How High Should A Headboard Be Above The Mattress

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
21 min read

There is no hard and fast rule for the ideal height of a headboard over a bed. Nonetheless, we’ll go over some considerations to keep in mind as you make your decision about the bed’s height. Think about the style of headboard you want and whether or not it will work with your bed’s current mattress.

Whether you’re rearranging your bedroom for a new look or to accommodate a toddler, you’ll need to think about the bed’s placement. The headboard is an often-overlooked but crucial piece of furniture. Here, without further ado, is everything you need to know about proper headboard heights.

How High Should My Headboard Be?

The above details may seem limiting, but in reality, headboards are subject to few strict guidelines. Some people prefer an extra-wide style, covering most of the available wall, even though standard headboards are only as wide as the bed (or a few inches wider). Depending on personal preference, you may want a headboard that is extra tall or one that is more conventional in height. Headboards that are too tall in relation to the length of the bed are not ideal. However, this provides a wide open field for imagination.

The standard height for a headboard is three to four inches below the peak of a mattress. It’s important that your headboard is completely hidden by your mattress. It’s not often that the headboard is meant to be looked at in its entirety, like a picture, but it does happen. The headboards are placed at the top of the bed, making it possible to see the entire piece.

Headboard Size Chart + Dimensions: Your Complete Guide | Casper Blog

Each bed size is accompanied by a corresponding headboard height. It’s possible that the real headboard is much bigger. The headboard and footboard of a standard full-size bed take up the entire 25 inches of the bed’s overall depth. The total height of a twin bed’s headboard is 39 inches, not including the exposed 14 inches.

Only in rooms with high ceilings can tall headboards really shine. If there is a window or a painting directly above your bed, a short headboard is a great compromise. They can also make a room appear larger and more open.

Why Is A Headboard Important?

It’s easy to dismiss headboards as nothing more than a decorative element. The reason why headboards are so popular is because they can completely transform the appearance of a room. However, they weren’t made for no reason at all. In the past, headboards served as an additional barrier between the sleeper and the cold floor. There was a significant improvement in sleep quality when a headboard was placed between the sleeper and the wall.

Some people still find a headboard useful if their bed faces an exterior wall, even today. If you like to sit up in bed and read before going to sleep, a headboard can help support your back. It can aid in keeping the pillows where they belong on the bed.

Can A Headboard Be Smaller Than The Bed?

Choosing a headboard that works with the size of the bed is usually the best option. When a headboard isn’t the same size as the bed, it looks awkward and can be difficult to install. It is possible to use a headboard that is smaller than the bed if you have recently upgraded to a larger bed but still adore your old headboard.

The first step is to learn the setup process. When your headboard no longer works with your bed frame, mounting it to the wall is the simplest solution.Positioning Your Headboard Above Your Bed: A Reference

The headboard’s purpose extends beyond merely aesthetic enhancement. It serves a practical purpose by preventing abrasion to both you and the wall. With so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right headboard for your bed.

Headboard heights are not governed by any hard and fast rules. Instead, we’d like to stress the importance of not purchasing anything that’s longer than your bed. For reference, a headboard should be placed 14 inches above the mattress on a twin bed.

However, they can be raised to a height of 28 inches above the mattress on larger bed sizes such as full and queen. In that case, the headboard can be placed 58 inches above the mattress on a king or California king size bed.

How Can I Fill In A Small Headboard?

There are two things you can do to ensure your narrower headboard blends in with your new, wider bed now that you have it propped up against the wall.

  1. Put the headboard in the middle of the bed. Off-center placement will highlight the fact that the size is inaccurate even more.
  2. Put something symmetrical in there. If the headboard is ten inches narrower than the sides of the bed, you could hang a picture that is ten inches wide. Adding a suitable object to the empty space improves the aesthetics of the whole. More suggestions are provided below for making the most of a narrow headboard.

Carved Wall Art

This intricately carved wall art is a simple way to fill the empty wall space on either side of your headboard.

Wall Stickers

Wall stickers are a great way to add a little whimsy to any decor, and they can be found to match virtually any style of bedroom. Give these glistening circles a try.

Hanging Wall Garland

A wider bed can be made to look more proportional by hanging a garland like this across the empty space next to the headboard. In addition, garland length can be adjusted to suit your needs, and you can swap it out for new ones frequently to keep things fresh.

Types Of Headboard Heights


Obviously, if you have a small bed like a twin, you can get a headboard that is short or low. Using a tall piece of furniture with a small mattress will not only make the room look cramped, but will also waste valuable floor space. Choose a headboard that is only 12 or 10 inches above the bed if you have a twin size bed.


Alternatively, a tall headboard is recommended for use with king- or California-sized mattresses. These beds are ideal because you need something that will fill the vertical space of a room with high ceilings. Headboards are available in heights of about 65 inches, which can be useful for those who like to sit up in bed while watching TV.


