Do Bedside Tables Have to Match The Bed?

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Are you looking for inspiration to decorate your bedroom with bedside tables but aren’t sure if they should match the bed? If you buy multiple nightstands, do they need to match? We’re here to help!

The short answer is NO! Bedside tables don’t have to match the bed but ideally they should be roughly about the same height as the bed.

Here’s how to mix and match bedside tables like a pro, reasons why bed sets come with one side table and why it’s the most popular choice for many bedrooms.

Do I need two bedside tables?

It’s the middle of the night, and you reach over to the nightstand to grab a sip of water. Oh right, it’s on the other side of the bed. Doesn’t it seem strange that furniture manufacturers generally include only one nightstand with a bed set?

Why would they not offer you a pair of bedside tables for either side? That would make sense, right?

Well, the reality is furniture manufacturers do this for a reason. After decades of collecting data on people’s furniture-buying habits, furniture brands decided that’s the most popular configuration.

Why do bedroom sets only come with one night stand?

When you’re out furniture shopping, take a look around the showroom for bed sets. Chances are 80% or more of the floor models come with only one bedside table. Why is that? Here are a few reasons why you don’t see more dual bedside table setups.

Affordability – Costs matter when producing furniture and manufacturers’ price products to meet market demand. If the most popular configuration is a single side table, why go to the extra expense of creating a product that doesn’t sell as well.

Tradition – Furniture manufacturers know the market and what consumers want. Why break trends when they can carry on the tradition of producing what people want instead of what they think customers need.

Space – On the consumer side, many people don’t have space in the bedroom for an extra side table. If you’re living in an apartment, space is precious, and why take up more of it with a supplementary table? It only clutters the room, creating a cramped feeling.

Design – Some consumers might want to incorporate another table design to cut the room’s décor theme. Matching nightstands can create a sense of duplication in the bedroom, providing a boring look to the décor. Adding a second nightstand with a different design brings a new visual element to the room.

Do bedside tables have to match?

Typically, our first thought when choosing a second side table is to go for a matching design.

That strategy might not be the best idea, creating a duplicate effect in the room and a boring layout. Adding a second side table with a different design cuts the décor in the room for an enhanced visual.

Luxury bedroom with vintage accent pieces and mismatched cabinets
Source: Pinterest

If you have the room, and you want a second nightstand, look around at other designs. You can mix and match your side tables to create another design component in your bedroom. The above example displays two side tables with similar styling but different functionality and looks.

Both feature the use of dark hardwoods, with bronze fittings. They have identical heights, creating a clean line across the bed and tabletops. The table on the right only has a light storage drawer for makeup and accessories, with legroom to double as a second bedside dressing table.

The support beam on the right side table creates a line extending to the unit’s underside on the left. It’s a classic example of creating a design with common elements and a similar look but vastly different functionality.

In these units, the dark hardwood accentuates the softer earthy tones on the walls and the bed, creating a strong focal point in the room. We have a few décor tips to help you choose the right second side table for your bedroom.

  • Buy a piece that has a similar design feel to the other side table.
  • Don’t pair modern and traditional designs – stick to the theme.
  • Place a common accessory like matching lamps on each table or a bold statement piece like a starburst mirror on wall
  • Ensure the tabletops are the same height, providing a uniform look.

Here’s some mix and match nightstands with similar heights.

Harper 2-Drawer Mid-Century Side Tables, White/Black

A mix of white and black bedside tables

Click here to see this product on Amazon

2 Tier Black Wood Nightstand and Gold Metal Circle Side Table

A mix of black and gold bedside tables

Click here to see the gold nightstand // Click here to see the black nightstand

Vecelo Modern versatile mix and match bed side tables

A mix of modern brown mix and match cabinets

Click here to see this product on Amazon

How to balance a bedroom with only one nightstand?

Do you need a second nightstand in the bedroom? Is it essential to your décor and styling? The answer is – it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to balance the look of a single nightstand in the bedroom.

