We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more > 

5 Expert Tips To Choose A Headboard

When you choose the right headboard, walking into your bedroom feels great every time. Check out our five expert tips that will guide you through the buying process.

Table of Contents Hide

What is the best material for a headboard?


Wood is the most traditional material used for headboards. It is super versatile; it can create classic looks or be used as a medium for more ornate pieces that seep elegance. Wood can be stained or painted to create a unique look that complements your overall aesthetic.

Rustic Manufactured Wood Panel Headboard
Lintel Oak Manufactured Wood Headboard
Weathered Light Gray Mahogany Solid Wood Headboard
White Poplar Solid Wood Headboard
Dovetail Gray Pine Solid Wood Headboard
Blaze Acacia Manufactured Wood Bookcase Headboard


Metal headboards are constructed from various materials, though iron is a common choice. This material is extremely durable, so long as it is kept clean and cared for over time. Aluminum, copper, brass, and brushed steel are commonly seen on headboards, serving a variety of interior décor styles, from glam to industrial.

Dark Bronze Metal Slat Headboard
Ivory Metal Solid Wood Headboard
Brown Metal Manufactured Wood Headboard
Satin Gold Metal Panel Headboard
Black Metal Aluminum Open Frame Headboard
Magnesium Pewter Metal Open Frame Headboard


Leather comes in many forms, including cowhide which is the most common, and crocodile, alligator, and sheepskin. Exotic animal leather is pricier than cowhide, which is the more affordable of leather types.

White Lilac Hue Faux Leather Headboard
Ivory White Faux Leather Headboard
Silver Faux Leather Panel Headboard
Gray Faux Leather Panel Headboard
Espresso Genuine Leather Cowhide Headboard
Black Faux Leather Queen Headboard

Fabric upholstery

Upholstered headboards convey elegance, offering a multitude of fabrics that include linen, microfiber, or even more luxurious options like velvet. Tufted models add a plush touch, making a headboard not only beautiful, but comfortable to lay against as well.

Gray Linen Upholstered Panel Headboard
Microfiber Microsuede Upholstered Panel Headboard
Charcoal Velvet Upholstered Panel Headboard
Navy Polyester Velvet Upholstered Panel Headboard
Dark Gray Polyester Upholstered Wingback Headboard
White Velvet Polyester Blend Upholstered Panel Headboard

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers include materials like wicker and rattan that create a great aesthetic for environments that include country and farmhouse elements. They bring a natural feel to any bedroom, allowing for a casual atmosphere.

Antique Gray Wicker Rattan Headboard
Natural Wicker Rattan Open Frame Headboard
Cinnamon Wicker Rattan Panel Headboard
White Wicker Rattan Open Frame Headboard
Bamboo Wicker Rattan Open Frame Headboard
Brown Wicker Rattan Panel Headboard

What is the best height for a headboard?

Headboard heights can range from 14 inches above the top of your mattress to 29 inches or more. For smaller, twin-sized beds, headboards generally stay closer to the lowest part of the range while larger beds like queen and king-sized mattresses can better fit taller headboards. However, extra tall headboards can be used - the rule of thumb is to keep an extra tall headboard from running past the length of the mattress itself.

What headboard style should I choose?

Do you enjoy wooden elements? => Try a traditional headboard. 

Traditional headboards are usually attached to your bed frame and are made from different materials but often use wooden features and hues. This headboard style fits right into traditionally designed homes, where detailed woodwork and well-constructed furniture are valued.

Autumn Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Traditional Headboard
Vintage White Solid Manufactured Wood Traditional Headboard
Weathered Charcoal Solid Wood Traditional Headboard
Manufactured Wood Bookcase Traditional Headboard
Rustic Oak Solid Wood Traditional Headboard
Antique Walnut Rubberwood Traditional Headboard

Do you have appreciation for sleek silhouettes? => A contemporary headboard may be for you.  

Contemporary headboards can be made from wood, metal, or can be upholstered with natural fabrics like silk and linen to add subtle texture. If your home is filled with smooth surfaces, clean lines, and light-colored wood elements, a contemporary headboard would be a great addition to your space.

Biege Linen Manufactured Wood Contemporary Headboard
Gray Polyester Solid Wood Contemporary Headboard
Ebony Manufactured Wood Contemporary Headboard
Cotton Solid Wood Contemporary Headboard
Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Contemporary Headboard
Beige Linen Rubberwood Contemporary Headboard

Are you looking for a statement piece? => An elegant headboard may be the one!

An elegant headboard could provide your space with a touch of sophistication or could be the attention-grabbing element your bedroom needs. If your environment is filled with plush fabrics and dark-toned furniture, a carved wood headboard would complement your overall look. If you prefer silky fabrics and sleek leather furniture, a fabric headboard can complete your space with modern elegance.

