What You Need (and Don't Need) to Keep on Your Nightstand

Redesign Recommends
by Redesign Recommends

By Amy Poulton


Our nightstands are prime real estate in the bedroom, serving as functional companions to our sleep sanctuary. But with limited space, it's important to curate what rests on them.


Here's a guide to what essentials should grace your nightstand, and what clutter to keep at bay for a more peaceful slumber.

Disclaimer: We may receive a small affiliate commission from purchases made via links in this article but at no cost to you.

Do Include:

  • Lighting: A trusty table lamp is a must for late-night reading or creating a calming ambiance before bed. Blue light can disrupt sleep, therefore the best lighting to have beside your bed is amber or pink. Consider a color-changing smart bulb or Himalayan salt lamp to promote rest:

Kasa Smart Light Bulbs, Full Color Changing Dimmable Smart WiFi Bulbs

Himalayan Glow Salt Lamp with Dimmer Switch 5-7 lbs

  • Sleepytime Staples: Keep your sleep essentials close at hand. This might include a comfortable eye mask for blocking out light, earplugs for noise cancellation, or a soothing lotion for a relaxing bedtime routine.

MZOO Sleep Eye Mask

  • Hydration Station: A glass or reusable water bottle is a nightstand must-have. Waking up thirsty can disrupt sleep, so staying hydrated is key.
  • Tech Haven (with Limits): Let's face it, many of us use our phones before bed. If you must have your phone nearby, consider a charging dock to keep it organized and avoid the temptation to scroll endlessly.

3 in 1 Charging Station for iPhone

  • Paper Trail: A notepad and pen can be handy for capturing fleeting thoughts or ideas before sleep. If you have trouble sleeping or are interested in remembering and interpreting your dreams, there are journals for that too:

Sleep: A Day and Night Reflection Journal

Dream Journal Notebook: Diary with Guided Prompts to Record and Track Your Dreams

  • Sentimental Touches: A small framed photo or a cherished memento can add a personal touch and spark joy.

Don't Crowd Your Nightstand with:

  • Tech Overload: Laptops, tablets, and TVs in the bedroom can disrupt sleep patterns due to the blue light they emit. Designate your bedroom as a sleep-only zone and leave these gadgets elsewhere.
  • Clutter Catch-All: Avoid using your nightstand as a dumping ground for miscellaneous items. This creates visual clutter and makes it harder to relax.
  • Tissues: While tempting, keeping tissues by your bed can exacerbate allergies or encourage unnecessary nose-blowing during sleep. Opt for a tissue box in the bathroom instead.
  • Drinks (except water): Avoid sugary drinks or caffeinated beverages near your bedside. These can disrupt sleep quality.

Remember: Your nightstand should be an oasis of calm, promoting a relaxing pre-sleep routine and a good night's rest. By keeping it clutter-free and stocked with sleep-supportive essentials, you can transform your nightstand into an ally for a peaceful slumber.

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 2 comments
  • Sen106787287 Sen106787287 on Jun 25, 2024
    I keep my glasses and phone on my nightstand while I sleep. If there was an emergency and we had to leave the house quickly in the middle of the night I would want to be able to grab those two things to take with me.
  • Bab108357919 Bab108357919 on Jun 26, 2024
    For anyone with allergies, your comment of not keeping tissues on your nightstand is terrible! If your nose is stuffed, you cannot breathe. Having to get up to go into the bathroom for a tissue to blow your nose and be comfortable is absurd.
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