How to Build a DIY Full Size Loft Bed

DIY Full size loft bed

A DIY full-size loft bed is a great way to save space in a small room. They are also perfect for when you need an extra bed for guests but don’t have the room for a traditional guest bedroom. Loft beds are great for college students who want to make the most of their dorm room or for kids who share a bedroom and need extra space for storage or play.

Building a DIY full-size loft bed is a relatively easy project that can be completed in a weekend. You will need some basic carpentry skills and tools, but the end result will be worth it! Your guests will thank you for the comfortable place to sleep and you’ll love the extra space in your room.

Loft beds can be great for storage. If you have trouble finding places to put all of your stuff, lofting your bed can give you some much-needed extra space. You can use the area underneath your bed for dressers, bookcases, or even a desk. This can help you keep your room feeling less cluttered and give you a place to study or work on projects.

What is the Difference Between Queen-Size and Full-Size Beds?

The bed size difference between a queen-size bed and a full-size bed is six inches. A queen-size bed is 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, while a full-size bed is 54 inches wide by 75 inches long. The extra width of a queen-size bed can make all the difference for couples who are trying to get a good night’s sleep. A queen-size bed is definitely the way to go if you have extra space in your bedroom.

What Age is Appropriate for a Loft Bed?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it will depend on the child’s maturity level, ability to follow safety guidelines and overall comfort with sleeping in a loft bed. Ultimately, it is up to the parent or guardian to decide when their child is ready for a loft bed. If you have any concerns, it is always best to consult with a pediatrician or child psychologist prior to making a loft bed purchase or building one for yourself.

How Much Weight Can a Full-Size Loft Bed Support?

There are a few reasons why it’s important to know the weight capacity of a loft bed. First, if the bed is not able to support the weight of the person sleeping in it, there is a risk of the bed collapsing. This could lead to serious injury.

Second, if the bed is not able to support the weight of all the bedding and blankets, there is a risk of the bed becoming uncomfortable or even unsafe to sleep in.

A full-size loft bed made from 2x4s and 2x6s should be able to support at least 500 pounds. Here’s an example of a loft bed with a similar constructability technique that supports 1000 pounds.

DIY Full size loft bed

You also might be interested in a DIY Bunk Bed and DIY Queen Size Loft Bed with a Desk.

Time to Complete

6 hours

Total Cost


Skill Level


Download Printable Plans in PDF

DIY Full Size Loft Bed PDF


This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

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DIY Full-Size Loft Bed

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DIY Queen-Size Loft Bed with a Desk

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Material List

  • Available with purchase of PDF plans.

Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size.  See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.


DIY Full size loft bed

Step 1 – Cut Four Legs of the Loft Bed

First, start with cutting the legs. Using 2x4s, cut four pieces to 72″ in length. Then cut another four 2×4 pieces to 56″ in length. These shorter pieces will support the weight of the loft bed, including the mattress. 

cutting boards for DIY Full size loft bed

Step 2 – Connect the 2x4s to Make Four Legs

Next, take one 72″ piece and one 56″ piece and attach them together side by side. Make sure that both 2x4s are flush at the bottom. Repeat this step to build four legs with 2 1/2″ wood screws.

When connecting the boards, you could either use 2 1/2″ wood screws or nuts and bolts. I prefer to use screws because you could get the job done quicker. Some people like to use nuts and bolts because the loft bed has that industrial look if that’s what you’re aiming for. But it takes much longer to build when using nuts and bolts. 

When driving in the screws, you need to pay attention to how close you get to the edge of the board. If the screw gets too close to the edge, it might split the wood, especially if lumber is very dry. 

Sometimes when purchasing lumber at the hardware store, you will get 2x4s that are not completely dry. You will notice that these boards are much heavier. Wet lumber will not split even if you drive the screw at the edge of the board.

The disadvantage of using lumber that is not completely dry is that over time it will start to warp or twist. 

For using dry 2x4s, it’s a good idea to pre-drill the pilot holes before driving in the screws. Dry wood will split very easily, especially with longer screws.

building the legs for DIY Full size loft bed

Step 3 – Cut End and Side Rails of the Loft Bed

The side rails are an essential part of the loft bed. They will hold the mattress support boards and the mattress itself. Since these rails will support a lot of weight, use 2×6 boards instead of 2x4s.