Casual no fuss bedroom design natural wood and white theme
Source: Pinterest

This image is a perfect example of beautiful single-nightstand styling. The tabletop is in line with the bed surface, providing a streamlined, clean look. The designer matched the lighter natural woods on the bed base and the cabinet, creating a seamless color scheme that flows around the room.

The side table also features a slightly darker color compared to the flooring and rug, enhancing the table’s look with elegant styling. The white cabinet door stands out from the off-white wall while still managing to blend into the surroundings, accenting the bedsheets’ colors.

The white also accents the green in the leaves of the plant on the side table. This touch of nature prevents the room from developing a sterile feel from the use of too many light colors.

An off-white glass night stand
Source: Pinterest

The above is another excellent example of side table design and styling matching the décor in the room. The side table’s tube-design matches the bed frame, with the circular tables extending the design theme.

The color matches the bed frame and contrasts the darker tones on the walls and floor. We like the use of wood with trimming to create defined edges on the side table. The glass tabletop sits in line with the windowsill instead of the bed surface, creating a flowing effect from the windowsill that reflects light into the room.

Scandinavian bedroom design idea
Source: Moodhouse

Here’s an excellent example of creative design for a single nightstand adapted from a minimalist Scandinavian style. Who says you have to follow the rules with your side table? This storage square provides all the side table functions, with wall-installation to keep it off the floor.

The Ikea Eket wall mounted shelving unit fits well with the other design elements, with the bottom shelf in line with the bed surface. This unit’s multi-functional shelf design is chic and modern, with a minimalist feel that looks marvelous. Plus, there’s no moving it around when using the vacuum cleaner.

IKEA Eket Cabinet White Stained Oak Effect 13 3/4x13 3/4x13 3/4 804.288.52

Click here to buy this product on Amazon

What color should a night stand be?

Choosing the right color for your nightstand is challenging if you don’t know what you’re looking for in your décor.

The basic rule of thumb with side tables is to enhance the surrounding furniture and design elements. You can create this effect through blending or contrasting colors and with the use of different materials.

A modern clean lines black frame nightstand with drawers
Source: Shanty-2-Chick

Creating the right color contrast is critical for extending the theme of the décor in the room. You have the option of contrasting or complementing the colors, creating an impressive visual effect. In the above example, we see the light wood tones reflected in both the bed base and the side table’s drawers.

The darker frame accents the lighter wood, and it doesn’t clash with the flooring or the rug. The rustic design of the headboard blends with the unfinished look on the side tables hardwood drawers. Notice that the tabletop height is in line with the bed surface, creating a seamless look. Click here for a full tutorial on how to make this rustic modern nightstand.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to throw caution to the wind and do something entirely different.

Upcycle bold and chick nightstand in hot pink
Source: HGTV

This example shows that you can use any color you want for your side table if it has a purpose. This hot-pink color looks stunning, and it contrasts well with the white bed frame and side lamp.

The lower panel of the side table matches the height of the bed surface. It’s a peculiar finish that looks somewhat out of place but manages to work with the design elements.

How far should a nightstand be from the bed?

It depends on who you ask. Some design experts and blogs recommend distances as short as 1-inch. Others promote 5-inches as the ideal distance between the edge of the bed and the side table. Choosing the right spacing for your side table depends on the look you’re going for in the room and the table’s design.

The above is a great example of ideal side table spacing.

The designer left equal space between the wall, the side table, and the bed. The result is a clean look with a balanced design. We estimate the spacing to be around 3-inches from the bed frame in this image.

Pulling the table too close to the bed produces a cluttered look, crowding the space. However, moving it too far from the bed makes it difficult to reach for your glasses, water, or other bedtime essentials.

This durable Sauder cannery bridge nightstand in lintel oak finish will fit perfectly in a warm wood and white toned bedroom. We love the rustic, weathered wood look of the nightstand. Style the nightstand with some vintage accessories for a cozy and dreamy look.

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