At What Height Should a Headboard Be for a Bedroom Wall?

A headboard creates an instant focal point in your bedroom, framing your bed and making it the center of the room. The type of headboard you pick depends on the overall design of your bedroom and your own personal taste. The size of the headboard varies based on the manufacturer, but the height of the headboard is often at your discretion and based on the look you want in the room.

You chose the height of your headboard.


Not all headboards are freestanding or standalone styles. While some headboards attach directly to the walls, others work with the bedrails. If you purchase a bed set, then you typically have no control over the height of the headboard. The headboard connects directly to the bed rails, which then connects to the footboard. The headboard may have several slots that give you more leeway for the placement and height of the headboard, but it will not be much.

Headboard Heights

According to Gray Matter Arts & Crafts, the height of the headboard depends on the size of the bed. The minimum height for a headboard on a king-size bed is 18 inches and 16 inches for a queen bed or full-size bed. A twin bed requires a headboard that stands at least 14 inches high. Opt for a taller headboard if you sit in bed and watch television, read or do work, or if you like arranging pillows on top of the bed and along the wall. For a personalized headboard height for in-bed reading, take a measurement from the top of your head to your tailbone and add it to the height of the mattress with your bed assembled.


According to US Mattress, the standard headboard is 54 inches tall, while the average mattress size is 21 inches. When you factor in the size of the box spring and the legs of the bed, then much of the headboard disappears behind the bedding. When picking a headboard for your bedroom, you want one that is taller than the average size. The taller the headboard, the more appears above and behind the bed. Measure the size of the bed, including the mattress and box spring, determining the overall height of the bed. Look for a headboard that is taller than your measurements.

Freestanding Headboards

Handmade headboards and freestanding headboards fall into a different category because the headboards attach to the wall and not the bed. Install the headboard on the wall with the base of the headboard slightly below the top of the mattress. Make at least 1 inch of the headboard fall behind the mattress. Move the headboard further down behind the bed, if you want less of the headboard exposed.