Do all Headboards Fit All Bed Frames? The Size Guide


The primary cosmetic focal point of a bedroom is the bed and, more specifically, the headboard. The headboard sets the stage for the interior design scheme. All the other furniture, linens, accessories play a part in the overall aesthetic. But the impact comes from the headboard. It doesn’t mean you need a large bed to accomplish the ‘wow’ factor. The size of the bed is not relevant, only the headboard.

Do all headboards fit all bed frames/the size guide? Yes, any headboard will fit a standard bed frame. General guidelines state a standard headboard is approximately 0-3″ wider than your standard bed frame – a headboard deemed as extra-wide ranges up to 2x size of the bed in width. Just for contrast and comparison, standard headboard height goes anywhere from 14″-29″ above the mattress with the extra tall headboards being anything reaching higher than that.

The rule of thumb with headboards is that among the parts for assembly with the piece are struts that go on the back with screws. These usually offer horizontal slots or holes one on top of the other that get fitted to the bed frame base based on how tall you need the headboard to be. Want to learn how to find just the right headboard for your bedframe to help with that ‘wow’ factor? We’re here to help. 

Are All Headboards Standard? 

While many headboards are standard, they can come in an extra tall size, extra wide size – any size, really.  The only real design faux pas is having a headboard that is taller than the bed’s length – and this is for purely aesthetic purposes. The width should stay within twice that of the bed except for those with a scheme involving an entire-wall headboard.

Bed SizeFrame Size (In.)Standard WidthExtra-Wide
Twin39” X 75”39”- 42”39” -78”
Twin XL39” X 80”39”- 42”39” – 78”
Full54” X 75”54”- 57”54” – 108”
Queen    60” X 80”60”-63”60” – 120”

In terms of height, it’s really up to you. The top of most headboards reach anywhere from 14″-29″ above the mattress height, but some may be even higher, for a more dramatic effect. 

You can choose any size you want to fit your style – as long as it fits your bed frame, too. Make sure you know your bed frame can attach to the new headboard before you bring it home. Nowadays, you can also find headboards with stabilizing legs that slide under your bed and don’t actually have to be attached to anything!

Getting a Headboard that Fits Your Bed Frame – and Your Style 

A headboard has the capability of placing you into any type of interior design theme with the least tweak of its appearance. As we mentioned, no matter what is added to a bedroom, the main point of attraction is going to be the headboard, and it is going to determine what the room says. Everything else is merely going to accentuate its statement.

 So,  however you choose to size it, shape it, paint it or stain it, or place material on it is how the world is going to interpret your space, whether it be sleek sophistication or understated casual inspiration. No matter what the final result, you can’t change the aesthetic unless you invest in a new headboard.

The Size

The size is critical. For the most part, a standard headboard measures in at 48″ in height with the legs included. 

  • Standard height: most traditional décor will offer headboards of standard height
  • Low profile: In selecting something lower, you will project a much more modern appearance and the least impactful profile.
  • Extra tall: Something that has more height is going to present more drama and add a lot more impact. 
  • Standard width: is what you are most accustomed to seeing. Again, a traditional look.
  • Extra-wide: this can present a very contemporary look. Most often paired with a low-height for a sleek, modern profile. When paired with an extra-tall height, it looks modern and dramatic at the same time.

Pro tip: You have to understand the mounting capabilities of the headboard before you commit to any because some attach to the frame with others going on the wall. For rented space, this may be an issue.

The Finish

The finish is going to have a significant statement as to the overall effect within the room, whether it relays a soft, romantic impression or sleek, natural glow. It’s all in how you want to speak to those who walk into your room. You may choose that you don’t want anyone to come into your personal space. But if you do want to share, the headboard is going to make a significant impact.

The Material

You must put particular time and consideration into the thought process as to what material will comprise the headboard as this piece is going to speak to those who see the space as to who you are as an individual. There is no other area as intimate as your bedroom, and if you choose to allow people to view this part of your home, you want to be sure it shows off your own personal style in the right way.

The headboard should provide a straightforward component of the bedroom to clean if you opt for the appropriate material to comprise your bed. You don’t want anything that is high maintenance but rather something easy like an upholstered version that you could maybe vacuum or wipe with a damp cloth, or else a wood or metal variety that you could wipe down with a wet cloth. 

There is no need to cause more work for yourself with the headboard. It’s all about ease, comfort, and functionality in having this piece. If it doesn’t serve any purpose for you as with anything, there is no reason to have it at all.

Mix or Match?

Perfectly-matching furniture is not always the best possible option. It’s really okay to blend the different groups together for a nice mix. Think about stylish contrasts:

  • If you opt for an overstuffed chair with a combination ottoman placed at the foot of the bed, you may want to try a headboard made of wood for a twist on visual interest. 
  • If you already have a lot of wood happening in the room, it may be a pleasant change to add a gorgeous upholstered headboard to shake things up.

Wall Paint

You’ll want to consider the paint color within the space and how it interacts with your headboard to produce an effect in the room: 

  • Pop! : For a sense of energy, contrast the paint with your headboard. 
  • Calm: Choosing to blend the wall with your headboard produces the calm, more peaceful look for which you’re aiming. 
  • Neutral: If you want to go for neutral coloring, you can change out the bedding and the other linens or accessories in regular succession to make the space have a varied personality on a more regular basis.

Function 

There are often headboards that offer the capacity to serve as bookcases, or other forms of practical purposes such as charging stations which benefit the average modern person who wants to work from their laptop or phone in the evening or at night. 

Many also come with built-in lighting, which comes in handy if you need to read contracts or proposals after hours. Practicality in headboards can’t be ignored, particularly in the digital age, where more people are not only working from home but working so many more hours due to the time difference with global interactions.

