Building a Simple Platform bed

After a few weeks, I had fully adjusted to sleeping on the floor. However, I still wanted to build a simple platform bed to get a little off the floor and also to have a surface that provided some ventilation.

So here is what I ended up with:

The platform I made cost me less than $30 and is actually quite comfortable.

It’s a very simple platform (almost pallet-type) frame for a light mattress or what I’ve been sleeping on: a queen size comforter folded over once. The frame is lightweight, cheap to build, and doesn’t require any carpentry knowledge (because I have very little anyway). The two parallel beams on the bottom are just 2″ x 4″ x 96″ framing lumber, and for the slats I used cheap 4″ x 1″ x 96″ furring strips. All totaled the frame cost about $30 (including hardware).

On this platform, the slats are screwed into the beams directly; there is no frame structure. You could easily make a basic frame and add legs to it if you wanted to be higher off the ground. If you want to make a more traditional bedframe, I haven’t found anything better than this.

Want to make my platform? You’ll need:

Two 2″ x 4″ x 96″ beams (about $3 each)

Six 4″ x 1″ x 96″ furring strips (about $2 each)

Three 3″ x 1″ x 6′ pine board (about $2.50 each) (optional)

Note: I did this all with hand tools. But whatever you use, be safe and use safety glasses, gloves, respirators, etc! Measure twice, cut once.

Measure and cut the 2″ x 4″s to 6.5 feet each. Measure and cut the furring strips to 3 foot sections (you should get two from each board). Sand or use a wood file to smooth out any rough edges. Place the 2″ x 4″s parallel to each other, spaced about 2.5 feet apart (I spaced mine using the short scraps left from the furring strips). Lay the slats down four inches apart. If you intend to sleep on minimal bedding as I do, then you’ll want to add more slats.

Once you have the number of slats and positioning that you want, glue them into place and let them set up. Once the glue has dried, drill pilot holes through each slat and use wood screws ( I used 2 1/4″ screws, two per slat) to secure the slats to the frame.

And you’re done! I haven’t decided on a finish yet for the frame, but I am leaning towards a pure Tung Oil finish. It provides decent protection for the wood, and is a natural finish. The platform is also pretty lightweight and easy to move around.

I chose a simple Queen size mattress topper and folded it over to create a temporary sleep surface until I can get an organic futon.

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