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):
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!
SketchUp file and diagrams:
how much would this be dose anybody know
In new mexico the lumber and all that costs around 200
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?
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.
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.
-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 :)
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!!!
If that link is causes a problem you can also check out these =)
Looks great man! Glad it worked out for you and glad you have a sturdy place to get it on! haha!! That comment made my day man. Thanks :)
Can I adjust this bedframe for a queen size bed and can the loft be shorter to give more clearance between the top of the bed and the ceiling?
This is great! When you say full size loft bed- is that the size of the mattress?
yes its for a full size matress
Hi. Thanks for this.
Would you feel to need to anchor this to the wall at all once put in place? Thanks
Nope. But you could if you want to. It’s basically a bunk bed without the bottom bunk.
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!
Very cool! Let me know how it turns out!
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.
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
Great bed. What wood is best to build it with?
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.
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?
Some people like to make the frame exact for the mattress. I like to have one inch extra in both directions to aid in making up the bed.
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??
Jay – looking for the bunk bed diagrams – I like it very much and would like to build for my grandsons
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!
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.
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
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?
I can stand on one slat by itself and I weigh 200. I would bet that this bed will hold 1,000 pounds with no problem.
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.
Do using pocket screws increase the structural soundess of the final product in this project or is it a matter of personal preference?
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)?
It’s very easy to modify as you build. Experiment and have fun :)
Do you think I could make the legs out of 2×4 instead of 2×6?
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.
Would this work okay with 8′ ceilings?
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.
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…..
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
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 ?
Hey Austin. Any wood is fine for a loft bed. White pine would work just fine.
Hi! I want to do this soon, but at six fit in the air. Would it affect anything else Exocet the legs?
That should be fine.
This looks great, thank you. Do you have plans for a twin size loft just like this? Is there a reason you didn’t continue the bookshelf up to have a shelf at the head of the bed? Thanks
How would you frame this bed if you didn’t want to have legs for support? I have a 10′ x 3 1/2′ area I want to create a loft in from wall to wall and attach to the studs on 3 walls.
Thanks for these plans! I am looking at building one for my son, but we are wanting the clearance to be somewhere in the 64″ – 68″ range. He has a 10′ ceiling, so top clearance isn’t an issue. Would you recommend any support options to accommodate the higher bed?
Hi. I am not wood working inclined lol but attempting this with my better half. Where do the sun rails come from !?!
Thank you for posting this! It’s exactly what I was looking for to build a loft for my son’s room!
I am thinking about building this for my son. I was wondering what was the distance from top of mattress to the ceiling. I measured from floor to ceiling and it is around 88 inches. So I am thinking I need to lower where the bed frame will sit.
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