What is the right bedside lamp height?  Here’s how to work it out and the dimensions you need to know.  The height bedside lamp you need will depend on how you plan to use the lamp.

Right bedside lamp height

Bedside Lamp Used for Reading

If you will use the lamp for reading or writing while in bed you will need a lamp tall enough to give a good spread of light across your book or notepad/tablet.

Bedside Lamp What is the right height

When sitting up in bed the bottom of the lampshade should be between shoulder height and just below your eye level.  At this height you will be able to light your reading area without the light glaring into your eyes.

The height lamp you need will depend on the height of your bedside table in comparison to your mattress level.  Ideally your bedside table should be similar to your mattress height.  If this is the case a lamp that is with an overall height of 60-69cm (24-27″)  is ideal.

Taller or shorter in the body? Go for a lamp that is slightly taller or shorter.  If your bedside table is higher, you can use a shorter lamp, and if it is lower you will need a taller lamp or you may need to place your lamp on some books to give it more height.

Lamp Used for Ambient Lighting

If the lamp is purely decorative or just used for light so you can get into bed without walking through a dark room, your lamp can be any height.

Light Switch

To turn your bedside lamp on and off easily, the switch should be arm’s length away, 50-76cm (20-30″) so you can easily reach it.


The height of your bedside lamp needs to be in balance with the size of your bedside tables and the size of your bedhead.

Bedside lamp height

Measure the height and the top of the bedside table the lamp will sit on.  The lamp should be no more than one and a half times the height of the table.

bedside lamp height balance width

The lampshade should not be bigger than the tabletop and hang over the edges.  A general guide is the widest part of the lamp (usually the base of the shade) should be between one-third and two-thirds of the width of your bedside table.

Sources – My bedside lamp bases are Emac & Lawnton Lyon Metal Table Lamp available from Living Styles.  The linen lampshades are from Bunnings.  The height of the lamp with the shade on is 61.5cm

We hope this guide to finding the right height bedside lamp helps you.  Be sure to pin it to Pinterest for future reference.

bedside lamp height