See Your Home in a New Light With the 11 Best Floor Lamps
Everything you need to know, from shades to switch types.
Published Jun 19, 2021 1:00 AM
Good lighting works like magic. Think about it: The best floor lamps have the power to completely change not only the look of a room—altering the appearance of paint, fabrics, finishes, and more—but an entire mood with the mere flick of a switch. When chosen well, they can turn a cramped den into an intimate reading nook or make a windowless home office feel expansive.
Finding the right floor lamp starts with assessing your needs. For instance, do you want to feel relaxed or energized? A drum shade diffuses a warm glow that’s perfect for evening hangouts, whereas a directed, pharmacy style can more sharply illuminate an area for last-minute work tasks. Whether you’re searching for a multiglobe option or a tubular statement piece that deserves to be the center of attention, we’ve found 11 standout designs to help you find your light.
- Best value: Brightech Luna Globe Floor Lamp
- Best dome: Rivet Modern Metal Dome-Shaped Floor Lamp
- Best industrial: Anglepoise Type 75 Floor Lamp
- Best tubular: Regina Andrew Happy Floor Lamp
- Best rattan: Gubi Tynell 9602 Floor Lamp
- Best multilight: CB2 Pavo Champagne Brass Double Floor Lamp
- Best arc: Brightech Logan Arc Floor Lamp
- Best adjustable: West Elm Telescoping Adjustable Floor Lamp
- Best paper: Noguchi Akari 9AD
- Best Scandinavian: IKEA Evedal Floor Lamp
- Best pharmacy: Kelly Wearstler Precision Pharmacy Floor Lamp
A Few Things to Consider
Switch types: The switch is pretty integral to how a floor lamp functions in a space—if it’s one of your main light sources, you’ll want easy access with a foot switch, but if it’s for lending a softer glow while reading, reaching up to turn a rotary switch or pull-chain shouldn’t be a problem. Either way, Domino’s style director, Benjamin Reynaert, notes that a dimmer is key. “It’s imperative that you put a dimmer on a floor lamp to control the light,” he says. “There’s nothing worse than an overbearing light source in a room at night.”
Shade types: Lampshade shapes are numerous and varied—from round to angular and everything in between—but the most common can be narrowed down to drum (a curved cylinder), dome (a semi-sphere look), and rectangular (or square). They’re not purely decorative; each shade type and fabric (paper is more transparent, whereas burlap is a bit opaque) impacts how light is dispersed throughout a room. But if nailing the right size or material feels a little overwhelming (we got you), stick to this one simple rule Reynaert picked up from a colleague: “One should never see the lamp socket or hardware at eye or camera level, so make sure your lampshade isn’t too short!”
Design: A master at mixing different light sources and styles, Reynaert also recommends keeping scale and proportion in mind, particularly when it comes to the heft of a piece—you don’t want a large base to overpower your space or dwarf a neighboring chair. And remember, shades are interchangeable; just be cognizant of your selected swap. “A skinny, tall lamp might require a smaller empire shade, whereas a wide bulbous lamp might need an oversize drum shade,” advises Reynaert. Or go the custom-made route to give a budget-friendly floor lamp a new lease on life.
Our Top Picks
Best Value: Brightech Luna Globe Floor Lamp
If space is hard to come by, snag this statement piece for less than $80. It features a skinny pole base that can be snuggled into a corner of the most packed living room. Its frosted globe top prevents the bulb from casting too harshly while still promising to bathe the room in bright, incandescent light. Plus if you happen to have a smart home assistant, it can be programmed to turn on and off (even dimmed!) via a simple voice command.
For focused, downward light, look for a metal dome-shaped shade. Buyers sought out this version by Amazon’s in-house brand, Rivet, for its retro-revival look, which we see fitting right at home in a dark library or moody office corner. And two pull-chain switches deliver an Art Deco vibe without the vintage price tag.
Best Industrial: Anglepoise Type 75 Floor Lamp
A fresh take on an industrial icon, modernist fans are sure to fall in love with Sir Kenneth Grange’s 2004 update of the Type 75 floor lamp from the ’70s. Beyond brushed aluminum, this one stands out on the list for its bright colorways of saxon blue, sienna, and yellow ochre. Not to mention, its sleek, adjustable frame provides users with the flexibility to switch quickly between task and ambient lighting.
