best in class

The 16 Very Best Floor Lamps

Photo: Retailer

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. “You should have fun with lighting, as they are illuminating sculptures in your space,” says interior designer Lauren Ashley Allan, adding that lamps can act as “the jewelry to a room.” But do you go decorative or trendy? Or should you focus on task and function? To find out, we reached out to 11 interior designers and other design-adjacent folks for their recommendations. Below, 16 floor lamps for every style and budget, from surprisingly expensive-looking ones under $150 to splurge-worthy lamps that make an impression.

Best overall | Best tripod | Best mid-century-modern tripod | Best arc | Best (less expensive) arc | Best task | Best modern task | Best wooden | Best sculptural | Best mushroom style | Best Edison style | Best vertical light | Best LED | Best paper column | Best (splurge) paper column | Best low

What we’re looking for

Style and Design: Among the hundreds of thousands of floor lamps out there, most of them fit within just a handful of categories. You’ve got your basic upright floor lamp that’s supported by a single post; tripods that stand on three legs; arcing lamps, whose shades suspend over a space; task lamps that let you direct the light right above a reading chair; and lamps that have columnlike supports. Everything else is a variation therein, with different shade types dictating the overall look of a lamp. Fabric drum shades are among the most classic kind, but you also have mushrooms, globes, cones, and pleated options, among others. In my own never-ending search for floor lamps, I’ve found it helpful to search by basic style, so I’ve categorized the ones below that way as well, and then by shade.

Material: The basic components of a floor lamp — base, support, and neck — are typically made of metal or wood, but many lamps also mix materials. Marble is a popular base material, and sculptural, ceramic bottoms have recently become the darling of the high-end-design world. You’ll also find lamps whose posts act as the light source itself, which we see in paper column styles as well as in more contemporary LED options.

Adjustability: Unlike desk lamps, floor lamps are typically fixed, but a few do come with adjustable components. Task lamps, for example, usually allow you to adjust the shade and even a swing arm, if they come with one. Some upright styles come with telescoping necks that are height adjustable. A couple of floor lamps are even dimmable.

Best overall floor lamp

Bent neck | Metal | Adjustable | Dimmable

Here’s an LED lamp that will provide light without stealing the show thanks to its slim profile. It’s recommended by Stacy Harwood, a senior designer at the online interior-design service Havenly, for its “sleek design,” and she calls it “super-versatile,” meaning it pairs well with any décor style — which is why we think it will work well for most people. Designed by Strategist-favorite Hay for Ikea, it also has a swiveling base and head and full dimmer capability for just $70, a price that truly can’t be beat.

Best tripod floor lamp

Tripod | Drum shade | Mixed materials (metal and cotton)

Tripod floor lamps are as classic as they come, but this one that Havenly lead designer Toussaint Derby recommends stands apart thanks to its black-and-gold combination that she says “makes it feel more glam” than your run-of-the-mill lighting out there. Gold accents offset the black fabric drum shade and sleek legs for a moody, high-impact look.

Best mid-century-modern tripod floor lamp

Tripod | Metal | Adjustable

If you like a lamp that stands on three legs but prefer something with a slimmer profile, consider this lamp by Greta Grossman’s original 1947 Grasshopper design that Allan recommends as an “alternative reproduction if you are working toward building your own iconic collection.” It has a tubular steel tripod stand that is “tilted backward, creating a modern silhouette,” and a conical shade with an elbow joint that can be adjusted up or down to direct the light where you please. In terms of placement, Allan recommends “placing it behind your favorite reading chair in a family room, bedroom, or kids’ room.”

Best arc floor lamp

$269

Arc | Drum shade | Mixed materials (metal and cotton) | Dimmable

A floor lamp with a dramatically arcing neck can double as overhead lighting if you position it correctly — above seating or even a dining table, for example. Another favorite of Harwood’s, this more traditional option has a simple metal base and cotton shade, making it especially versatile. “With an extending arch that’s over six feet high,” Harwood says it is a practical option for both small and large rooms. She adds that it comes with full dimmer capacity and that you can get it in two finishes (brass and nickel).

Best (less expensive) arc floor lamp

$100

Arc | Globe shade | Mixed materials (metal and marble) 

This arcing lamp has more of a ’60s vibe thanks to its globe shade. It’s recommended by home decorator Carrie Carrollo, who, tired of what she calls the millennial-approved “all gold- (or brass-) toned everything,” suggests trying chrome. “This lamp feels like a nice way to potentially experiment with the tone,” she says. It also marries two of the shapes she mentions above, with a shade that is both orblike and mushroom reminiscent.

Best task floor lamp

Task | Metal | Adjustable

For something a little more traditional, try a task lamp, like this one that Alessandra Wood, the VP of style at online interior-design service Modsy, recommends. “I love a good pharmacy lamp,” she says, adding that because of its classic look, this will always be in style. “This has the perfect blend of vintage and industrial charm, and the aged brass introduces an upscale feeling of warmth to any rustic space.” It’s available in other finishes, including nickel and bronze, and has an adjustable height, swing arm, and lamp head.

