Eleanor's Room

How Low Can You Go?

With a bedside table, that is. I’ve been trying to find a cute round one for Eleanor’s new room. I thought the Martini Side Table would be perfect, but then I realized how short it is. Next to the bed, it would look something like this:

Too small, I think. The top of the mattress will be about two feet off the floor and the side table is only 16.5″ tall. Compare that with the 27.5″ tall Jenny Lind Nightstand that Land of Nod pairs with the bed, and it seems downright tiny.

These are in the running:

Pop-Up Storage Bedside Table (27″ tall)
Manchester Media Stand (25″ tall)

I like that I can store books on the shelves below, but I’m still pining for the cute Martini Table. I was also considering the Kartell Componibili (the tallest of which is 23″), but I’m not in love with the colors.

How high/low do you like your bedside table to be? Ours in the bedroom are about 6″ higher than the top of the mattress and that has always seemed like a good height, but I wouldn’t go any higher. The table should probably be at least even with the top of the mattress though, right?


12:45 p.m.
I did a little more Photoshop work. This is how the bed would look with the Pop-Up Table (painted green). Pretty cute.

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  • Lerali
    January 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I’m partial to a bedside table/night stand being even with the mattress or just a little higher. That way the alarm clock is within my line of sight from the bed if I’m laying down.

  • Kim
    January 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Ugh, I’ve been struggling with this. I prefer them right around bed height….and our bed with extra-deep mattress is 34″ high! Most side tables seem to clock in at 24″ and that just seems too low. Ideally I’d go just a little lower – the idea of having a hard surface at head height scares me – I’m a rough sleeper!

  • Alissa
    January 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

    It’s a kid’s room, so remember that she/they will need to be able to reach it from both the floor and the bed. (If you really love the martini table and it has a solid base, you can always add a small wood riser to the bottom to get it to the height you want. Makes it adjustable too…)

  • Laurie
    January 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I’m comfortable with my nightstand nearly equal the height of the mattress, it might be an inch or so below.

    It might not be quite as kid-friendly or blob like, but you could try adding some legs to the martini.

    Honestly, I prefer the pop-up, even above the Componibilli I think.

  • Jamie
    January 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I have a bi-level table next to my bed. The lower is only 15″ tall — the top is 5″ lower then the top of my bed. While the bottom part seems low, I use that part the most. I don’t mind the height difference at all!

    • Jamie
      January 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      PS I vote for the Pop-up storage table. It’ll look adorable w/ the bed.

  • AK
    January 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I like the pop-up table as a second choice. Very whimsical, great for a kid’s room but can also transition as she gets older. The other table is too plain. I like the idea of adding something to the bottom of the table you love.

  • Laura
    January 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I’m a hotel designer and we typically do 26″H which is about even with the top of the mattress. This also allows for the lamp to be high enough to read from but not too high that you are looking into it.

    But for your little girl – a lower table might actually be easier for her to reach. Are you using a lamp? If not then I think the martini side table would work. It can always become a cute side table later on if she grows out of it as a night stand.

  • Amanda
    January 4, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I always like my bedside table level with the top of my mattress. It makes it good for easy access without having to strain myself.

  • nichole
    January 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    the endtables in my bedroom are the same height as my mattress, and I hate it. I am constantly hitting them, or knocking things off with the blankets.

    I have a 3 year old, and she is way too rambunctious to have a bedside table just yet. Maybe just a wall light above the bed that she can operate? Ikea has some cute ones, plus little covers so she can’t touch the bulb.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      I’m probably going to get IKEA’s SNÖIG sconces for her room, but I’d still like to have a little bedside table for books and a (sippy) cup of water.

  • Jane
    January 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I agree with Amanda- its much easier to reach when its level with the mattress. Any higher and I’m worried I’ll roll over in the night and hit my head.

  • Sarah K
    January 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I like the table just a bit taller than the bed (much like in your bedroom). However, given that this is for a little one, I would definitely go with lower than the mattress to keep sharp edges away from her little head.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      That’s why I was looking for something round, or at least with rounded edges.

  • Melissa @ HOUSEography
    January 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I also like nightstands level with the top of the mattress – especially for kids to reach things. Here are the pics from my daughter’s room –


    I really need to paint that nightstand – hideous!

  • Brigitte
    January 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I had to go into my Flickr stream to even figure out where my tables are! One is slightly lower, the second is dead-on even. But both are super solid, which may be why it’s not odd looking that one is low.

  • Natalie
    January 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    The Pop-Up Storage Table is too cute! I love the unique shape and the fact that you can put books or baskets underneath for storage. Good luck with your search! :)

    Happy New Year! :)

  • Loren
    January 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I honestly never thought about this before. I am definitely in the minority here because our nightstands are a little lower than the top of the bed. But the room is super tiny so I don’t really think they look out of place.

  • Lisa
    January 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    the pagoda-type one is adorable. I like side tables to be about the height of the mattress, not much more.

  • amyks
    January 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I like the pop up storage table, the shape is so cute. I have 2 silver martini side tables that I use in my bathrooms, they are really cute, but they are really short.

