Differences Between Headboards vs. Beds with Headboards
Choosing a Bed Frame with a Headboard or a Headboard Only
Along with providing a cozy place for restful sleep, beds often serve as stunning bedroom centerpieces. Some people choose to make their bed frame and bedspread the focal point of their layout, while others use headboards to make a grander statement. Depending on your bedtime routine, style preferences and budget, you might consider adding one or both of these items to your setup.
Before decorating your room with a headboard, a bed or a combination of the two, check out this bed vs. headboard guide to:
Defining Headboards vs. Beds
One of the primary distinctions between a bed and a headboard is that they each serve a different function. Each option also enhances the look of your bedroom layout in different ways. Keep these details in mind when deciding between a bedframe without a headboard, a bed frame with a headboard or a headboard alone.
Purpose of a Bed Without a Headboard
The word bed can refer to the bed frame itself, the mattress and foundation, or a combination of all these pieces. Frames featuring metal, plastic or wood slats lift the mattress off the floor and provide extra support. Meanwhile, the footboard at the end of the bed helps keep your bedding in place.
What Is a Headboard?
A headboard goes behind the head of the bed, providing a barrier between the sleepers’ pillows and the wall. Many of these pieces also feature eye-catching designs and materials that add decorative flair to your layout. Some headboards are part of the bed’s design, while others can attach to a bed frame, stand on their own or mount to the wall.
Do I Need a Headboard, Bed or Both?
During the planning stages of your bedroom decorating process, you might have questions about whether you should add a headboard, bed or both to the layout. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your personal comfort needs and how you intend to style your bedroom. Answer the following questions to determine whether a bed, headboard or both would work best for your design.
Does a Bed Need a Headboard?
Although headboards can be a stylish and practical addition to your bedroom, your bed frame can offer ample comfort and support without one. Still, if you’re looking to enhance the cozy look and feel of the layout, you might want to use a headboard to frame the head of your bed, prop your pillows up and provide a backrest as you read or watch TV before bed.
Can You Buy Just a Headboard?
You can buy a separate headboard and attach it to your current headboard-less bed frame. However, you’ll need to choose one that fits your twin, full, king or queen-size bed frame to avoid a mismatched look. If you’re unable to find a headboard that attaches to the frame, a wall-mounted option can be an excellent alternative.
Do Headboards Come with Frames?
Some bed frames come with an attached headboard and footboard featuring coordinating colors, materials and designs, while others only have a headboard. If you prefer a frame with just a headboard, consider using end-of-the-bed seating like benches, settees, small loveseats or storage ottomans to create a cozy, practical ensemble.
How to Choose Between a Headboard vs. a Bed Frame
Depending on whether your bedroom design prioritizes conserving floor space, ensuring maximum comfort, saving money or showcasing a particular decor style, it might be a better idea to choose a bed with or without a headboard. Take the uses, designs and pricing of these two furnishings into account before you decide whether a bed frame, headboard or both is right for you.
Uses of Headboards vs. Beds
Beds and headboards are functional furnishings that can keep you comfortable as you sleep and show off your chic sense of style. Enhance your practical bedroom design by choosing a headboard or bed that helps you:
- Maximize Wall and Floor Space: A bed without a headboard minimizes the amount of visual clutter on the walls, making small rooms appear larger and less crowded.
- Reduce Bedroom Clutter: Storage beds with drawers in the footboard let you keep sheets, extra pillows and other bedtime essentials organized. You might also be able to find headboards with attached nightstands.
- Rearrange the Room: Moving a bed and mattress can sometimes be a bit easier if the frame lacks a heavy headboard attachment. However, a lightweight, free-standing headboard could simplify the process as well.
- Arrange your Bedspread: Bed frames with footboards help keep tucked sheets and blankets in place, while headboards can prevent pillows from falling between the bed and the wall while you sleep.
- Access the Bed: A bed with only a headboard lets you climb in at the foot of the bed or hop in from either side. Just a bed, however, makes it easy to access the mattress at any angle.
- Express Your Style: Draping your bed in colorful bedding and throw pillows can bring refreshing pops of color to your bedroom design. Likewise, a headboard featuring bold patterns or a built-in bookcase lets you display your favorite prints and trinkets.
Bed Frame and Headboard Styles
Whether you choose a headboard, bed frame or both, each piece should complement the other as well as your overall bedroom theme. When choosing materials, finishes, colors and fabrics for these items, consider the following options to suit your aesthetic:
- Modern: Modern-style platform beds sit low to the ground and rarely need a headboard for added support. Also, modern headboards complement the simple and comfy look of the layout. Stick to neutral colors like gray, black and beige if you prefer this chic design.
- Traditional: Wooden headboards on a poster or sleigh bed lend charm and classic appeal to any bedroom. Button-tufted headboards also deliver a rich, luxurious look, perfect for traditional setups.
- Contemporary: Panel beds typically have sleek, angular frames, making them wonderful additions to contemporary bedrooms. A panel headboard might also feature a geometric design that suits the streamlined look of this decorating style.
- Glam: Large upholstered headboards and velvet frames make fantastic focal points in Old Hollywood and glam layouts. Invest in a large headboard with a metallic finish or an upholstered bed featuring soft, supple fabrics in silver, navy blue or jewel tones.
- Rustic: Rustic bedrooms often include headboards with weathered wood finishes, brown hues and traditional accents like carved posters or gentle curves and arches. For a farmhouse or industrial look, choose a metal bed with a headboard and footboard.
- Minimalism: The perfect style for a bed without a headboard, minimalism helps you establish an open, clutter-free space. Using a minimalist-style bed can remove visual clutter from the wall, while low-profile beds let you skip styling extras like bed skirts.