Nuts and Bolts for Your Bed – Bolts for Your Headboard & Footboard

If you’re wanting to put your bed together yourself, we can help!

Bolts are used to connect many things, and one of their best uses is for attaching the decorative attachments of a bed. These decorative attachments can come as a headboard or a headboard and foot board. This article is going to focus in particular on bolting up a wood headboard and footboard or just a headboard to a bed frame.

What size bolts will I need for my bed?

Measure the thickness of the wood leg of your headboard or the headboard and footrail if you have both. The thickness is measured from front to back. This is an important step. The wrong type of bolt or too long a bolt can damage dry wall, plaster walls, and even the boxspring. Bolts should be no more than 1 inch longer than the thickness of the headboard. The most common sizes are the 4 inch bolts and the 2 ¼ inch bolts.

What kind of bolts to use on a wooden headboard & footboard

Carriage bolts seem to do the best job. We will be talking about using a mushroom head type bolt. This broad shaped head keeps the head of the bolt from being pulled into the wood to deep when then nut is tightened. The smooth shaped dome head does not protrude so far as to mar bedroom walls like other bolt heads

Example

Hex head bolts The bolt (sometimes called a screw) is inserted into a pre-drilled hole in the leg of the headboard. It then feeds through the slot of the bed frame protruding no more than 1 inch so it does not catch on the fabric and poke through the boxspring.  The bolt can then can be secured with a washer and firmly hand tightened. Do the same to the other leg. Finally tighten up with a wrench. This helps secure the bed to the frame and keeps it in place for a nicely finished look.  There is a square fitting on the thread side of the mushroom shaped head; its purpose is to secure the bolt and keep it from spinning when tightening and loosening the nut.

Where to get bolts for a wooden bed

We recommend visiting your local Home Depot/Lowes store for these bolts.  You’ll need:

  • (2) 2 ¼” carriage bolts.  If your headboard is thicker, you may want to get the 4 ¼” carriage bolts instead.
  • (2) ½” nuts
  • (4) ½” washers

About 

Doug Belleville and his father Dave own and run STLBeds - a specialty sleep store located in Arnold, MO. The staff at STLBeds is highly educated about sleep, comfort and their special sleep products. STLBeds only carries high quality mattresses and bed-related products. You won't find the brand names here - just call and ask us why!