How to Choose a Headboard for an Adjustable Bed

Sep 08, 2023
Fact Checked
You can have a headboard with an adjustable bed as long as you keep a few considerations in mind when choosing one.

Key Takeaways

If you own an adjustable bed or are thinking about purchasing one, we have some tips to keep in mind when choosing a headboard. By attaching a traditional headboard to an adjustable base, you risk breaking both the base and the headboard when you incline the head of the bed—unless the base or frame is compatible with the headboard. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Most bedroom furniture retailers sell headboards that can be attached to, or at least used with, an adjustable bed. But, since not all adjustable bed frames are made with headboards in mind, we’ve research the different options to help you make the right decision.

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Benefits of Headboards for Adjustable Beds

Our Reviews Team surveyed 1,000 adjustable bed users in June 2023 to find out why people buy adjustable beds over nonadjustable beds, and nearly 65% of those who own an adjustable bed said their bed helped them sleep better. [1]Adjustable Beds Survey. 1,000 respondents. Conducted Using Pollfish. Launched June 2023. That statistic aligns with recent research indicating that sleeping at an incline, which adjustable beds allow, can help reduce snoring. [2]Danoff-Burg S, et al. JMIR Formative Research. April 2022. Sleeping in an Inclined Position to Reduce Snoring and Improve Sleep: In-home Product Intervention Study. Found on the internet at But repeatedly inclining and reclining the head of the bed can scuff or dirty the paint on the wall behind it. Headboards can act as a barrier between the wall and the mattress and help prevent your pillows from falling behind the head of the bed as you adjust it.

Adjustable bed headboard options

Although some adjustable bed companies offer headboards or a combination of a headboard and frame, the options are limited. An internet search will likely widen your options, but it can also present you with too many options. You can narrow your search by first deciding what type of headboard you need for your adjustable bed. The most common options are attachable (frame-mounted), wall-mounted (floating), free-standing (stand-alone), and panel headboards.

Attachable headboards for adjustable beds

Attachable, also called frame-mounted, headboards for adjustable beds attach directly to the adjustable bed frame and have pre-drilled headboard holes that align with the bed frame holes and mattress depths. Some adjustable bases, like the Puffy Serenity Adjustable Base, include universal headboard-attachment hardware to connect your preferred headboard.

Wall-mounted headboards for adjustable beds

As the name suggests, wall-mounted (also called floating headboards) for adjustable beds attach directly to the wall. Installation can be more complicated since the headboard needs to be fastened to wall studs. This type of installation is also much more permanent, restricting your options if you occasionally rearrange your bedroom.

Free-standing headboards for adjustable beds

Free-standing headboards (also called stand-alone or floor-standing headboards) don’t need to be attached to the bed base or the wall. These are popular options for adjustable beds since they’re so versatile and come in many styles. Although you don’t need to attach a free-standing headboard directly to your adjustable base, you may have to assemble the headboard, depending on your chosen style and whether it’s preassembled.

Panel bed frames and headboards for adjustable beds

Adjustable base retailers like Saatva sell panel bed frames that include a headboard. This type of headboard consists of four panels that attach together and surround the bed, with three short panels and one taller panel acting as the headboard. Just like there are different sizes of adjustable beds, there are different size panel bed frames to accommodate them, from twin to split-king. Depending on the brand and model, you may get a discount for purchasing the base, mattress, and panel frame together. You may even be eligible for free set-up and assembly.

How to choose a headboard for your adjustable bed

Headboard styles for adjustable beds vary widely. The many available materials, colors, and designs ensure choices to complement existing bedroom furniture and decor preferences. Settling on a particular style is a personal decision. But other considerations are important when selecting the right headboard for the right adjustable bed frame. Here are some quick tips to help you choose a headboard for an adjustable bed:

  1. Consult your adjustable bed frame manufacturer. A brief call or online chat with your adjustable bed frame manufacturer can answer questions you may have about headboards for adjustable beds. They’ll likely have suggestions and recommendations to point you in the right direction. It’s important to ask whether attaching headboards for adjustable beds voids any adjustable bed warranty you may have.
  2. Check for compatibility. If you don’t have guidance from your manufacturer, take a look at your adjustable bed frame to determine its compatibility with a headboard. Does it have pre-drilled holes or slots? If so, you may be able to attach a frame-mounted headboard. If it doesn’t have holes or slots, you may need a universal headboard attachment, which you can find online or purchase from retailers like Puffy.
  3. Select the right size headboard. You need to know your mattress size before choosing a headboard. Standard headboards are typically up to 3 inches wider than a bed frame.

