The 6 Best Floor Lamps of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more›

Head here to find all of our expert cozy coverage and enter to win a bundle of our favorite picks for a comfy, snug fall. (Giveaway terms and conditions.) Desk lamp for study

The 6 Best Floor Lamps of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

We've added CB2's Pavo Double Floor Lamp to our our Other good floor lamps section.

A great floor lamp can transform the dimmest corner of a room into the most inviting space for reading, relaxing, or working. And it can be the illuminating punctuation mark of a room’s decor.

Over the past few years, we’ve dedicated more than 60 hours to researching hundreds of floor lamps. Then we’ve assembled, inspected, and pelted them with basketballs to simulate the inevitable accidents that happen at home.

We know style is subjective, but we think our picks—for task, console, tripod, tree, arc, and rod lamp—will complement a wide variety of interior spaces.

The Ranarp is the most versatile and affordable lamp we found. The cantilevered adjustable-length arm points the light just where you need it, and the matte finish reduces glare.

We recommend the IKEA Ranarp as the best task lamp for reading or any activity where you need direct, overhead light. It’s also one of the most affordable floor lamps we tested. It’s a thoughtfully constructed lamp, with details that are missing from other similarly priced floor lamps—including a powder-coat paint finish in either black or white and an adjustable-length swinging arm (which articulates upward and downward with a simple turn of the fastener-type dial). The lamp also proved more stable than other cantilevered designs we tried.

This surprisingly sturdy console lamp offers nice ambient light. It looks similar to lamps that cost 10 times as much, and the tulip-style base should appeal to fans of mid-century design.

May be out of stock

If you’re looking for a floor lamp primarily for ambience or to read under occasionally, and you also prefer the classic lampshade design with contemporary cues, the Adesso Oslo 60" Floor Lamp is our favorite. It’s heavier and less likely to tip over than other console lamps—also referred to as “shaded” or “traditional” lamps—that we tried. Its tulip-shaped base barely budges when bumped, and with its soft-white, spun-fabric shade, this lamp looks great standing alone or paired with other pieces of furniture. There’s nothing particularly fancy about the Oslo, but it’s a classic floor lamp accentuated with modernist detailing we appreciate.

A solid, three-legged lamp made with dense rubberwood that can take a nudge but will hardly budge. The Lepower adapts to many decor styles, and its large footprint makes it best suited for spacious rooms.

The Lepower Wood Tripod Floor Lamp is a real bargain, exhibiting the fit and finish of floor lamps twice its price and easily filling a large space with light. The legs angle outward (so this lamp takes up more floor space than most of our other picks), but they lend an attractive wood look, to complement a range of room styles. The lamp’s 18-inch faux-linen shade does a convincing job of mimicking the genuine material, and it diffuses the light into a warm glow associated with a relaxing bedroom or an inviting living room.

Sleek and tall, this three-light tree lamp doesn’t require a lot of space but adds both ambient and task illumination, and its brushed brass offers a little glimmer of glamour. A heavy weighted base allays any concerns of accidental tip-overs.

The mid-century–inspired CB2 Trio Floor Lamp is an appealing multitasker with a compact yet exceptionally heavy base. If you need a multipurpose lamp for a smaller space, we think the Trio’s three individually adjustable lights work great separately or in unison for reading, relaxing, or illuminating an entire room. Its finely finished brushed brass is also some of the nicest we’ve seen on a lamp at this price, bringing sophisticated shine without seeming gaudy.

If you want drama—and you have the space—we love this arc lamp. It’s less prone to tipping than other moderately priced arc lamps, and it provides a nice light for reading.

If you’re fortunate to live in a space with higher ceilings, we recommend the Basque Arc Floor Lamp, our largest pick. Compared with cheaper arc lamps we looked at, this one has a heavier and wider base, which should help keep the lamp from tipping. As long as you have enough room to lay out its parts, it is easy enough for one person to assemble. And you will need plenty of room for its nearly 6.5-foot height and nearly 4-foot arm’s reach. The Basque fills the bill as a statement piece, but it also effectively highlights a favorite section of a room or provides bright light for reading, without being overwhelming.

If you have a dark corner where other lamps offer insufficient illumination or simply don’t fit, we recommend the Adesso Felix for its lightsaber-thin design and powerful, mood-setting glow.

A lamp best suited as a secondary light within a living room, a bedroom, or an office, the Adesso Felix LED Wall Washer is designed to bathe corners with a bright yet intimate glow, enough to transform a room from being simply lit to feeling warmly illuminated. Because this style of lamp is meant for placement against a wall or in a corner, knock-over concerns are minimal; plus, the lamp’s marble block base is significantly heavier than its 58-inch glass-tube LED rod. Although the Felix’s slim silhouette means it can be placed practically anywhere, the lamp’s touch dimmer is situated at the top of the rod (65 inches high), requiring some planning with accessibility in mind.

The Ranarp is the most versatile and affordable lamp we found. The cantilevered adjustable-length arm points the light just where you need it, and the matte finish reduces glare.

This surprisingly sturdy console lamp offers nice ambient light. It looks similar to lamps that cost 10 times as much, and the tulip-style base should appeal to fans of mid-century design.

