How to Attach a Headboard – Step-by-Step Guide
Initially, a headboard was one of the pieces of furniture designed to prevent people’s heads from getting too cold during chilly nights. It might seem a little odd from today’s perspective, but the fact is that old houses were not as cold-resistant as they are now. Therefore, headboards served as an essential cold barrier between the wall and the top edge of the bed. Learn more about why you need a headboard, how headboards work, and how to choose the right headboard here too.
To attach a headboard to a bed, first gather common tools including screws, bolts, washers, and wrenches. Then attach the headboard leds and tighten them securely. Finally, bolt the headboard to the wall using wall mounts. You may optionally also drill the headboard directly into the bed frame.
Why are headboards still so popular nowadays?
There are dozens of factors affecting the demand for modern headboards. These include:
- Headboards are used as decorative elements that make the bedroom look more aesthetic;
- Headboards create support and prevent things (e.g., pillows) from falling off the bed;
- Upholstered headboards are specifically selected to make the bed cozy and improve the quality of sleep;
- Headboards can provide back support while you are sitting up on a bed;
- Specifically-designed headboards grant you extra space for storing books, pillows, chargers, etc. that you can quickly access while resting on the bed;
- Headboards can minimize damage such as scratches, marks, or stains on the wall, and maintain the overall quality of the wall.
You can find out more about the purpose of a headboard by following this link to the article by Frances Hunt.
To make our article on attaching your headboard as informative and useful as possible, we will focus on the following topics:
- Types of Headboards
- How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Wall and What Do You Use to Hang it?
- How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Wooden Bed Frame?
- How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Divan Bed with No Holes?
- How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Platform Bed?
- How Do You Attach a Headboard to an Adjustable Bed?
- Can a Headboard Be Attached to Any Bed Frame?
- How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Box Spring?
- Should a Headboard Touch the Floor?
If you are interested in one of the topics listed above, keep reading! Also, make sure to take a look at how to fix a wobbly headboard and how to raise the height of a headboard for more useful information. Additionally, if you're using a headboard that's actually a bookcase, be sure to check out our related article, 10 bookcase bed nook ideas to make your bedroom look cozy.
What Are the Main Types of Headboards?
First, let’s discuss different types of headboards and their main features, to make it easier for you to choose which one best suits your needs. Headboards can be categorized by several features, including material, installation options, design, size, and intended use. Make sure to check out our article on how to choose a headboard for more ideas and suggestions.
The main types of headboard materials are wood, metal, and upholstery. You can install a headboard that is free-standing, wall-mounted, or frame-mounted. Common designs of headboards include traditional headboards, modern headboards, and slatted headboards.
Characterization by Headboard Material
Traditionally, wooden headboards were used to prevent contact between the sleeper’s head and a cold wall. Over time, houses have become more insulated, and headboards now serve as decorative pieces of furniture. Here’s a highly rated wooden headboard from Amazon.
With their luxurious and elegant designs, wooden headboards are considered the most classic type of headboard. Additionally, wood can be easily painted or redecorated using metal or fabric pieces, which makes these headboards even more popular.
Metal headboards were especially popular in the Victorian era. Metal can create either a vintage or modern look, depending on the color and patterns of the headboard.
Metal headboards can be crafted from a wide array of materials, including wrought iron, aluminum, copper, brass (an alloy of copper and zinc), and polished steel.
A metal headboard is especially beautiful due to its natural color, but it can always be painted over to match the overall design of your bedroom.
One of the most comfortable, elegant, and luxurious headboard types is the upholstered headboard. Their fabric covering is usually decorated with metal buttons and nailheads.
Upholstered headboards can be made with different types of fabric, including linen, velvet, and leather.
Such headboards can be padded or tufted, depending on the manufacturer. Padded headboards give more of a comfy and fluffy look to the bed, while tufted headboards add fancy details.
Characterization by Headboard Installation Options
Another way to characterize different types of headboards is by their installation options. Three of the most common types are listed below:
Free-standing headboards are very convenient since you can easily put them between the wall and the bed and move them whenever you want.
Free-standing headboards require no attachment materials or drilled holes.
Although such headboards are designed to stand on their own, you can also attach them to either the bed frame or the wall. Some of the tips on how to do so will be further discussed later in this article. Here’s an easy to install free-standing headboard from Amazon.
Bed Frame Mounted Headboard
The pro of these headboards is that they create a cohesive look in your bedroom.
Bed frame-mounted headboards are designed to be attached directly to the bed frame.
After mounting the headboard to the bed frame, it looks like an all-in-one set; it’s hardly possible to notice that the headboard was not an original part of the bed.
Wall-mounted headboards are compatible with almost any bed frame.
This type of headboard is attached directly to the wall itself. They can be attached easily by finding a flat surface of the wall and drilling holes into the headboard and wall.
This type of headboard allows you to express your creativity by choosing where and how to center the headboard with respect to the bed frame. Here’s an example of a wall-mounted headboard from Amazon.
