How To Attach a Headboard in a Few Easy Steps

How To Attach a Headboard in a Few Easy Steps

Many customers ask what's the best way to attach a headboard? Is it better to attach it to an existing bed frame? Is it better to attach the headboard to the wall? The answer to the question typically depends on your preference. 

BedBoards Design Co. doesn't sell bed frames so we thought we'd create this guide to address these frequently asked questions. 

Why attach a headboard to a bed frame?

Attaching to bed frames makes for a sturdy, secured headboard so the headboard doesn't move around, especially if you have hardwood floors in your bedroom. If the custom headboard you purchased includes legs, which are most common, then it's meant to be attached to a bed frame. Bed frames include an attachment specifically for a headboard with legs. This allows you to secure the headboard in place using a simple nut and bolt.

The challenge is if you're headboard has pre-drilled holes in the legs. Pre-drilled holes definitely make it easier to attach to the headboard mount, but the holes in the legs may not line up directly with the headboard mount, therefore making it impossible to attach (typically found with generic store bought headboards). Most custom-made headboards do not pre-drill holes for that ensure the holes line up properly to your frame because there's a variety of bed frame brands and they have different specs where the hole is located...and if the hole is off by a few millimeters, it's useless. However, custom furniture shops, like us, can measure the location of the hole to ensure it can be properly attached, or we offer installation options where we can deliver and attach it for you (Atlanta only). Feel free to take a look at our King headboards for more information on our products....but continue reading for installation instructions. 

So the first step is that you'll need to purchase a bed frame, if you don't already have one, and if you're pre-drilled holes in the legs line up to the headboard mount, then you're in luck. The majority of mattress stores sell bed frames between $50 - $100 or you can purchase one online. Here is an example of a typical bed frame from Sears:

Quick step headboard installation guide:

1. Remove the mattress and boxspring from the bed frame

2. Place the headboard behind bed frame on the side that has the attachment

3. Mark the headboard leg with a marker on the fabric (if upholstered) or on the wood where the attachment hole lines up to the center of the leg

4. Remove the headboard and drill a hole on the mark with a power drill through the back of the leg

5. Use a 5/32" drill bit and use a 2" screw with washer and nut 

6. Line the headboard back up behind the bed frame and push the screw into the attachment AND the headboard leg. Secure it with the washer and nut.

7. Do the same for both legs - there should be a total of 4 holes (2 per leg) for most standard bed frames. 

8. Place the mattress and box spring back on the frame and push back towards wall

Note: Give us a call to inquire about specific screw and bolt sizes. We're happy to assist. 

Why attach a headboard to the wall?

Wall mounted headboards appeal to customers because they are flushed against the wall and have a very clean look. They can also save space (a few inches here in there) in your bedroom if it doesn't have legs. 

The best and most secure way to attach a wall mounted headboard is to use french cleats. 

Here is a decent french cleat example from Home Depot:

Wall mounted headboard installation guide:

1. Measure where you want the headboard to be placed on the wall allowing enough space for the mattress to be tucked under the headboard

2. Mark the wall accordingly

3. Mount the proper piece on the back of the headboard, ensuring it's level

4. Mount the other piece on the wall, ensuring it's level as well 

5. Hang the headboard to the wall cleat

Note: check to make sure the weight of the headboard matches up to the amount the cleat you buy. Also, read the cleat instructions carefully to ensure you follow directions properly as our guide is a basic installation guide. 


Is it always 100% necessary to attach your headboard?

No, it usually depends on 1) your room and 2) the quality of the headboard. It depends on your bedroom because if you don't have a rug or carpet underneath your bed, the headboard tends to slide more. If you have thick baseboards, your headboard can stick out from the wall further than normal or it won't be flush against your wall. In this case, you'd want to attach it to the frame. If you purchase a cheap headboard, it typically won't be sturdy enough and can move around a lot. 


Good luck and please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.