May be out of stock

A solid, three-legged lamp made with dense rubberwood that can take a nudge but will hardly budge. The Lepower adapts to many decor styles, and its large footprint makes it best suited for spacious rooms.

Sleek and tall, this three-light tree lamp doesn’t require a lot of space but adds both ambient and task illumination, and its brushed brass offers a little glimmer of glamour. A heavy weighted base allays any concerns of accidental tip-overs.

If you want drama—and you have the space—we love this arc lamp. It’s less prone to tipping than other moderately priced arc lamps, and it provides a nice light for reading.

If you have a dark corner where other lamps offer insufficient illumination or simply don’t fit, we recommend the Adesso Felix for its lightsaber-thin design and powerful, mood-setting glow.

I am a design editor at Design Milk and a contributor at Dwell. I’ve been writing about home design since 2006 for a multitude of design-focused outlets, including Apartment Therapy, where for years I helped people beautify their homes, as well as Lonny, Metropolis, and Design Sponge. Before then, I designed children’s toys and furniture as an industrial designer, learning the ins and outs of mass-market product design, from conception to manufacturing. I’m admittedly a little obsessive about lighting. I will happily change out light bulbs for you and recommend a lighting scheme if you ask. My wife has gently requested (on numerous occasions) I stop purchasing more lamps for our modest-size home.

The Ranarp is the most versatile and affordable lamp we found. The cantilevered adjustable-length arm points the light just where you need it, and the matte finish reduces glare.

Best for: Average-size living room; corners; stationed by a couch, an armchair, or a bedside.

Why it’s great: If you need a lamp for performing specific tasks, such as reading, browsing the web, crafting, or any activity where distracting glare or shadows can hamper focus or strain the eyes, we recommend the IKEA Ranarp. It proved more stable than other lamps we tested, the cantilevered arm was easier to adjust, and at under $50 it’s one of the most affordable lamps we’ve found. This is the floor version of a table lamp we’ve owned for about five years, and like its deskbound sibling it has a powder-coated matte finish in white or black that minimizes distracting reflective glare; handsome gold-painted hardware; and a striped, textile-covered power cord that imparts a dash of style where most lamps settle for ho-hum black or white extension cords. A hefty-weighted base kept the lamp stable in our tests (it shirked off all our bounce passes). Only an excessive karate chop to the highest section of the lamp would make the Ranarp lose its confident hold on the floor.

The Ranarp was the only lamp we tested with two-joint adjustability (another task model from Target fooled us into believing we could adjust its arm’s angle, but it was locked into place). This allowed us to dial in exactly where we wanted to direct the light. Other floor lamps offered only a general downward cast or a limited range of motion. Additionally, a locking dial allows you to lengthen or shorten the arm attachment.

We’d describe the Ranarp’s style as “Swedish industrial”: a hint of vintage, but not so much that its nod to yesteryear detaches itself from the design tastes of today. The lamp is somewhat reminiscent of the classic Anglepoise adjustable folding-arm lamp (designed in 1932 by British designer George Carwardine) or the Luxo L-1 lamp (designed by Jac Jacobsen in 1937), but IKEA’s designers abandoned the spring-tension mechanisms of those 1930s predecessors for what we think is a more elegant dial-hinge solution suited for a lamp that will probably be set to a specific angle and height and then left alone.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: For all its otherwise exemplary detailing, the Ranarp’s tiny chiclet-shaped on/off button feels insignificant, with slightly unpleasant, sharp raised edges we could feel with every press. We wish the textile-wrapped power cord emerged from the lamp’s base rather than its center tube, but that’s more of an aesthetic preference.

This surprisingly sturdy console lamp offers nice ambient light. It looks similar to lamps that cost 10 times as much, and the tulip-style base should appeal to fans of mid-century design.

May be out of stock

Best for: Average- to large-size rooms; floating or in a corner.

Why it’s great: Shaded lamps work well in bedrooms or living areas where you want ambient light. Although many of the shaded lamps we tested did provide nice light, the Oslo felt more substantial, less likely to tip over, and easier to assemble. The lamp’s weighted 12.5-inch-diameter base is very stable, able to endure a significant nudge or flying basketball thrown at its center with aplomb—unlike the cheaply constructed and spindly IKEA Aläng, which wobbled at the slightest touch.

Aesthetically speaking we think the Oslo hits a sweet spot, offering the traditional profile of a classic floor lamp paired with a minimalist, all-white matte finish and a spun, horizontal-striped paper shade that appears a lot more expensive than its roughly $110 price tag (it’s a spitting image of this $1,700 model). Its most distinctive feature is an inverted tulip-style base, inspired by the gentle transitions between base and pedestal exhibited in the works of Finnish American designer Eero Saarinen—a detail mid-century devotees might find particularly delightful.

Reviewers on Amazon also like this lamp. They find the three-segment assembly simple for one person; they appreciate the “clean,” “modern,” and “minimalist” design; and they like its output when used with a 100-watt bulb. Some reviewers find that the all-white design shows any stain, though.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Its 60-inch height is nonadjustable, so this is best used as a complementary light source, flanking seating in lieu of a table lamp.

