How to Build a Loft Bunk Bed

By Leif Lindhjem

  • Overview

    Whether you're a parent, college student or bachelor, loft bunk beds offer many advantages over conventional bed frames. A well-built loft bed can minimize clutter in the bedroom and optimize space for an additional work, play, storage, or seating area. Computer platforms and office desks typically fit well beneath a loft, which frees up floor space in cramped bedrooms. The versatility of this bed's design allows you to build a traditional loft bunk bed, a double bunk bed or a standard twin bed. It is an efficient, affordable solution for any do-it-yourself builder.
    • Step 1

      Use your electric or manual sander to sand the edges of wood planks with the following measurements: 72x6x1, lengthwise and top end only; 76½ x6x¾, lengthwise only; 75x3x¾, lengthwise only; 42½x6x¾, lengthwise and ends. This softens sharp corners for you or your children's safety.
  • Step 2

    The four 72x6x1-inch planks are your posts. The 12 sanded 42½x6x¾-inch planks are your ladder steps. Arrange two posts, six 42½x6x¾-inch ladder steps and 24 1½-inch stainless steel wood screws.
  • Step 3

    Measure and mark each ladder step 6 inches apart from top to bottom on the outer end of your posts.
  • Step 4

    Secure (drill) the four corners of each ladder step to the posts with 1½-inch wood screws. The top step should be flush with the top (sanded) end of your posts. The bottom step should rest 6 inches above the floor. The finished piece serves as one bed end.
  • Step 5

    Repeat Steps 2 and 3 with the remaining two posts, six ladder steps and 24 1½-inch stainless steel wood screws. You should now have two identical bed ends.


  • Step 6

    The two 76½ x6x¾-inch planks are your sideboards. The six 39x6x¾-inch planks are your crossbeams. Arrange two sideboards, six crossbeams, 12 strong-tie bracing brackets, 24 ½-inch wood screws and 24 ¾-inch wood screws.
  • Step 7

    Measure and mark each crossbeam 6 inches apart from end to end. The crossbeams on either end should have an inset of 2 inches from the sideboards' end.
  • Step 8

    Center and secure (drill) six bracing brackets with two ¾-inch screws per bracket on either sideboard. Each bracket should rest 1 inch above the bottom of the sideboard.
  • Step 9

    Connect the two bracketed sideboards by drilling your six crossbeams to the brackets with ½-inch wood screws, four screws per beam. The finished piece serves as your bed frame.
  • Step 10

    Carry these three pieces, your two bed ends and one bed frame to the bedroom for final fabrication.
  • Step 11

    Stand each bed end upright. Slide the bed frame flush between the topmost ladder step and the second highest ladder step on either end. This will be a snug fit. Note: It is best to perform this step with two people.
  • Step 12

    Secure (drill) four points of either sideboard's ends to their respective posts with ¾-inch wood screws. Your loft bed should now be standing.
  • Step 13

    The two 75x3x¾-inch planks are your bed rails. Secure (drill) two points of either bed rails ends to their respective posts with 1½-inch wood screws. The rails should be flush with the top of the posts.
  • Step 14

    Place your 75x39-inch piece of pegboard or plywood over the crossbeams in your bed frame. Place your twin mattress in the bed frame.
  • Step 15

    To convert your loft bunk bed to a double bunk bed, follow Steps 6 through 9 and secure the new bed frame between the first and second (or second and third) ladder steps.
  • Step 16

    To convert your loft bunk bed to a single bed frame, use a circular saw to cut and lower your bed posts to a desired height. We recommend making the cut flush with the top of the fourth ladder step. This will give your mattress a height of 18 inches from the floor.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Four wood planks measuring 72 inches by 6 inches with 1-inch thickness
    • Two wood planks measuring 76½ inches by 6 inches with ¾-inch thickness
    • Two wood planks measuring 75 inches by 3 inches with ¾-inch thickness
    • Twelve wood planks measuring 42½ inches by 6 inches with ¾-inch thickness
    • Six wood planks measuring 39 inches by 6 inches with ¾-inch thickness
    • One piece of pegboard or plywood measuring 75 inches by 39 inches.
    • 24 ½-inch stainless steel wood screws
    • 32 ¾-inch stainless steel wood screws
    • 64 1½-inch stainless steel wood screws
    • 12 strong-tie (right angle) bracing brackets
    • Electric or manual sander with sandpaper
    • Electric drill w/Phillips head drill bit
    • Safety goggles
    • Measuring tape and pencil
    • One twin mattress
    • Tip: Before drilling into your lumber, mark your measurements with a pencil to ensure accuracy.
    • Warning:
    • Always wear safety goggles when operating an electric sander, circular saw or related power tools.

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