More Characteristics of a Good Headboard

Most people enjoy watching television, reading, using the laptop, or engaging in some type of interactive activity while in bed. It’s not comfortable when you have to lean up against a wall. But if you have a headboard made of the right material, it can make you much more comfortable. It doesn’t have to be fabric, but some type of suitable material offers much more support than a wall when you need to sit in an upright position while you’re in bed.

Better Sleep – Compliments of Your Headboard

The claim is that a headboard can provide much better sleep and can lead to overall wellness. Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophical conception in which the person will harmonize with their surroundings. A headboard that fits your bed, room, and style serves you well at night while you’re sleeping. It provides comfort and gives you the safety that you require when you’re inside your bedroom.

The Feng Shui of Your Headboard

There are Feng Shui experts who feel that this concept goes back to the days when men were living in caves, and they always had a sense of intense support coming behind them. A headboard denotes the same comfort and safety to a partner and their partner so that they sleep comfortably as well as safely and feel more positivity for the days that follow them. 

Believing in Feng Shui is a choice. It doesn’t mean that the story above is true or that you have to believe in it to feel the comforts from your headboard. It’s just something interesting to think about!

Choosing a Headboard That Is Right for You

If you happen to feel that a headboard would be an incredible addition to the space that you have, you need to try to find one that is right for your specific needs and requirements. There is a broad spectrum of headboards on the market for which any frame will uphold. It’s merely a matter of determining what you want your space to say for you.

Why Do You Need a Headboard?

Decorative headboards don’t necessarily have a functional purpose. The main reason to attach this piece of material to a bed is for aesthetic purposes in creating a design concept. The concept of a headboard can date back to the ancient times of Egypt when the Pharaohs opted for the grandest of headboards that they had constructed of ebony or gold purely for the luxury of the matter or for the fact that they were aesthetically pleasing. 

However, they do boast some functional purposes:

  • Keeping the pillow from falling off the back of the bed frame
  • Sitting up against while reading, watching TV or working – especially if padded
  • Softer than the wall if you bump your head against it while sleeping

Some offer even practical features, including bookcases, power outlets, reading lights, cell phone charging, and more. 

Most people in the modern world today are grateful that they can rely on the headboard to accentuate their bedroom space for them as the center stage. It often offers a well-crafted option to any piece in the room defining the scope and bringing the accessories and other parts to life in determining who the person is that lives there. 

The Benefits Of Adding A Headboard To Your Design Scheme 

The ideal thing about the headboard being added to a homeowner’s space is it designates the area as being either traditional, contemporary, or minimalistic with materials that range from wood, fabric, metal, wrought iron, brass, and so many more. The many advantages of using this as the central focal point in an internal creative process include:

Size, Materials and Budget

The headboard can be as large as you choose to make it in the bedroom to achieve your effect. But it is the piece that is going to define the space. It designates the theme and the style that will determine the other parts that come into the room. 

There is a multitude of materials, styles, shapes, sizes, each capable of telling a story by itself. Metal or wooden headboards can be obtained at bargain prices but allow the opportunity for you to stain, paint, or otherwise manipulate to your desired style as the room tastes dictate. 

The budget is usually part of the decision when designing with a headboard. You can choose whatever you like to create your room at a budget that you determine.

Space Considerations

The potential is there for a headboard to take as minimal space as you want it to. The minimalist design is trendy in today’s creative process, and the headboard allows you to display that theme. It takes up little room space and has the rare capability of making a smaller room appear much more substantial. 

Should You Add a Footboard?

If you add a footboard, there is the issue of a divide that can bring a sense of enclosure, whereas the elimination of this brings back the feeling of openness that most design schemes aim for in this particular day and age. Today the feels are less bulky, much thinner, and movable with a clean and light appearance.

A footboard can be a distraction that lends itself to preventing a person from merely lying down at the end of a long day. Many feel that a bed with a headboard is simply more comforting because when the day is done, a stressed homeowner has the capability of coming home, standing at the foot of the bed, and merely falling onto the bed. 

Beds are not only the focal point for those who design a room or homeowners who give tours to friends and family. There must be a sense of comfort and ease of effort when every other aspect of life is stressful and hard. A headboard allows the structure that all of us need, where the bed gives us comfort and ease.

Headboards Aren’t Just Pretty!

Practicality is essential when you’re a full-time career person, parent, or caregiver who doubles as a homeowner taking care of a house and home. Making the bed every day is a chore that most of us either ignore or take great pains in accomplishing. When you have a headboard, it is performed with much more ease. 

A typical bed frame makes the process so much more challenging, with the need to tuck the sheets in around the footboard and the rails. With the addition of a headboard, the process is simplified, faster, and so much easier because there is no need to fret about the frame coming into the mix. 

Most people don’t put their beds in the middle of the room, so without a headboard, the wall behind our bed can get marked up from the bed being pushed against it and from us propping ourselves up on the wall when we read or watch TV in bed. 

If you incorporate a headboard into your space, it will save on having to paint the wall due to the stains and discolorations from leaning up against it. And depending on the material that you use on the headboard, the staining won’t be an issue that you can’t take care of quickly and efficiently as opposed to having to repaint an entire wall. 

Your Perfect Headboard

When you choose to bring a headboard into your bedroom, it may be just because you think it’s stylish or beautiful, or it may a functional purpose in your bedroom, whether it be bringing your comfort when you sit to read or work or keep your pillow from falling over the edge.

The height and width of your headboard can certainly help to make that aesthetic statement. 

When you choose a headboard that fits your bed well, serves your needs, and also blends with your personal style, you’re making an investment you can enjoy for night to come.

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