How Do I Know What Size Headboard I Need? – Follow these 5 Steps

Upholstered Headboard.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

What Size Headboard

Adding a headboard to your bed base might seem foolproof, but if you get the height wrong, your mattress will sit too high or low. A tall headboard looks odd, while one too low doesn’t give you enough vertical space to sit comfortably.

Your headboard should be 60-80cm above the mattress or just enough for you to rest your back against without touching the wall. It is important to note that headboards tend to sit higher on larger beds – for example, a queen headboard is usually taller than a single headboard.

There is also a headboard style that is disproportionately tall on purpose, although these aren’t that popular due to their lack of proportion.

How to size a headboard

Step #1 – Match the size

The first thing to do is match the headboard to your bed size. Simply put, if you have a king-size bed, you need a king-size headboard.

Watch out for EU and UK bed size mishaps – if you have a UK bed size, you need a UK headboard, or an EU headboard, etc. EU beds are usually wider than UK beds, so it is crucial to make sure you get a compatible headboard.

At Bedstar, we only sell UK beds, so if you purchased from us, your bed is a UK size. If you got it elsewhere, take measurements and ask the supplier.

Step #2 – Measure your mattress’s thickness

Next, measure your mattress’s thickness because this will dictate how much the headboard is hidden. For example, if you have a 30cm mattress and you get a headboard that is 75cm, only 45cm will be on show.

Your mattress’s thickness will determine the height of the headboard required. Note that your bed frame might drop the mattress down an inch to keep it in place, and if so, you can reduce this amount against the headboard height.

Determine what type of headboard you need

You need a strutted or floor-standing headboard:

  • Strutted headboards come with struts that allow you to fix the headboard onto the bed’s back. All you do is line the holes in the struts up with the pre-drilled holes at the top end of the bed and bolt on the headboard. 
  • Floor-standing headboards stand on the floor, and you attach them to the bed via a slot in the main body of the headboard. Since they have a fixed height, you must be more careful when choosing them.

Step #3 – Shop for a headboard

Once you know your mattress’s thickness, you can shop for a headboard and look for a product that gives you 60-80cm above the mattress.

For example, the Giltedge Beds Monte Carlo is 61cm – meaning you get 61cm above the mattress. 61cm is standard for a strutted headboard.

If you need a floor-standing headboard (because your bed frame doesn’t have bolt holes), a headboard height of around 135cm is typical.

For example, the Giltedge Madison is 135cm, as is the Giltedge Belgravia and the headboard height above the mattress is around 60cm. The Sweet Dreams Ottowa is a taller option, 141cm high.

What Size Headboard? Sweet Dreams Ottowa 4FT 6 Double Fabric Headboard.
Pictured: Sweet Dreams Ottowa 4FT 6 Double Fabric Headboard

Whether you choose a strutted or floor-standing headboard, headboards fit any divan base of the same size.

The only limitation is that floor-standing headboards have a fixed height, while strutted headboards can be moved a few inches higher if there are holes for the bolts.

Summing up

Headboard height relative to your mattress matters because it dictates how much space you have when sitting up. Ideally, you need 60-80cm of the headboard to sit up against. Use this as a benchmark when shopping.

We stock an unbeatable range of headboards at great prices, or if you need a new bed, you can get one included with a divan bed.

If you enjoyed this article, read our pieces on the best beds to buy and the Bedroom Design Trends 2023, Be Inspired and get the WOW.

Leave a Reply

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.