Ultimate Guide on How To Choose a Perfect Lampshade

Mastering the art of how to pick a lampshade can feel daunting. It requires careful consideration of the lamp's size and style, your personal taste, the kind of light you need, and the room’s overall ambiance.

From understanding the different styles and fabrics to selecting the right size and shape, in this guide, we'll show you how to pick the perfect lampshade for every space.

How To Choose the Right Lampshade Size

Need help choosing the right size lampshade? As a jumping off point, consider your other light fixtures and the size of your room. The size of your lampshade should complement these other elements.

The next most important thing to consider when selecting the perfect shade for your table or floor lamp is the scale and style of your lamp. It is integral that both the shade and the lamp are proportional in size.

Choosing the right lampshade size and style can also affect the amount of light emitted, an important consideration if you want a specific type of lighting, such as task light for reading.

Check out our short video below to learn more or read on for more detail from our pros:

Lux Measuring a Lamp Shade
Key Measurments

Key Measurements to Keep in Mind While Selecting the Perfect Lampshade

  1. Top Diameter
  2. Slant
  3. Bottom Diameter
box pleat silk chandelier shade

Top Diameter

The top diameter of your shade will help you to determine what shape lampshade you would like for your lamp. For example, if you have a lamp with a wide top diameter, you may want to consider a cone-shaped shade to complement the lamp's design and achieve optimal lighting.

If the top and bottom are equal in diameter, this is called a drum shade, one of the most common types of lampshades. Styles of shade where the top diameter is smaller than the bottom include bell, pembroke, and empire.

If you're looking for a lampshade with a traditional, elegant look, a bell shape is a great option, like our stiffel lampshade. This linen hardback pembroke shade has a unique curved design, while our box pleat silk chandelier shade features the empire shade’s wide bottom and narrow top.

Bottom Diameter / Width

The bottom diameter of your shade should be approximately equal in width as the length from the bottom of the lamp base to the socket.

Think of it like this: the bottom diameter of your lampshade should match the size and shape of your lamp base to ensure a cohesive and balanced look. If your lamp base is wider than the shade, it can create an unstable and top-heavy appearance. On the other hand, a shade that is too wide can overpower the lamp base.

The bottom diameter should also be 2x wider than the widest part of the lamp base. For a round base, measure straight across at the widest part of the lamp. For a square base, measure diagonally. For all other bases, measure from base to socket.


The bottom diameter is the most important measurement as you can always raise or lower your shade using one of our adjustable harps. Shop our adjustable harps here.

Slant / Height

The slant is the measurement from the top of the shade to the bottom. This measurement plays an essential role in determining your lamp’s overall proportion and balance. The slant, or height should be about two-thirds the height of your lamp base, which provides a visually pleasing balance.

How to Choose the Right Lamp Shade Fabric

Selecting the perfect lampshade is about more than just size and shape. The shade’s fabric also has a significant impact on the look and feel of your lamp. Our shades come in a large range of materials to help you achieve the perfect style for your space.

When considering how to pick a lampshade fabric, think about the mood you want to create in the room. Linen fabric shades work well on lamps for spaces that are more casual or that need translucent ambient lighting. Think of these as spaces where you may need ample light for reading or having conversations like bedrooms or living rooms. Silk shades are great for formal spaces where you want to add a touch of elegance, such as living rooms, entryways, and bedrooms. If you want to create moodiness in a room or highlight an object, consider an opaque shade. Rather than diffusing light evenly across a space like the translucent shades, opaque shades create up and down beams of light that can add drama to a room.

How to Choose the Right Shade Style

Pleated, Scalloped, Smooth - Oh My! To keep your shade from fading into the background, it’s good to know how to choose one that makes a statement. At Lux Lampshades, we offer a variety of styles, colors, and fabric options that add flair and personality to any room.

box pleat silk chandelier shade

If you’re going for a contemporary look, select something like a hardback or opaque shade to add a touch of modernity to your lamp. If you want a traditional look, consider pleated or gathered shades to up the sophistication. (Check out our blog post on the traditional Lux lampshades we recommend if you want that timeless vibe for your living room.) If you're looking for a pop of color, consider a patterned or textured shade. This can add interest and dimension to your lamp and help tie in other decor elements in the room.

Looking to make your space feel a tad more coastal? Check out our raffia and jute shade options. If you want to add some decorative flair to the room or simply compliment a color scheme you already have, consider one of our colorful fabric shades to add cheer and dimension to your room.

Don't be afraid to mix and match shade styles throughout your space and get creative. For example, we love using chandelier lampshades in every room. Playing with combinations of shade styles creates visual interest and adds personality to your decor. Just be sure to choose shades that complement each other and the overall style of the room.

Other Things To Consider While Picking the Perfect Lampshade

How To Choose the Right Lampshade for Different Lamps

Are you tired of browsing endless lampshade options without knowing which one will look best on your table, floor, or pendant lamp? Let us show you how to select the right lampshade for different lamps so it shines to its fullest potential!

Table lamps: These lamps are perfect for adding a cozy glow to your living room, bedroom, or home office. To choose the right lampshade for your table lamp, measure the height and width of the lamp base. As a general rule, the height of the shade should be about 3/4 the height of the base, and the width of the shade should be about twice the width of the base.

For a more traditional look, consider a bell or empire shade. In contrast, a drum or cylindrical shade can add a contemporary touch. If you want to create a warm, inviting ambiance, go for a fabric shade in a soft color like beige or cream, like our gathered sari shade.

Floor lamps: Floor lamps are great for adding drama. To find the perfect lampshade for your floor lamp, consider the lamp’s height and location.

If the lamp is in a corner or against a wall, a narrow shade that directs the light upward can create a cozy reading nook. If the lamp is in the center of the room, a wider shade that diffuses light evenly can illuminate the entire space. Don't be afraid to go for a statement shade in a bold color or pattern (like this gathered ikat silk shade) if you want to make your floor lamp a focal point.

Pendant lamps: Pendant lamps add a touch of elegance and sophistication to spaces. When choosing a lampshade for your pendant lamp, consider the size and shape of the lamp as well as the height of the ceiling.

A narrow, cylindrical shade can create a modern look, while a wide, drum-shaped shade can add a retro vibe, like this drum tree bark linen shade. If your pendant lamp hangs over a dining table or kitchen island, ensure the shade is low enough to provide sufficient light but high enough to not obstruct the view.

How To Pick a Lampshade That Complements Your Home Decor Style

A lampshade isn't just a functional item - it's a design element that can set the tone for your entire space. No matter the vibe you’re going for, the right lampshade can help you achieve your desired ambiance.

For a modern and sleek look, consider a drum shade in a neutral color or a metallic finish. If you prefer a more traditional aesthetic, a pleated or scalloped shade in a soft, muted color will add a chic touch. If you have an eclectic style, experiment with bold colors and patterns, like this Indian Summer Dark Blue shade, to create a fun look bursting with personality.

When choosing a lampshade, it's also important to consider the lamp base. A lampshade that complements the base ties the entire look together. For example, if you have a wooden lamp base, consider a shade in a warm, earthy tone to complement it.

Master How to Pick a Lampshade That Breathes Life Into Any Space With Lux!

At Lux, we're committed to matching you with the perfect lampshade for your space. Still need help? Feel free to email us at info@luxlampshades.com

You can also browse our sample sale or take a look at our gallery for inspiration.