How to connect a headboard & footboard to a rail bed

Written by ana jackson
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How to connect a headboard & footboard to a rail bed
Complement your room's decor with a headboard and footboard set. (bedroom image by Pavel Losevsky from

A headboard and footboard set is an ideal way to personalise a bedroom. Headboards and footboards are generally sold as a matching set and are available in most decorating styles. Moreover, headboards are made from many types of materials, including wood, metal, pressboard and a combination of wood and metal, giving you many choices to fit your budget. Before you can add a headboard and footboard to your decor, you have to attach them correctly to the rail bed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Nuts
  • Bolts
  • Wrench

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  1. 1

    Measure your mattress. Extend the cross arms on both side rails, and choose the right adjustment to fit your mattress. Simply slide the pin on the cross arms into the corresponding hole on the cross arm on the other side rail. Pull outward to ensure that it locks. Secure the cross arms with the nuts and bolts that come with the rail bed at the time of purchase.

  2. 2

    Set your headboard against the wall. Position the rail bed in front of the headboard. Look for pins on each side of the headboard. Lock the bracket on each side rail onto the corresponding pin on the headboard. Apply downward force on the rail to ensure that it locks into position.

  3. 3

    Attach the footboard to the metal bed frame. Slide the bracket on each side rail onto the corresponding pin on the footboard. Push down on the rails to lock them into position.

Tips and warnings

  • Ensure that the rail bed is the right size for the headboard and footboard. Bed rails are generally adjustable, and headboards and footboards often have multiple slots to adjust the width according to the bed size, but this is not always the case.
  • Twin-size and full-size rail beds generally do not have supporting rails.
  • Don't position your mattress on the rail bed until you ensure that the cross arms are locked in position.

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