How to Put a Bed Frame & Headboard Together

Written by mary lougee
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How to Put a Bed Frame & Headboard Together
Attaching a headboard on a bed provides extra stability. (bed and lamp image by Nikolai Sorokin from

Bed frame kits and headboards are available in two types. There is a bolt-on and a hook-on style. Choosing the frame and headboard in the same type allows for a quick installation, though there are hardware retrofit kits to aid in installation of opposite types.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Bed frame kit
  • Headboard

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    Bed Frame Assembly

  1. 1

    Swing the cross arms out from each of the two side rails. The cross arms pivot outward at an angle.

  2. 2

    Place the side rails with cross arms extended to form a rectangle on the floor. Line the bolt-holes on one side rail up on top of the bolt-holes on the cross arm. Place the leg underneath with its bolt-holes in the same position.

  3. 3

    Insert a bolt through both pieces and slide a nut on from underneath the cross arm. Tighten the nut by turning it clockwise by hand and then tighten it fully with an adjustable wrench. Repeat this process for the second cross arm.

  4. 4

    Lift the bed frame up and firmly push a carpet glide onto the bottom of each leg. These protect the carpet from tearing or snagging when moving the bed.

    Hook Style Headboard Attachment

  1. 1

    Place the headboard at the head of the bed. Lift the bed frame slightly and slide the hooks on the head of the side rail on one side into the slots of the headboard.

  2. 2

    Attach the other side of the headboard in the same manner. Press down firmly on each side of the rails near the headboard to seat the headboard firmly on the bed rails.

  3. 3

    Move the bed into its final position.

    Bolt-on Style Headboard

  1. 1

    Align one side rails bracket at the head of the bed frame with the bolt-holes in the headboard. Slide a bolt through each of the two holes in the frame and headboard.

  2. 2

    Screw a nut on the backside of the headboard onto both bolts in a clockwise direction. Tighten the nuts with an adjustable wrench.

  3. 3

    Attach the other side of the headboard in the same manner making sure that all bolts are tight.

Tips and warnings

  • Some bed frame kits include a rug saver wheel to attach on the bottom of each leg that allows easy movement and positioning. To install wheels, press a plastic insert into the bottom of the leg and push the wheel onto the bottom.
  • Some bed frame kits include both hooks and bolt brackets on the head of the side rails so that either type of headboard will attach.
  • Make certain that the hook style bed frame has the hooks curving downward.
  • Observe the type of bed frame and head board before purchasing a new piece of furniture so that the frame and headboard are the same type for easy installation.

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