Build a Loft Bed for your Dorm Room

Loft Bed Kit

Unless your dorm is like a palace, the thought of cramming two beds, two desks, and two people with all of their stuff into one small room is mind-boggling. It makes one wonder how those with three people to a room survive (and you wondered why so many go home for the weekend). Outside of being a minimalist, your best solution is having a loft bed in your dorm room.

Sure, you can go out and by an expensive loft bed set-up, or pick up a cheap metal frame, but since it's summertime… how about a summer project?

Building your own loft bed is a project that pays off twofold: it will save you money and will allow you to maximize the space of your dorm room. Elevating your bed allows you to place your desk under the loft, giving you more space to arrange your room.

Cost

The wood and supplies needed to build the loft will cost about $100-$150, unless you can get your wood for free. Any time and expense you put into building this project can easily be recovered by selling the loft frame to another student when you no longer need it.

Building Tips

  1. By constructing the loft bed frame with nuts and bolts instead of screws, you can easily disassemble the loft at the end of the school year and reuse it again in the fall.

  2. Before building, you may want to check with your dorm regarding any regulations they may have. Sometimes you have to leave a certain amount of clearance between the bed and the ceiling, and the dorm may have other rules like not allowing loft beds to be placed in front of windows.

  3. It is a good idea to know your room’s dimensions so you know what you’re working with.

  4. What size mattress will you be using? The majority of dorms use a twin XL mattress. Check with your dorm to make sure.

Building Plans for a Loft

To begin your construction of a loft bed you will need a plan to follow. Free plans can be found on the Internet at DIY websites. The plan we are looking at today comes from Knock-Off Wood.

Loft Bed Plan

The plan from Knock-Off Wood is a loft for a twin bed. If you will be using a twin XL mattress you will need to make minor adjustments as a twin XL is 5” longer than a twin. The plan was designed as a “teen” loft bed, so some larger students may want to add cross bracing for additional stability.

Tools required for this job include:

  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Level
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Sander
  • Finishing Tools (Paint Brushes, etc)

After following the 13-step plan for building your loft bed, you should have something that looks very similar to this:

Loft Bed

Other Plans

Other loft bed plans can be found at Ask the Builder and on the Instructables website.

Don't have the time? Go with a kit

While building your own loft bed can be fun and rewarding, not all of us have the time to go out and gather all of the supplies needed to complete the project. For those pressed for time, affordable kits can be found and delivered right to your dorm: