To be quite literal, the bed headboard is a board that is fixed at the head of the bed. Its function is to focus the attention in the room on the bed, defining the bed as the main piece of furniture within the room. Think of the bed headboard as the mantelpiece above the fireplace. The bed serves an important purpose, just as a fireplace does in a room. The bed headboard is a focal piece that ties the room together.
But it also has a practical purpose as well. Just as the bed is designed to comfort and provide support during periods of rest, the bed headboard works to protect the head from hitting the wall or slipping off the mattress. It also works to hold pillows in place. If you’ve ever tried to keep a pillow on a bed that didn’t have a headboard you know that they tend to shift a lot in the night and they easily slide off the bed. And while there is no real difference between an undecorated headboard and a decorative one, each one basically serves the same purpose.
Some people choose headboards that are covered or swaddled in material while others prefer wood bed headboards that are not padded. Padded bedheads or an upholstered bedhead can be made or purchased depending on the user’s preference. They are an inexpensive way to dress up the bedroom and can incorporate the theme or color scheme of the bed and room. A bed headboard helps set the mood in the bedroom and can be part of a theme such as formal, traditional, modern, funky or relaxed. A bed that touts a headboard looks complete and tidy.
Depending on design the bed headboard can be useful. It feels good for those who like to sit up in bed to watch television, read or even eat. Headboards that attach directly to the bed can provide the most support, but some people prefer to attach the bed headboard to the wall directly in front of the bed. This can be impractical when the bed pushes away from the wall at times creating a gap, so consider which method works best before adding a headboard.
If you choose to make your own headboard, buy a bed with a headboard attached, or buy a detached bed headboard to be mounted on the wall, think about which materials will look and feel best. Wooden can feature carvings and can come stained or painted. Metal bed headboards can be ornate and decorative. Satin and silks are comfortable, popular choices but other materials used include bamboo, wicker or upholstery.
Headboards are typically made to be the same width as standard size beds, so a queen sized headboard will match the width of a queen sized bed and so forth. Some headboards are made to be deliberately wider as a statement. Be conscious of the size of the room when adding a bed headboard.