Choosing the perfect headboard may seem like a pretty simple decision when learning how to design bedroom layouts, but on top of being the focal point of the bedroom it is also a big purchase, requiring an extra bit of attention. This makes it equally as important as knowing how to choose the right mattress. Did you ever think about the impact headboards have on your modern guest bedroom ideas? Wouldn’t you say that most beds would be dull and incomplete without it? There are numerous benefits of having a headboard, such as improving the visual appeal of your bedroom with nothing but their presence.
Given how much time you spend sleeping or relaxing in bed, it’s easy to argue that your bed should be as comfortable as possible. To go low or high? Wide or narrow? Upholstery or wood? With so many options on the market, we are here to help you make the right choice for your home, so check out our breakdown of headboard types and handy tips on selections below.
One of the best places to start when searching for your new headboard is with the materials. By choosing the type of materials that speak best to you and your design style, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and find something that compliments the aesthetic of your bedroom. Some of the primary material types to choose from are upholstery, wood, metal, leather, and natural fibers.
An upholstered headboard can elevate your space by bringing a touch of elegance to a bedroom. Headboards can be covered with fabrics such as velvet, linen, or microfiber. Aside from fabric, different design elements can also change the appearance of the headboard. For example, some options are heavily padded while others are tufted to add a more luxurious looking detail. A heavily padded headboard is much more comfortable to lean against, and it’s a good choice if you’re someone who wants to use your headboard as support while sitting up in bed to read or hang out.
No matter what fabric you choose, it must be durable and stain resistant. Among the most durable are leather, suede, vinyl, cotton, and heavy polyester blends. The most stain resistant include vinyl and leather. But most all fabrics can be treated with a fabric and upholstery protector.
- Cotton, soft polyesters, silk polyesters, and polyester blends (any lighter fabrics) suit traditional bedrooms and children's rooms best
- Linen is easy to maintain and repels allergens, contributing to a fresh, healthy sleeping environment
- Velvet headboards are luxuriously soft and glamorous
- Suede is chic and adds classic charm to your bed. It is durable, but accumulates dust, so must be brushed or vacuumed regularly
A wooden headboard is the most traditional, and perhaps the most common, material used for a bed frame. It is versatile enough for any décor, depending on the type of wood. Often used to create a luxurious, elegant bedroom style, the wooden headboard is the basis for some of the most classic headboard types. Sleigh beds are most commonly crafted from wood, and panel and slat beds are typically created from wooden materials as well. Although they may seem somewhat lackluster, wood headboards can be very versatile and visually appealing. They can be stained, painted, or combined with other materials or elements to create a unique design that fits within the decor style of any room.
A metal headboard is crafted from a variety of materials, but most often, it is made from Iron. Popular throughout many different eras for its classic look, a metal headboard is durable and can stand the test of time if properly cared for. Metal headboards can also be crafted from several other types of materials like aluminum, copper, brushed steel, and brass. The open design most commonly found in metal headboards helps to create the illusion of space in smaller rooms. Metal headboards can also fit within various types of design styles. For example, they can be modern or antique depending on the specific style of the rods, ends, detailing, and color. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to metal headboards is that you’ll need to keep the metal clean in order to avoid rust and deterioration over time.
A leather headboard adds a chic modern design to a bedroom, making it an excellent choice for a headboard, and there are several different types that you can choose from. Leather is made from animal hides, and the most commonly used are cowhide. Leather quality is then divided into four separate categories: full grain, split leather, corrected grain, and aniline leather. You can check out our Oslo headboard in our Vegan leather fabric here! (link to headboard)
The use of natural fibers reflects a growing trend of returning to nature and our concern about the sustainability of the materials we use. The casual beauty of wicker, rattan, abaca, and bamboo is most at home in a country, tropic or coastal décor. These headboards are sometimes grouped together with wood frames.
Next, we are breaking down the most common types of headboards that you can find on the market. Whether you’re looking to do a complete renovation of your bedroom, or just freshening up your space, replacing your headboard is one way to make a significant visual impact in your room.
