Best Floor Lamps

Updated January 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

39 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
421 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best floor lamps

Last Updated January 2020

Floor lamps are an easy and generally inexpensive way to brighten a room and make a fashion statement at the same time. Depending on the material, style, and design, they can blend in with your existing style or be a dramatic contrast.

A floor lamp can brighten a room for reading or create a mood for dining. It can be angled to focus light on a single area, such as your desk or favorite reading chair. The best part is that most floor lamps are available for under $100, even very high-quality ones.

There are a lot of options, of course, perhaps too many. It can be a bit confusing to try to keep all the considerations and features in mind when you’re deciding which one you want. Here at BestReviews, we’ve laid it all out for you in a way that makes it easy to keep track of. Keep on reading and we’ll walk you through it each step of the way and point out a few of our favorites, too.

Floor lamps can be used to add light to large rooms or rooms with limited natural light.

Key considerations

Style

Before buying a new floor lamp, take a look around the room where it will be used. What is the décor in that room? Is there an existing color scheme or is it a hodgepodge? Is it modern, classic, ornate, traditional, or something else altogether?

Give careful consideration to the style of lamp you’re looking for to make sure it fits the room. Ideally, the lamp should illuminate the room without seeming out of place. It can blend in so seamlessly that it disappears or make a bold statement of its own.

Type

Once you know what style of lamp will fit with your décor, consider the type of light you want. There are four basic types: arch, classic, torchiere, and tree.

Arch: An arch floor lamp, also known as an adjustable floor lamp, has a light that can be rotated or bent to shine where you need it. The base of the lamp can sit behind a sofa or chair.

Classic: A classic floor lamp has a lampshade just like that on a table lamp. Classic lamps usually have a single pole, but those with three or four legs are also included in this category if they have a typical light bulb and lampshade.

Torchiere: This lamp usually has a bowl-shaped shade that focuses the light up toward the ceiling.

Tree: A tree floor lamp has a base with several branches with a light on each, or it can have one pole with multiple arms or swivel mounts with a light on each.

Height

The taller the floor lamp, the more light will be available to the whole room. A lower or shorter floor lamp restricts its light to a smaller area. Do you need a floor lamp for reading on your sofa? A shorter lamp would be the one for you. Do you want to light up the living room? A taller lamp would be better.

Shade

A lampshade protects your eyes from the direct glare of the light bulb while directing the light where you need it to go. Lampshades can direct the light up, sideways, or down.

EXPERT TIP

Tree floor lamps make excellent work lights. The light can be positioned right where you need it to illuminate your desk.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Material

Floor lamps are commonly made of brushed, powder-coated, or polished stainless steel or nickel, as well as bronze, aluminum, ceramic, or wood. Occasionally, the pole can be made of ABS plastic, but that is usually limited to the shade or globe around the light bulb. The shade can be made of the same material as the pole or other materials, such as cloth, plastic, glass, or sometimes wood.

Components

Base: The heavier the base of the lamp, the less risk there is of it tipping over. A bottom-heavy floor lamp will stand straighter and be more stable than one with a lightweight or small base.

Pole: The stability of a floor lamp depends greatly on the pole or legs.

  • Single pole: A floor lamp with one pole is inherently unstable unless the joint between the upright pole and the base is completely rigid. Poles that screw into the base have a tendency to work themselves loose over time, resulting in a floor lamp that leans. To keep the lamp vertical, you may need to tighten the connection on a regular basis
  • Four legs: Tall floor lamps with four legs are more stable than single-pole lamps, but the small base adds to the risk of the lamp leaning or falling over if the floor is uneven.
  • Three legs: The most stable lamp, particularly on an uneven floor, is the tripod lamp. Even if the lamp isn’t perfectly vertical, the slope of the legs tends to hide that fact with a sort of optical illusion effect.
     

Bulb: Incandescent bulbs are the most common light bulbs for floor lamps. They’re available in  40 watts, 60 watts, 75 watts, and 100 watt. They are dimmable, and there are also three-way bulbs available that offer three levels of brightness.

LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular because they use much less power than incandescent bulbs and last longer. They can be dimmed (with the right dimmer switch), moving smoothly from low to bright light. While they cost more initially, the energy savings, long life, and improved lighting make LED bulbs very competitive.

Color

Floor lamp bases and poles vary in color, from white to metallic to brown to black. Lampshades come in a virtually infinite array of colors and patterns. You can find a floor lamp that matches the color scheme of your room, or you can get a statement piece that contrasts with the existing furniture. It’s something to consider before opening your wallet.

Controls

Rotary knob: A rotary knob is the most common type of on/off switch for floor lamps. Most rotary knobs have three positions: low, medium, and bright. The drawback is that it requires a three-way bulb in order to realize the full potential of the switch, and three-way bulbs are more expensive than regular bulbs.

Pull chain: Pull chains aren’t used very often on floor lamps because pulling down on a chain hanging from a slender lamp can make the lamp sway and potentially fall over.

Foot switch: You’ll usually find foot switches on more expensive floor lamps. It’s very convenient for people with back problems or when you have your hands full. The foot switch is often a dimmer switch that also functions as an on/off switch. Occasionally it’s in addition to a regular on/off switch. In either case, it requires extra circuitry and adds to the price of the lamp.

EXPERT TIP

A floor lamp beside the front door is an easily accessible way to light up the whole room when you come in at night.


Staff  | BestReviews

Floor lamp prices

Inexpensive: You can find floor lamps for under $20. These are almost all single-pole lamps with a round, flat base and plastic shade.

Mid-range: These floor lamps cost from $20 to $100 and include a wide range of styles and types.

Expensive: The high price range is from $100 to $300 and above. Here, you’ll find unique and artistic lamps embellished with crystals, wood, and just about anything else you can think of.

EXPERT TIP

Tree lamps with large curved arms make a very dramatic statement when positioned correctly.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Floor lamps work well in corners where there isn’t much space.
  • Plug your floor lamp into a wall socket that’s controlled by a wall switch for easy access.
  • Direct the floor lamp’s light upward to create a different ambience in the room.

Other products we considered

There is no shortage of floor lamps, and we found a couple more you might like. We like the very affordable, 5-foot Décor Therapy Floor Lamp. It has a golden-bronze finish with etched details and a faux silk fabric shade that creates a light with a warm, golden glow. It has a rotary three-way switch and uses 100-watt bulbs.

We also like the beautiful, matte-black, 5-foot Rivet Modern Floor Lamp. It has two light sockets, each with its own pull chain. The modern design includes a powder-coated black finish on the pole and stand, with a black linen fabric shade. The conical base gives this lamp a contemporary feel. Two light bulbs are included.

A floor lamp adds style and substance to a room without taking up a lot of space.

FAQ

Q. Can I put a different shade on my floor lamp?
A.
Yes. Professional designers often do that to change the mood and feel in a room.

Q. What is the best way to use a floor lamp?
A.
Designers advocate using one at the end of a couch or behind an accent chair.

Q. Is a floor lamp a good choice for a reading lamp?
A.
Yes. A table lamp lights a very limited area directly under it, forcing you to lean over to get the best light. A taller floor lamp casts a larger circle of light.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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