Despite their size, nightstands end up housing a lot of odds and ends including alarm clocks, bedside lamps, reading materials and TV remotes. While nightstands are mostly for storage, they can provide a decorative function by anchoring the look of your bed. Because of the double duty that it serves, your bedside table needs to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and therefore include several shelves and drawers that match the overall style of your room.
By nature the stands are very small, but height and size can vary. If it is too short or too tall it may look awkward and uncomfortable next to your bed. Always look for a stand that is within a few inches of your mattress. You want the nightstand to complement the bed, not overpower it.
With regards to style, your nightstands need not match the rest of your furniture, but should be within the same design family. For a contemporary look, you could pair rustic furniture with a metal stands or a stand with a bright color.
You do not need a nightstand for your bedroom to be functional, but it would be an amazing touch. To save space, there are beds and headboards that come with built in ledges that can serve as additional bedside space.