Here’s Why This Budget-Friendly Furniture Staple Makes the Best Nightstand, Especially in a Small Space

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Credit: Erin Derby

As far as bedroom furniture goes, a bed isn’t the only essential: Bedside storage is a must for all your nightly necessities. If you’re anything like me, your nightstand is your faithful companion from bedtime until morning. But what if you don’t have space for a dedicated bedside table? Here’s an idea: consider putting a rolling cart next to your bed. Arguably, carts are the one budget-friendly furniture staple that work harder than a typical nightstand while taking up less square footage.

If you already own a cart or two (who doesn’t?), I’m guessing it’s parked in the bathroom or kitchen. Once you realize the ample storage opportunity it provides per square inch compared to a typical nightstand, you’ll be rolling it into your sleeping quarters in no time. Think two-, three-, or even four-tier carts here — you’ll have all your essentials within arm’s reach, without the bulkiness of a traditional bedside unit.

Carts can be taller than the average nightstand, and to ensure everything looks balanced in your bedroom, consider your bed height in relation to the cart. For most beds, three-tiered carts are a safe bet, that is, unless you have a low-slung platform bed. Almost all carts can be either horizontally or vertically oriented next to your bed, making them even more flexible for the tightest of quarters. And there’s more: easy cleaning. Roll it out, clean it, and roll it back.

While carts are utilitarian, they don’t have to look it, especially in a bedroom. Luckily, there are a slew of carts out there that can fit with your decor scheme without breaking the bank. Here, check out three that are as practical as they are pretty.

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The Container Store

Acrylic furniture has a barely-there look, yet items can be statement pieces, too, if they have a striking shape (remember the iconic ghost chair by Philippe Starck?). That’s exactly what this cart is all about. Use it as-is, or decorate it to add your own personal flair. Either way, this transparent beauty is ready to give you plenty of surface space for all your nightly needs without using up much visual or physical space.

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was $69.99

It doesn’t get much more glamorous than a gold cart. While the sleek, angular frame lends this piece a modern touch, this design would be fitting in any style of bedroom. It’s no slouch in the space offering area either, with ample storage opportunities on each of the tiers. The icing on the cake: Scoot it out into your living quarters when company comes, and you’ve got a luxe bar cart instantly.

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If your bedroom can spare a bit of extra square footage, this gorgeous minty green cart will store your phone, tablet, book, water, glasses, and then some. You’ll be left with the last tier to store more than your bedside essentials. If the pastel shade isn’t for you, this cart comes in black and white, meaning you’re a quick paint job away from any shade under the sun.

February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to sleep in them, decorate them, make the most of small ones, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!