No well-crated bed is truly complete without an equally resplendent headboard; that much hasn’t changed in the passing centuries.
While today’s headboards may be less garishly opulent, they’re certainly no less attractive, and thanks to a wide range of styles and inspirations to choose from you’ll have no trouble selecting the perfect headboard for your personally-adorned bed-chamber.
From repurposed wood and antiquated materials to contemporary designs fit for a metropolitan manse, the headboards of today are as eclectic as the men who lay their pillows underneath them.
Textiles to hardware, Mediterranean mosaic patterns to sleek Scandinavian curves: the modern headboard, like the modern bedroom itself, is not a one-off, but an addition to the final effect. A select group of creative souls have even opted for art installations and painted canvases as stand-ins for the traditional headboard, proving that the place in which you dream likewise carries limitless possibilities.
Like any other crucial component of your bedroom, your headboard is a companion to your overall style and demeanor, a crown to rest your head beneath after a long and arduous day. Whether your sleep is chill and understated or as decadent as a king’s, these headboard ideas and designs are a personalized touch in the most intimate capacity.
1. Wood Headboard Ideas
Wood has been a popular choice for headboards for a very long time. Wood is arguably the most traditional material when it comes to building and designing headboards. As you look through the images below, consider how one of these styles might look at the head of your bed. There are modern, contemporary, and even some rustic headboards in the bunch.
Depending on what your style is, wood might be an excellent choice for your headboard. It’s tough and sturdy but it’s still a natural material that feels warm and charming. These headboards are also relatively easy to complete as a first-time DIY project. There are many tutorials available that will show you how to build a headboard from framing lumber, pallet wood, and many more materials.
Due to their weight and design, most of these headboards are meant to be attached to bed frames. If you’re choosing not to attach your headboard, it’s important to attach it to the wall studs behind your bed. If you don’t attach it to the studs, or you just don’t hang it at all, you’re risking a midnight bump on the head when it falls over on you.
2. Upholstered Headboard Ideas
The other most popular choice for a bed set, upholstered headboards consist of soft padding with fabric stretched over it to create a pillowed effect. This helps to cushion your head and give you a cozy place to lean up against for reading or watching TV. Many times these headboards are tufted with large buttons and resemble a gentleman’s armchair.
Clearly, upholstered headboards come in a number of shapes, colors, and sizes. We’re sure some of the headboards in those photos have been upholstered more than once, which is one of the great values to these headboards. If you decide to change things up in your room, you can easily have your headboard reupholstered at a local shop
You can also create one of these headboards yourself with some time, a few tools, and a few directions. This is a relatively simple job that you can complete yourself, and reap the benefits every night when you lay your head down in front of your upholstered headboard. Check out the following video to get an idea of how a professional builds one of these upholstered headboards:
3. Wall-Mounted Headboard Ideas
Some headboards aren’t designed to work with bedframes or matching bedroom sets at all. These headboards are usually large and their main focus is to make a big impression in the room. As such, these headboards are mounted to the walls behind the headboard. Take a look at a few of these headboards in the images below.
All of these headboards are meant to be hung on the wall. While it may seem a little silly to hang a headboard on the wall instead of onto the bed, sometimes you just don’t have that option. Some headboards are simply too tall and require vertical support, otherwise, they could snap or fall over.
There are benefits to a wall-mounted headboard. For one, it makes cleaning behind the bed a simpler process, as the bed should pull away from the wall easier, leaving the board behind on the wall. Also, if you change your mind about your headboard, you don’t have to replace your entire bed to get a new look.
4. Panel Headboard Ideas
For a semi-upholstered, semi-contemporary blend, paneled headboards can be an awesome touch for your bedroom. These headboards come as kits, with separate panels and brackets to mount them to the wall. You can use as few or as many as you want. Check out these images below to see how many different designs you can come up with when using this system.
Those images should’ve given you an idea of what you can do with these panels. The panels provide a mature, sophisticated look but also a soft and welcoming feel. There are several companies that offer these types of panels, and you’ll usually have a choice of at least two different sizes. They’re perfect for creating your own unique headboard or going with a standard pattern that just looks great.
