How to determine the right lampshade size for a table lamp

What lamp shade size do I need for my table lamp?

This is a question we get asked very often and you might have asked this question yourself when shopping for lampshades.

Fear not, after reading this blog post you will have a much better understanding of the main factors you need to consider when choosing the size for your light shade. Of course, whenever you're still in doubt, we're here on hand to help you.

So grab your tape measure and let's delve into the secrets of the perfect lampshade size!

When choosing the correct lampshade size, you will need to first of all consider the shape of your lamp base. Lamp bases can have many shapes, but the most common ones can essentially be narrowed down to a slim type of profile or a larger profile. Let's take a look at these two lamp base styles.


Slim Style Lamp Base

If you have a table lamp base with a slim shape then check the height of the lamp base (b in the above picture). Start from measuring right under where the bulb fits, but do not include the fitting itself. Then let the tape measure go all the way to the bottom of the table lamp. You now have the lamp's height (b). Let's imagine this measurement is 12" (30cm). 

How wide should the lampshade be if the lamp base is 12" high?

The lampshade's width (a in the above picture) should be (approximately) equal to b, the lamp's height. Therefore, if that height is 12" then the lampshade should be 12" wide.

Bear in mind, this is a rule of thumb and not exact science. To be precise, when you have a very slim and tall lamp base type, it's sometimes advisable to choose a lamp shade that is slightly smaller than the lamp's height. That's because the profile of the lamp base is slim, so you might want to keep that slender look and avoid overpowering the base with a big lampshade.

For example, if your table lamp is 24" high (60cm), according to the rule you'd have to choose a 24" wide lampshade. In most cases that is likely to be too wide.

Use the above rule as a guidance, but be prepared to break that rule if common sense suggests something different.


Medium and large width lamp base

 How to choose the right lampshade size when the base is wide

If your lamp base is not slim and has instead a considerable width, then proceed by measuring the widest part of the lamp base (c in the above picture).

To have a balanced look, the light shade should be roughly 2" (5cm) wider on both sides of the table lamp's widest part. 

For example, if the widest part b of the table lamp measures 8" (20cm), you will need to add a total of 4" (10cm). So the correct lampshade width (a) will be 12" (30cm).


Lampshade height

Once you have established the right width for your light shade, it's time to choose the height.


The height of the light shade should be 30% - 40% the overall height of lamp base height + lampshade height. 

Although there are various ways to make this calculation, we find the following to be the easiest one. Let's assume we are using the 60% and 40% proportion.

Measure the height of the lamp base and divide that number by 6. Then multiply the result by 4, this calculation will tell what height you need for the table lampshade. Easy enough? Let's see an example.


Let's assume the lamp base is 18" (45cm) high.

We divide that number by 6, the result is 3" (7.5cm).

We then multiply that number by 4, the result is 12" (30cm).

Based on these calculations your lampshade should be 12" (30cm) high.

With this choice of lampshade height, the light shade will be 40% of the overall height (lamp base + lampshade) and provide a balanced look.


Having said that, there can be other factors that need to be considered, especially when your lamp base has a harp.




Lamp bases which require harp fitting lampshades are primarily common in the USA, however, they can be found here in the UK as well.

What is most important for harp lamp bases is that the lampshade doesn't leave the harp (and any non decorative hardware) exposed, therefore you need to ensure the lampshade has a suitable height.

To establish the ideal height, simply measure the harp height as pictured above and choose a lampshade that is approximately 1/2" - 2" (1.3 - 2.4cm) higher.

For example, if your harp is 8" (20cm) high, then the lampshade should be approximately 8.5" high (or 21.5cm).


You now have an excellent knowledge about how to choose the right lampshade size for your table lamp. Are you ready to put yourself to the test?

It's time to shop lampshades!


Here at Adoro Décor we offer the following drum lampshade width - height combinations as standard:

Lamp Shade Width Lamp Shade Height
20cm (8") 18cm (7")
30cm (12") 20cm (8")

40cm (16")

25cm (10")
50cm (20") 25cm (10")
60cm (24") 25cm (10")


Upon request we can also offer the following light shade diameters:

25cm (10"), 35cm (14"), 45cm (18"), 55cm (22"), 65cm (25"), 70cm (27").

If you are looking for one of the above lamp shade widths, but in a different height, then it's time to contact us to discuss your requirements for a custom lampshade.

You can use the "contact us" form or click here.


If you're ready to shop our standard lampshade sizes, then it's time to explore patterns and colours.

All lampshades from our Home Collection are available as standard in the following diameters: 20cm (8"), 30cm (12"), 40cm (16").

All lampshades from out Luxury Collection are available as standard in the following diameters: 40cm (16"), 50cm (20"), 60cm (24").

Click below to start shopping lampshades:


And remember......we can customise the lampshade's width and height, so feel free to contact us if you need help with creating your bespoke lampshade.



Do you want matching lampshades and cushions? Click below to find beautiful lampshades and amazingly soft matching cushions.

Luxury Collection
Treat your home with luxurious cushions and lampshades
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Home Collection
Select one of our unique patterned lampshades and cushions.
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