How to build a loft bed with stairs

This step by step diy article is about how to build a loft bed with stairs. Building a loft bed is a cheap solution for small rooms that don’t provide enough space for fitting a large bed and a desk separately. In order to save space, you could build a simple loft bed and place a nice desk under the support slats. In addition, adding a wooden ladder would enhance the look of the bed and add character to your room.

In order to get a professional result, you should pay attention to several aspects. Therefore, you have to buy quality lumber, made for furniture, if you want to build a durable bed. Select the slats with attention, checking if they are perfectly straight an don’t have visible flaws, such as knots, twists and chips. In addition, we recommend you to buy a good wood glue, as to enhance the bond of the components.

Always aligned the components before locking them together with screws. In addition, we recommend you to pre-drill the lumber, otherwise the wood might easily split. Add glue to the joints, if you want to enhance their bond. Use a countersink bit to hide the head of the screws, otherwise the loft bed won’t have an accurate appearance. Use a good screwdriver to insert the screws, otherwise you might damage the wooden components or the screws.


Made from this plan



In order to build a loft bed with desk, you needs the following:



  • A – 4 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 69” long LEGS
  • B – 2×4 lumber, 2 pieces 6”, 2 pieces 39”, 2 pieces 50 1/2”, 9 pieces 2”, 1 piece 13” TRIMS
  • C – 3 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 80” long, 2 pieces of 2×6 lumber 36” long SIDE RAILS
  • C – 6 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 36” long  HEADBOARDS
  • D – 2 pieces of 2×2 lumber – 73” long, 22 pieces of 1×3” lumber – 1 1/2” long CLEATS
  • E – 12 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 38 3/4” long SUPPORT SLATS
  • F – 2 piece of 2×4 lumber – 71” long, 7 pieces of 1×3 lumber – 16 1/2” LADDER
  • G – 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 80”, 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber 57”, 1 piece – 16 1/2”  GUARD RAILS



  • Safety gloves, glasses
  • Miter saw, jigsaw
  • Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
  • Drill machinery and drill bits



  • Pre-drill holes in the wooden components, before driving in the screws
  • Smooth the exposed edges, by using a router with a 1/4” bit



  • One day





Building a loft bed with desk

Building a loft bed with desk

Building a loft bed with desk


Building a simple loft bed with stairs is a great choice if you want to save space or make your room unique. Although there are many design and shapes you could choose from, we recommend you to build a basic loft bed, especially if you choose to get teh job done by yourself.

Smart Tip: Make sure the stairs are assembled properly and anchored to the frame of the bed properly, otherwise you might injure yourself. It is essential to make sure the whole structure is rigid and secured properly, otherwise you should ask a professional to make the adjustments.



How to build a loft bed with stairs

Buidling the legs of the bed

Building the legs of the bed


First of all, you need to build the four legs of the loft bed and attach the trims. Build the components from 2×4 lumber, suing our free plans. Apply glue to the trims and lock them to the legs with C-clamps. More, we recommend you to drill pilot holes trough the legs and to insert 2 1/2” screws into the trims to increase the bond of the joints.

Countersink the head of the screws, otherwise you won’t get a neat appearance.


Installing the headboars

Installing the headboards


Next, you should attach the top headboards, as well as the bottom braces, at both ends of the bed. In order to lock them into place, you need to drill pilot holes trough the legs (to prevent the wood from splitting) and drive in 3” wood screws into the 2×6 slats,  from the outside.

If you want to enhance the look of your bed, you should round the top board, using a jigsaw with a sharp blade. Don’t forget to sand the cut edges, otherwise you might injure yourself.


Securing side braces with screws

Securing side braces with screws


Next, fit the side rails and lock them into place with 2 1/2” wood screws. In order to get an accurate result, you should ask a friend to hold the components, while you drive in the screws. Align the wooden rails at both ends and make sure the corners are right-angled, before drilling the pilot holes and inserting the screws.

Taking into account you need to insert 4 screws at each end, you should countersink their heads.


Installing the slat supports

Installing the slat supports


Continue the project by installing the cleats and the slat supports. Therefore, you need to secure first 2×2 cleats to both sides of the loft bed, using 2 1/2” screws, every 6”. As you can see in the image, you also need to install small pieces of 1×3 lumber, to hold the support slats properly.

Smart Tip: Afterwards, cut the support slats at the right size and fit them into place, without driving in screws tough the slats into the cleats.


Installing the guard rails

Installing the guard rails


In order to prevent accidents, you should install the guard rails to the loft bed, as in the image. Therefore, cut the rails from 2×4 lumber and fit them into place. Drill pilot holes trough the rails and insert the 2 1/2” screws, to secure the components to the frame tightly.

Smart Tip: Make sure you round the exposed edges with a router and a 1/4” bit or you smooth them with a sand-block.


Fitting the guard rails

Fitting the guard rails


On the opposite side of the loft bed you need to install guard rails, as well. In order to get a professional result, you need to let enough space to install the wooden stairs. As you can see in the image, you need to install a support, made out of 2×4 lumber.

Cut a notch at the bottom of the support to fit into place properly and secure it to the frame of the bed. Fit the guard rails and drive in screws trough the support to lock them into place.


Installing the ladder

Installing the ladder


Afterwards, build the stairs for the loft bed, using our free plans. You need to build the side supports out of 2×4 boards and the stairs from 1×3 lumber. In order to get accurate results, cut one end of the supports at 15º, while the other end at 75º.

Cut the rungs at the right size, align them and secure them into place with screws driven trough the ladder supports. After assembling the ladder, secure it to the frame with 3” screws.


How to build a loft bed with ladder

How to build a loft bed with ladder


Last but not least, you need to take care of the final touches. Therefore, you should fill all the holes with a good filler and let the compound to dry out properly, before sanding the wooden surface with medium-grit sandpaper.

Smart Tip: Clean the residues with a dry cloth, before staining the bunk bed with the appropriate products for your tastes and needs. Afterwards, you could install the desk under the bed.



Thank you for reading our article about how to build a loft bed with stairs and we recommend you to check out the rest of our projects. Don’t forget to share our projects with your friend, by using the social media widgets, if you’ve found this article useful.

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