Sizing Furniture: Beds

I’m often amazed at the extreme differences in the cost of beds, especially when going from a queen to a king. That’s why I think that making your own bed can be extremely rewarding.

The number one factor in making your own bed is sizing the project to allow for your mattress. Listed below are standard mattress sizes:

Twin: 39″ x 75″

College Dorm Twin (Twin Extra-Long): 39″ x 80″

Double: 54″ x 75″

Queen: 60″ x 80″

King: 76″ x 80″

California King: 72″ x 84″

Use these dimensions when planning the interior space of the bed frame. I like to add 2 inches to each dimension, which will give 1 inch around all sides, to allow for bedding. Notice this example for a twin mattress below.

For platform beds, I like to allow a bit more space than that.

Height can vary dramatically and is up to your preference. I’ve designed platform beds as low as 10 inches. I like to aim for a height that will allow the mattress to rest at 16 to 26 inches above the floor.

Here’s a platform bed project I created for DIY Network – Modern-Style Platform Bed. Notice that it has a center support leg underneath.

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Published in: on May 31, 2012 at 10:22 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been designing my bed for that last few months, going through designs, figuring out what we want in it, etc. Finishing up my new bench this week and then starting it. Big project, full platform with storage, and footboard storage with LCD lift in it 🙂 This info is good to have, thanks for all you provide.

  2. My son wants a king size platform bed, he tired of the steel bed frame wheels bending he is a tall man 5 ft 11 inches and about 300 lbs he is loosing his weight at a healthy pace over 100 pounds so far expensive part buying new clothes 2-3 times a year my wife wants queen bed do you have designs for a queen bed and a king reg bed and a beefed up platform king bed never made a bed before but sounds like fun thanks jim

  3. I just built a king-size bed frame for my daughter, loosely based on the Hailey Bed from Ana White’s site. The bed was built to incorporate a box-spring,which also makes support easier since you only need to support the box-spring rather than the entire mattress. It also means that the frame starts lower; mine is 6″, using 2×10 and internal 2×4 bracing. The 9″ box-spring rises about 3″ above the frame, with the mattress on top.I braced the headboard and footboard, and then used 3 2×4 cross-braces, each with 2 legs screwed to the 2×4.All pocket-holes for the corner legs and cross braces. The bed is *very* solid.

  4. one thing I didn’t mention in my last post, I actually work for a mattress company, and one thing we see causing box springs to fail and sometimes then mattresses is not having support in the middle of the bed. This includes have a support rail from head to toe in the middle but ALSO having at least 2 legs touching the floor in the middle as well. This will ensure your mattress and boxspring will last as long or longer than designed. EVERY single failure I’ve seen in the last 3 years has been frame related (usually cheaper metal frames with no or broken center leg support.)

    • Good point – here’s a bed plan I did that adds a large center support –

    • Doug, a question; is there any problem with placing support rails across the boxspring rather than head-to-foot? I have 3 support rails running across the bed (in addition to cleats at head and foot), each with 2 feet extending to the floor. Just wondering if the typical boxspring is designed to require support head to foot rather than cross ways.

      • The actual warranty requirement says center supports touching the floor in 2 places, different for each company but basic is the same. We run into nicer beds, usually the wooden style with cross beams all the time and more than 1/2 do NOT have any feet touching the floor. To remedy this we cut 2×2’s about 2″ shorter than the rail height to floor and put adjustable feet on them, so they will fit their current floor and any other flooring in the future. As long as you have the feet you should be good. I will say that boxsprings are made with a center rail right down the middle and having it touch a center rail would be a MUCH more secure way of doing it, however I certainly wouldn’t redesign or add anything to a current bed, besides the feet 🙂

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