I just upgraded to a king-size bed, and sadly, I think my nightstands are going to have to go. This is New York City after all. It's all about compromising. There just isn't enough room for everything you want. All is good on the lighting front—I have a floor lamp that'll suffice for reading in bed. But what about all the stuff I jam into that tiny nightstand drawer? Eye creams, lip balm, hand lotion—mine is basically a second medicine cabinet, and I love having a bedside spot to charge my phone at night. But I'm going to get rid of my nightstands and see how it goes. Worst case scenario, I can consider one of these nightstand alternatives if I'm missing it. And chances are, I will.
I think the shelf as a bedside table might be my best bet, since it's mounted on the wall and won't take up much space. You don't need anything fancy—just a slab of painted wood or melamine and a bracket. Stashing a ton of stuff here isn't going to work, since the shelf will likely be on the smaller size. But it'd be a great perch for a photo frame, the jewelry you wear everyday and a glass of water. You know, the essentials.
Prefer to put holes in your ceiling instead? Random, yes. But in that case, you can actually create a swing-like bedside table with a little bit of rope, a drill, anchors and a piece of wood. It's tough to see in the photo, but the homeowner here actually squeezed a lamp, a couple of books and an alarm clock onto this little swing surface, which again is really all you need.
Stools are another great alternative because they have such a compact footprint. The biggest backless stool is still probably smaller than the tiniest nightstand. You're not getting any covered storage here either, but you're definitely taking back some precious floor space. Best to look for something low and little like this pink metal footstool, which could really fit anywhere.
Love reading actual books before going to bed? You're already winning at life and probably sleep, since you're following the no smartphone or tablet in the bedroom rule. Reward yourself for keeping all of that blue light at bay with a bedside bookcase. A leggy, midcentury model like what's shown here is ideal for its clean lines and light, airy appearance. You don't actually want to feel like your sleeping in the stacks.
A ladder style shelf is a great thought here too, for books or otherwise. It's a smart use of space, since you get several rungs for all your stuff, but the footprint is still pretty minimal. Follow this homeowner's lead and hide your more unsightly things (i.e. the big black speaker box) on the lower shelves. You could also probably lean a real ladder against a wall this way too. Just make sure the rungs are flat and deep enough to actually hold your items.
And don't discount the vintage route. This metal document drawer is quirky and unexpected in a bedroom. But it'd be a great place to stash manuals and other important documents. Old suitcases can be repurposed as a nightstand too. Just stack a couple of them up and pack whatever you want inside them.
Of course, there are other options, from a bar cart on casters to a wicker basket and even a tower of wooden crates. Need a few product recommendations? So glad you asked. These are the nightstand alternatives that have caught my eye.
A wall-mounted mango wood shelf with a drawer? I'm sold.
Pink Vintage Style Steel Metal Storage Trunk Set, $120/Set of 2
If you can't find thrifted suitcases or want something similar with a more modern look, this set of blush stackable trunks won't disappoint.
See past the kiddie styling here and imagine your books, a succulent and a candle hanging out on this shelf instead. It's the perfect bedside height.
Dip-Dyed Stools in White, from $58
One or both of these dip-dyed guys would look great in a coastal or farmhouse themed bedroom.
For the super minimalists out there, this shelf would 100 percent recede into white bedroom walls if it weren't for the subtle gold detailing.
Gold Bedroom Shelf, $54
I love this cool hexagonal shaped shelf and am very into the fact that it can also be mounted on the wall. Gosh, you could even put it over a bed or sofa, and call it wall art.