Long-term test notes: Wirecutter senior editor Kalee Thompson told us she loves the versatility of the Adesso Oslo so much she owns five: “We have one in three bedrooms, a reading area, and an office. Obviously we like it. It’s just a simple, sturdy, nicely designed floor lamp.” Wirecutter contributor Sabrina Imbler similarly owns and loves the Adesso Oslo, saying they think its shade has a nice texture and the lamp looks elegant in their room. As an apartment dweller, Imbler also likes that the base is small enough to tuck into tight corners.

A solid, three-legged lamp made with dense rubberwood that can take a nudge but will hardly budge. The Lepower adapts to many decor styles, and its large footprint makes it best suited for spacious rooms.

Best for: Average- to large-size living room, floating or against a wall in a corner.

Why it’s great: The Lepower Wood Tripod Floor Lamp beat out our former tripod pick, the Monique Tripod Floor Lamp, with a combination of better-looking design and higher-quality hardware for nearly half the price. The Monique is still a great lamp, but looked and felt flimsy beside the larger Lepower. The Lepower, with its solid rubberwood legs, braided fabric cord, and convincing faux-linen shade, exhibits the permanence of furniture intended to be used for years.

We mustered a few good high-school–hallway shoulder shoves to see how the Lepower would fare under duress, and we were pleased to observe the weight of the lamp’s solid wooden legs wobble only momentarily before returning to a stable position. Those nearly 50-inch-long legs are actually constructed of three separate pieces: Each end is adjoined and secured with a half-lap joinery cut and two screws. The seams between each piece are hardly visible and add a nice carpentry-grade touch.

One detail we missed was the Monique’s smart cord routing, where the cord is hidden inside one of the legs to emerge from the lamp’s bottom end. Because of its multipiece wooden-leg design, the Lepower has to dangle its power cord from the center, a detail some found distracting from its otherwise stately look. But the cord itself is far more attractive than one might expect at this price, and it includes a foot switch; once the lamp is situated into a corner, the brown woven cord blends in with rather than distracts from the Lepower’s overall impression.

The Lepower has an average Amazon rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.0, with almost 80% of the more than 4,000 reviews (at the time of publishing) being 5.0 stars. The lamp earns praise for its “contemporary mid-century-modern” design, the inclusion of a higher-quality braided-fabric cord, and the “rich color of the wood.” The few complaints center primarily around the durability of the shade or the conspicuous power cord hanging from the center of the lamp. Several other negative reviews note the product arriving with parts broken or missing, with a few instances of misaligned predrilled holes for attaching the legs together.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: While not enormous by any measure, the Lepower’s design has a kind of visual weight that makes it best suited for average- to larger-size rooms. The lamp’s stability can be tested if pushed hard enough from the top of the shade or from certain angles, but we found this Achilles’ heel could be addressed by positioning one of the three legs away from where the knock-over contact might occur.

Sleek and tall, this three-light tree lamp doesn’t require a lot of space but adds both ambient and task illumination, and its brushed brass offers a little glimmer of glamour. A heavy weighted base allays any concerns of accidental tip-overs.

Best for: Small- to average-size rooms requiring light sources delivered in different directions.

Why it’s great: The CB2 Trio Floor Lamp, our favorite tree lamp, is particularly suited for smaller rooms where a lone light source might have to fulfill a multitude of needs and users at the same time. The Trio combines a compact yet tall design, a richly applied brushed brass that looks almost gold in finish, and a particularly stout, growler-sized cylindrical base indifferent to anything but the most forceful of kicks. Each of its three 4-inch-diameter shades are spaced 8 inches apart across the top half of the 67-inch-tall stem, and each tube can be independently swiveled and aimed either separately or in unison for task, ambience, or general illumination duties.

Our previous top pick, the Aaron Aged Brass 3-Light Floor Lamp, required more floor space due to a flat, 10-inch circular base; the Trio nearly halves the Aaron’s footprint with a narrow, 5.5-inch-diameter weighted-iron base that has more height than width. This simple alteration gives the Trio a taller, minimalist silhouette, which aesthetically mirrors the trio of shades in shape and makes it altogether more elegant and cohesive as a decor object.

The Trio is rated for bulbs up to 60 watts (or LED bulbs up to 10 watts) and comes with three 9-watt LEDs. Each of the lamp’s three socket shades are outfitted with a nicely finished on/off rotary switch that offers a satisfying and confident click when turned. The Trio is also equipped with a decor-friendly, fabric-braided power cord measuring 6 feet, which should be long enough to reach most outlets.

In 148 CB2 reviews (at the time of publishing), customers praise the Trio for its “sturdy” and “elegant” design that would “elevate any room,” with a few reviewers requesting the inclusion of a dimmer switch for the option of a “softer light.”

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Trio is three times more expensive than our previous pick, the Aaron 3-Light Floor Lamp, so if price is a concern, stick with the Aaron. The Trio is also taller and heavier, with a compact iron base that results in a fairly unwieldy object for a single person to assemble or move (at about 32 pounds, carrying it feels like a CrossFit exercise). The design could benefit from a dimmer to complement the trio of light switches. A minority of reviews note issues with the lamp heads becoming wobbly after being set, but we found they’re almost too tight at first, though they loosen with use.

