Attractive traditional design complements almost any lamp base. Classic hardback style covered with quality linen fabric. Brass-finish hardware. Numerous neutral color options in a few different sizes.
On the higher end of the price spectrum, but you get exceptional quality for the money.
Traditional shape and pleated fabric match almost any décor. Spider fitting is white to match the shade. Provides perfect amount of light shading. The shades tend to be more white than beige or yellow.
Color may seem more bright white than antique white, if that's what you're looking for.
This cylindrical lampshade features gold accents that will work well in both warm- and cool-toned rooms. While the shade looks great with the lights off, it also looks great when illuminated with light. The shade is also available in packs of two, three, or four.
Wrapping on the lampshade may not always align for a continuous pattern.
Contemporary style in a rectangular shape. Soft gray synthetic fabric and styrene hardback design filter light for a natural effect. The material also looks textured, which provides a more complex look than a simpler lamp shade might.
Color is a bit darker than expected, and the bold shape won't complement delicate lamp bases.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Ideally, every room in your home has more than one source of light. Natural light shining through a window is great for daytime, but chances are good that once darkness falls you switch on a floor lamp or table lamp in the bedroom and living room. The choice of lampshade on that lamp makes a big difference not only in its appearance but also in the intensity and direction of the light it casts.
There are seemingly endless lampshades to choose from in every style and color you can think of. That’s why it’s helpful to be familiar with the various factors to consider when choosing a lampshade before shopping for one, everything from materials to size to shape.
Deciding which is best for your needs can be a little overwhelming, but we are here to make your decision easier. Our buying guide includes what you need to know to choose the right lampshade for your home. We’ve included some of our favorites too.
There are four important factors to consider when choosing a lampshade: shape, material, size, and color.
Lampshades come in many different shapes. Here are four of the most common.
Drum: Currently one of the most popular styles, drum lampshades are the same diameter at the top and bottom, or very close to it. These shades work well with just about any lamp base and have a fresh, contemporary look. They’re especially good with lamps that are wider or taller than average, and a great choice for a floor lamp. Drums direct light almost equally up out of the top and down out of the bottom.
Empire: The traditional lampshade style, these conical shades typically have around half the diameter at the top as at the bottom. Empire shades are a classic style that works well with any rounded lamp base. They direct much more light out of the bottom than the top, making them a good choice for a reading lamp.
Rectangular or square: These lampshades are best with a square or rectangular base or with an unusual or novelty base. They have a modern flair and direct light fairly evenly upward and downward.
Bell: These classic lampshades are similar to empire shades but with gently curved sides. Some have a scalloped bottom edge. This style works well with traditional or Asian decorating themes. Match a bell shade to a rounded or ornate base. These shades direct more light out of the bottom than the top.
There are many materials used to make lampshades, but some of the most common are paper, parchment, silk, linen, cotton, and card.
Typically, light diffuses best through cotton, linen, and paper shades, while thicker parchment, silk, and card block more of the light. If you’ll be using the lamp for reading, task lighting, or to brighten a room, choose one of the lighter lampshade materials like cotton or linen. But if you want to set a mood, create some drama, or adorn an accent lamp, it’s hard to beat a silk, card, or parchment lampshade.
The lampshade’s lining also makes a big difference in how much light it casts. Some shades have a heavy lining that serves to hold the shape of the shade, but it also keeps much of the light from shining through the material. The most dramatic shades have a boldly colored lining or even a metallic coating, such as gold. Use these shades on accent lamps.
Unlined lampshades or shades with a soft lining let more of the light shine through the material, casting a wider glow that’s great for reading or general brightening of the space. However, it’s sometimes possible to see the light bulb or the lampshade harp or fitter through an unlined shade when the light is turned on.
A lampshade that’s too big overwhelms your lamp. Too small and the lamp looks silly. The right size shade gives your lamp a balanced appearance, whether the lamp is sitting on the floor or a table. Use the following guidelines to find the best size of lampshade for a lamp:
Measure the widest part of the lamp. Often this is the base, but on some lamps it might be a different part.
Multiply that number by two. That’s the right width for the lampshade. A lamp that measures 8 inches at its widest point needs a shade that’s around 16 inches in diameter at the top or bottom. When choosing the shade for a floor lamp, look for a shade that’s at least 16 inches across the bottom.
Measure the height of the lamp. As a rule of thumb, the right lampshade is around two-thirds the height of the lamp. If the lamp is 24 inches tall, look for a lampshade that’s around 16 inches tall. For a floor lamp, the shade should be tall enough to conceal the shade’s fitter and the bulb.
White, eggshell, cream, and various shades of beige are by far the most common colors for lampshades, and for good reason. These light colors let through the maximum amount of light, work with almost any other color in the room, and have a clean yet unobtrusive style.
Still, don’t feel limited to a white or cream shade if you’d prefer something bolder. You can find lampshades in black, red, metallic tones, and just about any other color you can imagine, although you’ll likely have to search harder to find them.
There are also lampshades with patterns ranging from simple stripes to complex geometrics to animal prints to freeform designs. Use these bolder or more unusual lampshades to add a touch of whimsy or drama to a room or draw attention to a gorgeous lamp.
Drum shades are one of the most popular styles today. They add a fresh, contemporary look to a room.
Inexpensive: The price range for lampshades is a broad one. Prices depend on the material, size, and quality of the shade, but as a general rule, unless the shade is small, lampshades that cost less than $40 aren’t likely to last long.
Mid-range: The sweet spot for a good-quality lampshade large enough to fit an average-size table lamp is between $50 and $100. For that price, you can expect a quality product that will last for years without fading, tearing, or discoloring. You can also find a large assortment of colors, sizes, shapes, and materials.
Expensive: Above $100, you can find very large shades, higher-end materials such as silk, designer shades, and unusual colors, shapes, or designs.
Once you’ve found the perfect lampshade, keep it looking its best with regular care.
A. Absolutely! Painting a fabric lampshade is a fun and easy way to change the look of not just the lamp but the entire room. Spray paint is the easiest way to paint your lampshade, but you can also do the job with a brush. Go for a solid color, paint stripes or other geometric shapes, or create an elaborate painted scene. The choice is yours.
A. Deciding on a pleated or smooth lampshade is mostly a matter of taste. Pleated shades are traditional but a little old-fashioned. They work well with traditional decorating styles, as well as country, rustic, or other relaxed looks. Smooth-sided shades are sleeker and more contemporary, so they work well with equally contemporary décor.
A. The lampshade fitter is the metal framework that attaches the shade to the lamp. There are three basic types of fitters:
Clip-on fitters have a clamp that clips directly onto the bulb.
Spider fitters have three prongs that meet in the center of the shade. These fitters attach to a lamp harp, which is a U-shaped wire structure that surrounds the bulb. Some shades include a harp, but many require you to purchase the harp separately if the lamp doesn’t already have one in place.
UNO fitters have three prongs that attach to a metal ring that sits on the socket that holds the bulb.