My daughter has always had her own room, but envies her brothers' bunk bed. So I built her a loft bed that look likes a floating cloud, which made her happy and created a little more space in her room. It uses some of the design principles of the one-legged bunk bed I posted previously - namely using the walls as part of the frame. However, this one has a heavy duty combination ladder/bookshelf for support, rather than a single leg. It's built using simple joinery out of construction lumber (2x4 and 2x6) and plywood, it's incredibly solid, and it only cost about $150 to build.

And pretty much as soon as I'd built that one, my eldest son moved into a room of his own... and wanted a loft bed, too. His incorporates a second bookshelf, a desk, and a secret compartment, and is designed for someone with longer legs, more books, and who isn't fussed about sleeping on a cloud...

Note: $250 wooden commercial loft beds can be found, but they look pretty flimsy and won't have any storage. Metal ones are cheaper but also look a bit wobbly. Fancier ones can cost thousands.

Step 1: Design: loft bed #1

One end of the cloud loft bed (from here on in, #1) is a combination ladder/bookshelf. It's angled at a 4:1 ratio, which equals 14º away from vertical. It has six steps and six shelves, and can hold nearly three linear meters (10') of books. The bed is about as high off the ground as it can be and still retain head room above, with 8' ceilings (important so the occupant can sit up in bed).

The side of one of the beds is a stylized cloud. It's pretty cute for an eight-year old, but I have no illusions that a teenager will necessarily think it's just as cool, so I anticipate removing it and replacing it at some stage with some other design. The ladder and bookcase are pretty future-proof, I hope - it's quite comfortable for an adult to climb, and we all need storage for books.

Click on the icon below to download the SketchUp 3D design file for this loft bed, and use it as a starting point to design your own.

