Regular bed frames don’t come with anything assembled, but they have brackets at both ends if you want to attach a headboard or footboard. Whether for decorative or functional purposes, you’re going to need some proper guidelines on how to install a headboard and footboard.

Necessary Things

Before getting to the process, here are a few things you’re gonna need to prepare.

  • Bolts
  • Nuts
  • Impact wrench (or a regular wrench)

The first thing to do is make sure your bed frame is structurally sound, and check to see if the bed brackets are bolt-on or hook-on.

Bolt-on is more common while hook-on is a bit less. Now, a standard bolt-on bed has slots, whereas you can find hooks dangling on a hook-on bed frame. These two types of beds are applied to all bed frame materials, whether you have a wooden bed, a metal bed, or steel construction.

Next, check if your headboard and footboard are damaged, and whether they are compatible with your bed frame. A hook-on headboard contains slits to attach to the hooks while a bolt-on headboard has holes for you to drill the secure bolts into the legs. The same thing is applied to a footboard.

All of the things needed will be included when you purchase a headboard and footboard package, but you should double-check to see if anything is missing so you can replace them on time.

How to Attach a Headboard and Footboard to a Bed Frame

If You Have a Bolt-On Headboard

Before getting into the process, you should know that even though bolt-on bed frames are common, each one will have some minor differences in construction, so it is best if you read the instruction coming along carefully.

Step 1: Remove the mattress or any padding from the bed frame. Do it gently to prevent damage to the mattress itself and not to mess up the box springs inside. As trivial as it sounds, messing up the box springs can happen if one toss the mattress down too hard.

After that, move the bed frame away from the wall to expose the front edge of the frame and give you enough space to work. If possible, place some protective pads under the legs to protect the floor and the bed itself from being damaged.

Step 2: Carefully slide the headboard to the position where you want it to be, being right next to the frame. There should be another person to help the board stand still and straight, while you line up the screw holes of the headboard with holes in front of the bed frame.

Step 3: Press the board firmly against the bed frame and drive the bolts through the back of the headboard so that they stick out in the front holes of the bed frame.

Secure the headboard by attaching the nuts to bolts; this is where an impact wrench would come in handy. You can use a regular wrench, but an impact wrench will save you so much time and effort.

Step 4: Repeat the drive-attach technique with the other side of the headboard. Then, gently pull on each side to check if the headboard was firmly secured.

Step 5: Slide the bed frame back into position, then relocate the mattress and paddings. Voilà! Headboard attached!

If You Have a Hook-On Headboard

We’re going to skip step 1 as it is similar to that of installing a bolt-on headboard to your bed frame.

Step 2: Place the headboard in a certain position where the slots in the leg face the frame, then line up all the slots with the hooks available (found in the bed frame brackets).

Step 3: Insert each end of the hooks into the corresponding slots of the headboard leg.

Step 4: Repeat on the other side.

Step 5: Press down hard on the bed rails to secure the headboard brackets into place, and you’re done!

Attaching a Footboard

Installing a footboard to your bed frame is actually similar to that of a headboard. In fact, the bedding package you purchase usually includes a headboard and footboard to match with each other.

Connect the footboard brackets to the bed frame just like how you do it with a headboard. However, sometimes the footboard is meant to be connected to your headboard using side rails, not to your bed frame. If the bed frame doesn’t come with additional parts, you’ll have to add some attachments for the side rails, and then you can set up the bed as you wish, following the steps above.

In general, a footboard is easy to assemble if you know just what to do. Watch the videos below to see the steps in action.

Final Words

And that’s how to attach a headboard and footboard to your bed.

It is vital that the headboard and footboard you buy are compatible with your bed. Also, the bolts should be long enough to be driven through the boards and the frame, especially if the process has something to do with an adapter plate. Likewise, choose ideal size nuts to go with the bolts.

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