13 Clever Nightstand Alternatives (for the Bedroom)

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Break the mold, be unique and place something other than a nightstand next to your bed that offers the same function but is different than the usual. See our detailed list here with photos and detailed justifications.

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White modern bedroom with beige blanket on gray bed, a painting overhead, indoor plants, and wooden bookshelf and floor lamp.

Not all bedrooms are created equal and most bedrooms nowadays are small if not tiny. When you’re scrimping on space, a nightstand doesn’t lend itself as a smart option. It’s the same case when you have a platform bed or a bed propped on risers cos it can be tricky looking for a nightstand of the right height to pair with your bed.

If you fall under any of the cases above or simply looking for storage or a surface next to your bed that’s not a nightstand, check out 10 clever nightstand alternatives below.

1. Antique suitcase

Minimalist bedroom with red walls, blue bed with wooden frame, wood flooring and vintage suitcases as nightstand alternatives.

Looking for nightstand alternatives? Merge old and new with a timeless valise. You can hunt them at yard sales and flea markets or check out sites like Furnishare.com and vFlea.com to scavenge for great deals and quirky products. Place it right on the floor or try elevating it with an easy DIY project by adding table legs. Consider something like this suitcase which combines old and new into an eclectic yet eye-catching look. You can keep your comfort items in it while placing your water and glasses on top. Charming and functional!

If you have space, you may even try an old trunk– think of the oversized ones used to ship materials across overseas. In here, you can fit so much– from throw blankets to extra pillows. If you’re going to go for this look, you’ll first want to measure the space to ensure there is enough room.

2. Custom Platform Bed

Custom platform bed with built-in nightstand

The built-in custom platform bed with nightstand surface looks fabulous, but it ain’t cheap and it’s permanent.  On the balance, I’d love this arrangement because it looks fabulous and look at all that surface area.

3. Floor lamp

Modern bedroom with a tall floor lamp as nightstand alternative.

Sometimes you don’t really need a lot next to your bed. Consider the way a table lamp will lighten up the room while adding extra space as an alternative to nightstands. Most of us spend too much time on our screen, and not having a place to lay it next to you will curb your usage. Plus, you’ll be able to reach over in the morning and wake up to the soft light of your floor lamp rather than reaching for your screen.

One potential downfall of this is lacking a space to place things. However, if you don’t find that to be a regular need of yours, it’s a definite space saver that offers a nice alternative to clutter. This light-filled idea is perfect for satisfying your inner minimalist.

In looking for great deals on floor lamps, Wayfair.com is the place to go. Not only do they offer affordable prices, the inventory is extensive. These will make great alternatives to nightstands. Prices start around $49.99.

4. Baskets

Whitmor Distressed Rattique Small Tote

Source: Amazon

As you design your bedside space, consider what you need. If it is books, magazines, or maybe some knitting, consider a basket. Consider these fair trade African Market Baskets. Not only do they add a stylish and useful touch to your bedroom, they also support artisans in the villages of Bolgatanga, Ghana. You’ll need to use the store locator to purchase as they only sell wholesale online, but you’ll be pleased with the prices and availability (starting around $35) of the baskets.

Magazine baskets are another one of the great alternatives to bedside tables. They come in whimsical wicker varieties or a more modern look with a sleek metal. Sometimes it’s nice to have home decor that is versatile in use. One of the nice things about using a basket as a catchall is that you can easily pick it up and go the next day. Never forget your book, charging cord, knitting or reading glasses again with the right basket.

5. Side Table

Side table as nightstand alternative

If you still want a flat, sturdy space for your stuff, but don’t necessarily want the bulk of a nightstand, consider a small side table. These can add a modern farmhouse look to your space and still provide the function necessary to hold your glass of water and lamp. Try adding a salt lamp for a simple but effective lowlight to help alleviate stress and set the right environment for restful slumber.

Check out something like this table for an affordable, open concept, modern look. The side table is a close cousin to the nightstand but gives you a little more versatility with its traditionally open bottom shelf. Rather than a close up look, you will have a small space to display a favorite picture or a stack of memorable books. The best news? You can find side tables anywhere furniture is sold while spending as little as $25.

6. Wall Hooks Offer a Streamlined Alternative to Nightstands

Northern Europe Wall Hooks / Decorative Hooks / Pure Copper Hooks / Coat Hooks /Towel Hooks

Source: Etsy

Do you like to have a robe accessible to you right when you awake? It can certainly help ease the abrupt transition from warm cozy slumber to cold and disorientating wakefulness. Try a wall hook. You can also pair it with a basket underneath.