  • Nicole
    January 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Will she have side-rails of some kind? If so, you’ll probably have to go higher (so she can reach it).

  • Alina
    January 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    No nursery updates? :)

    • Making it Lovely
      January 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      Nothing new to report since my November sneak peek. The basement renovation is holding up everything! (The studio moves to the basement, Eleanor moves to the former studio, then I can do the new nursery.)

  • Jenn V.
    January 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I’m digging the PB Teen Pop-up table that you photoshopped… but maybe you could put casters under the martini one to give it a little more height?

  • Lisa
    January 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I’m not sure either way. I don’t think that Eleanor will be reading in bed like adults do. You can always wait to get the bedside table and see if she wants one. And when she does, she may have her own ideas about what she will find useful. I don’t mean to sound crass, but she’s not even 2 years old yet. I don’t think I had a bedside table until I was at least 13. I’m not sure they are much use for a toddler.

    • Making it Lovely
      January 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      We have a little side table next to the glider in her nursery that holds a sippy cup of water and a few books to read before bed. The bedside table will serve the same function.

      Plus I always had a little nightstand next to my bed, and I remember using it all the time (I was a bookworm nerdy little kid). Yes, she’ll have to be a little older than two, but it will be handy within the next few years I think.

  • Amy
    January 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I think the pop up table looks freakishly large with the toddler bed, but I’m a small table kind of gal. I use LAK tables on each side of my bed. They are a few inches lower than my bed, but the lamps seem to even things out.

  • Melissa
    January 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    The pop up table in green looks really cute with the bed!

  • Jenn
    January 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Also super cute! Did you see Copy Cat Chic did a blog today on the pop up table? Maybe the way you have to go?!

  • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode
    January 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I always liked the nightstand to be a bit higher than mattress height. Glad I”m not the only one noticing how low they’re getting to be these days!

    The round one is my favorite with the bed, but I see the height issue. Any way to DIY one? [Becuase you’re clearly not busy ENOUGH these days :) ]

  • Erika
    January 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I actually like my nightstand a little lower than my bed/mattress. I like reaching down better than reaching up, if that makes sense!

  • Melissa
    January 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Copy Cat Chic is talking about these tables today too!!


    • Making it Lovely
      January 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      Jenn just mentioned that too (above). Fun coincidence!

  • Lisa
    January 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    You may want to make sure it is big enough to house an ipod radio/charger. My daughter is 8 and believe it or not this is her necessity for her as an alarm clock and music center! ha

  • Julie
    January 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I’d try to make the table as even with the top of the mattress as possible. I’m not sure about the suggestions to go lower. If Eleanor rolls out of bed she’s bound to hit her head on the side table before she hits the floor.
    Good luck finding the perfect fit! I know you will!

  • Julie
    January 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    P.S. I like the manchester media stand.

  • Rachael
    January 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    One of my goals for the new year is to get new nightstands (for me and my husband, not for a kid’s room) because we’ve been making do with way-too-short nightstands for way too long! The ones you posted are a great starting point for my research!

  • Kristina
    January 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I’m with Lisa but only because we moved my just turned two year old (Jan. 2, 2009 birth day)into her “Big Girl Room” last week. This allowed my six month old to FINALLY get a nursery of her own. Anyway, we did the Land of Nod Simple Twin Bed and I had the matching nightstand in her nursery with a lamp so I moved it in as well thinking they looked really cute together. Sure enough she fell out of bed the first night and although she didn’t get hurt and hasn’t fallen out since, she for sure does NOT need the nightstand quite yet. It’s a big change for them and so far I’d say…..just keep it simple. Once she gets adjusted to the new room and new bed, then I’ll add in more “stuff”.

  • JLR
    January 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    My daughter has this bed and we bought a metal bedside table from Ikea in white – I think it was $20…

    This one is similiar http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10073835 but not the exact one we bought (I cannot find it on the site, but we did buy it this past Aug/Sept so it is recent…). It’s the perfect height and has just enough space for a water bottle, light, books and a trinket or 2. Maybe your Ikea has it?

  • Leanne
    January 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    pop up……i love it. another forever piece. beautiful!

  • Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife
    January 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    The Pottery Barn one!! No doubt! it would just look way too cute!

  • Julie Anne
    January 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    The pop up table’s curves had me at hello. Painted green, I think that is the ticket.

    My niece, Elena, who is 6 1/2, has a night stand and has always had one since she moved into her big girl (twin) bed at about the same age as Eleanor will be.

    The table is slightly higher than the bed, and we keep a cup of water (used to be a sippy cup) and her fall alseep books for her. We used to read to her at bedtime, now she reads a chapter or two a night herself. She tore through all the Beezus and Ramona books and now just started HP III, after reading the first two. At age six, she definitely uses her nightstand for books.

    I suspect that Eleanor is going to be an early voracious reader, too, since she’s been read books every day since she was tiny. She’ll be needing a nightstand.

