The best table lamps

A handpicked table lamp is one of the quickest and easiest ways to add light and personality to a space — keep reading below for our pick of the best

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Hallway, lounge or bedroom, there’s nary a space that doesn’t benefit from a little thoughtful lighting, and our go-to every time for a quick interior pick-me-up is a gorgeous table lamp. Below, we’ve rounded up our pick of the best table lamps in the shops at the moment, be they subtle or statement-making, glamorous or pared back. But first, a little advice.

While it goes without saying that we’re all in favour of the aesthetic here at Real Homes, when it comes to lighting, it’s not just about looks: the type of lamp you should look for depends heavily on where you’ll be placing it, and what function you’ll expect it to perform.

Task lighting is a practical solution normally used to accompany activities like reading, sewing or drawing, but that functionality needn’t mean unexciting design. Simply look for a table lamp or desk lamp that offers a more focused beam of light, and as a bonus, an adjustable head for angling just where you need it. Ambient lighting gives the opposite effect, especially useful for large rooms whose darker corners need a little lift, or creating a mood in cosy bedrooms or sitting rooms. Look for something that gives off a soft, diffused light, like a bulb encased in an obscure glass shade, or even a retro lava lamp. Or, if you’re really hot at this interior design thing, consider employing accent lighting to make a special feature of your statement pieces.

Finally, the boring but necessary bit: most lamps don’t come with bulbs included, so be sure to check out the kind your favourite lamp takes and stock up before it arrives for instant enjoyment on opening the box.

Looking for something different?

1. Village At Home Jasper Table Lamp

An elegant neutral-toned lamp for maximum versatility, with nods to all the important trends

Specifications
Best for: A modern option
Colour: Grey/gold/ivory
Material: Concrete, cotton
Bulb included: No
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly versatile+Trendy concrete base
Reasons to avoid
-Would be nice to have a silver hardware option

Strange as it might sound, this Jasper lamp from Village at Home takes our top spot for best table lamp not for statement-making style, but for its ability to pair beautifully with almost any room scheme you put it into. Its neutral colour palette guarantees it won’t stick out like a sore thumb no matter the colour of your other furnishings, but the variety of textures keeps things interesting, bringing together soft slubby cotton, brushed gold and cool matte concrete to make a lamp that remarkably bridges the gap between timelessness and trendiness without compromise.

2. Linea Celise Mosaic Silver Table Lamp

Unabashedly glamorous, this mosaic lamp is one simple step towards living room wow-factor

Specifications
Best for: Girly spaces
Colour: Silver
Material: Glass
Bulb included: No
Reasons to buy
+Easy glamour+Reflects loads of light
Reasons to avoid
-May be a bit OTT for some

When furnishing a glamorous, girly living room or bedroom, a statement lamp is just the thing to kick it up a notch, and they don’t come much more statement than this shimmering mosaic lamp by Linea. Its gorgeously glimmering silver base reflects loads of light, so while it’s on the larger side, it doesn’t look cumbersome, and brings a hit of texture to neutral rooms. Its satin finish taupe shade fits in with almost any colour scheme, too.
 

3. John Lewis Albus Twisted Table Lamp

This trendy table lamp is understated yet unique, just the thing for modern spaces

Specifications
Best for: Modern rooms
Colour: Black/copper
Material: Metal
Bulb included: No
Reasons to buy
+Interesting stand+Sleek and modern
Reasons to avoid
-Only one choice of shade colour

If you’re a bit of a modern maven when it comes to interiors, with your hairpin leg furniture and copper accents already nailed, take this table lamp for a whirl. Its trendy base is the best of both worlds: angular enough to give a modern look but with curves in all the right places so as not to look too industrial. The shade is a striking opaque black that offsets the copper beautifully, but lets just enough light through when illuminated to give a warm glow. Plus, it looks far more expensive than its small price tag suggests, so picking up one for each side of the bed gives a superbly stylish effect without breaking the bank.
 

4. Seletti Sitting Mouse Table Lamp

Mice aren’t always welcome guests in the home, but this helpful fellow certainly will be

Specifications
Best for: Small rooms
Colour: White
Material: Resin
Bulb included: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Quirky lighting option+Compact yet bright
Reasons to avoid
-On the small side (understandably)

This adorable mouse lamp gives you a helping hand in lighting your home, and looks delightfully sweet while doing so. Fauna-themed decor is still huge news for 2018, but this extraordinary animal lamp takes it to the next level. A super quirky take on the standard table lamp, this is definitely one to get if you’re after a statement piece that’ll get your houseguests talking, and according to reviewers the light is surprisingly bright for this mouse’s small stature. We think he’d be a great addition to a modern nursery or child’s room for story time, or any corner of your home that could do with a little magic.
 