<p>is it possible to accomodate this project for a 3mt x 1.13 mt very small room? :\</p>
<p>That sounds more like a closet. I think it would be tough - it would pretty much fill the room...</p>
<p>How high would you mount the bed for a 7ft ceiling? </p>
<p>About a foot lower, i.e. 4' rather than 5' off the ground</p>
<p>is it possible to accomodate this project for a 3mt x 1.13 mt very small room? :\</p>
Thanks again! Finished the project today. My daughter is really excited!
<p>Nice! great job</p>
<p>Thanks so much for posting this! I'm about to start building it for my daughter, but wanted to make sure it fit the room well. The one thing I can't find in the plans is the height on the wall that you attach the bed at. Do you happen to know the height?</p><p>Again, thanks so much! --Greg</p>
<p>You're welcome. About 1450 mm, or a little under 5 ft.</p>
Well done YOU! Brilliant work. Think this could be adapted as a freestanding structure? I'm a renter, in California currently, and they're QUITE strict about building codes: if I were to DARE anchor something to the wall? Uh oh! Lol. Otherwise I can build what I like; it's furniture then. ;-)
<p>Wow, I can't believe the comments from &quot;thevaliantx,&quot; how obnoxious.</p><p>I plan to build two of these loft beds for my kids in the next few weeks and I appreciate the detail you have provided. Thanks and I'll update when they are completed.</p>
<p>I do have to grit my teeth a bit when responding sometimes, but for the most part people realize that this site is about &quot;here's what worked for me - use it as a starting point&quot; rather than &quot;here is the perfect plan, buy it from me!&quot;. Good luck with the build and it would be great if you posted photos after you're done.</p>
How deep are the bookshelves? Most of the plans online give you 6&quot; of space, which is silly. Visit any library and you'll find shelving at least a foot deep.
<p>They're made from 2x6s, so you guessed it, 6&quot;. Plenty enough for most paperbacks. If you need deeper shelves, build them accordingly. </p>
6&quot; would not be enough room for mpst of my books, and there is a reason why libraries have much deeper shelves. Adapt, my friend, as you seem to be suggesting. Why did you choose to go with such small shelves?
<p>Because the books you tend to take to bed with you are paperbacks, which fit just fine. If you're looking for shelves to showcase your big books, you should buy (or build) shelves like those you admire at the library.</p>
<p>Finally I took some <br>pictures of the bed I did 2 months ago. Total construction time was about 30h <br>on two weekends. Although it had been addressed in this manual I made some <br>mistakes that luckily didn't crash the project. </p><p>1st try to get construction <br>wood. It was twice the price so I decided to go for the one from the hardware <br>store which I thought I choose carefully. Not! The next time I'll pay the extra <br>money as the final result would have been nicer. </p><p>2nd I used <br>&quot;chipboard&quot; ?! instead of plywood for the little bit deformed cloud which was marked with black color. I <br>thought the final white color would cover it up later but even after 15 layers <br>of color it didn't disappear. So get that color off by sanding before painting! <br>We had to turn the cloud inside out so it's not seen anymore.</p><p>Anything else? We changed <br>the interconnections of the frame a little bit which you can see in the pictures. <br>Our room is almost 8 feet high and the bed fits perfect. Mrs. can get in and <br>out easily and loves the &quot;overhead&quot; window that is decorated with <br>some colorful lighting.</p>
<p>Great job!</p>
nice so cool
<p>cool! i like it!</p>
<p>Hi there! This looks great. I was looking to make a double loft bed (to fit 140cm wide mattress) do you think this construction would yield enough support? The mattress is quite deep and heavy too.</p>
<p>hello, trying to figure out how to attach the steps to the inside vertical board of the ladder, because I can't get the instructions to download. thanks!</p>
<p>The first loft bed uses a notch, which you can see pretty clearly without the download. For the second one, the one closest to the wall is notched and the 2x4 bedframe directly to the inside of the outside ladder leg. I've attached a picture from the rotated SketchUp file which hopefully makes it clearer.</p>
Oh my gosh, I have been wanting to buy a loft bed and I have a ton of books. This is the busy idea ever.
<p>Thank you so much for sharing this project. I've been looking for a way to utilize the space in my son's room for quite a while now and decided to go with a loft bed. But the pricing and overall layout of the beds just didn't work with what he and I were looking for. Plus, they're super pricey. I've never built anything in my life but your instructions give me hope that I can accomplish this task without fail. I do, however, have a few questions that you may have already answered previously. I just didn't see it. #1: Would you please explain what you mean by &quot;Make cutouts...,55 mm deep at its deepest point,...&quot; and #2: Where did you glue the small wedge? Thank you so much.</p>
<p>The 55 mm cut outs are to actually fix <br>the bed frame with/into the ladder. Please see images 1 and 2. In the <br>second image I added the SketchUp dimension which turns out to be 45.7 <br>mm instead of 55 mm. I guess it's up to you how deep you wanne go. Just <br>make sure your mattress will still fit and not overlap.</p><p>The wedges <br> are glued to the 3 stair posts at the very top. See my third image. You <br> have to click on &quot;show all 7 images&quot; within Step 5 to see all the <br>pictures he uploaded. There is the third image I attached which explains <br> it all. :-)</p><p>Btw I just got some new tools to do this bed as my old tools weren't safe anymore. Festool PS 420 and a Metabo KGS 254. </p>
<p>Thanks AndreasM3 - you're quite correct. Apologies to LD5, I've published 3 projects in the last week and this comment must have fallen through the cracks!</p>
Hey this is an awesome project. I've been planning this a while. But now I think I don't have the space to do it. I wanna do it with straight steps, and only 1.20m at it's highest point. I'm doing the four legs boring rectangle not your awesome project, but I wonder if it'll work. And I'm not sure how I should joint the legs and the frame...I'm often...you know... sleeping with company... So i don't want any accidents. Could you please advice? P.D. Thanks a los for your project. I had some great ideas
<p>Vertical steps will be harder to climb, but simpler to build (you don't need to worry about cutting angles than aren't 90&deg;). At 1.2 m, you will need less steps (probably 4 instead of 5). </p>
<p>Is this possible to construct with just hand tools and a power drill? Thanks! </p>
<p>Sure; it will be harder to get perfect joints but structurally it will be just fine.</p>
<p>How difficult would this be to disassemble if I needed to move it? </p>
<p>It's easy enough to break down into two large pieces: the bed base and the ladder. That just requires unscrewing the 4 lag screws into the wall plus the screws connecting the two parts. They're heavy and bulky but not difficult for 2 people to move. Not really designed for regular moving though - I'd go for something more lightweight.</p>
<p>Great instruction! I used your design (with a few tweaks) last year when I built my son's bed. He loves his &quot;big boy bed&quot;!</p>
<p>Great stuff! thanks for posting the photo.</p>
Can I have a queen mattress on?
<p>Sure, see step 4, and read the comments section - other people have done exactly that.</p>
<p>I made it! This is modified to fit a full size bed with a rail, headboard, desk, and bookcase. The headboard has a shelf that lifts up with a storage compartment underneath, and the light is just a strip light with a switch. The desk and bookshelves under the bead are not actually attached by they are a VERY tight fit. It was an awesome project for my daughter's birthday, and she loved it. We sent her to her grandparents for the weekend and did this along with repainting her room and some decorations. It was a hit!</p>
<p>Good stuff. I like the illuminated headboard &amp; many other tweaks you made. Thanks for posting!</p>
<p>Ended up making it the same way as the original. My ceilings are a bit lower so adjusted for that. Also, used this as an excuse to get a pocket hole jig which came in handy on the rail. Nice and sturdy, daughter loves it.</p>
<p>Looks great! Thanks for posting the picture.</p>
<p>Is there a lot involved to make this into a full size bed loft?</p>
<p>I made it into a full sized bed, and used 2x6s on the sides, more so that they would extend up and hold the matress in rather than because it needed it. The support under the bed is still 2x4 but I added an additional support so there are supports at the foot, head, and 2 in the middle. And yes, the Bookcase is much nicer! I'll add pictures also.</p>
<p>The design could accommodate a bigger mattress (double, queen, king) no problem, but you might like to use 2x6s in place of the 2x4s in the frame. Bonus: you'd get a much wider bookcase!</p>
<p>Looks great, do you think it would work to mount straight legs on the head end to make the bed free standing. I'm thinking a 2*6 mounted flush under the bed frame or flush on one side and outside on the other.</p>
<p>I did exactly that. I used 2x8 and extended them above the bed to create a headboard shelf area. The bed was pretty sturdy without mounting it to the wall, but did have some movement in it, so I ended up mounting it to the wall, though I probably didn't need to mount it as well. I will add a few images also.</p>
<p>Sure, but without bracing it will wobble... so you will probably end up screwing it to the wall anyway.</p>
<p>We did it! My son and I spent couple days on that fun project! One day was spent on building and other on assembling. Now the paint job awaits. Meantime we're looking for best color palette and looking forward to loft bed adjustments: rope ladders, swing, etc..</p>
<p>Looks great! Thanks for posting the pictures.</p>
<p>Did you use any verticals behind the cloud for extra support, or were they unnecessary? Thank you for the information and great design.</p>

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Bio: By day, I teach and document solutions to problems. By night... hmm. I should probably get out more.
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