Do You Need a Headboard? Here's Why You Might

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
September 12, 2022
|
7
min read

When homes were uninsulated and rickety, headboards helped keep sleepers warm and safe against cold night chills. Headboards can serve as fashionable additions on your accent wall or as functional storage spaces; it’s all up to how you use them. Read on to find out if you need a headboard and how it can elevate your sleeping space.

What Is A Headboard?

A freestanding headboard is a long, flat piece of bedroom furniture that attaches to the head of a bed. Many of these decorative pieces act as a sort of bed “extension” by providing a soft area to lean on. 

These can come in a wide range of color choices, designs, and sizes. Hard, wooden headboards are usually decorative, while soft, upholstered headboards are both functional and fashionable. 

Pros Of A Headboard

Even though the modern headboard is generally viewed as more decorative than functional these days, there are still plenty of reasons to have one in your bedroom. Here are some of the top pros of having one in your relaxation zone.

Extra Support For Your Head And Back

If you’re the type of person that likes to read in bed, you’ll know the struggles of trying to prop yourself up against a wall of pillows. Without the proper support for your back and bottom, your one-hour reading session can turn into week-long back pain. 

Having a large, soft headboard attached to your wall can give you a sturdy area to lean against when reading or just sitting up in bed. Who can say no to a little bit of extra support?

Keep The Cold Away

Old houses have their charm, but sometimes they come without the comforts of modern homes like proper insulation. If this is the case for you, having a soft headboard might help on chilly evenings. No matter your bed size, you can have a headboard cut and mounted for a little bit of extra insulation and warmth. 

Protect Your Wall

Wear and tear are inevitable, and your bed can chip paint and rub against corners as you toss and turn at night. A headboard can act as a barrier between your bed’s sharp edges and the back wall, protecting them both from dings and damage.

Keep Pillows Secure

Have you ever woken up to find your pillows strewn all over the floor or sandwiched in a gap? If so, then you might want to consider upgrading your bedroom with a headboard. There’s always going to be a little bit of space between your bed frame and the back wall, but a headboard fills in the gaps perfectly and prevents things from slipping through.

That means no more rogue pillows, books, or even lost glasses falling through the cracks during bedtime. Instead, you can sleep easy knowing you'll wake with everything still in its rightful place.

Provide Extra Storage

While traditional headboards usually involve a piece of upholstered wood nailed to the wall, it doesn’t have to be that way. Some newer headboards double as cupboards or storage areas that can easily open up to hold all your knick-knacks. If combined with a bed frame that comes with a storage compartment, you’ll be able to keep your room neat and tidy without too much effort. 

Enhance The Look Of Your Bedroom

The thing about headboards is they can elevate your entire bedroom, sort of like a well-chosen art piece. We recommend matching a wooden headboard with your wardrobe or console table or getting a cloth one to match the bright colors of an upholstered bed frame, curtains, or drapes. 

Either way, a headboard can be an easy way to elevate a plain space into a cozy bedroom while also adding a pop of color.

Cons Of A Headboard

So we’ve discussed some of the main reasons to get a headboard, but what about the drawbacks of getting one? Here are some of the things you may want to consider before splurging on a board of your own.

Cost

Headboards don’t have to be expensive, but they aren’t exactly free, either. So if you’re strapped for cash and looking to invest in something a little more functional, headboards may not be the best purchase for you right now. This is especially true if you’re getting a custom-made one for a large bed made from expensive wood and materials.

Maintenance

If you decide to get an upholstered headboard, you'll eventually have to clean it yourself or have it professionally done. After nights and nights of use, dirt builds up on the board’s surface that can’t just be vacuumed or spot cleaned out. Not to mention that cloth can get discolored over time, which can lead to some risky color combinations becoming eyesores.

Types Of Headboards

There’s a headboard for every kind of bed – you just need to know what’s out there. Here are some of the most common headboard types and the bedroom styles they complement.

  • Wooden headboard: Wooden headboards are the perfect choice for folks with allergies. These can be made from reclaimed wood for that sustainable, rustic feeling.
  • Metal headboard: Metal headboards can range from antique to totally modern. This headboard is great paired with a minimalist bedroom design or a metal bed frame.
  • Upholstered headboard: When it comes to comfort and coziness, upholstered headboards are the number one pick. These can be done up in patterns, plains, or even leather.
  • Bookcase headboard: Despite its name, bookcase headboards aren’t exclusively built for books. These space-saving boards can be outfitted with cabinets and shelves to keep everything in place.

Go Ahead And Get A Headboard

Now you know that headboards can be both fashionable and functional, but do you need one? The short answer is no, but there are plenty of reasons to get one anyway. Whether it’s elevating your sleeping space from college dorm chic to an actual functioning adult’s bedroom or shoehorning a bit more storage space into a room, it is worth the time and effort. 

On the other hand, not having one won’t change your sleeping setup all too much, either. At the end of the day, it depends on whether you’re down with the aesthetic or not. But if you are, be sure to pick one that suits your bed frame