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What Type of Headboard Should You Get

Looking for a little drama in the bedroom? Wooden or's what to consider
   EKBB Magazine  |  written on: 05-09-2021 08:15am

…about upholstered headboards
Upholstered headboards once had a rather dowdy image but the new generation that’s now leading the way is quite the reverse. From chic, hotel-style deep buttoned or winged looks, to modern, geometric padded squares, the over-stuffed look creates a luxurious, decadent feel, whereas curved tops can add a bit of country charm. If you regularly sit up, eat breakfast or watch TV in bed, an upholstered style will give you wonderful comfort and support and will probably be the style for you. As well as cotton and wool there are plenty of alternatives for upholstered styles, such as leather, velvet and suede. Bear in mind that leather headboards can be chilly so are best combined with extra pillows. This look can also create a bold colour accent and add texture with different weaves and fabrics.

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Suffolk winged headboard; Credit: The Whte Company

As a rough guide, a headboard for a king size bed will need around three metres of fabric. Make sure the material is suitable for upholstery and also be aware of the effect the headboard style will have on the fabric. Stripes or checks are best avoided with a deep buttoned headboard or the pattern will be distorted.

As well as checking the width and height, bear in mind the extra depth an upholstered headboard requires. Sleigh styles will also bring the bed forward.

…about solid wood or iron rails
If you prefer the look of solid wood or iron rails, a couple of large, square, firm pillows will add comfort. A wooden headboard is a good way to introduce warmth into your scheme and a slim wooden model is ideal for a minimalist scheme. Or you can go for a Scandinavian look with painted wood.

Lene Bjerre classic headboard, Credit: Houseology

The benefits of choosing these hardy materials for headboards… Not only do they ensure longevity but classic designs create a neutral pallet in which to offset existing bedroom furniture and styling.

…about the height of the headboard
Height is another consideration. Low headboards suit minimal rooms and are also practical where there is a low window, although if one of you is tall they can be uncomfortable; ideally it should be at least 125cm high. It’s all down to personal taste, but as a guide, the headboard should be around one third of the wall height. Extra tall headboards make a dramatic statement – although bear in mind the ceiling height if you don’t want it to dominate.

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Balmoral double headboard, Credit: John Lewis

…about the width of the headboard
Choosing a headboard that’s wider than the bed creates a sophisticated look and this style can also be used to incorporate features such as shelves or drawers.

Some more things to consider…

To avoid a gap between the wall and the bed choose a model with an inset back.

Consider what shape will work best with the room. Do you want to introduce softening curves or go for crisp lines?

How durable will the headboard be in your household? Light coloured fabrics and small children don’t always go well together.

How easy will it be to clean? If it’s wood, is it solid wood or a veneer which might alter and show chips more easily?

Credit: Katy Eachus (Words)
Published: As featured in EKBB Magazine, Issue 239, March 2016

Also read:
Must-Haves: Bedroom Headboards

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   EKBB Magazine
The UK's No.1 kitchen, bathroom and bedroom magazine dedicated to real-life luxury homes and turning your design dreams into reality.

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