Long-term test notes: Wirecutter staff writer Katie Okamoto has had the Trio for almost one year and calls this her favorite lamp, using it in a corner of her work-from-home office. She reports loving the soft warmth of the brushed brass, the satisfying tactility of the touchpoints, and the ability to customize the illumination by turning on and adjusting different combinations of the three shades. The sleek base has also been a breeze to vacuum around, even in a tight corner. Katie cautions that it’s extra important to center the no-scratch pad on the bottom of the heavy base to avoid scratching the floor, if you do need to move it. (The pad’s strong adhesive makes it difficult to realign after the first try.)

If you want drama—and you have the space—we love this arc lamp. It’s less prone to tipping than other moderately priced arc lamps, and it provides a nice light for reading.

Best for: Large room with high ceilings; stationed beside seating.

Why it’s great: If you’re looking for a statement piece for a large room with taller ceilings, we like the Basque Arc Floor Lamp. This lamp was easier to assemble and more stable than the three other arc lamps we tested. The look is directly inspired by the iconic Arco Floor Lamp designed by Achille Castiglioni and his brother Pier Giacomo in 1962. While the Basque delivers light intimately and immediately overhead just like its inspiration, its reach is more modestly proportioned, spanning a little more than half the Arco’s original, nearly 7-foot curvature. Don’t be mistaken, the Basque is still a large floor lamp. But its smaller footprint and abbreviated semicircular arch accentuate scale without fully dominating a room.

To our delight, the Basque’s dome light is counterbalanced by a genuine Carrara marble base, flattened into a small—yet still sufficiently heavy—circular foundation. While it’s nowhere the statement piece of the original design’s rectangular, 143-pound single slab of cut marble, it’s still a handsome detail carried over to keep the large lamp steady. The Basque did not excessively sway or wiggle when moved or adjusted; it also survived a basketball aimed at its base and bounced against its arm without issue. The Basque’s divergence away from the original slab-base design also simplifies assembly: It took less than five minutes to put together after unpacking, all without the need for extra help or swearing.

One other arc lamp we tried, the LumiSource Salon Floor Lamp, had an inadequately proportioned all-metal base that always filled us with worries about tipping over. When in doubt, at this scale always go with the floor lamp with the heavier foundation and superior, thicker-gauged arm.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The circular marble base is easier to assemble and move than the original design but admittedly loses something in its downsized dimensions. Rooms with low ceilings (under 8-10 feet) need not apply.

If you have a dark corner where other lamps offer insufficient illumination or simply don’t fit, we recommend the Adesso Felix for its lightsaber-thin design and powerful, mood-setting glow.

Best for: Rooms requiring additional supplementary light for dark corners.

Why it’s great: Understated and minimalist, the Adesso Felix LED Wall Washer floor lamp was our favorite among numerous rod-style models that have gained popularity for their ambience-enhancing abilities. We recommend the Felix because it’s well made, it features three brightness settings via touch controls, and it’s practically impossible to tip over. Intended to be placed in corners and aimed toward walls to add secondary ambient light, rod lamps like the Felix operate as the Robin to a primary light’s Batman—a luminescent sidekick to fill in the gaps where other lamps might not be able to reach.

A 65-inch-long tube about 1 inch in diameter with an antique-brass finish, the Felix does a reasonably good impression of a sleek lightsaber as imagined by Tom Ford, set on top of a black marble base that measures 7.5 inches high by 4.5 inches wide. At all three brightness settings—adjustable with a tap to the top of the rod—the light output is both warm and pleasing. When turned up to its brightest setting and paired with another primary overhead or task light, we thought the Felix created great ambient light for reading or working on the computer. Think of a rod lamp like how a subwoofer complements a home-theater setup: It’s one dimensional by itself but creates a higher sense of immersion when paired with existing lighting.

Short of a full-on body collision, you’ll never knock over the Felix—a credit to its bottom-heavy design. If you’re worried about purchasing a lamp with a non-replaceable integrated LED, rest assured the Felix should light the corners of your home for a very long time: Its 30-watt LED bulb is rated for 50,000 hours of use, nearly 11.5 years if the light is kept on for 12 hours a day, and a little more than 17 years if kept on for eight hours a day.1 To be sure, we’ll keep an eye on this as we conduct long-term tests, and we are looking into the feasibility of replacing a built-in LED should a trip to the lamp repair shop be necessary.

Reviewers like the “minimalist” design, with one equating the Felix to “landscape lighting” for its vertical ambience-enhancing effect. Another lauds the lamp for “taking up virtually no space” and visually disappearing into the background when turned off.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: By nature of its single-rod design, the Felix isn’t designed to operate as a primary light source within a room. It’s also fairly heavy, weighing around 14 pounds, and if handled incorrectly could bend or break. The clear, lightweight cord looks a bit cheap compared with the otherwise higher-grade finishes. The touch switch is located at the top of the rod, which may make it harder to access for some people, though this could be solved easily with a plug-in smart outlet. The LED light bulb is integrated—and therefore not replaceable—but as mentioned above, we don’t think you’ll need to change the light bulb anytime soon.

