What do you like to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon?
As for me, reading in bed is my favorite pastime. I could do it for hours with magazines, books, newspapers, browsing in my laptop. That's why I really need a bedside table to put all of my reading materials.
And sometimes it can look kind of messy with all the books on the table, so I always prefer a bedside table with closed drawers or cabinet attached so I can easily put the books in it when I'm finished reading, out of sight, no sign of clutter what so ever.
But that doesn't mean that bedside tables without storage are useless though. Because you can easily put some pretty boxes underneath it for the extra storage that you need. 'Pretty' boxes here could be boxes in leather, rattan, even transparent acrylic, depend on your taste and preference.
But if you in some way could only cope with a lousy carton box, you can always decorate it with some giftwraps, d.i.y painting, decoupage, etc. Then again, if you are just too occupied (or just lazy) to do it all, a nice tablecloth which covers from top table to floor would easily hide those mess under the sidetable.