Wall hooks come in many designs from classic wooden to brushed nickel. You may want to match the hardware on your door knobs or mix it up for a more eclectic look. Add a little more personality to this look by hanging your most inspirational quote in a whimsical frame right above the hooks. The eye will be drawn to it before sliding into bed each night and after waking each morning, a surefire way to start and end your day well. This economical option (Home Depot offers wall hooks for just $9.99) is also a space saver.

7. Bookshelf

Modern kid's bedroom with an easel, stool, and an open bookshelf as nightstand alternative.

Powering off your screen and reading at night is one of the best things you can do to achieve restorative sleep. Sleep experts recommend turning off your screens at least thirty minutes before attempting sleep, one hour is even better. Cozying up with a good mystery novel and a cup of chamomile tea is an excellent way to signal to your body and mind that it is time to start shutting down for the day.

Try stationing bookshelves next to your bed for bedside table alternatives. Not only is it utilitarian in nature, but it also connotes a peaceful mood. You can top it with an aromatherapy candle for an extra restful concept or display some favorite framed memories. Having such a meaningful and peaceful station right next to your bed is certain to do wonders for your rest.

8. Toolbox

A wooden toolbox with a desk lamp and books on top serves as nightstand alternative in this bedroom.

For an out of the box idea, try repurposing your old toolbox as your bedside furniture. Not only does it offer ample storage in just right sizes, but it adds an industrial twist that is sure to be a conversation starter. Kids also enjoy this idea. If you are looking for something for your child’s room, consider this tough guy look from Walmart.

This idea is a particularly good fit for a young man, maybe in his first dorm room or bachelor pad. It suggests a strong, yet organized personality who values form and function. Just make sure you’ve cleaned out any strays nails for before using. No one wants to encounter one when reaching for a tissue in the middle of the night. A toolbox is handy because you can hide those items you don’t necessarily want to be displayed, but need easy access. Deluxe toolboxes can be expensive, so you may want to scout for used ones.

9. Wall Shelves

Tiny bedroom with whitewashed exposed brick wall, large windows and wooden floating shelves.

This is one of the most versatile suggestions on the list of alternatives to bedside tables. You can hang one or many floating shelves next to your bed, an idea that is especially helpful for small spaces. If all you need (or have room for!) is a place to set your phone and a glass of water, this is the route for you.

Clutter clogs our spaces and our minds, so consider using floating shelves for a clean, efficient look. Even small spaces benefit from shelving rather than a bulky piece of furniture. Your bedroom needs to be a place of peace and calm, so consider valuable mementos or framed pictures and aromatherapy candles. Glancing at these prized objects will inspire a sense of nostalgia and inner happiness.

Consider this one for a minimalistic look inspired by Scandinavian design.

10. Floating Shelves

Floating wall shelves flanking bed as nightstand substitute

Go minimalist with some flanking floating wall shelves.

11. Stool

Feminine white bedroom with pink bed, pendant lighting, and stool as nightstand alternative.

Consider repurposing a stool in lieu of the traditional nightstand. The nice thing about this is that you can find one anywhere– scout out your local second-hand store for a castaway wooden stool. Add a coat of teal or grey paint and you will love the stylish flair. You could even grab some contact paper at your local hardware store for a unique touch. While it may be a small surface, it can certainly accommodate your book, lotion, and pillow mist. And, one added bonus: you have an extra seat should you need it!

The basic footstool also looks cute and quaint. It provides a unique look — especially in a kid’s room. It’s even dual purpose as kids are always in need of a footstool to reach those top drawers and high places in the closet. You can also feel good about salvaging one more piece of furniture from the landfill if you buy it used.

12. Plant Stand

White modern bedroom with indoor plant on golden plant stand as nightstand alternative.

Similar to a stool, a plant stand offers a clever twist for your bedtime accouterments. Put a plant in it or not, but either way, you are sure to enjoy the efficiency of a plant stand. If you do consider placing some foliage here, look for plants that offer restorative benefits such as lavender, valerian, or even a spider plant. Sleep experts and botanists alike note the healing powers of the added oxygen from plants. This plant table has great lines and offers some nice storage space.

As far as alternatives to nightstands go, the plant stand is a great option. You may find the surface isn’t large enough if you need more than a few small things at your disposal, but some will be delighted by the practicality and space saving measure.

13. Stump

Wood stump as bed nightstand substitute

Check how simple this is… find a stump, sand it, stain it and voila, you have a very cool boho nightstand.  This is a no-brainer.





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