Headboards have become an essential part of bed frames, mainly because of their aesthetics and comfort. Most bed frames don’t come with headboards, and attaching them can look like a difficult process. But if you have found the perfect headboard for your bed and are wondering how to attach it, you have come to the right place!
Can a headboard be attached to any bed frame?
As a buyer, you can find a variety of bed headers depending on their size, material, and usage. But most headboards are designed to be compatible with standard full bed frames.
Most bed frames come with attached headboard brackets. These are pre-drilled slots or holes that are adjustable to accommodate a variety of headboards. For a non-standard sized bed, make sure that the size of the frame and the header are the same. For a custom bed frame for which no headboard can be compatible, you can also choose to get a custom headboard done.
If you have a bed frame without headboard brackets, you can also attach bolts or hooks to accommodate a bed header.
What are the main types of headboards?
There are different types of headboards depending on the size, design, and material. While the size is entirely based on the measurements of the bed frame, the design depends on your comfort and the aesthetics of the room. Commonly, headboards are made of three materials: wood, metal, and upholstery.
Wooden headboards actually serve the purpose of what they were used for–insulation. But as home insulation systems have improved, a bed header is only used as a decorative piece nowadays.
If you are going for a vintage or rustic themed bedroom, wooden headboards blend in perfectly. But they can be suitable for almost any kind of bedroom with some repainting and decoration.
And for people who love to redecorate their bedrooms regularly, wood is the right material.
Even though they are slightly expensive, they are very versatile and can be changed into any shape, style, or design. Apart from repainting, you can get them carved or cut for a more exotic look.
If you are a fan of the Victorian Era, then metal headboards are just for you! They are the more recent, cheaper versions of traditional headboards. Though metal headboards are poor insulators, they hit the right note with their looks.
Since metals are shiny, they add a glam factor to the aesthetics. The styles and designs of metal headboards are also more affordable than their wooden counterparts. While iron and steel are popular choices, you can also buy a bed headboard made of copper and brass.
Depending on the metal, the colour and style of the headboards also change. Brass is more for the Victorian theme, while iron and steel give a modern and sleek look. No matter which metal you choose, it is essential that you treat the metal accordingly to prevent any corrosion and deformation. As they are cheap and the best headboards in their range, you can switch styles more often.
Upholstered headboards can be described in one word-fun! They provide warmth, make comfortable backrests, and look great, even if you don’t have an upholstered bed frame. But the most enjoyable part is the variety of upholstery.
These headboards maintain a unique look while also giving you a range of options to choose from. They come in different tuftings such as diamond, biscuit, and channel. The thickness of the paddings can be varied as desired, and the colour and type of fabric come in endless options.
Since upholstery involves fabric, they are also prone to fading under too much sun. If your bed is receiving direct sun exposure, make sure to choose a suitable fabric that does not fade. Delicate fabrics like silk fade easily whereas polyester blended fabrics are more resistant.
Since they come in many colours, you can experiment with colour combinations for your bedroom. For example, you can put grey headboards with grey bed frames to create a modern look, or you can create your own style by pairing it with a beige bed frame.
For a luxurious look, you can choose fabrics such as velvet or even faux fur. Upholstered headboards are a little difficult to clean and can get dirty easily, especially if liquids are spilt on them.
Headboards size table
Most headboards are designed to fit standard-sized beds. If you are unsure about the dimensions of your bed, refer to the below table to avoid any confusion. The height of the headboard doesn’t matter for compatibility.
Recommended room size
76 inches X 80 inches
10 feet X 12 feet
72 inches X 84 inches
12 feet X 12 feet
60 inches X 80 inches
10 feet X 10 feet
54 inches X 74 inches
10 feet X 10 feet
38 inches X 74 inches
7 feet X 10 feet
How to attach headboards step by step
Now that you have chosen a headboard, it is time to learn to fit it in the bed frame. While putting together bedroom furniture can look complicated, it doesn’t need to be so! If your headboard did not come with an instruction manual, or if those instructions look too complicated, then follow our guide. These simple steps will help you through the process, so you can fix the headboard in no time.
Before starting the process, you need to keep all your tools ready. To attach a headboard to the bed frame, you will require:
- Big Washers
- Headboard materials Kit
Apart from these tools, you also need to check for headboard brackets on your bed frame. While most frames come with attached brackets, some frames do not. For such frames, you can attach additional brackets and fit the headboard later.