If you want a floor lamp that doubles as a task light and an upward-facing lamp: CB2’s Pavo Double Floor Lamp is a 2-in-1 lamp with two shades: one that angles downward and one that faces upward. The downward-facing lamp swivels and pivots, which makes it ideal for reading, while the upward-facing shade provides indirect light for the rest of the room. The on-off switch is an in-line foot switch that you step on. We wish each shade could operate independently, but the switch is solely on or off, and there are no dimming options, either. It comes in matte black or white and has leather cording details wrapped around the pole. We've been testing this lamp since mid-2022 and have had no issues so far.

If you want a rod-style lamp with smart features: The Philips Hue Gradient Signe Floor Lamp is a rod floor lamp that comes with all the benefits of a smart bulb, but in a bright LED rod format that can brighten up a big space. Like the Felix Lamp, rod floor lamps work best to brighten up a dark corner or to illuminate a wall, but because the Gradient Signe’s light can be endlessly customized, we think it’s more adaptable than your average rod lamp—especially if you’ve already bought into the Philips Hue ecosystem. The lamp can be controlled via Bluetooth but like their smart bulbs, we think it works best when you combine it with their Hue bridge (you get better range and more features). You can choose any color and brightness or even a combination of up to 3 different colors to create your own gradient effect, which we have to admit looks pretty stunning. At around $330, it’s not a cheap lamp and we thought the plastic finishes on the rod and base could look better for that price. We also didn’t like that it doesn’t have a physical on/off button, so you can only turn it on or off with the app. The floor lamp comes in black, white, and oak/white. Philips also sells the Gradient Signe in a table lamp version.

Lighting shapes how welcoming and comfortable a room becomes after nightfall, and furnishing a space with a multitude of light sources can improve general ambience while curtailing eye fatigue. Too little or too much light can tire the eyes. Additionally, plenty of light reflecting off walls at night creates the illusion of space, making even small rooms seem larger (inversely, a single light source diminishes perceived space). Thus, interior designers and lighting specialists always recommend layering light with an overlapping spectrum of accent, ambient, and task lighting sources.

To visualize this, imagine interior lighting as a three-piece band. Accent lighting is the lead guitarist, going solo in the corner, bringing attention to a specific section of the room or a prominent feature (a piece of art or furnishing, for instance). Ambient performs in the background like a bass player, casting a softer and general lighting to set a room’s overall mood. The task light is the vocalist, casting adjustable illuminance for reading, working, or just hanging out, ideally without glare or shadows. Combine all three and you’ve got a harmonious luminescence layered with nuance, mood, and purpose.

Continuing with this analogy, a floor lamp can practically be a band unto itself. Partnered with the right bulb and an add-on dimmer to adjust output, some models can operate as accent, ambient, and task lighting all in one. But more often a floor lamp operates as a combination of two of the three lighting sources, typically task and ambient. That’s why we believe every living room should have a floor lamp, to complement other sources of light overhead and nearby.

How large is your room and how high are the ceilings? If space is tight, we recommend a tree, rod, or swing-arm task lamp. Lamps with shades or a tripod-style base require more space and are best for average-size to large rooms, while only the largest-size rooms with high ceilings need apply for an arc lamp, a style that can dominate a small room. Before purchasing, always measure a lamp’s height and circumference to compare in context with the intended space. I generally believe a floor lamp should not exceed 6 to 7 feet in an average room with 8- to 10-foot ceilings; spaces with especially high ceilings (above 10 feet) can accommodate taller lamps, where accentuating verticality adds drama.

Do you want to read or work underneath the light, or is the lamp primarily intended as an ambient source? Task and arc floor lamps are best for delivering glare-free light from overhead, ideally with cantilever swing arms and/or adjustable shades to direct light exactly where it’s wanted. A tree floor lamp offers adjustable light, but its reach is inherently limited by the positioning of its multitiered shades. Lamps fitted with shades, which we refer to as console lamps (also known as “traditional” or “shaded”), diffuse light to a pleasant ambient glow around and overhead, but they aren’t the best for reading. A rod-style lamp won’t light up an entire room, but when placed in a corner will deliver supplementary light that enhances every other light source. Consider your most common nightly habits. If you knit or read often, a light delivered from overhead or from over the shoulder is best. If you’re a Netflix binger, you’ll want a lamp delivering a diffused softer light without glare intruding on “just one more episode” evenings.

Do you want the lamp to stand out, or blend in with the rest of the room? Imagine how the floor lamp will look standing among existing furniture, wall colors, and other decorative features. Tree and task lamps tend to blend into smaller spaces. Tall, arched arc lamps or console lamps with shades draw attention. If you’re looking for a statement piece, keep in mind that you’ll often pay more for something that stands out from the crowd in size or style.

Do you plan to move the lamp around? The majority of floor lamps are light enough to pick up and move with just one arm. But arc lamps and some larger tripod models can be heavy and unwieldy once assembled. Remember to check the base and total weight before purchasing to avoid being stuck with something heavier than you can comfortably and safely lift.

A search for “floor lamp” brings back thousands of styles to choose from, many only marginally different from one another—from those cheap and ubiquitous torchiere lamps you might remember lighting up your college dorm room (and unintentionally fricasseeing flying insects) to gigantic designer statement pieces priced anywhere but within reach. We focused our search on six styles—task, console, tripod, tree, arc, and rod lamps—that would fit a range of lighting needs.

We looked for lamps that met the following criteria:

If a shade is included, the luminance and quality of diffusion of light should be soft and inviting rather than simply bright; if a lamp is listed as adjustable, the height and direction of lights should be easy to maneuver for tasks.

We focused on lamps priced at $300 or less to find relatively affordable options for renters, first-time homebuyers, or anyone on a budget. The benefits of spending more come down primarily to design. For example, take the difference between the Flos Spun Light F Modern Floor Lamp (roughly $2,000) and the similarly shaped Adesso Oslo Floor Lamp (around $130). Besides one carrying a pedigree of “Designed by Sebastian Wrong” to brag about, the more expensive model typically exhibits a higher degree of detailing (much of it subtle), superior construction with better materials, heavier total weight, larger dimensions, and extras like an integrated zero to 100% intensity dimmer.

Fortunately, good design at a fair price is more democratically available thanks to places such as Target, IKEA, and Amazon. Lamps priced below $300 and sold through different retailers can look suspiciously similar, because sometimes they are the same lamp, or only marginally different. Mass-market retailers source many of their products—especially furniture—from the same overseas manufacturers, purchasing off-the-shelf, ready-to-ship designs (many times sold under “available online only”), which they occasionally tweak before rebranding them as their own. Even factoring in design, Target and IKEA sell lighting nearly on a par with more expensive specialty home-furnishing retailers like West Elm and CB2. Based on my observations while designing furniture and visiting the factories abroad that serve mass-market retailers, the differences are primarily aesthetic, such as a different finish or detailing. Some retailers simply cater to people willing to pay a premium for trending designs.

We focused on lamps priced at $300 or less to find affordable options for renters, first-time homebuyers, or anyone on a budget.

Interior decor and furniture trends change rapidly on the high end, but typically IKEA, Target, Amazon, Overstock, Wayfair, and Lamps Plus—and even pricier specialty retailers like YLighting and Design Within Reach—do not change their wares drastically year to year. We looked for floor lamps to complement the widest variety of interiors while representing contemporary tastes—designs we could imagine still being relevant aesthetically five years from now (so no bright colors or busy patterns). For those worried about committing to one color, consider a floor lamp topped with a shade; extra shades with different patterns, hues, and materials are easily switched at whim.

Our research began with larger retailers specializing in contemporary home decor, including but not limited to Crate and Barrel, CB2, Pottery Barn, World Market, IKEA, West Elm, Amazon, Room & Board, Wayfair, Lamps Plus, and Overstock. We supplemented our research by looking at specialty online retailers such as Rove Concepts, TRNK, Article, Apt2B, and Rejuvenation (plus a bottomless click hole of Pinterest boards) to round out our familiarity with styles and prices, as well as reading the hundreds of comments and reviews associated with each lamp we considered. After looking at hundreds of options when we first wrote this guide, we narrowed down the selection to 15 for testing. In August 2020, we researched dozens more and tested 13 new models.

Every floor lamp we recommend had to meet specific criteria beyond eye-pleasing design—a highly subjective first hurdle we had to sort through even before deciding on worthy finalists.

We unpacked and checked every piece for any cosmetic or functional damage during shipping. We also checked for any missing parts before putting together every lamp—including an infuriatingly challenging large and heavy arc floor lamp—ourselves, to determine ease of assembly for one person.

We inspected any sections where parts connected, examined the quality of finishes, and paid special attention to any moving parts. We compared our finalists’ listed measurements with our own measurements in order to catch any discrepancies. But in most cases, when we mention a dimension, we’re referring to the manufacturer’s (unless otherwise noted).

With the help of a basketball and my deft aim, we tested the stability of each lamp against the simulated bump of a rowdy small canine, a motoring toddler, or a catnip-charged feline to see whether any floor lamp would fall over. (More on that below.)

Finally, we loaded up my truck with the top picks for testing in a home setting, carrying each lamp up three flights of steep stairs and through our front door. Once there, my wife and I read books, browsed iPads and iPhones, and petted our cats under the glow of every lamp.

Except for models that shipped with their own included light bulbs, we used our top pick, the Cree 60 W Equivalent A19 Dimmable Exceptional Light Quality LED Light Bulb, for testing. This bulb, which produces a warm and accurate light, is affordable, dimmable, and readily available at home-improvement stores or online.

Besides the largest arc floor lamp—which may pose a challenge for shorter individuals—assembling each lamp was a fairly simple task, with the majority of pieces arriving preassembled. Most of the lamps didn’t even require any additional tools; we attached the legs or tubes to the base by hand. The most difficult challenge was carefully unpacking the lamps from their protective cocoon of cardboard, foam, and plastic bags without making a mess. Only one lamp assembly shook my composure: the largest arc floor lamp, which required the dexterity of a master pickpocket to navigate its bolt-pin-through-a-mouse-hole installation process.

