'They're the Trick Your Home is Missing' — 12 Portable Table Lamps That Will Transform a Lighting Scheme

Say goodbye to cords and hello to convenience with this expert pick of the best portable table lamps, curated carefully by a style editor

a collage of portable table lamps on a colorful background
(Image credit: Anthropologie, Design Within Reach, Wayfair, Urban Outfitters)

Let's just get right out and say it — cords are unsightly. So much so that, in my mind, they can truly throw off the vibe and elegance of a space. If my TV is mounted on the wall, you best believe that cord is camouflaged to the nth degree. If my phone charger is sitting next to my bed, I'm tucking that sucker away when it's not in use. It just keeps things a bit less cluttered, and looks much better, to boot.

As I continue my valiant quest of rounding up the best table lamps to buy right now, I have ventured into particularly practical territory, specifically as it relates to unnecessary and unsightly cords. Today, we're talking about portable table lamps, also known as cordless, wireless, or rechargeable table lamps. These lamps are ones you can pick up and carry with you from room to room because they lack the same power outlet tether as they're counterparts.

Portable table lamps bring unmatched flexibility while also improving safety, says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky. This 'renders them suitable for outdoor use, cozy spaces and constructing child-friendly zones that are aligned with the use of sustainable energy.'

They also make perfect decor for a desk or a bedside table, but could just as easily work on a living room end table or tucked in a corner of your kitchen, bringing light to spaces that aren't always accessible to a power outlet. Super versatile, with plenty of options for the design-minded. Let me show you some of my favorites!

12 of the best portable table lamps

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If you liked this, be sure to check out my other table lamp round-ups next, including best blue and white table lamps, best table lamps for the bedroom, best mid-century table lamps, and best table lamps for reading.

What qualities should I look for in a portable table lamp?

'I look for products that offer natural and warm light and long battery life,' Artem told me, before flagging that he looks for lamps with adjustable brightness settings, as well. 'I prefer the minimalist designs that are also durable and blend well with various interiors. These include designs that are not bulky nor ornate, so I can incorporate them and move around the house easily.'

'There is such a range of cordless on the market but I apply the same principles to buying my cordless lamps as I do to any other lamp,' added Jo Plant, head of design at Pooky, a designer lamp retailer. 'I want something that looks great that fits with my interior style, something heavy so it's not easily knocked over on the table, and something well made, using quality materials that I am going to love in my home forever.'

How should I incorporate portable table lamps?

Jo uses cordless/portable lamps on her 'bookshelves where there is no possibility of adding wiring without drilling holes and ruining them,' she told me. 'A couple of lamps add pools of light and color in what otherwise is quite a dark space and I change the shades depending upon my mood.'

Ultimately, though, the beauty of a portable table lamp is that you can move it wherever. 'Whether you're enjoying al fresco cocktails with friends, working on a jigsaw puzzle, or camping at a festival, the portability of a cordless lamp ensures you have adequate lighting wherever you go,' Jo went on. 'Its versatility empowers you to create ambiance and functionality without being limited by the availability of power outlets.'

Brigid Kennedy
Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a style editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.