different types of lightbulbs here.

A. Types by Design and Style

1. Regular lamp-style

Nothing fancy here except the usual table lamp with shade.  It works, but not ideal for reading since the light doesn’t shine downward.  Here’s an example:

Limelights LT2024-WHT Brushed Steel Lamp with Charging Outlet and Fabric Shade, White

Click image for pricing info.

2. Wall-mounted

The wall-mounted bedside lamp is a great option because it keeps your bedside table clear for other things like phone, book, etc.  However, if you move your bed, you need to move the lamp.  These are also great for bunk and loft beds (we bought our sons wall-mounted lamps for their loft beds).

Here’s an example:

Kira Home Cambridge 13" Swing Arm Wall Lamp - Plug in/Wall Mount + White Fabric Shade, 150W 3-Way + Cord Covers, Satin Nickel Finish, 2-Pack

Click image for pricing info.

3. Desk/Reading

This is my preferred style because I like light shining downward for reading.  Basically you want a light with some form of an adjustable arm.  Here’s an example:

acegoo Bedside Reading Light, Minimalist LED Task Light with USB Charger for Home Studio, Crafts Hobby Working Light, Lamp Head Touch Dimmer Switch, Surface Mount

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TaoTronics TT-DL044 Eye-Caring Metal LED Desk Lamp with Fast Wireless Charger for iPhone, Samsung & All Qi-Enabled Devices, 5 Color Modes & 5 Brightness Levels, USB Port, Silver

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4. Torchiere

If you like the industrial or antique look, go for the torchiere.  It emits a decent amount of light, is narrow (doesn’t take up too much surrounding space) and is relatively tall (works as a reading light). Here’s an example:

5. Banker

I’m not a big fan of the banker style lamp as a bedside light.  It’s not adjustable, it’s fairly short and simply doesn’t offer the functionality I look for with a bedside lamp.

Tiffany Style Table Lamp Banker 14" Tall Stained Glass White Grey Vintage Antique Light Décor Nightstand Living Room Bedroom Handmade Gift AM250TL10 Amora Lighting

Click image for pricing info.

6. Arched

This is a viable option since it arches above the bed which is good for reading. It’s not quite as convenient as desk lamp, but it’ll do the job and the more traditional style might be more to your liking for your bedroom’s decor.

Kira Home York 18" Minimalist LED Table Lamp + 7W Bulb (Energy Efficient/Eco-Friendly) + White Drum Shade - Modern Standing Arc Light with Hanging Lamp Shade, Brushed Nickel Finish + Wood Style Body

Click image for pricing info.

7. Tripod

This is much like a standard lamp so it’s not my first choice.  It’s a table lamp with three legs.

Ashley Furniture Signature Design - Leolyn Table Lamp with Metal Shade - Adjustable Height - Black/Brown

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8. Clip-On

In some instances you have a place to clip a lamp to something which keeps your bedside table free from clutter without having to bust out the tool box and mount it.  This can b a very convenient and useful option.  The only catch is that you have a place to clip it to.

LEPOWER Clip on Light/Clip on Lamp/Light Color Changeable/Night Light Clip on for Desk, Bed Headboard and Computers (Silver)

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9. Vintage

I have a super cool vintage desk/reading style lamp that I use for my bedside lamp. I love it.  It’s very much adjustable and shines an incandescent light instead of a blinding LED light.

Here’s the exact lamp I have:

Classic Work Lamp for Desk in Vintage Turquoise Green for Home Office, IKEA 103.214.25

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10. Ambient light

If you prefer just ambient light in your bedroom for some minimal illumination consider something like the following:

Night Light, UNIFUN Touch Lamp for Bedrooms Living Room Portable Table Bedside Lamps with Rechargeable Internal Battery Dimmable 2800K-3100K Warm White Light & Color Changing RGB

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11. Bedside floor lamp

An alternative to a bedside lamp is a floor lamp.  This is not bad as it sounds because it keeps your bedside table clear plus emits light downward for reading.  It’s actually a very good option.  Of course, there are many different types of floor lamps.  The following is a good example:

IMIGY Dimmable 9W Floor Lamp, Office/Work/Living Room Reading Flexible Gooseneck Light with Touch and Remote Control, 5-Level Brightness and Color Temperature Dimmable Eye-Care Technology Light, White

Click image for pricing info.

