Making your bedroom into a comfortable, inviting space is an important aspect of getting good sleep. The quality of your mattress has a huge impact on your sleep quality. However, choosing the right mattress is just the beginning. You will also want to support your new mattress with a quality bed frame or platform bed.
While you can buy a platform bed or foundation from any number of places, DIY-types may be wondering if it’s possible to make a platform bed at home. If you have some basic tools and DIY experience, it’s possible to make your own platform bed.
We’ll cover everything you need to know. We’ll help you navigate through the process of deciding on building versus buying, selecting the style you want, and browsing DIY platform bed ideas to help you find the right setup for you.
What is a Platform Bed?
Platform beds are simple frames used to support your mattress. They do not require the use of a box spring, so mattresses are placed directly on the hard-surfaced platform. Platform beds are growing more popular as foam mattresses, which do not require box springs, are becoming more common.
Types of Platform Beds
A platform bed can be made out of wood, metal, or even plastic. There are many different types of platform beds, ranging from simple wood slats to luxurious builds with extensive storage and other features built in.
Storage Platform Bed
These platform beds have integrated storage, usually in the form of pull-out drawers under the bed. This style is typically quite large and has a wide footprint. They also tend to be more expensive, but provide a lot of functionality.
Floating Platform Bed
This style uses small legs that are placed further underneath the bed, rather than at the corners. This makes it seem like the bed is floating or hovering. Because this style uses very short legs, these are typically very low-profile beds.
Low-Rise Platform Bed
This style is a broad category that includes various designs that feature a low profile. Typically the platform bed is only around 3-5 inches off the ground, meaning the mattress will be quite low. This style is not recommended for individuals who may have trouble getting in and out of bed.
High-Rise Platform Bed
This style is just the opposite of low-rise: A higher profile bed that’s higher up off the ground. As platform beds do not require the use of a box spring, mattresses generally tend to sit lower on many platform bed styles. If you’re someone who has a hard time getting in and out of lower beds, look for a high-rise platform bed style.
In addition to these broad types of platform beds, styles can also be categorized by a few other factors:
- Platform material: Wood, metal, plastic
- Base design: Slatted, solid
- Number of legs: 4, 5, and 6 legs are the most common
- Aesthetic style: such as “modern,” “rustic,” “chic,” and more
As you can see, there is a wide variety of different platform bed styles. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options, one simple way to help narrow things down is to browse image-searching websites to view pictures of available products, until you find a look that you like. Once you have an idea of the general style of platform bed you want, you can start looking for specific beds within that style. If you plan to build one yourself, you can continue to browse DIY platform bed designs and narrow them down.
Buying a Platform Bed
If you’ve decided to use a platform bed for your mattress, the easiest route is to buy one. Most platform beds are manufactured overseas, so they are relatively affordable. If you buy online, expect to spend an hour or two assembling your new bed when it arrives.
Budget-wise, expect to spend around $100 to $400 for a more affordable platform bed, and $500-$1000+ for a luxury model. Manufacturers like Purple offer quality metal platform beds on the lower end, while more luxurious options from manufacturers like Saatva reach the higher end of the range. Many budget-friendly options are available through retailers like Amazon, though be sure to check reviews to ensure you get a quality product.
If you plan to buy a mattress online, it’s a good idea to check with the manufacturer of your mattress to see if they offer a platform bed. This way, you’ll get a bed that’s specifically designed for your mattress. Some brands also offer bundle deals or discounts for buying a mattress and a bed frame or foundation together. Casper, Leesa, Tuft & Needle, and many other popular online mattress manufacturers all offer platform beds.
Building a Platform Bed
Can you build your own platform bed at home? With a basic set of tools and the right plans and guidance, even a relative beginner could build their own platform bed. That being said, if you don’t already have some basic tools, it may be more cost-effective to simply buy one.
To go about building your own platform bed, here are the general steps we’d recommend taking:
- Browse the internet for platform bed plans. Many online resources now offer detailed blueprints and DIY plans for building platform beds at home.
