Vern Yip's Picks for the Best Headboards

HGTV Design Star judge Vern Yip shares his best sizing and shopping tips for headboards in HGTV Magazine.

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Take It From the Expert

A bed takes up the largest piece of real estate in the bedroom, and the headboard you pick can change the feel of the space. You can go with a soft Ultrasuede or linen one (what Vern has in his guest room), or something more structured, like wood or leather (in his own bedroom).

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What to Consider

Then there's the height question: Do you want a low headboard that leaves you room to hang something above it, or a tall one that dresses up the wall? Read on for advice on finding the right size and style for you. As You Wish cotton blend upholstered headboard, $699 for queen, landofnod.com

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Be Mindful of Size and Fit

A headboard is one of the most difficult pieces to move because of its width and inflexibility. Before you buy one, measure all the areas you'll need it to pass through: the front door, hallways and any tight turns, especially if it's going up stairs. Andrina cotton twill headboard, $599 for queen, broyhillfurniture.com for stores

Fabric Matters

Upholstered headboards are more comfortable if you read or watch TV in bed. But fabric choice is key. Some people buy pricey silk or velvet styles only to notice that the fabric has become discolored after a year, from being leaned against. A cotton blend, microsuede or leather headboard is a more durable option. Camden tufted leather headboard, $519 for queen, ballarddesigns.com

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One Size Doesn't Fit All

A standard headboard is 48 inches tall, including the legs. If you have a long torso or like to prop Euro-size pillows on the bed, you'll want one that's at least 55 inches. There's an easy way to figure out the right height if you want a headboard to lean on: Measure how high the top of your mattress is from the floor, then the distance from your waist to your head. Add those together, then look for a headboard that's four to five inches taller, including the legs. Seagrass Block headboard, $250 for queen, pier1.com

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What Works for the Room

To narrow down headboard picks, look at the furniture you already own. If you have a lot of upholstered pieces, a taut leather or structured wood headboard is great. If you have mostly wooden furniture, pick a headboard made of cotton, linen or another soft, durable fabric. Meadowbrook Manor cotton blend headboard, $599 for queen, hgtvhomefurniture.com for stores

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Solid Wood

A wooden headboard doesn't need to match the other woods in the room, but keep it in the same wood family. If you have light oak furniture, for example, a chestnut or walnut headboard will pick up the warm yellow tones, but a cherry one with cool red tones would clash. Roma solid pine headboard, $246 for queen, lafuente.com

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Alternative Designs

Headboards can take up six to 12 inches of room between your mattress and wall (especially with models like the one shown). If you're tight on space, consider a slim wall-mounted piece. Vern designed a headboard for HSN made of 21-inch upholstered thin squares that you can hang side by side. He says there's \"no wobbling, and it's easier to make the bed.\" Brimnes fiberboard headboard, $130 for queen, ikea.com

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Letting the Air In

Just because your bed is in front of a window doesn't mean you have to skip a headboard. Choose one that's not solid, like wrought iron or wood with slats. Morocco wood headboard, $399 for queen, westelm.com

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