Alternative bedside tables

Eight Alternatives to Bedside Tables

Author: Lisa Soeno

In our last home we didn’t have space in the master bedroom for a bedside table next to ‘my’ side of the TV bed with storage. I’m not quite sure how I got by without a lamp, clock and book all within arm’s reach, but I did!

If you’re struggling for space in your bedroom, or need a bedside table but haven’t got the pennies at the moment to splash out on one, or you’re wanting to get a bit creative and re-purpose an existing item in your house to use as a bedside table, then hopefully some of these ideas will provide a little inspiration.

Alternative Bedside Tables {The Bar Cart}

One of my favourite items of furniture in our house is this bar cart which I use as a side table in our lounge. (Unfortunately, Lyra and Jenson also love it. Jenson likes to use it as a baby walker and Lyra wheels it around serving up imaginary cakes). I’d happily use it to prop my glasses and book on every night.

Alternative Bedside Tables {The Chair}

I think I’ve mentioned on the blog before that #ihavethisthingwithchairs, so this was always going to be an entry. The only risk is that your other half will see it for what it is (i.e. a chair, rather than a bedside table), and pile up his/her clothes on there *insert exasperated emoji face here*.

Alternative Bedside Tables {The Peg Board}

I had a very exciting delivery last week in the form of a Peg and Board pegboard which I cannot wait to put together. I’ll be using my pegboard next to my desk to store notepads and stationery, but I thought the idea of having one hung next to your bed as an alternative bedside table was a genius one.

Alternative Bedside Tables {The Stepladder}

You know those fancy tiered shelving units that are all the rage? Well you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds to get the look. Just grab yourself a £13 step stool from Ikea. This is one of my favourite looks and it’s got brill Ikea hack potential – I’d be tempted to dip the bottom half of the steps in white paint.

Alternative Bedside Tables {The Pile of Books/Magazines}

Definitely not the most practical solution, and it’s never going to last very long if you’ve got littles, but how stylish does it look?! It also means you have a never-ending supply of bedtime reading material at your fingertips.

Alternative Bedside Tables {The Floating Shelf}

Floating shelves work brilliantly in a small room. Because they’ve got no legs/bulky boxy bit at the bottom, it creates the illusion of more space. If you’re in the market for a floating shelf then La Redoute is your man.

Alternative Bedside Tables {The Ledge Behind the Bed}

If you’re seriously pushed for space then using a picture ledge with clamp-on lights above the bed is a brill alternative to trying to squeeze in a table. It frames the bed and adds a bit of interest to that big expanse of wall above the bed. If you get a narrow enough picture ledge then you won’t need to worry about banging your head on it.

Alternative Bedside Tables {The Suspended Lamp}

Ok, so this isn’t a TABLE but it IS a clever, space-saving way to make sure you’ve got ambient light in the bedroom. Our very own Amy is renovating her abode and she has wrapped a pendant light from a single shelf bracket either side of her bed. Perfect for all you minimalists and ideal if you’ve only got a slither of space next to your bed. You could also use Muuto dots or industrial piping instead of shelf brackets.

Does anyone else have a thing for chairs?
Have you come up with an ingenious alternative to a bedside table?

  • Wayfair Milking Stool
  • Swoon Editions Bar Cart
  • La Redoute Floating Bedside Drawer
  • Normann Copenhagen Bar Cart
  • La Redoute Floating Bedside Table
  • Amara Pendant Lamp

Header image from

Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
This post may include affiliate links.
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13 thoughts on “Eight Alternatives to Bedside Tables

  1. Confused. I thought Instagram had declared the bar cart had had its day and we all needed to move on to house plants?

    Or do we call it a gin cart and therefore it’s ok in its upcycled form?

    I was actually quite excited to read this as we have a French cottage style bed but I don’t like the style of bedside tables but I don’t think a pile of magazines will quite cut it? Isn’t the point to have a high easily reachable height? So we’d have to be talking 50 magazines? You’d have to drill dowel into it to stop them rolling off. I know you said it was impractical but I actually snorted tea through my nose at just how impractical it was.

  2. Good suggestions Lisa as I have been trying to come up with some ideas for small spaces next to the bed so these are very helpful 🙂 In one of the images there is a little antique bench – does anyone know where I could get something similar? Thank you!

  3. Gorgeous ideas, Lise!

    I love the look of the books, and it will free up so much space in my bookshelf!! I have one of the hanging pendant lights and love it. And the above the bed shelf has answered the problem of not knowing where to put the Cox and Cox box shelf I’ve had sat on my floor for ages!

  4. I’ve recently been thinking about decorating my guest room and don’t want to splash out on furniture that will not get much use, so this is very timely. I think I’m going to keep things simple and go for a set of drawers by the bed, and style up a chair like in the pictures you’ve chosen. There are always pine drawers and odd chairs for sale second hand that are perfect for upcycling.

  5. Love this post. I like the idea of floating units but also the hacked up version of the Ikea step ladder! Thanks for all the suggestions!

  6. Loved this article and the images. Really like the look of the floating shelves but the price tag of that Ikea stool is also very tempting! Great find.

  7. Love everything about rockmystyle and really enjoyed this blog. We have just used a £9 crate from ikea as a bedside table in my daughters bedroom. Our half term project is to paint it the same colour as the floor boards! X

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