Wall Vs. Bed Base
Headboards with struts bolt onto the bed frame – great when it comes to moving house, as they merge as one complete item. Alternatively, floor-standing headboards attach to the bed, too, but reach all the way down to the floor, and then there’s wall-mounted options as well. “Generally, a headboard is better fixed to the wall,” says interior designer Anna Hewitson. “Consider the height in relation to the ceiling and the bed base itself with the mattress, duvet and pillows."
If the headboard is mounted on the bed, then it goes without saying it should be the exact same size as the bed, but if it's on the wall you could go oversized to create a more luxe look. As for height, there are no rules, go as high as you want – the taller the headboard, the more of a statement it will make, plus, it could also make a small bed feel larger.
If you plan to sit up in bed to watch TV or read, medium to well-stuffed padding will make it more comfortable. If you're after a more pared back look, however, choose slimline, sparser padding. Also, avoid protruding finishes such as rounded buttons on deep buttoning as these can be uncomfortable to sit up against.
Durability Of Fabric
“If you're choosing a fabric headboard for a bed you use every day, it’s important to choose something that's easy to clean, durable and stain resistant – especially if you have little ones in the house,” explain the team at The Headboard Workshop. “Like the vast majority of upholstered furniture, it’s easy for fabric headboards to succumb to everyday wear and tear.”
If you’re leaning back against it, it's worth choosing a fabric that's soft, such as velvet or chenille but be warned: “It’s very common to see marks appear on headboards over time, so think about how durable or practical the fabric will be," says Anna. "For example, textiles like velvet won’t wear brilliantly, and if you have a patterned fabric, seams could be an issue. When it comes to stripes, try railroading the fabric (by that we mean going horizontal) so you don’t have any obvious joins. If you’re having it buttoned, it’s also important to think about how a pattern will work with that."
Finally, always take into account the location of your bed, says The Headboard Workshop team. “For example, if your bed is near a natural source of light such as a window, choose a fabric that won't fade easily in the sun.”
This key to what kind of look you’re aiming for, and the good news is there's no right or wrong. “The shape is totally down to preference and you can get quite dramatic with it," offers Anna. "To add interest to a classic, more simple style, use contrast piping or nailing.” If your bedroom has a low ceiling or feels small, then a decorative shape will work well.
Finally, look out for products with pillow stops – an additional upholstered section that sits below the headboard and behind the mattress, allowing your headboard and bed to sit flush to the wall – and fabric protection; both are great additions that will help prolong the life of your headboard.