Can a Headboard Be Attached to Any Bed Frame?

May 15, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team
bed with headboard bed with headboard bed with headboard

If you’ve just scoped out the perfect headboard to refresh your space and add some style to your bedroom, you’re now left with just one question: will this amazing find actually fit on the bed frame I already have at home? Beyond that, can a headboard be attached to any bed frame? 

This might come as a surprise, but the answer is yes to both. 

A standard bed frame is able to hold practically any type of headboard. That means you can spend more time picking out the perfect headboard and less time worrying about whether or not it will even work. 

Before you go out and make your purchase, we’ll discuss how you can ensure your new headboard will fit your existing bed frame, plus the different headboard options, and how you can attach a headboard to a bed frame once you’ve got it.

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Deciding Which Headboard To Buy

As a prospective buyer, you have a lot of options. You can search for headboards based on material, installation options, design, size, and intended use. 

The headboard material and design are all about personal preference; however, the installation method might depend on the type of bed frame you have and where you want to place your bed. From a practical standpoint, we’ll focus on the installation options and how they fit together with various bed frames and room configurations.

Which Bed Frames Can Be Attached to Headboards?

For the sake of convenience, the vast majority of headboards and bed frames are compatible. Frame-mounted headboards create a cohesive aesthetic and are an affordable and simple option for renters and homeowners alike. 2The installation process is straightforward and requires very few tools.

To see if your bed frame is compatible, examine near the head of the bed for headboard brackets. Most bed frames have four horizontally oblong bolt holes or slots arranged one above the other. These pre drilled holes accommodate multiple types of headboard designs and allow you to adjust the height of the headboard.

If your bed frame can’t accommodate a headboard for whatever reason, you can still enjoy the aesthetic and functionality of a headboard with two other popular installation options:

  • Free-standing – These floor standing headboards are a convenient option that require no installation. Floor standing headboards are designed to stand on their own, usually in between your bed and the wall. This installation method is a perfect option for renters or anyone that shies away from a power tool.
  • Wall-mounted – Homeowners and handypeople may choose to attach their headboard to the wall for a more permanent installation method. A floating headboard only works for certain bedroom arrangements where the head of the bed is pressed up against the wall. You won’t be able to rearrange your furniture on a whim, but this wall mounted headboard option does provide a clean and modern aesthetic that many people love.

Compared to a free standing headboard and wall mounted headboard, frame-mounted headboards are often preferable because they leave you with unlimited configuration options. You can place the bed at an angle, against a window, or in the middle of the room—the choice is yours! 

As long as you have a standard bed frame, you should have no problem attaching your headboard to it. Also, don’t forget to make sure your headboard is the same bed size as your bed frame.

How Do You Attach a Headboard to a Bed Frame?

The actual process is relatively straightforward: you’re connecting headboard to bed frame, like adding two and two. After you’ve identified the appropriate headboard brackets to support a frame-mounted headboard, follow these twelve simple steps, and you’ll have your headboard up in no time:3 

  1. Shift your bed away from the wall so you have room for the next steps.
  1. Position the headboard against the bed frame with the finished side facing the bed.  
  1. Center the headboard legs in line with the bed frame’s brackets so the pre drilled holes on the legs align with at least two of the bolt holes in each of the brackets. 
  1. Lift the headboard to the correct height, either by enlisting the help of a friend or by using a stack of books as makeshift support. 
  1. If you don’t have an assistant on hand, use another piece of furniture to hold the headboard upright against the bed frame.
  1. Find a washer and bolt, which should be included with the fasteners for your headboard. 
  1. Insert the bolt through the bracket and the aligned headboard leg hole. 
  1. Slip a washer onto the bolt if it extends beyond the other side of the leg. 
  1. Screw a nut onto the bolt until it’s nice and snug. 
  1. Repeat this process with the remaining headboard bolts. 
  1. Periodically examine that the headboard is still centered with the bed base as you use the remaining bolts. 
  1. Tighten the headboard bolts using a wrench or pliers as a final safety measure.

Sources: 

  1. Hunker. How to Attach A Headboard to a Bed Frame. https://www.hunker.com/12157380/how-to-attach-a-headboard-to-a-bed-frame
  2. Mattress Nut. How to Attach a Headboard – Step-by-Step Guide. https://www.mattressnut.com/attach-headboard/