Headboard Buying Guide

A new headboard can refresh your bedroom decor and add much needed storage too. This headboard buying guide outlines the various types and features to consider when making a purchase.

Headboards 101

A headboard crowns your bed and serves as a style accent for your entire bedroom. Installing a new headboard is an easy, affordable way to give your bed a stylish new look and instantly change the tone of the room. Headboards also have a number of important functional roles. For example, bookcase and storage headboards provide shelving and drawers for stowing everything from bedding to nighttime personal effects. A fabric headboard offers comfortable back support for reading or watching TV. A fixed headboard helps keep your sheets and covers in place throughout the night. Before buying, be sure to measure your bed and bedroom to find one that suits both the size of your bed and the scale of your space.

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Types of Headboards


Bookcase Headboard

Bookcase headboards let you keep your favourite books and electronic devices at your fingertips. If you choose a model with open shelving, you can use some of the shelves to display artwork or cherished collectables. Some bookcase headboards feature sliding doors or drawers that allow you to stow personal items like ear plugs, reading glasses and jewellery out of view. 

Storage Headboard

If your bedroom is short on closet space, consider buying a bed with a storage headboard. This style of headboard extends out from your bed on either side and down to the floor. You can use a storage headboard to stow everything from extra blankets and pajamas to gaming equipment and school books. Many models have closed shelving and drawers to keep everything hidden from view. Some storage headboards even have built-in end tables to hold a glass of water, your alarm clock and other items that you need to access quickly and conveniently.

Upholstered Headboards

Fabric headboards add comfort and warmth to any bedroom and provide soft back support for bedtime reading. The choice of fabrics includes leather, velvet and silk. You can get fabric headboards that are padded, tufted, wood-framed and more. The styles are endless, and it's easy to choose a fabric headboard that expresses your personality. Consider a model with low, bevelled edges to give your bedroom a modern feel. For a romantic, feminine tone, choose a curved, tufted headboard. A neutral colour and durable fabric will ensure long-lasting style. 

Metal Headboard

Metal headboards typically have a classic, timeless appeal. Most models are made from durable aluminium, iron or brass, with styles ranging from simple vertical supports to elaborate scrollwork designs. Metal headboards can last for years with proper care, and it’s easy to refresh them with a coat of paint and for an instant bedroom makeover.

Wood Headboard

A bed has a strong impact on your bedroom decor, and a stylish wood headboard commands attention. Wood headboards come in a broad range of wood types and stain finishes to blend with your existing bedroom furniture. When shopping for a wood headboard, be sure to determine whether it's solid wood or veneer. Both can work well depending on your needs, but you want to know what you're getting as veneer is more likely to show scratches and chips. An upholstered wood headboard provides both a stylish look and a comfy backrest for reading in bed.

Kids’ Headboard

Kids often need encouragement to get into bed. A headboard with an intriguing design theme, like a fairy-tale crown or sports equipment, can capture a child's attention and make bedtime interesting. Kids’ headboards can be updated quickly to match changes in bedding and room design. As your children get older, you can switch to a neutral or classic headboard style that will see them through to their teen years and early adult years.


Footboards can bring a finished look to your bedroom and transform it into a sanctuary for sleep. Like headboards, footboards can help keep your sheets and duvets tucked in for a restful night’s sleep. It’s wise to buy the matching footboard at the same time you buy the headboard, so you can drift off to dreamland without worry it will be discontinued in the future. When measuring your bedroom for a bed, remember to allow extra length for the headboard and footboard. You may want to avoid choosing large headboards and footboards in case you move the bed to a smaller bedroom in the future.

Headboard Buying Tips:

• Measure the dimensions of your bed and bedroom to determine the appropriate headboard size and scale
• Choose a comfy upholstered headboard with high-density foam padding if you use your bed for reading and or gaming
• Look for high-quality materials and wear-resistant fabric for easy cleaning and durability
• Choose a custom-fit headboard slipcover to easily swap styles
• Avoid fabric headboards if you’re allergy prone

Headboard Features

Headboard Size +

Headboards are made to fit standard bed widths, from single through king. Bed width refers to the width of the mattress. The exact dimensions differ from one manufacturer to the next, but the traditional mattress widths are as follows: • Single bed/twin bed: 96.5 cm • Single bed/twin bed, extra long (aka twin long): 96.5 cm • Double bed/full bed (aka standard): 134.5 cm • Queen size bed: 152.5 cm • California King (aka western king): 183 cm • King size bed (aka eastern king): 193 cm When selecting a headboard, start by determining your bed size. Next, consider the size of your bedroom because you want to ensure the headboard doesn't overwhelm the space. Finally, measure your hallways and doorways to ensure you can carry the headboard into your bedroom.

Headboard Materials +

Headboards come in a variety of materials, from elegant hardwoods like mahogany to classic metals like wrought iron and brass. It’s important to consider your nighttime habits, needs and lifestyle to choose the right material for your room. If you use your bed for lounging, reading and watching media, consider a durable wood headboard with plenty of upholstery and padding for your head and back. If you want a headboard that's easy to clean, resists dust and bedbugs and stands up to wear, a metal headboard may be your best bet. Metal headboards are also durable and well-suited to contemporary decor themes.

Headboard Colours & Patterns +

The right headboard can serve as a design focal point and set the tone for your bedroom. A headboard in muted colours and serene shades can inspire rest and relaxation after a stressful day. To energize your bedroom, choose a headboard with pops of colour and bold patterns. Be sure to select bedding with complementary colours and patterns, and consider how your headboard fits in with your drapery, rugs, walls, ceilings and other furnishings.

Headboard Shapes +

A sculptural design can add romantic flair to your bedroom and make it the perfect spot for snuggling. A slim, straight silhouette lends a masculine, modern vibe to a guestroom for overnight guests. A wingback design can add cozy charm that invites catnaps while helping keep your pillows on the bed. Choose a curved headboard to draw the eye up and help make your ceiling feel higher.

Fixed Headboards +

Fixed, or wall-mounted, headboards are attached to the wall behind your bed. Because they don’t have to match the size of your bed, you can opt for an oversized headboard for a dramatic effect. Before buying, find out if the headboard needs to be glued, nailed or screwed to the wall, and inspect your bedroom wall to ensure the headboard can be installed safely. Keep in mind that fixed headboards won’t help keep your sheets, mattress and pillows in place. However, it’s simple to swap out a wall-mounted headboard for a new look whenever the mood for a bedroom makeover strikes you.

Attached Headboards +

If you’re looking to sleep like a baby, an attached headboard will help you get tucked snugly into your bed. Attached headboards are fixed permanently to the back of your bed. This means you can use them to assist in holding your pillows, sheets and mattress in place. No matter how much you wiggle around at night, the attached headboard will remain firmly in place. Before buying, check your bed frame to ensure the headboard can be easily mounted to it. Many manufacturers include struts that allow an attached headboard to fit directly into the back of a standard-size bed.

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Headboard Maintenance Tips:

• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and maintenance
• Clean wood or metal headboards with a slightly damp cloth with a mixture of water and mild liquid dish soap.
• Wipe with a damp, non-abrasive cloth and buff dry
• Regularly steam clean fabric headboards and remove dust with a handheld vacuum
• Spot clean and dry stains immediately to prevent mould buildup in underlying foam
• Use washable pillows and pillowcases as a buffer to prevent hair oils from damaging headboards
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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