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How To Attach Headboard To Bed Frame In 4 Steps

Headboards can make for beautiful bed decoration as well as a comfortable surface to lay our back against while sitting up in bed. However, attaching a headboard to a new bed may seem a bit intimidating. We've looked into the best way to do this, and in this post, we will share it with you.

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You should be able to attach your headboard to your bed frame in less than an hour. Here is a method that you can use to do it:

  1. Prepare your headboard and assemble your tools.
  2. Attach the legs to your headboard.
  3. Center the headboard in front of the bed frame.
  4. Attach the headboard to the frame using the appropriate hardware.

It's important to read the manufacturer's instructions on your headboard before attaching it to your bed. The instructions can give you guidelines to follow to help you attach your headboard safely. Continue reading to learn about how to install a headboard on your bed frame.

hotel bedroom with fresh linen, white upholstered headboard. How To Attach Headboard To Bed Frame In 4 Steps

How To Attach Headboard To Bed Frame

Empty double bed with brown linen, nightstand and lamp

Things you'll need:

  • Bolts
  • Wrench
  • Hex key
  • Headboard mount
  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Screws

Note: (The size for the hardware pieces will vary per headboard)

1. Prepare your headboard and assemble your tools

Start by unboxing your headboard, taking out all the pieces, and placing them all on the floor. If your headboard comes with hardware that has been assigned letters and/or numbers, be sure to separate them accordingly. Gather all of the tools that you need for your assembly and set them to the side.

2. Attach the legs to your headboard

Take the two or three legs for the headboard and attach them to the bed frame using your hex key or a screwdriver, depending on the hardware that's required. Be sure to attach any washers to the bolts before placing them on the headboard. You may need to adjust the height of the legs if they are too short or tall.

It's best to have measured your bed's height beforehand to determine how high you want your headboard to stand above your bed. After you have attached the legs of the headboard, give it a gentle tug to make sure that it is not wobbly. If it is, locate the source of the wobble. Next, unscrew the bolts and reattach them.

Check out these bolt kits on Amazon.

3. Center the headboard in front of the bed frame

After you have determined that the legs are secure, stand the headboard in front of the bed frame. Position it up against the frame and center it so that the headboard brackets align with the bed frame. Next, lift the headboard slightly to position it with the bolt holes of the bed frame. If you need to, grab a piece of scrap plywood and hold it in place while you secure the bolts. Or, have a friend hold the headboard steady for you while you prepare to screw in the bolts.

4. Attach the headboard to the frame using the appropriate hardware

While the headboard is positioned with the bed frame, take your headboard bolts and place them inside the legs. Be sure to leave the bolts loose so that you can position the bed frame before screwing it on. You may need to lift the bed frame slightly to attach it to the headboard. Be sure to insert each bolt through the bracket of the respective headboard hole.

If the bed frame feels wobbly once you attach it to the headboard, unscrew the bolts and screw them in again. Sometimes bolts can be drilled in at an angle, which will cause them to stop prematurely. Tug at the headboard to ensure that it is securely attached to the headboard and that there is no wobbliness.

Make sure that the headboard is centered and lays flush against the bed frame. Do a side-by-side inspection at a distance to make sure that the headboard is aligned properly and that it isn't leaning forward or backward. And you're all set!

Can a headboard be attached to any bed frame?

Yes. Generally, you can attach a headboard to any frame as long as the frame's size is compatible with the headboard. For example, if you have a queen-size bed, you will need to find a queen-size headboard to attach to the bed. The width of the headboard will need to line up to the width of the bed frame to attach it securely.

Can you put a headboard on the wall?

Yes, if the headboard has a wall-mounting capability, you can attach it to the wall. Wall-mounting capability means that the headboard comes equipped with holes to attach it directly to the wall. The holes will typically be located on the legs of the headboard. If your headboard doesn't have these holes, it would be fairly difficult to try to drill them into the metal yourself.

And if it's made of fabric, you may damage it by trying to attach it to the wall. So to say, it's best to purchase a headboard that's wall-mountable.

How high should a headboard be above the mattress?

forged metal headboard of bed with pillows. candle stick on nightstand

Most headboards in America will have a height that ranges from 14 inches to 30 inches or more. It really depends on the size of the bed, however. In general, the headboard should be at least 12 inches above the bed to prevent head injury. You can also have a tall custom-made headboard to stand as high above your bed as you want.

How do you fix a gap between the mattress and headboard?

Depending on the size of the space, there are several options available to help fix the gap. Here are a couple of options to help fix this issue.

Get the right mattress size

If you have a king-size mattress and your bed frame is meant for a twin bed, you will notice a significant gap between your headboard and the mattress. The same can be said for other mismatch mattress and bed frame sizes. Your mattress should always match the specified size for the bed frame, if not, you'll notice a gap between them. If it is too small or too big, you will need to either get a new mattress or get a new bed frame, the latter of which would be much cheaper.

Bridge the gap

An easy and simple option to close the area between your mattress and headboard is to bridge the gap with material. You can use scrap plywood, large books, or a few two-by-fours to fill the space. The amount of material that you need will depend on how big the opening is, so be sure to measure it first. You can also push your mattress right up against the headboard and use a stop-gap board to fasten it as well.

Why does my headboard lean forward?

A few issues can cause a leaning headboard. Let's discuss the most common ones and how to fix them.

Uneven floors

Some homes have uneven floors. An uneven floor will cause your headboard to lean, depending on which way the bed faces. To determine if this is the issue with your headboard, take a look at the bottom of the headboard and see where it meets the floor. Are there any gaps there? If so, then this is your issue.

You can easily fix this issue by simply adding wood shims beneath the headboard's legs. You can purchase wood shims online for less than $10.

Take a look at these wood shims on Amazon.

Misaligned sideboards

If your floors are even, some of the issues might be with the sideboards of your bed frame. This issue is especially common with sleigh beds. Sometimes the weight or alignment of sideboards can throw off the balance of the headboard, causing it to lean forward or backward.

The best way to fix this is to detach the sideboards and reattach them. When reattaching them, make sure that they are not pulling to one side more to one side than the other. Also, make sure that they are not pulling more toward the footboard.

The bolts are loose on the headboard

This is probably the most common reason why a headboard may begin to tilt. The good thing is that it is a relatively simple and quick fix. Start by removing your mattress and mattress frame from the bed frame. Next, take a look at your headboard and the bolts that are holding it to the bed frame. Gently tug on the headboard to check for loose bolts.

If you notice any areas where the bolts are moving around, take a drill and tighten them up. You should have at least two bolts on each leg of the headboard for optimal bed frame support. If you have at least two bolts and they are tightly secured, you may want to consider attaching the headboard to the wall.

Wrapping Things Up

If you run into any trouble while trying to attach your headboard to your bed frame, try referencing the instructions in the user's manual that came with the headboard.

Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts:

What Bedding Goes With A Gray Bed? [A Complete Guide]

What Furniture Goes With A Metal Bed?