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A quick guide to buying a headboard

Image of the bed and headboard belonging to @clement_browne

A quick guide to buying a headboard

To have a headboard or not to have a headboard, that is the question! Some beds come with one already attached, which means you won’t have the expense of buying it separately. The downside of this is that when you want a new look, you’ll have to update both at once. Read on to find our more.

What are the benefits of a headboard?

If you like to sit up in bed to watch TV or read a book, then a headboard is an excellent way of supporting your back. A particular bugbear of mine is when my pillows fall down the gap between the bed and the wall. A headboard helps keep everything in place!

I want an upholstered headboard. Should I choose fabric or leather?

An upholstered headboard will be more comfortable to lean against than one made of wood or metal. That said, bear in mind that there’s more maintenance involved in keeping an upholstered headboard in good condition than one that’s wooden or metal. Design note: fabric is typically warmer than leather – something to think about if you like to be cosy at night.

Do I want a wood or metal headboard?

Wooden headboards suit almost any style of bedroom, from contemporary to traditional. They’re easy to update too: when you want to switch up your style, a simple lick of paint will do the trick. What’s more, they’re also easier to clean than upholstered models.

Metal headboards boast similar benefits to wooden ones. They’re easy to clean and work well with a variety of decor styles depending on the design and finish. For instance, an ornate scroll design in bronze will add a regal note to your bedroom while a pared-back design in nickel will create a rustic look. 

How are headboards installed?

There are three ways you can install a headboard:

  • A wall-mounted headboard is attached to the wall behind the bed. The mounting plate is a simple DIY job and should only take a few minutes to fit.
  • A fixed headboard comes with plywood struts so you can attach it directly to the bed frame. With nothing fixed to the wall, your bed isn’t tied to one position.
  • Floor-standing headboards are self-explanatory. They attach to the bed frame and stretch down to sit on the floor.
What’s the ideal width?

Choose one that’s slightly wider than your bed by about 10cm each side. This way, when you add a duvet, it won’t look too narrow. If you prefer the oversized look, go for an extra-large model. Here, the headboard reaches as far as the bedside tables (or perhaps even further, depending on the size of your room).

And how tall should it be?

Experts recommend that your headboard should extend at least 30cm above your bedding. This means that you can sit up in bed and lean back comfortably. If you want to make more of a statement, there are extra-tall models available.

Featured image: Bedroom inspiration from Clement Browne.

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