Best modern task floor lamp

Safavieh Stefan Floor Lamp
$168
$168

Task | Lantern shade | Metal

If you like the overhead nature of a task lamp but prefer something a bit more contemporary, consider this lamp that Derby recommends. “Task lamps can have a tendency to feel overly traditional, but this option is the perfect mix of traditional and modern,” she says, thanks to its black lantern-style shade and brass and gold finishes.

Best wooden floor lamp

Upright | Drum shade | Mixed materials (wood and linen)

Here’s an upright, shaded style that would fit in just about anywhere. Harwood calls it “simple,” with a “versatile design that pairs well with coastal, Cali-cool, and transitional styles.” We would agree. The pale rubberwood base and textured linen shade feel so relaxing and make it easy to imagine this lamp in the living room of our (theoretical) summer cottage.

Best sculptural floor lamp

Upright | Drum shade | Mixed materials (resin and fabric)

“An ’80s nod with a muted, ancient feel” is how Shannon Retseck, the owner of Cuttalossa, a home-goods and textile company, and Cuttalossa & Co., a retail space in Philadelphia, describes this unusual lamp. The twisting resin neck and woven drum shade are muted enough in color that the lighting won’t overwhelm a room, she says, adding that this would be “such a great way to add visual interest to a space lacking charm.”

Best mushroom-style floor lamp

Upright | Mushroom shade | Mixed materials (metal and marble)

And a more minimalist take on a floor lamp is this mushroom-shaded one that Derby likes. “This lamp has sleek, modern lines with a classic marble base that makes it feel more expensive than it is,” she says.

Best Edison-style floor lamp

Column | Exposed-filament bulb | Mixed materials (glass and metal)

An exposed-filament bulb sits atop a metal stand on this floor lamp that Decorilla lead designer Devin Shaffer recommends. “Edison bulbs had their moment when the modern-farmhouse style ruled the interior-design scene,” says Shaffer. And though people have moved away from that aesthetic in recent years, “modernized lighting styles with exposed filaments continue to pop up,” he explains. While he says that this lamp doesn’t subscribe to that design moment, it can still work in a space like that — as well as with countless others.

Best vertical-light floor lamp

$315

Column | Metal | Vertical light 

“This floor lamp is one of my favorites, mainly because of the marble base but also because it’s unique and it doesn’t take up a ton of space,” says interior designer Tiffany Thompson of Duett Interiors. It comes from Canadian-based brand EQ3 and doesn’t immediately look like lighting because of its matte-anodized-aluminum shade that emits a vertical shaft of light. “If you live in a smaller apartment, or you’re looking for a light fixture to go in a corner space, this is a great option while still being a conversation piece,” says Thompson.

$315 at EQ3
Buy
with code: STRATEGIST10

Best LED floor lamp

Bent neck | Metal | Adjustable | Dimmable

Another minimalist LED lamp, the Leaf from Scandinavian design studio Muuto comes recommended by Clémence Polès, the creative director and founder of online magazine Passerby. “I recently discovered Muuto and have been fawning over their designs,” she says. “The Leaf floor lamp is beautiful. It’s really elegant, thin, and doesn’t take up much space.” Slightly more sculptural than the Ikea lamp above, this “feels like it could be part of an Alexander Calder piece,” according to Polès. The shade, which is shaped like a leaf, can be angled in the direction you desire.

Best paper column floor lamp

Column | Corrugated parchment

Made of corrugated parchment (think cardboard chic), this paper column lamp channels the spirit (and look) of Isamu Noguchi’s Akari light sculptures (more on those below), according to Jenny Kaplan, the owner of design firm An Aesthetic Pursuit and a co-owner of Pieces. She told us this makes a worthy dupe if one of the Japanese designer’s actual paper lamps are out of your budget, adding that “a pair of these clustered together would create an interesting sculptural moment.”

Best (splurge) paper column floor lamp

Photo: Retailer

Column | Washi paper 

If you want the real deal, like this Akari lamp made of washi-paper triangular panels, you’ll want to act quickly, as inventory is in short supply. “We think it’s hard to top a Noguchi lamp,” say Meghan Lavery and Daniel King, owners of vintage-furniture and design store Home Union in Brooklyn. “They fit with anything and give the nicest glow.”

Best low floor lamp

Orb | Low | 16 LED color options

For a different kind of ambient light, two of our experts, Thompson and Retseck, suggest trying round floor lamps, like this one recommended by Thompson. “This is a nontraditional version of a floor lamp,” she says. “I love it directly on the floor or propped up on a stack of books.” It casts a soft glow and comes with 16 LED color options. Retseck, who recommends a similar lamp, agrees that “well-placed glowing globes bring a serene diffused light.”

Some more floor lamps we've written about

Our experts

Lauren Ashley Allan, interior designer
Carrie Carrollo, home decorator
• Toussaint Derby, Havenly lead designer
• Stacy Harwood, Havenly senior designer
Jenny Kaplan, co-owner of Pieces
• Meghan Lavery and Daniel King, owners of Home Union
• Clémence Polès, founder of Passerby
• Shannon Retseck, owner of Cuttalossa
• Devin Shaffer, Decorilla lead designer
• Tiffany Thompson, founder of Duett Interiors
Alessandra Wood, VP of style at Modsy

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The 16 Very Best Floor Lamps