How To Build A Full Size Loft Bed


How to build a loft bed. This is for a full size bed. Everything you need to build it as well as the SketchUp file for you to modify as needed is here. The foot board side is a full ladder that will support adults with no problem. All of the slats are 2×4s with a small rabbet to fit in a sub rail. This creates a strong base for the mattress to sit in. After the bed was completed I stood on one slat and it supported my weight (170lbs) with no problem. The headboard side has 3 shelves below with a plywood back to add lateral support. The frame is mounted at 5’ off the ground. I used a lot of scraps for this but total cost should be around $120 depending on location. A shopping list, all diagrams, the SketchUp file, and 6 videos covering the build.

How To Build A Loft Bed

Please use the included diagrams to verify shopping list before you purchase materials.
SHOPPING LIST (Q=QUANTITY):
2X4X8 Q3
2X4X10 Q9
2X6X8 Q4
2X6X10 Q1
2X6X12 Q2
2X8X10 Q2 OR 2X8X16 Q1
1/4” PLYWOOD Q1
2-1/2” KREG SCREWS Q78
2-1/2” SCREWS OF CHOICE Q76
WOOD GLUE OPTIONAL

UPDATE: I received one picture of it in its new home!

full size loft bed

 

Full Size Loft Bed

Full Size Loft Bed

Full Size Loft Bed

Full Size Loft Bed

Full Size Loft Bed

OVERVIEW Full Size Loft Bed Full Size Loft Bed

 

SketchUp file and diagrams:

 

 

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46 Comments

  1. Mr.E

    would the kreg screw joints withstand use abuse and the test of time from a 170lbs man over the years or would carriage bolts make a world of difference?

    1. Jay Bates

      Hello Mr.E. The pocket hole screws are only used for the frame and ladder construction. The frame is attached to the ends with regular 3″ or 2-1/2″ screws. You could substitute those for carriage bolts if you prefer.

  2. Daniel Rourke

    Hi Jay. I have three questions for you if you don’t mind my asking.

    – The dimensions of my mattress are 75 x 54 x 8 inches. Will I need to make adjustments to this build?
    – Will this bed support my girlfriend and I (approx. 280 lbs.) ? If so would you recommend adding the triangles to be safe?
    – What type(s) of lumber should I use for this build?

    By the way Jay I wanted to thank you for making such an awesome in-depth tutorial. I’ve searched for hours looking for high quality builds and yours seems to be of the highest quality. Thank you for donating your time to the community and I greatly appreciate it.

    1. Jay Bates

      Hello Daniel.
      -The interior measurements of the frame are 77 x 54 so you will have an inch on either side of the top and bottom but the left and right sides will be snug. This may be a good or bad thing. It will probably help keep the sheets on but may be a pain in the rear to change the sheets out.
      -It should support the weight. I put all of my weight on one slat and it supported me just fine. Remember that when you put a mattress on it the weight will be distributed to many slats. I would recommend adding some triangular support. I didn’t, and the owner of the bed says its still solid. But I would still add them just to be safe.
      -Whatever lumber you want :) I used cheap construction grade pine from Lowes.
      And thank you :)

      1. Daniel

        Jay I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart brother. Thank you so much for what you do. I wanted to send you some pics of my bed. It is about 90% complete. I still need to sand and stain or paint. I love my bed and this is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. I share a bedroom with a roommate of mine and now we have “so much room for activities” (Step Brothers reference lol). This is one of the sturdiest pieces of furniture I have laid eyes on. For some extra support I mounted the bed to four studs in the wall and I added carriage bolts to all four corners. This thing does not move at all (even when me and my girl are getting it on lol ). Thank you again bro, you have really changed my life!!!

        https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B89mCvHhCABJflBRejg3bDJfSkhzcTc3SHpTZ0REeEk4cl9aYml6WmtHa2lhbnNNT2lnOGM&authuser=0

  3. josh

    Building this bed for my daughter as a Christmas gift. So far the project is smooth sailing for a novice wood worker as myself. I am painting all the wood pieces first and then joining them in her room for final assembly. Thanks for the great write up and detailed videos!

  4. Tt

    Jay, thank you for taking the time to share your plans and videos for this loft bed. I have almost completed the project for my son’s 10 year birthday. The details you provided made this project go much smoother than it could have. I’ll post a picture later if i can figure out how to do so.

