Headboard ideas: 10 ways to give your bed some serious style clout

Transform your bedroom with one of these stylish bed-framing solutions

Beautiful bed linen, a statement wall and even your furniture are all ways to add wow factor to your bedroom, but if you're looking to bring your bed into focus, then it's headboard ideas you'll be needing.

An easy way to turn your sleep zone into a showstopper, headboards come in many different shapes, sizes and materials, so have a think about what it is that would most appeal to you. Perhaps it's a decadent velvet affair, complete with contrasting trim, or a design that features some clever storage? Maybe something colourful or heavy on pattern that really stands out, or a shape that echoes the lines of other furniture in the room?

Whether you're looking to update the bed and mattress you already have, or buy a new model, complete with headboard, we've got a range of designs to whet your appetite and offer you some much-needed inspiration.

Headboard ideas

Dating back to Egyptian times, headboards were originally decorative affairs made from gold, silver and ebony, later moving on to become more practical pieces that helped protect sleepers from draughts and cold. Nowadays, we use them to add colour, pattern, shape and texture to our bedrooms – and also as a spot to rest against when sitting up in bed.

'The bed and headboard are the focal pieces of any bedroom, so it's essential to choose those that are built to last and won’t date, to ensure that you'll love them for many years to come,' says Emma Deterding, creative director and founder of KDLoves. 'Every bedroom should have a headboard and ideally something big and bold for a bit of wow-factor. They create a centrepiece for the room, which can act as an anchor to coordinate with your lamps, cushions and matching bed base or valance.'

Let's take a look at some stand-out headboard ideas that could prove a game-changer for your bedroom…

1. Get creative with pattern and trim

bedroom with pink headboard and blue wall

(Image credit: KDLoves)

This headboard is nothing if not bold, with its plush, colourful fabric encased in an ornate scalloped frame. Studded detailing around the edges adds to the luxury feel, while cushions in equally bold patterns and colours have been chosen to complement the pink scheme.

'We are seeing that clients are increasingly opting for bespoke designs, be it the shape of the headboard or the fabric combination they choose,' says KDLoves' Emma Deterding. 'We always suggest using piping in contrasting fabrics and colours for that extra level of detail and interest. It's an opportunity to use a blast of colour, have a bit of fun and it's an economical way to achieve this too.'

Buy now: The Alice headboard in Bethie Tricks Pink Waves, from £1,000, KDLoves

2. Incorporate lighting into your headboard

bedroom with grey curtain and bedside table

(Image credit: K&H Design)

When your bed isn't set against a wall or you're looking for an all-in-one solution, why not opt for a bespoke headboard idea that gives you a 'head' for your bed and a spot for wall lights to sit? This low-slung design by K&H Design features smart navy panelling, built-in bedside tables with shelves and 'wings' at the side to help zone the sleep space.

Plus, if your decor changes in the bedroom at any point, it's easy to update this type of headboard with paint to suit your new scheme.

3. Use the whole wall behind your bed

bedroom with bedside lamp and white ceiling

(Image credit: Detail Lighting)

Using the wall behind your bed as one big headboard means you can really go to town with what you include. Here, for example, a recessed shelf provides a good spot for frames and display items, with strip LEDs used to light them nicely, while the rest of the wall features a gloss cream panelling that offers a smart, sleek look.

Buy now: Recessed spotlights, from £45; linear LED system, from £30 per m, all Detail Lighting

4. Create a cocooning effect

bedroom with white walls and wooden vanity

(Image credit: Feather & Black)

When your bed features a headboard that not only reaches the width of your frame, but wraps around your mattress slightly, it can almost feel as though it is hugging you. It's a simple design detail, but one that helps create a cocooned environment, alluding to a cosy, undisturbed sleep. If you're going for a bespoke option, consider having the headboard brought around even further to amplify the effect.

Buy now: Versailles bed, from £2,050, Feather & Black 

5. Be playful with shape

bedroom with bedside wooden bedside table and table lamp

(Image credit: Milc Interiors)

With so much choice available for headboards, it's no longer the case that you have to go for a rectangular shape. Consider buying a curved or scalloped design instead, like this one by Milc Interiors, which have become increasingly popular in the last few years.

'For us, the bedroom is incomplete without an upholstered headboard in a statement shape,' says Emma Deterding. 'They bring in drama and add personality, making an eye-catching statement, while helping to balance out the space in the room.

