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How to Fill the Gap Between a Mattress and Bed Frame

There’s nothing more annoying than pillows – or your head! – slipping through the gap between your mattress and bed frame. Whether the culprit is a too-high headboard or a too-low bed base, these tips will fill in any and all unnecessary spaces.

1. Get a higher-profile foundation.

Stop pillows from falling behind in the bed once and for all. A high bed base is the easiest trick to close the gap between your mattress and headboard. Even easier? Measuring your mattress’s height before you buy a headboard (or measuring your headboard’s height before you buy a mattress). Chances are, though, you’re here because you already own a headboard and mattress, and need an easy solution to fix the headboard gap, stat. If so, investing in a foundation is the next best thing. Choose a foundation that’s high enough to close the gap (check the dimensions of the foundation and the dimensions of the gap itself), plus sized for your bed (King, Queen, etc.).

2. Lower the headboard.

Some headboards come with adjustable heights, making closing the gap a cinch. To do that, unscrew the bolts on the adjustable-height headboard, reposition the headboard and then tighten the bolts again.

3. Use decorative pillows.

If your grievances with the unsightly gap come from a purely decorative standpoint, try pillow decor. Place throw pillows along the head of your bed and make sure they’re large enough so that they’ll rest against the headboard – and won’t fall through.

4. Buy a gap filler.

Apparently, needing to fill the gap between a headboard and a mattress has become a common enough problem, because there are actually products sold for this purpose. They are, however, specialty products, and you may have not been aware they even exist – so here’s a breakdown of the types available:

  • Wood boards. Wood boards are a simple solution that can be purchased at hardware stores. You may not even need to cut them, as many may be available “as is” according to your specs. If you do need to cut them, simply measure the space between your bed’s platform/slats and the bottom of your headboard, as well as the width of your headboard; cut accordingly, and fit the board under the headboard. If style is important to you, you may consider painting the board to match your bed frame.
  • Pillowstops. Some shops specialize in manufacturing pillowstops, which are slender boards designed to fill in the space of the gap. They are dubbed “pillowstops,” because unlike a simple wood board, they are upholstered and (sometimes) even cushioned for a more aesthetic touch. These are great options if you care about the look of your bed, as the supplier can often create a stop to match the exact upholstery and color of your headboard and footboard. (They are often higher-priced, though, so if you don’t care about looks as much, a simple wood board is the better, less-expensive option!)

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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.