Picture of Pipe Loft Bed
I have been daydreaming of my very own full sized loft bed since my freshman year of college (~3yrs ago). During finals week, I decided that I could have it all: a dog, vanilla bean ice cream, AND the perfect bed for a pole vaulter. Note that I was only lacking one portion of my equation for happiness. I discovered the instructables website while searching for pictures of homemade beds. This instructable is a spin-off of ladyada's Pipe Dream Bed:


I like that iron pipe gives an easy-to move, sturdy base material for this bed. Thumbs up, ladyada.

I used webbing to suspend my mattress/box spring in order to make the sleeping platform very swingy. If you want a more stable platform without the use of a box spring, please look at other instructables because I am only recording what I did. I haven't made a ladder for this yet and I will also be attaching a Navajo-style loom on one end. Having this tall bed creates space for reading/knitting/weaving/sewing/yoga in my room. It is also strong enough to do pull-ups and Bubkas and other strengthening exercises for pole vaulting.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
3 Ratcheting straps with a high working load (1000+lbs) I think that mine are 1500lb straps.

2 lengths of webbing: 12-15ft does the trick.

1" diameter pipe is used:
for legs-
3 lengths 58"
1 length 56.5"
2 lengths 55"

for head and foot-
2 lengths 53.5"

for sides-
2 lengths 75"

8 T's
4 L's
3 Unions* (these are used to join the pipes in a square)
7 close nipples* (Just look for an incredibly short, double-threaded length of pipe.)

2 10' lengths of cable
8 cable clamps

1 pipe wrench to tighten the joints
1 talan wrench-see pic. This is used to grab the pipe and tighten it in its socket. Very useful!

*Thanks to Wyle_E for sending me the correct names!
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reptedjess2 years ago
I really want to do this. I even have some ideas on how to improve on it, but I am scared that it wouldn't be stable enough to share with someone that I would want to ravage
Squash reptedjess7 months ago

I, too, have the same concern. Hmmm, what's your improvement ideas?

anasdad2 years ago
Nice Instructable. You can also stabilize it by using standard round flanges, that you can cut for a corner fit by using a band saw, chop saw, etc.
Good posting!
GummiBear3 years ago
Nice Bedskirt ~Star Wars~
batz134 years ago
Just wondering how much it would be price wise to build this.
dvnfntn4 years ago
Would this hold someone between 250-275 lbs?
triumphman4 years ago
FYI: Wood is also less expensive, all that pipe (black cost more than galv.) Black pipe is more expensive cause it is required (safety codes)here to connect gas to your hot water heater and furnace! It was discovered that galvanized leaked gas through its pores under pressure. The black for some reason does not leak. So it cost more! Go figure! Anyway wood is more estetically pleasing and you can attach many things to the posts. Pictures, hooks, hangers, nails, screws, jewelery, signs, strings, ropes, canvas, lace , skeeter netting, just to name a few. Have fun ! Be safe!
triumphman4 years ago
No way! This bed will collapse if you even just roll over. You are in for some serious hurt dude! Forget about a two-up situation! I'll pass on this. The pipe & joints are too fragile! Try it out and see. I made one and it collapsed the first time I got up in it! I'm only 185 lbs. Go for the 6x6 or 8x8 wood post model, it will stand under all situations. I built one using bolts, nuts, washers. Awesome!
anfractua4 years ago
I'm seriously thinking about making this when I move in the next couple months. About how expensive was it to make this bed?
watermelon7 years ago
Yeah, and if you are going to instruct people to put oily rags in the laundry mat dryer why not go ahead and tel them to pour toxic waste into the sewer?
Please notice she said dryer not washer, i
Driers don't go to the sewage system. ;)
wow..... someone here has a little more baggage than they should be boarding with.
Do you see the "jk" after it? That means "Just Kidding"
I believe you meant "discard" instead of "disregard".
Disregard as in "ignore the short pieces you see in the photo that were not called for in the materials list"
catchphrase4 years ago
I've been doing a mockup in Illustrator, but then realized I was drawing a part that I wasn't sure existed or was readily available. It's a fitting that connects 4 ends together but not a cross fitting. Looks like a seesaw molecule:


Has anyone seen a fitting that looks like this? If not I suppose stagged t-pipe fittings at alternating angles along the main axis would work. Or perhaps a 'slip on pipe fitting'.

