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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 - 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 headboard type you like, you also need to choose the material. Here are materials used to make 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 Styles and Trends

styles and trend headboard
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.
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

Headboard Ideas

Searching for a little creativity? These unique headboard ideas will take your bed from average to mod-cool.
creative headboard ideas Straight lines: This modern, minimalistic silhouette pares down to the basics.
headboard styling Pretty in blue: The best headboards are pretty and cozy, like this blue fabric one with nailhead trim.
pretty headboards Biscuit tufting: This style is cool and collected and makes for a quick and easy addition to any bedroom.
bed headboard ideas A little luxury: A plush nailhead design tailored in designer fabric. The perfect idea for girls' Twin headboard.

Can’t Get Enough? Here Are More Headboard Decorating Ideas to Try . . .

Here’s the deal: your room is your space. Take a little time to incorporate thoughtful designs that reflect your personality – starting with the headboard. From the latest trends to the classics, these ideas are nothing if not chic; get started on one of these fun headboard redesigns today!
Rustic Headboard Ideas: Rusticity loves warm woodsy furniture, headboards included! While upholstered headboards are popular, they won’t always fit into a rustic space. Try a wood design that exposes a natural wood grain pattern.
Headboard Lighting: For great mood lighting and symmetry, every bedroom should have two table lamps, one on each side of the bed. Try interesting lampshades that play with light effects for a headboard – and room – that glows.
Farmhouse Fun: For a farmhouse headboard, think pallets. You can even DIY a design by cutting pieces of reclaimed wood planks. The end result? True, artisan farmhouse character.
Headboard Ideas for Master Bedroom: The master bedroom isn’t complete without a standout headboard. Choose linen upholstery, tufted patterns and nailhead trim for a traditional aesthetic – and un-upholstered wood or metal for a more modern touch.

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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.