We’d suggest using these in a contemporary style bedroom that you would like to keep casual and cozy. That being said, you could even adapt these panels to us with some of the other headboards on our list. By placing one of these in the middle of a wood headboard, you can blend two styles and create an industrial or rustic look with a comfortable feel.
5. Contemporary Headboard Ideas
As with all contemporary styling choices, our contemporary headboard category is full of beds with sharp, clean, modern designs. Construction materials include wood, metal, and even some upholstered choices. If your bedroom falls into the modern and contemporary niche, you’ll enjoy looking for some design cues in these next images.
There are a lot of great options for choosing a contemporary headboard. Your first stop in this design niche should always be IKEA. The majority of their styles lean towards contemporary, and they offer a lot of clean, stylish furniture at reasonable prices. It’s a good place to start looking for your new headboard.
Alternatively, you could try building your own modern bed with a contemporary style. The following video is an awesome look into a DIY project that you can tackle if you have a minimally-equipped workshop. It’s a collaboration between two popular YouTube woodworkers, and they did a great job filming the overview of this project.
6. Floor to Ceiling Headboard Ideas
When it comes to making an impact in a bedroom, you just cannot beat a floor-to-ceiling headboard. It will be the first thing you notice and will have a huge effect on the rest of the room. The headboard essentially becomes an accent wall, but with so much more to offer. How many accent walls can you think of that look as comfortable and inviting as the ones in the images below?
These headboards are all wall-mounted, for obvious reasons. Also, several of them use paneled kits like we discussed previously. But this is a situation that adds up to be more than the sum of its parts. These walls look incredible and stylish, and when matched with the right color palette, they can look like they’ve been lifted from a magazine page.
Some of these floor-to-ceiling headboard ideas are unique, self-crafted projects. While we aren’t suggesting that you hang a blanket from the wall like you did in your college dorm room, if you have an interesting rug or other material, it might actually make a great headboard. You can build a plywood frame to lay it over if you’d like to create some depth from the wall as well. There are a number of ways to be creative with these headboards,
7. Artistic Headboard Ideas
Whether you’re an artist or an art enthusiast, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to display one of your favorite pieces as a headboard. While we aren’t suggesting that you hang a priceless original where you toss and turn, what we are saying is that the wall behind your head is essentially a blank canvas. Have a look at the next few images to see what we’re talking about.
If you have an artistic flair about you, show it off in your bedroom with an awesome, completely original headboard idea. It will look amazing and you’ll have an emotional attachment to your headboard. That’s not something you can say for a piece you’ve pulled off of a shelf somewhere.
If you don’t have a favorite piece, or just want to spread your creative wings, get out your favorite brushes and go to town. Create something that’s different than what everyone else is looking at in their bedrooms.
Let us suggest something before you get started. You may want to consider patching and priming the wall you’re going to paint before you start putting brush to canvas. Priming the wall will give your colors the best possible chance they have to be vibrant and alive, and your artistic headboard deserves that.
What is the point of a headboard?
Headboards have been around for a very long time, before the time of insulation. Headboards were designed to keep drafts and cold weather from getting to the cozy sleepers. This is less of an issue today as headboards serve a decorative purpose. However, if you have a cold exterior wall behind your bed, a heavily upholstered headboard will help keep that cold at bay.
Can I use a headboard without a bed frame?
Yes, you can. In fact, some headboards are designed to not use a frame at all. These headboards are mounted to the wall, giving you the freedom to use whatever mattress/box spring/frame combination that you’d like to. If your headboard is designed to be mounted to a frame, you might have to get a little creative with how you mount it to the wall but it is still possible to use it without the frame.
How do you secure a freestanding headboard?
Some headboards come with the hardware necessary for mounting to the wall, but let’s assume that yours didn’t. You can purchase interlocking flush-mount brackets at your local hardware store or home center. These can be attached to the framework of your headboard from behind, and in corresponding locations on the wall. Also, you can use a French cleat and span the rear of your headboard as well as several wall studs. Watch this video on how to make a French cleat: