the best. really.

The Best Floor Lamps (and Some Cheaper Look-alikes), According to Designers

A Cinderella-era floor lamp. All of our picks are a tad more modern. Photo: Print Collector/The Print Collector

Not too long ago, the Strategist editors got an email from a loyal reader. Subject line: “lamps lamps lamps.” Request: “I need all types of lamp advice: bedside-table lamps, end-table lamps, floor lamps. Just more lamps. The days are getting shorter. We need more light.”

So here we are, approaching the first days of fall, with floor lamps. Usually cast in corners or shoved between sectionals and chairs, a floor lamp is one of those easily overlooked pieces that shouldn’t be — it’s practically a stand-alone piece of furniture, and choosing the right one can change a room’s décor scheme. Do you go decorative or trendy? Or should you focus on task and function? We polled some interior designers to see which floor lamps they keep coming back to again and again, and then found some handsome look-alikes (with smaller price tags).

Shaded floor lamps

Adesso Benson Tripod Floor Lamp

Nashville’s Jonathan Savage favors this Tripod lamp from Phoenix Day because it’s structurally sound but still slender. “It offers long, linear metal legs that intersects to add interest and makes any space feel taller,” he says. The Phoenix Day lamps are available via vendors for price upon request, but this one from Macy’s has the same effect.

Roman Tripod Floor Lamp

You could also just get this one for $75.

Sonneman Lighting Big Floor Cone Floor Lamp

Gin Braverman likes this sculptural light for all-over illumination. “Its height eliminates the need for additional overhead lighting in a smaller space,” she says. It comes in three finishes, and she recommends the white.

Workstead Shaded Floor Lamp
Photo: ©Matthew Williams
Workstead Shaded Floor Lamp

“I use this lamp constantly for its versatility and function,” says Bay Area designer Lauren Geremia of Workstead’s shaded lamp. “Its height and direction are completely adjustable without compromising its classic appearance. It’s well-made and works well with any chair or sofa.”

Cupcakes and Cashmere Stacked Ball Floor Lamp

Another similar straight-up shaded lamp is this one, made in a collaboration with the Cupcakes & Cashmere blog.

Akio Adjustable Floor Lamp

This one is nice because it’s just a lamppost and a shade, but — plot twist — it’s adjustable. The shade can scoot almost down to the bottom of the lamp. And it’s on sale.

Floor lamps with a table

Tripod Floor Lamp by Consort

Mat Sanders of Consort often tells clients to go for a lamp that does double duty, especially if you’re short on square footage. “Tray tables were a big mid-century fad, and I will never understand why they fell out of fashion,” Sanders says. “Having your floor lamp serve as a side table is a great small-space solution.”

Victor Tripod Floor Lamp

At a much different price point: Here’s another three-legged floor lamp with a table and mid-century looks.

Koppel Arched Floor Lamp by Wade Logan

And another with a zigzag stance.

Sherborne Floor Lamp with Table

Chicago’s Summer Thornton agrees with Sanders about floor lamps with tray tables. “This lamp is the Swiss Army knife of lamps,” she says. “It is a classic beauty that serves major function. It is perfect when you don’t have space for a side table and a lamp — it’s all in one.”

Simple Designs Floor Lamp Étagère Organizer

For even more functionality, consider this part étagère, part illuminator. An off-white linen shade will cast a soft glow over your shelves.

Arched floor lamps

Arco Floor Lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos

Perfect for positioning behind the sofa, so that the light bulb arcs right over and hangs out just above your book. Flos is one of the most prestigious lighting-design studios in the game.

Overarching Metal Shade Floor Lamp

West Elm has a handsome version in brass or pewter, for much less.

Arquer Arc Floor Lamp

So does Target, for even less less.

Pharmacy-style floor lamps

Visual Comfort Lighting Kelly Wearstler Dulcet Floor Lamp

Sanders’s other go-to is modern spin on the classic pharmacy lamp. “It’s a little bit ’70s, a little bit industrial,” he says. “This floor lamp is good for creating moody, low lighting as its dome shape casts light toward the floor.”

Ralph Lauren Home Anette Floor Lamp

Of the pharmacy lamp, designer Alex Reid points out that “it is a bit traditional without being over-the-top traditional.” He suggests Ralph Lauren Home’s Americana version of the age-old staple. The exact same silhouette was endorsed by New Orleans design duo Logan Killen. “We’ve used these lamps on multiple projects,” they said. “They are incredibly versatile, understated, and are the perfect solution for added reading light when placed around the back of a sofa.”

Pharmacy Floor Lamp

“It can be placed in either a traditional or modern setting and adds that extra touch of sophistication,” designer and home stager Meridith Baer adds of her go-to from Circa Lighting. Seen here in a brass finish is a similar design from Target. “The flexibility of the flat base allows you to tuck it under a piece of furniture, which is really convenient when working with tight spaces.”

Lambert et Fils Grue Floor Lamp

Katie Logan Leblanc and Jensen Killen of Logan Killen also sang the praises of Lambert & Fils’s splurge-worthy Grue floor lamp, for its ability to quickly update a space.

Penelope Floor Lamp

It doesn’t have the tripod legs or the lean, but this slender brass lamp is a more affordable stand-in for the Lambert & Fils.

Milton Floor Lamp

So is this one with a pharmacy-style shade.

Minimalist floor lamps

Roll & Hill Counterweight Floor Lamp

Designer Katharine Pooley is a fan of Roll & Hill’s Counterweight floor lamp for its chic mix of brass, timber, and marble, she said. “It is understated and purist in its simplicity and cuts a very clean minimalist line.”

Linear Wood LED Floor Lamp

For a similar minimalist look, try this one from West Elm, which comes equipped with a long-lasting LED light.

Rich Brilliant Willing LED Floor Lamp

Rich Brilliant Willing also makes an LED panel lamp in this style.

And some highly decorative floor lamps

Leaf Floor Lamp

New York designer Bennett Leifer suggests a more prominent role for a floor lamp. “I love this one,” he says of this indulgently decorative ostrich-feather number from 1stdibs. He touts it as a conversation piece, adding: “It’s a price-competitive alternative to a sculpture, while serving the function of providing light.” For a much more understated take on a sculptural lamp —in both price and prominence — take a look at this botanical lamp in a glam gold finish.

Kelly Wearstler Precision Floor Lamp

Designer Caleb Anderson from New York’s Drake/Anderson prefers the soft, moody glow of Kelly Wearstler’s Precision floor lamp. “It works well in a dimly lit corner and adds a restrained sculptural element to the space,” he says. “This lamp balances simplicity with an eye-catching quality.”

Isamu Noguchi Floor Lamp Model UF3-Q

Geremia keeps this “classic but never tired” paper lamp in her own bedroom. “The quality of light through iconic Noguchi lamps is so soft on the eyes,” she says.

Toombs Column Floor Lamp See More by Wrought Studio

Or, try a more budget-friendly riff on Noguchi’s masterpiece.

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The Best Floor Lamps, According to Designers