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Lampshades Buying Guide

While their main purpose is to diffuse light, lampshades are also essential as the final flourish to add style to table and floor lamps as well as chandeliers and pendants. Use this guide to best match lamp bases with lampshades.

Types of Lampshades

Types of Lampshades

Lampshades come in countless shapes and sizes that are able to fit on the tiniest of lamps and the largest of pendant fixtures. Think carefully about how a lampshade—hard or soft, drum or oval, floor, empire, hexagonal, coolie, bell, or hybrid—will accentuate the style of your lamp as well as the surrounding decor of a room. Here’s an introduction to lampshade types and differences.

Hard Vs. Soft

In addition to shape, the biggest distinction in lampshades is in structure. Hard lampshades have a hard plastic liner covered by a glued-on material, typically fabric or laminate. Soft shades usually have a solid-color liner with a more decorative outer shell—typically made of fabric—attached with either thread or tape.

shop Hard Vs. Soft
Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Add a fresh colorful accent to a lamp with this custom-printed shade. A state-of-the-art giclee printing technique allows for the ...faithful reproduction of color and detail of this beautiful, exclusive pattern. The correct size harp and finial is included free with this shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Mermaid giclee pattern shade. Chrome finish spider fitting. 10" across the top. 10" across the bottom. 12" high. read more

Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Add a natural woven accent to a lamp with this custom-printed shade. A state-of-the-art giclee printing technique allows for the f...aithful reproduction of color and detail of this beautiful, exclusive pattern. The correct size harp and finial is included free with this shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Interweave giclee pattern shade. Chrome finish spider fitting. 10" across the top. 10" across the bottom. 12" high. read more

The Company Store

Burlap lamp shade. 12 x 16 x 13" H Lamp shade made from textured burlap fabric. Tapered design. Matches our Jayden floor lamp (lam...p not included). Spot clean. Imported. Add warm texture to any room with this attractive burlap lamp shade. A perfect match for our Jayden Floor Lamp, or any lamp (lamps not included), the Jayden Burlap lamp shade features a classic tapered design and a muted beige color, making it a great fit in nearly any space, including bedrooms, livingrooms, dens and more. read more

Drum, Cylinder, or Oval

Drum or oval shades are often used to cover pendant lights, although miniature drum, cylinder, or oval lampshades may be found on chandeliers as well. They are the same width from top to bottom. Their clean lines work well in contemporary or transitional decorating schemes.

shop Drum, Cylinder, or Oval
Pottery Barn

Give a favorite lamp a crisp new look with our black linen drum shade. Small: 12.5" diam x 8.5" h Medium: 14" diam x 9.5" h Large:... 17" diam x 11" h X-Large: 19" diam x 12" h Pair with any of our Mix and Match® lamp bases (sold separately). read more

Pottery Barn

Light shining through our unlined burlap shade reveals every slub and variation in the fabric, creating a beautiful contrast to me...tal and ceramic fixtures. The open weave filters the light to great effect and exposes the outline of the bulb inside. Small: 13.5" diameter, 8.5" high Medium: 15" diameter, 9.5" high Large: 17" diameter, 10.5" high Made of burlap over an iron frame. Lined with styrene. read more

Lamps Plus

An easy way to refresh any room this off-white lamp shade features a cotton exterior and polystyrene interior liner. The soft colo...r will perfectly complement any style decor. A chrome spider fitter completes the look. The correct size harp is included. Made in the Indiana workshops of A'Homestead Shoppe. White lamp shades. Hardback shade design. Drum lamp shade. Chrome spider fitter. Cotton material. Unlined. Made in USA. 8" harp. 1/2" fitter drop. 12" across the top and bottom. 10" high. read more

Lamps Plus

An easy way to refresh any room this off-white lamp shade features a cotton exterior and polystyrene interior liner. The soft colo...r will perfectly complement any style decor. A chrome spider fitter completes the look. The correct size harp is included. Made in the Indiana workshops of A'Homestead Shoppe. White lamp shades. Hardback shade design. Drum lamp shade. Chrome spider fitter. Cotton material. Unlined. Made in USA. 9" harp. 1/2" fitter drop. 14" across the top and bottom. 11" high. read more

