Affordable Modern Platform Bed

Affordable Modern Platform Bed

Half inspiration and half "How To" this post will show you how I made an affordable modern platform bed for under $300.


Design.  This is where you should spend a good deal of time.  There are a lot of things that go into the design process, including, but not limited to: the space your bed goes into, your budget, your handyman skills, green products or not.  You get the point.  This particular project shown above was for a good friend.  The budget was around $300, the space was small, I was fairly handy and had access to quite a few tools.

The actual bed is two separate parts, the top, and the base.  We'll start with the base. I made the skeleton out of cheap 1/2" plywood.  It eventually got covered with the nice walnut as show in the picture above.  The base was made out of 4 separate pieces that were bolted together.  I did this to maximize portability in case they ever moved and wanted to break it down into small parts.  A sketch of the skeleton not bolted together is shown below.

Sketch of modern bed base

The top didn't get the mitered (45 degree) corners the base got.  It was just a 90 degree but joint, which doesn't look quite as nice, but it makes putting the finished walnut on a lot easier.  I made it out of four different parts as I did with the base which were then bolted together.  I did this for the sake of portability in the future.  The overall dimensions of the top are about 6" wider per side, and at the bottom to get the overhang I wanted.  It sits flush at the top of the bed to save space in the room. (note, my sketches are not really to scale sorry)

top skeleton of bed

Next is the hardest part, using walnut ply (about $90 a sheet, ouch) cover everything that will be seen. This means using mitered edges where all the plywood joints meet.  I used a tablesaw with the blade at a 45 degree angle, but you could use a circular saw with a straight edge clamped to the plywood.  Take your time and think about everything three times before you cut.  The space in the middle of the bed I spanned with multiple 1x4 pine slats. 

To finish it I used a water based minwax polyurethane.  Put a coat on, sand with 600 grit sand paper, repeat x 3. On your last coat sand with 1200 grit sandpaper for the glassy finish.


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Anonymous on Apr 27, 2014:

What size mattress fits this? I have a king size mattress... This looks smaller, but it could be the angle the shot was taken...

Anonymous on Jul 21, 2012:

Do you mind sharing what size mattress this is and what your demensions of the platform were, piece by piece? If not, that's okay, but I would need a little more help than just the pictures to build this...I'm not very good!

Yogi on Jul 26, 2009:

I like! Question, would the bed stay in one piece if people were um rolling around on it , or jumping on it hard?

creede on Aug 16, 2008:

I used screws to hold it all together.

oldbiddy on Aug 16, 2008:

This looks great!  How does the plywood skeleton stay together?  Did you use screws, or put blocks in the corners?  Thanks for showing it. 

creede on Aug 09, 2008:


The top just sits on the base.  They are heavy enough that they don't move at all.

greenwalt on Aug 08, 2008:

Hey.  This is amazing.  I am very excited to build it (I changed things up a bit to accomodate two twin beds). How did you get the top and base to stay together?

sillygirl on May 09, 2007:

I'm moving into a new apartment in June... totally going to build this bed for myself, but thinking of adding a headboard, maybe with floating nightstands. Anyone know how to build a floating shelf??

sparkie on Jan 20, 2007:

Nice looking....good job!

creede on Dec 19, 2006:

No box springs at all. I just used pine slats to span the distance and put the matress on top of them.

Obstinatus on Dec 19, 2006:

Did you recess a box spring into the platform?

Obstinatus on Dec 17, 2006:

Wonderful.  I've just added one of these to my project list!

LittlePinkStar on Dec 02, 2006:

love love love it :) genious work~!

zenbeauty on Nov 19, 2006:

great work! 

Goody on Nov 18, 2006:

nice...my honey wants a platform and this is one that i actually kinda like

creede on Nov 17, 2006:

I glued the walnut ply to the 3/4 ply that the carcass was made out of, and then screwed them on from the inside to suck everything up nice and tight. That way nothing is visable from the outside.

bruno on Nov 17, 2006:

How do you put the walnut ply on? Finishing nails? Wood glue?

urbanmom on Nov 17, 2006:

I love that idea!

benmoore on Nov 17, 2006:

Wow. that's really cool creede.  Nice work.  

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