A good floor lamp won’t easily fall over. To test stability, we lined up individual lamps against a bare wall. Then we bounced a regulation-size basketball repeatedly at each one, aiming for the center from approximately 4 feet away. We observed how much they moved, shook, and teetered when struck. To see whether any would fall over, we also rolled the basketball toward the foot of each lamp from 8 feet away. None of them fell, but some shook enough to visibly and audibly reveal where loose fittings could potentially lead to problems in time.

We really like the swivel head, mid-century–modern design of the Threshold Cantilever Floor Lamp, but this Target house-brand lamp lost points because the cantilever arm was difficult to adjust (we attributed this to the design of the small dial). At this price it would be fine as a bedside lamp, where adjustments would be few and far between.

The George Kovacs P303-2 LED Floor Lamp was by far the smallest floor lamp we tested. The diminutive lamp has a modern chrome finish and integrated 518-lumen LED array. If you can find it (it’s low in stock at time of publishing), it would look fitting in a very small apartment, especially one with low ceilings; it’s just a little too small for the average living room.

If we were to pick a light solely for the purposes of reading, the ADS360 Crane LED Floor Lamp would rank near the top of our list. It’s compact and easily adjustable, with a four-way LED touch dimmer that puts out a pleasant light for reading underneath. It’s also even smaller than the George Kovacs—essentially an elevated task light rather than a full-fledged floor lamp.

The narrow and slight IKEA Aläng seems like a great deal. Then you assemble it and notice that nothing about the lamp feels confident, secure, or particularly well designed. Its unstable base is paired with long, telescoping center tubes that look and feel inadequate in girth; only an insignificant and cheap-looking twist-dial tab keeps the lamp’s desired height locked into place. Compared with our IKEA task-lamp pick, which costs the same, this one misses all the marks of a keeper.

For those of you wondering about designer-decor catalog options, we did mark for consideration a pair of lamps from CB2 and West Elm. Availability of the CB2 John Floor Lamp and the model we picked from West Elm (which has since been discontinued) fluctuated during the time of our testing, as is common with designer-decor retailer stock throughout the seasons.

The IKEA Milleryr (the floor lamp version of this table lamp) was a decent floor lamp sold at a decent price, but it seems to be discontinued at the time of writing. We like that the height is adjustable, but we didn’t particularly love the thin-gauge tube that extends from the top of the pole in order to achieve this. The shade’s fabric feels flimsy and thin, and overall we think it presents the decorative equivalent of unseasoned pasta in the design department.

Our previous top pick, the Monique Tripod Floor Lamp, is easy to assemble, lightweight, and immune to tip-overs. That said, its mosquito-thin legs—the narrowest gauge we tested—look and feel flimsy, yet the lamp costs more than twice as much as the Lepower Wood Tripod Floor Lamp, our new top pick. We still love the Monique’s smart cord-routing system, which hides the cord inside one of the legs to emerge from the bottom end, and it’s still a solid lamp if you can find it, though we’ve continued to notice stock issues in the past year.

There’s a lot we liked about the SH Lighting 31171F-SG Adjustable Tripod Floor Lamp when we finished assembling it: an adjustable height, an oversize drum shade, a sleek metal pull-string control, and a design directing the power cord through its center tubing for a cleaner in-room presence. What did it in during testing was a nudge—its top-heavy design paired with the low position of its three legs makes for an unsteady floor lamp that could be tipped over by a child, pet, or happily inebriated party guest.

You’ll have one less thing to purchase with the Brightech Emma LED Tripod Floor Lamp, because it ships with its own 60-watt equivalent LED bulb. It’s a perfectly fine tripod-style lamp that assembles with just a few twists of its adjoining legs and looks especially pleasing when placed in a corner. Our issue during testing was its wooden legs—they’re so lightweight, the lamp teetered and moved across the floor when lightly bumped by a basketball rolled toward it. The included lampshade is also an unusual, if not ingenious, flat-pack design that requires aligning two metal circular frames and snapping the paper and fabric shade across the top and bottom, all secured by Velcro at the edges. The fit isn’t perfect, but it’s acceptable if you turn the shade’s edges away from view.

We really liked the solid metal construction and ever-so-goth style of the Article Black Treo Metal Fabric Floor Lamp, an unflappable tip-resistant tripod lamp that’s easy to assemble (but a little bit of a pain to move around). Its wide-legged stance and large-diameter shade make this lamp best suited for larger rooms, where its all-black presence won’t dominate the space. In contrast to its size, the Treo is rated for only a modest 40-watt maximum output.

We liked everything about the Project 62 Ellis Tripod Floor Lamp from Target—its classic, antique-brass finish, its reasonable price, the included neutral white shade, and its decor-friendly design that conceals the cord in the leg. Unfortunately, we knocked it out of contention because it is frequently unavailable. We’d recommend it as a solid choice if you can still find it in a store, but it is no longer shipping.

The Threshold Oak Wood Tripod Floor Lamp is another intriguingly classic-retro style tripod lamp sold by Target; this one is accessorized with a more traditional wood finish and joint detailing. Again, limited and infrequent availability—it is no longer shipping at time of writing—as well as its more specifically themed style, prevents us from recommending this as a top pick.