Floor-lamp, Empire, or Coolie

Floor-lamp, empire, or coolie lampshades widen at the bottom of the shade. The amount of flair varies; floor-lamp shades typically most closely resemble drum shades, but all three kinds push most light downward.

shop Floor-lamp, Empire, or Coolie
Dale Tiffany
$270.00
at Amazon

PR60319 Features: -Aldridge buffet lamp.-Number of Lights: 1. Color/Finish: -Antique bronze and gold finish. Specifications: -Acco...mmodates One 60W med base incandescent bulb. Dimensions: -Shade: 9'' D.-Overall Dimensions: 72.5'' H x 14'' W x 14'' D. Collection: -Buffet collection. read more

Lite Source
$541.50
at Amazon

C61046 Features: -Torchiere floor lamp.-Tiffany shade. Color/Finish: -Antique brass finish. Specifications: -Accommodates 150W typ...e A bulb. Assembly Instructions: -Assembly required. Dimensions: -Overall dimensions: 72'' H x 13.5'' D. Collection: -Kamran collection. read more

Robert Abbey
$387.75
at Amazon

Robert Abbey has an exceptional line of quality products aimed to please even the most discerning of consumers. Relish in the desi...gn of this 1 light Lamps; from the details in the Ascot White Fabric Shade with Black Trim, to the double coated Wrought Iron finish, this Lamps is not only durable, but a tastefully elegant showpiece. read more

Geometric

Lampshades that are square, rectangular, hexagonal, or another shape have matching sides that sometimes slant slightly from top to bottom.

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Deran Lamp Shades
$41.40 $55.99
at Wayfair

Features: Shade does not include finial or harp Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 12 Inches Overall Width - Side to Side...: 16 Inches Overall Product Weight: 2 Pounds read more

Deran Lamp Shades
$53.99 $60.99
at Wayfair

Features: Shade does not include finial or harp Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 12 Inches Overall Width - Side to Side...: 16 Inches Overall Product Weight: 2 Pounds read more

Amita Trading

This elegant lamp features a rich, gold finish topped with a hammered capiz shell, rectangular shade. Upgrade the look and feel of... any room with this beautiful fixture. Setting: Indoor Materials: Wood, capiz Fixture finish: Gold Shades: Hammered capiz shell, rectangular lamp shade Socket switch Number of lights: 1 One 1 bulb upto 100 W, not included Dimensions: 12 inches long x 14 inches wide x 31 inches high read more

Thumbprints
$245.25 $289.00
at Bellacor

Acacia wood with satin lacquer finish Mother of pearl accents Brushed nickel hardware. White, round corner rectangle, silk blend h...ardback shade. read more

Bell

Bell lampshades are very narrow at the top and quite wide at the bottom; they work particularly well in situations that call for intense downlighting, such as on desks.

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Lamps Plus
$44.99 $69.99
at Lamps Plus

A beautiful lamp shade in a muted gray color. A textured gray pattern adds depth to the design. A classic bell shape will pair per...fectly with any light fixture. The correct size harp is included free with this shade. Bell lamp shade. Woven gray fabric. Textured pattern design. White lining. Self trim. Chrome finish spider fitter. 10" across the top. 18" across the bottom. 12" on the slant. read more

Lamps Plus
$24.99 $39.99
at Lamps Plus

A classic floral chrysanthemum print in a soft bronze color makes this lamp shade a perfect addition to any lamp. A bell lamp shad...e design adds to the classic look while a polished brass spider fitter completes the design. The correct size harp is included with this item. Softback bell lamp shade. Bronze chrysanthemum floral pattern. Cotton/polyester blend fabric shade material. Polyester lining. Polished brass spider fitter. 6" across the top. 12" across the bottom. 9" on the slant. read more