  • Eileen
    January 4, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Have you ever been to Nadeau? In Ravenswood. Sometimes quirky pieces- all their furniture is made in Indonesia. Might be worth checking out, they just got a new shipment in. Not all of their stuff is on the website but prices are very reasonable. http://www.furniturewithasoul.com/store.php?location=chicago

  • Katie Truelove
    January 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Our current bedside table is our (covered) radiator but I LOVE the whimsical Pop-Up Table– it seems to fit perfectly with the bed:)

  • Ashley
    January 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    The Martini table sort of looks like a terra cotta pot turned upside down and painted green… could you maybe do a DIY project to get a similar look?

  • Sara Rose
    January 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    The Pop Up! The Pop Up! IT IS ADORABLE!!!!! WE have an insanely high bed, so we had to go a non traditional route with our bedside tables. I found these two ‘garden’ wrought iron tables that are nearly waist high on me, threw chic table cloths on them and kept it simple from there.

  • Joy
    January 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Actually, I really like this one http://www.americancountryhomestore.com/small-table-double-top_p_484_11022_3.cfm which came up at the bottom of your post as a related post. :) I like that things won’t fall off the edge. But the PB teen one is adorable as well, and the height looks great with the bed, I think.

  • Nicole
    January 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    We re-purposed an Ikea Malte Stool (25 5/8″, about level with the bed) next to our son’s big boy bed. We also temporarily used it in our own room while deciding upon furniture. It can fit a small stack of books plus a glass of water. The way the seat turns up on the edges keeps things in place and are also rounded.

    But honestly, our barely three year old is a crazy reader and our bedtime routine includes at least 3 books each night… and we don’t use the nightstand for books because he MUST choose his own books each night and he likes/we encourage putting away after each use. We placed the bookshelf very close to the bed (on the other side of the bed table actually) to facilitate this.

  • heartartz
    January 5, 2011 at 12:47 am

    I like the Martini in green…fun.
    Did you see the pottery barn kids flower accent table?
    It shows a view next to a bed…cute. comes in pink or white … and only $69.

  • Nicole
    January 5, 2011 at 3:37 am

    i have to agree that a bedside table for a small child is more esthetic than practical- unless it is storage. I have a 6-year-old who loves her bedtime stories, but she has never had a bedside table, as such. We have a relatively small apartment and furniture definitely needs to be multi-functional to have a place. My younger daughter does have a small sidetable in her room but it seems to be a place to collect junk. It is ALWAYS covered in bits and bobs, a stack of books falling over, etc. but is never used for anything really useful. I find that in the children’s rooms, any open shelving tends to be messy. You seem to be very organized in your house so maybe this kind of thing would drive you crazy?

  • HollyP
    January 5, 2011 at 8:51 am

    As the mother of two tween girls, I advocate for storage under the bedside table. The green table is darling, but not as functional as the others.

    My kids used the storage under the tabletop to keep favorite bedtime story books close at hand and, as they got older, whichever book they were reading and a journal. Tabletop is for reading light, alarm clock, jewelry, tissue box.

    Good luck with Elinor’s room. It is going to be as lovely as the rest of your home!

  • Megan
    January 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

    What about these Martini side tables?

    They’re 23.5 high.

  • mitchell
    January 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

    what about a plain table with open legs tall enough to tuck the martini table under…kind of like a d-i-y nesting table….that way you could pull the martini table out for extra surface or seating. you could always have benjamin moore custom match paint for the taller table for a uniform look

  • Making it Lovely
    January 5, 2011 at 9:32 am

    OK, I’ve decided that I’m going to order the Pop-Up Table. I have a gift certificate that will cover the cost, so I’ll give it a shot!

  • JWalter
    January 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm


    I have a Pottery barn accent table next to my daughter’s bed that is awesome. It’s just the right height, and it’s sturdy enough that it never tips over. I also keep a lamp on it, and my 3 year old daughter Lyla’s night time edibles. Maybe something like this could be an option in a color perhaps? Might work in Lyla’s room because the bed is an antique whitewash, and the chandelier is a muted gold…but this style could work. Tried to find it, but they may not sell it any more.


  • diana
    January 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that annie over at http://blog.bossycolor.com/just talked about bedside table heights…

    “it’s the perfect size. At 28″H with a 20″ diameter, it fits into even modestly scaled bedrooms.”

    Thought that might help :)

  • Becky Clark
    January 6, 2011 at 2:11 am

    I was just watching ‘Dan in Real Life’ and notice that within the first 3 minutes of the movie, the youngest daughter has a bed like this. She has a pretty high nightstand that almost seems too high.

    If I knew how to attach an image I would, but at any rate, I thought I would share in case you might be interested.

  • Anne Marie
    January 9, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I love this popup table! What a cute one.

  • Eleanor’s New Bedroom (It’s Almost Done!) | Making it Lovely
    May 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    […] here is Eleanor’s bedside table, sans any styling. It’s always filled with books. I’m considering painting it one day, […]

  • yael
    May 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I also like the martini table and was looking to use it until I saw the height, but then I noticed that the table is incredibly low and seems to be most often displayed as a little stool in West Elm.