Bookcase Headboard – Top Picks in Twin, Full, Queen & King size

by | headboards

This guide on choosing a bookcase headboard is planned to be a one-stop-shop for all the information you’ll ever need to get your money’s worth.

What you’ll see

We are a month late with this update because we wanted to make sure that was covered everything. So, no matter what you’re looking for in terms of size and materials, we’re confident you’ll find it here.

It took us this long because we needed in our statistical data to make specific recommendations.

That’s the first thing you’ll see – our top picks among bookcase headboards in all styles, colors & sizes (Twin, Full, Queen and King).

So let us get right to it.

bookcase headboard collage twin full queen king sizes

Bookcase headboard picks – info & sizing details – Queen, King, Full and Twin

palace imports solid woodheadboard bookcase queen

100 % Solid Wood Kansas

  • Colors: Mahagony, Honey Pine, Java
  • Sizes: Twin & Full
  • Material: 100 % solid pine
prepac sonoma headboard bookcase twin

Prepac Sonoma

  • Colors: Cherry, Warm Cherry, Drifted Gray, Washed Black
  • Sizes: Twin, Queen, King
  • Material: composite wood, laminated & MDF backer
sauder orchard hills headboard with bookcase queen size

Sauder County Line

  • Color: Salt Oak
  • Sizes: Full & Queen
  • Material: composite wood, laminated
sauder beginnings headboard twin size

Sauder Beginnings

  • Color: Dark Cinnamon Cherry
  • Size: Twin
  • Material: composite wood, thick laminate
sauder orchard hills headboard with bookcase queen size

Sauder Orchard Hills

  • Color: Carolina Oak
  • Sizes: Full & Queen
  • Material: composite wood, laminated
barrister malasian oak bookcase headboard queen

Barrister Bayport Flat Top

  • Color: Maple
  • Sizes: Twin, Full, Queen
  • Material: Plantation hardwood
prepac espresso full

Prepac Espresso

  • Color: Deep Espresso
  • Sizes: Full & Queen
  • Material: composite wood, laminated
sauder shoal white full size bookcase headboard

Sauder Shoal Creek

  • Colors: White, Soft White, Brown, Diamond Ash, Jamocha
  • Sizes: Twin, Full/Double, Queen
  • Material: laminated composite wood
south shore bookcase headboard vanilla white

South Shore Summer Breeze

  • Colors: Vanilla Cream, Chocolate
  • Sizes: 56 inches wide, 48 ” high
  • Material: laminated composite wood
south shore little treasures full solid wood headboard bookcase

South Shore Little Treasures

  • Colors: Country Pine
  • Sizes: Full
  • Material: laminated particleboard
south shore step on bookcase for mates beds

South Shore One Step

  • Colors: Pure Black, Chocolate, White
  • Sizes: Full
  • Material: laminated particleboard

Kansas solid wood bookcase headboard – Twin & Full

Most of the complaints we’ve seen while gathering data for this guide were about stability and longevity of the assembled headboard.

In those quality categories, solid wood pieces like this one always have an edge.

Solid pine top-to-bottom

It’s 100% solid pine available in 3 finishes (mahogany, cherry and java) and two sizes (twin & full).

Between the sizes and colors, it’s hard to imagine a room that one of the versions won’t be a good fit for.

kansas solid wood bookcases for bed front and back

Bottom line

All the other solid wood pieces that we looked at cost more and had lower user satisfaction numbers.

In terms of value for money it’s worth noting that this solid piece is in the same price range as most composites.

Prepac Sonoma bookcase headboard King

If you’re looking for a clean, minimal look and value for money, this classic Prepac Sonoma might be where your search ends.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s the most popular product on the list because it’s at the sweet spot between price and versatility in both size and color.

The only bookcase headboard in King size on the list

The Prepac Sonoma comes in Twin, Queen and King size. In fact, it’s the only King-sized bookcase board in the Top 10.

