How to Choose the Correct Lamp Shade Size

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Lamps are a great way to increase the amount of light in a room and add beauty, ambiance, and style to a home. Purchasing a new lamp is always fun and exciting, but you may already have a lamp that you love, with a lamp shade that has deteriorated or become ripped. In these cases, you simply might want to find a new lamp shape.

Lamp Shade Fittings

There are six different types of fittings and two types of bulb clips that are common with lamps. The two clips include a regular bulb clip that is more rounded and a candle bulb clip that is more slender and longer. The type of bulb you use will depend on the type of clip in your lamp. In some cases, you can use a candle bulb even if you have a regular bulb clip, but you can rarely use a regular bulb in a candle bulb clip. Lamp shade fittings require a little more explanation.



Washer/Spider Fitter

This lamp shade includes three evenly spaced small bars at the top of the lamp shade with a small circular hole in the middle.

Threaded UNO Fitter

This lamp shade is similar to the washer/spider fitter but has a larger circular hole in the middle.

Hurricane/Chimney Fitter

This lamp shade is similar to the previously mentioned fitters but has yet a bigger hole than both the washer/spider and threaded UNO fitters.

Reflector Bowl Fitter

This lamp shade has three evenly spaced bars at the top, but they have small indents in the middle of each small bar. It has a circular middle hole comparable to the washer/spider fitter.

Nardi/Slip UNO Fitter

This type of lamp shade has two bars on either side of the lamp shade that dip down to the ring that holds the bulb.

Euro Fitter

This is similar to the Hurricane/Chimney fitter, but is recessed slightly to be inside the lamp shade and has a different middle hole.

Choosing the Right Shape

Before considering the size of the lamp shade, it is best to choose the correct shape for your lamp.

Shape of Lamp

Shape of Lamp Shade

Round lamp with round bottom

Round lamp shade

Round lamp with square bottom

Rounded top with squared bottom

Square bottom

Square or round fluted

Small base

Small shade

Large base

Larger shade

There are always exceptions, but it is generally more visually appealing to get a shade that will match the natural contour of the base. It might look strange to have a square lamp with a round lamp shade or a very large shade with a very small base, although if you have an eye for design, you may want to play around with different looks to find the one that best fits your style.

Finding the Right Sized Lamp Shade

If you have a lamp shade that you are trying to replace with the same general type, it can be easy to find the right size of shade. Simply measure the current lamp shade, and then find a new one with the same dimensions.

To do this, measure the top of the lamp shade from one side to the other, down the side of the lamp shade, focusing on the flare, and the bottom of the lamp shade diameter. It can then be easy to find a lamp shade with the same general size; however, if you have misplaced or otherwise do not have a shade for a lamp and want to find one, there are some factors to consider.

First, measure the diameter of the base of the lamp from one end to the other. It is easiest to do this with the lamp turned upside down, so you have a flat surface with which to work. The measurement of the base should be the measurement of the bottom of the lamp shade; you can add one inch, so the shade has a slight flare.

To get the height of the shade, measure the lamp itself from bottom to the top of the socket (where the bulb goes). The height of the shade should be approximately the same as the lamp height to the socket, but in some cases, you may want the shade to go one or two inches longer, especially if the lamp is very long.

If both of the above measurements are found, the top of the lamp should fit as well; however, to test this, make sure the light bulb will have two inches on each side to prevent the risk of fire.

What Pattern Should You Choose?

After deciding on the right size of lamp shade, you'll want to consider the pattern of the shade. If the lamp itself has a lot of decoration or a lot of color, consider a more subtle shade that matches one color in the lamp.

If the lamp has a plain base, try a different color to provide an accent, or a shade with ornamentation, such as fringe. If the lamp has a certain shape, consider repeating those in the shade; for example, if the lamp is round and has a square base, you can use a shade with a round top and a square bottom. You can also consider matching the lamp and shade using at least one color or using two very different colors that will not clash.

When it comes to decorating with lamps; if you like it and it brings you happiness or peace, it is a good choice. You can even try extreme shades to give the lamp and the room some drama. Consider a deep cone shade with a short ball lamp or a glossy white shade with a beige lamp. You could even put a black or red shade on an Oriental base; the options are limitless.

Finding Lamp Shades on eBay

No matter your style or need, chances are eBay has exactly what you want. To find lamp shades on eBay, simply type the words "lamp shade" into the search bar. This will provide you with thousands of options. If this seems too much for you, consider using the filters to the left of the results. Here, you can select a specific brand, color, and material. This allows you to more easily find the item you want.

It is important to consider each potential choice carefully by clicking on the desired shade. You will want to ensure that there is a description that tells you the size of the shade. It should also mention the materials and color; however, if something you want to know is missing from the description, it is possible to send the seller a message and ask them; this is helpful if you absolutely love the shade.


Owning lamps is a great way to provide yourself more light in your home, though, after years of use, lamp shades can start to look worn out, dull, or even become ripped or lost. If you are interested in finding a new lamp shade, you must first find out the size of the shade, then choose colors and materials. This could seem challenging, but it can actually be quite easy with a measuring tape and your designing talents.

eBay is the perfect place for locating new lamp shades because they are usually more reasonably priced, and there are so many more sizes and shapes available to you with the click of a mouse. Considering a new lamp shade could breathe new life into your favorite lamp and into the room itself. Lamps can create ambiance and style and work great for small homes or lonely corners.

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