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Bedside Cabinets Buying Guide

Bedside Cabinets Buying Guide

A Brief History

In the days before flushing toilets, the main purpose of having a bedside table was to store a chamber pot for use during the night. In Victorian times, another name for such a bedside cabinet was a “commode”, which comes from the French word for “convenient” or “suitable”. As well as an enclosed area below for the chamber pot, a commode would also have a wash hand basin and a water pitcher on top. Thankfully the bedside table is no longer needed exclusively for a chamber pot!Functions of a bedside cabinetThe functions of a bedside table, or nightstand as it is also known, have changed significantly since the days when they were used as chamber pot storage! Now, most people use their bedside table or bedside cabinet to store anything they might need during the night. Reading glasses, a glass of water, an alarm clock, books and a lamp are commonly found on top of or inside bedside tables these days.

Where is a bedside table used?

The name rather gives it away – most are placed right next to a bed. Occasionally they are found in other parts of the bedroom, and they can sometimes be used in other rooms too, as small tables.


There isn’t a lot of space on top of a nightstand, but there’s plenty room for all the essentials. Many people keep framed photos of their family and friends or ornaments on there too.


Most bedside tables have drawers or a small cupboard or both. These can be used to store things you need close to you during the night, like medication or an extra blanket. You can also use your bedside table to store clothes, cosmetics and other items you keep in your bedroom.

Accent Piece

Bedside tables, especially one at either side of a double bed, can add balance and real elegance to a bedroom.

Features of a Bedside Table

Bedside tables come in many different forms. PineSolutions has cabinets made out of everything from oak to mirrored glass. Our bedside tables have anything from one to six drawers. Some have just drawers, some have just a cupboard, and some have a mix of a cupboard and drawers.

Choosing a bedside Table

There are four steps to choosing a great bedside table:

  • Look at the current decor in your bedroom. If you have wooden furniture, pay special attention to its type and colour. You’ll want to pick out a bedside cabinet that matches or complements your existing furniture.
  • Do you want a modern or traditional bedside cabinet? We have both: take a look at our contemporary oak bedside chest or the traditional Belgravia.
  • How much do you want to store in it? Our bedside cabinets range from having one small drawer to having six.
  • Think about whether you want to assemble the cabinet yourself or not. PineSolutions stocks both fully assembled and flat pack bedside cabinets.
  • How to look after a bedside table

    The best way to keep your new bedside table in good condition is to clean and protect it with good-quality beeswax. You should also keep your bedside cabinet away from strong sunlight and take care not to place it in front of, or next to, a radiator. The heat might cause shrinkage and loosen joints and veneers.

    Bedside Table Assembly Guide

    If you choose a flat pack bedside table, here are our top tips for assembling it yourself:

  • Lay a blanket down on the surface you’re going to use to assemble your bedside cabinet to prevent scratching and damage to both the surface and the cabinet.
  • Take all the pieces out of the packaging carefully and lay them out. Make sure you have everything you need before you start.
  • Lay out your tools – hammer, screwdriver, etc.
  • Lay out the various panels and identify each panel with a post it note, indicating left/right/top/bottom.
  • Get to work!

    If you don’t want to, or are unable to, assemble your flat pack furniture yourself, we recommend Flat Pack Amigos (www.flatpackamigos.com), who have furniture assemblers nationwide.