How to Build a Simple Platform Bed Frame
This easy-to-build platform bed frame offers a simple way to elevate your mattress and foundation off the floor. Made from basic 2x6 and 2x4 framing lumber available at any big box home center, you can easily build it in a few hours. Nine support legs made from easy-to-connect threaded galvanized pipe nipples and floor flanges make the platform frame extremely stable. And the heavy-duty framing can easily support a decorative headboard and footboard attached to the head and foot of the frame.
At its most basic, a bed frame is a metal or wood structure that is slightly larger than the mattress or foundation that it carries. Its sides and legs are partially hidden by the bed covers. A headboard and a footboard may be attached to the head and the foot of the bed.
This DIY platform bed frame is constructed in three phases using ordinary framing members and pipe parts that can be purchased in any big box home improvement center. Such projects might at first seem intimidating, but rest assured that this project is as easy as they come. Tool-wise, all you'll really need are a saw, a screw-gun, and a standard wrench or channel-lock pliers.
First, a rectangular outer frame of 2x6 framing lumber is constructed to fit the overall dimensions of a standard queen-size bed. Next, three long leg supports are attached beneath the frame, and nine legs made of galvanized pipes are installed. Last, six cross-slats are cut and installed across the frame, which will support the box spring and mattress.
Our design dimensions will build a frame for a standard queen-size bed. But the design can easily be adapted to different bed sizes. Simply adjust the size of the pieces so the overall frame meets the following dimensions:
|Bed Mattress Sizes (U.S. and Canada)|
|Twin||39 inches||74 inches|
|Twin Extra Long||39 inches||80 inches|
|Full||54 inches||74 inches|
|Queen||60 inches||80 inches|
|King||76 inches||80 inches|
|California King||72 inches||84 inches|
The height of the bed frame is adjustable too. The legs of this bed frame use 12-inch-long galvanized pipe nipples that elevate the bottom of the bed 12 inches above the floor. Threaded nipples can also be purchased in 6-inch, 10-inch, or 18-inch lengths if you choose any of those as your bed height. A shorter height might be advisable if you are using an extra-thick mattress, for example. Or you might want longer legs if you plan to rest the mattress directly on the cross slats without a box spring.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Tape measure
- Carpenter's pencil
- Carpenter's square
- Circular saw or power miter saw
- Cordless drill with driver bits and twist bits
- 9 1/2-inch threaded galvanized pipe nipples, 12 in. long
- 18 1/2-inch threaded galvanized floor flanges
- 7 2x6 lumber, 8 ft. long
- 6 2x4 lumber, 8 ft. long
- 1-in. utility screws
- 2-in. utility screw
- 3-in. utility screws
Cut the Frame Boards
With a power miter saw or circular saw, cut the 2x6 lumber to produce the following pieces:
- Two 80-inch-long boards for the sides of the frame
- Two 63-inch long boards for the end pieces (head and foot) of the frame
- Three 83-inch-long boards for the leg supports
Note: These sizes will produce a frame for a queen-size box spring and mattress. You'll need to adjust the dimensions if you are building for a different bed size.
- Two 80-inch-long boards for the sides of the frame
Test-Fit the Frame Boards
On the floor, lay out the two side frame boards, the head frame board, and the foot frame board, upright on edge, to form a large rectangle. The side boards should be between the head and foot boards, so that the overall length of the frame is 83 inches (including the thickness of the end frame pieces).
Carefully adjust the frame so it is perfectly square. A framing square aligned on the inside corners can help with this adjustment. Another method is to measure the rectangle's diagonals; if the rectangle is perfectly square, the diagonals will have the same measurement.
Screw the Outer Frame Together
Screw the head and foot frame boards to the side boards using 3-inch screws driven at the corners. Use three screws at each joint, and make sure the boards are perfectly flush at the corners.
Test-Fit the Leg Supports
With the outer part of the bed frame screwed together, square it up with the carpenter's square or by measuring diagonals. Even though the pieces are screwed together, it will be possible to make small adjustments.
Lay the three 83-inch leg support boards on the flat, lengthwise across the frame—one at each side and one directly in the center.
- The ends of these leg supports should be flush with the outside edges of the end boards, with no overhang.
- The left and right leg support boards should fit flush to the outside edges of the side frame boards. Because they are laid flat, these left and right leg supports will overhang the side frame boards on the inside by about 4 inches.
Attach the Leg Supports
Attach the three leg supports to the frame with 2 1/2-inch screws. For the two side leg supports, use several screws spaced about every 12 inches along the length of the boards, driving them down into the frame below. The center leg support is attached to the frame only at the ends..
Attach the Floor Flanges
Do not turn the bed frame over yet. With the cordless drill and the 1-inch screws, attach nine evently spaced floor flanges to the bottom of the bed frame, three on each leg support you just installed. Each flange will receive four screws.
Complete the Legs
Screw pipe nipples into flanges by hand. Finish by screwing the remaining floor flanges onto the pipes to serve as bottom feet. Normally, hand-tightening these pipe fittings is sufficient. If you have trouble, then you can use a wrench or channel-lock pliers to tighten them.
Now, turn the bed over and position it where you want it within the room. This is best done with the assistance of a helper, as the frame will now be quite heavy.
Cut and Fit the Cross-Slats
The side-to-side inner dimension of the bed frame should be 60 inches. Cut six 2x4 boards to 59 3/4 inches. Space these cross-slates equally across the bed frame so they rest on the leg support boards. Make sure that the two end slats are at the very head and foot of the bed, which will ensure the box spring is well supported.
Attach the Cross-Slats
Secure each cross slat to the leg supports with a single 2-inch screw driven at each end.
Make Adjustments (If Needed)
Check the stability of the bed frame on the floor. If necessary, individual legs can be extended or retracted by slightly tightening or loosening the pipe connections, using channel-lock pliers. Ideally, all legs should rest firmly on the floor.