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The best bedside lamps

The bedside lamp might be a bit of an afterthought when it comes to home decorating, but for most of us, they’re the last thing we interact with before we go to sleep — in our book, that makes them very important indeed. And speaking of books...

Those of us who like to read in bed owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the humble table lamp, for lighting the way on our nightly adventures without disturbing our loved ones, and stopping eye strain dead in its tracks. But even if you’re more likely to be found surfing the web after hours than getting tucked up with a good story, these little lamps can go a long way to helping you wind down in the evening. For one, they’re incomparable when it comes to setting a mood (whether it’s moody or cosy is up to you) and their portable nature means you can set up camp wherever you like (good news for anyone banished to the sofa…)

So, you know that you need one — but which one? That’s where we come in. We’ve put together an illuminating list of the best bedside lamp options to prompt you to that lightbulb moment. Dedicated followers of fashion are sure to love our picks which give a nod to cosy copper and achingly cool industrial, two of the biggest interior trends of the year; and those in the market for something a little quirky have oodles to choose from, from portable mood-lighting you control with your voice to origami animals to inspire wonder and whimsy.

1. John Lewis Destiny Touch Lamp

A touch of brilliance with a trendy copper finish

Specifications

Best for: Sleek design
Bulb: E14 28W mini golf ball
Material: blown glass
RRP: £60.00

Reasons to buy

+
3-stage touch dimmer
+
Elegant design

Reasons to avoid

-
 On the expensive side 

This is the best choice for a modern statement lamp. It is available in two colourways, trend-led copper or classic chrome, and looks utterly dazzling in both. The distinctive cutout design is offset by faceted glass beads on the shade’s interior, which refract the light beautifully, casting intricate patterns when switched on. It’s also fitted with a 3-stage touch dimmer, so you can select the perfect amount of light. 

2. Habitat Lyss Table Lamp

Total bedtime Blyss

Specifications

Best for: Sleek design
Bulb: E14 28W mini golf ball
Material: Blown glass
RRP: £16.00

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely modern design
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
 On the small side 

The petite Lyss lamp is the best for creating the perfect mood: choose from frosted white glass, which emits a warm, cheery glow suitable for any room of the house, and opulent smoked glass, for a deeper, moodier light perfect for snug sitting rooms and boudoirs. Whichever finish you choose, this lamp’s gentle curves and clean, simple design look fantastic, and its premium glass construction feels especially opulent for the pocket-friendly price. 

3. Philips Hue Go

Does exactly what it says on the tin

Specifications

Best for: Portable dimming
Bulb: LED
Material: Synthetic
RRP: £79.99

Reasons to buy

+
Packed with features
+
Pleasing, simple design

Reasons to avoid

-
 Needs Hue Bridge for full potential 

You could be forgiven for thinking that the most functionality you could expect from your bedside lamp would be turning on and off — not so. The wireless Philips Hue Go is the best lamp for gadget lovers, bar none. It’s compatible with devices utilising Amazon’s Alexa, meaning you can control the colour and brightness with your voice, and with all smart devices. It’s also portable, dimmable, and can turn up to 16 million colours and tones from warm to cold. Mind-boggling. 

4. Anglepoise Type 75 Mini Desk Lamp

A design classic, but smaller

Specifications

Best for: Iconic design
Bulb: E27 60W
Material: Metal
RRP: £140.00

Reasons to buy

+
Iconic design
+
Easy to manoeuvre

Reasons to avoid

-
 Pricey 

Animation aficionados will recognise this as the original Pixar lamp, but its cult status was secured long before that. Still working off Sir Kenneth Grange’s original, timeless design, the Anglepoise Type 75 will look at home in rooms both retro and ultra-modern. The man himself called it “a minor miracle of balance”, we call it a classic. Its sleek good looks and robust-but-moveable construction are sure to make it a favourite for many more decades. 

5. House of Disaster Origami Woodland Night Light

If you go down to the woods today... they’ll be surprisingly well-lit

Specifications

Best for: Whimsy
Bulb: LED
Material: Plastic, metal
RRP: £34.99

Reasons to buy

+
Quirky design
+
Great as a night light

Reasons to avoid

-
 Not suitable to read by 

These adorable Origami Woodland Night Lights bring cutting-edge modern design and folksy charm together in one sweet and stylish package — think Blade Runner meets Beatrix Potter, and surprisingly, you’re not far off. Available in a choice of bear, rabbit or fox, this is a sure bet for children with a love of all creatures great and small. Plus, the warm glow enabled by the beautiful, semi-opaque finish of the matte plastic is sure to make them feel cosy and comforted all night long.  

6. Tala Touch Lamp

A touch of brass, a touch of class

Specifications

Best for: LED
Bulb: Tala LED
Material: Wood, brass
RRP: £120.00

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful and functional
+
Durable materials

Reasons to avoid

-
 Pricey 

This lamp’s stripped-back, bare bulb design wouldn’t look out of place in a mad scientist’s lab, a high recommendation indeed when it comes to industrial-inspired design. The interiors world’s love affair with the trend is showing no signs of being broken off, and when the product is as beautiful as this chic walnut and brass touch lamp, we’re understandably thankful. 

7. Alfis USB Wooden Table Lamp

No extensions, just useful applications

Specifications

Best for: USB charging
Bulb: SES 40W candle
Material: Wood and canvas
RRP: £24.99

Reasons to buy

+
USB charging port
+
Neat design

Reasons to avoid

-
 Not the best quality 

The Alfis USB lamp gives you the pre-sleep solution you never knew you needed: a functional USB charging port to power up your phone or tablet, leaving it within arm’s reach and eliminating the need for extensions under the bed. The combination of wood and canvas is minimal and elegant, especially for a budget buy, as is the neat little on/off switch at the base. 

8. Mathmos Astro Lava Lamp

An out-of-this-world accessory

Specifications

Best for: Retro design
Bulb: E14 Halogen
Material: Aluminium
RRP: £75.00

Reasons to buy

+
Original retro design
+
Base doesn’t overheat

Reasons to avoid

-
 Not bright enough to read by 

The original Lava Lamp is back, and just as good as when it was first launched back in 1963. The bespoke halogen bulb directs heat and light into the funky lava and away from the aluminium base, keeping it cool to the touch. Great for kids and big kids alike, the original ad calls the Astro lamp “the perfect gift for one’s relatives, one’s friends - and, dash it all, oneself” — we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Read more:

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