12. Kids

There are loads of fun bedside lamps for kids.  Our boys have two each.  A regular lamp and now a wall-mounted lamp for their new loft beds.  We also have outlet powered night lights in their rooms just in case they get up at night – they can see where they’re going.

Rustic State Vintage Design Wall Reading Scissor Extension Accordion Lamp with a Dimmable Toggle Switch and 4 Watt LED Edison Light Bulb (Red)

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Kids Lamp, OCOOPA LED Desk Lamp Touch Control Dimming Light Flexible USB Rechargeable Desk Light Eye-care Children Studying Lamp with Pencil Holder(Pink)

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Ashley Furniture Signature Design - Cale Table Lamp - Children's Lamp - Rocket Base - Gray

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B. Types by Feature

1. USB charger

You can never have enough device chargers in the house so if buying a bedside lamp, you might as well get one with a USB charger so you can plug your phone and/or iPad into it.  This save using an additional outlet and just might free you up from having to use some multi-outlet power cord.

Here’s an example:

CO-Z White Table Lamp with USB Charger Set of 2, Modern Metal Desk Lamp in Brushed Nickel Finish, 21 inches in Height, USB Bedside Lamps for Office Bedroom Nightstand Accent, UL Certificate.

Click image for pricing info.

2. Touch

I have a touch desk lamp at work.  It’s pretty good because it’s easy to turn on.  I just tap the top.  Here’s an example:

Keymit Touch Bedside Lamp - Fully Dimmable Lamp - Low Voltage(DC 5V) Portable Table Lamps for Bedrooms - Nightstand Lamp Minimalist Black 5.5D 15H - 1 USB Charging Port for Living Room

Click image for pricing info.

3. Bluetooth with speaker

If you like smart gadgets, consider a Bluetooth, touch bedside lamp with speaker and UBC port. Check it out:

Marrado Bedside Lamp with Bluetooth Speaker | Color Changing LED Mood Light | Dimmable Touch Smart Table Lamp for Bedroom | Best Gift for Teenage College Teens Children Kids Men Women Adults

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4. Dimmable

A dimmable option can be great.  Use a brighter setting when reading and dim it for watching devices.  It’s no surprise this is one of the most sought-after bedside lamp features. Fortunately many lamps these days are dimmable. Here’s an example:

Touch Control Table Lamp Bedside 3 Way Dimmable Touch Desk Lamp Modern Nightstand Lamp with Square Fabric Lamp Shade Simple Night Light for Bedroom Living Room Office, Led Bulb Included

Click image for pricing info.

5. Adjustable

Being adjustable is one of my main feature requirements for such a lamp.  I like being able to position it above me when reading and then turn the bulb away when not reading.

LED Desk Lamp with Touch Control Swing Arm Craft Reading Light Gold Dimmable Portable Task Lamp Eye-Care Adjustable Table Lamps for Living Room/Office/Bedrooms/Kids/Nightstand/Study, Back to School

Click image for pricing info.

6. Battery-powered

While I prefer avoiding battery-powered stuff just because changing batteries is a drag, there may be instances where you prefer a battery-powered bedside lamp (camping for example).  Here’s an example:

Reading Lamp Battery Operated, Cordless Lantern Lamp, Portable Bedside Table Lamp for Bedroom, Led Desk Lamp, Dimmable Night Light by Touch (Grey)

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How tall should your bedside light be?

I like them tall or elevated – at least 2 feet above me.  However, it really boils down on how you plan on using it. If you just need some light, a short lamp will do.  If you like reading or working in bed, you will want a taller lamp.