9 Tips to Install A Headboard

Tips to Install A Headboard

Headboards just don’t get the love they deserve. Most of the time, the bed is the central piece that dominates the space in a bedroom, and while they may be comfortable to sleep on, it can be not easy to elevate the style of a bed to match the design of the room. That’s where headboards come in! 

A decorative headboard can add much-needed flair and function to any bed, and they are quite easy to install. There are all sorts of headboards that can fit on just about any bed. Keep reading to find out some tips on how to properly install a headboard, as well as other useful information about the process of choosing the perfect headboard for your bedroom. 

1. Find A Helper 

Any project is done better with another set of hands. Headboards can be heavy, and it will be quite difficult to properly measure, fit, and affix your headboard if you are working alone. Not only will the project be done better and faster if you have a helper, but you will also be less likely to hurt yourself! 

2. Make Sure You Have the Right Tools 

Sure, tools are important. But having the right tools will make or break your install. While not a difficult job, installing a headboard does require these tools and shouldn’t be attempted if you are missing any of them. 

To properly install a mounted wall headboard, you will need the following tools: 

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Painters tape

3. Measure the Height of Your Bed

Before you move your bed out of the way to mount the headboard, measure how high your mattress and bedding sit on the bed frame, this will give you a reference point as to where you want the headboard to go. 

The last thing you want is to mount the headboard, move your bed back in place, only to find a few inches of space between the top of the bed and your headboard. 

4. Then Measure Your Bed Frame 

If you want to install a headboard to your bed frame and not the wall, be sure to measure the distance between the screw holes on your frame so you can get the correct length headboard.

There are many variations of bed frames and a few different ways to anchor the headboard. The size of your bed will also matter. If you have a twin-sized bed, be sure to acquire a headboard that is fitted for a twin. 

5. Take Other Furniture into Account 

Do you have a couple of great nightstands on either side of your bed? Or maybe a piece of artwork you want to hang on the wall above the headboard? Make sure you take note of how much space you have to fill with the headboard. Usually, there will be up to three inches of overhang past the edge of your bed on either side. 

6. Find Your Studs

On the wall that you want to mount your headboard, you will need to locate the studs behind the drywall so you can safely anchor the headboard in place. The best way to do this is to use a stud finder, which can be cheaply purchased at most hardware stores. 

If a stud finder isn’t an option, check for slight imperfections in the wall where a screw or nailhead can be seen. This will tell you where the stud is located. When you think you have found a stud, give the wall a few knocks on either side, listening for if the wall sounds hollow. Studs are 16 inches apart in most walls. 

7. Outline the Headboard On The Wall  

Once you locate how high the headboard will sit on the wall and find the studs where you will mount it, hold the headboard on the wall in the position you want it to hang. Take a pencil and lightly mark a straight line on the wall’s length of the headboard’s upper edge. Then use painter’s tape to cover this line and create a rectangle box that is basically an outline of the headboard on the wall.

8. Use a Level 

No one wants a crooked headboard. So to ensure that your headboard is on straight, use a level on the painter’s tape that you have to mark the outline of the headboard. The top side of the outline is most important because if this is level, then the rest of the outline should be as well.

Periodically check if your headboard is level throughout the process, especially before you fully tighten the screws on your cleats. 

9. Attach the Cleats 

Once you have located the studs and outlined the headboard in painter’s tape, it’s time to drill in the cleats. These are two angled pieces of wood or metal that will hold up your headboard. The upward-sloping cleat should be drilled into the studs you located in the wall. 

The downward sloping cleat is affixed to the headboard about a fourth of the way down. It’s a good idea to test if the cleat is level before fully tightening the screws. For a king-sized headboard, you will most likely need two cleats, as these headboards tend to be heavier. 

What Is the Purpose of a Headboard on A Bed?

Headboards are a great addition to your bedroom for a number of reasons. They are a perfect blend of practical function and decorative design, and the options are seemingly endless for shape, sizes, and materials. 

Here’s why you should think about adding a headboard to complete your bedroom:

Headboards Protect Your Walls

The wall behind your bed is liable to sustain a bit of damage over time. A nice thing about a headboard is it acts as a shield between your wall and you, preventing scuff marks and smudging. 

Headboards Add Comfort 

We all know laying in bed is great. But what if you want to sit up and read a book or watch television? Headboards are a must-have if you want to maximize the comfort and versatility of your bedroom because they make it possible to sit comfortably in your bed when you’re not sleeping. 

Headboards Look Amazing 

It can be tough to beautify your bedroom. Obviously, everyone needs a bed, but it can be hard to integrate into the general look of your bedroom because they often look plain. A headboard is the perfect accent piece for a bedroom, as they offer subtle textures and an opportunity for nice pops of color, which can really elevate the style of your space. 

Headboards Keep Your Head Warm 

You might not know this, but the original function of headboards was to create a barrier between poorly insulated walls and your bed to keep the cold out. Since you spend a third of your day asleep, it is important that you are warm, and headboards offer practical protection against getting sick. 


A bed without a headboard is like a peanut butter sandwich without jelly. It’s kind of good… but it needs that extra something! Headboards are a great addition to your bedroom, and they are pretty easy to install. Think about perusing the numerous resources on sites like Etsy to see how you can make beautiful DIY headboards at home, or simply buy one that is ready to go. 

Make sure to follow these tips so that you can safely and easily install your headboard. It’s important to find a headboard that is a good fit for your space and is compatible with your bed frame, especially if you are not using a wall-mounted option. Always use the necessary tools and be sure to work with a buddy. You are sure to love the results.



Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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