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Headboard Buying Guide

As the largest piece of furniture in your bedroom, your bed says a lot about you. It has the power to set the style and tone of the room, and it doesn’t even need to take action – such a stately, centralized position says it all.

And as the most visible part of that bed, the headboard can be as bold, subtle or sophisticated as you want it to be. How do you choose the right one for your room?

Headboard Types

The right headboard is the one that says what you want it to say. If you're more glam and polished, you likely wouldn't choose a simple wood frame bed. And if you prefer subtle, neutral designs, you likely wouldn't purchase a headboard decked out in pops of color or flashy detailing. Apart from the style and color of the headboard, you'd also need to consider the size and the materials used.

headboard buying guide - bed
headboard buying guide - panel Panel headboards are solid in form and consist of one panel or several panels. These headboards can also offer vertical or horizontal detailing.
headboard buying guide - slatted Slatted headboards feature either vertical or horizontal rows of material, usually wood or metal. Some versions have slats fitted close together, while others have slats spread far apart. Regardless, these headboards contain multiple rows with a gap separating each one.
headboard buying guide - canopy Canopy headboards connect to an overhead canopy frame. Some models have the headboard directly connected to each canopy bar, and others have a slight separation.
upholstered headboard Upholstered headboards are padded and may have a variety of detailing, such as tufting, nailheads or welting (piping and cording). Many upholstered headboards are flat in profile, but some feature wingback edges.
headboard buying guide - bookcase Bookcase headboards have shelves or nooks in the headboard that are designed for extra storage. Storage areas can appear on the front of the headboard – facing the bed – or they can appear on the sides of a solid-front headboard.
headboard buying guide - sleigh Sleigh headboards have a curved appearance to mimic the shape of a sleigh. They curve away from the mattress and may or may not have other detailing.

Headboard Materials

Once you've selected the type of headboard you like, you also need to choose the material. Below are the materials used to create headboards of all shapes and sizes.

  • Wood – solid, veneer and reclaimed
  • Metal – typically wrought iron and brass
  • Fabric – cotton, linen and synthetics
  • Plant fibers – rattan and wicker
  • Leather – soft and distressed

headboard buying guide - materials

Headboard Styles and Trends

styles and trend headboard
Now that you know your desired type and material, you can narrow the style to pick that perfect headboard. Styles run the gamut from sleek to intricate, and common categories include mid-century, Scandinavian, traditional, industrial, rustic and contemporary.
Headboards have always been statement pieces, but headboard trends can shape the look and feel of the whole room. Common trends for headboards include:
  • Colorful upholstery
  • Intricate geometric patterns
  • Tufted velvet or cashmere
  • Reclaimed wood
  • Gold detailing
  • Nailheads
  • French and Victorian-inspired
  • Monochrome and minimalist

If your bedroom has been looking a bit bland lately, give it a headboard/bed frame upgrade. From tufted upholstery to reclaimed wood, modern headboards have a style and design for everyone.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.