You need to also determine the type of bracket to find out which headboard attachment is compatible with your frame. Your headboard kit will include the necessary attachments that help you fit the header into the brackets.
You will also require plenty of space to attach the headboard. Depending on the type of frame, this might mean moving under the bed frame or aligning the frame in different ways. Make sure you use a spacious room to get this done faster!
Attach the legs to the headboard
The next step is to attach the struts to the headboard itself. Most manufacturers provide pre-drilled holes to screw in the legs. Check the backside of the headboard and locate the two holes.
If you are unable to locate them, especially in an upholstered headboard, check underneath the fabric. Usually, the fabric hides the holes and you will need to pierce the fabric to access them.
If the holes don’t exist, you can drill them in the struts and the headboard. Make sure that the holes are equally apart and align with those on the struts.
After you have found the holes, align them with the holes in the headboard legs. Use some screws and a screwdriver to attach the legs. Make sure the legs are firmly attached to prevent a wobbly headboard.
Find already existing holes
Next, you need to find the existing holes in the bed frame. Usually, a platform bed frame with a headboard will have holes on the front and back of the frame. Where you attach the headboard determines which side the bed faces.
If the frame is covered with a fabric, it will be difficult to locate the holes. Some companies indicate the holes over the fabric using a sticker or a marker. If it is not indicated, you need to run your hand on the fabric to locate the holes and then pierce the fabric for further use.
Attach the headboard to the bed frame
Now, align the holes of the struts with those on the bed frame. Make sure that your headboard is facing the frame when attaching it. Use bolts, nuts, and big washers to secure the header to the bed frame. Repeat this for both legs. Voila! Your headboard is ready!
Some headboards come with adjustable struts that have a slightly different way of attachment. For these, you need to first fix the bolts in the kit to the bed frame, leaving a gap. Now, slide the legs into the bolts and tighten the screw so that the headboard is in its place. If you want to adjust the height, all you need to do is loosen the bolts and slide the headboard up or down.
After you have screwed in the headboard, ensure that it isn’t wobbly. You might need to tighten the bolts or use big washers if the headboard shakes. If nothing works, you can use some adhesive on the bolts to tighten the headboard.
Check the width of the screws on both sides. Otherwise, your headboard won’t line up correctly. Once you are sure everything is properly aligned, you can use your headboard.
Headboards can have different purposes. Some use it as backrests while some only use it as a decorative piece. Either way, attaching a headboard is not a tedious job. Whether it is an adjustable bed or a platform bed, almost all frames come with pre-attached brackets or holes. All you need to do is screw in the headboard and you are done!
Now that you know how to attach a headboard to a bed frame, go ahead and buy the perfect headboard to compliment your bedroom!
Still, having doubts about headboard attachments? We have got you covered! Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about attaching headboards.
Should the headboard sit on the mattress?
No. Headboards are usually covered by the mattress and sit a few inches under them. This also looks better as there is no visible gap between the mattress and the headboard. The height of the headboard depends on the kind of bed. The headboards are higher for a king size bed when compared to a twin size bed.
Ideally, the gap between the bottom part of the headboard and the bed frame should be 3 to 4 inches. This gives your headboard enough height and also keeps a gap in case you need to adjust it in the future. If the headboard gets wobbly due to the gap, you can fill it with mattress foam.
For children’s beds, keep the gap as low as possible. There is a possibility of the child being stuck in between the frames if the gap is too high.
Can you attach a headboard to any bed frame?
Yes. A headboard of any design, shape, or style can be attached to any bed. There is no ideal bed frame for the headboard. The only thing that affects the adjustability is the size. The size table provided above can help you choose the right headboard for your bed frame. If you are using a custom-sized frame, get your headboard customized too.
Some frames can also accommodate headboards of smaller sizes. Though it looks a bit out of place, you can fill it in using wall decor. Common decors used to fill in spaces include wall stickers, paintings, and photo frames.
Can you attach the headboard to the wall?
Yes. Headboards can be attached to the wall. This is a good option if your bed frame doesn’t have brackets for headboards. They are bulky and weigh a lot, hence normal wall hinges won’t work to hold headboards. You will need mounting tools such as French cleats to bear the weight of the headboard.
Fix the cleats to the wall and then mount the headboard on the cleats. Place the headboard a few feet above the floor, but keep in mind that the mattress should still cover the bottom part of the board.
Headboards on the wall are secure and provide more support. However, they aren’t mobile and only work if the bed is against the wall.