Design

Let’s Find This Reader a Bedside Lamp!

Ashley Bruhn California house tour

This morning, on Instagram, I asked what people were shopping for but couldn’t find. And the #1 response that came pouring in was, “Help me find a bedside table lamp!” Who knew so many people were on the same hunt? Here are five great options…

bedside table lamp

If money were no object, I’d go for this Lostine lamp. How gorgeous is that shape?

Alex and I have these Target lamps in our bedroom. They’re simple and budget friendly.

bedside table lamp

How about this rattan cutie from Urban Outfitters?

bedside table lamp

I like this pretty Etsy lamp, made with oak.

bedside table lamp

And my sister loves this Stockholm-designed orb lamp, which has a calming glow and dimmer switch. (Remember seeing it in this house tour?)

Thoughts? What bedside lamps do you have? What would you recommend?

P.S. Reader questions, and let’s find raincoats and wedding dresses!

(Top photo by Ashley Bruhn for her house tour.)

  1. SG says...

    I’d recommend a touch sensor lamp. It’s nice to not have to reach that little extra bit to turn a knob or switch. There are tons of great options online, and typically marketed as kids’ lamps so they’re sometimes a little more affordable. :) Ours are from Target and no longer in stock, but this is a similar and cute option:

    https://www.target.com/p/17-25-34-modern-metal-table-lamp-with-touch-sensor-black-ore-international/-/A-54404202#lnk=sametab

    • CMG says...

      Love them!

  2. celia says...

    I am an evangelist for the Anglepoise lamp! It’s technically a task lamp, and it won’t make your whole room glow, but it gives dimmable, perfectly directed light for bedtime reading, and the low, direct light level helps me ease into sleep at the end of the day. Plus–it’s extremely portable and works as a desk lamp, too.
    https://www.rejuvenation.com/catalog/collections/anglepoise-90-mini-mini-accent-lamp/products/5d9bd195de193d744a147619?cm_ven=PLA&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=default&cm_ite=A2586&gclid=Cj0KCQiA-aGCBhCwARIsAHDl5x-2j8w6Zy4mpQGMHc1bzhzhhEW4VI5_Nm6XxAmOD6I0GWY8BSlFJfEaAtd1EALw_wcB

    • C says...

      Omg you are my guardian angel. I’ve been looking for a lamp exactly like this but it didn’t occur to me to search for a task lamp!! Want a super directed bedside light so my partner and I can read without bothering each other! Ordering asap. Thank you!!!!

  3. Get a plug in dimmer switch for your bedside lamps! We’ve been on the hunt for new bedside lamps for months, struggling to find the perfect wattage, not realizing that little plug in dimmers would solve our problems of wanting reading light, low light, and adjustable light on each side of the bed. Ours have a little cord with a dimmer switch, so I don’t even have to sit up to adjust my light. These little plug in dimmers have brought so much satisfaction already!

  4. TC says...

    While I’ve enjoyed reading COJ for almost 10 years, I may need to take a break. I understand all the posts about motherhood and usually skip them, but the needless photo of a newborn on a bed on a post about finding a lamp pushed my infertile heart over the edge.

    • Tacie says...

      Hey TC, While I don’t know you or your experience, I know a similar feeling. I know vividly how hard it is to see reminders of babies during seasons when I needed to protect my heart. Sending you light.
      Xo

    • Brianna says...

      I’m sorry for your grief, TC. (I sometimes feel like that about all the posts about people’s significant others when it feels like that’ll never be my reality) Sending you some warmth and a prayer for a little moment of peace from Iowa.

    • Lala says...

      oh tc i’m so sorry. i’ve walked that path and know how painful it can be; almost like a physical pain. i’ve come out the other side of it and i know someday you will too. in fact i didn’t even notice the baby in the picture! prayers for your journey.

    • leenie says...

      I take the occasional COJ break just for that reason (and the partner thing, too). Sometimes it’s just to much to bear.

  5. Molly says...

    Randomly, I have had A LOT of luck with lamps at thrift stores lately. Not so much shades but bases, especially trendy large ceramic 80s-style ones. I have purchased three in the past few months, and the most expensive one was $8!