    TT

  5. Ted Baltz

    Wow and whoops!
    Guess I could’ve just typed in those key words lol
    Thanks man this is great
    http://www.baltzconcrete.com is my fam biz so please if ya ever have any questions concrete related at the new house I’d be happy to help
    Even if it’s a bid that seems high I can at least tell ya if your getting ripped or not..it’d be nice to return the favor…thanks again look forward to your videos this year

    1. Jay Bates

      Whatever wood you want. “Best” is subjective to the person building it. I’m a cheapskate so for me the best wood is the cheapest wood.

  6. Deana

    I would really like to make this for a queen size bed. The mattress is 60×80. What are your suggestions for how many inches I should allow over the size of the mattress?

    1. Mikaela

      Hi Deana, I’m thinking about building a queen too; did you end up doing it?? Is so, let me know how it went! Also, do you have the measurements you used??

  7. Rusty

    Jay – looking for the bunk bed diagrams – I like it very much and would like to build for my grandsons

  8. Josh Luther

    i don’t know if you’ve seen Ana White’s loft bed design or not, but I can’t decide if I am gonna use hers or your design for my son’s loft bed. It will be getting built this year. Just waiting for it warm up a bit here in southeastern Michigan.

    But Ana White has one with a set of stairs with a landing on one end. I think she ended up using 1x for the slats. I will probably end up going with your design because it looks to be a bit sturdier and simpler to build. Then I will incorporate the stairs and landing from her design. It will be a twin size.

    Thanks Jay and love the website and videos!

    1. Phillip Scott

      I’ve been looking around at beds and plans. Ana White does have some good lioking designs, but I think Jay’s is what I’ve been looking for. It has the backbone to survive my kids. And for stairs, I saw a set on Etsy, just 2×8 stacked boxes regressing as they rise.

  9. Joe

    Jay would you be able to send me your sketches with the material list to my email. I cant really see them on my computer

    Thanks Joe.

  10. chandler

    Hi Jay, I’m looking to build something similar to this for my house next year, but I was a little concerned about the max weight it could hold. Do you think your design could hold a max of 300 lbs?

  11. chandler

    Awesome! Thank you!
    Also is there any chance you could tell generally what topics and portions of the build are covered in each of the videos? My internet is painfully slow and it takes forever and a day for a video to load. That way I know exactly what video I need to watch if I get tripped up.

  12. chandler

    Do using pocket screws increase the structural soundess of the final product in this project or is it a matter of personal preference?

  13. Ben

    How easy/hard would it be to add a desk for a computer against the back (with the ladder to the left and the bookshelves to the right)?

  14. tom

    Built the bed and it came out great, I made some minor adjustments with the railings and the height where the platform set on the legs. Cost was about $150 with paint.

  15. Keith Brown

    Hi Jay, I’m looking forward to building this project soon. I see you are keeping up with the questions here so if you’ll permit me I’ll ask one of my own. Would doing the project in only 2×4 make it too weak? I’ll be taking the easy way out with the mattress support slats and just use 1×4 or plywood. Also since I’m living in Japan the local home centre lunber selection is pretty meager. They have 2 2×4 products available one is SPF and the other is “white wood” any idea what that might be or how it would affect project strength? Ok, that was two questions sorry.

    1. Jay Bates

      Hey Keith. SPF means Spruce Pine or Fir. I find White Wood to generally be white pine in my experience. Using 2×4’s for the legs wouldn’t make much of a difference but having that much span for the bed frame might sag slightly. All I can say is go for it, test it out, and if it needs additional bracing you can always add more later. I can’t give you a definite “Yes it will be fine” as I’ve never built it that way. My thinking would be that it wouldn’t be a problem but…..

  16. Dan McCarthy

    hi jay im trying to build this loft bed for my step daughter and i went down and bought all the material you have in your listing and i rewatched your videos and it seems to me that you are doing it with diffrent sized lumber than what you have in your material list and im trying to figure out where each piece of lumber is being used so i dont waste any or am i missing something

  17. Austin

    hey jay, awesome videos. I want to build this for myself and found a lot of wood to be subjective at the hardware store and it was very soft white pine wood. what type of wood do you recommend for this build? the same wood they use for putting behind drywall ?

  18. Allison nightingale

    Hi! I want to do this soon, but at six fit in the air. Would it affect anything else Exocet the legs?

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