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25+ Best Headboard Alternatives: Stylish & Practical Solutions

Carl Heinrichs, owner of Quagga Designs.
Written by,

Carl Heinrichs

CEO of Quagga

Do you need a headboard for your bed but don't want to spend the money? Are you looking for a stylish and practical solution? If so, then you should consider one of the many headboard alternatives that are available.

In this article, we will discuss some of the best options out there. Whether you are looking for something made out of wood, metal, or fabric, we have got you covered! So read on to find the perfect headboard alternative for your bedroom.

What are the Best Headboard Alternatives?

Here are the best headboard alternatives you can easily do in a short timeframe on a budget.

1) Geometric Shapes

Headboard with geometric shapes alternative
Credit: Buzzfeed

Rather than going for a traditional headboard, try cutting out different geometric shapes to create visual interest.

2) Duvet Cover

Duvet cover headboard alternative
Credit: The House That Lars Built

If you have a duvet cover with a cool pattern you no longer use, put it to good use by draping it over the head of your bed. Alternatively, you can use a staple gun and attach it to something firm like a piece of vinyl and use that as a headboard alternative. This is an easy way to add some personality to your bedroom without spending a lot of money.

3) Wood Fencing

Headboard made of wood fencing alternative
Credit: Merrypad

Do you still have some leftover wood from the fence you built last summer? Why not break out those pieces and make a nice rustic headboard?

4) Bright Half Circle

Bright half circle headboard alternative
Credit: Why Don't You Make Me?

Who says all headboards have to be rectangular?

Change things up and brighten up your bedroom by using a bright half circle instead. This is much more interesting and stylish than traditional headboards. Plus, you can use it as a focal point for the room and build the rest of the décor around it.

5) Paint an Old Door

Old door headboard painted alternative
Credit: HGTV
Barn doors headboard alternative
Credit: imgur

Do you have old doors lying around that aren't being used? Why not simply paint it and use that as a headboard? Alternatively, if you live out in the country and want to go for something that's more rustic, you can use barn doors as headboard alternatives and hang a few lamps like the one in the example.

6) Non Functioning Fireplace

Non functioning fireplace headboard alternative
Credit: Apartment Therapy

Here's another idea: a non functioning fireplace. You're not using it anyway, so you may as well have it act as a faux headboard for your bed frame.

7) Window Shutters

Window shutters headboard alternative
Credit: Michelle J. Designs

You could also hang some window shutters on the wall behind your bed for another interesting-looking faux headboard.

8) Wall Art

Wall art headboard alternative
Credit: Etsy

Rather than buying an expensive standard headboard, consider doubling it with a wall art as one headboard alternative like this one from Etsy.

9) DIY Dream Catcher

DIY dream catcher headboard alternative
Credit: E. Blackwood

Another great alternative headboard option is making your own dreamcatcher that's hanging behind your bed.

10) Macrame

Macrame headboard alternative
Credit: WallKnot

Here is a hanging headboard from Etsy made from Macrame (the art of knotting cord/string into patterns).

11) Area Rug

Area rug headboard alternative
Credit: CB2

Who would've thought area rugs would actually be perfect for the wall? Turns out they are! Get out those old and potentially dusty rugs lying in the corner and hang them up as makeshift headboards. Just make sure you properly clean them first...

12) Accent Wall

Accent wall headboard alternative
Credit: Brooklyn Nicole Home

Turn your painted accent wall into a headboard that's embedded into the wall. For example, you can cut up some plywood, attach or glue it to the wall, and paint it the same color as the wall to make a classy and decorated "headboard."

13) Wall Decal

Wall decal headboard alternative
Credit: Boston Globe

If you want to bring an artistic flair or some sunny/tropical vibes to your bedroom, look no further than sticking a wall decal behind your bed.

14) Painted Mural

Painted mural headboard alternative
Credit: The House That Lars Built

Let's get painting. It's time to create some artwork, crack open some cans of your favorite color, and paint a beautiful mural.

15) Decorative Wallpaper

Decorative wallpaper headboard alternative
Credit: justbellablog

Use an interesting and unique-looking wallpaper to create an interesting pattern (and act as a stylish headboard).

16) Open Book Headboard

Open Book Headboard alternative
Credit: Adorable Home

Here's one of my favorite headboard alternatives. If you're a bookworm, this is the perfect headboard option for you. Simply attach open books to the wall behind your bed frame. It'll make for a great focal point and conversation starter.

17) Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed Wood headboard alternative
Credit: Hallmark Channel

If you're more hands-on, this is a great idea for you. Head over to your local lumber yard or junkyard and see what you can find. Otherwise, visit your nearest home improvement stores and snag some wood or plywood to create a headboard by hand.

18) Shadow Box

Shadow Box headboard alternative
Credit: Christopher Odell

Think about something unique to you that reflects your personality and turn it into a shadow box like this Gameboy headboard.

19) Shelves

Shelves headboard alternative
Credit: Comien Groenewald

Store all of your most valuable books and trinkets in a mounted headboard shelving unit.

20) Paddles

Paddles headboard alternative
Credit: Julie St Don

What's the big oar-deal with using paddles as a headboard? Sorry, bad pun. If you're a rower (or just someone who likes canoes/boats) DIY a headboard made of paddles. You can hang them vertically, horizontally, or in an X pattern.

21) Surf Board

Surf board headboard alternative
Credit: DVC Resale Market

Big into surfing? Here is a headboard made from surfboards.

22) Mirror

Mirror headboard alternative
Credit: Pottery Barn

Create a headboard by hanging some mirrors up! It can be one big mirror or a series of small ones, your choice.

23) Serving Plates

Serving Plates headboard alternative
Credit: Attic Mag

This idea is a bit out there, but if you have plates that match the aesthetic of your bedroom, why not glue them to the wall and see how they look?

24) Curtains

Curtain headboard alternative
Credit: The Palette Muse

Hang up a curtain with some twinkly lights to create a dream-like bedroom atmosphere.

25) Tapestries

Tapestry headboard alternative
Credit: Apartment Therapy

Hang some cool-looking fabric (AKA a tapestry) with an interesting pattern for a unique and interesting look.

26) Pillows

Pillow headboard alternative
Credit: DigsDigs

Pillows are stylish headboard alternatives that are a great way to create a comfortable and cozy environment. Consider hanging a large pillow (or multiple).

27) Turn it into a Fun DIY Project

Fun DIY Project headboard doors with twinkly lights
Credit: Apartment Therapy

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you turn it into a fun DIY project for a great custom look.


Is it OK not to have a headboard?

For some people, the answer is an emphatic "yes!" A headboard can add a touch of luxury to a bedroom, and it can also be practical, providing a place to lean against when reading in bed.

However, headboards are not essential, and there are plenty of other ways to achieve the same look. Some popular headboard alternatives include hanging a large tapestry or piece of art on the wall behind the bed. Another option is to use a screen or set of curtains. And if you're short on space, you can even opt for a headboard-less bed.

So, whether you choose to go with a headboard or not is entirely up to you. There's no right or wrong answer – it's all about what works best for your bedroom.

What is a floating headboard?

A headboard can be an important piece of furniture in any bedroom. Not only does it add a decorative touch, but it also provides a comfortable place to rest your head when you’re reading or watching TV in bed. However, headboards can be expensive, and they’re not always practical for small spaces.

If you’re looking for other headboard alternatives, one option is to consider a floating headboard. Floating headboards are made of lightweight materials like foam or plywood, and they’re easy to install. You can simply attach them to the wall with screws or Adhesive strips. Plus, floating headboards take up less space than traditional headboards, making them a great option for small bedrooms.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder floating headboards are becoming increasingly popular.

Does a headboard make a bed more comfortable?

A headboard is not essential for a bed to be comfortable, but it can certainly help.

A headboard provides support for your head and back when you are sitting up in bed, and it can also add a bit of extra padding. If you have a headboard that is too low, you may find yourself constantly hunching over to read or watch TV. On the other hand, if your headboard is too high, it can be uncomfortable to rest your head on.

The best headboards are adjustable, so you can find the perfect height for your needs. However, if you don't want to use a headboard, there are plenty of other headboard alternatives available. Body pillows and Bolster pillows can provide similar support, and they can be easily repositioned as needed.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use a headboard is a matter of personal preference.


Whether you’re looking for a stylish and unique headboard or something that is more affordable and practical, there are plenty of great headboard alternatives to choose from.

We hope this article has helped give you some ideas about what to do with your bedroom décor. Which headboard alternative will you be making this weekend?

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Carl Heinrichs

CEO of Quagga
Carl Heinrichs is the Founder of Quagga, Canada's most innovative furniture design solutions that are easy to assemble and playfully made.

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