How to attach a headboard to a wooden platform bed frame

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 6 minLast updated June 1, 2021

While Headboards are becoming an essential part of contemporary bedroom furniture, platform bed frames don’t usually come with a headboard. However, having a headboard on your bed frame can offer both comfort and esthetics. With some tools and a simple guide, you can learn how to attach a headboard to a platform bed frame.

What is a Platform Bed?

The contemporary look on platform beds came from a better and sturdier design of beds which can significantly improve sleep quality (1). Although they are designed to have large bases to hold mattresses, they do not fit foundations. Platform beds were intended to self-sustain the mattresses on them. They are closer to the ground and have sturdy bed frames.

Platform Beds do not usually come with headboards or footboards. This might be because headboards and footboards were generally associated with the panel bed frame. However, with the functionality and aesthetics of headboards, it is not unusual to want a headboard for a platform bed. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to attach a headboard to a wooden bed frame, but before that, we need to know what type of headboards are there.

Also read: 5 Best Mattresses for Platform Beds (And How to Pick One)

Headboards for Platform Beds

To grace your platform bed, you can find a variety of headboards. Headboards can either be classified based on the materials with which they were made:

  • Wooden Headboards: These headboards have been around for a long time because they originally served to insulate individuals from cold. They are easily adjustable and can be redecorated as wished, which is great for minimalist bed frames (check here to read more on minimalist bed frames). 
  • Upholstered Headboard: Headboards covered with either padded or tufted materials such as silk, fur, or leather. These headboards are elegant and usually associated with luxury.
  • Metal Headboards: Notorious in the Victorian era. It is commonly made from iron, copper, brass, Aluminium, or a combination of two metals. Metal headboards tend to be very durable.

Or they can be classified based on the way they are installed:

  • The Freestanding headboard: Quite Easy to install. It just comes between your bed and the wall but is only advisable when the bed is against the wall.
  • Wall Mounted Headboards: These designs are mounted on the wall. Your platform bed frame has to be a fit for it, and it should also be against the wall. It is sturdy when fixed to the wall well.
  • Headboards Attached to a Platform Bed Frame: These are the headboard designs you attach to a platform bed frame. Unlike the previous designs, the beds can be placed anywhere you desire in the room.

Other areas of classification of headboards are:

  • By size – The bed frame size usually dictates the size of the headboard (click here for bed frames for heavy people).   
  • By Purpose – It can be described as the need for a headboard. It could either be for comfort or esthetics or to house objects.
  • By Design – Are you opting for a modern outlook or traditional Victorian-style headboards, or Slat headboards?

Materials Needed to Attach a Headboard to a Platform Bed Frame

All the tools you need to attach a headboard to your platform bed frame (including bed frames for memory foam mattresses) can be sourced from a home workshop or a nearby DIY store. 

To fix the headboard on your platform, you will need these materials:

  1. Ratchet
  2. Glue
  3. Drill
  4. Handsaw
  5. Fir lumber (2 by 2 by 48 inch)
  6. 3/16-inch bit
  7. 3-inch wood screws
  8. 1/4-inch socket
  9. One 1/2-inch wood screws
  10. 1/4-by3-inch lag bolts with washers
  11. 5/16-inch drill bit

Quote Box

“If there is a rail between the headboard legs, drill three 3/16-inch screw bit holes in the rail. Then, secure the headboard to the platform bed by fastening with a 1 ½-inch screw”.

Step-by-step Guide

Following these easy steps can help you attach a headboard to a platform bed frame in no time.

  • Step One

Place the headboard on its back. By doing this, you will be able to measure the length of the legs on the headboard carefully.

  • Step Two

With a handsaw, cut the fir lumber to the measurement you got from step 1.

  • Step Three

Now drill equally spaced holes with the help of the drill and the 3/16 inch bit on the fir lumber.

  • Step Four

Apply glue to the holes, then screw the holes with a 3-inch screw in the headboard’s legs (inside the legs) and make sure they are balanced with the front legs.

  • Step Five

Stand the headboard now and then carefully align it with the platform bed. The headboard feet must be flat on the floor and tight to the side of the bed.

  • Step Six

Use the 5/16-inch drill bit to drill three equally spaced holes in the screw cleats. The holes are to face the platform bed.

  • Step Seven

Drill a hole on the platform bed using the 3/16-inch drill bit. The holes should coincide with the holes on the headboard made by the 5/16 drill bit.

  • Step Eight

Place washers on the ¼ by 3-inch lag bolts. Screw the lag bolts in the holes on the headboard to connect it with the platform bed.

  • Step Nine

Make sure to tighten every screw connecting the headboard to the platform bed frame. Take care not to make the lag screw too tight. 

Reasons we care for Headboards

Some of the reasons headboards remain popular are:

  • For support
  • To improve the quality of sleep
  • To serve as an extra space to keep objects close to the bed
  • Esthetics

FAQ

What if my bed frame has no holes for headboards?

You can drill holes at the front of your platform bed to fit the desired headboard.

What kind of Headboard is best for Platform Beds?

Platform beds can work with any type of headboard. All you need to do is choose the design you desire, its functionality, and the size you need.

Conclusion

Although platform beds are the rave right now, headboards make them more desirable to own. The functionality of headboards can not be overemphasized, and that is why it is necessary to learn how to attach a headboard to a wooden bed frame.

What type of Headboard do you prefer? Are you particular about the functionality of your headboard?

Feel free to share in the comments below.

References:

  1. Wilhelm, E., Crivelli, F., Gerig, N. et al. (September 2020). The anti-snoring bed – a pilot study. Sleep Science Practice. Retrieved from https://sleep.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41606-020-00050-2

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