October 13, 2017

Why have a Headboard?

Image via Lanny Nagler Photography

It seems that many people aren’t sure what the purpose is to having a headboard, or why one is even necessary. Well, most of the time with free-standing beds or divan beds, they’re not necessary. But, even if it’s not necessary to the structure of your bed, there are still many reasons to opt to have one.

So, what is a headboard for? Headboards date back as far as Ancient Egypt. Egyptian Pharaohs would have magnificent headboards carved in gold or ebony. They were simply used for aesthetics, with no other known purpose than luxury. In Greek and Roman times, headboards were a little more practical. They were often just basic wooden structures that would shield the bed from cold drafts.

Canopy beds and four poster beds were popular during the medieval period,  and became regarded as the most important item of furniture in the house (and therefore, should be the most expensive). Originally used to insulate the bed, they started to become a status symbol of grandeur and wealth. The bigger the better! And a big part of this was having a large and impressive headboard as decoration.

So why would you want a headboard?


They can create a great focal point.

Pic via Terra Firma Home

It’s common knowledge that the focal point of any bedroom should be the bed. A headboard is a great way to add that “finishing touch” to your bed, serving as a visual anchor to the sleep area. Take the bedroom above for example: The flooring used to accomplish this look travels all the way up the wall and across the ceiling, making a dramatic statement; the quote inserted in the middle is the perfect exclamation point. With so many different styles of headboards available, it’s easy to find one that can work as an accent to your existing colour scheme or bedroom décor, or visually soften the appearance of the bed and give it a more inviting backdrop.


They can prevent marks and stains on your wall.

Ashby Cotton Slatted Headboard in Off-White

There’s a reason why you wash your pillow cases so frequently (or at least I hope you do!). The grease from your hair and sweat from your head can stain. It’s quite common for those who position the top of their bed against a wall without a headboard to notice slight stains or marks on their walls overtime, from where their head may be coming into contact with the surface of the wall.


Headboards can give comfortable back support when sitting up.

Image via Shelly Leer (Upholstery Club)

If you enjoy sitting in bed to read or use your phone or laptop, then you probably rely on the wall behind you to sit up against. Unlike a hard wall, an upholstered headboard can provide your back with comfortable support when you’re sitting upright in bed.


You won’t lose your pillows!

Image via Houzz

Headboards are quite efficient at keeping pillows in place. If you frequently get annoyed at your pillows slipping down the gap between the bed and the wall and you don’t have a headboard, invest in one! And, if you’re considering moving your bed away from the wall altogether, then you will find a headboard is a necessity.


Some headboards provide storage.

Image via Moshir Furniture

If you don’t have the floorspace for bedside tables, there are some headboards on the market that can provide overhead storage in the way of shelves, where you can place books, lamps or simply use the space for decoration.

Article by Holly Dawson