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Which midcentury table lamps are best?

When it comes to timeless interior decor, it’s hard to beat midcentury modern style. The simple designs, subtle contrasts in design and the uniqueness in individual designers’ styles are impeccable. A midcentury table lamp can easily fit into your home whether you have modern decor or a mishmash of different decades. The best midcentury table lamp is the Rivet Mid-Century Modern Curved Brass Table Desk Lamp.

What to know before you buy a midcentury table lamp

Midcentury modern design

This describes a design style that was popular in the United States after World War II up through the late 1960s. The overall aesthetic is minimalist, with clean lines and simple materials. Midcentury modern principles were used in everything from lamps to houses such as the Eichler homes in Los Angeles and San Francisco.


Chances are if you’re looking for a table lamp, you already have a place to put it. But it’s still a good idea to measure that spot and make sure you know exactly what size lamp it can accommodate. This will save you trouble whether you order a new lamp online or buy one in a store. Remember to account for the lampshade as well as the base.

Interior decor

Thanks to their simple, elegant design, midcentury modern pieces tend to go well with most kinds of decor. Even so, there’s always the risk that you’ll get one and find you dislike it. For example, if you have a lot of marble or metal elements in your home, a warm lamp made of wood and brass might look a little out of place. That doesn’t mean you can’t get it, it just means you’ll want to put some thought into where it goes and what will be around it.

What to look for in a quality midcentury table lamp


The size of the lamp can play a big role in which one you get. Even if you love everything else about it, if it’s just too big for your tiny side table it’s probably not going to work out. Check measurements carefully and use a measuring tape to get an idea how much space this lamp will take up in its designated spot. Look at the size of the base and the lampshade, and be sure to check how tall it is and how far out the lampshade extends past the base.


While midcentury modern is meant to be simple and minimal, there is still vast variety of style within the category. Some midcentury lamps are designed with straight lines, while others are composed of half spheres. Depending on the rest of your decor, one or the other might look better. A round lamp could provide an interesting visual contrast if your home is primarily composed of straight lines, for example. They also come in different colors, which, again, could either match or contrast with other elements in your home.


As with most lamps, midcentury designs can come in a variety of materials, such as metal, ceramic or wood. The lampshades tend to be cloth or metal. Metal or ceramic lamps are heavier, which might be good if the lamp is placed in a high-traffic area where it could get knocked over. 

How much you can expect to spend on a midcentury table lamp

A midcentury table lamp will cost anywhere from $80-$190.

Midcentury table lamp FAQ

What makes a table lamp midcentury in design?

A. Sleek, minimal lines, pairing straight lines with organic shapes, and using newer materials to re-create older, more traditional designs. The idea is to give a nod to the past while adapting it for a cleaner future.

Is midcentury modern design considered timeless?

A. The lack of frills or extra design elements on pieces designed in midcentury style makes them easy to adapt to a variety of styles in subsequent decades. 

What’s the best midcentury table lamp to buy?

Top midcentury table lamp

Rivet Curved Brass Table Desk Lamp

Rivet Curved Brass Table Desk Lamp

What you need to know: This elegant tall lamp provides rich, warm light.

What you’ll love: The slightly curved brass column contrasts beautifully with the rough-woven canvas lampshade. The wooden base adds warmth and ties this piece together nicely. It can easily be a central statement piece or a modest side-table one.

What you should consider: Some customers have reported quality control issues. This lamp might be too large for a small table.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top midcentury table lamp for the money

Sage Street Home Design Atomic Art Retro Vintage Cutout Lamp

Sage Street Home Design Atomic Art Retro Vintage Cutout Lamp

What you need to know: This lamp comes in some funky colors and would make a great talking piece in your home.

What you’ll love: With some slight Atomic Age influence, this lamp is a little more bold while still maintaining elegant, minimalist lines. The base is ceramic and the cloth lampshade comes in a matching shade.

What you should consider: It might be too loud for someone more interested in subdued natural tones.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

Worth checking out

Vanilla Bean Table Lamp

Vanilla Bean Table Lamp

What you need to know: Made by hand in California, these lamps are petite and beautiful.

What you’ll love: Only 12 inches tall, it comes in several colors to suit your decor. The lampshade is a half sphere that directs the light downward, making this an ideal lamp for working late, as it keeps the light on your work rather than in your eyes.

What you should consider: Due to its handmade nature, there might be slight differences or imperfections.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

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Eve Jones writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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