- Select 1-3 plans with styles that seem reasonable to make, given your access to tools and experience with DIY projects.
- Compare approximate material cost, and estimate how much time each design might take to implement.
- Select a design from your options that suits your needs, budget, and skillset.
- Acquire the necessary materials, likely at a home improvement store in your area.
- If you don’t have a table saw, see if the store can cut your materials to the necessary size. Many stores offer this as a free or low-cost service if you are already buying materials there.
- Assemble the platform bed according to the blueprint plans.
- Test the finished bed’s durability and strength before storing anything underneath, or sleeping in the new bed.
- Enjoy your new bed.
DIY Platform Bed Ideas
While we’ve outlined the basic process for building your own platform bed, the reality is much more complicated. If you’re thinking about building a platform bed at home, there are a lot of things to consider. What style do you want? How complex are you willing to go on the build? Do you want to go ultra-budget, or splurge a bit? How will you source materials?
Should You Build or Buy?
Before you get started, ask yourself: Does it make sense to build your own platform bed, or should you just buy one? Here are some considerations that might influence your decision:
Do you have the necessary tools?
If you’ll need to buy tools, it will likely be cheaper to just buy a premade bed.
Do you enjoy DIY projects?
If not, the frustration will likely not be worth the time and effort.
Do you want a custom design?
If so, build your own. If customization isn’t that important to you, buy a premade bed.
Do you need a new bed ASAP, or can you wait?
It will likely take several days to gather the necessary supplies and complete your build.
What is your budget?
While DIY can be more cost-effective, the most basic platform beds may actually be cheaper to buy than to build. However, when it comes to more luxurious models and complicated builds, it’s typically cheaper to do it yourself.
Settling this decision should be your first step. If you’re a hands-on, do-it-yourself kind of person, then building your own platform bed can be a satisfying experience - but it’s certainly not for everyone.
What Design/Build Plan Should You Choose?
Picking the right style of platform bed can take some time, particularly with the sheer number of options that are available. As building your own bed is a significant undertaking, we recommend taking your time in selecting the right design.
When choosing your design, ask yourself the following:
- How do the aesthetics of the bed fit in with the existing style of your bedroom?
- How complex is the build, and how does that compare to your DIY experience?
- How many different types of materials are needed for the build, and how accessible are they?
- How much do you expect materials to cost? Many DIY guides provide estimated costs for buildout materials.
- Do you have all the tools needed for the build? Are any specialty tools needed?
With these questions in mind, you can browse available DIY plans on the internet until you find the one suited to your needs, budget, and skill level.
Building a Platform Bed on a Budget
If you build your own platform bed, your biggest expense will be the raw materials. So, if you’re on a tight budget, doing whatever you can to reduce material costs is important.
The best way to do this is to reuse or repurpose materials rather than buying new ones.
Shipping pallets present a great low-cost option. Pallets are often thrown out by various businesses and manufacturers, so you may even be able to get them for free. Pallets are already designed to hold hundreds of pounds of pressure, so they are durable and well-built. If you have access to pallets in your area, you may want to search the web for pallet platform bed designs to build your own.
Another option is to purchase salvaged building materials. Nonprofits and other resources can often offer some excellent bargains on raw materials.
If you want a headboard or footboard, you may also be able to repurpose an existing bed frame to piece together your new platform bed. If you do not have a bed frame to use, you may be able to find one locally at a low cost through online marketplace websites and apps.
Ideas for Platform Beds with Storage
One big appeal of platform beds is that they can be designed to offer ample storage space underneath. You can even build a bed with built-in storage drawers.
If you choose to go this route, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First off, building a bed with built-in drawers will be difficult. Unless you have significant DIY or woodworking experience, we recommend leaving this to the professionals.
Second, you may want to start by thinking about what you’d like to store, and what containers you’d like to use. By thinking about the end goal first, you can select a platform bed design that will accommodate your storage needs.
If you want a luxury platform bed with tons of slick, built-in storage, it may be best to just buy a premade platform bed - unless you feel you have the DIY chops to successfully build your own.