Should mattress be higher than footboard?

Are you going to buy a bed and need clarification about whether your bed should have a footboard or if you love to have no footboard but only a headboard? If yes, then should the mattress be higher than the Footboard? So, I will guide you in detail about the height of the Footboard, how much your bed should be more elevated, the pros and cons of the Footboard, its medical use, headboard footboard sets, etc. But before going into that, let me describe briefly what a footboard in a bed is.

What is a Footboard?

People using modern beds need to be made aware of the existence of footboards. If we talk about the parts of the bed, there are three main parts of the bed, i.e. headboard, footboard and bed frame. The Footboard is the structural part or component or vertical panel/board of the bed frame and is located at the foot end of the bed. A “Footboard is a board forming the foot of the bed” made of wood. 

What is the function of a Footboard?

  • The Footboard keeps our feet in a proper position in bed.
  • Footboards come in various materials, designs and shapes, mostly to match the theme of the room furniture, and they give an aesthetic appeal to the overall look of the room.
  • Footboards give a proper boundary to the bed frame and define the edge of the sleeping area and the bed space.
  • Footboards help the mattress to slide forward or shift position by keeping it in a fixed frame.
  • Footboards help individuals by providing a surface to rest their feet.
  • You can add various footboard designs according to your needs, like drawers and shelves to store your pillows, bedding, etc.
  • Traditionally, headboards and footboards were part of the bed designs to keep the sleeper’s blankets in place.

High and low Footboard bed or “footboard or no footboard”:

The Footboard holds the bedding in place and provides additional structure to your bed…There are two types of footboards, i.e. High Footboard and low Footboard. Both refer to the boards or panels at the foot end of the bed. Standard footboard height is 24″, and lower footboards range from 14″ to -17″. Here is the precise description for both:

High Footboards advantages:

  • High footboards add an aesthetic impact and elegance and are visually more prominent in your bedroom, especially in traditional and classic bed designs. In another way, it enhances the style of your bed,
  • Taller footboards create a sense of cosiness and symmetry, especially when they are equal in height to the headboard.
  • Higher footboards provide stability to the mattress and prevent it from sliding forward.
  • Higher footboards also provide support and comfort when you sit at the edge of the bed, serving as a backrest.


Higher footboards are unsuitable for small rooms and can visually dominate the bed design.

Low Footboards advantages:

  • Low Footboard means “no footboard”. Low footboards are linked with contemporary, modern or minimalist designs.
  • No footboards make your bedroom look more spacious and clean.
  • No footboards provide easy access to your bed to get in and out of the bed.
  • They can be easily adjustable in various room sizes due to their versatility.
  • Low footboards can be combined with storage options or other features according to the choice and need.


Low or no footboards are not a good choice if we talk about preventing mattress movement and cannot provide backrest support.

Should the mattress be higher than the Footboard? Pros and Cons:

The question gets significant attention in the interior design of bed and bedroom aesthetics. It can make a noticeable difference in how your bedroom looks and feels. The relationship between the height of the mattress and the Footboard influences the overall look of your bed; it’s a matter of style and design, comfort and accessibility, cosy factor, room size, etc. It depends upon your likeness or what you feel having a classic look of your bedroom or a modern look. On the one hand, footboards give a sophisticated look to your bed, but on the other hand, if you like the modern, sleek design, then low footboards might be your choice or align with your bed.

The answer is complex; various factors are involved, whether the mattress should be higher than the Footboard or not, including choices and preferences, theme of the room, and design aesthetic. Let me explain to you the pros and cons of a higher mattress than the Footboard:


Placing the mattress higher than the Footboard creates an aesthetic elegance to the bed and the overall bedroom appearance.

Placing the mattress higher than the Footboard creates a sense of symmetry and balance by keeping the headboard and Footboard at the same height.

The elevated mattress enhances comfort and security by creating a cosier and more intimate sleeping space.

Some designs provide extra storage underneath the bed in case of a higher mattress.


Sometimes, a higher mattress makes other design elements less prominent by visually dominating the room.

Rooms with limited space and a higher mattress than the footboards might feel the room narrow or cramped.

For individuals whose movements in and out of the bed are more, it might create access difficulty.

For individuals who go for contemporary home designs, higher mattresses might need to align with the desired traditional aesthetics.

With a mattress higher than the Footboard, it might be challenging to sit comfortably at the edge of the bed and can affect the ergonomics of the bed.

Most common mattress sizes:

Twin: 38.5” (W) x 74.5” (L)

Twin XL: 38.5″ (W) x 79.5″ (L)

Full: 53.5” (W) x 74.5” (L)

Queen: 59.5” (W) x 79.5” (L)

King: 75.5” (W) x 79.5” (L)

California King: 71.5″ (W) x 83.5″ (L)

Footboard medical use:

Footboards are used for several medical purposes in clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation centres. Here are a few:

  • Footboards help patients prevent foot drop, a condition developed due to paralysis, muscle weakness or neurological disorders.
  • It helps maintain the leg and foot position while recovering from surgery, injuries or medical conditions.
  • Footboards help to keep the feet in a neutral position for patients who are bedridden or have limited mobility and are at risk of developing muscle contractures, which are tight and shortened muscles. 
  • Footboards help to keep feet elevated for patients who are bedridden or spend extended periods in bed by reducing pressure on heels and ultimately preventing them from forming bedsores.
  • Footboards help to keep the feet elevated, allowing blood circulation in the body.


Whether having a footboard or no footboard in bed is all about how you feel, what is preferable for you, what you want your bedroom or bed to look like, the theme of your bedroom, harmony between the overall design of the bed and bedroom theme, elegance all up to you. You want more classical, contemporary, or modern furniture. All the pros and cons are discussed above in detail. Whether a mattress should be higher than the Footboard is all up to you; make sure that it suits your style and helps create a comfortable and inviting space where you would love to spend time. A higher mattress than a footboard depends also on your medical condition and your body’s needs. It also depends on what you value most: comfort, aesthetics or functionality. Your choice reflects your style.


Will a footboard make a room look smaller?

Headboards and footboards only occupy small inches if we talk about room space, but for smaller rooms, if we opt for a footboard with fewer beds, it may create a spacious appearance.

Is a footboard necessary?

A footboard is not necessary, but it’s all about preferences and choices, or sometimes it’s required from a medical point of view to have a footboard. Rest it’s optional, about your peace of mind; sometimes it’s about the theme of the bed set or bedroom, sometimes it might be for stylish and aesthetic looks or classical, traditional styles.

What are the benefits of having a footboard?

Footboards keep your feet in a proper position. It creates a symmetrical balancing glance in the bedroom aligned with the headboard. Footboards add an aesthetic appearance to a bed frame. For medical use, it has several purposes.

How do I choose the right Footboard?

Considering various factors like room size and bed size, style and design, material and finish, height, storage and functionality, texture, coordination with the headboard, and most of all, personal preferences, one can choose the right Footboard.

What materials are used for the Footboard?

There are many materials used to make a footboard, mainly:

  • Wood
  • Metal upholstered
  • Leather and faux leather
  • Wicker or rattan
  • Glass or mirrored panels
  • Practical board or MDF

What is the height of a standard footboard?

Standard footboard height is 24″, and lower footboards range from 14″ to 17 “.

What is the purpose of a headboard and Footboard?

Both have several purposes: functional and aesthetic, support, comfort, visual balance, bedding movement, noise and insulation, etc.

Are footboards in style?

Footboards are always in style; it’s all about one’s choice whether you opt for it or not.

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