You don’t have to settle on a fixed headboard size if you don’t want to. An excellent feature of headboards that can be adjusted is their compatibility with mattresses of varying dimensions. The metal legs can be adjusted vertically to any desired height.

Standard Headboard Dimensions by Bed Size

Standard mattress and bed frame dimensions are usually accommodated by headboards. Headboards typically range in width from flush with the bed frame to about three inches wider, and in height from the top of the mattress to the floor.

Given that most mattresses are between 16 and 25 inches in height, the typical height of a headboard is between 30 and 58 inches from the ground.

The headboard’s overall height is also proportional to the size of the bed. Headboards should be taller to balance out excessively long or wide beds. Headboards on twin beds can be as low as 20 inches from the floor without looking too low, but on king beds, that would look ridiculous because the bed is twice as wide and 5 inches longer.

Twin & Twin XL

Headboards for twin and twin XL beds should be the same width to accommodate for the difference in length. Since a standard twin/twin XL mattress is 38 inches wide, the accompanying bed frame can be as wide as 43 inches. This allows for a headboard width of 40 to 46 inches.

Since twin XL mattresses are 5 inches longer than twin mattresses (80 vs. 75 inches), the headboard for a twin XL bed may need to be taller to achieve visual balance.

How High Should A Bed Headboard Be? [Answers Per Bed Type]

Full (Double)

A standard full size headboard will measure between 56 and 62 inches in width to accommodate the 54-inch width of a full size mattress.


Since a queen-sized bed has a width of 60 inches, a typical headboard will be wider, measuring between 62 and 68 inches.


The largest available bed size is a 76-inch wide standard king mattress, also known as an Eastern king. That means the width of the headboard can range from 78 to 84 inches.

California King

Headboards for California king beds typically range in width from 74 to 80 inches to accommodate the mattress’s narrower profile. Given that at 84 inches in length, the California king is also the longest standard bed size, you may want to think about getting a taller headboard.

Oversized Headboard Dimensions

Oversized headboards can be much wider or taller than a standard bed frame, while standard headboards tend to stay the same width throughout the bed’s width.

Extra-Wide Headboards

These headboards are made to span the full width of your bed, including any accompanying nightstands. They’re typically 25 to 30 inches wider than the bed frame, but you can go wider if you have particularly massive nightstands.

Remember to include the width of your bed frame and the width of your bedside tables when you take your measurements for a custom extra-wide headboard. Keep in mind that an extra-wide headboard, unlike many standard headboards, will begin at the floor rather than the bottom of the bed frame.

Extra-Tall Headboards

Extra-high headboards are perfect for those who like to stand out from the crowd. The width of these headboards is typically standard, but their height is typically between 14 and 33 inches higher than the norm. You can make them as tall as you like, but make sure they don’t exceed the length of the bed.

Adjustable Headboards

An adjustable headboard could be useful if you are unsure of the proper bed height. Adjustable metal legs are included with these headboards. You can change the depth of your mattress without worrying about how it will look in relation to the height of your headboard, making this type of headboard ideal if you plan on using your bed frame for more than one mattress.

Headboard Styles

Headboards come in a wide variety of designs, so picking one is purely a matter of taste.

Metal Headboards

Metal bed frames and headboards can give a bedroom a vintage or industrial vibe. Metal headboards can be made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, wrought iron, brass, stainless steel, and more. Metal headboards and bed frames have a number of benefits.

They typically cost less than wood does. Commonly, they’re much more long-lasting. Some metals are much easier to transport than wood because they weigh less and/or can be dismantled with less effort.

Storage Headboards

These headboards serve a purpose in addition to looking good. They are typically constructed out of wood and feature a variety of storage options, including drawers, shelves, and cubbies. The need for nightstands can be reduced thanks to the inclusion of shelves in many storage headboard designs.

You should remember that these are the deepest headboards available, and account for that depth when you’re determining how much room you’ll need to place it in.

Wood Headboards

The majority of modern bed frames and headboards are made out of wood, which can be found in an almost infinite variety of traditional and modern forms.

Besides being available in many different solid hardwood varieties, such as oak, pine, maple, and walnut, wooden headboards can also be purchased with natural finishes or painted in any color you can imagine. The design of your wooden headboard is limited only by your creativity.

Upholstered Headboards

An upholstered headboard can be a nice addition to a bed if you like to spend a lot of time sitting up in it to read or watch TV. Like the back of a couch, these headboards provide a soft place to rest your head and shoulders.

To get even more comfy, tilt your upholstered headboard backwards. These headboards provide a more modern aesthetic, as they are available in bright colors and striking patterns.

Should Headboard Be Above Mattress?

Remember to place the headboard so that its bottom is hidden by the bed. By doing so, you can easily sit up in bed without compromising your back’s comfort. When properly positioned, the headboard can provide a full three inches of additional support beneath the bed’s most comfortable cushion.

