Why are Headboards so Tall?

Why are Headboards so Tall

One of the quickest ways to make a decorating statement in a bedroom is by adding a headboard to your bed. There are a lot of headboard designs that you can choose from, including both tall and short headboards. 

Headboards are tall to support the bed and protection to the wall. If you are ready to add a headboard to your bed, there are some things you need to know. 

In this article, you will learn why headboards are high, how to choose a headboard, and make adjustments. 

Height of Headboards

Headboards are a unique way to add flair to a bedroom, but you need to be careful when choosing the dimensions. You have noticed that most headboards are high. This may seem unnecessary, but there are decorator rules that you should follow when adding a headboard to your bed. 

Bed Size

When choosing to add a headboard, keep the size of the bed in mind. If you have a twin bed, you will not want to add a tall headboard. It would be best to use a standard headboard that sits fourteen inches above the bed.

If you have a King bed or a larger one, you can go with a grander headboard. The average king headboard will rise at least twenty-nine inches above the top of the mattress. It can be easy to get a headboard too large, for even a king-size bed, so you must be cautious. 

Room Size

Not only is the size of the bed important when it comes to purchasing a headboard, but the room size is too. If you have a small room, you will want to make sure the headboard does not overwhelm the room. Remember, the headboard should be a decorative accent, not the room. 

Floor space in the room is important, but you must factor in the height of the ceiling when choosing an appropriate headboard. Rooms with high cathedral ceilings are conducive to tall and more ornate headboards, while rooms with standard eight-foot ceilings require more modest headboards. 

If you keep these things in mind, you will find a headboard the fits your style and makes the room feel complete. 

Do You Need a Headboard?

Shopping for headboards can be overwhelming, which is why many people choose to forgo the headboard and just stick to the frame. It is okay to have a bed without a headboard, but it may not be the best long-term choice. Headboards can offer several benefits. 


Headboards are chosen for design and function. The addition of a headboard can make your room feel complete. There are many different styles of headboards both ornate and plain. The headboard of a bed can create a focal point for your entire design theme. When you walk into a bedroom, your eyes are drawn to the bed because of its size. 

The headboard attached to the bed helps declare the statement you wish to make in the room. If you want the room to be more of an oasis, you need a modest headboard. However, if you have an ornate room, you will have a grander headboard. Using the headboard to decorate is a way to pull your theme together. 


Did you ever think about a headboard offering protection? Using a headboard can protect the wall behind the bed. If you do not have a headboard, your arms and pillows will constantly be rubbing against the wall. Over time, the oil from your skin and hair will get onto the wall and leave unsightly marks. A headboard places a barrier between you and the wall. 


If you have ever slept in a room with your head almost touching a wall, you know it is not comfortable. It is especially uncomfortable if the wall you are against is an exposed wall. The chill from the wall can be quite bothersome, especially in cold climates.

Sitting in bed to read or do work is something enjoyed by many people. If your back is propped on pillows or against a hard wall, it is not likely to be comfortable. A headboard can offer support when sitting up to do work or read. The most comfortable headboard for this would be upholstered.  

Pillows Stay Put

Losing your pillow in the middle of the night is one way to disrupt your sleep. Without a headboard, your pillows can easily slip off the bed. The pillows can fall between the mattress and wall or to the floor.  Digging around for a pillow in the middle of the night is not fun! A headboard helps keep your pillows on the bed and under your head.


Many headboards are flush against the wall, but several designs offer storage options. If you are an avid reader, you may opt for a headboard that has built-in shelves. Not only will this add storage and convenience, but it makes the headboard a part of the room. 

Complete the Room

You can have a bed without a headboard, but it is you will find the room is more complete looking with a headboard. Depending on the style of headboard you choose, it is a great way to add a final addition to the room and tie the room together. 

(Sources: JYSK, iSense, and Mattress Nut)

How do You Lower the Height of a Headboard?

Lowering a headboard that is too high can be challenging because most are not adjustable. If you have a headboard that is not adjustable, it will take some effort to lower it, but it can be done. When you decide to lower a headboard, you want to be sure you do not interfere with the integrity of the headboard.

Lower the legs: If you are fortunate enough to have an adjustable headboard you can lower the legs to solve the problem. You can usually lower an adjustable headboard by loosening the screws that hold the legs in place. Be sure to tighten them completely once the headboard is lowered. 

