Headboard Sizes Chart: How to Choose the Right One?

This article is about how to choose the right headboard dimensions and style of headboard by looking at a headboard sizes chart.
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Last updatedLast updated: November 01, 2022
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Shopping for a headboard requires studying a headboard sizes chart, so that you order exactly the right type and fit for your bed frame and mattress. You may have fallen in love with that tufted Edwardian-style headboard, but it is not going to look right if it is too big or too small for your actual bed. It is important to measure your mattress width and height as that is key to providing you with all of your headboard dimensions and will prevent mistakes such as ordering a double-size headboard for a Queen size bed. Knowing your headboard height before you order that special headboard is also crucial, or you could end up stuffing a gap between the headboard and the mattress with pillows to disguise the fact you ordered the wrong fit. So, get out the measuring tape out and know the dimensions of your bed before looking at a headboard sizes chart.

How to choose the right headboard 

Headboard Sizes Chart: How to Choose the Right One?

Your headboard has to match the size of your bed to achieve an overall pleasing look and should complement, rather than compete with, your current bedroom style.

The first thing you need to ask yourself before choosing a headboard is, “Do I even need a headboard?” Some beds particularly frames for mattresses or futons, already have cradles and short headboards as part of the structure. In other cases, the headboard might look awkward or somehow damage a paint job or a wall. You probably won’t want a headboard if your floors are walls are older or sloping, as it may be harder to keep the headboard flush with the wall. However, it is possible to bolt a headboard to a wall if necessary.

Many people buy a new headboard when it is time to buy a new mattress. Fortunately, there are a lot of deals online right now that can allow you to get a great mattress for under $1000.  In some cases your new mattress pairs nicely with a bed frame that already has a headboard, in which case you do not have to add one. However, if you are revamping your bedroom, buying an attached or freestanding headboard can help your older bed look new.

Once you have decided that a headboard is an absolutely necessary purchase, you need to determine what is more important: the need to get a headboard at a cut-rate price or the desire to one that is a stylish fit with your present or planned bedroom décor. It is easy to keep it simple by ordering everything that matches your mattress in a bundle that includes duvet pillows, sheets, shams, and pillowcases all in one package. This helps to keep the look of your bedroom uniform tasteful without putting too much thought into it. Both Awareasleep and Nectar Sleep offer these bundles whenever you buy a headboard or mattress for $499. 

To help you get an idea of what headboards sizes and heights exist, what they are called, and what they are suited for, here is a Headboard sizes chart guide.

  • Shorty headboards are usually 6″ wide and 3-9′ tall and fit a cot or kid’s bed
  • Twin or Single headboards are typically 38″ wide and 75 “tall and fit twin-beds
  • A Double-bed headboard, sometimes called a Full Size is 60″ wide and up to 80″ in height
  • Extended queen bed headboard can be 66″ wide and up to 80 “tall.
  • King-size bed headboard can be 76″ in width and up to 80 “in height
  • Super-king bed headboard can be 80″ wide up to 96 “tall

It seems that twin beds are found more in dorms and hospitals, whereas single beds are found in homes. Both are the same bed size, but “twin” is now more commonly used than single. Also interchangeable are the terms double bed and full size, which most of us will recognize as the size one down from a Queen size mattress.

Another thing to determine is what kind of headboard is going to express your personal taste. Will it be wood, metal, upholstered, or tufted? Would you like something plainer or something more ornate?  If you are not a handy type, you might want to consider getting a free-floating headboard that does not entail the hassle of attaching it to your bed frame. However, if you are the type of person who likes to sit up in bed a lot and work or read, you might want to get a headboard fixed to the bed or the wall instead of a freestanding or floating one. Quilted and wood-framed padded headboards also suit someone who likes to sit up a lot in bed, offering softer support for the back and neck.

Room size is also another important consideration when looking at headboards. A massive, ornate headboard might look overbearing in a smaller room. If you are smitten with a headboard with inbuilt side tables or drawers, you also need to ensure that the entire frame fits into your room. On the other hand, buying a headboard with storage in the frame or even under the bed can be a pragmatic plus if you have a small bedroom.

Not quite sure what you want? It seems that someone in mid-life might like a different type of bed frame and headboard than someone buying their first fold-out futon for their apartment. This Trusted Source What midlifers really want in bed? The bedroom is unquestionably the most important space in our house, yet it is often neglected. www.telegraph.co.uk may provide some inspiration and reminders about what you really want in a bedroom.

Headboard width

Headboard Sizes Chart: How to Choose the Right One?
It is important to know that the headboard width does not exactly have to match the width of your mattress. In fact, the headboard looks better if it is two inches to four inches wider than the mattress.  Headboards can incorporate bedside tables or shelves at their sides, as is associated with the Modern Mid-Century style so be sure to take this into account when measuring the headboard width with the idea of your room size in mind. A headboard with a narrower width will look best in a smaller room.  Some headboards can be bought as wood-framed panels with stretched fabric and you can place them at any width or height that you like. 

Its height

There is no set rule when it comes to selecting headboard height and in fact the height of a headboard can give it a certain style or look. For instance, a Victorian or Craftsman style headboard is a lot taller than other styles, with a height that is sometimes equal to the length of the bed. This can give the bed a “sense of majesty”, not usually found in shorter headboards. Shorter headboards are associated with Asian or Mid-century modern minimalist styles and can be as short as a foot high. Shorter headboards look better in rooms that have low ceilings and tall headboards suit rooms with higher ceilings. A very tall headboard can have the effect of making a room looked cramped and smaller than it actually is.

