If you’re looking at buying a bed, chances are that you have a few questions relating to headboards and footends. Do you know why some beds have headboards or what type of headboard is best? Do you know what size headboard will work with the bed frame you have? Are you familiar with the terms high, mid and low footend? If you don’t know the answer to some or all of these questions, read on below to find out what headboard and footend (if any) is best for you.

Does my bed need a headboard?

The short answer is no. While headboards were originally invented as a barrier between a person sleeping and the wall, to stop the head from getting cold, better insulation means having a headboard is not absolutely necessary. They do add extra expense so many of you may be thinking, it is worth it? Some headboards are pretty reasonably priced but obviously opting for none is ultimately going to cost you less. They also take up space which might be something you want to think about in a small room. If your room has an especially low or sloping ceiling, a headboard may make it too crowded. If you do choose not to have a headboard, use an internal wall not an external wall to lean you bed against otherwise you could end up with a cold head.

So why would you choose to have a headboard? In today’s world, headboards serve more of a decorative purpose than a practical one. There are so many different designs and styles of headboards that can complete the look of your bed and create a focal point in you room. The visual appeal is one of the main reasons why people choose to have a headboard but they do have practical advantages too. If you spend a lot of time sitting up in bed, a headboard will provide you with extra back and head support. They protect the wall from the bed rubbing or scratching the paint or wallpaper and oily hair from staining the wall. Some headboards like Coastwood Furniture’s Adventure come with built in storage which is ideal for storing small items like books, toys, ornaments or other odds and ends that you don’t know where else to put. And how annoying is it when your pillow falls off the bed in the night? A headboard will stop pillows falling down the back of the bed frame, allowing you to sleep on uninterrupted, without needing to go dazedly fishing for your pillow in the middle of the night.

If you have a bed frame without a headboard, you can add one at any time. Perhaps you don’t like the headboard that comes with the bed frame you want, or is on the bed you’ve already got, well you can easily remove it and put a new one on.

Is a slatted headboard or a solid headboard better?

If you decide to have a headboard, this opens up a world of possibilities. In terms of structure, your headboard could be a slatted or a solid headboard. Slatted headboards are made of evenly spaced vertical wooden slats or in some cases, metal. These slats create an illusion of height. With a solid headboard there is more scope for creativity as they can be made of wood or metal in different shapes, and panelled or upholstered to create your own unique look. Neither type is necessarily better, the main difference is the way they look so once again it comes down to personal preference. One advantage of an upholstered headboard is that it provides padding and warmth for your head so will feel more comfortable, especially if you bump your head against it in the night.

Coastwood Furniture has a wide range of both slatted and solid NZ made wooden headboards- some of which are padded. Some of our bed frames have the option of either type of headboard so you can choose which one suits the style or look that you’re going for.

What size headboard will fit to my mattress and base?

A lot of bed frames come with a headboard but if you already have a bed frame and you only want to add a headboard to it, then you’ll need to get the right size. Some headboards are wall-mounted or free-standing so they can be any size but most headboards are frame-mounted and need to attach to the bed frame. Therefore, they have to be compatible with the standard bed size, whether it is any size from single to Californian king, so that the mounting holes line up. For example, a queen bed frame will match with a queen size headboard, a king with a king and so on. The headboards are usually a similar width or slightly wider than their compatible bed frame, although extra wide headboards can be up to twice as wide or cover a whole wall if that’s what you want. Coastwood Furniture’s single and king single bed frames have mounting holes in the same place and our sizes from double through to super king bed frames have identical mounting hole positions, so should you desire an extra wide or narrow headboard, you can purchase a king headboard for your queen bed frame, single for your king single or the like. This may not be the same for all furniture manufacturers so it pays to check.

In terms of height there really is no limits though it’s generally thought that the height of the headboard should not exceed the length of the bed as this can cause it to look out of proportion. Tall headboards work best in rooms with high ceilings, adding drama and impact while a low headboard is more suited to rooms with low ceilings, making the room appear more spacious and giving it a modern appearance. The headboards sold by Coastwood Furniture range in height from 800mm, like the Coaster, to 1400mm, like the Bayswater, but there is always the option of customisation if the standard height is not what you’re wanting.

Should I choose a high, mid or low foot end?

As well as a headboard, there is also a choice of what type of footend to have. A lot of bed frames come with a low footend which basically means no footend, the side rails just continue around the front with no added height. Beds with a mid or high footend have a footboard which is raised above the end of the bed and the obvious difference is that mid footends are slightly lower than high footends.

A mid or high footend can make the bed feel safe and enclosed and will stop bedding from falling off the end of the bed but they can make the bed appear too big in a small room, potentially making the room look crowded. They are not ideal for tall people as they will block your ability to stretch out. A low footend makes the space feel more open and takes up less space, meaning view is not blocked and there is ability to sit on the end of the bed. Its also easier to make the bed as the footend doesn’t get in the way. The look you are going for will dictate which one you find most visually appealing. Often a mid or high footend can make a statement while a low footend would fit in with a more minimalistic design. Coastwood’s high footend bed frames range in size from 700mm to 930mm, our mid foot bed frames are from 470mm to 690mm and our low foot bed frames are the same height as the bed base- from 260mm to 430mm. Once again, these measurements can be customized to suit your unique situation. Our highest footend is on the Villager bed, mid foot bed frames include ranges Fenton and Larry and most beds have the option of a low foot end.

The main thing to take away from this, is that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing headboards and footends. Choose what YOU prefer the most. Hopefully this article has given you some indication of what is best for you and you can find the perfect bed frame with all the features you want. If you’d like to check out beds covering all the things we’ve discussed, take a look at our extensive variety of bedroom furniture ranges.