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January 10, 2008

Sizing a lampshade to fit your lamp is not as difficult as it might seem. Simply follow the easy instructions below, and you’ll be able to order a great looking new lampshade that will fit your lamp perfectly.

Lampshades are measured and sized according to:

  • width across the top
  • width across the bottom
  • height down the side.

For example, 10″ top, 16″ bottom, 12″ side. Any shade measurements on MaidenShade’s site are displayed TOP X BOTTOM X SIDE. The width across the bottom is what is referred to as the lampshade size. So a shade with the example measurements above would be referred to as a 16″ shade.

If you have an existing shade and want a similar one, simply measure it and find a shade with a similar measurement.

If the measurements are not exactly the same as your shade, the height is the most important size to match with your existing shade.

If you do not have an existing shade or simply want something different in style and/or size, measure from the top of the lamp’s harp to just below the socket in which the bulb fits. Then match it to the height of a shade on our site.

There are five distinct ways nearly all lampshades fit onto a lamp, using three varieties of fitters:

Washer (Spider)
This is the most common lamp fitter. The washer fit (1/2″ ring) will fit on one of the following settings:

  • Most table shades use a harp to hold the shade, then allowing a finial to be screwed on top.
  • Many floor lamps and some desk and table lamps have a vertical rod (1/2″ wide) on which the shade rests.
  • Some floor lamps or table lamps have a white globe (measuring 6″ – 10″ across the top). The shade will simply sit on top of the globe. The shade will have notches in the wire to keep it from sliding out of place.
  • Unless otherwise noted all of our lampshades larger than 10″ use a washer style fitter.

The standard bulb clip is used predominantly on smaller table lamps.

The candelabra bulb clip fits chandeliers and wall sconces (using 4″, 5″, and 6″ shades).

NOTE: Any shade with a washer fitter can be modified to use a clip fitter.

This shade has a 1″ ring with inner threads which screw onto the lamp socket, and is used mostly on floor lamps, but occasionally on table lamps also.


  • Most lamps will accomodate a different style or size lampshade than what was on it when you purchased or acquired it.
  • A different size harp, or the addition of a screw-on extender to the harp, can help make your new shade fit even better.
  • If you have any questions about style, size, or fitter please give us a call at 239.980.0799 or send an E-Mail.
  • Please contact us if you are having trouble finding a particular shade, if we don’t have what you want we can create a custom shade for you.

Remember, don’t hesitate to ask for our assistance in choosing a great looking new shade for your lamp. MaidenShade has hundreds of lamps, lampshades, and nightlights to choose from and many are not on our web site.


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