The twin is only available in white, while the Queen and King are available in 5 colors: white, cherry, warm cherry, drifted gray and washed black.

prepac sonoma headboard bookcase king
king size bookcase headboard prepac

Dimensions of the King Size

king size dimensions illustration

One caveat you should be aware of is that the Sonoma is freestanding, meaning that it doesn’t actually attached, but held in place by the weight of the bed.

Some people we talked to find this to be a plus because it’s easier to clean around the bed while others prefer fixed models. It’s a matter of practicality.

It’s just something to be aware of when it arrives without attachment hinges – it’s supposed to be like that.

The wood

It’s not a solid wood and one doesn’t expect to be in this price range. It’s composite wood with a thick, solidly crafted laminate.

Most of the complaints we’ve seen about this Sonoma are regarding two aspects that go hand-in-hand – assembly and structural integrity over time.

Like most pieces similar to Sonoma (composite wood), a bit of extra care while putting together pays dividends in the long run. If the screws are not properly aligned and angles are not right, it might affect how stable the final assembly is.

prepac sonoma gray front view
washed black sonoma

Bottom line

If the number of reviews is any indication, this is currently by far the most popular bookcase headboard on Amazon with 1,000s of owners sharing their experiences.

Sauder County Line bookcase headboard Queen / Full

At the time of the last update to this guide, this Sauder County Line is one of the highest numbers in the category of user satisfaction. Granted, the number of reviews it has is currently nowhere near as high as, say, that of the Prepac Sonoma.

It’s only natural because this Sauder comes in only one color (salt oak) and it’s not as versatile as some of the other pieces of the list in terms of color scheme of the room.

For  queen and full size beds

It’s designed for a Queen of Full Bed.

What do we especially liked about it is the thickness of the side boards in the frame and the minimal yet practical segmentation of the shelves.

sauder county line with bookcase queen
sauder county salt oak full

Bottom line

If the salt oak finish works for your intended space, you can see all the details of this Sauder by following the link below.

Twin bookcase headboard

Sauder Beginnings

The Sauder Beginnings belongs to the top 3 pieces in terms of user satisfaction numbers.

Furthermore, Sauder goes out of their way to stress how much lower the return and replace numbers are.

All the statistics we looked at do confirm the advertising claims about this Sauder. With that said, we’re not sure why the company is not offering it in more size and color choices.

It’s only available in dark cinnamon cherry and Twin size.

sauder beginnings headboard twin

Sauder Orchard Hills

Sauder Orchard Hills is one of the most popular pieces on the list.

Again, Sauder stresses that the Orchard Hills have significantly lower return rates compared to similar headboards.

The design is minimal and can work with most spaces, from modern to traditional. Of course, the fact that it only comes in Carolina Oak is a limiting factor.

Dimensions

It’s 62.75 inches long and 40 5/8 inches high.

Total height of the shelves is 10 7/8 inches with the central shelf of 29.25 “.

sauder orchard hills

Solid wood bookcase headboard Queen by Barrister

Finding a solid wood headboard bookcase in Queen size has proven to be a more difficult task than we anticipated. That’s why this Barrister is an amazing find.

We had to dig a bit deeper around carpentry forums, but once we stumbled upon it was a dear in headlights moment.

We were taken back by the price range first and foremost. Once we researched more, we found some answers.

It’s made of plantation hardwood. This is a medium density hardwood that you typically find on rubber wood plantations.

This type of wood is also known as Malaysian Oak. Widespread use of Malaysian Oak in furniture is yet to enter the mainstream – that’s the most likely explanation for the low price of this piece.

solid wood bookcase headboard queen

If this was the ‘80s, we could talk about the susceptibility of Malaysian Oak to fungus or insects. It’s been 40 years since manufacturing treatments were developed to protect the sensitive wood.

One would think that 4 decades would be enough for the industry to catch up, but this piece is proof that it’s yet to happen.

Talking about furniture industry trends is besides the point here. The point is that this Barrister offers the quality of solid wood at a price range of composites.

Prepac Espresso bookcase headboard Queen / Full

If you’re looking for a more intricate design (read: more shelf space) this slanted piece might be right for you.

Size

Total height adds up to 55.75 “. The width of 65.75 makes a good fit for Queen and Full beds.