Organic shapes such as curved and rounded silhouettes and scalloped designs are definitely going to be big for 2022. I think the main reason for this is that they are much easier on the eye and easier to live with. They feel softer, warmer and cosier, and evoke a cocoon-like effect that makes you feel relaxed and restful.'

6. Take your headboard onto the ceiling

bedroom with hanging plants and painiting

(Image credit: Future/David Giles)

Who is to say that your headboard has to stop at one wall? Installing wood planks behind your bed and carrying them up and onto the ceiling gives the effect of a 'roof' over your bed, helping define your sleep space and creating a statement feature.

Of course, it doesn't have to be wood planks that you use for a country bedroom idea – a length of fabric would work just as well and acts as a canopy above the bed.

7. Enlarge your headboard with paint

bedroom with orange headboard and floating shelves

(Image credit: Hudson Valley Group)

If you've already got a bed with its own headboard, why not add to it with a painted area behind the bed in a similar or co-ordinating colour? Take a break from neutrals and use bold colours to create a dramatic backdrop, whether you paint a larger rectangular shape around your headboard, or a circle as has been done here.

What we particularly like about this scheme is the amount of layers it has when it comes to the colours – from the yellow bedding and terracotta throw to the mustard-coloured bed frame and sunny yellow-painted walls.

Buy now: Ashleigh chandelier, Hudson Valley Lighting Group

8. Make an impact with stone

bedroom with white marble headboard

(Image credit: Cullifords)

Say the word 'headboard' and most of us will immediately think of a plush upholstered design, but there are other materials that work just as well if it's a striking effect you're after. Stone, for example, creates quite the showpiece behind a bed with its bold veining, especially when it's teamed with a white scheme to keep it front of focus.

Before buying, make sure you call in plenty of samples to see how they look next to your chosen fabrics and paint colours for the room.

Buy now: Panda White marble, from £750sq m, Cullifords

9. Double up

bedroom with bed having fan patterned headboard

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Fans of pattern will love this headboard idea, where your bed headboard rests against a patterned screen for an interesting layered backdrop. You could, of course, forgo the screen and use an MDF board to sit behind, wallpapered or upholstered in the pattern or material of your choice.

Despite the amount of different patterns in this room, they all sit together nicely due to the choice of colour and delicate floral prints, with the pink of the wall echoed in the stripe pillowcases, and the dark blue of the screen in both the cushion and curtains. The bed headboard itself is far from dull, with a curved shape and round bobbin detail on the posters (and on the matching bedside table), which adds character and charm.

Buy now: Bobbin bed frame, £599 for a double, John Lewis & Partners

10. Combine a mix of materials

bedroom with leather headboard and white lamp

(Image credit: Cameron Design House)

When one headboard just won't do, why not build up and around it with padded panels to create a plush wall that screams luxury? This look is perfect for grey bedrooms.

We love the mix of leather bed headboard teamed with light-grey textured fabric panels above, and it makes for a comfortable setting. Note the rectangular lines echoed in the lamps, giving this bedroom a neat, symmetrical feel to it that's classic and timeless.

What can I use instead of a headboard?

From painted shapes to wallpapered panels, or even a fabric wallhanging or screen, there's plenty of ways to get the effect of a headboard without actually having one. Think about what you'd like to see behind the bed, whether it's your favourite colour or a piece of fabric that you like – and remember that because it's just a small area, you can afford to be bold without your choice overpowering the room.

If you decide to go with a piece of art instead of a headboard, make sure you place it so that it's far enough way that you aren't likely to knock it if you sit up in bed.

Are headboards a good idea?

Traditionally, back when walls weren't insulated as they are today, headboards were introduced to offer a barrier between the bed and wall, keeping heads from getting too cold from draughts. Nowadays, they provide a stopper to keep pillows in place and provide a decorative touch that helps frame your bed.

'Headboards are most definitely becoming all the rage again (and have been for a while now), with big, bold shapes in bright colours and patterned fabrics being the go-to choice,' says Emma Deterding. 'I think one of the main reasons for this is that a statement headboard really helps to create a focal point in the bedroom and acts as an anchor to centre the overall scheme around. Taller, curved silhouettes are proving very popular as they add a soft drama to the space, whilst the inclusion of patterned fabrics and bold colours show that they are just as restful as muted shades.'

How do I make my own headboard?

Whether you're looking to do something simple such as paint a mock headboard, or try a more in-depth solution, you can find lots of DIY headboard ideas here. It's a great way to save on budget and come up with something truly unique.

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk