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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
I have a head board andfoot board and the rails hook into them and slats that go across the bed for thr boxspring and mattress but not stong enough . The slats constantly fall i want to have a flat platform inside my frame what kind of wood should i use to fit doen inside the frame . A snug fit the frame sits up high
Posted 2013-09-30T15:49:51+0000  by yolanda819

Hi there,


I've been looking for the best possible way to build a platform/low loft bed for a full mattress in a bedroom that's not very wide or long. Ideally, it would look something like this  but I would be incorporating a separate dresser unit rather than built in drawers, and definitely want to do steps vs. a ladder to bring the bed roughly 3 feet off the ground. The only problem is, I am not at ALL experienced in this area but don't want to spend thousands of dollars! Any tips/advice/resources you have to get me started would be greatly appreciated. My brother and I may try to DIY. 

Posted 2013-05-20T19:55:48+0000  by tmelmoore


I was looking at buying a king size platform bed with drawers underneath and found that like the other person said above, they are a bit pricey. So I was wondering how I would make a king size platform bed with drawers underneath and the materials needed. PLEASE HELP!!


Posted 2013-05-09T16:37:33+0000  by diy1234

After days of searching for the perfect platform bed frame...this is it!!!  Is it possible to provide more detailed information for a queen size frame???  Cut list, how to's, etc...  Getting ready to start next week.  Your help would be sooo appreciated!

Posted 2013-05-08T13:52:05+0000  by GertieGal

Here's my question.


How do I know if the Platform being built is going to be strong enough. Like if the whole family hops in bed for movie night?Is there a weight capacity?

Posted 2013-04-08T23:37:43+0000  by Hismom

New to the forum but not DIY

After reading this thread, I see a lot of seemingly complex designs for what I consider a very easy problem. Back in the "old" days a king size water bed would have a base made out of 3/4" particle Board on edge that would basically be a cross shape inside a rectangle. 7/16 "wafer board" would be laid on top - either two or three pieces, running lengthwise across the rectangle. On top of that would be a another rectangle made of 2x6 that would sit on the edge of the particle board and be secured with angle brackets. The mattress would go inside the 2x6 rectangle, on top of the 7/16 "wafer board" and be filled. These were very solid and very heavy. This weekend I plan to build something similar using 2x4 rectangle, with a center rail going the long way and two rails on each side between the outside rail and the center rail on both sides. I will then use 7/16 "oriented strand board" in three 2'x76" sections (or thereabouts), secure them to the 2x4 and put the mattress on top. Simple, easy to assemble and hopefully less than $100.


Just my $0.02


Posted 2013-03-28T20:53:20+0000  by Mickey_TX

I'm buying my first home with my girlfriend, we're purchasing a king sized mattress and we'd love a platform bed with storage underneath. I'm no builder, but I have the basic knowledge of tools and have access to a circular saw and such.

Any chance you have a link to some easy to follow designs that can be made for less then say $700? I know prices differ between locations, rough ballpark would be great. Also, I know nothing about different wood types, so any suggesetions on that would be great! I'd most likely be staining or painting it for our likings.
Posted 2013-03-25T05:16:30+0000  by tecster

All of the platform bed designs I've shown in the various threads are available via the SketchUp 3D Warehouse.


If you're not familiar with SketchUp, it is a very easy to use/learn 3D drawing tool, available FREE!. I've posted several threads in this forum about using it. There are also countless websites and tutorial sites out there that will give you the basics you need to use my design and build from them. SketchUp is one of those tools, that once you know how to use it, saves a lot of time and headache. Whether it's a platform bed, cornhole game, kitchen/bath make-over or even a whole house building project, it can all be designed, to scale, with accurate measurements. There are plug-ins available from a dedicated community of users that will even give you things like a cut list, making materials shopping easy.


The platform bed models I've shown here can be taken apart piece by piece in SketchUp to get the exact dimensions of the board, measurements showing where to make a notch or drill a hole, etc.


While I don't have the time available right now to go into detail on each model or design, I'm hoping that by encouraging you to make use of this free tool, I'll empower you to be better DIYers.


SketchUp is no longer run by Google, but is now owned by Trimble: download here


Most of the HD Community designs and models I've done: click here


Other SketchUp projects I've done: click here


Some getting started video tutorials: click here

Posted 2013-03-24T14:08:44+0000  by Paul
Well, it could be that I'm extremely exhausted right now but I'm not quiet understanding the blue print. I've ordered a new king size memory foam mattress and have always loved the platform style frames. However, purchasing one seems to be a bit expensive and well I'd like to do this myself anyway to show wife and the kids I can build more then just nooks and tables lol. I'm looking to have a frame that's about 18" off the ground with the mattress sunk into the frame and a little platform about 8" wide around the bed. Any chance of helping me out with this? And as far as for the lumber, how many of the 2x10's, 2x4's and ply wood will I need for this project? Thanks in advance for your help. Help me show my wife she did marry a mans man lol
Posted 2013-03-24T09:27:48+0000  by ImTrying
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