  6. Kristin says...

    My husband and I have the Casper Glow lamps, and they’re amazing. I’m not usually one for smart devices, but they’re super easy to set and schedule. They dim over a period of time (you decide how long) which is a good reminder to put your book away at bedtime. And they’re a fantastic morning alarm to wake you up gradually with a soft glow.

    https://casper.com/ca/en/glow-light/

  7. Sam says...

    I went for plug in wall sconces for my small bedroom to save on nightstand space. When I bought a Casper bed for my new home, I also invested in their Casper glow lights which slowly brighten over the course of 30 minutes before your alarm. It takes me a while to wake up and I’m so much more delightful of a person when I wake up with it that I knew I wanted that to be front and center next to my bed. I also use it to wind down before bed sometimes too

  8. Megan Klein says...

    The ladies at work bought a set of these (West Elm silver base with an acrylic cylinder and cream shade) off my wedding registry and they make me feel so fancy like our bedroom is a hotel! I love that they match and they’re so simple and beautiful.

    https://www.westelm.com/m/products/acrylic-column-table-lamp-usb-w3409/?cm_cat=Google&sku=4397299&region_id=680400&catalogId=71&cm_ite=4397299&gclid=Cj0KCQiA1pyCBhCtARIsAHaY_5eSd_GdIORs6W9Rx0CNw9pFcPq_riAH–uunTrdHG29M82pw7PS2GkaAh_hEALw_wcB&cm_ven=PLA&cm_pla=Lighting%20%3e%20Table%20%2b%20Desk%20Lamps

  9. KarenJ says...

    I have a pair of lovely bedside lamps that I bought at IKEA years ago. They used to be great for reading when I was younger but I’ve found not so much lately. I still have them because they are attractive and provide a nice light in the bedroom. However for reading these days nothing beats a HEADLAMP! They are bright, directional and don’t disturb my husband when he’s trying to sleep. There is a certain coal miner aesthetic to it which is perhaps not the sexiest look but …..

    • Jules says...

      Haha I also have a headlamp. It is great!

    • em says...

      Lolll @ “coal miner aesthetic”!

    • Melissa says...

      I have this one too! Very beachy/coastal vibe!

    • Savannah says...

      I almost bought these…because I’m from Cohasset! They’re gorgeous!

  10. Vanessa Ting says...

    Somehow when I saw the title of the post, I imagined the serviceable but ugly reading lamps, which incidentally I’m on the lookout for – are the lamps featured here bright enough for reading? Without being too blur and fluorescent (which is my beef with aforementioned reading lamps, and also the one I have now keeps sagging no matter how I adjust it!) And also flattering enough for my night zooms with my book club (the only time we parents can meet up?)
    Honestly would love recommendations, thanks!

  11. Sara says...

    check out the websites for lamps plus and schoolhouse for different lighting options, including plug-in wall sconces

    • Sam says...

      Yes! I bought plug in wall sconces from Lamps Plus for my small bedroom and they work great! For perspective, the only nightstands I could find that were small enough to fit in the room are actually little bathroom tables designed to basically hold extra rolls of toilet paper lol

    • Joy says...

      Yes! And they come in a few sizes and color options.

  12. K says...

    The orb is my favorite! I feel validated that your sister chose it :)

  13. Janey says...

    I just bought this – I imagine it is similar to the Himalayan salt lamp above. It glows pink and is dimmable. I kind of prefer my old, old regular lamp but we wanted to redo the whole bedroom so I thought this would be an appropriate 180. https://www.westelm.com/m/products/glass-gem-table-lamp-w2893/

  14. Angela says...

    Please help!!! No instagram here but I’ve been on the hunt for counter height stools for 3 years. I want a back, but nothing too concealing of our beautiful countertops and tuxedo cabinetry. Kid friendly (probably not white fabric), and rated for >250#. We built a house 2 years ago and we’ve never sat at the island! I’d be willing to share pics!!

  15. JP says...

    I recently had to furnish an entire home and have found that Urban Outfitters (yes!) has THE BEST lamps! I love the tiger ones, all the MCM inspired, and the retro glass mushroom lamps

  16. Meg says...
  17. Audrey says...

    I love lamps!! Here are 3 super different options, all of which I love:

    Modern + colorful: https://store.moma.org/for-the-home/featured/hay/hay-pc-portable-lamp/802125.html

    Cottagecore vibes: https://www.etsy.com/listing/769020730/rattan-lamp-woven-light-shade-wicker?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=rattan+lamp&ref=sr_gallery-1-5&from_market_listing_grid_organic=1

    Very special gift for a book lover: https://www.hellolumio.com/products/lito-classic-maple

    I own the 3rd, and it’s lasted me 7 years and counting! Thanks for this fun post Jo : )

    • Jeanne says...