5. Laura Ashley Ellis Complete Lamp

With neat pleats, curves and facets, this all-white light is anything but plain

Specifications
Best for: Understated elegance
Colour: Off-white
Material: Metal, fabric
Bulb included: No
Reasons to buy
+Adds texture to neutral schemes+Traditional and elegant
Reasons to avoid
-Reviewers preferred original touch-base version

If you prefer neutral colour schemes, you’ll no doubt know all about the importance of texture in interiors, especially in plush spaces like the living room or bedroom. The Ellis lamp from Laura Ashley does too, bringing together a crisply pleated shade, satin-finish base and translucent faceted accents in a single shade to create a table light that’s the picture of elegance. If you’re looking for the finishing touch to a fresh, clean all white space, but your tastes run more traditional than Scandi-chic, give this handsome lamp a try — we’re sure you won’t regret it.
 

6. John Lewis Nayna Colour Vessel Table Lamp

Create the ultimate cosy den with this petite, precious metal-look table lamp

Specifications
Best for: A cosy glow
Colour: Rose gold/bronze
Material: Glass
Bulb included: No
Reasons to buy
+Lovely, speckled design+Gives off a warm glow
Reasons to avoid
-Reviewers were surprised by the colour in person

This petite drop-shaped lamp is cosiness personified — for those looking to inject a touch of hygge into their bedroom or living room, adding one of these to an end or bedside table is a beautifully simple way to do just that. With its combination of luxe mirror glass, rose gold, and an ombre finish, it ticks all the boxes when it comes to trends, but those warm tones also go a long way to giving the lamp its intimate air. Reviewers have commented favourably on the comforting glow it gives off, so for real relaxed mood lighting, look no further.

7. John Lewis Penelope Task Lamp

This lovingly designed mid-century table lamp is all about the details

Specifications
Best for: Retro style
Colour: Slate, quince, cream, green
Material: Steel
Bulb included: No
Reasons to buy
+Lovely, retro design+Excellent value
Reasons to avoid
-Reports of head being a bit wobbly

John Lewis have hit the nail on the head, trend-wise, with this ultra-cool lamp. In a choice of shades du jour — chartreuse, teal and slate, as well as the subtler cream — and with an unusual curved stem, it takes mid-century modern cool and gives it a contemporary twist. Reviewers say the warm, soft light it gives off is perfect for reading and that the angle-adjustable head makes it ideal for crafting and other close-up work, and loved the unique little details like the old-fashioned switch and flex cable.

8. John Lewis Croft Collection Selsey Dome Touch Table Lamp

An offbeat and beautifully made statement lamp for modern rooms

Specifications
Best for: Eye-catching design
Colour: Gold/blue
Material: Glass and steel
Bulb included: No
Reasons to buy
+Stunning, unusual design+Convenient touch base
Reasons to avoid
-Some variation due to hand made elements

It might sound strange, but touches of the mad scientist’s workshop are all the rage in interiors right now (think overflowing pots of ferns, specimen jars and other offbeat accessories). The same goes for this gorgeous light, with its on-trend incandescent bulb and cloche creating the effect of something you’d find in the Science Museum. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s clinical though: the lake blue glass cloche is hand-blown with a bubbled effect that looks decidedly artisanal, and it gives off a beautifully warm glow for cosy evenings. The touch base is a nice, handy feature, too.
 

9. Lava Lamp Table Lamp

This retro lamp pairs a nod to the ‘70s with hot-right-now rose gold

Specifications
Best for: Teens’ rooms
Colour: Rose gold/pink
Material: Aluminium, plastic, fluid, glass
Bulb included: Yes
Reasons to buy
+A cool, new take on the original+Trendy colour scheme
Reasons to avoid
-Not bright enough to read by

In a flawless meeting of retro and modern, the classic lava lamp is brought bang up to date with an ultra-trendy rose gold colourway, making it perfect, we think, for a discerning teenager’s room. It’s not strictly a lava lamp, replacing the iconic wax with particles of heart-shaped confetti, which adds an extra touch of girliness to the glam brushed metal base. But, like the original, it’s great ambient lighting - not bright enough to read by, but perfect for chilling out to in the evening.