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
Better Homes and Gardens
$19.97 $11.15

Better Homes and Gardens Scallop Wrap Lamp Shade, White:This Better Homes and Gardens lamp shade features a scallop bottom with st...ylish Chinese braid trimSoft-back shadeDimensions: 8"L x 18"W x 14"H (20.32 cm x 45.72 cm x 35.56 cm)Designed to fit onto your lamp's harp componentMade of fabric and metalModel# BH020-002-39-19 read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$13.97 $7.11

The Better Homes and Gardens Soft Pleated Lamp Shade will brighten and enhance your room with elegance that is one of a kind. It h...as a hard back that is a suitable choice for most regular-sized table or floor lamps, providing you with versatility. The white lamp shade is a neutral color that will easily match the decor in any room. With this shade in your home, you will be able to illuminate any room with a soft and long-lasting glow. This decorative lamp shade will give you a durable style that will last. Let this shade bring your home the accent you have been looking for. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$14.97

Better Homes and Gardens Table Lamp Shade:Textured silver fabric hard-back drum shadeUno filterDoes not need harp and finialDimens...ions: 13"L x 11"W x 9"H (33 cm x 28 cm x 23 cm) 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.

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Color Plus
$129.98

Add a blast of designer style with this Color + Plus™ glass table lamp. The design is hand-crafted by experienced artisans in our ...California workshops with a Antique Red designer finish. It is topped with a off-white drum shade with grosgrain ribbon... read more

Color Plus
$129.98

Add a blast of designer style with this Color + Plus™ glass table lamp. The design is hand-crafted by experienced artisans in our ...California workshops with a Greens designer finish. It is topped with a off-white drum shade with grosgrain ribbon trim on... read more

Color Plus
$129.98

Infuse your decor with brilliant color and style with a beautiful apothecary style Color + Plus™ glass table lamp. This designer R...egatta Blue lamp is hand-crafted by experienced artisans in our California workshops. It stands on a lucite base, and is... read more

Color Plus
$129.98

Add a blast of designer style with this Color + Plus™ glass table lamp. The design is hand-crafted by experienced artisans in our ...California workshops with a Royal Blue designer finish. It is topped with a off-white drum shade with grosgrain ribbon... 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.

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360 Lighting
$158.99

Add style and texture to your living space with this contemporary floor lamp. The design features a twisted base in a dark-stain w...ood finish. It's topped with a stylish white mica paper drum shade. read more

360 Lighting
$158.99

Add style and texture to your living space with this contemporary floor lamp. The design features a twisted base in a dark-stain w...ood finish. It's topped with a stylish white mica paper drum shade. read more

Cost Plus World Market
$34.99

Floor Lamps -Crafted of 100% natural burlap, our exclusive drum shade is an eco-chic and versatile fit for any room in the home. P...air it with one of our floor lamp bases to create the perfect neutral look for your decor, or aim higher by using one of our electrical cord kits to create a unique hanging pendant. Material: Metal, Color:. Also could be used forshade,lighting,lamp shade,home decor,decor,home furnishing,burlap lamp shade,floor shade,drum lamp shade,burlap drum shade,honeycomb lamp shade,ambient lamp shade,hanging pendant,drum pendant. By Cost Plus World Market.500366 read more

Cost Plus World Market
$34.99

Floor Lamps -Our Linen Floor Lamp Shade is a versatile and affordable update to any decor setting. Combine it with any of our floo...r lamp bases to cast soft, ambient light throughout a room. Material: Fabric, Color:Natural. Also could be used forlighting,light,home decor,decor,shade,home furnishing,floor shade,linen lamp shade,fabric lamp shade,elegant lamp shade,versatile lamp shade,ambient light shade. By Cost Plus World Market.488782 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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Regency Hill
$39.99 $29.95

Intricately designed leaves line the vase shaped base on this petite table lamp. The square footed base and rectangular shade add ...clean lines to the design. An ornately detailed finial tops off the entire look. From the Regency Hill collection of table... read more

Springcrest
$29.99

A jagged zig zag pattern in two tones of gray gives this cut-corner rectangular bell lamp shade a chic, contemporary look. This li...ned, polyester fabric design features top and bottom self-trim and a polished brass spider fitter. The correct size harp... read more

Springcrest
$24.99

Natural burlap fabric makes a casual lamp shade that's stylish and relaxing. This small rectangular softback shade features tan po...lyester lining and a chrome finished spider fitter. read more

Regency Hill
$39.99

Intricately designed leaves line the vase shaped base on this petite table lamp. The square footed base and rectangular shade add ...clean lines to the design. An ornately detailed finial tops off the entire look. From the Regency Hill collection of table lamps. 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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Imperial Shade
$49.99

A delightful shade from the Imperial Collection. Bell-shaped lamp shade in a delicate taupe fabric. Side ribbing adds additional s...tyle. Spider fitting. read more

Currey
$50.00

An elegant little lamp shade to dress up a mini light, this design features a curvy bell shape with a clip on fitter. The shade is... covered in green shantung fabric for a look that is both classic and simple. Recommended for use with 25 watt candelabra bulbs. read more

Springcrest
$12.99

Refresh any sconce or chandelier with this pewter gray bell shade. The pewter gray color trims the top, bottom and ribbing. Featur...es a polished brass clip-on fitter, recommended for use with a 25 watt bulb. From Springcrest Collection™. read more

Springcrest
$29.99

Spice up an existing table lamp with this colorful lamp shade. A classic bell shape with ribs in coppery gold. With a matching pol...ished brass spider fitter. 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.

