Yes, You Need a Headboard

The headboard above is very good for Feng Shui purposes. (This bedroom set needs another night stand on the left side.)

A question students and clients often ask me is, “Do I really need a headboard?”

The short answer is “yes, everyone needs a headboard!

Reason No. 1: Not having a headboard is very uncomfortable

Before I moved to United States my husband and I were apart for almost two years. When I finally joined him, he was living in a one-bedroom, minimally furnished apartment.

The sole piece of furniture in the bedroom was a bed –– if you could call that a bed. I certainly would not have called it a bed. Where I came from (Ecuador) the definition of a bed included a headboard. What my husband’s bedroom had was a box spring and a mattress. It was a full size “bed.”

I’d always liked to read books at night, right before going to sleep, so I wanted to continue this habit in the USA. I quickly found out that it was very uncomfortable to lean back on the wall, even when I added thick pillows. Since the bed frame was not fixed to the wall, the act of sitting up on the bed and leaning on the wall caused it to separate from the wall little by little. In the winter months, the wall is cold to the touch.

Reason No. 2: Not having a headboard is a symbol of poverty

I told you earlier that to me, born and raised in Ecuador, a bed was not a bed unless it had a headboard. These are the only instances where I had ever seen a spring box and a mattress being used as a bed: the homes of the very poor. My grandmother sometimes took me with her to visit disadvantaged families with gifts of food.

You may say, “that was in Ecuador, but not here in the United States.” You’d be wrong. Think about the most likely places where you’ll find a box spring and mattress being used as a bed: college dorms and “furnished” first apartments. College students are usually broke, and first apartments fill the memories of when folks were just getting started in the workplace –– not exactly symbols of opulence.

Think back to the college years, if you went to college, or think about your first apartment. Tough times, right?

Young couples have told me they were saving their money to get a really nice headboard. These couples have a high chance of doing well later in life. A young couple visiting our home once said, “Man, we would feel so well off if we could get a headboard like yours!”

Reason No. 3: Headboards are symbols of stability

Think again about the college years, or the time you got your first apartment. Where you thinking about getting married or about casually dating? Likely, it was the latter.

A headboard is a physical symbol of the commitment a couple makes to each other. A headboard is a symbol of keeping things together.

I once consulted for a young couple who had been married a few years but didn’t have a headboard. When I asked them why they told me that they couldn’t afford one. Yet, in their living room they had a three thousand dollar TV, with all sorts of games consoles connected to it. This showed where their priorities were. They didn’t get a headboard. Their marriage didn’t last.

If you are single, a bed with a headboard gives out the message that you are ready and willing to settle. A bed without a headboard gives the impression that you are not looking for something permanent.

What type of headboard should you get?

DON’T get a headboard that looks like a side of a crib or has bars like a jail.

DO get a solid headboard made of wood (best) or a padded material. Make sure there are no sharp corners.

But the Japanese don’t even have beds, much less headboards!

People have argued this with me. They think this is a good argument because they believe Feng Shui is Japanese, and many Japanese sleep on cots they roll up during the day and put away in closets.

But Feng Shui is actually Chinese and traditional Chinese beds were actually alcoves closed on three sides!

Make sure you’re not making these 5 common mistakes in your master bedroom:

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