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Furniture & Interior Design Blog

The Complete Buyer’s Guide to Upholstered Headboards and Beds

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Trying to stylize and update your bedroom for a more elegant or stately aesthetic? Look no further than an affordable upholstered headboard to transform your bedroom into a mature, plush sanctuary.

An upholstered headboard can be a hyper-modern design and shape, or revert to a more traditional style, changing the attitude and allure of your space instantly. There are so many varieties and styles available today, that choosing can be a task unto itself. Some are classically styled; others are over-the-top glamourous.

In this post, we’ll go through all of the ins-and-outs of upholstered headboard shopping and considerations:



Also called a wall-mounted headboard, this style is literally mounted directly to the wall behind your bed, giving it the appearance of floating. While they’re stylish and inspiring, they’re also typically hard to move if you have a sudden change of heart a few weeks later and opt to move your bed to another location in your room.


Here, the upholstered portion of the headboard is decoratively framed with wood, allowing for a clean cut appeal and unique look when compared to other styles of upholstered headboards. They can also feature ornate wood carvings to reflect a very elegant piece as well, and pair very well with the look of a four-poster, or canopy, wooden bed frame.


Typically sold separately from your bed frame, free-standing headboards are easily mounted to the wall or to the bed itself. Many people even opt to simply pin the headboard in between the wall and the bed without fastening it to anything, giving it the title free-standing. Just be careful when you move your bed!


A very straight-forward design, a Straight headboard is typically a rectangular shape that just does the job of covering the wall behind the bed – nothing more. They’re inexpensive, can be very chic and postmodern looking and do well by showing off a specific fabric or colour. They pair well with crisp and subtle rooms that strive to achieve a clean-cut appeal.


Arguably one of the most popular styles of upholstered headboards at the moment, a tufted version is decorated and finished with buttons or grommets to achieve a very elegant, plush look. Some are even stitched in a stunning diagonal fashion from button to button to achieve an aesthetic reminiscent to a French monarch’s bedroom. They pair well with bold spaces, powerful bedding, and big throw pillows. If you’re into drama and style, this is the headboard for you.


Named after wingback furniture, where a ‘wing’ details the backrest of a chair of sofa, a wingback upholstered headboard has a tall back and flared sides that add a mature, elegant nature. As wingback furniture was traditionally used to block breezy cold drafts and enclose body heat to keep the user warm, a wingback headboard can make for a great fit in a cottage, or seasonal home, drawing from its history.

Fabric Considerations

Upholstered headboards are available in many fabrics and finishes. Popular choices are typically stain-resistant materials like leathers (genuine or bonded), cotton, sturdy wools, a good quality vinyl, and various synthetic materials like olefin and rayon.

Choices like linen, silk and acetate aren’t so forgiving, and either require professional cleaning, or delicate use. Like just about everything, a stain-resistant coating can be applied to your material choice to beef up its level of defense.

Likewise, material choices are also dependent on the overall aesthetic you’re striving to achieve. A leather or wool upholstered headboard pairs well in a warm, cozy and classic bedroom, while a vinyl or synthetic piece would look great in a crisp, designer style room.

You can also investigate prints and patterns in your fabrics and materials. This can add some serious texture and visual complexity to a more basic headboard design, and accentuate the ornate details of a tufted headboard for a truly awe-inspiring showpiece. Patterns and prints can also serve to provide contrast to your chosen wall colour, highlighting the bed as a focal point of the space.

Care & Maintenance

Typically, a little more time-consuming and dependent on care than a hardwood or metal headboard, an upholstered headboard should be regularly vacuumed to keep the material free of abrasive materials that could wear down or damage the material, and blotting and cleaning any stains or spills ASAP is crucial to keeping the material fresh and blemish free.

If you have a tufted headboard, special attention should be given to the buttons or grommets used as decoration. These can, over time, be pulled loose and fall behind your bed.

For the most part, a good tip would be to care for your upholstered headboard like you would a new sofa or reading chair.

Cost vs Traditional Beds

In essence, you can pay whatever you’d like for an upholstered headboard. Prices can range from a couple hundred dollars, to a couple thousand. Pricing depends on size, the extent of decoration, materials used, and style.

A good alternative to buying a traditional upholstered headboard includes buying a size and shape of classic wood or metal headboard that you like, and jumping on the DIY bandwagon. Upholstering your own headboard can prove challenging, but the upside is you save money and can customize your new piece into just about anything you can imagine.

Upholstered Footboards/Sideboards

To carry the aesthetic of your new upholstered headboard through your entire bed, consider investing in the matching footboard, or sideboards as well. This can turn your bed into a very lavish, romantic, or exquisite focal point of your room, and really tends to finish off the look, helping the idea of an upholstered bed look complete.

Similar care and maintenance should be given to these additional pieces as well, like spotting out stains and routinely vacuuming or brushing the materials clean.

Sideboards can give the illusion of a platform style bed, so if that’s not the look you’re aspiring to, consider going for the footboard first. Sideboards tend to be an afterthought, and the footboard is often all it takes to achieve the look of wholeness you’re likely after by investing in the matching footboard. 

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