How to Attach a Headboard to an Adjustable Frame

By McKenzie Hyde Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On October 4th, 2023
How to Attach a Headboard to an Adjustable Frame

Key Takeaways

  • Check for Headboard Brackets: Not all adjustable bed frames come with headboard brackets, so the first step is to determine if your frame has them. If not, you can usually purchase a headboard bracket kit compatible with your bed frame separately. These kits typically include bracket channels, nuts, bolts, and washers.
  • Identify Bracket Type: There are two common types of headboard brackets: “bolt-on” and “hook-on.” Bolt-on brackets have drilled holes for attaching the headboard with bolts, while hook-on brackets have specific slots for hooks. You can choose the bracket type that suits your preference.
  • Follow Installation Steps: To attach the headboard, prepare your workspace, secure the brackets to the bed frame, measure the mounting holes on the headboard and brackets to ensure alignment, and finally, attach the headboard using appropriate bolts. Make sure there is enough clearance space between the headboard and the mattress, especially if you have small children to prevent entrapment.

For many shoppers, headboards are a necessary part of the bedroom, even as many bed frame designs have moved away from them. People often want to make their adjustable base and bedroom look more beautiful with a headboard. However, they may not know how to attach a traditional headboard to a metal bed frame like an adjustable base.

Our guide covers the six steps it takes to attach a headboard to an adjustable frame.

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1. Check the Adjustable Frame for a Headboard Bracket

Not every adjustable base includes a headboard bracket. So the first step is to see if your adjustable frame has headboard brackets already attached to it.

If your mattress doesn’t have a headboard bracket, that doesn’t mean you can’t attach a headboard. It simply means you need to buy a headboard bracket set compatible with your mattress. You can usually find this information by checking the adjustable bed’s instructions or reaching out to the manufacturer’s customer service.

A headboard bracket kit usually comes with:

  • Bracket channels
  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Washer

We want to clarify that the bolts included are usually just enough to attach the bracket to the base. A headboard bracket kit typically lacks the bolts needed to attach the headboard to the base. These bolts often come with the headboard, although you need to check if the diameter of the headboard’s bolts will fit with the bracket’s holes.

2. Check How The Headboard Is Attached

You have a headboard bracket. Does that mean you’re ready to install a headboard? Not quite, because you also have to check what kind of headboard bracket it is. There are “bolt-on” and “hook-on” designs.

A bolt-on bracket has drilled holes. A hook-on bracket has specific slots for hooks.

The typical bracket lets you maneuver a bolt through the hole to attach it to the headboard. The hole’s diameter determines what size bolt you need for a secure attachment.

Naturally, if you purchase a headboard bracket, you’ll be able to decide which of these setups you prefer.

3. Prepare the Workspace

Most likely, you’ll be attaching the headboard in your bedroom. The area around the bed should be clear, and you should raise the head of the adjustable bed. Raising the head makes attachment easier.

You will also want to make sure you have your tools and headboard kit at hand. Finally, you might want to enlist a second person to provide a helping hand and make it easier to line up parts and secure the headboard.

4. Attach the Brackets

The specifics of adding brackets to your adjustable base can vary slightly. Most of them will follow this generic outline:

  1. Secure the headboard bracket channels to the base, then attach the headboard bracket flange to the bracket channels.
  2. Adjust the brackets so that they’re 1 ½ to 2 inches away from the edge of the bed. This gives the mattress clearance space, ensuring it doesn’t rub against the headboard as the adjustable base moves.
  3. Finally, tighten the bolts with a wrench, securing the brackets and flanges.

Always double-check the instructions to see if there’s any variation on these steps.

5. Measure the Mounting Holes

After the brackets are secured, measure the distance between the headboard’s mounting holes on its struts. Then measure the distance between the slits that function as the headboard flanges’ mounting holes.

This step ensures that everything is lined up correctly. If they aren’t even with each other, you need to slide the flanges until they do match up and re-secure the bolts.

6. Attach the Headboard

Once you’ve lined up the headboard’s holes with the brackets, stick the bolts through the holes to secure the headboard. Then, tighten these bolts so that the headboard stays in place.

You’re done now, right? Not quite, as the true last step is to lower the adjustable bed back to its flat position. This allows you to double-check you left 1 ½ to 2 inches of clearance space between the headboard and the base for the mattress.

If you have small children, you also want to double-check that there are no more than 1 to 3 inches of space between the mattress’s surface and the bottom of the headboard. If the gap is too large, they may become trapped between the headboard and the mattress when the bed is in the flat position.

What About Floating and Free-Standing Headboards?

Instead of attaching the headboard to the adjustable base, some people prefer to attach the headboard to the wall. Hence the term “floating headboard.”

Wall-mounting a headboard means it doesn’t need to match the size of your adjustable base system. Plus, floating headboards can be switched out with any bed foundation or frame.

Potential headboard mounts for a wall include:

  • Heavy-duty picture frame mounts
  • Mirror mounts
  • French cleats

If you have a favorite headboard you want to turn into a wall ornament, there are a few steps to follow:

  1. Use a level to draw a horizontal line on the wall where the headboard will go.
  2. Use a stud finder to locate the studs along this line.
  3. Attach brackets to the wall. Use the headboard’s measurements to install the second set of brackets.
  4. Mount the headboard.

Like floating headboards, free-standing headboards are not attached to a bed frame. Unlike floating headboards, most free-standing headboards can stand on their own. For example, many headboards with shelves or cubby holes are free-standing headboards.

How to Attach a Headboard to an Adjustable Frame

Usually, you can mount a free-standing headboard to a wall or bed frame, but it is not required to use the headboard. This type of headboard is good for people who want a no-fuss decor piece with easy assembly.

Do I Need a Headboard Attachment?