Take 2×6 boards and cut two side rails to 74 1/2″. 

The end rails will not be supporting any weight. But to keep the layout symmetrical, use 2×6 boards for end rails as well. Cut two 2×6 end rails to 57 1/2″ in length. The end rails will be attached at the same elevation as the side rails. 

cutting legs for DIY Full size loft bed

Step 4 – Attach the Side Rail to Leg Sets

The 2×6 side rail will sit on the shorter board of the leg. This transfers the weight of the loft bed on the 2×4 legs instead of just on a few screws. 

Lay the legs on the floor parallel to each other with short legs facing up. Making sure the measurements at the bottom of the leg and the top are the same; confirms that the legs are parallel. You should have a 77 1/2″ dimension from the outside of the legs.

Place the 2×6 side rail on the legs with a 1 1/2″ edge distance on both sides. Then drive in the screws to secure the rail to the legs.

Repeat this step to build the other leg set. 

building loft bed legs

Step 5 – Attach End Rails to the Legs

Now that the side rails are attached, it’s time to attach the end rails. 

Stand up the leg sets that you’ve built. Have someone help you hold the legs while you attach the end rails. Place the end rail on the shorter legs into the 1 1/2″ edge distance space. Both end and side rails should be at the same elevation. Make sure the legs are parallel to each other by checking the distance at the top and bottom of the leg. Then secure the end rails with 2 1/2″ screws.

attaching legs to loft bed

Step 6 – Cut and Attach the Mattress Boards

Take 2x4s and cut fifteen boards to 57 1/2″ in length. Then, space these fifteen pieces evenly on top of the 2×6 rails. You should have about a 2″ gap between the boards. Now attach all these boards to the side rails with 2 1/2″ wood screws. 

attaching mattress support boards for diy loft bed

Step 7 – Build and Install a Ladder

The ladder could be installed on the left or the right side of the bed; it’s your preference. For this tutorial, I’ll have it on the left side. 

Take 2×4 and cut two vertical boards to 72″ and five horizontal pieces to 25″ in length. Place the two vertical boards flat on the floor 25″ apart. Make sure they are parallel to each other. 

Next, measure 8″ from the bottom of the ladder and attach your first horizontal boards with 2 1/2″ wood screws. The remaining horizontal ladder boards should be attached 8 1/2″ apart.  

Once the ladder is complete, place it against the left leg of the loft bed. Attach it to the side rails with 2 1/2″ screws. You will need to use 4″ screws to attach the ladder to the left leg. This will keep the ladder from swinging. 

building a ladder for loft bed

Step 8 – Cut Remaining Upper Rails

Using 2×4, cut three side rail pieces to 74 1/2″ in length and four end rails pieces to 57 1/2″. Then cut one piece to 51″ in length and one piece to 5 1/2″. 

cutting wood for loft bed

Step 9 – Attach Upper Side Rails to the Full-Size Loft Bed

First, place two side rail boards 74 1/2″ long on top of the mattress support boards. Since these side rails are the same length as the lower 2×6 rails, they will go in the same space but above the mattress support boards. 

Ensure you have the same edge distance of 1 1/2″ as the lower rails and attach them with 2 1/2″ wood screws to the legs. 

Now take the third side rail board 74 1/2″ long and attach it at the very top of the back legs. Again, make sure you have 1 1/2″ edge distance on both sides. 

Then, attach 51″ and 5 1/2″ long pieces to the front end of the loft bed. One side will be attached to the ladder and the other to the leg.

attaching rails to loft bed diy

Step 10 – Attach Upper-End Rails to the Full-size Loft Bed

Next, take the remaining 57 1/2″ end rail boards and attach them at the same elevation as the side rails with 2 1/2″ wood screws. 

Finally, cut one 2×4 to 74 1/2″ in length and attach it in the center under the matters support boards. This will keep the support boards from sagging.

Now you could sand the boards with a random orbital sander and paint the bed. You are done with the DIY Full-Size loft bed with a ladder. 

attaching rails to loft bed

DIY Full size loft bed

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