Characterization by Headboard Design
One of the most important characteristics of a headboard is its design, which is mainly created using different materials and patterns. Some of the common designs and major features are listed below.
Traditional headboards are especially suitable for bedrooms featuring European-style decorations from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The traditional headboard is characterized by its minimalism and classic elements. Such headboards are commonly made with wood and are mounted directly to the bed frame.
Modern headboards are typically used to give the bedroom more of a contemporary look.
Contemporary headboards usually come in different colors and feature metal, glass, wood, or chrome elements, granting the headboard a unique design.
Slat headboards are designed to make the headboard look taller, which is why they are ideal for bedrooms with a relatively low ceiling.
Slat headboards generally comprise vertical wooden (or metal) pieces that can be positioned in different ways. There may be equal space between the individual slats or several slats may be grouped closer to each other, with larger distance between these groups of slats.
Slat headboards come in different colors. You can easily paint and DIY to match them with the overall design of your bedroom.
You might also find interest in our related article comparing a sleigh bed vs panel bed. One of these already has a built-in headboard!
Characterization by Headboard Size
Obviously, there are different sizes of beds available on the market. Similarly to other bed features, headboards also come in various sizes to match the dimensions of the bed. One of the most important aspects to consider while shopping for a headboard is what type of headboard you want to purchase and how big your bed is.
Headboard size directly corresponds to the most common sizes of beds - it is therefore important to know the size and dimensions of your bed so you can match the appropriate headboard size.
If you are going to buy a frame-mounted headboard, you will need to know the exact dimensions of your bed so the headboard mounts properly on the frame. In the case of wall-mounted and free-standing headboards, you can buy the one that is a little bit wider than the actual bed.
Several common sizes of beds and their dimensions are provided in the following table.
|Single||38 x 75 inches|
|Full||54 x 75 inches|
|Queen||60 x 80 inches|
|King||76 x 80 inches|
|California King||72 x 84 inches|
Characterization by Intended Use
Last but not least, headboards can be characterized according to their purpose.
Generally, headboards are designed to meet an individual’s specific needs, including decoration, comfort, and additional storage.
Some of the categories of headboard use are as follows:
- Used as a decorative piece of furniture – wooden or metal headboards with various alluring patterns and designs
- Used for greatest-possible sleep comfort – upholstered headboards that are soft and cozy
- Used as storage or bookcase – free-standing wooden headboards that have drawers and shelves to store clothing, books, etc.
How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Wall and What Do You Use to Hang it?
As mentioned earlier, one type of headboard is referred to as a wall-mounted headboard. Such headboards are directly attached to the wall.
To attach a wall-mounted headboard, collect tools such as screws, bolts, and washers. After gathering these tools, attach the headboard’s legs and mount the headboard to the wall. You can also optionally attach it to the bed frame.
If you want to make your bed look fancier by using a wall-mounted headboard, here is the step-by-step guide on how to attach it to the wall and which tools you need to do so.
The parts that you will most likely need to assemble a headboard and mount it to the wall are the following:
- Washers for M8 bolts
- M6 bolts
- Washers for M6 bolts
- Headboard mount
- Wall mount
- Drywall anchor
- Hex key
Follow the steps below to assemble and attach the headboard to the wall properly.
Step 1. Prepare Your Tools and Headboard for Assembly
Unbox the headboard and put it face-down on the floor. Prepare all the tools and parts of the headboard you might need to assemble it and attach it to the wall. Some headboards like this one from Amazon are simpler to install than others.
Step 2. Attach Legs to Headboard and Secure Them
Attach two legs to the headboard using appropriate bolts (usually M8 bolts) and the hex key. Then, secure them with washers. Usually, you can adjust the height of the legs, since there are several holes provided on the headboard.
Step 3. Attach the Headboard to the Wall with Wall Mounts
Screw two headboard mounts to the top of the headboard. Then, attach the wall mounts to the wall using the screws. It is essential to make sure that the wall mounts are properly aligned to match the headboard mounts. Finally, lift the headboard and attach it to the wall so that the headboard and wall mounts are joined together. Use some drywall anchors to secure the headboard and ensure that it is well-attached to the wall.
If you want your headboard to only be attached to the wall, you are finished! If you also want to connect it to the bed, follow Step 4 (below) as well.
Step 4. Attach the Headboard to the Bed Frame (Optional)
For the last step, attach the wall-mounted headboard to the bed frame using some bolts (usually M6 bolts), washers, and nuts.
Check out the detailed headboard assembly instructions by Wayfair to get further information on how to attach a headboard to the wall.
How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Wooden Bed Frame?
Another option for attaching a headboard is to mount it to the bed frame directly. Since wooden bed frames can be easily drilled into, it is pretty simple to attach the headboard to such beds.
To attach a headboard directly to a wooden bed frame, collect tools such as screws, bolts, and washers. After gathering these tools, attach the headboard’s legs, then affix the headboard to the bed frame with bolts, washers, and nuts.