Noting its thousands of positive reviews online, we had high hopes for the Norine 61" Tripod Floor Lamp. But our test unit was marred by a poorly threaded connector that prevented us from securing a tight fit between each leg section and the three-way switch assembly, resulting in a lamp that looked as though it had sprained its ankle and would topple over at the hint of a push.

The Aaron Aged Brass 3-Light Floor Lamp was our previous tree-style pick. It’s well made and stable, and it does the work of many lights for a modest price. We still recommend it if you’re on a budget. But its modest 40-watt output per lampshade ranks at the lower end of all the lamps we tested, and its mid-century–adjacent design looks and feels a little cheap in comparison to our top pick.

The Luken Brushed Nickel Adjustable 3-Light Tree Floor Lamp sports a more discernible 1950s-influenced design that may not complement every interior. Beyond styling, this three-light tree lamp is otherwise nearly identical to the Aaron 3-Light Floor Lamp. But the hinges connecting each of the shades to the center tubing did feel slightly loose. We were concerned that each hinge could become increasingly looser over time.

For all intents and purposes, the Brightech Jacob Floor Lamp and aforementioned Aaron 3-Light Floor Lamp seem to be brothers from different mothers. They’re the same size and nearly identical in style, and both feature an antique-brass finish indistinguishable from each other. The Jacob differentiates itself with the inclusion of a full three-year warranty and three budget LED bulbs in the box, so if you want a lamp in this particular style to unpack, assemble, and use immediately for $5 more, it’s a perfectly fine choice.

The Wrought Studio Nahant 67" Tree Floor Lamp (which is experiencing stock issues, at time of writing)stands nearly 67 inches tall and carries with it a certain amount of stability and heft that shouts out “quality!” But like the Luken, the Nahant’s distinct retro-deco design characterized by its trio of prominent shades also pigeonholes it best for certain types of interiors. We also found that the shades felt more stiff than smooth while adjusting their aim; each loosened in time but always felt like it required two hands rather than one to safely adjust.

The Light Society SoHo Modern Nickel Stainless Steel/Marble Arc Floor Lamp (currently unavailable) has a super-heavy genuine marble base, which gave it immovable stability and a close semblance to the original Arco Lamp it is blatantly fashioned after. Just don’t plan to move it after you’ve gotten it into position. Among the lamps we called in, this was the most difficult to assemble. Putting it together proved to be a 30-min profanity- and sweat-inducing test of will versus hardware. The porthole was originally conceived by Castiglioni as a means for two people to carry the heavy base using a broomstick, but here it seemed placed only to antagonize us. Once assembled, we found that the metal dome shade’s top fell off center too easily when moved.

Upon unpacking the LumiSource Salon Floor Lamp, we immediately noted the poorly adhered edges around its drum shade. That was bad enough, but we especially didn’t care for the lamp’s bouncy-elastic metal arm, prone to shake and shimmy like an angler’s fishing rod at the lightest touch. It felt and looked unstable.

The CB2 Big Dipper Arc Brushed-Nickel Floor Lamp addresses nearly every shortcoming of the LumiSource Salon except for a similarly insufficient-sized metal base that didn’t instill a great deal of confidence. Still, if you prefer an arc lamp topped with a shade rather than a dome, the Big Dipper is taller and brighter (up to 150 watts), and features a higher tensile-arcing arm that doesn’t sway as dramatically as its counterpart.

We are planning to test more rod lamps for a future update, since our current pick, the Adesso Felix LED Wall Washer, has been experiencing stock issues. In the meantime, minimalists looking for a light source for their tightest corners should consider the Orren Ellis Tregenna 60" LED Floor Lamp, a supremely thin, 60-inch-tall rod light that practically disappears from view when turned off. The lamp is marred only by an ungainly and cheap-quality dimmer box, which is a pain to adjust and looks particularly mismatched alongside the lamp’s otherwise sleek modern-chrome design.

Not a floor lamp, but serving a similar need, the Humanhome Lynea Lamp is a special case design that looks great if you have the right spot for it. But it comes with too many placement limitations to make it a primary pick. The light can only be installed where there’s an electrical outlet to plug in to, and it requires the aid of an in-wall mounting bracket to keep its fairly short aluminum tube in place.

This article was edited by Daniela Gorny and Christine Ryan.

The importance of lighting in interior design, Interior Studio, December 17, 2014

Basic Types Of Lighting, American Lighting Association

Gregory Han is a design, travel, and lifestyle writer, and the co-author of Creative Spaces: People, Homes, and Studios to Inspire. His work can be found at Design Milk, Dwell, Domino, Apartment Therapy, and Airbnb.

We researched and tested dozens of bedroom lamps and found seven different styles we loved, in a range of prices, to suit any bedside table.

by Kit Dillon, Anna Perling, and Nancy Redd

After 33 hours of research, we’re confident the Carex Day-Light Classic Plus is the best light therapy lamp to treat seasonal affective disorder.

There’s more to smart lighting than basic bulbs and wall switches. These design-centric smart lights are easy to install and will enhance your living space.

We found the best alarm clocks for all kinds of spaces, from analog and digital ones to smart alarms that gradually wake you up.

The 6 Best Floor Lamps of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Mustard Table Lamp Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).