Best headboards – and how to pick the right design for you

Our stand-out headboards will give your bedroom sass

Headboards create a focal point in any bedroom so it's important to make the right choice. There are lots of things to consider before you buy – for example, whether you value comfort over everything, or if you're more intent that your bed makes a statement.

Get more inspo for that most restful of rooms with our bedroom ideas

If you read or watch TV in bed, then you'll be better off with a padded or upholstered headboard. Since you'll be leaning against it, a dark colour or print will disguise any marks. Wooden or rattan headboards, on the other hand, will create a stylish impact but won't offer the comfort of upholstered headboards.

Read to to discover more about what to look out for in a headboard, and discover our top picks.

Headboards – what are the design choices?

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White Atkin & Thyme headboard on a bed with gray sheets and white pillows

(Image credit: Atkin & Thyme)

Upholstered headboards are ideal for comfort, and can create a striking statement if covered in bold, patterned fabric. Alternatively, blush pink and grey are the neutrals of the moment if you're after a more restful feel. Buttoned designs are back in fashion and now come in curvier and plumper styles you won't resist sinking into.

Leather headboards are good for bringing a sleek, modern look to contemporary bedrooms, but remember, the leather can be cold so you may need a few extra pillows.

Wooden headboards are great for country-style bedrooms and traditional schemes. Or choose an intricate carved design for more of an eastern-inspired look.

Metal headboards will give a room a chic, urban feel, which is great for minimal-style bedrooms.

Should I choose a freestanding or detached headboard?

If you're buying a bed from scratch, you may want to consider choosing a bed with a headboard already attached. You'll be guaranteed that it all matches and you won't have the expense of buying a separate headboard. However, your choice will be more limited and you'll have to change the bed as well as the board if you fancy a new look.

If you're choosing a headboard for a divan bed, you will be spolit for choice and it will be easy to change if you feel like a new look. Remember to check out the bed's fittings before you buy as not all headboards fit all beds. The best thing to do is measure the screw holes to ensure you'll get a good fit when you buy.

What size headboard do I need?

Consider the height of the people that will be using the headboard. Some headboards won't be high enough for tall people, and children won't need a headboard that's as high as an adult's.

Choosing a headboard that's wider than the bed is advised, as when you add a duvet it might look otherwise look 'short'. Ideally, it should be two inches wider than your matttress on either size, although headboards can be anywhere between zero and four inches

Best headboards in 2024

We're dreaming of a new headboards, specifically these on-trend designs. From statement-making carved examples to chic upholstered boards, there's something here to give your bed the right finishing touch.

1. Best retro headboard – La Redoute

White La Redoute retro headboard in a bedroom

(Image credit: TBC)

Made from rattan, this of-the-moment headboard comes in two colour ways, both of which can help you nail some of the summer's key looks. For an authentic global boho bedroom, try the natural finish. Or for quirky country chic, there's white.

Buy now: Tio rattan headboard, £155, La Redoute

Headboard dimensions: H120cm x W160cm x D3cm

2. Best budget headboard – JD Williams

Gray, pink and white floral JD williams headboard

(Image credit: JD Williams)

If being in the red is likely to keep you awake at night, reign in the spending and pick this purse-friendly headboard. An oversize print downplays the femininity of the floral design, as do its dark tones, which make the pink petals really pop. And if you love this fabric, you might want to use the money you've saved to buy the matching armchair...

Buy now: Penelope printed fabric headboard, from £79 for a single, JD Williams

King size dimensions: H63cm x W150cm x D6cm

3. Best patterned headboard – KD Loves

KD loves headboard with piped edging and perfectly symmetrical pattern

(Image credit: KD Loves)

Embrace hotel chic with this decadent scalloped headboard from upholstered furniture specialist KD Loves. It's exquisitely made, with lots of attention paid to details like piped edging and perfectly symmetrical pattern. Impress visitors in a guest room, or save it for your own bed.

Buy now: Isabella headboard in Bernard Thorp Yamuna Blue, £1,000 for king-size, KD Loves

Dimensions: On application

4. Best carved headboard – Atkin & Thyme

White carved Atkin & Thyme headboard

(Image credit: Atkin & Thyme)

Full disclosure – this isn't going to be the most comfortable headboard to lean against on a lazy Sunday, but it will be the prettiest. And you can always add extra pillows so it's not exactly a deal breaker! Pick this if you're planning to give your bedroom an exotic Oriental feel.

Buy now: Atika white carved headboard, £599, Atkin & Thyme

Dimensions: W160cm x D6cm x H150cm

5. Best leather headboard – Cuckooland

Brown hand-woven leather headboard by Cuckooland

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

We think this hand-woven leather headboard is excellent value for money. Make it the centrepiece of an artisan bedroom, and pair with untreated wood furniture, natural linen bedding and dark navy or emerald green walls that will cocoon you as you settle down to sleep.

Buy now: Teak & Handwoven Leather Headboard, £395, Cuckooland

Dimensions: W154cm x D5cm x H110cm

6. Best buttoned headboard – Loaf

Loaf buttoned-back headboard in pink

(Image credit: Loaf)

Classic buttoned-back headboards are a future proof way to go in a bedroom, especially in a neutral like grey. With this Loaf design, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to colour options, with a grand total of 135. And if the scroll back isn't for you, try the straight-up Napper or Billow alternatives, which have that same boutique hotel vibe.

Buy now: Dozer headboard in Tuscan Pink Clever Softie fabric, £715 for a double, Loaf

King size dimensions: W150cm x D9cm x H110cm

7. Best handmade headboard – Oka

hand-made Oka h eadboard made from wood in the shape of a palm leaf

(Image credit: Oka)

More bedroom stylings: Pink bedroom ideas that can be pretty and peaceful, or punchy and playful

f there's one thing guaranteed to make you feel like a rock star when you wake up in the morning, it's this king-sized palm leaf-shaped headboard. Hand-made from mango wood and hand-painted in a subtle grey/green finish, everything about it is unique.

Buy now: King Palmette Headboard, £1,150, Oka

Dimensions: W184cm x D6cm x H185cm

Which one is 'heading' up your wish list?

Holly Walsh
Content Editor

Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.