      The Lumio lamp is absolutely magical. I remember the Shark Tank investors OOOH’ing when the owner opened up the book.

    • Ashley says...

      Up vote for the Hay PC Portable lamp- I have one and it is my favourite thing. It charges by USB so it is great for summer evenings in the garden, lighting up dark hallways without an outlet or using in the bathroom as more of a relaxing light during a bath (I only have spotlights in my bathroom which don’t provide the best ambiance!). Also has a dimmer on it so imagine it would be great for night feeds or using as a nightlight for little ones. Would recommend the ones with the translucent white/cream shade over the solid blocked colour version- gives a much nicer glow.

  18. Jenna says...

    We have vintage brass gooseneck task lamps we found on Etsy. Mine is gold/brass, his is darker. They compliment but don’t match. Being able to adjust the height of the lighting is perfect for evening, and for our different bodies and bed-sitting styles. If the light doesn’t work, getting them rewired is pretty cheap.

  19. jill d. says...

    i have the last orb lamp you posted (all b/c of that house tour of yours! it triggered me to buy it after that post!) – i honestly love it! it’s worth the splurge!

  20. Ashley says...

    I smell a recurring series?!

  21. Kristin says...

    I’ve got the JWDA Menu lamp as well but in marble. As an architect I am super picky about lighting. Would also recommend:

    Akari Light Sculptures by Noguchi
    https://shop.noguchi.org/collections/akari-light-sculptures

    Any of the Nelson table lamps (I’ve got the cigar tripod which is fabulous)
    https://www.dwr.com/search?q=Nelson+table+lamp&search-button=&lang=en_US

    And my all time secret – vintage on Etsy or First Dibs. My favorite searches are “vintage bostlund lamp” and “vintage martz lamp”. Martz lamps are my fav and I have two vintage ones at home.

    • Emily says...

      Love the JWDA lamp! would you say it puts off ample light for a front entry table? Or is it more “glowy” light?

    • Oja says...

      Kristen, thank you!
      I got a fabulous lamp years ago at a flea market for $30, and I’ve adored it all these years. Thanks to your tip, I realize I’ve got a Martz lamp!

      Enjoy yours!
      Oja

    • Kristin says...

      Hi Emily! It’s dimmable so it goes from low glowy to pretty dang bright. I think it would be adequate for your entry way.

      Hi Oja, that’s great! They really are the most lovely lights, aren’t they. The ceramic bases and the proportions are always perfection. Enjoy yours as well and happy I could help identify it :)

  22. Brittany says...

    We have a pair of Luxo industrial task lights on our bedside tables. Hear me out. They don’t look so out of place when you have a pair, and we LOVE them. You can direct them to actually shine on your book, unlike most bedside lamps, plus you can direct them away from your bedmate if they’re sleeping.

    We got these, but bought bases instead of using the edge clamps.
    https://www.luxo-lighting.com/luxo-l-1-task-light-with-edge-clamp-white.html

  23. Ramona says...

    Everyone has their own style of course…but game-changer for me is that it has a “touch” sensor with a 3-way light bulb. Sometimes you just want to have a softer, quieter light first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

  24. Maywyn says...

    Wow! The Target lamp is perfect for a modern accent in a room. Amazing price. If I’ll buy online for store pick up.

  25. Abbie says...

    I had no idea lamps could be so lovely! This whole thread makes me want to rethink my lighting strategies moving forward.

  26. cilla says...

    all of these are gorgeous, but normal standing bedside table lamps. Not a problem finding a beaurtiful one.
    but we don’t have bedside tables and we have black iron bad and I have been searching for lamps for a year. should we have standing ones or the ones to be clipped on the bed or the ones to be put on the wall behind the bed?
    the struggle is real, but today’s post didn’t help much , even if I was really really happy when i saw the title :)

    • Alison Marie Kress says...

      Strongly second this!

  27. Charlotte says...

    Artemide tolomeo is a wonderful lamp.

