Instructables
Build a queen size platform bed on the cheap, with storage space underneath, for less than $30, in about an hour, and learn some basic carpentry skills in the process. Please read the "design objective" below.

For similarly easy shelving plans, see: http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-easy-low-waste-bookshelves/
For similarly easy dining table plans, see:http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-easy-low-waste-trestle-table/

As a professional carpenter, furniture maker, and designer/builder, I see a lot of home carpentry projects that are grossly overbuilt and over-engineered. One of the goals of this Instructable is to avoid the unnecessary overbuilding that I frequently see on this site, and that I see every day working in the residential construction industry. Many of the building methods we (in the US) use today are horribly wasteful despite the advances that have been made in materials science and structural engineering, because most people in the residential building industry, from architects and engineers to carpenters, are mired in tradition, doing things a certain way "because that is how it has always been done", rather than consulting the best available science, or even questioning their own assumptions about "the right way to do it". I don't intend to knock tradition, either. Many of the tricks, techniques, and tools that I use daily are definitely "old-school", but seem to have been forgotten.

This bed is designed to be cheap, lightweight, sturdy, and produce a minimum of waste, using a minimum number of tools. It is intended for use with a futon or mattress without a boxspring and provides storage space underneath sized to fit common cheap plastic storage bins. It also provides good ventilation for the futon or mattress, something that I learned was necessary after my expensive futon grew a large mold/mildew patch on the underside. For those who might think that this bed is flimsy, my wife and I use it nightly, and I am 6'-5" and weigh 240lbs. I wouldn't jump up and down in the middle of it, but it will easily take any other abuse you commit upon it. When I calc it out, this bed uses 23.16 board feet of lumber (1 bd.ft.= 144 cu.in.), or 1.93 cubic ft., and produces only 42 cubic inches of waste, about 1.25%.

Instructables member frazeeg has posted a SketchUp model here.
 
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partrician5 years ago
i loved this project. i had to go to the home depot to get the lumber though but i got home and had this done within 2 hour. now i want to do the headboard mod with the nigth stand extension. i have already mapped it out and plan to install a drawer under the night stand exstension. thank you so much for such a cool project!!! i have saved a ton of money!!
tealeaf935 years ago
Well looks like im not the only one that has built one of your beds and liked it. Thanks a lot for posting this instuctable. I've saved a ton of money.
aeray (author)  tealeaf935 years ago
You're welcome, and thanks for the comment. I enjoyed (and still enjoy) making it and posting it. Enjoy your bed.

Okay, so I have no idea if this question was asked or answered in the nearly 800 responses to this instructable so here we go! What is the internal distance, on a QUEEN, between the feet (given the setup of 1x4s) from the head to the foot of the bed?

aeray (author)  stephanie.bradl3 days ago
62-1/2" or 64", depending on which way the legs are oriented.
jetskeg5 days ago
aeray (author)  jetskeg3 days ago
Did you intend to leave a blank comment?
erick.reinikka made it!9 days ago

I made two twin size versions of this design for my girls and it went very well. I used three 12 foot 1"x4" for the slats and legs; and I used two 8 foot 2"x4" for the frame. I cut 12 slats to 36 inches out of 3 of the 1x4s. My 1x4 lumber was 1" over the 12 feet so I could make the slats to a full 3' and still make up for the width of the saw blade and had very little waste. The frame was cut out of each 8 footers to 29" and 66 ⅞", one from each piece. This made up for the saw blade thickness and left nothing but sawdust. I cut the legs to 18" out of the 1x4 for minimal waste, but then cut them to 15" because we thought the legs were too long for our purposes.

I assembled the legs with pocket holes using a Kregg Jig. Totally optional, but I liked the way they turned out. I glued all joints to make them strong.

I spaced the slats at 2.75". I made the marks at 2.5, 5.25,8.75, 11.5, 15, 17.75, 21.25, 24, 27.5, 30.25, 33.75, 36.5, 40, 42.75, 46.25, 49, 52.5, 55.25, 58.75, 61.5, 65, 67.75 and followed the same directions you had for slat placement.

I sanded and put a clear coat of varnish on them and they turned out great. It was a very economical bed frame for my daughters.