Attach to the wall: An alternative to lowering a headboard is to remove it from the bed and attach it to the wall. When you attach the headboard to the wall, you will be able to choose the height you wish to keep the headboard at. 

Before trying to attach the headboard to the wall, make sure you have studs to attach it to. Headboards can be heavy. Attaching it to a location that is not secure could cause damage to the wall and headboard. 

(Source: Hunker)

Attaching a Headboard to The Wall

If you plan to attach the headboard to the wall you will want to make sure you have the correct mounts to install it correctly. The mounting kit will have brackets that attach to the wall and the bottom of the headboard. Once you have attached all the brackets, you will slide the headboard down over the mounts and move the bed into position. 

Can All Headboards be Attached to the Wall?

All headboards can be attached to the wall with the proper mounting kit and space. Before you purchase a mounting kit, make sure it fits with the headboard you are attempting to attach to the wall. Remember, some headboards are more cumbersome than others. 

(Source: Upgraded Home)

Cutting a Headboard that is too Tall

Cutting a headboard that is too tall may be an option, but it is not the easiest thing to do. Certain materials cannot be cut without damage, so you need to know what the headboard is made of. If you choose to cut the headboard, you will need to gather the proper tools.

  • Table saw
  • Staple puller
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw
  • Sawhorses 

If you do not have access to a table saw, you may need to improvise with a circular saw. Using a circular saw will not make a smooth cut like a table saw. You will also need to prop the headboard on sawhorses to stabilize it. Each type of headboard will require a different process to cut the height down. 

Wood: A wooden headboard is the easiest material to cut down. Typically, wooden headboards are simply made. If you have a wooden headboard that is carved or has decoration attached, you will need to be careful not to damage the design. Most decorative pieces are appliques that can easily be removed and replaced after the cutting. 

Upholstered: An upholstered headboard is more challenging to cut. You should not try to cut through the upholstery with a saw. Trying to cut fabric with a saw can cause damage to the fabric and saw. The best thing to do is remove the fabric and padding from the section of the headboard you are cutting. Once the cuts are made, you will need to restretch the fabric and staple it to the back. 

Shelved: Headboards that have built-in shelves are much more challenging to cut because of the construction. It is not recommended that you try to cut a shelved headboard because it could compromise the integrity of the headboard, making it unsafe to use. If you need to cut a shelved headboard it would be best to seek the help of an experienced woodworker. 

(Source: Home Talk)

What’s Wrong with an Oversize Headboard?

The bed, including the headboard, are a focal point in the bedroom, so you may be wondering why an oversize headboard would not be appropriate for every situation. An oversized headboard can be overwhelming to a room, especially it is small. However, there are ways to use oversize headboards to accent a room.

If you have the space, you can choose to dedicate an entire wall to the headboard. When choosing to use an extra-wide headboard, it is important to include the nightstands in the design as well. Extending the headboard without placing these items in front of it could make the room look off. 

(Source: Remodel Aholic)

Are Headboards Expensive?

The headboard of a bed is a separate purchase that is not typically included in the price. Many people choose to go without a headboard to cut the cost of a bed. Depending on the material and size of the headboard the cost can be quite high. Here is why they are so expensive.

Support:  A headboard is made to help provide support to the bed as well as the individual using the bed. Many people opt for upholstered headboards because of the comfort they can provide. 

Protection: The headboard can protect the wall. Because of this, it needs to be made of high-quality material.

Not all headboards are expensive. You can find a nice headboard for under $200 for a standard bed. The larger the headboard, the higher the cost will be. If you want to add an ornate headboard to your room the cost will be much higher. The same is true if you choose to have a custom-made headboard created. 

(Source: Crafted Beds)

Best Size Headboard

When buying a headboard, you need to know the size of your bed, so you get a headboard that fits appropriately. Each bed size has a headboard specific to that frame. It is important to get the correct size headboard for function and aesthetics. Here are the best sizes, measured in width for each frame.

Twin41″ inches
Full56″ inches
Queen62″ inches
King80″ inches
California King74″ inches

(Source: Amerisleep)

Remember, these headboard sizes are recommended. Depending on the size of your room as well as the aesthetic you are going for in the room, this could change the width you choose to use. You should, however, make sure the height is appropriate for the size bed you have. 

Final Thoughts

Headboards can be elaborate or plain, but they serve an important purpose in the bedroom. They are a specific height to offer protection to the wall and to provide support to the users. If a headboard is too high, it will not fit the bed correctly and it could make the room appear closed in. 


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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