Also, it looks like the larger diameter fitting that could be useful for feet of the pipes is called a 'pipe offset' though I'm having trouble verifying that online at local store websites.

Also, stumbled across this wild looking thing:


Thanks for the Instructable! Got me thinking about how to construct my own version. :)
mista.v4 years ago
How much did all the piping cost?
raith20064 years ago
ok i'll bite. Why a loom?
mae-kitty4 years ago
LoL forget using a mattress, i would just use straps the whole length of the bed and sleep on that xD. It seem funner. AWESOME bed BTW
bunycraft7 years ago
Looks like way fun... I would want more straps though. Not willing to live that close to the wild side, lol. I always wanted a loft bed.
Do you even need the box spring, I wonder? It seems to me that its main purpose here it to prevent the webbing from digging into the mattress - a task that could be done equally well with a layer of plywood. By removing the height of the box spring you'd also get a bit more headroom.
nerdologist (author)  jeff-o6 years ago
You're right. I used a box spring because that's what I had. If you wanted, you could use plywood or build a platform or something.
Oh, definitely use what you have first!
mysss jeff-o4 years ago
Thanks for clarifying--that's important to note if you don't have a box spring! (i.e., if you're using a college-provided bed)
Charlie134 years ago
how difficult is it to unscrew these cables. this bed seems ideal for the college dorm but i was wondering when i need to move every year
TFElite5 years ago
Just wondering, but how much wight can this hold? I'm 6'2, and a bit on the bulky side, but this is a great idea, 'cause my room isn't too big, and my bed currently takes up at least half of my bed. I'd just like a bit of more room.
theMoot5 years ago
i have the exact same star wars sheets!
itstemo16 years ago
I might make this. But I will probably do some Mechanic of Material deformation drawing before placing my weight on it. I might need hard thicker piping
Fretka6 years ago
how easy is it to get into and out of? AND does it move a lot or is it pretty stable? I love this idea !!!
8bit6 years ago
So, you know, a bed can be a very active place sometimes. Will this design handle the rigours of athletic activity, like . . . wrestling?
EmDiz6 years ago
Question for you - why did one of the legs have to be shorter than the rest? I'm thinking about setting this up, but want to measure a bunch cut once. Thanks
Dorkfish926 years ago
Here is mine! I couldn't wait any longer, so last night I threw the air mattress that I've been sleeping on onto the pipe bed. Surprisingly, it did not fold in half and I slept rather well. Any ways, I got my real mattress today. Yay!

Finished with mattress

With air mattress
nerdologist (author)  Dorkfish926 years ago
nerdologist (author)  nerdologist6 years ago
BTW- love that you are using the underbed space to hold a couch. AND cool table :)
Thanks! Just to let anyone else know, the "swing" wasn't as much as suspected. It's more of a "sway" and it's just while getting onto the bed. One more thing, if you use an alarm clock, don't do like me and leave it on the other side of the room. It's pretty hard to jump down from this bed when you first wake up (didn't turn out so good for me)
Dorkfish926 years ago
Building mine this week! I'm using galvanized steel because all the local black iron pipe is VERY rusted. I'm also making it a twin so it will fit in my new room. I'll should have pictures posted by this weekend if it's finished.
nerdologist (author)  Dorkfish926 years ago
I am glad that you opted to use galv. pipe. It will serve you well. I live in the Northwest and used black pipe--it works, but i have to inspect for rust on occasion(and fix it if it's there). If you want, you can make your own instructable about your twin bed and just link to mine. I am sure that others would benefit from your experience.
I didn't document it while i built it, so I can't make an Ible. Maybe I can send you pictures and you add them to the end of yours? Or I'll make a slide show. I just put a rope ladder at the end of it and finished the reinforcement with 3/16 in. cable. I'll send pictures when I get a mattress put it. Thanks for the Instructable!
nerdologist (author)  Dorkfish926 years ago
I think that a slide show would be good, then ppl can PM you if they have questions about measurements. I can add a link to your show to the end my 'ible and everything will be copacetic.
Cool. I'll make one as soon as I get a camera. I'll add a link to this Ible in the slide show.
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