We really like the swivel head, mid-century–modern design of the Threshold Cantilever Floor Lamp, but this Target house-brand lamp lost points because the cantilever arm was difficult to adjust (we attributed this to the design of the small dial). At this price it would be fine as a bedside lamp, where adjustments would be few and far between.
The George Kovacs P303-2 LED Floor Lamp was by far the smallest floor lamp we tested. The diminutive lamp has a modern chrome finish and integrated 518-lumen LED array. It would look fitting in a very small apartment, especially one with low ceilings; it’s just a little too small for the average living room.
If we were to pick a light solely for the purposes of reading, the ADS360 Crane LED Floor Lamp would rank near the top of our list. It’s compact and easily adjustable, with a four-way LED touch dimmer that puts out a pleasant light for reading underneath. It’s also even smaller than the George Kovacs—essentially an elevated task light rather than a full-fledged floor lamp.
The narrow and slight IKEA Aläng (now discontinued) seems like a great deal. Then you assemble it and notice that nothing about the lamp feels confident, secure, or particularly well designed. Its unstable base is paired with long, telescoping center tubes that look and feel inadequate in girth; only an insignificant and cheap-looking twist-dial tab keeps the lamp’s desired height locked into place. Compared with our IKEA task-lamp pick, which costs the same, this one misses all the marks of a keeper.
For those of you wondering about designer-decor catalog options, we did mark for consideration a pair of lamps from CB2 and West Elm. Availability of the CB2 John Floor Lamp and the model we picked from West Elm (which has since been discontinued) fluctuated during the time of our testing, as is common with designer-decor retailer stock throughout the seasons.
The IKEA Milleryr is a decent floor lamp sold at a decent price. We like that the height is adjustable, but we didn’t particularly love the thin-gauge tube that extends from the top of the pole in order to achieve this. The shade’s fabric feels flimsy and thin, and overall we think it presents the decorative equivalent of unseasoned pasta in the design department.
Our previous top pick, the Monique Tripod Floor Lamp, is easy to assemble, lightweight, and immune to tip-overs. That said, its mosquito-thin legs—the narrowest gauge we tested—look and feel flimsy, yet the lamp costs more than twice as much as the Lepower Wood Tripod Floor Lamp, our new top pick. We still love the Monique’s smart cord-routing system, which hides the cord inside one of the legs to emerge from the bottom end, and it’s still a solid lamp if you can find it, though we’ve noticed some stock issues in the past year.
There’s a lot we liked about the SH Lighting 31171F-SG Adjustable Tripod Floor Lamp when we finished assembling it: an adjustable height, an oversize drum shade, a sleek metal pull-string control, and a design directing the power cord through its center tubing for a cleaner in-room presence. What did it in during testing was a nudge—its top-heavy design paired with the low position of its three legs makes for an unsteady floor lamp that could be tipped over by a child, pet, or happily inebriated party guest.
You’ll have one less thing to purchase with the Brightech Emma LED Tripod Floor Lamp, because it ships with its own 60-watt equivalent LED bulb. It’s a perfectly fine tripod-style lamp that assembles with just a few twists of its adjoining legs and looks especially pleasing when placed in a corner. Our issue during testing was its wooden legs—they’re so lightweight, the lamp teetered and moved across the floor when lightly bumped by a basketball rolled toward it. The included lampshade is also an unusual, if not ingenious, flat-pack design that requires aligning two metal circular frames and snapping the paper and fabric shade across the top and bottom, all secured by Velcro at the edges. The fit isn’t perfect, but it’s acceptable if you turn the shade’s edges away from view.
We liked everything about the Project 62 Ellis Tripod Floor Lamp from Target—its classic, antique-brass finish, its reasonable price, the included neutral white shade, and its decor-friendly design that conceals the cord in the leg. Unfortunately, we knocked it out of contention because it is frequently unavailable. We’d recommend it as a solid choice if you can find it in a store or online.
The Threshold Oak Wood Tripod Floor Lamp is another intriguingly classic-retro style tripod lamp sold by Target; this one is accessorized with a more traditional wood finish and joint detailing. Again, limited and infrequent availability, as well as its more specifically themed style, prevents us from recommending this as a top pick.
We really liked the solid metal construction and ever-so-goth style of the Article Black Treo Metal Fabric Floor Lamp, an unflappable tip-resistant tripod lamp that’s easy to assemble (but a little bit of a pain to move around). Its wide-legged stance and large-diameter shade make this lamp best suited for larger rooms, where its all-black presence won’t dominate the space. In contrast to its size, the Treo is rated for only a modest 40-watt maximum output.