Types of Headboards
- Panel: A Panel headboard is your most basic type of headboard. It is flat and rectangular and so-named because it generally features panels of wood or fabric. Panel headboards now come in every style, from minimalist to ornate, and every material you can imagine. No matter what your décor, you will find a suitable panel headboard. It's one of the easiest ways to upgrade and elevate your plain bedroom.
- Slat: Also called Mission Style, the slat headboard has vertical or horizontal slats made of wood, metal or natural fibers. A simple outer bed frame may be curved or have flat sides. There are countless versions, including French country, rustic, traditional, contemporary, Shaker and coastal. This is a very versatile headboard that can be used in a number of different style homes.
- Wingback: A wingback headboard is a nice alternative to a flat headboard. The curved lines and protruding elements of a wingback headboard can completely change the look of the bed and the room. The headboard has two panels (wings) that jut out on either side of the bed's headspace. Most wingbacks are upholstered, and tufting has become increasingly popular with this headboard style in recent years.
- Traditional: Traditional headboards are usually frame-mounted and attach directly to your bed. They’re made from a variety of materials but often feature rich wood elements and colors.
- Open-Frame: An open-frame headboard brings a casual elegance to the bedroom. It has a simple outer bed frame, same as the slat headboard, but the inner bars or slats are elaborately intricate. Usually, the open-frame is made of metal, but when fashioned from natural fibers, it has a definite coastal vibe. When made of wood with a design of geometric shapes, it works well in contemporary décor.
- Sleigh: Featuring a gentle backward slope, the sleigh headboard is quite elegant. This type of headboard can come in a wide variety of styles which may be simple or elaborate. Upholstered sleigh headboards provide extra comfort, especially for those who tend to spend a lot of time hanging out or reading in bed.
Now that you’ve nailed down the material and style, there are a couple additional key factors to consider, such as function, size, and budget.
When deciding on the headboard that best suits your needs, it is important to consider the function that it will serve within your bedroom. Do you want to add a headboard that will just look good? Or do you want a headboard that will serve a few different purposes within the space? Knowing your goal in purchasing a headboard is important when it comes time to choose the correct one that will best fit your room. Many people use a headboard as a backrest to either sit up, read, or watch TV in bed. If you’re this person, then you will want to choose a headboard that will be the most comfortable to sit up against. If you like the overall look of wood, but just need something to prop your pillows up with, consider choosing a sleigh bed that will look nice and will be sturdy enough to keep pillows in place at the same time. If an upholstered headboard is more your style, select a tall headboard that will offer a lot of support while being visually pleasing.
The overall size of your bedroom, as well as the size of the wall your headboard will be mounted against can help you determine what style and type of headboard will be best for you.
Although there are many kinds of headboards, they generally come in one of five sizes.
Twin bed headboard: 38” wide and 75” tall
Double bed headboard: 54” wide and height up to 75”
Queen bed headboard: 60” wide and height up to 80”
King size bed headboard: 76” in width and up to 80” in height
California King bed headboard: 80” wide by up to 96” tall
Determining a budget for your headboard will help you choose what materials to use and narrow down your options. The overall cost of your headboard will depend on a variety of factors at the end of the day. High-end materials, like real wood, high-quality leather, or expensive metals can put the price tag of a headboard well into the several thousand dollar ranges. That said, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a beautiful headboard. You can control how much you spend based on your taste, design aesthetic, and personal preferences. If you are on a really tight budget, you can even consider creating your own DIY headboard with extra materials you have laying around the house!
Choosing the right headboard for any bedroom can be a difficult task, but don’t let the overwhelming number of options intimidate you! If you already love the look of your room, consider your current style to pick a headboard that will match what you already have. If you want to make changes to your bedroom, choose a headboard that you absolutely love and allow that to serve as a starting point to influence other changes in the design of your space. Make sure to keep all of these tips in mind when choosing a new headboard to complete the overall look of your beautiful bedroom oasis.