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aeray (author)  erick.reinikka3 days ago
Looks good. I use a Kreg jig a lot, often to minimize clamping. For this project though, I figured most folks wouldn't have one and wouldn't want to buy one.
bif.skipman10 days ago

I have built the queen size. With the exception of cutting down the leg height, it is perfect. Now I want to build a California King size. I know you say several times in these comments that the plans for this are in previous comments, but I've looked through pages of comments without finding anything. Can you post again the cal king adjustments for this wonderful bed frame?

aeray (author)  bif.skipman3 days ago
I think they are on page 4 or 5.
airdonut4113 days ago

Great instructions! This was very easy to follow even for a novice. I extended the legs to 30" (using 1x6's) for a ton of storage under the bed. Total build cost me $75 using #2 or better wood. I changed the plans a little bit because I could only use 12' 1x4's, and ended up with only about 12" of total waste!

aeray (author)  airdonut413 days ago
Good on ya for minimizing the waste.
wmecole made it!22 days ago

My fiance and I slept in our new bed last night! So comfortable and sturdy. We love the extra height for storage under the King size foam/memory foam mattress. I used instructions for King size 4 or 5 pages into the comments which worked great. The center 2x4 is flush with the frame and has the fifth leg attached. No hard spots that I can feel. Doing it again I would probably look at 2x4 legs just out of laziness. I'm not sure how long the bed took to build. I don't have a lot of experience so took my time reading instructions. Great experience and end result.

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aeray (author)  wmecole3 days ago
Thanks for the photos.
jasimeone made it!6 days ago

Thank you, very clear instructions and a fun project. This is a cheap bed to make but it doesn't look cheap and is really solid.

Lumber costs at the Home Depot have gone up quite a bit so the cost is more. I also had to buy shorter lengths to get the lumber home. My scrap was a little more but still not bad.

I had to make this to fit in a very small bedroom in a Manhattan apartment so I made the following changes.

Full size bed.

Shorter legs for a lower height.

Even with the lower height there is still plenty of space under the bed for storage boxes.

This is the first time I used Torx screws and so glad I did. My local Home Depot carries them but finding what you really need is always a challenge in the Big Orange Box. I first searched on their website and it gave me the actual stock location in the store. I have gone on to use Torx screws to remodel our wood radiator covers which came out awesome.

This bed was for my daughter and my son has asked for one as well.

Thanks again

platform bed.jpg
aeray (author)  jasimeone3 days ago
I'm sure that lumber is also just more expensive in Manhattan, compared to Idaho or Montana. Thanks for the photo, and post an Instructable about your radiator covers.

I've built this bed twice now. First was a twin in my spare room for when my little brother (6'5'' 280#) came for an extended visit. The added height made it perfect for getting in and out of bed with his bum knees. That bed is a little over a year old and still extremely sturdy.

The 2nd time we decided on a king for the hunting cabin. We added an extra 3 inches in height, a center brace, and used 2x4's in place of the 1x4's on the legs. We needed the height to store multiple totes under the bed. I can honestly say that was the best sleep I've ever had up there.

The 1st bed I did by myself. I'm a 5'4'', 40yr old with pretty bad arthritis, so I'm sure it took me longer than some, but it was completed in a day. The 2nd bed, My daughter and I pre-cut the wood at home and put it together at the cabin, she's 14, so if we can do it, you can too.

aeray (author)  bobbie142433 days ago
Thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad they are working out for you.
EmilyL16 days ago

After reading threw all the steps as well as others comments i think this is a project i can undertake. However, maybe i missed it, but once fully built, about how much room is under bed. I ask because i have bins of clothes just sitting in my apartment needing a place for storage. Thanks! can't wait to get started.

aeray (author)  EmilyL15 days ago
The bed will have 18-1/4" of clearance beneath it, and will easily fit six large 10-12 gallon (common in the US) plastic storage totes underneath it.

