Essential Bunk Bed

free bunk bed plans
Beginner Projects
| Print this plan

Build your own bunk beds with free plans by  Step by step plans with shopping lists, cut lists and easy to follow diagrams.

Also can be built as a low bunk bed - perfect in younger children's rooms - they are easy to access, easy to change bedding, and just as fun as a taller bunk (and no mess under the bed).



Watch - Bed Building Video

This bed is built with 2x6 and 2x4 boards, and is very sturdy and well planned.  Please watch the build video of the low loft bed, it is very similar in steps:

Low or Standard Bunk Bed Options

This bed can be built as a low bunk bed or standard bunk bed. Follow the steps exactly for the low bunk bed, or make modifications for the standard bunk bed.

standard bunk bed dimensions

Pin For Later! 

Essential Bunk Bed

low bunk bed dimensions
Low Bunk Dimensions, suitable for twin mattresses


Shopping List
  • 4 - 2x4 @ 10 feet long
  • 6 - 2x6 @ 10 feet long
  • 4 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 10 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long (for bed slats)
  • 100 - 2-1/2" long self tapping wood screws (star bit #8 recommended) - for main construction, can be as long as 3"
  • 80 - 1-5/8" long self tapping wood screws (star bit #7 or #8 recommended) - for screwing slats down only
Cut List
  • 5 - 2x6 @ 75" - cut first 
  • 6 - 2x6 @ 41" - cut from leftovers after cutting the 75" pieces
  • 1 - 2x6 @ about 55" - measure and cut to fit - cut from leftovers after cutting the 75" pieces
  • 7 - 2x4 @ 50-1/2" - legs / ladder sides (64-1/2" for standard bunk bed)
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 18" - ladder rungs (cut 3 for standard bunk bed)
  • 4 - 2x2 @ 75" - cleats for slat system
  • 20 - 1x4 @ 38" - slats
Cutting Instructions

TIP: Before cutting, paint or stain all the 2x4 and 2x6 boards.  Then cut the prefinished pieces.

After final assembly, you can touch up the cut ends.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Miter Saw


Step 1

For the standard option, leave 8" under the bottom "rung"

Build two of the end panels as shown, with the 2-1/2" screws.

If not building the bed in the room, it will not fit through doorways when it is complete.  So these screws will be removed in later steps.  Do not glue if you will be disassembling for moving.

Step 2

Attach the siderails to the end panels, with screws at a slight angle for better strength.

Leave 8" under the bottom "rung" for standard bunk bed.

Step 3

Build the ladder.

Step 4

Attach the remaining leg to the ladder on the side that won't be attach to the end panel of the bed. 

For standard bunk bed, space 14" apart and add an extra ladder rung.

Step 5

Attach the ladder to the bed with screws from inside.

Step 6

Measure and cut to fit the remaining siderail, and attach to ladder and end leg.

Step 7

Add the 2x2s flush to the bottom of the siderails with screws, at least 6 screws per side.  

Step 8

If disassembling, remove the end pieces as shown and bring into the room and set up.

Step 9

Add slats to the tops of the 2x2s.  Two screws per end for more structure.



Sun, 09/26/2021 - 12:07

do you think this would work for a twin over a double? My son recently moved back home and we are SO short on space. I'd like to get him off the cot he's using and into a real bed. His brother already has a double bed so I'm trying to work with what we have.