How to Choose the Right Lampshade Sizes

Posted on February 22, 2023


Finding a lampshade that perfectly complements its base is sometimes easier said than done. With so much choice out there and so many different styles, colors and sizes to choose from, the options are almost endless.


However, there are a few general guidelines that can help you narrow down those choices and help you on your way to finding a lampshade that looks as though it was designed specifically with your base in mind.


In this article, we’ll explain more about what goes into making those perfect matches between the base and lampshade. 

How to Choose the Right Lampshade Size

The ideal size of your lampshade will, of course, depend on the size of the base you have in mind. It’ll also be influenced by where you might be planning to position the lamp, and how the room that will house your lamp has been styled. 

Lampshade sizes are listed according to the diameter of the base of the shade, which is typically the widest point. We recommend that smaller bases are paired with shades of around 14”.

Average-sized lamp bases can usually take shades of between 14” and 16”. The largest lamp bases work best with shades of a similar size, so you might consider shades of up to 20” if your base is on the larger side.


What Size Lampshade is Best for a Table Lamp?


Table lamps tend to be amongst the smallest lamps, so if you’re shopping for a shade for your new table lamp, we’d suggest you opt for one with a diameter of around 14”. 

Of course, some table lamps are far bigger than others, which brings us to the next factor to consider: width. 

We suggest following a ratio of 2-1 of the width of the shade to the widest part of the lamp as a starting guide. This calculation works with the vast majority of base and shade designs, but of course, the proportions and shape of the base will affect the overall look. 

To get the best possible pairing, you’ll also need to think about the height of the shade in relation to the height of the base.

In our experience, a similar ratio to that mentioned above for the height of the lamp to the height of the shade never fails to create great looking matches, no matter what style you’re going for. 


A small table lamp and matching lampshade on top of a white end table

What Size Lampshade is Best for a Floor Lamp?

If you’re putting a floor lamp together, you can usually afford to be far more generous in terms of width and height. 

Floor lamps work well with larger, more dramatic shades designed to take pride in place as a focal point in a fully styled room. 

Depending on the style and shape of your base, you might want to look at shades with a diameter of around 18”, bearing in mind that you could push this to 20” if the lamp is destined for a more spacious room. 

Floor lamps often work well with contemporary shapes, such as drum shades, but empire shades are equally impressive on floor lamps if your style is more traditional. 


An elegant living room showcasing a black standing lamp and a matching grey lampshade

Matching the Shade Size With the Room


The right lamp will really set off a room, but choosing a lampshade and base capable of making a room sing is no mean feat. 

To get the best results, shop for your lampshade and base with a particular room in mind. That way, you’ll be able to choose the best size shade for your room, and you’ll ensure that the style fits with the existing decor too. 

Grand, spacious rooms lend themselves to larger, more dramatic shades. So, if your room is vast and you’ve got plenty of space to fill, you’ll need to be bold and choose a base and shade that demands attention. 

In smaller, cozier rooms, that space will be at a premium. Small rooms, therefore, tend to be better suited to more delicate lamps, with shades that blend in with the existing decor. 

Some shapes, such as smaller oval shades, can help to maximize space with clever lighting tricks that make a room feel bigger than it is. The same shades could seem dwarfed in larger spaces, however. 


A cozy living room showcasing a beige lampshade accent piece

Get Advice on Choosing the Right Lampshade Size 


There are no set rules you must abide by when choosing a lampshade, but our design team’s tips will help you find a shade that complements its base and intended surroundings. 

If you’d like to find out more about how to choose the perfect lampshade for your room, don’t hesitate to contact us

We’re on hand to offer you all the advice and guidance you need to help you find a shade that gives your room the wow factor.