How do Headboards Work? (Complete Guide)

Nothing can be more aesthetically pleasing than having the perfect headboard aligned to your bed that adds comfort, adds insulation, protects the wall, and completes the look of the bed.

Additionally, with vast options to choose from, headboards work excellently to enhance the beauty, to accentuate the artistry without compromising the practicality. 

How do Headboards Work?

Different headboards work differently. In a general sense, headboards work either by attaching the headboard directly to the walls or by attaching it to the bed frame. Headboards also function by placing the headboards directly to sit on the floor behind the bed frame. 

Upholstered Headboard: 

Upholstered headboards are attached to the bed frames. They come with washers, panels, and bolts and they work by attaching the washers and screws to the panels then the panels to the headboards. 

Upholstered headboards offer a traditional, classy, and luxurious look and they are perhaps the most comfortable as they include extra padding on the headboards. 

Additionally, these cushioned headboards have embroideries on them and so they offer an elegant contemporary look without compromising comfort. 

Dorm Headboard:

Typically, a dorm headboard is very portable and smaller than average full-sized headboards.

A dorm headboard works by attaching the headboards to the legs with screws and it is done by placing the legs in between the bed frame and headboard. The legs actually come with the headboard. 

Additionally, this is very convenient as dorm headboards do not damage the walls with holes and at the end of the semester, you can easily unscrew the headboard. 

Floor Standing Headboard:

A Floor standing or free-standing headboard works by needing no extra support as these headboards can stand on their own. Floor standing headboards do not have to be mounted to the walls and they can easily stand behind the bed. 

These headboards are very convenient as they offer the selection on whether you want the headboard mounted to the bed or wall or not.

In addition, they give you a lot of options to choose from and offer flexibility. They also do not come with already drilled holes and hardware. 

Moreover, you do not have to buy a floor standing headboard with a bed frame as you can buy a headboard separately that fits your styling and aesthetic.   

Wall Mounted Headboard:

Wall-mounted headboards do not need to be attached to the bed frame and wall-mounted headboards work by being directly mounted or drilled to the walls with the help of attached brackets.

In addition, with your wall-mounted headboard, you can easily choose the height and width of your headboard. A wall-mounted headboard also offers flexibility.

Wall-mounted headboards work really well by giving the bed a complete and floating look. These types of headboards work really well as they do not have to match with your bed frame and you can change your bed frame without changing the headboard.

Moreover, these luxurious, decorative, and elegant headboards which are sometimes covered with velvet materials also do not skip on the aspect of functionality as they sometimes offer storage spaces.  

Bed Frame Mounted Headboard:

Bed frame mounted headboards do not have to be directly drilled to the walls rather they function by being directly mounted or drilled to the bed frames.

Additionally, having some brackets on the legs of the headboard allows the bed frames to easily attach to the brackets of the headboards.

As these headboards are directly attached to the bed frames, they look like one piece and offer sturdiness. This allows you to move the bed in one piece while changing the position of your bed.

How do headboards work with adjustable beds?

Adjustable beds are very much compatible with any kind of headboard. Many adjustable headboards actually have the option of attaching headboards by using headboard brackets.

Some adjustable headboards actually include built-in brackets. Additionally, headboards also include mounting holes which permit you to insert a bolt into the mounting holes to attach the bracket to the adjustable bed.  

Moreover, headboards also work with adjustable beds by being mounted to the walls with the help of screws and bolts. 

What headboards work with adjustable beds?

Your adjustable bed can really benefit from a headboard that will multiply the comfort and enhance the functionality. 

However, all types of headboards are not compatible with adjustable beds therefore, the name of the following headboards can assist you in acknowledging the options available. 

Upholstered Headboard: 

Upholstered headboards are one of the most used headboards for adjustable beds and these headboards are perfectly compatible with the different types of adjustable beds be it wooden or metal.

Upholstered headboards come with the classic tufted cushioned design and you can choose from myriads of different finishes, fabrics, and prints. 

