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

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!
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
<p>I, too, have the same concern. Hmmm, what's your improvement ideas?</p>
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. <br> Good posting! <br> Ken
I have built a king size bunk bed out of fittings from the following companies: <br>www.keyclamp.com &amp; www.alvinindustrial.com. Fittings are the same, just from two different manufactures and can be used interchangeably. Schedule 40 or 80 steel pipe can be used with these fittings. This bunk bed was not cheap to build and we tested the top bunk with a static load of 2000lbs. A twin or regular bed would be much cheaper to build.
Nice Bedskirt ~Star Wars~
Just wondering how much it would be price wise to build this.
Would this hold someone between 250-275 lbs?
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!
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 &amp; 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!
I'm seriously thinking about making this when I move in the next couple months. About how expensive was it to make this bed?
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<br>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 &quot;discard&quot; instead of &quot;disregard&quot;.
Disregard as in &quot;ignore the short pieces you see in the photo that were not called for in the materials list&quot;
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:<br> <br> <a href="http://www.askthetachemistryhelp.com/image-files/seesaw.gif">http://www.askthetachemistryhelp.com/image-files/seesaw.gif</a><br> <br> 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'.<br> <br> Also, it looks like the larger diameter fitting that could be useful for feet of the pipes is called a '<a href="http://www.pipetubefittings.com/pipe-fittings/offset.html">pipe offset</a>' though I'm having trouble verifying that online at local store websites.<br> <br> Also, stumbled across this wild looking thing:<br> <br> <a href="http://www.habiter-autrement.org/08.minimaliste/im-08/urbannomadics-livingscaffold.jpg">http://www.habiter-autrement.org/08.minimaliste/im-08/urbannomadics-livingscaffold.jpg</a><br> <br> Thanks for the Instructable! Got me thinking about how to construct my own version. :)<br>
How much did all the piping cost?
ok i'll bite. Why a loom?
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
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.
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!
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)
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
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.
i have the exact same star wars sheets!
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
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 !!!
So, you know, a bed can be a very active place sometimes. Will this design handle the rigours of athletic activity, like . . . wrestling?
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
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!<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://s462.photobucket.com/albums/qq350/Dorkfish92/?action=view&current=Pic-123.jpg">Finished with mattress</a><br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://s462.photobucket.com/albums/qq350/Dorkfish92/?action=view&current=Pic-120.jpg">With air mattress</a><br/>
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)
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.
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!
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.
You may want to specify what length the closed nipples are. I was at Lowes buying my supplies and they had lengths from 3-7 inches. I bought 3 in. I hope they work! I'm starting building mine tonight.
The closed nipples are just a joint. They don't have a length because they actually close the joint so that your "T"s are on top of each other(if you are really strong). I am only kind of strong, so I had about 1.5cm of close nipple showing.
Yeah, I went back and replaced them with the small nipple pieces. They had them at Home Depot but not Lowes.Now the bed is even ( it was crooked with the 3 in.)
great instructable... i've been thinking about building a PVC loft bed... it'd be light and easy to move and since i'm going to be moving into an apartment in college soon, thats kinda important to me. equally important though, is not falling 4 feet through the air in the middle of the night. do you think it'd work, if i used a truss system for extra support? if i ever get a working bed, i'll totally make an instructable :)
I would not advise a PVC bed, it's not rigid enough and also can shatter. IF you were to make one of PVC it would have to me much more complex to actually be stable, and may not be even then.
lol yeah, the more i think about the more i think i'de probably end up plummeting to my death some night :) it'de be almost impossible to make it sturdy enough... lol but that fact alone makes me want to do it all the more ;-) i was kinda thinking about some of the crazy complex stuff i've seen with bamboo... possibly use something like that for a guide??? idk... IF (and thats a big IF :-P) i do indeed make it ans survive it i will totally post pics
Hah! I totally thought &quot;bamboo bed&quot; when I saw this Instructable. Something along the lines of the bamboo/carbon fiber bike (http://www.instructables.com/id/How-I-built-a-carbon-bike-frame-at-home-and-a-bam/)<br/><br/>I'd love to see it.<br/>
YES! Bamboo! Nature's PVC. I think there is now a bamboo plank product, so it would not have to be totally gilligan's island. Any of these pipe structures should have strain relief or be <em>designed to swing</em>. <br/>
PVC is also terribly toxic!

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Bio: I like to sew, knit, invent, read, play old school video games, eat vanilla bean ice cream, make my dog pull me places on my ... More »
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