Cedar-Planked Platform Bed Frame




About: Building design/consulting in SE Minnesota. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to peek in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyday... i have to...

Looking to maximize the space of your apartment?

A platform bed is an ideal way to gain storage and create a comfortable, elevated bed.

Create a custom platform bed following the building basics shown here for any room! This project can be completed over the weekend using tools and materials that costs less than even the most modest wood bed frames.

Questions & Comments are always welcome,

Best! Jeff

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Here are the suggested tools and materials for building a platform desk.



  • (10) 2x4s
  • (3) 2x6s
  • (3) 2x2s
  • (1) box 3" Screws and/or Nails (see note below)
  • 1-1/4" Drywall Screws
  • Cedar boards (bought from Habitat Restore)
  • (2) 4x8 3/8" Plywood or OSB
  • (<1) quart Paint (optional)
  • Electrical (optional) - see electrical step

Cost: All materials cost around $80 from HD/Lowes/Habitat. All tools cost under $120 and were purchased refurbished online or used off craigslist. Links provided for where I would buy today on Amazon.

Fasteners: I recommend using all screws for the project. In the past I used primarily nails but always required a few screws. Depending on the boards used for the siding you may need to pre-drill and use smaller screws.

Step 2: Frame the Platform

The photos show a mix of two steps: Framing & Securing

Determine the size f the platform based on the space available and requirements of your mattress.

  • I used 60"x80" for a queen mattress. Notice the corner is has a bump out where the building framed around plumbing risers.... to fit the irregular space I am adding the length of the bump out to the top piece of the frame (notice how it extends past the last 2x4)

Cut the long pieces to length allowing for the width of the two end pieces. The long pieces are 3" less then the overall length if you are working with 2x4s (dimensioned lumber) Secure each 2x4 connection with (2) screws.

  • (4) 2x4s cut to 77"
  • (2) 2x4s cut to 60" & 60" + bump out

Step 3: Secure the Platform

How high to you want the bed?

  • Maybe you want to use the height of storage containers you own?
  • Maybe the height of a window, desk or dresser?
  • Personal preference?

Secure to Wall: To support the platform you'll install 2x4s directly to the wall. Working back from the final mattress height subtract the mattress thickness (mine = 8"), the ~1/2" of OSB and the 3-1/2" of 2x4 used as part of the frame. Use the level to make a light pencil line on the wall. Then screw in a first 2x4 under the line. You'll need to use a long enough piece to space across 2 studs which you'll have to find by taping the wall, using a stud finder or guess/check. After catching the first stud I use the level to confirm the position before setting the second screw. Do this at any place where the bed will contact the wall. Any other corners will have a leg.

Secure to Floor: After connecting to the wall use the level to ensure the platform is level and take a measurement of the height for any corners that are currently unsupported. I used a milk crate and a cooler to support the platform before it was secured with the leg. I only needed one leg but it's common to need two. Cut the leg from a scrap 2x4 and secure it with two screws on the inside corner of the platform.

Step 4: Framing Head/Side Board

Do you want a Head and/or Side Board?

I think it adds a lot to the bedroom and provides an opportunity to add a shelf.

Similar to the installation of the support for the platform I installed a 60" 2x4 about 24" above the platform. I then used 2x2s to span from the top 2x4 to the platform. The 2x2s give me a surface to secure the finished cedar boards.

...use the level for the horizontal and vertical 2-bys to ensure level and plumb installation.

Step 5: Platform Decking

Cut the OSB (or plywood) to the right size using measurements. I cut the material outside then set it in place.

It was necessary to cut around the 2x2 material for the headboard. I used a handsaw.

Connect the decking to the platform using the drywall screws. Even with a span of just over 24" there is minimal flex in the decking once the screws are installed.

Step 6: Head/Side Board Installation

Finish the framing -- In the photos it shows how the vertical 2x4s were screwed to the platform after the decking was installed. I had to notch out and drop them in.. this could be avoided. The top piece is installed directly to the wall. From there 2x2 was used to tie the side board framing back to the wall.

Install the cedar -- Installation started at the bottom but I measured from the top to ensure that the top would be flush. I cut the boards to length out on the porch.

Install the top -- In the last photo you can see painted 2x4s and 2x6s. I used the mix of lumber to create the top. Along both sides there is an overhang of about 1".

Step 7: Finished!!

Click ahead to see a few optional details I added to the project.

