I have a thing about beds. First of all, even as a single woman, I have to sleep in no less than a queen size bed. I’m also into the type of beds out there, and have slept years on waterbeds, which are one of the least common bed types of them all.
In terms of my current bed frame, though, headboards have always been an issue. These modern style beds don’t always have a headboard that comes with them. So I wonder, how are headboards attached to the bed and do I even need one?
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What are Headboards Good for?
The main reason why we have headboards on beds is to protect the person sleeping in the bed from hitting against the wall.
When you are sleeping, you might want to sit up or prop against something hard. If you sit up against the wall, you will rub the wallpaper or paint. Over time, this leaves an unsightly tarnish on the wall that could be easily avoided with the use of a headboard. Therefore, headboards are good for protecting a wall from being damaged from the use of a bed.
According to Mattress Nut, “Headboards work by attaching to the wall behind your bed, to the bed itself, or being freestanding behind the bed. Headboards can help decorate your bedroom, make your bed more comfortable, and provide storage space.”
Here is where choosing the right style of bed and headboard will help you solve many dilemmas, such as finding a place to store toys out of sight. Headboards can also serve to hold books and lamps for your reading nook. As you can see, there are many reasons why bed owners want to attach a headboard to the bed they own.
Do Headboards Offer Visual Enhancement to a Bedroom?
Why, yes they do! I feel like having some sort of headboard attached to a bed is a grand focal point of any bedroom. As soon as I walk into a bedroom, my eyes are instantly drawn to the bed, as they are for anyone. The bed is, after all, the biggest piece of furniture in a bedroom.
It is also the main point of the room–and the bed offers the greatest joy and relief. Therefore, the bed should look relaxing and make you happy. A headboard is a natural feature of a bed. While not all beds require a headboard, you can make a fake headboard to give the look of this feature.
Headboards come in all types of materials and designs. This includes fabrics, leathers, vegan materials, metals, plastics, and woods. You can make a headboard using an old wooden door or window frame without the glass for that rustic country look.
A tufted fabric headboard that looks like the back of your grandmother’s formal settee is in style in more glamorous and chic rooms.
Wood headboards with carvings and stains often accompany wood beds that are handmade and weigh a ton. These headboards often have columns or ballists for legs and will stand up without needing to have support from the wall. As a result, such wood bed headframes are super dramatic and eye catching.
Can I Attach a Headboard to Any Type of Bed?
These days, with minimalist and Asian-inspired low key bed frames that reach the ground, you don’t always get a headboard pre-attached to a bed. The box style sets up on the floor and often in the center of a bedroom. Therefore, you cannot use a headboard with some styles of beds. You need a few pre-qualifications before you can attach a headboard to a bed:
- Headboard must attach to a bed or
- Headboard must stand upright on its own
- Bed must come with a headboard or
- Bed style needs to have a recommended headboard to buy separately
All beds don’t need a headboard, as I’ll discuss more in depth in a moment. Therefore, you can not attach a headboard to just any type of bed. But there are always options for making headboards or the look of headboards if your bed style does not come with a traditional or standard headboard.
How Do You Secure a Headboard to a Bed Base?
“To attach a headboard to a bed, first gather common tools including screws, bolts, washers, and wrenches,” says Mattress Nut authors. If your bed comes with the sizes of screws, bolts, and washers to install a headboard, you are in even better shape at this point. The headboard you purchase will most likely come with some hardware as well.
You will need a set of screwdrivers, including an Allen wrench, if you are using hexagon-shaped screws. Generally, hex keys come with bolts requiring this type of wrench.
These tools will allow you to connect a headboard by the legs to the base of a bed. The headboard will go at the top of the bed, which is where your head rests when you are asleep. The headboard legs generally attach to the frame of the bed. This is the same if you are using metal frames or wooden frames. You can also screw or nail a headboard to a wooden frame that you have constructed yourself.
Another option for attaching a headboard to a bed is to avoid using the bed at all. Instead, depend on the wall for support. Affix the headboard directly to the wall behind the bed using nails or screws. You could also create a mobile or hanging headboard, as well as a temporary adhesive style decorative headboard.
These faux headboards are increasingly popular when you want the look and protection of a headboard without installing an actual framed structure. Fake headboards made with large removable stickers allow you to add words or images to accent a bed and bedroom design. You can also remove these without damaging the wall.
Does a Headboard Have to be Attached to a Bed Frame?
If the bed you have comes with a headboard, you will most likely have to attach it to the bed frame. This is done in order to protect the bed from falling down, as the required headboard has legs that support the structure. The bed frame will use the headboard to help support the bed and mattress or mattresses while in use. It is a safety concern, so, yes, you will need to attach a headboard as recommended by the manufacturer when you are setting up a bed with a headboard.
However, if your bed does not come with a headboard as part of the style, you do not have to add a headboard to the bed. Headboards are not mandatory for all bed types and frames. As noted, the use of a headboard, especially if made from hard wood materials, will be part of the support system of the bed frame.
Finally, there is the option of a floating headboard. This headboard style, as described by the foam mattress company Casper, “A floating headboard only works for certain bedroom arrangements where the head of the bed is pressed up against the wall.” This is considered a wall-mounted headboard and will limit your options to the wall.
However, wall-mounted headboards are one of the most popular styles. Consider hanging your wall-mounted floating headboard from the ceiling on wires. This is what they do in art museums in order to hang artwork from the walls without using nails or damaging the frames. You can use headboards as works fo art, or vice versa!