Best Tubular: Regina Andrew Detroit Happy Floor Lamp
Tap into the tubular trend with this curvy design by Regina Andrew Detroit. The sculptural silhouette comes in a natural brass, oil-rubbed bronze, or polished nickel finish, but paired with white bulbs, it will always deliver a hint of contrast. Style it with a sleek curved sofa or a Lucite acrylic table for a reflective effect. And a discreet, clear cord fully allows this statement maker to shine.
Best Rattan: Gubi Tynell 9602 Floor Lamp
Originally crafted for the historic Hotel Aulanko in 1935, you can now bring Paavo Tynell’s famous shade shape home in trendy rattan. Sure, it’s more expensive than others on our list, but this is one floor lamp you’ll use and love for decades. If your room needs a natural accent or touch of organic texture, turn to this iconic design—it’s an elegant, timeless take on a classic.
Best Multilight: CB2 Pavo Champagne Brass Double Floor Lamp
Fun, stylish, and practical, this fixture works double duty by pairing both an upward and a downward semi-sphere metal shade to achieve an extra-elegant glow. But that’s not the only differentiating detail—its adjustable, asymmetrical base is wrapped in a real leather cord that’s sure to age gracefully.
Best Arc: Brightech Logan Arc Floor Lamp
Fit this angled lamp with an adjustable arching range behind an extra-large love seat or to create a contemporary focal point in your living room. And no need to worry about the tall, thin arm from tipping over—a heavy marble base will keep it in place. The one caveat: It comes with a superbright bulb; consider switching it out with a lower-watt LED option to soak up softer light.
Best Adjustable: West Elm Telescoping Adjustable Floor Lamp
A perfect furniture companion, West Elm’s telescoping floor lamp’s two-tone, slim profile helps it fit into the tightest of spaces, like dimly lit corners or in between twin chairs. Feel confident bringing this sleek lamp into a mismatched space; its simple, modern style is the equivalent of an interior chameleon. We also love that its height can be adjusted anywhere from 60 to 66 inches, taking you from a warmly lit dinner party to a quiet evening alone.
Best Paper: Noguchi Akari 9AD
There may not be a more illustrious paper lamp design than an Akari light sculpture, first fashioned by Isamu Noguchi. This particular piece is a little shorter than your typical floor lamp—hitting closer to hip height—but it’s made to stand on its own. The traditional bamboo ribbing and simple metal frame are elevated in the Akari 9AD with an additional blue detail.
Best Scandinavian: IKEA Evedal Floor Lamp
Cat Dash—editor, prop stylist, and all-around market intuit—had to double check the retailer when she first came across IKEA’s Evedal. “Don’t get me wrong, IKEA has some unique products in its inventory (in addition to its substantial lineup of hardworking essentials), but this lamp is a gem,” notes Dash. “Combined with its aesthetic qualities, the materials—mouth-blown glass, solid oak, marble, and brass—really make this lamp a standout.” In other words, it’s a steal.
Best Pharmacy: Kelly Wearstler Precision Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Bring a bit of Kelly Wearstler’s prowess on diffused light into your space with her Precision pharmacy floor lamp. Pharmacy lights have been specifically tapped for working, reading, and writing—and this particular piece features a dimmer for controlled light-level illumination, no matter the task at hand.
Domino’s style director (and resident shopping guru), Benjamin Reynaert, offers his advice on how to find the right light, including his latest, must-see floor lamp discovery.
What type of floor lamp gives the most light?
It depends whether you want a targeted task light or an overall glow. For reading, I prefer a pharmacy lamp positioned at a lower height to focus the light. A glass globe or semi-translucent shade is best if you want to illuminate the whole room.
What is the ideal wattage for a floor lamp?
I prefer to hang out in a space with soft white light, so I tend to opt for extremely low wattage—40 watts is enough in most instances. That said, if you don’t have a lot of natural light, you might need to use brighter bulbs (around 60 watts) or layer the space with sconces, table lamps, or pendants.
What are the next lighting trends to know?
Floor lighting is becoming more and more sculptural, as it should be! And pieces that feature colored glass are standing out in the market right now. Newcomers such as Green Blue Works are creating incredibly beautiful sculptural glass lamps, which add another dimension of reflectivity and can be a focal point in a room, versus receding like many other floor lamp styles.
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews from both our creative community and third-party websites to know that they pass the test IRL.
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