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  Once the weather here in northern IL begins to warm up a little I think this will be my next project.  I will be building a loft bed with a built in dresser.  My plan is to build it in 3 pieces so it can be moved and assembled in the room.  The dresser will be 3/4" plywood and then framed.  It will have 2 10" deep drawers and the cabinet doors will have an adjustable shelf behind them.  The dresser will be 48" tall ,42" wide, and 18" deep so it will have lots of storage space.  The headboard will be 4"x4" posts with 1"x4" cross members to make it nice and rigid.   The box that holds the mattress will be 2"x8" frame with a 3/4" plywood bottom supported by 1"x2" cross members.  I will use the Kreg jig and glue to attach everything except the Headboard and Mattress box will attach with Bed frame hooks.  I will probably modify the plan a little more so the headboard has a small shelf for an alarm clock.  I plan on running LED rope lighting underneath the loft so it will be well lit and give my daughter a nice reading area.   

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I have done a couple and what I would suggest is add a desk on back side of drawers and a chalk or cork board on wall, side of bed.Ill se if I till have pictures I did not have drawers I had full length desk on back  wall and book shelves on end of desk and a cork board and light on top of board


Nice design approach.


The following comments are offered.

Use 1x4 vs 1x2 stock for the cross members, to support the mattress platform,

Locate 1 near each end and the remainder spaced approx 16'' apart.

(1x4 will provide more support than a 1x2)

Use 1/2'' vs 3/4 thick plywood board.  (1/2  pw is adequate for a twin-size mattress---less costly and lighter in weight to facilitate handling).

2x6 will be adequate for the main frame members.


I’d install a 2x2 horizontal member to the 2x6 members, for the 1x4 slats to rest on.

Locate the 2x2 member flush with the bottom edge of the 2x6 member.

The 2x2 can be affixed to the 2x6, using a spline joint. 

Glue and clamp the spline into the dados, and the 2x2 members to the 2x6 members.


Bolting the 2x6 horizontal frame members to the 4x4 posts, using carriage bolts vs screws, will result in a much stronger joined section.

(2- 3/8'' dia bolts at each intersection).


Use flat washers under the bolt heads and nuts, to prevent collapsing of the wood fibers.


I’d make a tenon, in the ends of the horizontal 2x6 members, to register with mortises in the 4x4 posts.  (This will result in a must stronger joined section.  Tenons will reduce ‘’racking’’).


Insert the bolts thru the 4x4 posts into the 2x6 horizontal members. 

Add holes thru the 4x4 members and the 2x6 frame members to accommodate the bolts.


Recess the bolts in the 4x4 posts.  Use hex-head bolts to facilitate the use of a hex driver.


Install hex-nuts and flat washers, into a mortise, on the inside of the 2x6 horizontal frame member.   Mortise size to accommodate the washer and nut.


Building the sections so they can be bolted together, will facilitate the assembly, and disassembly when the object needs to be disassembled and moved at a later date.


A goose-neck type lamp, in the upper bunk area, will facilitate lighting the area and make it suitable for reading, while lying in bed. 

This project will be a fun build.


  I like the suggestion of a 2x2 attached to the 2x8 to support the mattress platform. I will have to incorporate that into the design   I am also wondering how big to build the steps for the ladder to the bed and how wide the ladder should be?


I'd make the ladder 18''w.   (24’’ for an adult).

Rungs 7-1/2 to 8’’ apart (stair-step height). 

The first rung 6’’ from the bottom.

The following additional comments are offered:

Provide a rung at the top, so as to suffce as a grab bar.

The rungs can be fitted with tenons, with mortise in the rails (uprights).

(Tenon size:  ½ the size of the workpiece thickness.  Tenon length 2 times the tenon diameter).


(Grab-rails, grab-bars, or the like, are necessary at top-side, to ‘’provide a firm grip’’, while entering or exiting the intended area.   Features in design and construction, need to be incorporated, so as to prevent potential injury).


You may want to consider a ladder that is slanted vs vertically straight.

(Easier to climb up and safer to climb down).


My suggestion for the horizontal members, made from 2x6 stock, will result in more clearance from the top of the mattress to the top edge of the horizontal frame member.

RATIONAL:  When sitting/resting on the edge of the mattress, the mattress compresses down,  and the persons legs will be rubbing on the top edge/surface of the 2x frame.

NOTE:  Add-up the mattress thickness, plus the plywood thickness, plus the slat thickness, plus the slat supports=________inches.

Deduct this amount from the 2x frame member---the result is the distance you have from the top edge of the mattress to the frame top edge.

(A 2x8 will provide less space than a 2x6, and may result in the persons leg rubbing on the top frame corner/edge).


Consider a mattress thickness that is of a standard twin bed size.

Also allow for adequate clearance around the mattress perimeter, to facilitate applying and the removal of the bedding materials, sheets and blankets.


Alternate mattress support:  

twin-bed bunkie board (vs ½’’ plywood).

Lighter in weight---consists of a cloth covered wood frame.   Possibly less costly to ½’’ plywood.   

Love the cork board idea. Definitely going to borrow that.

Jens Jensen said:

I have done a couple and what I would suggest is add a desk on back side of drawers and a chalk or cork board on wall, side of bed.Ill se if I till have pictures I did not have drawers I had full length desk on back  wall and book shelves on end of desk and a cork board and light on top of board

Nice post.Loft bed plans are a top choice for people to use when they want to maximize their bedroom space. You can find loft bed plans offered for free online but please make sure that the one you finally decide on has clear and concise instructions. Be sure it lists all the materials and tools you will need, and above all, has been designed by a woodworking professional.

Really nice.  Do you have plans for this with dimensions? Im planning on making a loft bed for my youngest soon and am struggling with how tall to make it.  Does anyone have any idea how high the bed should be?

I was thinking of adding a desk to the unit as Ken suggested below, so I want to make it tall enough, but at the same time make it so that my daughter isnt sleeping next to the ceiling!!  I really liked the look of these plans, they seem simple enough and about the right height, but I cant tell how tall the bed is: loft bed plans

Any ideas guys?

I plan on building the dresser 48" tall so the the bed will be about 4 1/2 to 5' off the ground.   Still enough room to sit up.

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