Lamps Plus
$46.99 $74.99
at Lamps Plus

Add this gorgeous accent piece to any lamp for an elegant feel. A cream background is offset with a textured cream line accent. Po...lished brass spider fitter completes the look. The correct size harp is included with this item. Cream bell lamp shade. Cotton and polyester interior and exterior. Self trim. White lining. Polished brass spider fitter. 8" across the top. 18" across the bottom. 12" on the slant. read more

Lamps Plus
$49.99 $74.99
at Lamps Plus

The muted color of this bell lamp shade will complement any decor style, and add a subtle touch of elegance with it's delicate fle...ur de lys pattern. A polished brass fitter completes the look. The correct size harp is included with this item. Cream softback bell lamp shade. Cotton and polyester interior and exterior. Fleur de lys print. Self trim. White lining. Polished brass spider fitter. 8" across the top. 18" across the bottom. 12" on the slant. read more

Hybrid

Lampshades also can mix or match various elements of several types of lampshades; for example, a geometric shade may come in a bell shape.

shop Hybrid
Deran Lamp Shades
$49.50 $68.98
at Wayfair

Features: Shades Shade does not include finial or harp Top: 6'' Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 13 Inches Overall Widt...h - Side to Side: 18 Inches Overall Depth - Front to Back: 18 Inches read more

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Combining a lampshade with a lamp base is a delicate balancing act. Think about the material, color, upkeep, and style when you purchase. Base size and shape, lampshade fitter, bulb placement in relation to the height of the lampshade, and light direction also play roles in how the lampshade works with the base and affect the quality, effectiveness, and beauty of the lighting. Before you choose a shade, think carefully about the location of the light fixture and how the light should be directed.

Material, Color, and Style

Lampshades can be made of nearly any type material, including glass, wood, fabric, and metal. The color of a shade’s material affects the color of deflected light and should coordinate or complement a room’s decor, too. Lampshades often include decorative details such as pleating, scallops, stencils, stamps, and notches.

Upkeep

As with any other furnishing or accent piece, lampshades need regular care and upkeep; investigate how best to care for a chosen shade before making a purchase.

Base Size and Shape

Lampshades should complement the lamp base in scale and proportion as well as shape. For table lamps, lampshades should be about three-fourths the height of the base; other lampshade sizes depend on the size and style of the fixture.

Bulb Placement and Lampshade Drop

Lampshades should not be too close to the bulb; measure to make sure several inches of space separate the shade from the bulb. The height of the shade should be enough to hide the bulb so the bulb is not visible from outside the shade.

Fitter

Your lamp fixture will have some sort of a fitter that secures together the shade and the bulb. Fitters include clip-on, threaded, and other types; make sure your shade and fixture or base are compatible.

Light Direction

A lampshade affects how light bounces into and around the room. In a large entryway, you likely want most of the light pushed downward. The desired directional lighting changes based on the size and shape of a room and placement of a fixture.

Decor on sale
Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Add a fresh colorful accent to a lamp with this custom-printed shade. A state-of-the-art giclee printing technique allows for the ...faithful reproduction of color and detail of this beautiful, exclusive pattern. The correct size harp and finial is included free with this shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Mermaid giclee pattern shade. Chrome finish spider fitting. 10" across the top. 10" across the bottom. 12" high. read more

Mermaid Giclee Pattern Lamp Shade 10x10x12 (Spider)
Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Add a natural woven accent to a lamp with this custom-printed shade. A state-of-the-art giclee printing technique allows for the f...aithful reproduction of color and detail of this beautiful, exclusive pattern. The correct size harp and finial is included free with this shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Interweave giclee pattern shade. Chrome finish spider fitting. 10" across the top. 10" across the bottom. 12" high. read more

Interweave Giclee Lamp Shade 10x10x12 (Spider)
Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Set a dramatic tone with this handsome patterned lamp shade. The shade is printed giclee style and is custom made-to-order. The co...rrect size harp and matching finial are included free with this shade. Chrome finish spider fitter. Drum shape shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Printed giclee style shade. Cream Roses pattern. Custom-made. Spider fitting. Drum shape. 13 1/2" across the top. 13 1/2" across the bottom. 10" high. read more

