Pipe Loft Bed




About: 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 shlongboard, pole vault, work on my vintage vehicles, hike or bike, camp, hang wit...

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!

Step 2: Getting Started...

The fine employees at your local pipe store will assist you with the cutting and threading of lengths free of charge if you purchase their ten-footers. The pipes will be dripping oil afterward so wipe them down really well, okay? I stuffed paper towels in the ends at the store in order to avoid oil drops spoiling my vinyl interior:)

Note: Be careful of any burrs at the freshly cut ends or just keep a band-aid handy for the inevitable sliced finger.

Step 3: Everything Is in Order.

Now that your pipes are cut and cleaned, lay them out in your room. Commit the pipes and couplings to memory. Close your eyes and imagine how awesome this beast will look in your room. You are ready to begin.

Disregard the super-short pieces. They were in my original design for safety but I like to take a walk on the wild side so I left them out :)

Step 4: Putting It All Together.

We are assembling this on its side.

1. Begin by placing a T on the end of one of your side pieces.
2. Add the nipple and join another T above that.
3. Add a 58" leg to the bottom of the first T and continue with the U shape of the legs (58", L, 55", L, 58")
4. Add the 53.5" piece to the side of the top T.
5. Repeat 1 and 2 for adding the T's.
6. Join the T and step 4 with the Union. It's spinny--allowing the union of 2 stationary pipes.
7. Add the other long side pipe to the lower T.
8. Place a T on the end of this and add a T to the top.
9. Add a T to the other end of step one, then add another T above it.
10. Place the 53.5" pipe onto the side of the top T.
11. Create the legs (bottom T to 58" to L to 55" to L to 56.5").
12. Add the Unions to join the leg to the bottom T and the 53.5" pipe to the side of the top T.

13. Pat yourself on the back, go grab a snack. You have done well.

Step 5: Turn It Over.

Turn it rightside up.

Cross the cables on the long side that will be closest to the wall.
See pic for placement and example of how the cable clamps look.

Step 6: Cross Cable Support.

Wrap one end of one of the first 10' cables around the bottom frame of the legs toward the L coupling and secure it with 2 cable clamps.
This should probably be the side that you plan to have facing the wall.

Stretch the cable diagonally over the upper corner of the opposite end, loop and secure with 2 clamps.

Do the same with the other cable so there appears to be a big 'X' on the long side against the wall.

Step 7: Setting the Webbing...

Perch your box spring precariously on the top of your bed. Don't let it squash you.

Place the three racheting straps perpendicular to the long sides of the bed, evenly spaced.

Tighten the straps so that they hang down a bit lower than you want the bed to be.

Ease your box spring onto the straps and even them out by using the rachets.

Throw the mattress on top of the box spring. I know that you are tempted to get on the bed. I advise against doing so until the stabilizing straps are in place.

Make any final adjustments to the height before adding the lengthwise webbing that stabilizes the sleeping platform. These are tied tightly from the head to the foot of the bed. Space them 1 to 1.5' from the edge of the mattress.

Enjoy your new tall bed and the extra floor space that a loft bed gives. I hope that my instructable serves you well.

Thanks for reading!



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    115 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Just wondering how much it would be price wise to build this.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm seriously thinking about making this when I move in the next couple months. About how expensive was it to make this bed?


    11 years ago on Step 2

    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?

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 2

    Please notice she said dryer not washer, i
    Driers don't go to the sewage system. ;)


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    Disregard as in "ignore the short pieces you see in the photo that were not called for in the materials list"


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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. :)


    8 years ago on Step 7

    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


    11 years ago on Step 7

    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.