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Rapport Furniture Stores | Los Angeles | Palm Desert | Rancho Mirage | La Quinta
Sizing Lamps for End Tables: Avoid These 3 Mistakes - Rapport Furniture

Sizing Lamps for End Tables: Avoid These 3 Mistakes

Lighting design is a crucial element to get right in any home.

Thankfully, some general design principles help prevent any significant mistakes, and lamps for end tables are no exception.

One common question we get is: how tall a lamp for an and table should be? The combined height of the end table and its lamp should be equal to the height of floor lamps in the same room. Current design trends have floor lamps at 58 to 64 inches in height.

The proportion of end table to lamp height is more flexible based on your specific design needs.

These tips should help you get started with lamp and end table design. In addition, we’ve specifically added some mistakes to avoid that keep within current design standards.

End table lamps


Check out KARE'S Design full collection of lamps here

What is the Standard Table Lamp Height?

The standard table lamp height should match that of a floor lamp when put on the table. The average floor lamp reaches 58 to 64 inches. Therefore, the table lamp and end table should add together to that height.

Historically, different combinations of table and lamp height were popular.

Today, the end table tends to be around 27-30 inches and the lamp 30-36 inches, giving a slight nod to the lamp height over the table height.

Although different levels can add dimension to a room, which light sources, a height difference can be very distracting.

There should be precisely three different heights for light sources in a room:

  • Ceiling
  • Wall lights
  • Floor and table lamps.

- How Tall Should a Lamp Be on an End Table

We’ve already mentioned that the average table lamp is 30-36 inches tall.

However, you can vary up the height of the light in proportion to the end table to about one and a half times the height of the end table. That is, an end table of about 23 inches with a lamp of about 34 inches.

Remember, the main objective remains to keep the table lamp height at the same level as any floor lamps in the room. This is because our eyes are easily distracted by lights at different levels, whereas surfaces, storage, and seating at different levels can please the eye.

Flor Olivia lamp by KARE Design

Check out KARE'S Design full collection of lamps here

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Sizing an End Table Lamp

1. Buying the wrong size of lamp

End table lamps should be in proportion to other furniture in the room.

Beyond just the end table to lamp size proportion, the overall height of floor and table lamps in a room should be in line with the room’s scale.

One good rule of thumb is that the lampshade should be within your eye line when seated on the bed or couch it is beside.

2. Watch for the shade size when sizing

Another common mistake is not accounting for a tall or wide lampshade but instead only measuring to the bulb’s height.

The shape plays a prominent role in deciding the overall size of the lamp. It should be accounted for in both width and height when looking at the overall fit of a room.

3. Match the size of the end table to the size of the lamp

There’s no exact match, but the lamp should take up an adequate amount of room on the end table without overpowering it. One simple rule is that no part of the lamp, including its shade, should overhang any edge of the table.

On the other hand, a too-small lamp won’t reach the appropriate height, so make sure the overall height matches the floor lamps in the room.

Table Lamp Alba Silver by KARE Design


Check out KARE'S Design full collection of lamps here

Should End Tables Be the Same Height as the Couch?

The height of the end table should be within two inches of the height of the arms of the couch. It is better overall to err on the side of slightly shorter than the couch’s arms, so between two inches shorter and the arm height is an excellent area to aim for.

The coffee table should be lower than that to add levels and dimension to the room.

These rules don’t always apply, and it can matter how large the couch is and the size of the end table lamp you are using.

What Do You Put Under Lamps on End Tables? 4 Ideas

Today, there are a few standard decor options for end tables, depending on which room they are found in:

- Books

Always popular is a stack of books, which makes for both a nice decoration and allows the end table to serve a useful function.

- Plants

Plants are a popular end table item today. Just make sure the plant is proportional to the table and doesn’t get in the way of the lampshade. Plants also need light and care given to them.

- Pictures

Pictures are also a great piece of decor for end tables. They allow you to show some of your personality while adding color and dimension to a room.

- Vases

Finally, decorative bottles, vases, figures, and paperweights can also make a great addition to any end table. Just be sure to keep the overall clutter to a minimum by making any design choices feel both personal and purposeful.


Circle Lamp by NATUZZI


Check out NATUZZI's full collection of lamps here


Lamps for end tables have some standard rules that will suit most peoples’ design needs.

The combined height of the end table and lamp should equal the height of a floor lamp, which is 58 to 64 inches on average.

There is room to maneuver when it comes to the specific height of the table vs. the lamp, but modern design trends indicate that between equal sizes and the lamp being 1.5 times the size of the end table is standard.

With the information in this guide, you’ll find it easier to make the right choice the next time you want to place a lamp in your amazing new end table. For this reason, be sure to check back here if you have any questions regarding end tables, lamps and how to place them together.

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