Nightstands are one of the great catch-alls of just about every bedroom. Between piled books, glasses or retainers, medication, candles, snacks, drinks, a lamp, clock, and your phone, chances are the surface of that tiny table is a little crowded. Worse, that mess can make the things you need harder to find – and easier to bump off the edge or accidentally knock over in your sleep. It might seem like there’s not much to be done about it. After all, bedside tables are usually pretty small by design, and packing away or trimming down essentials is a no-go. But I’ve got good news! You can get a nightstand with double the surface space by getting one that has… two table tops?
A Simple Way To Upgrade Your Nightstand
Okay, I’ll admit: the advice I’m about to give you is conceptually pretty simple. But if you’re constantly irritated by clutter on your nightstand, there’s an easy way to get rid of it. So what does that look like? A little something like a two-tier display table. Specifically, nightstands with a two-tier design have a normal tabletop, then a little gap beneath them before the cabinet or drawers below. That creates a second shelf that’s the full size of the nightstand, effectively doubling the amount of surface space. You can’t set items directly down on top of it, but you can keep them stored in a way that’s much more accessible than a drawer or cabinet.
Re-Imagining Display Tables For Safer Bedside Storage
The top surface of display tables typically have a glass center. That way any decorative element placed on the shelf below is visible but protected. Bedside tables in this style usually nix the display element, but do offer a similar amount of protection. Specifically, they can protect your fragile items – like your phone or glasses – or items that are prone to getting knocked over or scattered – like pill cases or ear plugs. Putting them on that second-tier shelf keeps them out of the way of stray blankets, accidental bumps, and anything else on your nightstand that might damage or disrupt them.
A Bitty Bookshelf For Your Bedtime Reading
If the piles of stuff building up on your nightstand are less damage-sensitive, though, you can absolutely find bedside tables that have larger shelves. Big, open shelves aren’t quite so good for storing small items, but they’re perfect for relocating some of the other big clutter culprits. Keep a lot of books piled up by your bedside table? A larger open shelf is comparable to a small bookshelf. Though they only have the one shelf, it’s plenty for keeping your active to-read pile close at hand – without getting in the way of whatever else you need to keep on top of your bedside table.
Keep Small, Fragile Items Accessible (But Out Of Harm’s Way)
I will say, though, that while the very narrow shelves have less storage space, they’re actually quite convenient to use. A surface that’s up high is easier to reach while you’re in bed than a shelf or cabinet that’s low on the nightstand. So while the side of the table will help keep you from accidentally knocking your phone onto the floor when you’re fumbling around for it in the middle of the night, you’ll still be able to grab it without getting out of bed or leaning over the side.
More Surface Space (Without Losing Closed Storage)
Most two-tiered nightstands have more than just the surface and a single shelf for storage, though. While there are exceptions, most have at least a drawer of some size, a cabinet, a shelf, or some combination of the three. That means you can get basically a fully-functional nightstand with double the surface space – without sacrificing larger, hidden storage. In other words, you won’t have to leave everything out in the open – just what you want to be able to reach easily.
A Picture Perfect Nightstand Every Day
Which brings me to my final point: if you’ve ever wanted a picture-perfect, magazine-ready nightstand, this might be one of the few ways that it’s actually possible to obtain (and maintain) it in the real world. While anything you put on the lower shelf obviously won’t be invisible, it is possible to have a simple, elegant lamp-clock-vase setup on top of your nightstand without having to carefully pack and unpack your odds and ends every morning and night to keep your space neat, tidy, and clear.
Whether you’re sick of the clutter on your nightstand, have a bad habit of knocking stuff on the floor in the night, or just want a better way to get organized, a two-tier, open-shelf bedside table might be just the solution you didn’t know you need.