  • In the photos above there are 2x6s that were added to finish the leg and run along the top/side of the head and side boards.
  • I installed this bed frame in 2012. It was simple to take down and only required an hour to unscrew the frame and another ten minutes to spackle the walls.
  • Since 2012 I've built 4 more platform beds. Here's a link to the next one.

Follow to see the next one when I post in 2018.

Step 8: Option 1 - Electrical

Be Careful!!

If you are familiar with electrical work then the photos should provide the necessary direction for my crude installation. I can provide more detail if it's helpful.

Step 9: Option 2 - Cigar Box Storage

A simple, useful addition

In 2018 I posted how I reused these cigar boxes for shelves at the desk and kitchen... Cigar Box Shelves



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    24 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I will ask a painful question, "Are you still alive?" The OSB sleeping wood, made me concerned for your health!

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    just an idea, but you could add LED mood lighting or similar built into your cedar framing, just for added coolness. Also, I would have built cubby holes into the sides of the cedar frames. it would mean more work, but it would provide handy storage for books/phone etc within easy reach. great instructable.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    That's beautiful! I want this in my bedroom, for sure. The shelves around the bed have me dreaming of how many books, reading lights and cats I could handle all at once! :D

    2 replies

    i agree with j.rat. ~ i already have plenty o' books & lights. now, i just have to go out & get meself some kitticats!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Attention for the moisture in the matress!

    Since every human transpirates during the sleep, the humidity in the mattress is an issue.

    I would suggest you to drill a series of ventilation holes in closed the OSB / plywood surface! Instead you can also use single stripes of material and screw it with a little distance on. then you also get a little comfort by the material flexibility and you avoid the "laying-on-the-ground-feeling".

    I do wish you lots of good nights and fun in your bed!

    4 replies

    The platform doesn't require drilling holes. If you are sweating enough to require ventilation on the underside of a mattress, your bigger concern should be dehydration.

    Using strips of wood as opposed to sheet stock posses other design considerations. The placement of the supporting 2x4s becomes more important because you do not want to create a ridge down the middle of a person's sleep area. Also slat beds require the slats to be spaced no more than 3" apart or the mattress' springs will not be properly supported. That many slats will cost at least three times as much as the sheet stock.

    Slats also make it much more likely that the 2x4 supports will split unless they are supported from underneath by joist hangers or the such, since the sheet stock distributes downward force over a large area of framing, but slats would not. That's why you can put a piece of plywood over a 3' x 3' hole in the floor and walk on it, but you couldn't try doing that with 3/4" thick boards of any width.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    not sure if i "transpire", but know what u mean. i have a twin platform bed, but no moisture prob. the mattress is a simmons BEAUTYREST with the individually wrapped coil springs. a bit expensive, but feels like new every night for 7 yrs; sometimes i flatten wrinkled things under it [brochures, etc]. no dampness ever!! recommend it for a platform .... it must be quite breathable :)


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Agree - ventilation from underneath is essential, really bad and yucky things (mold) can easily happen to a mattress otherwise. I can recommend the slatted bed base Luröy from IKEA, but it would be best to base the construction of the bed frame for using this system from the beginning.

    Nice job. I like how you addressed your electrical needs without having to get into rewiring the household electrical. If you are renting, you landlord will greatly appreciate that.

    1 reply

    Thanks UC! Also, I appreciate your fielding the moisture questions! Not sure where there came from but a great response!

    I had a great landlord. At some point I need to type up an Instructable on the pass-though I was given permission to install between the kitchen and living space. Cheers!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Nice instructable .. and I'd strongly suggest you add some 'central support' pillars from the central stringers to the floor.

    I use a great and similarly-designed bed for years .. Although when new it seemed structurally strong: end and side boards were 8" wide, and a central 4"x4" beam bore our weight nicely, in time that was not the case. After 4-5 yrs my 230 lbs of handsomeness caused a noticeable 'central sag' .. which grew to be over 3" .. requiring repair which included a central vertical support column. I'd make the 'floor end' of such pillars have a ? 6"x6" or larger plate so as not to damage a fine wood floor.

    The more I think on it, adding a central 'pillar' to all longitudinal stringers would divide 'under-bed' storage into two units .. allowing drawers or wheeled-storage boxes to be more easily managed.

    Just a thought (but a very good one!)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Great addition! Thanks for sharing!

    It would be easy to add the additional supports, double up a 2x4 or even frame the platform out of 2x6s.


    4 years ago

    very well done


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I totally love this! And it looks so cozy! What about upholstering the front sides to make it even cozier? :D