Headboard types

There are a variety of headboard types to choose from in different colors, textures, and designs, and in the end, the best one for you is going to be the one that is both stylish and functional. It is probably a good idea to choose a headboard that is easy to clean if you are not the type of person who likes to dust or vacuum much.


Headboard Sizes Chart: How to Choose the Right One?

A big pro of a solid wood headboard is that it’s likely to last much longer than a fabric-covered one.

Wood headboards usually come in darker if they are natural, and they can be very plain or ornate. Wooden headboards that are lighter in color can also be painted a solid color or embellished with a design. They are generally quite easy to dust and clean.


The term upholstered headboard generally covers any type of headboard that is covered in fabric or fiber. Common coverings for headboards include leather, vinyl, satin, velvet, cotton, polyester, and all kinds of fiber blends. They add a hint of luxury to a room and also are comfortable to lean up against.

There are also headboards made of natural woven fibers such as wicker, abaca, bamboo, and seagrass. Most fabrics are quite easy to clean with a steam cleaner, and natural woven fibers usually clean up well with a good wipe and dusting. However, as these types of natural bed frames tend to be ricketier than wood or metal ones, you have to be careful not to stress them in any way. Even heavily varnished bamboo bed frames can degrade easily.


A freestanding headboard is one that embraces the base of your box spring without necessarily attaching to it. A good example of this type of headboard is the mid-century style with curved leg panels that tightly embrace the mattress and incorporate shelves in the headboard.


A straight headboard is simply a piece of wood or an upholstered paned that covers the wall behind the bed. Depending on the brand, it is usually rectangular or square in shape and may be fixed to the wall or the bed. They can also be paneled and oversized, creating a dramatic backdrop for the bed frame. They best suit minimalist style designs and are very easy to clean with a cloth. However, these can also be the most uncomfortable headboards to sleep with your head against. Consider buying some orthopedic pillows to help save your neck and prop yourself up comfortably to read or watch TV.   


A wood-framed headboard refers to a headboard that encases panels made of another material such as fabric or metal. Wood-framed headboards generally lend sturdiness to headboard designs with cut-outs, murals, or mosaics as the backdrop. They can also be made of composite wood materials that look and feel lighter than regular wood, making them easier to arrange and rearrange on a wall.


Tufted headboards are ideal for leaning up against while reading or watching television. Buttons are flat sewn overstuffed fabric, creating a comfortable, attractive backing for your bed.  Trusted Source How to Create a Bedroom With 1940s Glamour | Home Guides | SF Gate Whether bedrooms are traditional or modern, pattern and jewel-tone color define the era, and strategic use of these elements spotlights areas of bedroom elegance. homeguides.sfgate.com , tufted headboards are wonderful for those who want to create a very feminine and forties-style sense of glamor.


Headboard Sizes Chart: How to Choose the Right One?

One of the key metal bed frame benefits is its low maintenance.

Metal, especially wrought-iron headboards, come in every dimension and can be found in simple and elegant styles or very ornate ones. You can buy very ornate metal alloy frames with an art deco or gothic style or go for the much heavier cast-iron hospital style. If you do not like heavy metal frames, then go for brushed metal styles.  All metal headboards are quite easy to clean with a Windex-style cleaner. Avoid using water to clean headboards unless you are fond of a shabby chic rusted look.

Universal headboard brackets

Even if you are not the handiest person in the world, you should be able to attach universal headboard brackets to your bed. They come in handy if you have bought a headboard that did not come with its own brackets. The brackets consist of a bottom brace that fits the corners of the mattress. Most headboards will either connect to your bed frame through a hook-on or bolt-on option. Sometimes your bed frame will be already equipped with brackets or ways to connect them, so it is a good idea to check the head of the bed for a headboard mount to see what is needed. Typically, bolt-on bed heads will have mounting holes to attach the headboard, and the hook-on type will have a slit. If this is not the case, then you will need to buy universal brackets. Your main concern is making sure that any bolts that slide through the mounting holes or slits in your bed frame are the right size for bracing your universal headboard.

Headboard mattress gap size

Sometimes you just have to have a certain headboard, but it does not quite fit, leaving a gap between the top of the mattress and the flat face of the headboard. This attachment area should be as snug as possible, but if not, you can buy gap space eliminators in two-inch, four-inch, or six-inch sizes.

Adjustable headboards size

An adjustable bed can easily accommodate a headboard. Most adjustable beds have either a slit for a hook or mounting holes at the very bottom of the bed frame’s head, making it simple for you to attach a headboard. In this case, it is a good idea to choose an extra tall headboard that looks as good when the bed is elevated as it does when it is lowered.

Final thoughts 

When buying a headboard, it is an excellent idea to make sure that all of your measurements are correct, especially if you are ordering them online and having them delivered. Be sure to measure the height and width of your mattress and bed frame combined and research your brand of bed frame to see if it already has brackets or the holes and slits required for attaching a headboard. If an installation is not in your skillset, buying a freestanding unit that requires very little structure is great. In terms of comfort, tufted and wood frames with quilted backings are your best choice, with wrought iron and wood frames being less comfortable in general. Be sure as well to always refer to a headboard sizes chart to make sure that you are buying the headboard that is most appropriate for your frame and mattress.


What midlifers really want in bed?
The bedroom is unquestionably the most important space in our house, yet it is often neglected.
How to Create a Bedroom With 1940s Glamour | Home Guides | SF Gate
Whether bedrooms are traditional or modern, pattern and jewel-tone color define the era, and strategic use of these elements spotlights areas of bedroom elegance.
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