Mattress sizes are also available in headboard sizes, as we’ve already established. That’s why a twin bed and a twin headboard are such a great match. These headboards are the same width as the bed they accompany and range in thickness from about 2 inches to 10 inches. Depending on the size of your bedroom and the thickness of your mattress, you can choose a foundation with a height anywhere from 14 to 58 inches.

Something shorter than the length of your bed is ideal, and the height beyond that can be set according to your preferences. Choose a tall headboard if your bedroom has a high ceiling. The only thing that needs to be emphasized is keeping the headboard off of the bed’s mattress.

How Do You Measure Headboard Height?

You’ll be better off in the long run if you learn how to measure the headboard height just as you would a mattress. Simply run the measuring tape from the head of the bed down to the desired length. The next step is to measure the depth of your mattress, which will determine the type of headboard you can use.

Is there any way to get a personalized headboard? Measurements of the width of the bed, the height of the mattress, and the distance from the top of the mattress to the top of the headboard will be useful. If you’re looking to buy or have a custom headboard made, it’s helpful to have these measurements on hand.

How Tall Should An Upholstered Headboard Be?

Headboards that are padded or upholstered are becoming increasingly popular as a result of their versatility. However, the standard for the correct headboard height for the mattress remains the same regardless of their covering or seams. By “sitting on the bed,” we mean that it will provide adequate support while still being high enough to house your mattress and pillows.

Once installed, the headboard’s base should be slid three to four inches under the mattress before it is completely out of sight. What you’re working on is the portion of your height that is visible above the bed, not your overall height.

How Do You Lower The Height Of A Headboard?

You can’t reduce the height of a headboard unless you have an adjustable headboard. To get the headboard lower, you’ll need to take it off the bed and mount it on the wall. Since you have this option, you can put the headboard wherever you like. Above you will find instructions for mounting a headboard to the wall with a French cleat.

The alternative is to lift the mattress, which makes the headboard seem smaller. This is a good option if all you want to do is make the headboard a more reasonable height in relation to the rest of the bed.

How Do You Fix A Gap Between The Mattress And The Headboard?

In order to fix a space between the bed’s mattress and its headboard, padding should be used. But you need to be careful if there are children in the house, as a small child sleeping in a bed could get stuck and suffocate in a space.


How do I attach my headboard to my bed frame?

It’s not difficult to attach a headboard to a bed that already has a frame. Drill the screws directly into the wood, as close to the center as you can get if you don’t have any pilot holes (starter holes for your screws). In order to prevent your headboard from twisting, drill at least two pilot holes at different heights on each side of it.

The next step is to attach the headboard to the bed frame with long wood screws. Don’t use screws that are too thick, or you risk cracking the wood of your bed frame or headboard; on the other hand, don’t use screws that are too thin, or they may not hold up under the weight of the headboard and rails.

Can I use a standard king headboard for a California king?

There are subtle differences between standard king and California king mattresses. Since the California king is narrower than the traditional king, an eastern king headboard on the narrower side of the available widths may fit on a California king bed frame. Just make sure to measure your bed frame precisely to avoid any disappointments.

Should A Headboard Sit On The Mattress? – Furnishing Tips

How do I mount my headboard to the wall?

The headboard is too heavy to simply screw into the drywall, so a stud finder is the first tool you’ll need to mount it. (It will force the wall screws to be yanked out.)

Once you’ve located the studs, you can take the necessary measurements and mark the spots to drill. Then you can secure it to the wall using the screws and anchors. Since they are made to support weight, French cleats and Z-clips are our go-to recommendations for hanging heavy pieces of furniture. Attach the hardware to the wall by drilling pilot holes in the studs and using the provided screws (or equivalent screws). The headboard must be raised and attached to the wall studs.

What’s the ideal headboard height?

There is no such thing as the perfect height for a headboard. Your headboard’s optimal height should be determined solely by how high you want it placed in the room. A taller headboard could be the right choice if your bedroom is particularly spacious or has particularly high ceilings. If your bedroom is on the smaller side, opting for a bed with a low headboard can help make the space feel more open.

How can I get rid of the gap between the mattress and headboard?

Though the chasm can’t be closed entirely, it can be concealed. The space can be minimized by sliding the mattress on top of the bed frame. Thick padding on an upholstered headboard can help conceal the space. Pillows can be used as a cover, too.


Do you plan on changing out the existing headboard? Have you ever wondered how far a headboard should go above a bed? Unless otherwise specified, the mattress and room dimensions should be adhered to. To complement a king-sized bed, a king-sized headboard is ideal.

After that, you can set up the headboard so that the floor is hidden by the bed. The model’s stature should be smaller than your bed’s overall size. As long as the headboard serves its purpose, there is no hard and fast rule about how it should look.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.