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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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
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.
Headboard dimensions: H120cm x W160cm x D3cm
2. Best budget headboard – 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...
King size dimensions: H63cm x W150cm x D6cm
3. Best patterned headboard – 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.
Dimensions: On application
4. Best carved headboard – 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.
Dimensions: W160cm x D6cm x H150cm
5. Best leather headboard – 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.
Dimensions: W154cm x D5cm x H110cm
6. Best buttoned headboard – 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.
King size dimensions: W150cm x D9cm x H110cm
7. Best handmade headboard – 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?
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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.
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