How to Buy a Table Lamp

Photo of two table lamps in a living room

Table lamps can be as decorative as they are practical. When carefully purchased, the right table lamp can do wonders for your living space.

This table lamp buying guide helps you pick a lamp that’s scaled to your space and has the features you want most.

  1. How high should a table lamp be?
  2. Table Lamps with USB Ports, Night Lights, and More 

How High Should a Table Lamp Be?

Selecting the right size table lamp is an important part of decorating a space.

A table lamp that’s properly scaled in a room looks better and prevents the light from shining into your eyes. So when deciding on a table lamp height, consider the eye level rule.

How To Buy A Table Lamp – Tips and Ideas Buying Guide from Lamps Plus

Table Lamps for Living Rooms

When sitting on a sofa, the bottom of the shade should line up with your eye level so that the light isn’t shining directly into your eyes.

An image of a couch, side table, and table lamp with a line to demonstrate the eye level test.

Table Lamps by Chairs

The same rule of thumb applies while sitting in a chair. The bottom of the shade should line up with your eye level.

An image of a chair, side table, and table lamp.
Eye level placement of table lamp

While sitting in bed, the bottom of the lamp shade should line up around chin level. This will ensure the light isn’t shining directly into your eyes.

Table Lamp Shade Size

Buy a table lamp with a shade that is smaller than the width of the table. This ensures that the shade isn’t sticking out beyond the table. And remember that no space is too small to add style to. Use small table lamps for tiny spaces, such as on a hallway table, a kitchen counter, or on a vanity.

Table Lamps With USB Ports, Night Lights, and Other Features

Table lamps are decorative elements as well as practical lighting solutions. When shopping for table lamps, look for color and design as well as your must-have features.

Key Table Lamp Features to Look For

Table Lamps with Night Lights

If you want to light your way at night, consider buying a table lamp with a night light.

These table lamps offer ambient, or overall lighting, when all light features are on, and accent lighting when just the nightlight feature is being used.

Double Pull Chains

Table lamps featuring double pull chains provide you with two levels of light. Turn both on for reading, use just one for TV watching or general room illumination. In general, pull chains are easy to reach and use, making them a good option bedside or for next to a reading chair.

Lamps with USB Ports

For a handy way to charge electronic devices, purchase a USB table lamp.

These table lamps come with a built-in USB port located in the base of the lamp, allowing you to charge your electronic devices without using a traditional outlet

Table Lamp Sets

A pair of table lamps offers a unified look for entries, bedrooms and living areas.

More Table Lamp Ideas and Advice

8 Ways to Decorate with Table Lamps

How to Choose the Perfect Bedside Reading Lamp

How to Buy a Lamp Shade and Keep It Clean