Nightstands, also known as bedside tables, are small, versatile pieces of furniture generally found next to the bed. They provide a surface for a lamp or alarm clock or convenient storage for items you might need while in bed. Whether you are building your own nightstand or shopping for the perfect piece, keep the height close to the mattress height. You'll need to reach items easily -- even when you're half asleep.
No standard measurements exist for nightstands, although they are designed with popular bed heights in mind. A nightstand can range from approximately 18 to 29 inches in height. The nightstand you buy or build may be influenced by the style of the furniture. For example, a Shaker style nightstand has minimal trim and detailing, so it may be shorter and more simplistic in nature than an elaborately trimmed Victorian or French Provincial nightstand.
Mattress Thickness Counts
The bed is the focal point of any bedroom. The nightstands should not detract attention away from the bed; they should emphasize its presence while providing symmetry and balance. The height of the nightstand should be proportional to the bed. Thick and luxurious modern mattresses can increase the height of a bed by several inches, so audition nightstands to find the height that works with your mattress. Foam mattress toppers also increase the overall height of the bed.
Style and Form
The style of the room's decor can also help determine which nightstand works. For example, modern, minimalist design typically features low lines that make the room seem airy and expansive. In this style, a low bed calls for a low nightstand. In a more traditionally styled bedroom, the nightstands might be slightly taller than the mattress they flank -- or at least as tall.
Function and Suitablilty
When purchasing a ready-made nightstand or assembling materials to build one, the height of the nightstand isn't the only consideration. Quality materials and solid construction techniques should be a priority. Choose a nightstand with appropriate storage, such as drawers, shelves or a raised edge to keep items from rolling off. The needs of the room's occupant might also determine the height of the stand. For example, a nightstand for a child's room should offer plenty of space to keep large picture books and sleepy-time toys at hand, while a teen may want a chic place for a cell phone.