These Clever Nightstand Ideas Will Save Space and Amplify Style

updated Feb 21, 2023
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Nothing pulls together a perfect sleeping area quite like a chic nightstand. However, if you have a small bedroom, finding space for one may prove difficult. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean your books and nighttime water carafe are destined for the floor. There are plenty of options for ensuring you get the small bedroom storage you need without having to splurge on a pricey piece that feels disproportional or out of place.Floating shelves, small tables, chairs, and even built-in bed frame nightstands are all available for  keeping your bedside lamp and other essentials within arm’s reach. This roundup of 19 clever nightstand ideas will give you plenty of inspiration for configuring your own bedside space, no matter how limited you are in square footage.

Credit: Babyletto

1. Take a cue from nature.

Whether you have limited nightstand space between two beds or need to think outside the box to maximize bedside storage, a tree-shaped piece of furniture may be just the thing to squeeze in. This cool bookcase from Babyletto offers plenty of storage and offers the bonus of being sustainably crafted. 

Credit: West Elm

2. Get vertical.

If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, consider a ladder-style shelving unit. This stylish bookshelf from West Elm offers plenty of space for pieces of various heights from houseplants to family photos to ensure you can keep all your favorite things by your bedside.

Credit: Selena Kirchhoff

3. Try out a cocktail table.

If the dimensions of a traditional nightstand may be too large for the space between your bed and the adjacent wall, consider a slim cocktail table. The bedroom in this Amsterdam home showcases how a cocktail table in a different material from the rest of your room’s furniture creates a thoughtful, well-collected look.

4. Repurpose old (or new) crates.

Save on space and money with this clever hack from a Colorado mobile home. The owners turned old crates on their sides to use as nightstands with plenty of room for lamps, reading material, and a candle or two. If you don’t have any on hand, check with a local hardware store or Home Depot. 

5. Sneak in extra storage with stacked trunks.

Whether you actually are well-traveled or want to create a globally inspired home, sourcing vintage and antique trunks is a fun and budget-friendly way to score a new nightstand. This Australian home uses a trunk to house a nightlight and houseplant, but there’s still plenty of storage space inside for other essentials.

6. Turn it sideways.

Reimagine the tiny space between your bed and the wall by placing your nightstand against the adjoining wall, like @urbansize_home did here. It’s one of the best small nightstand ideas for a room that just doesn’t seem like it has the space to accommodate furniture next to the bed without a bit of creativity.

7. Use matching table lamps.

When you’re working with a tiny space, it’s important to cut clutter and only keep what’s truly necessary. This attractive bedroom by @mayflowerfurniture incorporates tiny matching bedside tables featuring matching lamps for a uniform look.

Credit: @ecorauk

8. Lean into Scandinavian style.

This cute, Scandi-style shelf by @ecorauk is the perfect substitute for a nightstand when there’s no space for a larger piece of furniture. It’s the right size for all those bedside essentials, or you could opt to add a slim lamp or even a plant.

9. Seek out tiny boho tables.

These simple bedside tables are as slim as it gets! Plus, they’re the perfect accessory for this pretty, Boho-style bedroom by @aboderestored. Opting for candles over lamps not only saves on space but sets an idyllic ambiance.

10. Build a nightstand into your bed frame.

Maybe you’d prefer to have the biggest, comfiest bed of your dreams than a little extra floor space. This decision, however, doesn’t mean you’re destined for a nightstand-less life. Hack your way around the lack of room for a nightstand by opting for a bed that has one built-in, as seen in this vintage-inspired Australian home.

Credit: Lana Kenney

11. Expand your furniture search.

The best nightstand for your small space may not even be a formal nightstand or a side table. While this pretty woven table in a glam Cape Town home was made by one of the owners, expanding your search for a range of different types of furniture will give you more flexibility in terms of size, from garden stools to cylindrical ottomans.

12. Choose a narrow drawer.

Who says your bedside tables have to match? A tiny table can work wonders in a slim area. Even if you already have a proper nightstand on the other side of the bed, as this maximalist Philadelphia studio does, a smaller piece can off-set it, freeing up space and still providing your partner with a perch for a glass of water.

13. Bring in the great outdoors.

Not only does a stump-style table, such as the one in this lovely coastal-themed Australian home, beautify a space and add major visual interest, but it’s also the perfect dimensions for squeezing into a small corner.

Credit: Liz Calka

14. Make it float.

Whether you’re really tight on space or just appreciate minimalism, a floating shelf may be just the nightstand idea you need. As evident in this Washington, D.C. abode, there’s still plenty of space for your most important items in a small crevice, and a wall-mounted shelf will help you maximize storage.

15. Simplify with a tiny stool.

Repurposed items can look much cooler than a big box store nightstand. The stool in this Seattle apartment provides an industrial, eclectic touch to an otherwise colorful, modern room.

16. …Or try a chair.

If not a stool, how about a chair? Sourcing a chair from an antique shop or a curbside sale, like the owners of this colorful New Orleans home did, can be a unique solution for a nightstand. Give it a fresh coat of paint, and you’re set for years to come.

Credit: Carina Romano

17. Roll on.

Vertical storage is important in small bedrooms, but adding wheels to a tall, thin shelf makes it even more useful. This beautifully designed Philadelphia apartment shows how appealing this addition can be to a nightstand when it comes time to clean or if you want the freedom to easily rearrange things to open up more space.

18. Use folding benches.

Provide ample space for impromptu bedroom dance parties by using folding stools as bedside tables, which is the case in this cozy, minimalist Seattle home. They’re easy to move (and remove completely) but still offer a place to place important bedside essentials.

19. Install a floating ledge.

Some bedrooms call for the teeniest, tiniest storage solutions. Although small, this dreamy Long Beach abode still holds onto style by using wall-mounted ledges as nightstands. You can use shelves like this for your reading glasses, plants, a magazine or two, and your lavender pillow spray.