Cream Roses Giclee Lamp Shade 13.5x13.5x10 (Spider)
Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Set a dramatic tone with this handsome patterned lamp shade. The shade is printed giclee style and is custom made-to-order. The co...rrect size harp and matching finial are included free with this shade. Chrome finish spider fitter. Drum shape shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Printed giclee style shade. Cherry Blossoms pattern. Custom-made. Spider fitting. Drum shape. 13 1/2" across the top. 13 1/2" across the bottom. 10" high. read more

Cherry Blossoms Giclee Lamp Shade 13.5x13.5x10 (Spider)
Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Set a dramatic tone with this handsome patterned lamp shade. The shade is printed giclee style and is custom made-to-order. The co...rrect size harp and matching finial are included free with this shade. Chrome finish spider fitter. Drum shape shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Printed giclee style shade. Hot Lips pattern. Custom-made. Spider fitting. Drum shape. 13 1/2" across the top. 13 1/2" across the bottom. 10" high. read more

Hot Lips Giclee Lamp Shade 13.5x13.5x10 (Spider)
Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Set a dramatic tone with this handsome patterned lamp shade. The shade is printed giclee style and is custom made-to-order. The co...rrect size harp and matching finial are included free with this shade. Chrome finish spider fitter. Drum shape shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Printed giclee style shade. Rainbow Mist pattern. Custom-made. Spider fitting. Drum shape. 13 1/2" across the top. 13 1/2" across the bottom. 10" high. read more

Rainbow Mist Giclee Lamp Shade 13.5x13.5x10 (Spider)
Giclee Glow
$69.99 $104.99
at Lamps Plus

Set a dramatic tone with this handsome patterned lamp shade. The shade is printed giclee style and is custom made-to-order. The co...rrect size harp and matching finial are included free with this shade. Chrome finish spider fitter. Drum shape shade. U.S. Patent # 7,347,593. Printed giclee style shade. Pink Roses pattern. Custom-made. Spider fitting. Drum shape. 13 1/2" across the top. 13 1/2" across the bottom. 10" high. read more

Pink Roses Giclee Lamp Shade 13.5x13.5x10 (Spider)
Lamps Plus
$24.99 $39.99
at Lamps Plus

Refresh any lamp with this elegant drum lamp shade featuring a striking black and white design. A polished brass spider fitter com...pletes the look. The correct size harp is included with this item. Softback drum lamp shade. Black and white acanthus design. Cotton and polyester interior and exterior. White lining. Rolled edge. Polished brass spider fitter. 10" across the top. 12" across the bottom. 8" on the slant. read more

Black and White Acanthus Drum Lamp Shade 10x12x8 (Spider)
Lamps Plus
$44.99 $69.99
at Lamps Plus

A beautiful lamp shade in a muted gray color. A textured gray pattern adds depth to the design. A classic bell shape will pair per...fectly with any light fixture. The correct size harp is included free with this shade. Bell lamp shade. Woven gray fabric. Textured pattern design. White lining. Self trim. Chrome finish spider fitter. 10" across the top. 18" across the bottom. 12" on the slant. read more

Woven Gray Fabric Bell Lamp Shade 10x18x12 (Spider)
Lamps Plus
$99.94 $194.99
at Lamps Plus

A black damask pattern over a white drum lamp shade adds dramatic flair to this plug-in swing arm wall lamp. The back plate and ar...m come in a gleaming chrome finish that complements the designer shade. Installation is easy: simply mount the lamp to the wall and plug into any standard wall outlet using the cord provided. Plug-in swing arm wall lamp. Chrome finish. Black damask pattern over white drum lamp shade. Plug-in style. Full-range dimmer. Full-range dimmer. Maximum 60 watt or equivalent bulb (not included). Shade is 10" across the top, 12" across the bottom, 8" high. Back plate is 5 1/2" square. Extends up to 20" from the wall. read more

Black Damask Shade Chrome Plug-In Swing Arm Wall Lamp
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