Bed Side Table Height

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Forum topic by DBDesigns posted 08-02-2018 09:28 PM 655 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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232 posts in 598 days

08-02-2018 09:28 PM

I am making a solid mahogany bedside table from some old lumber I have in the shop. It will have one drawer, a lower shelf about 25% of the distance up from the floor and tapered legs that will be 1 1/2” at the top and taper on the inside down to 1”. This will be two sided tapers not 4.

My question is; how tall should the table be to look in proportion and to be useful? The top will be 24”w by 18”d.

Any design help would be appreciated here.

-- I remember when Grateful wasn't Dead

8 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2125 posts in 763 days

#1 posted 08-02-2018 09:38 PM

how tall is the bed that it will go beside ?

mine is 26” tall and is even with the top of the mattress.
which makes it comfortable to view the clock through one eye.



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View bondogaposis's profile


5603 posts in 2952 days

#2 posted 08-02-2018 09:39 PM

Are you going to put a lamp on it? I like mine to be at least as tall as the top of the mattress so it is easy to reach a lamp, clock, reading material, etc.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View LesB's profile


2297 posts in 4044 days

#3 posted 08-02-2018 10:02 PM

I agree, top of the mattress including bedding.

Another suggestion I found handy when I made mine. I added a “bread board” type pull out just above the top drawer. This provides an extended place to put drinks or other items while watching TV or for a sick person and leaves the table top clear for lamps or other things.

-- Les B, Oregon

View wuddoc's profile


354 posts in 4319 days

#4 posted 08-02-2018 10:13 PM

Most proportional design is based on the Golden Ratio or Golden Rule. Following is a pdf file from Fine Woodworking explaining the Golden Ratio that includes furniture. Once you determine one dimension the other following the Golden
Ratio allows the project to look proportional or balanced.

-- Wuddoc

View DBDesigns's profile


232 posts in 598 days

#5 posted 08-02-2018 10:58 PM

Thanks everyone. I knew I would get good info here. The piece is for my neighbor across the street so I will need to get her input as well. I will need her to get me the bed dimensions.

Thanks for the article. Very cool. Also, I stole a peek at your shop. Holy crap you got a bad ass shop!

-- I remember when Grateful wasn't Dead

View CWWoodworking's profile


541 posts in 780 days

#6 posted 09-06-2018 04:20 AM

Form follows function.

Personally, I like a nightstand slightly lower than the mattress. But mattresses wear out. If your neighbor is sleeping on a 20yr old mattress, chances are their new one will be quite a bit thicker than the old one.(I sold mattresses for 20+ yrs) Take this into consideration also.

A slight rant on nightstands-

They are the wrong size for todays bedrooms.(I also sold furniture) So many bedrooms are 12-15’ wide. Figure 6’ for queen bed and 2’ per nightstand and your left with a useless 1-2’ of space on each side of bed.

At My end of retail days, manufacturers started to relize this. They started to offer a 6” wider NS. They charged more obviously, and made more money because it really doesnt cost that much more to make it wider.

If customers had the room, 100% of them bought the bigger one.

View Aj2's profile


2645 posts in 2399 days

#7 posted 09-06-2018 04:27 AM

That 1 or 2 ft of space isn’t useless that’s where most people keep their dust bunnies. ::).

-- Aj

View bandit571's profile


24343 posts in 3284 days

#8 posted 09-06-2018 04:36 AM


Counting the top..26” tall…...

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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