This HMD “How To” tip is all about how to choose an upholstered headboard.  We’ll help you to make the best decision possible based upon your budget, your style and how you use the room your upholstered headboard will live in.

We’ll also show you several great sources for upholstered headboards ranging from DIY to our favorite furniture manufacturers including Lee Industries, Bernhardt, Eastern Accents, Hickory White and Kravet.

Let’s start your discovery process by breaking down the options according to durability and quality.  Answer this question:

Do you utilize your sleeping chamber primarily for sleeping, or do you spend a ton of time leaning up against your headboard reading or watching TV?

Your answer to this question determines if you’ll need a durable solution or an upholstered headboard that can just sit there and look pretty.  

If Upholstered Headboard Durability is NOT a Driving Factor

For headboards in “sleeping-only” sanctuaries where your upholstered headboard is primarily for decoration (AKA it doesn’t have to be ultra durable) you have a TON of options starting with budget-oriented solutions and moving toward more expensive custom options:

Do It Yourself Affordabilitydo it yourself upholstered headboard

Find a headboard shape that you like (don’t worry about the fabric, you’ll replace that!)  at a local consignment store, Craigs List, Ebay, etc.  Even a discount furniture website may do the trick.

Procure that headboard along with a few yards of a fun fabric.  Remove the old upholstery and make use of your trusty staple gun and voila – you’ve got yourself affordable DIY upholstered headboard!  

Here’s a “how to” example of a DIY upholstered headboard from Young House Love.

Custom Upholstered Headboard Shapes

These are common headboard panel shapes you can use to commission a custom upholstered headboard

Commissioning a custom “headboard panel” can be a great solution and one that can actually be priced similar to or below many retail upholstered headboards you may find online or in a catalog.

A headboard panel hangs on the wall above your bed like a picture.  It can also have leg supports that fold down and attach to your mattress frame.

This panel solution offers you many options for customization including shape and height, custom upholstery fabrics and even customized trim details such as tufting, welts and nail-heads.

custom upholstered headboard

This beautiful upholstered headboard panel is currently under construction in HMD’s custom upholsterers workroom


When Upholstered Headboard Durability IS an Important Requirement

Your room may require more quality and stability for your upholstered headboard solution.  This could be applicable if your bedroom functions as a hang-out space or if you recline against the headboard and upholstery.  If you do, an upgrade in construction and materials quality is recommended.

A durable and beautiful solution is to commission a custom full-height headboard with feet that secure to the mattress frame. You can even add upholstered side rails to eliminate the need for a bed skirt if you like! This option is more stable because it’s solid all the way to the floor, and the upholstered side and foot panels give more “connection” points that stabilize the headboard.

Eastern Accents Custom Headboard

Eastern Accents Antoinette Upholstered Headboard

Eastern Accents Headboard in a nuetral with no trim floral upholstery

Eastern Accents Antoinette Nailhead

The SAME Eastern Accents headboard pictured above but in a blue / white floral with nailhead trim


Choose a Synthetic Upholstery Fabric

Choose an upholstery fabric that is composed of mostly synthetic content so that oils, dirt, hair products and cosmetics aren’t easily absorbed by your upholstered headboard.  Over time these can cause stains and discoloration.

Buy Quality American Made Upholstered Headboards

You also have some great options when it comes to ordering an upholstered headboard or bed from “Made In America” furniture companies like Bernhardt, Hickory White, Lee Industries, and Kravet.

These upholstered headboard furniture manufacturers all have “graded-in” fabrics you can choose from and they also have a “customer’s own fabric” option that allows you to use upholstery fabric that you choose to purchase yourself from any source, anywhere.  

These furniture companies also enable you with the ability to use a mix of wood and upholstery on your headboard.

Here are some gorgeous examples of the types of finer upholstery and stylish details available.

Lee C1 46MP1T upholstered headboard

Lee Industries C1 46MP1T

Hickory White upholstered Panel 565_24_56 upholstered headboard

Hickory White Upholstered Panel 565_24_56

Lee 40-30 upholstered headboard

Lee Industries 40-30

Hickory White 175_21_72 upholstered headboard

Hickory White 175_21_72

Bernhardt Sienna Flare Upholstered Headboard

Bernhardt Sienna Flare Upholstered Headboard

Bernhardt Mercer Upholstered Headboard with Panels

Bernhardt Mercer Upholstered Headboard with Panels

Bernhardt 758_HFR6 upholstered headboard

Bernhardt 758_HFR6

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