  28. AN says...

    This is not a bedside lamp but everything about The Wick is perfect. I asked for it for Xmas and hope it lasts forever. The old-timey-ness + the modern melts my heart. Three light settings + a flicker one…heaven.

    https://graypants.com/product/wick/

  29. A says...

    I’d take a look at Facebook Marketplace! Not only is it more environmentally friendly to purchase used, it also allows me to buy things that I wouldn’t be able to afford at full price. Case in point—I just bought the below lamp (adjustable, high-quality) from Facebook Marketplace this weekend for $40!

    https://www.westelm.com/products/telescoping-table-lamp-w1140/?catalogId=71&sku=4335233&cm_ven=PLA&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=Lighting%20%3E%20Table%20%2B%20Desk%20Lamps&region_id=751260&cm_ite=4335233&gclid=Cj0KCQiA1pyCBhCtARIsAHaY_5dCOVIkeHpA87yuSTJzC9E1C2aRpzHcqb0dtnGs8KiKeAXVqLRgLZoaAuvQEALw_wcB

  30. genevieve says...

    I highly recommend pink salt crystal lamps as accents and nightlights. The glow is lovely and flattering!

    • Adrien says...

      Oh yes! I am obsessed with mine – it’s good for reading, romance and nursing babies – the triple threat of lamps!

  31. Beth says...

    My parents have purchased a few lamps from these folks and they’re gorgeous. https://www.gslamps.com/ – the medium blue is my favorite, and the mid-nineties look of this website is not to be missed!!

    • Becca says...

      You’re right, gorgeous lamps. Bookmarked!

    • Lizzie says...

      Wow! I just went down the rabbit hole of his website. I am definitely on board!! : )

    • Lena says...

      Wow! What an incredible find of a website – the lamps are gorgeous and well priced. Thank you for sharing!

    • Marieke says...

      yes this one! Perfect for reading at night with the dimmer option :)

    • Kirstin says...

      wow! it’s terrific.

    • Alex says...

      Love this one!!!

  32. Nsh says...

    Tolomeo micro table lamps!

  33. Heather says...

    Thank you, this is a great round up! I’m on the hunt for sconces for our dining nook and am going to start with these sources. (We currently have a pendant lamp and are sick of hitting on our heads on it while sweeping up Cheerios and other detritus from kid meals.) Would love any other ideas that readers have.

    • Susan says...

      I’ve been lusting over https://sazeracstitches.com sconces – I can’t decide which ones to get – they are all so beautiful.

    • Mary W says...

      I’m looking for sconces, too. Thanks for the great link, Susan!

  34. Lala says...

    So, I do something a little different with my bedside lamp situation. I use floor lamps with a dimmer switch that stays on the bedside table. That way i have great lighting that can be dimmed to my preference and I have access to the entire surface of my bedside table for books, water, glasses, more books, picture frame, what have you. I love it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh that’s smart!

    • Jules says...

      Oh that is really smart, thank you for the tip!

  35. Denise says...

    I recommend a thrift shop. Find a base that works properly & speaks to you and buy a new shade if need be. There are so many unhoused lamps already in existence that need good homes. Won’t you rescue a lamp today? lol

    • Sunny says...

      So true! Love it.

      Also, estate sales are coming back. So many nice things need a home!

  36. Jules says...

    I like all of these! I want to swap ours for the kind you touch to turn on and off. No more fumbling once you are sleepy!

    I have a question for the COJ gang. What is your favourite running music? I have a playlist called coj happy songs which I complied from a post a while ago. I’d love to do the same with running and be spurred on by the great musical tastes of your readers.

    • Britt says...

      I second the running music request!

  37. Christine says...

    A few years ago I stayed in the most beautiful apartment in Taormina, Sicily and in my bedroom there was this vintage Italian Murano mushroom lamp that just gave off the most beautiful, golden light. I obsessed over getting one just like it but could not afford the real deal. So I found this one at Urban Outfitters, a knockoff of the original Murano, and it is almost as gorgeous! Makes me so happy to recreate that golden light in my own bedroom :) https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/shop/ansel-table-lamp?category=SEARCHRESULTS&color=017&searchparams=q%3Dtable%2520lamp%26sayt%3Dtrue&type=REGULAR&size=ONE%20SIZE&quantity=1

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      beautiful!