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Universal Lighting and Decor
$16.99

A glamorous and pristine ivory pearl is paired with a lattice design in the base for a refreshing modern look.

Finial Showcase
$14.99

Add elegance and glamour to any shade with this lovely decorative crystal shade finial.

Finial Showcase
$12.99

A finial is much more than a decoration. This fanciful design features a pineapple shape with a dramatic top crest. Add new tropic...al coastal style to an existing shade, or pair with a new lamp shade to add drama to a favorite lamp. read more

Finial Showcase
$17.99

Add a new look to your favorite lamp. Faux ivory elephant lamp shade finial.

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

Better Homes and Gardens
$19.97 $11.15

Better Homes and Gardens Scallop Wrap Lamp Shade, White:This Better Homes and Gardens lamp shade features a scallop bottom with st...ylish Chinese braid trimSoft-back shadeDimensions: 8"L x 18"W x 14"H (20.32 cm x 45.72 cm x 35.56 cm)Designed to fit onto your lamp's harp componentMade of fabric and metalModel# BH020-002-39-19 read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$13.97 $7.11

The Better Homes and Gardens Soft Pleated Lamp Shade will brighten and enhance your room with elegance that is one of a kind. It h...as a hard back that is a suitable choice for most regular-sized table or floor lamps, providing you with versatility. The white lamp shade is a neutral color that will easily match the decor in any room. With this shade in your home, you will be able to illuminate any room with a soft and long-lasting glow. This decorative lamp shade will give you a durable style that will last. Let this shade bring your home the accent you have been looking for. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$14.97 $11.16

Better Homes and Gardens Scallop Lamp Shade, Off White:Off white scallop bottom with Chinese braid trimSoft-back bell shadeDimensi...ons: 7"L x 15"W x 11.5"H (17.78 cm x 38.1 cm x 29.21 cm)Harp requiredMaterial: Fabric and MetalModel# BH020-002-36-19Enhance the look of the lighting in your home with this off white lamp shade read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$14.97 $7.74

This Better Homes and Gardens Honey Gold Lamp Shade will add an elegant touch to any room in your home. This item is designed for ...use with lamps that utilize a harp to hold the device in place. The decorative lamp shade features shimmery honey gold fabric over a sturdy styrene backing for good looks and durability. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$10.00 $7.82

The Better Homes and Gardens Round Drum Lamp Shade is perfect for any decorating needs. The design will bring a sense of chic, sop...histicated style to any room. The shade features a uno fitter so that it can fit most lamp bases. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$12.97 $8.59

Better Homes and Gardens Irongate Lamp Shade:Adds a touch of panache to any roomPrinted lamp shade can be mixed and match with oth...er bases (sold separately)The Better Homes and Gardens lamp shade does not need a harp or finialDimensions: 11"L x 13"W x 9"H (27.94 cm x 33 cm x 22.85 cm)Material: cottonAvailable in blue fire, gold leaf foil, hot pink, silver leaf foil and teal creamImportant A Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$9.40 $8.60

Better Homes and Gardens Irongate Lamp Shade:Adds a touch of panache to any roomPrinted lamp shade can be mixed and match with oth...er bases (sold separately)The Better Homes and Gardens lamp shade does not need a harp or finialDimensions: 11"L x 13"W x 9"H (27.94 cm x 33 cm x 22.85 cm)Material: cottonAvailable in blue fire, gold leaf foil, hot pink, silver leaf foil and teal creamImportant A Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$12.97 $8.89

Better Homes and Gardens Medium Textured Lamp Shade, Silver:Textured silver fabric hard-back drum shadeDimensions: 10"L x 13"W x 9..."H (25.4 cm x 33.02 cm x 22.86 cm)Does not need harp and finialModel# BH43-020-499-34Decorative lamp shade, large texturedBetter Homes and Gardens Collection read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$12.97 $7.96

Better Homes and Gardens Irongate Lamp Shade:Adds a touch of panache to any roomPrinted lamp shade can be mixed and match with oth...er bases (sold separately)The Better Homes and Gardens lamp shade does not need a harp or finialDimensions: 11"L x 13"W x 9"H (27.94 cm x 33 cm x 22.85 cm)Material: cottonAvailable in blue fire, gold leaf foil, hot pink, silver leaf foil and teal creamImportant A Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information. read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$6.33 $4.44

Designed to coordinate attractively, this Butterfly Lamp Shade adds a delicate accent to your room and helps bring it together as ...a whole. The gentle butterfly print is an eyecatcher and the soft color palette will mix well with any neutral decor. This shade will be the perfect fit for any accent lamp base. read more

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