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.
I need to make this for a full-size mattress. How do I re-size measurements so that I don't have to make it twice??:)
wahela10 days ago

I made a twin size one of these several years ago, put a futon mattress on it. and most people would rather sleep on that, than on a bed, they say its very comfortable. I now have a couch (not so great when I bought it), that is starting to fall apart, my dogs sleep on the back cushions, etc. so its ready to go to the curb. I'm thinking of making another twin size, put a back on one side, make some pillows and velcro them onto the back of the futon/couch. It would be sturdier and not so likely to be beaten to heck by the dogs (who bark at the mailman out that window. )

As for the Torx screws, I've been buying ONLY Torx screws now for years. My local lumberyard has every size and length needed. And the lumberyard employees agree with me. Life is so much better with a torx on my powerdrill/screwgun.

PadraicR13 days ago

Absolutely perfect for what I needed. Lumber is a bit more expensive here in CT, but the whole thing was still under $75. I trimmed down the legs a bit but still left enough room for some storage. Done in about 90 min! Thanks a million!

rcastag made it!18 days ago

I had to change up the dimensions etc for my girls. I ended up making two single platform beds.

My saw broke, so I was actually able to make a cutting plan that only required me to make one cut with a hand saw.

Thanks for sharing..

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tinamcruz19 days ago

How do you think I could adjust fire to make for my California king mattress? I want to do this today and surprise hubby before he gets home from hunting. Thanks

aeray (author)  tinamcruz19 days ago
King size adjustments are given several times in the comments. There are several pages of them to wade through; they might be on page 4 or 5 but I am not sure.
BarbaraK1 made it!20 days ago

Terrific! Made 26.5 by 8 foot day bed with these plans. Used 1by4s for frame as well. Like the way these plans have the mattress wider and longer than the frame-prevents baseboard and electrical plug in problems.

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BarbaraK1 made it!20 days ago

I used these terrific plans to make a long narrow day bed. It's very sturdy and light weight too. I switched to 1 by fours for the frame as well, as suggested by my lumber store. I think its terrific to have the mattress a larger size ( just and inch in my case) than the frame supporting it- prevents issues with baseboards and, in my case, electrical plug ins.

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CraftyGemini made it!23 days ago

Hi aeray! I've made two of these platform beds now and I wanted to thank you for the thorough instructions and plans! I created a video tutorial on this project for my DIY YouTube channel and I link to your plans so I hope you get more visits on this page from it. You can check out the 3-part video series here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tQRwdP6gnQ

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CatBird24 days ago

These instructions are great and the amount of comments and luck people have had making this is impressive! I just got back from my local lumber yard with my wood order. My husband wants to make sure it is strong so we are going with 15 slats instead of 11, and the guy at the lumber yard recommended going 2x4 for the whole project and 4x4 for the legs. Having read the comments I know this is overkill and I feel we were over-sold to buy Standard and Better Kiln-dried SPF. I have a few questions before we begin the process.

1) I was wondering if there will be any issues or anything we should take into account using 2x4 for the slats.

2) For the 4x4 legs we are going to do two screws on each side to connect it to the frame. Will these 4 screws (#8 3") be enough to hold the legs in place?

3) Any advice on handling strong-willed salespeople who didn't seem to care when I said "The people of the internet said the bed is strong enough made with 1x4 pine."

I'll add pics with the finished project and thanks again for making this seem doable!

aeray (author)  CatBird23 days ago
Yep, leave the gap. It doesn't really have to be 3/4" either, that is just a convenient size.
aeray (author)  CatBird23 days ago
1) other than the added cost, and need for longer screws, no.

2) yes.

3) "If you are such a skilled and experienced carpenter/woodworker/engineer, why are you stuck selling cut-rate inferior lumber at a big-box store for barely above minimum wage?"
CatBird aeray23 days ago
Thank you so much for your quick reply!!! I'll try to remember your words exactly as I enter the world of diy furniture!

I have one more question- with using 4x4 for the legs (cut to 21 inches). Do I still give it the 3/4" gap to prevent squeaking per the original directions? Thanks again!
NickiC29 days ago

I'm curious - you say it is intended to be used with a mattress without a boxspring. Does that mean it should not be used with one, or just that it is able to be used without one? I have (and want to keep) a boxspring, but I have been searching high and low for a SIMPLE diy bed frame, and this is definitely the best one I've found.

aeray (author)  NickiC29 days ago
Don't use it with a box spring, because it won't support the very outer edge of it, and will damage it. If you make it slightly bigger, so the finished dimensions match your box spring, it will work as long as you make sure the box spring doesn't slide around.
NickiC aeray29 days ago
Makes sense, thanks for your quick reply!
paul.carleton made it!1 month ago

Excellent, Simple, I made two twin beds, reduced the size to fit and keep a few inches of mattress overhang. Making two took little longer, I have basic framing skills, I pictured all the tools and materials I used, I found using the countersink drill reduced the splitting on the legs, made the legs 26" long for storage. I added braces just A for effort, and to make up for the height. Frame is SOLID, yet light.

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aeray (author)  paul.carleton1 month ago
Looks good. Thanks for the photos. You might have to build some stepstools, though.
Yeah, I think I'm going to get some plastic molded stools. Can't find any light weight instructables.

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.bradl1 month ago
62-1/2" or 64", depending on which way the legs are oriented.
jetskeg1 month ago
aeray (author)  jetskeg1 month ago
Did you intend to leave a blank comment?
erick.reinikka made it!1 month 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.reinikka1 month 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.skipman1 month 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.skipman1 month ago
I think they are on page 4 or 5.
airdonut411 month 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)  airdonut411 month ago
Good on ya for minimizing the waste.
wmecole made it!2 months 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)  wmecole1 month ago
Thanks for the photos.
jasimeone made it!1 month 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

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aeray (author)  jasimeone1 month 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.
bobbie142431 month ago

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)  bobbie142431 month ago
Thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad they are working out for you.
EmilyL1 month 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)  EmilyL1 month 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.
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