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Does a Headboard Have to Be Against the Wall? (Explained)

A headboard is a standard piece of furniture that enhances and supports the structure of the bed frame while giving the interior a classy look. Most of the time a bed with a headboard attached is placed against a wall.

This placement, however traditional and popular it may be, is not absolute. You can mix the placement of the headboard according to your preference. Whichever place is trouble-free and looks good in your eyes should be fine.

Does a headboard have to be against the wall?

A headboard does not always have to be against the wall. Instead, you can place your headboard in any place you prefer, but the best place for it is against a solid wall. More specifically at the center of the wall, so it gets a good amount of attention and space.

Headboards of a bed look more appropriate when they are placed against a wall. Traditionally they look best at the center of the room. Any other place might cause difficulties. But that does not mean you absolutely have to place your headboard against a wall.

Should the headboard be against the wall?

There is no absolute rule to place the headboard on your bed. However, against a wall is where the headboard will have more support and attention. Without any trace of doubt, the headboards look better when set against a wall. But that is not a rule.

You can place the bed and headboard anywhere you find suitable. There is no obligation to place the headboard against a wall. Find a place where the headboard will be stable and will look good and set it accordingly.

Does a tufted headboard need to be against a wall?

A tufted headboard has a soft and puffed headboard. It is padded and the fabric is designed with buttons or knots. The fabric is threaded and secured while giving the headboard a classy look. These types of headboards look best when they are against a wall. But it is not a mandatory thing to do. 

But just like all headboards, it is not an obligation to place the tufted headboards to place against a wall. You can place it anywhere you like.

Rosevera Niana Tufted Upholstered Panel Adjustable Headboard, Queen, Beige

However, these headboards tend to be heavier than regular headboards. Against a wall is probably the safest place for a tufted headboard.

3 reasons why headboards need to be against the wall

In general, a headboard is placed against a wall. This is not an absolute rule but almost everyone seems to go with this particular placement. Other than looking good there are some common reasons to place them against a wall-

Safety and Security:

The headboards are usually heavy and most people are afraid they might tilt over and break from the body of the bed. This is why the headboards are placed against walls to ensure security and safety.


The headboard is a big piece of furniture. The placement of it needs much observation and thought. You cannot just place it anywhere. Suppose you place it beside the bedroom. It will be a hassle every time you try to open the door if you don’t leave enough space.

Farmhouse Style Wood Panel Headboard in Gloss White - Queen Size

You might think about placing it right in the middle of the room, which will leave you little space for movement. This is why against a wall is the best option to go with.


The headboard looks best against a wall. It gives the room a classy and subtle look. Against a wall, the headboard does not look as big as it is, making it easier on the eyes.

These are the main reasons why a headboard is placed against a wall in general. However, it can be solely because the designer prefers it so.

How close should the headboard be to the wall?

If you decide to place your headboard near and against a wall make sure to keep it close to the wall so it does not look bad. A gap of more than 4 inches will make it very much obvious on the eyes.

When placing a headboard against the wall, some prefer to not make it touch the wall. A little bit of distance is best if you do not want any stains on the wall.

Keep the gap around 1 inch so the placement looks good and classy. It will make it easier to clean and dust behind the board as well.

Should a headboard touch the wall?

While some people prefer the headboard of their bed to touch the wall, most people leave a gap of an inch or so in order to avoid staining the walls. It is best to keep a little gap, but it is also fine for your headboard to touch the wall.

If you want your headboard to touch the wall for extra stability, then go for it. There is no rule against it. But do keep in mind that most of the time, the edges of the headboard might stain and damage the walls.

Nathan James Harlow Wall Mount Faux Leather or Fabric Upholstered Headboard, Adjustable Height Vintage Brown Straps with Black Matte Metal Rail, King

Does a headboard have to be attached to the wall?

It is a very common design to attach the headboard to the wall, but not a mandatory rule. This requires work, however. And it is more or less a permanent design so you need many materials to work with. The design is getting rather popular nowadays.

With mounting hardware, you can easily attach your headboard to the wall. You will need to locate the studs behind your wall so you mistakenly do not damage the French Cleats. For a better and more neat job, it is best to call a professional to do the job right.

Can you lean a headboard against a wall?

It is absolutely okay to lean your headboard against a wall. Sometimes it is fine to lean the headboard if it is not exactly attached to the bed frame. However, it is best to get that fixed. You can also fasten the headboard to the bed frame for support.

If your headboard is not attached to the bed frame or the wall, you can keep it leaning against the wall. But this is not advised. It is best to attach the headboard to the bed frame, or the wall for safety. You do not want your headboard to fall down abruptly or from time to time.

What should I put between the wall and headboard?

Sometimes the headboard can get a bit wobbly and start to bump against the wall. This is not desirable as it will damage both the wall and the damage. This is why you should put something between the headboard and the wall –

ZINUS Trina Upholstered Headboard / Button Tufted Upholstery / Adjustable Height / Easy Assembly, Taupe, Queen

  • You can use a large piece of foam in between to avoid the headboard from bumping into the wall;
  • You can attach pieces of rubber to the had board so it won’t bump more frequently to the wall;
  • Pieces of clothing or fabric are not a good idea but can be effective temporarily;
  • Door stoppers are always a good idea to prevent bumping between the headboard and the wall.

These are the common things you can use between the wall and the headboard to stop the bumping.

Why are headboards usually attached to the wall above the bed?

The concept of headboards attached to the bed frame and the wall is not entirely uncommon. Besides looking good and adding a touch of class to the room there are other reasons to attach a headboard –

  • Gives support to your bed frame;
  • Lowers chances of abrasions on the wall;
  • Gives you a place to lean and tilt on;
  • Gives a new look to your room;

These are mostly why headboards are attached to the wall above the bed frame. But it is always because that particular setting looks better.

How to keep the headboard from banging against the wall?

If your headboard gets wobbly with time or because of some other defects, it will hit and bang against the wall. This will damage both the wall and the headboard. If this starts to happen take action immediately –

Place a foam or other material:

You can put something, rubber or fabric or a piece of foam, between the wall and the headboard to stop the banging temporarily;

Use a door stopper:

Use a door stopper to solve the issue quickly and effectively. Using a door stopper is the best way to keep the headboard from banging the door. However, you should get your wobbly headboard fixed to avoid any major damage.

What can I use to stop my headboard from hitting the wall?

The most effective and popular piece of equipment is a door stopper when it comes to stopping the headboard from hitting against the wall. Though putting foam or rubber between the wall and the headboard works as well.

But that is not permanent or much effective compared to the door stopper.

A door stopper will not only stop the banging but will help keep the headboard attached to the wall for the time being. That being said, it is always best to seek a professional to fix the problem as soon as possible.

A headboard is an eccentric piece of furniture that adds a certain class to the overall interior to the room. The best place to attach this piece is against a wall. However, you are free to mix the position according to your liking.