A headboard may be the most important part of a bed.
Can add height to your bedroom along with style, and it isn’t limited to being mounted above just the top sleepers.
The headboard can also be used as a footboard for lower end sleepers or even daybeds. If you have an existing bed that is looking a little tired and the headboard is what stands out for you, why not turn it into something that can genuinely serve more than one purpose.
It’s a great idea for use in any room where extra storage space is needed and makes a unique footboard too.
Loved by interior designers, they can be made using an old headboard plus a few other accessories.
Voila, you have a headboard footboard combo to complete the look of your bedroom!
Coming up in this blog, we discuss what to consider when making your headboard into a footboard.
Can a headboard be used as a footboard?
The answer is yes, but it may not be the best idea for everyone.
Headboards are usually mounted to the wall at the top of your bed and provide comfortable support for your head when you sleep.
Footboards on the other hand, are typically attached to the bottom of your bed frame with a series of slats or rails that provide additional support for your feet while sleeping, especially if you enjoy using an innerspring mattress (which tend to sag over time).
Because they serve such different purposes, most people do not use their headboards as footboards as it would require modifications when mounting them.
However, if you’re handy enough to reattach all of your slats and change the angle of the footboard, a headboard can be used as a footboard.
Reasons to use your headboard as a footboard
While most people will not go through the time and effort to swap their headboards for footboards, there are some instances in which it may make sense.
One case would be if you are building a custom bed and you want the headboard to serve as both.
It would probably be easiest if the bed was also made from scratch, but as long as it has the proper footboard mounts, some modifications could be done on an existing frame.
You may also face this problem if you have a nice furniture set already that only includes one headboard and you would like to make the one available into a headboard and footboard so that both sides match.
Of course, it’s not very common for people to have opposite bed frames, but in some instances where two beds are pushed together, such as when sleeping on a sleeper sofa or in an RV, this could provide a solution.
In both scenarios, you would have to make some modifications and run a few new screws into the frame along with swapping the hardware on one or both sides.
However, this could be enough of a reason to get the job done if you really like your bed and just want it to look better.
Things to consider before using a headboard as a footboard
Glad you asked!
Before you unleash your creative side and start working on modifying your bed frame, there are a few things you should think about first.
While converting your headboard to a footboard may sound simple enough, there are some things you need to consider before you get started:
Is your bed frame sturdy enough to support the weight of a headboard?
A headboard is typically pretty heavy, and this needs to be taken into consideration when using it as a footboard.
If you’re considering changing your headboard to be used as a footboard, you need to make sure that the existing bed frame is sturdy enough to support it.
Next, are the mounts designed to hold a headboard securely?
If your bed frame doesn’t have one already, you will need to add an additional set of mounts to hold the footboard in place.
You do want it secured, especially if you’re using a large headboard as a footboard.
Without the proper mounts, it could move around on you and cause injury to yourself or others.
Third, are there any special attachment requirements that you need to know about?
For example, if you want your headboard-turned-footboard to have extra storage underneath it, you will need to make sure that there is a place in your bed frame for the shelf or chest to be secured.
If it’s going to be attached and removable, this should still be considered when designating it as a footboard.
Finally, how much time are you willing to put into this project?
If you’re just looking for a quick fix, you may be disappointed to find out that modifying your headboard is not as easy as unscrewing it from one side and screwing it to another.
Typically, the slats and hardware need to be removed and replaced on both sides.
The direction of the footboard will also have to be changed.
Additionally, the hardware for each side will have to be swapped out.
While this can all be done by hand, it takes more time than just sliding the headboard on or off.
All in all, using a headboard as a footboard is not impossible, but it’s not as easy as it might sound either.
It does take a little bit of time and effort, but even so, you can still make it happen.
You’re going to want to make sure that your headboard and footboard are an attractive match, especially if you’re using one as a replacement for the other.
For most people, this is a matter of taste.
However, if you care about creating a cohesive look for your bed, you will need to make sure that it matches the rest of your set.
Hence, if you have a bed frame made out of metal but the headboard and footboard are wooden, this may not be a real issue but it will be noticeable.
The good news is that if you’re using this style of headboard as a replacement for one that’s already there, it’s easier to match.
The bad news is that you can’t go too far out of your way to make it stand out from the rest of your bed frame.
If you really want to make your headboard look like it belongs with the rest of the frame, you are going to need to take some time and repaint it first.
This will give you a better chance of matching your style than painting over the existing finish on the headboard.
Consider the look of the material when making your decision as well.
For example, if you have a leather headboard that’s being used as a footboard, you may want to consider doing the same with your bed frame.
While it will have been made out of the same material, you may want to factor in whether or not it was brown leather or black leather.
This can make a difference on how the bed looks overall, and it may be something that you want to take into consideration.
It will all depend on what your needs are for using a headboard as a footboard.
Regardless, you will need to take the look of your home and the style in which you want to create into consideration.
Safety concerns and how to fix them
1. Joints and headboards
When you’re working with headboards, you always want to keep in mind that the joints are where most of the problems will occur.
For this reason, headboards should be made using solid wood so that there are no joints in the first place.
If you already have headboards with joints, you may want to consider reinforcing them before you use your headboard as a footboard.
You can do this by using more screws, bolts, or adhesives to make sure that the headboard will not come apart during use.
Once headboards are no longer attached to a bed frame, they become much heavier.
This can be an issue if you have headboard footboard combos that are fairly large.
When you move these headboards, they may be too heavy to manage on your own.
To make sure that your headboard does not become a safety hazard, you can do the following.
- Be careful how you handle it
- Use more than one person to move it if possible
- If you have small children in your home, keep headboards with footboards out of the room
3. Frame heights
If you have a bed that’s designed to adjust its height like adjustable beds, using two different headboards or footboards may be an option.
However, you will need to make sure that the bed is strong enough for lateral loading.
If not, it can result in collapse and serious injury.
Test the bed frame to make sure that it can handle a heavier headboard and footboard combo before using them.
If you’re not sure, consider hiring a professional to evaluate your bed for you.
In a nutshell
Questions you may ask about whether or not headboards can be used as a footboard are more of a matter of preference rather than something that’s enforced in some way.
However, it’s true that most people use headboards to act as headboards only and footboards to hold feet up on their own.
To use a headboard as a footboard, you may need to decide on the look that you want your bed frame to have first.
From there, you can think about repainting the headboard to match the rest of the bed frame if necessary.
It’s always going to be easier to match a headboard if you use one that’s the same material as the rest of your bed frame.