Details on upholstered headboard with nailhead trims, welding, rhinestones, and buttons add more dimension to your adjustable bed. 

Bookcase Headboard: 

You can use bookcase headboards with any adjustable beds. Bookcase headboards will not only accentuate the modern look of your home but will also add more storage space that includes different compartments and shelves.

These types of headboards work excellently with any kind of adjustable bed. Additionally, these headboards can work as great substitutes for side tables.

Freestanding Headboard: 

You can also use freestanding headboards for adjustable beds. You can use cushioned or wooden free-standing headboards.

As these types of headboards do not require to be attached to the bed, they will perfectly sit behind your adjustable bed resulting in a perfect sophisticated look for your bed.

Wall Mounted Headboard:

Your adjustable beds are the most convenient piece of furniture that fits according to your preference, likings and it mainly adheres to your comfort but adding a wall-mounted headboard can help multiply the practicality.

Because the wall-mounted headboards are drilled into the walls, you can simply place this headboard on the wall above the adjustable bed and can create the illusion of having a one-piece bed.

Lilak Headboard: 

Lilak headboards are also compatible with adjustable beds. These headboards are made with rattan and it offers very neutral tones.

These headboards create a very boho look for your bedroom and they are very easy to install therefore, they are the perfect fit for your adjustable bed.

Do headboards come with bed frames?

Headboards do not necessarily come with bed frames. Headboards are actually size compatible and they offer the flexibility to be attached to any kind of bed frame. 

However, it is very typical that many headboards come with bed frames. Headboards such as mounted headboards, upholstered headboards, metal headboards, wooden headboards, and many more come with bed frames. 

Do headboards attach to bed frames?

Headboards definitely attach to bed frames however, not all headboards attach to the bed frames such as wall mounted headboards and floor standing headboards.

The headboards that attach to bed frames are bed frame mounted headboards, upholstered headboards, metal headboards, and so on.

Can you use a headboard without a bed frame? 

You can definitely use a headboard without a bed frame by using a mattress that is a bit higher than the average.

You can simply measure the mattress and place wall-mounted headboards above it. This will not only make the headboard and mattress look like one piece rather it will also create a fully functional elegant bed. 

Additionally, the freestanding headboards do not require any attachment to the bed frames therefore, you can use these headboards without a bed frame. 

How does a headboard attach?

Attaching a headboard to any surface can be really troublesome and it can really cause danger if not attached properly with the right precautions.

However, if you are knowledgeable about the proper steps of attaching a headboard to a bed frame or to the wall, you can save yourself from unnecessary trouble. 

Get the Tools and Materials Ready:

You should always keep all the necessary tools ready for installing the headboard on any surface. You also need to make sure to have a helping hand to get the work done easily and seamlessly. 

You also need to keep your drill, screwdriver, measuring tape, leveler, hammer, pencil, and painter’s tape ready for the installation of headboards.  

Take the measurement: 

The next thing that you need to do is to take the proper measurements. In the case of the bed frame, you need to make sure to measure the screw holes on the bed frames to get the correct reference. 

You also need to make sure to take measurements of the height of the mattress and bedding so that you can get the idea of the exact height you want your headboard to be.

You also need to take side tables into account so that they will not look odd after the placement of the headboard. 

Put Outline on the Wall: 

Adding an outline of the headboard on the wall can really help you in attaching the headboard to the perfect position. 

If you are attaching the headboard directly on the wall, you first need to place the headboard on the wall where you want it to be for reference. 

After that, you need to put markings with pencil on the walls and you need to add painter’s tape on the wall to create an outline of the headboard. 

Use a Leveler to align:

You also need to use the leveler from time to time to make sure you have the perfect alignment and to make sure your headboard does not look crooked. 

You can use the leveler directly on the headboard to find out whether it is aligned perfectly, or you can place the leveler on the taped outline to see beforehand whether your alignment is perfect or not.

