In the summer of 2019, my roommate and I moved into a new apartment because our old one was infested with bedbugs, but not before throwing out a bed frame my dad built for me and a small nightstand that had been in my family since the 1960s.
At the time I was more upset about the bed frame, being that it held much more sentimental value. The nightstand, aside from the graffiti <3 EDGAR <3 my sister had carved into it (no clue who that is…), was charmingly ordinary: slender, wooden, painted white, with a small drawer on the bottom, an open drawer space on the top, and a blue glass knob. It wasn’t until I started searching for a new nightstand that I really appreciated how rare a nice nightstand is.
That search was almost as traumatizing as eight months of bed bugs. It turns out that while most furniture design has advanced properly into the 21st century, nightstands have propelled themselves into an alternate dimension where time, space, and most importantly taste seem to not exist. The majority of nightstands made now manage to be both gaudy and sexless. That duality creates a demonic tension, which, in my opinion, is not the energy you want in your bedroom.
With that in mind, here are the options generally bestowed upon you when you’re looking for a nightstand for less than, oh, $500.