Table 1, Standard mattress sizes (length by width, in inches)





California King

75 x 3875 x 5380 x 6080 x 7684 x 72

4. Consider an adjustable bed and headboard bundle. If you have yet to purchase an adjustable bed frame but are in the market for one, there is a way to make your headboard selection easier. Some manufacturers, like Saatva, bundle adjustable bed bases with compatible headboards, which can get rid of the need to shop for one independently and figure out whether it’s compatible with your new adjustable bed.

How to install a headboard for an adjustable bed

To install a headboard for an adjustable bed, you may need some basic tools and hardware (typically supplied by the manufacturer). Before getting started, you may also need to measure the combined height of your adjustable bed frame and mattress to ensure the bottom of the headboard sits a few inches below the mattress top. The installation will vary depending on the type of headboard selected. We’ve described common basic steps below, but be sure to consult your headboard or base manufacturer for detailed instructions.

Attachable headboard installation

Attachable headboards typically come in one of the following options:

Some manufacturers use a combination of bolts and hooks.

While your specific instructions may vary, the general process for attaching a headboard to a frame is as follows:

If you purchase a universal headboard mounting kit, simply follow the instructions provided.

Wall-mounted headboard installation

Wall-mounted headboards take more planning than most adjustable bed headboard options because they require you to attach headboard mounts to the wall. Headboard mounts work like picture-hanger mounts with a hook or clasp that slides into a slotted receptacle to hold the product in place. Precise measurement is required to ensure the mounts and mounting receptacles line up properly, keeping in mind that the desired height is a few inches below the top of the mattress. This type of headboard should come with instructions for wall-mounting.

Assembling a panel bed frame and headboard

For a panel bed frame, you’ll follow manufacturer instructions for assembling it around your adjustable base. Note that some adjustable bases are also called adjustable frames. For example, Nectar calls its model the “Nectar Adjustable Bed Frame,” which is actually an adjustable base.

Can you use any headboard with an adjustable bed?

In general, you can use any headboard with an adjustable bed, but there are some caveats. If you choose a wall-mounted or free-standing headboard, you won’t have a problem since you don’t need to attach it to the frame itself. You’ll just need to keep in mind that the height and width of the frame must be compatible with the adjustable base.

If you choose an attachable headboard, though, you risk voiding your warranty unless you purchase the headboard or headboard and frame combination from the same brand. For example, according to Nectar customer service, attaching a headboard to an adjustable base may void your warranty as it could damage the materials. Some buyers choose professional installation for their headboard and adjustable bed. Depending on the brand, this service may be free or cost extra.

That said, adjustable bed retailers don’t often have many adjustable bed headboards and frames to choose from, so some people choose to purchase them from other retailers. If you go this route, you may need to buy a universal headboard mounting kit in case the attachable headboard isn’t compatible with your base. Don’t forget to check whether this option will void your warranty.

The best approach when deciding on a headboard for an adjustable bed is to contact your adjustable bed frame manufacturer or retailer directly to discuss any restrictions and compatibility issues, as well as the possibility and degree of difficulty associated with a particular type of headboard. In most cases, manufacturer recommendations can help guide your choice.

Bottom line

There are many headboard styles available for adjustable beds. To find the best headboards for your adjustable bed, you must find a compatible model. Make sure you check the mounting design, size, ease of installation, and adjustable bed frame manufacturer warranty. When reviewing your options, we also recommend consulting with your adjustable bed frame manufacturer before making your final decision.

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Frequently asked questions

Most adjustable beds are compatible with a headboard. But different types of headboards are best suited to different types of adjustable bed frames. You may be able to use a universal headboard mounting kit if your adjustable bed isn’t compatible with your preferred headboard.

The cost for an adjustable bed headboard varies greatly, ranging from under $100 to $600 and above, depending on the size, brand, and materials used.

Yes, your headboard should match your adjustable bed frame size. Generally, a queen matches a queen, a king matches a king, and so on. If you have any doubts, measure your bed and mattress size and compare that to the headboard, or consult your adjustable bed frame manufacturer.

A headboard can protect your wall from damage by the bed frame, keep your pillows in place, and provide an extra layer of insulation between the bed and the wall.


  1. Adjustable Beds Survey. 1,000 respondents. Conducted Using Pollfish. Launched June 2023.
  2. Danoff-Burg S, et al. JMIR Formative Research. April 2022. Sleeping in an Inclined Position to Reduce Snoring and Improve Sleep: In-home Product Intervention Study. Found on the internet at
Richard Hamilton is a writer with over 20 years of experience in the health care industry. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Jose State University New College in Special Studies with a concentration in Behavioral Sciences.
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Brittany Ferri Medical Reviewer
Brittany Ferri, PhD, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, author, writer, and business owner. She specializes in mental health, teletherapy, geriatrics, and medical writing. Clinically, she has worked in assisted living facilities, hospitals, and home health agencies. She attended Quinnipiac University for her Master’s and Saybrook University for her PhD in Integrative Mental Health.
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