First, you should prepare the tools that you will need to assemble the headboard. The list is provided below:
- M8 bolts
- Big Washers
- M6 bolts
- Small Washers
- Headboard mounts
- Wall mounts (if you want to attach the headboard to the wall as well)
- Drywall anchor
- 5mm Allen key
- 4mm Allen key
A step-by-step guide on how to attach the headboard to the wooden bed frame is provided below.
Step 1. Prepare Your Tools and Headboard for Assembly
Get the headboard and put it face-down on the floor. Prepare the tools you might need. This frame-mounted or free-standing headboard is highly rated on Amazon.
Step 2. Attach Legs to Headboard and Secure Them
Secure the legs to the headboard with bigger bolts and washers using a 5mm Allen key.
Step 3. Attach the Headboard to the Bed Frame
Place the assembled headboard so that its front side faces the bed frame and attach it to the frame with smaller bolts, washers, and nuts, using a 4mm Allen key.
You can check out the bed frame mounted headboard assembly instructions by Wayfair for additional assembly details.
It might seem a little bit trickier to attach a headboard to a metal bed frame - but it is quite easy, if you know how to do it. One of the most common ways to do so is using headboard brackets, which are specifically designed for metal bed frames. You can check out some options of headboards for metal frames, by following the link to Amazon.
Note that some bed frames come with specific brackets that are compatible with specific headboards. If your bed frame does come with brackets, you should make sure that the brackets are suitable for the headboard you have decided to purchase. If your bed frame does not have any brackets, you can simply use adapter plates to secure the bolts properly. You might need a helping hand to line up all the parts correctly.
Here is the link to a YouTube video by SouthShoreFurniture explaining how to attach a headboard to a metal frame.
How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Divan Bed with no Holes?
Sometimes, people want to attach a headboard to the bed without drilling holes either in the bed frame or the wall. If you have a divan bed (or any other bed) and want to avoid drilling holes, you will need to purchase a free-standing headboard that does not require being attached to something else.
To attach a headboard to a Divan bed without holes or screws, use a free-standing headboard. These headboards stand between the bed frame and the wall so they don't need any screws, tools, or holes to attach to a Divan bed.
How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Platform Bed?
Attaching a headboard to a platform bed can be done similarly to attaching a headboard to a regular wooden bed. You should also consider buying a platform bed frame like this one which already has a headboard attached.
To attach a headboard to a platform bed, assemble the headboard and mount it on the wall or directly attach it to the platform bed frame. You might also need to add a horizontal wooden piece across the bed frame for extra support.
To better visualize how to attach the headboard, check out the YouTube video by SouthShoreFurniture, which demonstrates this.
How Do You Attach a Headboard to an Adjustable Bed?
Although adjustable beds are very comfortable and popular all around the world, there are dozens of such beds that come without a headboard. In such cases, there can seem to be too much open space between the bed frame and the wall, which affects the overall design of your bedroom.
You can attach a wall-mounted, frame-mounted, or free standing headboard to an adjustable bed. First gather your tools, assemble the headboard, and then mount it to the frame according to the manufacturer’s directions. Attaching a headboard to an adjustable bed is the same as attaching it to a standard bed.
A headboard can give your adjustable bed a much more luxurious look. Since there will still be some open space left between the bed frame and the floor, the free-standing headboard (here’s a great example!) will be a better option than wall-mounted or bed frame-mounted ones.
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of free-standing headboards; in this case, bookcase and storage headboards will work the best. You can use a regular headboard, which can be attached to the wall or to the bed frame itself, but you should use one that is big enough to cover the wall below the bed frame as well. We would suggest you use an upholstered headboard since it has more volume and covers more free space.
Can a Headboard Be Attached to Any Bed Frame?
No matter what type of bed frame you have, there is always a solution to connecting a headboard to it.
A headboard can be attached to any bed frame. There are a wide variety of headboards that can fit any bed frame, including both wooden and metal frames.
How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Box Spring?
Attaching a headboard to a box spring can be a tricky task. Box springs are usually covered with fabric so you cannot directly see where the wooden parts are. The wooden pieces in a typical box spring are also not as sturdy and durable as a wooden bed frame. Therefore, attaching a headboard to a box spring might not be successful.
Do not attach a headboard to a box spring because it will damage the box spring. Instead, use a wall-mounted or free-standing headboard, which will be both decorative and functional.
If you are interested in attaching a headboard to a box spring, you might enjoy this article by Crafty Girl. The article explains and provides detailed instructions on how to convert a box spring into a platform bed with an upholstered headboard.
Should a Headboard Touch the Floor?
You might want to know if a headboard should touch the floor after being attached to the bed frame.
A free-standing headboard may touch the floor. Other headboards, like wall-mounted or bed frame-mounted headboards are not typically designed to touch the floor.
Obviously, free-standing headboards touch the ground because there is no other way they can stand on their own. But, in the case of wall-mounted or bed frame-mounted headboards, it all depends on how you attach them to the wall or the bed frame.