Free Woodworking Plans to Build a Full Sized Low Loft Bunk

07.24.12 By //
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Many of you have been asking and now I am finally answering your pleas for this loft bunk that would accommodate a full sized mattress. Easy to build, and extremely budget friendly, this Free Woodworking plan to build a full sized low loft bunk is just the project for those of you who need a bit more vertical storage space. I always say, ‘when in doubt…build up’!

Below are the plans for this bed in other sizes! Something for everyone!


  • 2 – 4×4 at 10′ Fence Posts – untreated
  • 1 – 2×6 at 10′
  • 2 – 2×6 at 8′
  • 3 – 2×4 at 10′
  • 5 – 2×4 at 8′
  • 1 – 2×4 at 6′
  • 1 – 2×4 at 6′
  • 5 – 1×4 at 10′
  • 1 – 1×4 at 8′
  • 1 – 1×4 at 6′
  • 4 – 4×4 at 54″ (Legs)
  • 2 – 2×6 at 76″ (Front and Back Rails)
  • 2 – 2×6 at 58″ (Side Rails)
  • 3 – 2×4 at 76″ (Upper Back Rails and Center Joist)
  • 4 – 2×4 at 58″ (Upper Side Rails)
  • 1 – 2×4 at 23 1/2″ (Front Guard Rail)
  • 2 – 2×4 at 57″ (Front Upper Rails)
  • 2 – 2×4 at 60″ (Ladder Rails)
  • 4 – 2×4 at 14″ (Ladder Rungs)
  • 2 – 1×4 at 76″ (Cleats)
  • 11 – 1×4 at 55″ (Slats)

**I recommend finishing your boards and posts prior to assembling and simply touching up later. This will make for easier painting and will keep you from having to paint this wherever this piece will actually live (bedroom) since you will have to assemble it in the area it will be placed (at 45 or more inches wide this will not fit through a doorway after it’s assembled).

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Cut the Legs to size and attach the Cleat to the Front and Back Rails using 2″ Screws.

To attach the Rails to the Legs you will arrange the 4 pieces as shown in the diagram below, making sure to leave 1 1/2″ on either side of the Rails to allow for the Side Rails later, and clamp together making sure everything is completely square before you proceed. Once square and aligned as needed, you will use a 5/16″ Drill Bit and drill through all 3 pieces on each side, creating 2 holes on either side for the bolts.

Fasten with your Carriage Bolts and tighten.

Attach the Side Rails to the Front and Back Rails then fasten the Upper Back Rails to the Back Legs. Once those are in place, fasten the Center Joist in roughly the center (duh). Use 3″ Screws

Attach the Front Vertical Guard Rail, use 2″ Screws. Then fasten the Front Upper Rails to it and the Front left or right Leg. Use 3″ Screws to attach to the Leg.

Attach the Upper Side Rails on the side opposite where you choose to put the ladder, in my example this would be the left side. Use 3″ Screws.

Lay your Slats approximately 4″ apart. Be sure the 2 on the outside edges are flush in both corners. Screw down using 1 1/4″ Screws.

Attach the remaining 2 upper Side Rails to the Back Rails and then either use a Pocket hole System (Kreg Jig) to create pocket holes and fasten to the front leg. If you don’t own a Kreg Jig you can also countersink and predrill at an angle from the outside edge into the leg. Use 3″ Screws

Create the Ladder. I give approximate dimensions for the height below, but the important aspect to focus on is the angle you will cut the top and bottom. The top of the ladder rails will be at a 75°angle and the bottom of the rails will be a 15°angle where the boards will rest on the ground.

Attach the rungs at approximately 8″ apart (this will depend on the age of your kiddo, the smaller and younger, the closer together these should be, you need to consider how easy it will be for them to climb down) and parallel to the ground. Use 3″ Screws to fasten the rungs to the rails and to fasten the rails to the Leg and Front Guard Rail. I suggest cutting away the point you will create at the very top, when you cut the 75°angle, for added safety. This will also give your ladder a bit of a hand grip up top.

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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23 comments on “Free Woodworking Plans to Build a Full Sized Low Loft Bunk”

  1. Hey I was just wondering if you could tell me what the weight capacity for the full size loft bed is. Thank you

    1. This will easily hold an adult, and probably 2 or 3, but if anything feels wobbly or loose at any point, you can bulk up and add a second joist running from head to foot! That will absorb the weight and good to go!

    1. You simply need to increase the height of the legs, and the ladder which might also require an extra rung. That’s it. pretty easy…

  2. Aloha! I have an Ikea slatted bed platform, and am wondering if I omit your slats, would it fit into the space designed for them? Thanks 🙂

    1. as long as your platform bed is a full sized bed, then yep, should work beautifully! BUT, consider securing the slats in some way because they run a high likelihood of shifting and bunching and of course down you will go – eek.

    1. i don’t love it quite as much, but it would very likely work out just fine. they act to stabilize the vertical pieces while they also act as rails. i tend to go overboard on the safety and stability so i think as long as you use something other than mdf and do in fact use wood, it would likely be alright.

  3. I’m going to be ordering a full size mattress online. I see that they vary a few inches by brand. I’m wondering what is the maximum mattress measurements that will fit? Thanks!

    1. we generally design our full sized beds around a mattress that is 54″ x 75″. we give them all a tiny bit of wiggle room all the way around so that it is not difficult to make the bed. that being said, it will work just fine if it is a tiny bit larger. if you need more than an inch difference, i suggest adding the amount of length or width you need to every piece that runs in that direction. so if you need it to work for a mattress that is 56″ x 75″, add 2 inches to every piece that runs width-wise or parallel to the head and foot board! hope this helps!

  4. I see you in the lumber list that you have 1 2×4 at 6 foot listed twice. Do we need two for this plan or just one?

  5. can you tell me what the clearance is under the bed?? I’m looking at putting a dresser under it that is 37 3/4 inches tall

    1. It is currently 36″. You can easily increase the height by 2″ by simply increasing the leg height and the length of the ladder. I think everything else will stay the same and this is a fairly simple modification!

  6. Hi I really want to put this bed together for my son but I don’t understand the demensions, can you help me convert it to cm?

  7. I am planning to build this bed, but I wanted to confirm which drill bit to use to drill through all 3 pieces on each side:

    5/16″ or 7/16″ Drill Bit

    Also, is it safe to assume that the 4 side upper Rails are 55″ and not 52″.

    Thank you in advance for your response!

    1. I would assume the rails on the end without ladder should be 58” (same as bed frame supports) and not 52” since a full size bed would not fit in a 52” opening.? Also, I believe a 7/16” hole would be too large for a 5/16” bolt.? For something like this a 1/32” oversize on holes would be preferred. I had the same questions as Medina above and I would like to confirm as well that I’m not missing something here. Thank you

      1. Yes it should be 58″! Sorry you guys, lost it on the diagram… hole should be 5/16″ and use a 5/16″ drill bit. Since the carriage bolt will also be 5/16″, you will benefit from the use of a mallet to get ‘er in there.

  8. On the lumber list you have that we need 1x4x6, in the cut list there is NO use for them. can you explain, help, or update.

    1. no problem! so, you need a number of 55″ slats and it works out most affordably to bundle them into 10′ boards with two slats per board. Given the number you need (11) you are inevitably left with one additional slat that doesn’t form a pair, so the 6′ board accounts for this remaining slat you need!

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