Whether you need a new headboard or not is largely a matter of personal taste. Headboards were once a way to keep heads warm by protecting them from drafts. However, that function has become less important as home heating systems and insulation have improved. Some people also use headboards to keep their pillows on the bed.

For a few shoppers, a headboard may be a simple matter of aesthetics. If their bedroom is filled with traditional decorative pieces of furniture and they’ve used a bed skirt with an adjustable bed, they may choose to complete their bedroom’s look and feel with a headboard.

A headboard can also help you wrangle your pillows into place. The headboard will act as a physical barrier that prevents pillows from sliding down and getting lost behind the bed, especially when the bed is adjusted to an inclined position. The headboard provides stability and support, keeping your pillows from falling off the bed and enhancing your overall comfort while using the adjustable bed.

Still, forgoing a headboard can also leave you with more wall space to work within your bedroom. Many people enjoy how sleek a platform bed without a headboard or footboard looks. Choosing not to use a headboard can save money, too.

Ultimately, you’re the only one qualified to decide if a headboard is something you need.

DIY Headboard Wall Mural

A great budget bedroom makeover idea is to bypass the usual physical headboard and instead use some inexpensive paint to give the impression of one on the wall behind your adjustable bed frame. Painting a headboard mural on a wall can be a fun and creative project to add a unique touch to your bedroom decor.

First, decide on the mural design you want for your headboard. Consider the size and shape of the headboard area and choose a design that complements your room’s theme, along with the appropriate bedroom wall colors for sleep. You may even wish to sketch out your initial idea on a piece of paper.

Once you have an idea in mind and all the materials you need (paint, sketch pencil, paintbrushes, painter’s tape, drop cloth) clean the wall thoroughly and ensure it’s smooth and free from any dirt or imperfections. Cover the surrounding area with drop cloths (repurposed old sheets work well for this) to protect it from paint splatters.

Then, lightly sketch the mural design on the wall using a pencil. You can also use painter’s tape to create clean lines and sections if needed.

Begin painting the mural from top to bottom, using larger brushes for larger areas and smaller brushes for details. Layer the colors and allow each layer to dry before adding the next for better results. If you wish, you can add depth and texture to the mural by adding shadows, highlights, and finer details.

Once the mural is completely dry, remove any painter’s tape gently. Consider applying a clear varnish or sealant over the mural to protect it from dust and damage and to ensure it lasts longer.

About the Amerisleep Adjustable Bed+

Amerisleep-Adjustable-Bed-Frame+While we offer two adjustable bed bases, the Adjustable Bed+ is our favorite. The bed offers more special features than the basic model, such as full-body massagers. Headboard brackets are also available for purchase for anyone who wishes to use a compatible headboard.

With the tap of a button on a wireless remote, the adjustable bed moves to accommodate your wishes. You can sit up to read a book or raise your legs to relieve pressure. The head and foot can be elevated by using the remote, a phone app, or voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Home. That’s right, the Adjustable Bed+ can make your smart home setup complete.

The bed’s wall glide engineering technology ensures you don’t move away from your nightstand even as you sit up. Instead, the mattress moves back, keeping your body firmly in place. A non-skid surface and a retainer bar ensure the mattress stays in place.

Our Adjustable Bed+ is available in twin XL, queen, king, California king, and split king sizes. You can pair the base with most upholstered bed frames and set the bed’s height to 9, 12, or 15 inches. We include a 10-year warranty with every Adjustable Bed+ frame.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do adjustable beds ruin mattresses?

This isn’t a yes-or-no question because there are mattresses suited for adjustable bases and mattresses that are not. Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses can flex with an adjustable base without any damage.

However, a traditional innerspring mattress can have its springs damaged when it’s used with an adjustable base. Similarly, air mattresses may develop a puncture or feel uncomfortable if paired with an adjustable frame.

Should you sleep in the zero-gravity position?

Yes, sleeping in the zero-gravity position is one of the best ways to relieve pressure on the body. A zero-gravity bed reduces compression on the spine, eases tension on the hips, and lowers pressure on the back. However, this doesn’t mean sleeping on a flat bed is unhealthy. You can experiment and find what works best for you.

Is it okay to sleep with your legs elevated?

Yes, sleeping with your legs elevated can even improve your blood circulation. Elevating your knees can also reduce pressure on your lower back, decreasing your chances of back pain. Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source

You can raise your legs with an adjustable base or a wedge pillow.

Can you store things under an adjustable bed?

Yes, most adjustable beds leave room for under-bed storage. Some people may even find it more convenient to keep things under an adjustable base than a traditional frame because they can lift the mattress for easier access. However, if your adjustable base includes under-bed lighting, stored items may block the light.

What’s the worst way to sleep?

Most experts say that the worst sleeping position is lying on your front. When you’re on your stomach, gravity pushes your abdomen into the mattress, drawing your spine out of its neutral alignment. You can minimize the chances of sinkage by shopping for a firm mattress for stomach sleeping.


Attaching a headboard can help you dress up an adjustable base, but it’s not the only way to make a bedroom look beautiful. Some people may prefer to use a floating or free-standing headboard. Others may choose to forgo tradition and leave out the headboard all together.

There’s no right or wrong way to decorate a bedroom, as long as the ultimate result promotes a relaxing night’s rest.

About the author

McKenzie Hyde is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and a full-time writer specializing in sleep health and the mattress industry. With a Master of Arts degree in literature and writing from Utah State University, McKenzie combines her passion for writing with her in-depth knowledge of sleep science. Her articles cover a wide range of topics, including best sleep practices for students, the consequences of sleep deprivation, and choosing the right mattress for back pain relief. McKenzie's dedication to delivering accurate and informative content makes her a valuable contributor to the field of sleep health.

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