There are many reasons why you might want to build your own DIY queen-size loft bed. Maybe you’re short on space in your bedroom and need to make better use of the vertical space. Perhaps you want a unique bed that no one else has. Or maybe you just enjoy woodworking and building things yourself. Whatever the reason, building your own queen-size loft bed can be a fun and rewarding project.
Loft beds can also be more aesthetically pleasing than traditional beds. You can create a loft bed with a personal touch. This will add character to your bedroom and make it more personal.
Loft beds are the perfect solution for anyone who wants to sleep closer to the ceiling. They’re also great for people who want to maximize their floor space since they free up a lot of room that would otherwise be taken up by a bed frame.
If you happen to have a pet that likes to sleep on your bed, a loft bed is a great way to keep them off the floor (just make sure they can’t get up there on their own!). But really, loft beds are just good for anyone who wants to sleep in a bed that’s slightly elevated. So if that’s you, then don’t hesitate to check out these loft bed plans!
Why use Printable PDF Plans for a DIY Loft Bed?
If you’re thinking about DIY-ing a loft bed for your home, the first step is downloading and printing out the plans. Having good DIY plans is essential for any project. My plans will include step-by-step instructions and clear 3D diagrams, so you can see exactly what you need to do at each step of the process.
Once you’ve printed the plans, the next step is to gather all the materials and tools you’ll need to build the bed. Then, it’s just a matter of following the instructions and putting everything together. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to build a beautiful loft bed that will last for years to come.
You also might be interested in a DIY bunk bed, and DIY toddler-size bed.
Time to Complete
Download Printable Plans in PDF
Tools for this project
- 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.
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.
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.
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 80 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 63 1/2″ in length. The end rails will be attached at the same elevation as the side rails.
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 an 83 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.
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.
Step 6 – Cut and Attach the Mattress Boards
Take 2x4s and cut fifteen boards to 63 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.
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.
Step 8 – Cut Remaining Upper Rails
Using 2×4, cut three side rail pieces to 80 1/2″ in length and four end rails pieces to 63 1/2″. Then cut one piece to 57″ in length and one piece to 5 1/2″.
Step 9 – Attach Upper Side Rails to the Loft Bed
First, place two side rail boards 80 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 80 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 57″ 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.
Step 10 – Attach Upper End Rails to the Queen Size Loft Bed
Next, take the remaining 63 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 80 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 queen-size loft bed with a ladder.
14 thoughts on “How to build an Easy DIY Queen Size Loft Bed for Adults”
Thank you for the plans. I think it looks pretty good. I haven’t built it and I may not build it at all but I think it’s very nice of you to gives us your plans.
Thank you, Lisa!
Thanks for sharing your plan. What would the weight capacity for something like this be?
Hi Lav, Since I’m not a structural engineer, I can’t say for sure how much weight it will support, but it’s strong enough to support adults.
A simple width change and this would work very well in dorm rooms with those matresses.
Are the measurements for this project based on a queens mattress size (80×60)? I am trying to figure out if anything would need to be adjusted since not every mattress measures the same. When I saw 88.5×66.5 I did not understand. Is that just giving some wiggle room or materials and their size fill in the space? I am building a loft bed for my toddler twins and just trying to make sure I am understanding so I do not make too many mistakes or waste of supplies and money.
Yes, the queen mattress is 80×60. The 83.5 x 66.5 measurement is to the outside of the bed. The inside of the bed is 80.5 x 60.5, which gives you plenty of room to fit the mattress is.
Awesome! Thank you so much for explaining and sharing you designs!!
This is a great design, I’ve been wanting to try something like thus to gain a little floor space, but didn’t know if it was safe to build it for a bed that big. I’ll def need to buy these plans when I have time to build it.
I am in the process of building this loft (with the desk). I just got all the lumber cut to size. Should I plane it clean up the edges or what do you recommend to get the best look?
Love the design, and the plans are great!
If you have a random orbital sander, you could use that to sand all of the boards to eliminate rough edges. You don’t need to sand the plywood just the 2×4 boards.
I purchased the plans, made the bed,( first build ever, and I’m a 62 year old female), painted and now enjoying all the space it frees up. The only thing I did different was to adjust the height to 62 inches because I have 8 foot ceilings.
That’s awesome, Sandy. Thanks for the comment.
I have an idea of making multiple Queen size loft beds to use in my storage unit. The upside is they’re freestanding so I don’t have to attach them to the metal walls. Is there a way to make them sturdier (more weight bearing)? I will be using the raised platform for boxes, etc.