How to Build a Loft Frame for Dorm Bed

Space can definitely enhance your dorm living experience. More space means more available area to walk around and put all your ever-growing number of stuff in. Creating that space automatically brings to mind how to build a loft frame for dorm bed. Admittedly, this is a task that may require some carpentry skills and a little know-how. There are prefabricated kits and plans on how to build a loft frame for dorm bed available online. That’s the easy way to go about it if you’re confused on where to begin and if constructing one is not your thing. Generally, a loft bed is just like any ordinary bed except that the legs are extended and they lift the bed 5 or 6 feet off the floor.

Building a loft bed frame

Attached below are five easy-to-follow steps on how to build a loft frame for dorm bed. But first, you must gather some facts before you begin your plan. Know what the dorm requirements are before moving a little further into planning. Take measurements on the mattress size and ceiling height. Just imagine if there is still room when you suddenly sit upright from the bed or if you are almost kissing the ceiling yourself. Create the design with a purpose. Is it for storage or study area? Think about what kind of stuff you’re likely to put underneath the bed. Whether you plan to sit or move around under the bed, this is one important detail that you must include in the design on how to build a loft frame for dorm bed.

When you are done with the measurements and the design you can begin the process of transferring the design from paper to wood:

1. Put the frame together: Cut wood to fit your bed and make it at least 3 inches longer and wider than your mattress. This 4-piece frame should allow for the thickness of the boards and allow movement on each side of the mattress. You can use screws or lag bolts to put the frame together.

2. Attach the slats to the frame: Cut four slats. One goes on each end and the two remaining slats should be evenly spaced between them. They will look like four parallel planks evenly spaced out. Attach the slats using lag bolts. Make sure the frame is straight before attaching it. There should be support braces to add extra support in holding the weight. To cover the spaces the planks made, you can cut a piece of 3/8 inch plywood to go right on top of the slats to make the flooring for the mattress. No need to attach it, just lay it on top of the planks when you have finished the whole loft frame. This way, when you are looking up from beneath the bed, you’ll see wood instead of slits of materials from the mattress.

3. Attach the legs to the box frame: Cut legs for the bed which will most likely be 5 or 6 feet in length. The beams can be made thicker depending on how heavy the mattress and the person sleeping on it will be. You can attach the legs right to the sides of the frame, but first turn the frame face down to make it easier to tack on legs. Then turn the bed over and set it in place when done. Also make braces for the legs for added support.

Finished loft frame

4. Build a ladder to the bed: Depending on which side has the space for getting into the bed and most applicable to the design, you can build rungs along one side of the bed to use as a ladder. Should be attached no more than one foot apart, which makes about 5 or 6 steps.

5. The finished look: Sand all the wood surfaces to have it smooth before applying a clear finish for a more polished look, or you can apply stain or paint of your choice. A loft bed can definitely add much needed space to your room. Just remember that for anything that needs to be built, one must always have a plan. A lot of considerations need to be included in the design on how to build a loft frame for your dorm bed, from little details like mattress size, leeway, dimensions and materials to the general purpose of creating one.

  • John V

    If you don’t have all the necessary tools, space or time to build it yourself, you can find some good easy-to-assemble kits on the internet. You can find a good variety by doing a Google search for College Loft Beds.

  • Interior Design Ideas

    Awesome Article, information is very important after I read your article

  • Amy

    Ohh my gosh..!! I have just made a sketch of one of these except my drawings rubbish but this is perfect, I have a small space fits a toddler sized bed just and making it like a bunk for my son. And this is what I will make.. Thanks for your post.. 😀