Attach the Headboard Struts to Your Headboard:

You now need to attach the headboard struts to the headboard. The headboard struts should have multiple holes in them from the manufacturers.

All you need to do now is to take your washers and screws and place them on the drilled hole. Moreover, this will allow you to attach the headboard to the bed frame. 

However, in the case of wall-mounted headboards, you first need to attach or drill the headboard brackets on the walls, and only then you will be able to attach the headboard to the wall.

What hardware do I need to attach a headboard?

In case of attaching a headboard, you need to keep the necessary hardware near you. Furthermore, you should also have the knowledge of what types of hardware are necessary as you do not want to cause any trouble over missing hardware in the middle of work.

  • Screws
  • Washers
  • Headboard brackets
  • Bolts
  • Locknuts
  • Headboard panels

How do you attach a headboard to a bed with no holes?

You can attach a headboard to the bed with no hole with free-standing or floor-standing headboards. For floor standing headboards, you do not require drilling holes either on the bed frames or on the headboards. 

Freestanding headboards are placed behind the bed and they are not to be attached to the bed frames with washers, bolts, screws, hardware, brackets, and so on. 

In addition, dorm headboards sometimes for the convenience of removal also do not add any hole to the headboard and rather use zip ties to attach the headboard to the bed temporarily. 

Does the headboard include a bed frame?

Headboards can be bought separately and also can be attached to an already existing bed frame hence it is not mandatory that headboards will always include bed frames. 

There are some wooden and metal headboards that come with bed frames. These are the traditional beds in which the headboards are already attached to the bed frames.

However, there are some contemporary headboards that include matching bed frames.     

Do headboards fit all bed frames?

Headboards are very much compatible with any bed frame. Generally, headboards that are somewhere between 0” to 3” wider than the standard bed frames fit these standard bed frames perfectly.

As a standard bed frame will be compatible with any headboard, you can easily pick out any headboard you want and this will perfectly fit your existing or newly purchased bed. However, in the case of custom-made headboards and bed frames, the fit will be different. 

Are all headboards compatible with adjustable beds?

All standard headboards are compatible with adjustable beds. Adjustable beds actually include brackets that allow the use of any kind of headboard. 

In addition, adjustable headboards allow customization to create a perfect fit in case of height or width and thus complements your headboard.

Moreover, headboards like upholstered headboards, wooden headboards, bookcase headboards, and metal headboards are compatible with adjustable beds. 

Does a headboard sit on the mattress?

You need proper support and stability for your headboard to work perfectly hence, your headboard should not sit on a mattress. This can be rather dangerous and will not give proper back support for you. 

Additionally, this will also make the headboard look inconsistent with the bed itself. 

To have the perfect alignment allied with functionality, you should keep the headboard behind the mattress meaning it should sit below the bed at about three to four inches.

Should the headboard be above the mattress?

By placing a headboard above the mattress, it actually creates a perfect alignment with the mattress and enhances the visual beauty.  

Nevertheless, to have the additional support, you should place the bottom of the headboard three to four inches below the bed.

However, there is no concrete rule that your headboard should be above the mattress as many headboards such as floor standing headboards are placed behind the mattress and they generally sit on the floor. 

How high should a headboard be above the mattress?

The bed or mattress size determines how high the headboard should be hence this varies a lot from mattress to mattress.

Consequently, for a twin size mattress, the headboard should be 14 inches high above the mattress. For a king-size bed, it should be 58 inches and for a full or queen size, the headboard should be 28 inches high above the mattress.

Additionally, some wall-mounted headboards can be 66-70 inches high above the mattress.

To sum up, it is headboards’ compatibility with a wide range of bed and bed frames that make it versatile and unique. Moreover, a headboard works very conveniently and offers the utmost comfort, style, and character.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does a Headboard Have to Be Against the Wall?

Does Headboard Have to Match?

How Tall & Wide Should a Headboard Be?

Why Are Headboards So Expensive?

Should Lamps Be Taller Than Headboard?