Beige Solid Wood Elegant Headboard
White Metal Solid Wood Elegant Headboard
Polyester Blend Metal Elegant Headboard
Linen Stone Metal Solid Wood Elegant Headboard
Manufactured Wood Elegant Panel Headboard
Classico White Faux Leather Elegant Headboard

Are you a fan of modern décor? => Try a panel headboard.

Panel headboards are made up of several different sections that fill the width or length of the headboard. There are usually two to three equally sized panels; however, some models have a center panel that is larger than the others. If your room incorporates geometric shapes, this headboard style will fit right in.

Vintage Choclate Brown Upholstered Panel Headboard
Solid Wood Queen Panel Headboard
Black White Upholstered Panel Headboard
Gray Dark Charcoal Manufactured Wood Panel Headboard
Pearl Silver Solid Manufactured Wood Panel Headboard
White Solid Manufactured Wood Panel Headboard

Small room? => Try a slat headboard.

Slat headboards are made from either metal or wood and include vertical slats, offering classic straight lines to fit a clean, contemporary or industrial décor. This headboard style helps to open a small room, creating an illusion of higher ceilings with its vertical lines.

Rust Black Metal Slat Headboard
Bronze Iron Metal Slat Headboard
Stone Metal Industrial Slat Headboard
Black Cherry Freestanding Slat Headboard
White Metal Steel Slat Headboard
Bronze Metal Queen Slat Headboard

Want to go big? => Try a four-poster headboard. 

Four-posted headboards immediately become the central point of any bedroom. Far from understated, this headboard style fits well in bedrooms requiring more personality. If you have other larger-than-life furniture in your bedroom, you may find a four-posted headboard competes too much -- therefore, it's better to introduce a four-posted headboard into a quiet environment.

Vintage Gray Solid Wood Poster Panel Headboard
White Bed Frame Mount Poster Headboard
Ivory Solid Wood Poster Panel Headboard
Solid Manufactured Wood Poster Panel Headboard
Whitewash Solid Manufactured Wood Poster Panel Headboard
Brown Solid Manufactured Wood Poster Panel Headboard

Do you enjoy distressed elements? => Try a shabby chic headboard.

A shabby chic headboard fits perfectly into environments that include furniture with some wear and tear. This style delivers a romantic tone to the bedroom, complementing soft, vintage décor elements.

White Solid Wood Shabby Chic Headboard
Chalk Solid Wood Shabby Chic Headboard
Pine Solid Wood Shabby Chic Headboard
Antique White Pine Poplar Shabby Chic Headboard
Antiqued White Shabby Chic Headboard
Brown Rubberwood Shabby Chic Headboard

How to choose a headboard that matches my décor?

You'll need to first take stock of your current interior design style. If you have a feminine feel, as seen with glam and shabby chic décors, you'll want to choose a headboard with curved lines to compliment this aesthetic. If you have more of a minimalistic or modern style with crisp, clean lines, choose a headboard with definitive shapes to create a cohesive look. Bohemian environments offer flexibility with your headboard choice, as you can opt for a metallic frame to serve as a fine accent piece or go for painted wood or printed fabric to add a splash of color into your space.

How to install a headboard?

  • Wall-Mount

To install a wall-mounted headboard, you'll need a flat surface you can easily drill into. So long as you have this, installation is easy. With wall-mounted headboards, you have the ease of customizing placement to create a unique design.

Solid Wood Wall Mounted Headboard
Pine Polyester Blend Wall Mounted Headboard
Charcoal Polyester Wall Mounted Headboard
White Cotton Twill Wall Mounted Headboard
Beige Velvet Wall Mounted Headbaord
Azure Linen Blend Wall Mounted Headboard
  • Bed Frame Mount

Some headboard mounts allow for a direct installation onto your bed frame. With just a few screws, you can have a complete setup. Oftentimes, the bed frame and headboard can be purchased together; however, if you purchase your headboard separately, you can connect to your bed frame, so long as it has compatible brackets.

Metal Manufactured Wood Bed Frame Mount Headboard
Polyester Blend Bed Frame Mount Headboard
Dark Gray Bed Frame Mount Headboard
Grayish Beige Bed Frame Mount Headboard
Ice Blue Velvet Bed Frame Mount Headboard
Manufactured Wood Bed Frame Mount Headboard
  • Free Standing

Free standing headboards do not need to be attached to either your bed frame or your wall. These headboards stand alone, providing you with tons of flexibility for placement.

Blueberry Manufactured Wood Freestanding Bookcase Headboard
Black Polyester Blend Freestanding Headboard
Peach Pink Cotton Freestanding Headboard
Camel Solid Wood Freestanding Headboard
Blue Velvet Metal Freestanding Headboard
White Polyester Blend Freestanding Headboard

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.