But enough conjecturing, let’s cut to the fun part: shopping. We haven’t had the pleasure of testing all of these floor lamps on the hardwoods and tiles of our own walk-ups, but we think the hardest part is nailing down a good style first. So we’ve plucked some of our favorite well-reviewed designs, added in our own favorite tried-and-trues, then called out all the reasons why they’re worth your time and money. Ahead, our top picks for the floor lamps that truly shine as art objets and practical illuminators.
The Best Club Floor Lamp: CB2 Beau
CB2 beau black floor lamp
You don’t often get negative space in the neck of a lamp and it’s certainly not something you would likely seek out—but maybe you should. This design hails from Melbourne-based design group VUUE and features a steel matte base, a simple linen shade, and an attached light diffuser. The thing we like about it is that it will look just as good in a room full of furniture name-drops as it will in a more modest space. It’s certainly one that will pass the “keep or curb” test come moving day.
The Best Globe Lamp: Mitzi Whit
Those ubiquitous golden midcentury modern lamps finished off with a globe on top are dime-a-dozen because they easily blend into a variety of spaces. This, on the other hand? Kicks things up a notch with a swirly S-shaped base that beckons you into the room.
The Best Arc Floor Lamp: Major Q-Arc
Major-Q Arc tall floor lamp
If you’re on a budget and you still want that good, old midcentury charm in your own space, go with a classic arc lamp. Great for reading nooks, this lamp will get you a nod of approval from in-the-know design buddies without you having to do too much research into time-tested silhouettes.
The Best Tripod Floor Lamp: Brighttech Eden
Brighttech Eden floor lamp
Brighttech sounds like a bad Silicon Valley startup, but it’s actually the name of a lighting brand that makes some of the best around $100 lamps out there, in on-trend designs that won’t cost you a fistful of cash to appreciate. Take the Eden: There’s something bug-like about the solid wood legs of this floor lamp—but it’s softened by a classic fabric shade that feels like it could still be in vogue five or 10 years from now.
The Best Task Floor Lamp: Anglepoise Type 75
Anglepoise Type 75 Floor Lamp
This leggy, designhead-approved Anglepoise task lamp is a variation on its squatter desk version, available in a variety of hues (like this lemon meringue) and finished off with the traditional elbow-like neck that allows you to train its light wherever it’s needed. It functions well for both setting the mood and helping you dial in on work ahead of that looming deadline.
The Best Pleated Shade Floor Lamp: Sarah Sherman Samuel
Sarah Sherman Samuel Metal Sphere Floor Lamp
Pleated lamp shades, like the one seen on Mads Caprani’s curvy Timberline, have been all the rage over the past couple years. For a new interpretation of the style, we like the simplistic, but elegant lines on this Sarah Sherman Samuel joint. It’s stoppered with a cylindrical bauble that adds a playful deviation away from boring flattened bases.
The Best Sculptural Floor Lamp: Jayson Home June
Jayson Home June floor lamp
If what your space needs is a statement maker, this elevated lamp is here to break the ice. The brushed-brass base adds a little bit of shine and polished elegance, while lighting the room with not one, but two bulbs. It’s definitely an investment piece, but then again, it’s hardly an ordinary lamp.
The Best 3-D Printed Floor Lamp: Gantri Ammunition
Gantri Ammunition floor lamp
Gantri’s known for its 3D-printed, ambient-leaning lamps, and this one takes cues from ’70s-era Italian lighting. Available in a handful of colorways—from this Southwestern Sedona hue to a deep forest green—the sculpted ends resemble a beautiful, imbalanced barbell.
The Best Mushroom-Style Floor Lamp: In Common With Calla
In Common With Calla Floor Lamp
We love Brooklyn-based design studio In Common With for its complete dedication to reimagining traditional lamp silhouettes with sexy finishes and fabrication, down to the last meticulous detail: tiny brass dimmers, sculptural ceramic bases, and the like. This particular design, blessed by the Midas touch of glassmaker Sophie Lou Jacobsen, looks like a fantastical version of the perennially trendy mushroom lamps. Is it a splurge? Certainly. But it’ll be worth it every time someone asks you where you got this lamp (and trust us, they will).
The Best Lantern-Style Floor Lamp: Crate & Barrel Weave
Crate & Barrel weave natural floor lamp
The all-time winner in this category will always be a Noguchi Akari (any of the whispery-thin shades can transform your space into a wabi-sabi oasis), but for those of us who aren’t so deep-pocketed or lucky enough to snag one when it’s for sale, here’s an alternative that’s a best-seller for Crate & Barrel. It looks like what you get when a floor lamp takes an architecture course. Rattan always seems to be having a moment, but the woven texture of this tubular paper lampshade is a subtle nod to the trend. And in case you weren’t aware that the lamp is the complete focus here, the cord is also clear and features a subtle on-off switch.
The Best Tower Floor Lamp: EQ3 Dunce
EQ3 Oxford Dunce floor lamp
The Dunce contains multitudes, so it’s basically the opposite of what its name would suggest. You can direct its glow by moving the shade, pushing it toward a wall for a larger impact, or pulling it closer to you for a spotlight effect. Be warned: Your friend who assists in photo shoots will either love