So what would you charge to build and ship one to NY state???

aeray (author)  cara.j.bilbao26 days ago
I shipped one to Florida four years ago for about $75 total. Really, though, just find a local handyman or carpenter and give them the plans and the material. It will be cheaper. And, there is really no reason you couldn't build one yourself: that is the whole point of the Instructable.
MarkL31 month ago

Thanks for taking the time to explain this. Mine came out really nice. Lumber and screws for mine cost about $50 though. Maybe wood is more expensive in western North Dakota.

aeray (author)  MarkL31 month ago
Viva la Bakken! I'm sure the oil patch isn't helping material prices at all. I also published this 'ible six years ago, when I was in ID, and prices have gone up since then.
adam16660 made it!1 month ago

I built this in a twin size. I wasn't sure if the leg connection might get loose over time so I beefed it up by building it out of 2x4s and cut a 45 degree beveled notch. I then added an angled brace and 2- 3" lag bolds to finish it off. This is probably the strongest leg connection I have ever made. Very solid with no movement whatsoever and only cost a little less than 10 dollars extra.

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NikDan1011 months ago
I want to build this bed but in a king size- what would the measurements be? This is an awesome idea.

I am also interested in building a king size. but was wondering if it would need extra support for the size?

aeray (author)  horrorcraft1 month ago
King measurements are given several times in the comments.
ASim911 month ago

Hi aeray,

Maybe a dumb question but do you know what the dimensions would be for a full-size bed frame?

Thanks!

aeray (author)  ASim911 month ago
Just make the slats 5" shorter. Everything else is the same.
NickR11 month ago

First off, wonderful tutorial. Very easy to follow and I plan on building my own in the near future. My only issue is that I would like to be able to build this to withstand a box spring and mattress, as well as my wife and I. I know you say in the tutorial that this platform bedframe is designed for something light like a futon mattress, so what would you recommend I do to alter the design so it will accommodate the added weight? Thank you so much and great tutorial once again!

aeray (author)  NickR11 month ago
Yep. No rail would be necessary if you use the non-skid shelf liner (or toolbox drawer liner) between the slats and box spring.
aeray (author)  NickR11 month ago
The weight isn't an issue. The futon we use is probably heavier than many mattress/box spring combos. The issue is that the edges of the box spring need to be supported, so the slats need to be a full 60" long. The overall length of the bed can stay the same though. And, unless you want a really really tall bed, make the legs about 10" shorter.
NickR1 aeray1 month ago

So essentially shorten the legs, lengthen the slats, and add some kind of "rail" around the slats using a 1x4 or something to keep the box spring from sliding off the slats?

IanS11 month ago

Amazing plans, just what I have been looking for. I am thinking about making the slats fit the bed at 60x80 instead of an overhang, I don't mind busted shins. I worry about the mattress moving when making my bed and having to re-center it. Also I plan to make the legs attachable with bolts for easy removal/moving. Would the original box of 2x4s be okay with the added length of slats? Or should I adjust that as well? Any recommendations on bolts for the legs?

aeray (author)  IanS11 month ago
The longer slats should be fine. Bolt-wise, I would use (4) 3/8" through bolts (NOT carriage bolts) with fender and lock washers on both sides. 4 per leg. I wouldn't bother though, removing bolts is no easier than removing screws. I've moved my bed five times now and just unscrewing them works fine. To keep the mattress from slipping, just put a piece of rubberized shelf liner under it.
bravewave2 months ago

I've built every bed in our home over the last 15 years, resizing as the kids got older. I even built "the amazing fold up bunkbeds" which played to rave reviews from friends. But nothing I built has been so well received as your bed plan. It's simply, elegant, efficient and nice to look at with cabinet grade pine even left untreated. Thought I'd thank you and share that as I build another one on request from a tenant in one of our rental properties. I reviewed your bookshelves (which I will certainly build) and your trestle table (looks great and simple.) I most appreciate the lack of waste as your plans are so efficient. Keep 'em coming!

Rileykj752 months ago

Hi there- I know this is an older instuctable, but I just wanted to say thanks! Never built a thing before, and your directions were amazing. I knew nothing of screws before I read your post, and I cannot believe what a difference it makes! It was like drilling into butter. So, thanks much. I now have some skills (very small amount) but more confindence!

jpolfer made it!2 months ago

Thank you for this plan! I adapted it - its built for xl-twin, I used 2x6s for the box, 2 inch gap for cross members, and no legs. Your joinery explanation was very helpful for me. This was my first woodworking project ever, and it worked out well. The platform has great stability and contributes to a great night's sleep. I also made a small nightstand using left over wood and the same joinery technique to go along with it.

bed_platform.jpgnightstand.jpg
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