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What are the Pros and Cons of a Solid Wood Headboard?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

A solid wood headboard has both advantages and disadvantages. Unlike veneer headboard styles that have an inexpensive base with only a thin wooden top layer, solid wood headboards have high-quality construction. Yet, traditional, solid wood headboards can also look too dated for contemporary bedrooms. Some people who like to sit up in bed to watch television or read don't like the hardness of a wooden headboard and prefer a softer, padded, upholstered or fabric-covered kind.

For many people with allergies, solid wood headboard styles are best because they don't hold dust like cloth does, plus they are usually easy to wipe clean. Cloth-covered headboards need regular vacuuming with a soft brush, but a wooden headboard usually doesn't. Pet hair doesn't tend to stick to wood headboards like it does to fabric styles. In children's rooms, wood rather than cloth headboards are often more practical because paint smudges and crayon marks tend to be easier to remove. Unless a fabric headboard cover is removable, stains are often difficult or impossible to get out, so in this case wood is much better.

A solid wood headboard may not be good for a restless sleeper.
A solid wood headboard may not be good for a restless sleeper.

For restless sleepers who tend to flail their arms around, a solid wood headboard can be a painful disadvantage, especially if they hit their head or hand on the hard surface during the night. A solid wood bookcase headboard with items stored on the shelves isn't a good idea for restless sleepers who may knock over an alarm clock, book or breakable vase. Plain, padded headboard styles are much better than wooden types for these kinds of sleepers.

A big pro of a solid wood headboard is that it's likely to last much longer than a fabric-covered one. Quality wood headboards may be passed down through generations in a family. They're available in light or dark finishes of solid hardwoods such as oak, maple and cherry. As a con, sold wood headboards are usually quite heavy; fabric covering a wooden frame is much lighter.

Solid wood headboards have an advantage in the ancient Chinese design discipline of feng shui. The solid, rather than open aspect of this type of headboard is important in feng shui. Solid wood symbolizes a stable energy flow. The combination of wood and a rectangular shape, such as that of most solid wood headboards, is considered in feng shui to provide positive energy for professional people. A solid wood headboard can also be matched to other bedroom furniture in similar woods.

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Discussion Comments


I have found several solid wood bedroom headboards at thrift and antique shops. I bought them and refurbished them by removing old paint, stain, and varnish and repainting them. When I was finished, I don't think that they looked dated at all. In fact, they become the centerpieces of the bedrooms where I placed them.


I think that solid wood headboards are great for kids' bedrooms because they are strong and durable. To liven up a kid's headboard, all you have to do is cover it with stickers or stencils of your child's favorite cartoon or movie characters.

When you child gets older, removing the stickers or painting over stenciling will be very easy. Then you can give the headboard a new look with a coat of paint to match your child's bedroom.


If you have an old wood headboard that looks out of place with other types of contemporary bedroom furniture, try giving it a fresh coat of paint. This will give it a contemporary look that will fit in nicely in your bedroom.

For example, if you take a solid wood headboard that is dark in color and paint it with a bright, lively color, you will also brighten up your entire room. If you have a bedroom that has neutral colors, simply painting your solid wood headboard white will also give this piece of furniture a modern look.

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    • A solid wood headboard may not be good for a restless sleeper.
      By: Karen Winton
      A solid wood headboard may not be good for a restless sleeper.