Wooden vs Metal vs Upholstered: Picking The Perfect Headboard

We thankfully live in a time where headboards come in a huge range of materials, making it increasingly possible to pick out the perfect one for our dream bedroom design. What that does mean, however, is that there can be too much choice, and wading through all of the options to find the perfect one isn’t always a walk in the park. A great place to start, however, is with the material that you want. Here’s what you need to know about wooden, metal and upholstered headboards.


Wooden headboards offer a uniquely simple style that can suit most bedroom designs with relative ease. As one of the most popular headboard materials, not least due to the ever-popular Shaker style, a wooden headboard offers a unique style like no other.

The Positives

  • Different Styles – Wooden headboards are surprisingly varied in style. From full board, to shaker-style panels, all the way through to rattan with all available in different wood types, each wooden headboard is entirely unique. No other person will have the same grain of wood as you, which adds a sense of character and charm to your bedroom. 
  • Easy To Clean – Spillages, sickness, dust and grime – they’re all easy enough to wipe off of most wooden headboards. With the exception of rattan headboards, panelled or board-style bed heads just need a quick wipe over or a dust to fully clean them off, making this a low-maintenance choice. 

Be Aware Of…

  • They Aren’t Comfortable – sitting up against a wooden headboard isn’t the most comfortable experience and you’ll need to prop up a cushion behind you or give up on sitting up in bed completely.
  • Can Seem Uninviting – While wooden headboards can be warm in tone, they could be seen as uninviting compared to the softer upholstered alternative.


Metal headboards usually come alongside a metal bedframe, though they aren’t strictly reserved for just that. They can be a stylish, classy and sophisticated option where needed, or modern and contemporary if the style suits you better.

The Positives

  • Easy to Clean – Metal headboards, just like wooden ones, are easy to wipe down in the case of mess or general dust and grime. With the right metal and regular light cleaning, you can prevent tarnishing too, keeping your metal headboard looking brand new for longer.
  • Durability – Metal bedframes are notorious for being sturdy, solid and tough, with the ability withstand considerable weight. A metal headboard has the same benefits, with a low likelihood of damage.

Be Aware Of…

  • They Can Be Noisy – When the bolts or welding start to become loose over time, metal headboards and bed frames can start to creak and groan more than any other material.
  • It May Be Cold – Metal holds onto cold temperatures more than wood or upholstered material, making it more uncomfortable to sit against or you may find that your bedroom needs just a little bit more heating to get it up to comfortable levels during the colder months.


Upholstered headboards are a cushioned alternative to metal or wood, and can come in a number of different materials. From easy-clean leather, to soft and comfortable cotton, velvet, velour and more, upholstered headboards are a headboard option for anyone looking for that soft and warm touch to their bedroom.

The Positives

  • They are comfortable – cushioned and upholstered headboards are comfortable to rest against, perfect for anyone who sits up in bed reading, on a laptop or watching TV.
  • There’s Huge Variety – There’s a seemingly never-ending supply of different fabrics in the world and in most cases, you can find a headboard covered in your material of choice. The colour and pattern choices are also plentiful, which is ideal for anyone wanting to step away from the limitations of wood or metal headboards.

Be Wary Of…

  • They Can Be Hard To Maintain – Depending on the material you choose, an upholstered headboard can be difficult to maintain and keep clean. While leather and faux leather can easily be wiped down in the case of accidents or dirt build up, fabric tends to need more intensive cleaning or shampooing.
  • It’s Breakable – Fabric headboards are prone to tearing, wearing down and other accidents that can’t be as easily fixed as with a wooden or metal alternative. While wooden headboards could see scratches, a scratch to a fabric headboard may result in a torn material which isn’t as simple to fix or buff out.

For more information about our headboards, get in touch or take a look at our full range of options right here on our website, today.

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