How to Install a Headboard to a Metal Bed Frame

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Attaching a headboard completes the decor of a bedroom.

Installing a headboard on a metal bed frame adds a decorative and functional touch to the bedroom, giving you an attractive place to hang a night mask, dream catcher or other objects you need for your sleep. When you purchase a headboard separate from your bed frame, you'll need to attach the two pieces to prevent leaning or tilting. Grab a friend to hold everything steady for you while you install the headboard and change the look of your bedroom.


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Step 1

Remove the mattress and all padding from the bed frame, exposing the metal frame itself. Carefully slide the frame away from the wall, exposing the front edge of the frame completely.

Step 2

Slide the headboard into place where you want it to sit after it is installed. Make sure it stands up straight in the right place. Have someone hold the headboard firmly in place to ensure it remains straight.

Step 3

Gently slide the bed frame up to the headboard so that the holes in the front of the frame line up with the bolt holes in the headboard. Some headboards come with bolts pre-installed in the holes.


Step 4

Press the right side of the frame firmly against the headboard. Drive the bolts through the back of the headboard so that they protrude from the holes in the front. Attach the nuts to the bolts and tighten them as much as you can as you press the headboard to the metal bed frame.

Step 5

Repeat the nut and bolt installation on the the left side of the headboard. Pull gently on each side to make sure the pieces are firmly attached. Slide the headboard and bed frame back into position. Reassemble the mattress and padding.


Most headboard kits come with screws, nuts, bolts and installation instructions. Be sure to read and follow your manufacturer's specific directions, as different designs will have different requirements.

If your headboard and bed frame don't quite line up for easy installation, manufacturers sell adapters that connect the bolt holes in the frame to those in the headboard. You will need to remove the bolts from the headboard and install the adapter before attaching the bed frame. Follow specific product instructions if you have trouble.



Samantha Volz

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.