Noting its thousands of positive reviews online, we had high hopes for the Norine 61″ Tripod Floor Lamp. But our test unit was marred by a poorly threaded connector that prevented us from securing a tight fit between each leg section and the three-way switch assembly, resulting in a lamp that looked as though it had sprained its ankle and would topple over at the hint of a push.
The Aaron Aged Brass 3-Light Floor Lamp was our previous tree-style pick. It’s well made and stable, and it does the work of many lights for a modest price. We still recommend it if you’re on a budget. But its modest 40-watt output per lampshade ranks at the lower end of all the lamps we tested, and its mid-century–adjacent design looks and feels a little cheap in comparison to our top pick.
The Luken Brushed Nickel Adjustable 3-Light Tree Floor Lamp sports a more discernible 1950s-influenced design that may not complement every interior. Beyond styling, this three-light tree lamp is otherwise nearly identical to the Aaron 3-Light Floor Lamp. But the hinges connecting each of the shades to the center tubing did feel slightly loose. We were concerned that each hinge could become increasingly looser over time.
For all intents and purposes, the Brightech Jacob Floor Lamp and aforementioned Aaron 3-Light Floor Lamp seem to be brothers from different mothers. They’re the same size and nearly identical in style, and both feature an antique-brass finish indistinguishable from each another. The Jacob differentiates itself with the inclusion of a full three-year warranty and three budget LED bulbs in the box, so if you want a lamp in this particular style to unpack, assemble, and use immediately for $5 more, it’s a perfectly fine choice.
The Wrought Studio Nahant 67″ Tree Floor Lamp stands nearly 67 inches tall and carries with it a certain amount of stability and heft that shouts out “quality!” But like the Luken, the Nahant’s distinct retro-deco design characterized by its trio of prominent shades also pigeonholes it best for certain types of interiors. We also found that the shades felt more stiff than smooth while adjusting their aim; each loosened in time but always felt like it required two hands rather than one to safely adjust.
The Light Society SoHo Modern Nickel Stainless Steel/Marble Arc Floor Lamp (currently unavailable) is so heavy that the delivery person who dropped it off at our office actually voiced displeasure about hauling the crate it came in (admittedly it was a hot day). But we actually liked the super-heavy genuine marble base, not only for its immovable stability but also for its close semblance to the original Arco Lamp it is blatantly fashioned after. Among the lamps we called in, this was the most difficult to assemble. Putting it together proved to be a profanity- and sweat-inducing test of will versus hardware, requiring alignment only by touch while securing the lamp’s giant arm with a bolt through a preposterously small porthole. The porthole was originally conceived by Castiglioni as a means for two people to carry the heavy base using a broomstick, but here it seemed placed only to antagonize us. It took me 30 minutes to secure the base to its arm, something that would have been much easier with a second set of helping hands.
Its metal dome shade is comprised of two pieces, the top falling all too easily off center when moved. If you’ve got the muscle, the space, and a helping hand for assembly, this isn’t a bad reproduction of a classic design. Just don’t plan to move it anywhere far once positioned.
Upon unpacking the LumiSource Salon Floor Lamp, we immediately noted the poorly adhered edges around its drum shade. That was bad enough, but we especially didn’t care for the lamp’s bouncy-elastic metal arm, prone to shake and shimmy like an angler’s fishing rod at the lightest touch. It felt and looked unstable.
The CB2 Big Dipper Arc Brushed-Nickel Floor Lamp addresses nearly every shortcoming of the LumiSource Salon except for a similarly insufficient-sized metal base that didn’t instill a great deal of confidence. Still, if you prefer an arc lamp topped with a shade rather than a dome, the Big Dipper is taller and brighter (up to 150 watts), and features a higher tensile-arcing arm that doesn’t sway as dramatically as its counterpart.
Minimalists looking for a light source for their tightest corners should consider the Orren Ellis Tregenna 60″ LED Floor Lamp, a supremely thin, 60-inch-tall rod light that practically disappears from view when turned off. The lamp is marred only by an ungainly and cheap-quality dimmer box, which is a pain to adjust and looks particularly mismatched alongside the lamp’s otherwise sleek modern-chrome design.
The Humanhome Lynea Lamp is a special case design that looks great if you have the right spot for it, but it comes with too many placement limitations to make it a primary pick. The light can only be installed where there’s an electrical outlet to plug in to, and it requires the aid of an in-wall mounting bracket to keep its fairly short aluminum tube in place.