Pipe Dream Bed





Introduction: Pipe Dream Bed

About: i r0x th' x0x & s0x [http://www.ladyada.net more stuff here]

An bed made from iron pipe. The design is simple yet sturdy. Not too pricy, simple to make, easy to adjust/disassemble, this bed will give your room an industrial feel.

Step 1: Acquire Materials

Here are the required materials

  • 1 1/2" schedule 40 iron pipe: Available at plumbing/hardware stores. Rather heavy. You can buy 10' lengths and then cut it yourself. Note that 1 1/2" pipe is not actually 1 1/2" in diameter. Its really closer to 1 7/8"!
  • Hacksaw/pipecutter/chopsaw: For cutting the pipe down
  • Couplers: You can buy these from mcmaster carr, they are used to build railings. They are sometimes called "speed rail" or "speedrail". Search the online mcmaster.com for "speedrail" and order the couplers you want. I got mine for free and they were all of the "4 outlet crossover" kind so I used only those but theres more suitable configurations.
  • Allen wrench: for opening & closing the couplers
  • Plastic pipe-end covers: get these at the place with the pipe, they protect your floor
  • 1x8 wood panels for making the slats, and 2x4's for holding the slats together

Step 2: Prep

Measure your matress and couplers to determine how long your pipe pieces have to be.
For my queensize matress and couplers i needed:

  • 4 x 57" for the head and tail of the bed, including the headboard and tailboard
  • 4 x 42" for the 4 legs
  • 2 x 87" for the lengthwise pieces

Cut and deburr your pipe.

Step 3: Headboard

Slide the couplers on the pipe, and make up your headboard, it doesnt have to be in its finished shape but having a square will make it easier to assemble the whole thing. Use the allen wrench to tighten down the couplers

Step 4: Tailboard

Do the same for the tailboard

Step 5: Frame Assembly

Have a friend or two help you hold up the head/tailboards while you slide the lengthwise pieces in. Now you should square the design, make sure it's level, and get it into a final configuration.

Step 6: Slats

Use the 1x8 wood to make slats that will form the support for your mattress. use three 2x4 pieces to hold the slats together, use woodscrews to hold the whole thing together

Step 7: Done!

Add your mattress & sheets. Now take a nice nap.



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    122 Discussions

    Looked up the price.

    Apparently the 1" crossover fittings are about 11 USD each.

    One could make a simplified version of this bed using only 8 crossover fittings.

    Looked up the price.

    Apparently the 1" crossover fittings are about 11 USD each.

    One could make a simplified version of this bed using only 8 crossover fittings.

    Very good design!


    Because you used only a single type of pipe fitting, the "crossover." This has at least three advantages.

    1. It simplifies the process of ordering the parts. No need to sit there and figure out that you need "x" number of this part and "y" number of that part and "z" number of that other part.

    2. Having the pipes crossover makes the pipe length much less critical. You can even cut them slightly longer, then adjust them until they are the proper length for your mattress, allowing the ends to overhang slightly. Just so long as you cap them so that you don't get scraped by the raw ends.

    3. If you decide to get a different size mattress one day, you can buy new pipe and reuse the exact same fittings.

    If I decide to do a DIY pipe bed frame, this is the one I will go by!

    I crate steel bed too :) On my site (http://adam-off.ru/krovat.html)


    You are a BIG..!! I consider you very much

    yes how much did it cost. and also can you make it with 1" diameter iron pipe.

    I saw up in comments people asked how much ti did cost but seeing not reply to it I'm wondering how much it cost ya to make. I'm kind of a gym nut so I'm a little shy of 300 lbs so I'd need to put in middle support but just wondering about how much I'd be looking at spending

    This is mine. It took me about an hour. I used 1' pipe and I actually got home depot to cut the pipes for me. I used different fittings that made the cross bars equal with the ling bars.

    2 replies

    How have the 1" pipes held up? Do you think you could go smaller?

    I'm going to make one of these soon and want to know if I can get the smaller lighter pipes. I was thinking about splitting the long beams and dropping a support down on both sides also.

    As long as you have a support in the middle, smaller pipe should be fine. The pipes on mine do bend slightly (the very middle sags about a half-inch when i sit right on top of it) but I have no supports in the middle. Just make sure you can get smaller fittings before you get the smaller pipe.

    These fittings are hard to source, you can get them off the Internet but the minimum fittings come to about 130 bucks OUCH! I'm attempting to source something that is easy to get a hold of AND cheaper.

    I ma looking to redo my old room. I thought the industrial feel produced by the Pipe Dream Bed was cool and am thinking about doing my room more industrially, but need to do it on a budget. I am looking for other projects that are similar to this (nightstands, dressers, etc.). If anyone knows any good tutorials, please tell me.

    i bet i could figure out a way to put a lamp in one or two of the posts... for late night reading. and a shelf for the books. this is the perfect modular bed frame!

    this bed is a dream. until i get round to build it (i still need the fittings , have the pipes )its a pipe dream

    after breaking 2 futons...i personally guarantee that this bed will take any and all abuse you can give it.

    1 reply

    I understand just what you mean children, a husband, and two dogs futons and other poorly made bedding just don't hold up this look s like it can withstand it all.

    why isthe 2x4 attached on edge? wouldn't it be sturdier (as well as easier) to use a heavier screw into the "4"" side? pardon if this is a foolish question, I'm totally self-taught, very basic carpenter.

    1 reply

    Due to the Physics of material deflection. The thicker an object is in the direction of the net force, the less deflection it has thus making it the stronger configuration. 

     Great instructable!

    Will the rather small feet, and the (I'm assuming) weight of the bed (plus occupants) cause any damage to floors? I'm getting an apartment in Chicago, which tend to have poorly built wooden floors.

    1 reply

    Well, only you can judge it from any other furniture or marks which are there. If you are conserned, extend the feet with say small and/or thin sheets of metal, wood, hard paper laminate, plastic, whatever.