How Do I Raise or Change the Height of My Headboard?

A decorative headboard for your bedroom suite may have been an important purchase, especially if it was part of a matching furniture set. All too often, though, purchasing a new mattress and box spring can put that headboard in an awkward position when the new mattress set has different dimensions than the old one. A thicker mattress and box spring can result in a headboard that now sits too low. Or there may now be an unsightly gap if you've chosen a thinner mattress set.

Hardwood headboard set.
credit: Slumberland
A decorative headboard can usually be salvaged when you buy a new mattress set that doesn't match the height of the headboard.

If you're lucky, your headboard manufacturer will have anticipated this possibility by engineering it with flexible connection options that allow you to raise and lower the frame to accommodate the thickness of your mattress set. If not, there are still several remedies you can try.

Headboard Attached to Bed Frame

When the headboard and frame are sold as a set, normally there are different mounting holes in the headboard and footboard that allow the frame to be mounted higher or lower to match the thickness of the mattress set. The frame pieces may either be bolted to the headboard and footboard from the sides, or they may have metal hooks that slide into grooves in the headboard and footboard for an invisible mounting attachment.

On the slot type, there are usually pegs located at different heights inside the slots. Changing the height of the frame is a matter of disconnecting the frame and then slotting it into the headboard and footboard so the hooks rest at a different spot.

With bolt-style frames, it's usually a matter of unbolting the frame from the sides and repositioning it along the headboard and footboard to take advantage of different mounting holes. If none of the existing mounting holes match the height you want, you can measure and drill new mounting holes so you can position the frame exactly where you want it. This operation will require careful measuring and a helper or two to hold the frame in position as you drill from the sides to establish new mounting holes.

Headboard Attached to Wall

If you have a decorative headboard that is already attached to the wall rather than constructed as an integral part of the bed frame, then it's a fairly easy matter to simply change the position of the headboard on the wall.

Headboards can be quite heavy, so make sure you either anchor the headboard to wall studs or use sturdy wallboard or plaster anchors to secure it to the wall at the desired height.

Converting a Frame-Mounted Headboard to a Wall Mount

What if you have a beautiful frame-mounted headboard you can't part with, but there is no way to adjust it to the desired height using the existing frame? Never fear — all is not lost. You can disconnect the headboard from the frame completely and attach the headboard to the wall at any height you want, as directed previously.

Doing this, though, will mean that you need to discard everything but the headboard. Rather than using the original frame, you'll need to support the bed on an invisible, freestanding frame or on a platform. The decorative headboard will attach to the wall at the height you desire without connecting to the bed at all, but the side pieces and footboard of the original frame will be discarded in favor of a freestanding invisible frame.