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Best Overall: Brightech Carter Floor Lamp at Amazon
"This LED lamp boasts a simple, classic shape with wood accents."
Best for Reading: Greyleigh Fishel Utility Reading Floor Lamp at Wayfair
"The classic shape and brassy finish work well in a variety of interiors."
Best for Living Room: Stone & Beam Deco Black Metal Lamp at Amazon
"This lamp has a popular tripod-inspired base, making it a stylish choice."
Best for High Ceilings: Overarching Linen Shade Floor Lamp at West Elm
"This stunning floor lamp has one long arm that can sweep around."
Best for Whole Room: IKEA Holmo Floor Lamp at Ikea
"Includes several bright lights with a shade that extends beyond the light."
Best for Storage: Brightech Maxwell LED Shelf Floor Lamp at Amazon
"Three shelves give you plenty of space for a stack of books or coffee."
Best Overall: Brightech Carter Floor Lamp
The best floor lamp for most people is in a classic, versatile design that works with many types of decor and in various spaces, including living rooms and bedrooms. A club-style lamp is one of the most versatile and recognizable types of floor lamps. The basic design includes a single-bulb fixture with a classic shade and a simple pole stand and round base.
While different shade shapes come in an out of fashion, these days a cylindrical drum shade is au courant. The nice thing about the shade is that it sends bright light straight up and down while emitting a soft glow through the shade. This LED lamp boasts a simple, classic shape with wood and metallic accents to fit in with just about any decorating style.
Best for Reading: Greyleigh Fishel Utility Reading Floor Lamp
If you’re looking for a floor lamp that will give you good light for reading, keep an eye out for a shorter light with a hard shade that will direct all of the light toward your reading material. Here, you don’t need a lamp that will project outward or upward, like a club lamp or torchiere; you’re looking for a lamp that will send just the right amount of light right to where you need it.
A floor lamp that hits about shoulder- or head-level when you’re sitting in your favorite chair will project light directly onto your book without lighting up the surrounding area. This lamp can be adjusted by more than a foot in height to get it to just the right spot. The classic shape and brassy finish work well in a variety of interiors, whether you’re using it in your book-lined library or a more casual space.
Best for Living Room: Stone & Beam Deco Black Metal Floor Lamp
In the living room, a floor lamp can serve dual purposes. This first is, of course, to add more light to the room! Overhead lights can seem too-bright or harsh when you’re serving cheese and crackers or watching TV, so it’s nice to have the option of a floor lamp.
The other role floor lamps play in the living room is a decorative one, and a lamp with an interesting shade can help frame a couch or liven up a dull corner of the living room. A shaded lamp will diffuse the light at eye level while projecting light upward and downward as well. This lamp has a popular tripod-inspired base, making it both a stylish conversation piece and helpful for illumination.
Best for High Ceilings: Overarching Linen Shade Floor Lamp
If you have high ceilings, a small-scale lamp can end up looking downright puny! High ceilings demand a tall lamp to match up in terms of scale and drama. And especially in a living room, where furniture pieces like sofas and coffee tables are fairly low to the ground, a tall, arching lamp can beautifully fill the space in between the furniture and the floor, making everything look more proportional.
This stunning floor lamp has one long arm that can sweep over the back or side of the couch to wherever you’d like to send the light. The linen shade diffuses the light at eye level, while sending it in all directions for soft, ambient lighting.
Best for Whole Room: IKEA Holmo Floor Lamp
If you’re using a floor lamp as the primary source of lighting in a room, you want to create as much light as you can without it glaring in your eyes from wherever you’re standing or sitting. One great solution is a tall tower-style floor lamp, which includes one or more bright lights with a shade that extends well beyond the light.
Tower lamps look good next to sofas or in the corner of a room, and they come in a variety of styles, from highly decorative to simple and modern. This lamp has a casual rice-paper shade on a soft-black base, making it a subtle addition to any room. It’s shorter than many other floor lamps, so it's best for ambient light rather than reading light.
Best for Storage: Brightech Maxwell LED Shelf Floor Lamp
Depending on your space, you may need both extra surface space and extra lighting at the same time. You can get that with two pieces of furniture, such as with a side table and a table lamp, but if you’re tight on space, it might make sense to look for a piece that has lighting and storage in one unit.
This clever lamp does just that, integrating an elegant rectangular lamp with a narrow shelving unit. Three shelves give you plenty of space for a stack of books or a cup of coffee, and the lamp's base is only about 10 inches square. The lamp comes with the LED bulb and is available in four finishes.