  38. Abesha1 says...

    Pretty lamps, but … why is there an infant alone on the edge of a bed as the lead-in pic?
    🤗

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, don’t worry! the baby’s mom was right there taking the photo, and I’m sure she was aware of how much her baby could roll, etc. :)

    • Kylee says...

      Hahaha, this exactly. Forget lamps; oh my god that baby is going to roll off the bed!! 🤣

    • Abesha1 says...

      Joanna, I thought that too, until mine rolled off the bed… he was fine. But ahhhhhh that picture is still freaking me out! 😃

  39. mimi says...

    I use an Ott Light by my bed for reading. I truly enjoy this light and I’m happy that it helps my vision. See their website.
    https://www.ottlite.com/#
    One can purchase from the website directly or shop at JoAnn’s craft stores where sometimes there is a sale. I saw on the Ott website there was a discount code today. They may not be as stylish as the lamps above but the lighting is great & true.

  40. Eloise says...

    Ohhh, perfect timing! I’m mid-hunt. And, someone needs to buy this one (it’s a bit — understatement – too pricey for me, although I did go as far as emailing customer service to see if the switch was on the lamp itself or the cord — it’s on the cord, which I think is a bit of a ridiculous “cheap-out” given the price tag): https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/lightbearer-table-lamp?color=070&size=One%20Size&inventoryCountry=US&countryCode=US&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5ZSb4dqj7wIVjK7ICh3mCQ2OEAQYASABEgLwL_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&type=STANDARD&quantity=1

  41. b says...

    That orb lamp! I saved that link for my future home.

  42. A says...

    Target’s pillowfort glass table lamp in aqua is pretty and on sale for $35. We have two similar ones from Target and they’re holding up really well.

  43. Rose says...

    What a search question! Though not nearly as beautiful as these options, I’ve been obsessed with my Philips SmartSleep light, which double functions as a soothing alarm clock (yes! A soothing alarm!). There are a million brightness options so I don’t deal with a too-bright situation late into the night while reading. There’s a feature in which the light will slowly dim and turn off itself too for a gentle wind down. In the morning the light slowly turns on and a gentle music plays to wake me “naturally.” They’re not cheap but I really couldn’t be happier with mine. Plus, my asleep self has a harder time turning off the alarm in the morning compared to a phone alarm. :)

    • Arianne says...

      I’ve been considering buying the this for almost a year but haven’t yet taken the plunge – can’t decide if it’s worth the cost since my current phone and alarm clock combo works fine… today may be the day I do it!

    • Marnie says...

      I have this too – for Arianne — YES, it is worth every penny! Especially for those of us living further north, where days in winter get very short – it is a life-saver on pitch-black morning.

      Funny tho – I don’t use it as a bedside lamp — just as a wake-up light. My other lamp broke recently (the twisty thing to turn it on and off broke off!) and so I’ve been looking for something new! Maybe I just need to use my wake-up light as a bedtime light instead!

    • Inge says...

      That’s funny: I use it as a bedside lamp and alarm system and I sometimes use the fall asleep sounds. I don’t often use the wake-up light because it takes too long, I wake up the first second there’s light. (Maybe I should calculate that in my wake-up time, now I think of it) It is a very calming way of waking up though.
      But it saves a lot of space on my bedside table, since we don’t want smartphones in our bedroom.

    • Amy says...

      I came here to say the Phillips alarm/light too – the gradually-dimming wind down light is great (especially if you get a model that warms to red light), and you can choose how long it takes between 5 min-1 hour.

      I actually don’t wake up to the light turning on unless I’m facing it so I still use my iPhone’s gently-increasing music alarm as a backup, but waking up to warming-up light makes it so much easier to become alert and get out of bed in the mornings so it’s still very worth it for me.

      I also appreciate that I can dim the red numbers on the clock pretty significantly; nothing worse than a harsh green or blue alarm clock lighting up the room.

      I will say that I don’t appreciate it as much for reading books; I liked the downward glow of my more traditional lamp (with a dimmer switch) for that than the sideways glow of the Phillips light, but if I face it against the wall it diffuses the light nicely.

    • kahani says...

      I came here to recommend my wake-up light clock too! It’s not as fancy as the Philips one but it’s become indispensable on a small bedside table with its adjustable lighting and alarm clock function. Plus the colour change mode hypnotized my baby when he was tiny and that was an unexpected bonus.