The central storage space measures 29.75 x 16.75 inches, with three smaller separated shelves on top of it and some generous space on the sides.

As you can see in the images, it has more than enough space to organize both your books and smaller stuff like alarm clocks or boxes.

Slanted design

In terms of design, what separates this Prepac is the slanted front. The bottom shelf is 10.25 inches, while the highest self is 6.5.

Again, the limiting factor is the color since it only comes with an espresso finish. In the color works for you, you can read more about it below.

prepac espresso full sized headboard with storage for books
prepac espresso full size

Sauder Shoal Creek

The first thing that stands out about the Sauder Shoal Creek are the drawers.

If you have any knick-knacks that belong in the bedroom but you don’t want them displayed this Sauder might be right for you.

While the width is similar to most bookcase headboards for Full and Queen beds (64 inches), the Sauder Shoal Creek is the lower and not as imposing.

Size & color

Measured from the bottom to the top shelf, it’s 41 7/8 inches. In the central storage area is 11.5 inches high and 28.75 inches wide.

It comes in five colors: white and soft white, brown, diamond ash gray and Jamocha.

The best we can describe Jamocha – it’s somewhere between dark brown and black (see image).

sauder soal creek headboard with bookcase and drawers
sauder soal queen full

South Shore Summer Breeze bookcase headboard Full

The South Shore Summer breeze clearly stands out in terms of design, with the dominant top arch.

One look at it and it should be clear enough whether it can work for your room.

It’s available in two colors – chocolate and vanilla cream.

Dimensions and weight

Height – 48 “, width – 56 “, depth 9.25 “.

It weighs 58 lbs.

south shore vanilla cream headboard

South Shore Little Treasures

The South Shore Little Treasures is one of the pieces on the list that will obviously work primarily with rustic spaces.

The country pine finish with knotted patterns is what defines the look.

Design & sizing

The design relies on straight lines and right angles, which gives it a simple and minimal “feel.”

It’s 57 inches wide, 36 1/8 “ high and 9 inches deep. The biggest (central) shelf measures 23 x 9 1/8 “.

Little Treasures full size bokcase headboard

South Shore Step One – Full size

The South Shore Step One is clearly designed to be a fit for modern spaces.

The shelves separation is not as intricate. The total with 56 inches is simply separated into three shelves, each 17 3/4 inches wide and 14 5/8 inches high.

Total height is 40 1/8 inches.

In spite of being minimal, it doesn’t look boring – the top arch is a nice designer’s touch.

pure black full size headboard for book storage

Reference info on bookcase headboards

In this section of the guide we’ll offer some insights and tips on what to think about when choosing a bookcase headboard.

We’ll also go over some information you might find useful if you decide to make one on your own.

Composite or solid wood

As you saw in our analysis above, composite wood is more commonly used for headboard bookcases than solid. Our list of top 10 includes only 2 solid wood pieces and one of them is not classic wood but Malaysian Oak otherwise known as para wood.

The reason is that composite is much easier to work with and assemble. However, all composite’s are not created equal so, in the following section, we’ll take a look of the different types we saw used for the pieces.

Before we get talking about densities and the manufacturing process let us answer a basic question.

What is wood composite in the first place?
recycled wood types used for bookcases

We all know the type of “wood” but we don’t know much about how it’s made, where it comes from or how to judge its quality. So, we’ll try to simplify the definition, it to make the rest of this section easier to understand.

A composite derives from wood and it’s created from fibers, compressed boards, strands and other pieces pressed together and binded. Apart from wood-only, a composite can be WPC (WP stands for wood-plastic), this means that fibers and thermoplastics are mixed together.

It might sound strange, but this type of “wood” doesn’t have to include wood derivatives at all. It can be made using vegetable fibers like sugarcane, wheat straw or hemp stock. These fibers and pressed together by adding binding chemicals.

Roughly speaking, all composite wood belongs to four categories: plywood, fiberboard, oriented strand board and laminated timber.

Bookcase headboard bare typically made from laminated timber – it’s the density that gives some pieces “an edge”

We did see some sub-par pieces made using fiberboard or strand board but, most of the time, companies use laminated timber to make headboard bookcases.

