Picture of Twin size loft bed made from PVC water pipe
Alex's Bed.jpg
I love PVC pipe.  You can do so much great stuff with it!  It's cheap, readily available, easy to work with simple tools, non-toxic as long as you don't burn it, and there are a lot of fittings that make accurate joining of pieces easy.  You don't have to be terribly accurate with your cuts and the bed will still come out fine.

This bed was designed and built for my son when he was about 4 years old.  The plans have been on my web site for several years and I still get a couple emails per week about them.  People always ask me three questions:

1)  How much weight can it hold?
Answer:   I have loaded my son's bed with >300 lbs on many occasions with no problems.  The weight gets divided among the 8 vertical pipes, so each pipe is supporting only about 1/8 of the total load.  That statement isn't 100% accurate, but it's close enough.

2)  Is it durable?
Answer:   My son has been using the bed for 9 years.  I think that means it's durable.

3)  How much does it cost?
Answer:   When I built it I spent about $180 for all the pipe, fittings and glue.  I suspect the cost is about the same today.

The bed is made almost entirely from schedule 40 PVC pipe and fittings available from any home improvement store. The design can be easily adapted to a bunk bed. It includes a ladder and railing on the top to prevent your kid from tumbling out at night or when preparing to board a pirate ship.  You can make a cloth skirt that turns the bed into a great fort for the kids to hide and play in, or you can put a desk underneath where kids can do homework.  At xmas you can hang lights all over it.  

I don't recommend this design bed for really little kiddies- they may fit between the rails and fall or go over the top rail if they're getting really crazy.  If you're concerned about it you can easily modify the plans to beef up the railing.  If you choose to make this bed you assume all responsibility for your kid's safety in using it.

For those who care, the drawing below was made using AutoCAD.  You can make similar drawings using Google Sketchup.  There is a Sketchup library of schedule 40 pipe fittings here: Sketchup PVC Pipe Library

shugohmk1 month ago
Is it possible to make a loft bed out of this for a queen size bed????
Mark Rehorst (author)  shugohmk1 month ago
For queen size I think you'd need to put a row of vertical posts down the center of the mattress.
Could this be made into a bunk bed? I'm thinking my son's would love it especially if I painted it black or camo.
bfite11 year ago

What size matress can this bed fit?

Deepford_UK3 years ago
How wonderful!
I'm actually going to use the link for the Sketchup so that I can make a 'stage' out of the pipes. I need to build one that can be taken apart and re-assembled really light and easy to transport and even in my blonde moments I can put it together without a fuss! In addition, you have helped me see that I can make it adjustable; so that when children use the arm puppets, it can be lower, and when adults use it, we can raise it up.
I am however going to use your bed idea as the foundation for a small platform, given that it will hold 300lb with a board on top, it will be perfect! Thank you for sharing and thank you for the inspiration. Kind regards, Anna.
The kind of 'stage' can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm31ynEFJik
richie_1143 years ago
Hmmmmm.... Awesome 'ible, Though I think you could add some diagonals to boost strength and decrease wobbliness. What a fun word to type.... Wobbliness....
tn.4 years ago
bloody genius!
dang........ THIS IS SO FRICKIN AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sgsidekick4 years ago
Wow. Just.....wow. I like this! PVC is so versatile!
Mark Rehorst (author) 4 years ago
If you like this 'ible please vote for me in the Craftsman Tools Contest and the Epilog Challenge!