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how to build a platform bed frame

 I have been looking into king sized platform bed frames and they are very pricey so I have been wondering if it would be cheaper to build one, but I need a little help with the HOW TO part.

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Posted 2010-10-29T08:02:41+0000  by mskey mskey

Hey there mskey,


Welcome to the Community! =)


Glad to hear that you’re ready to DIY this one, it’s not as bad as it sounds and the savings on it will be well worth the time spent.


First off, you’ll want to think about how you want the design to be. Do you want a headboard, or a footboard? How about a raised enclosure for the mattress, or optional storage underneath? Or better yet, maybe there was a style you’ve already seen, that you’d like to emulate. There are so many options open to you with this project. What we’ll start with is the bare bones of the project, and a nice design that I helped a customer put together once before.


For your shopping list, you’ll be looking into getting:

  • Plywood ¾” – 1” thick -- I would recommend you go with MDF, gives a nice clean finish we can paint over later. This will be cut down to your dimensions at the store.
  • 2 x 4’s
  • 2x 10’s (you can certainly substitute this with a 2 x 8, or a 2 x 6, depending how high you’d like to raise it)
  • Decking Screws (2 ½” will work good)
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Wood Glue
  • Power Drill
  • Circular Saw (unless you have pieces cut down at store, which is just fine)

First we’ll start with the bottom framework, using our 2x10 (or other size) pieces.  King Size beds are usually 80” x 76”, so this bottom frame will be a bit smaller, such as 70” x 62”. Again, that’s where design comes in too.



Above is a diagram to give you an idea of how this part will be constructed. You’ll want to keep those smaller pieces in the middle offset like shown, to keep them from twisting or warping later on. For these, use your decking screws. [make sure you pre-drill holes though, or it might split the wood!] On our offset pieces, add a bit of wood glue to the bottoms of each piece as you insert them, and screw from both sides for a firm bond. IMPORTANT: Make sure this is level while you’re going, you don’t want a bed on a terrible 30 degree angle =O




The top tier is similar to the bottom one, just built with our 2x4’s. Again, create the offset effect like in the previous one, and ensure everything is level. For this tier, it will be noticeably larger, to fit the mattress. You can have it just a bit over the size of the mattress for a form fit, or give it some overlap to create the enclosure later.


Once those two are built, toenail the two sections (drive in on an angle) and make sure again to pre-drill. Add in some wood glue around the edges for a stronger bond if needed. Once ready (or dry), you can apply your sheets of plywood to the top tier. Your top tier should be sturdy enough to distribute the weight, and be able to work fine with the same deck screws and glue. If you are worried though, you can help brace them with angle brackets as well.




Once everything is secure, you can paint or stain as you see fit and if you have extra lumber left over, you can think about headboard add-on’s later! It's a nice contemporary design, that'll net you a look similar to the one above. It's a really sleek design that will go with most any decor, and is sturdy to boot. You can pick up all the materials at one of our stores and one of our associates will be more than happy to help you cut the lumber down and put your list together in the store.


Let me know how that looks to you, and if you have any other questions~


- Mr. Jay

Best Answer

Posted 2010-10-29T14:49:25+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

Thank you very much for your help it put things in a much more realistic do-able project. I have looked at a few designs and I like the ones with the storage beneath as well as the mattress enclosed. I am somewhat torn about if I want the bookcase style headboard or not but I have some thinking to do but again thank you!

Posted 2010-10-30T06:52:39+0000  by mskey

Mr. Jay,


will I need to cover the bottom frame with plywood before I put the topframe over it?  Or do I just attache at whatever points that the 2x10's abd 2x4's meet?





Posted 2011-04-13T02:47:12+0000  by CTAPPANA



No, what I did for this particular build was just attach the two frames by toenailing them (driving in on an angle) and then using some wood glue like Elmers or Gorilla. That should give you enough hold that you wouldn't need the extra plywood in between. But I can't see how it would hurt...just adds a little bit more work.


Hope that answers your question and thanks for joining us!~

Posted 2011-04-14T13:42:25+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

My question is can a platform bed be built so that it can be taken apart and moved without effecting it's strength.


We are temporarily renting while our house is being built. The stairs to 2nd floor are steep and narrow so that our queen bed will not go up to 2nd floor.

I was thinking build it and then move it.

Posted 2011-06-08T14:09:12+0000  by woggie

Hey there woggie,


Technically you'd really have to disassemble the entire thing, or at least most of it. You can always just screw the two bases together and later remove those screws to allow it to seperate, but you'd still be moving the same dimensions around, just in different pieces. You'd also have to hold off on gluing any of the pieces together, which would make it less rigid to sleep on. But you could always remove the wood screws and take it out in pieces (making sure you mark whats what.)


The only way I can really think of that would be slightly feasable, would be to try and replace as many of the screws as possible, with dowel pins or cam locks. These will be easier to disassemble, but may not add the same level of rigidity. All the same though, you'd still be taking it all out in pieces in the end. But perhaps thats just what's needed for the job.


Hope that helps answer your question =D


Posted 2011-06-09T15:09:27+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

mr jay,


im buliding a plat form bed almost exactly like you have posted here, except i have a full size bed and im using 2x8 for the bottom form and i want my matress to have an enclosure and almost be sitting inside of the frame an inch or two; how can i do that? also what size do you think i should make the base frame?



Posted 2011-06-23T01:23:46+0000  by copat

Hey there copat,


My apologies for the late reply to this, you caught me on my vacation :p


If you're working with a full size mattress, that's roughly about 54" x 75" on average. I would make my base somewhere around 46"  x 65". Like with my original design, that's just a rough number and you can go a little higher with it if you feel more comfortable.


As for putting an enclosure around the bed, that's a pretty cool idea. I would use some additional lumber, such as a 2 x2 and attach them around the perimeter of the top tier. If you want a deeper encloser, you can always opt for a 2 x 4, etc. I would take that top tier and adjust the measurements accordingly, adding about 4 in to the width and length. This makes sure you have adequate room for both the additional lumber, as well as enough room to put the sheets between the bed and the enclosure. Then just get some long enough wood screws and you're set.


If you really want to get fancy with it, you can finish it off by putting trim on the sides of you're additional 2 x 2's so that it looks more stylish and hides the gap where it meets the top tier.


Hope that gives you a couple of ideas and get's you started on it. Keep me posted on how it turns out, or if you get any other questions!~

Posted 2011-07-01T15:32:14+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

i am looking to build something like this for my bedroom. Instead of plywood on the top part, could you use 1 x 4's to create a slats, I have a memory foam mattress which the sales person advised me to put it on a slatted base to allow the bed to breathe.

Posted 2011-07-25T01:58:40+0000  by backpackgirl

I don't see the harm in that at all. As long as they are spaced out correctly, the 1x4's should be just fine for distributing weight properly. Make sure that they are no more than 4" apart from each other, try and keep it around 3" if possible.


As far as letting the mattress breathe, I would think that would give it adequate breathing room on the bottom. Just be sure that when changing the sheets, let it sit out for a while to breathe as well before covering it back up. That helps quite a bit too! = D

Posted 2011-07-28T14:17:11+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI
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