It’s at the sweet spot between malleability, density and sturdiness. In other words, it’s easier to work with and it assembled right, it holds shape pretty well…more on that in a minute.

The construction of headboard bookcases

If you look at the pieces and analyze the weak spots, the first thing to look at are the shelves (and drawers, if any). If we look at our statistics, most complaints about assembly are not regarding the frame but the shelves.

It’s only natural because the better pieces have a thicker frame that can withstand more force, both because the material is sturdier and more screws are applied to keep it in place. Shelves are a different story, they are much more sensitive.

sagging of bookcase shelves under weight

Shelf sagging

Even if you don’t know much about woodworking, intuitively, you understand the issue we’re talking about when we say “shelf sagging”.

If the screws that go in the sides of the frame and through the shelf are not perfectly aligned, the assembly can quickly become rackety, sag or move.

Some of the pieces that we saw above have pre-drilled holes for the shelves. With these, the bookshelves lay on metal notches that go into the holes.

Most of the woodworking experts we talked to preferred this design because it minimizes the chances of the bookcase shelves becoming loose in the short run or sagging in the long run.

Dimensional factors of the bookcases

There’s nothing more important for the structural integrity of the bookcase frame than the thickness of the shelf.

Let’s try and explain the factors in plain terms

The two other dimensional factors (width and length) are directly proportional. This simply means that you if you had 5% of with the bookcase shelf gains 5% in rigidity.

The same directly proportionate math applies to length – the shorter it is, the more rigid it will be.

Thickness is not so straightforward

Thickness of a bookcase has, mathematically speaking, exponential connection to sagging. If you make a shelf 10% thicker, it becomes 21% stronger.

What this means for you

With all other factors equal, thickness of the wood will have more impact on bookcase sagging.

Simply put, if you’re looking for longevity from your bookcase headboard, choose thicker lumber.

“Creep”

What we talked about above (sagging) only applies in the long run as the woods changes shape. There’s another woodworking term that describes the small changes is in shape (arching) as you put on weight (books) – creep.

Creep is only a secondary factor with the pieces that we listed above because, typically, the bookcase shelves are not long enough to see significant creep.

When is “creep” of the wood a factor?

It can, however, become a factor in the composite is low-density and creep forces are strong enough on the screw connections between the frame and the inner case.

For example, if you get a two-section headboard bookcase in King size, the length can be a factor if you substantially burden it.

Strength of the wood used for the bookcases

We’ll only briefly address solid wood strength because the range of choices is limited and the detailed analysis would be futile.

But, if you’re making a DIY headboard bookcase, it might be worth having some basic knowledge when choosing the wood. For our purposes, the more important part is the comparison between solid wood (primarily pine), medium density fiberboard (MDF) and plywood.

Solid

The harder to wood the stiffer and stronger the bookcase. Naturally, a piece made of solid wood will cost more, whether you’re making it yourself or buying it.

Medium density fiberboard

Probably the most cost-effective option, MDF is not as strong and stiff, but it does a good job for a bookcase.

Plywood

Compared to pine, plywood is about 64.5% “weaker.” On the other hand, it’s about 67% stronger than MDF.

For reference purposes, we are including comparison of wood strength for bookcases.

The numbers below describe how much weight a 36 x 12 x 1 “shelf can take and not sag more than 0.25 “.

  • Pine: 200 pounds
  • Oak: 313 pounds
  • Plywood: 129 pounds
  • MDF: 87 pounds

Rigidity of composites versus solid bookcase headboards

Man-made wood is nowhere near as strong as solid pieces. Let’s take the example of plywood – the rigidity is about 50% lower than hardwood (on average).

MDFs and particleboards are not a great choice if they are not strengthened. On their own, they are about 75% weaker than average wood. With this in mind, the thickness of the shelves (that we analyzed previously) and the quality of the laminate become crucial important.

This is where it all ties inour top picks in the table at the very top of this guide are superior to similar products from competitors in most of these aspects, especially in the craftsmanship of the laminate.

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The Sleep Studies team