Lofted / Raised MALM Storage Bed converts to 18″ of Storage!

Making a home comfortable is a challenge anywhere, but even more so in a 250sq ft NYC apartment. The bedroom measures 8ftx8ft, so please excuse the tightly cropped pics! Before this all started we were sleeping on a boxframe and mattress on risers with a bedskirt, and things just stuffed under the bed as they could fit. We have NO closets, so this underbed storage is prime real-estate. I also can only access 2 sides of the bed, so drawer storage is out. When I saw the MALM storage bed with hinged mattress, I was ecstatic. However, with only 11″ clearance under the mattress, this would be a downgrade from the 15″ clearance we already had. I pondered infinitely on how to raise the bed up high enough to fit our air conditioner among other things, and below is my solution!

When all said and done, this lofted bed now has over 18″ of clearance for storage.


-2×8 construction grade lumber cut to size

-4×4 board cut to width of 2×8

-1/2″x4″ planks cut to 12″ length

-LOTS of 1 1/4″ screws & washers

-2″ long Corner Brackets x16

– 1 1/2″ dowels


– felt furniture pads

– Lots of Patience

The bedframe is a MALM Storage Bed, this particular one is a size FULL. This bed has a frame that touches the floor on all sides, and considering it does not have a center support I wanted to make sure all points of the bed were supported, so simply putting legs would not be a solution. I started by ordering 2″x8″ construction grade planks cut to size (same size/length as the footboard/headboard and side panels). I then stained them “Ebony” which is actually a close enough match to the IKEA standard “Black/Brown” color. Also essential to any project is a willing helpful friend, and a sense of humor!


After staining, I prepped the longer side pieces by drilling holes in the ends for the dowels (the pieces will lock together securely in the same order as constructing the MALM). The foot board is not flush to the sideboard, so I positioned the dowels so that the 2×8 plank would sit directly underneath the frame. I then attached 4×4 boards with corner brackets (the MALM is supported w/ legs in the inside in this position, and so I needed to create a base here). I put felt furniture pads underneath the frame so that when completed the bed could slide without scratching the floor.

IMG_20140208_171554919 IMG_20140208_173736296

I then attached the 1/2″ x 4″ planks around the frame I built. This was to prevent the MALM from sliding from one side to the other. I couldn’t use a bracket because the MALM pieces are hollow and cannot support screws, so this was purely to prevent the bed from twisting/sliding one way or another. I then constructed the MALM bed on top of my frame.  You can see in the closer image why I needed the 4x4s. I placed the feet in the gap and drilled a long, large screw through the bottom of the leg into the 4×4. This seemed to be what really married the frame and MALM.


I then completed constructing the MALM! My lovely friend, who so kindly assisted me through this 2-day ordeal (as well as helping me paint an accent wall!) excitedly shows off the lifting frame.


I then put the mattress on top and made the bed! This thing is EXTREMELY sturdy and heavy enough so that it doesn’t move an inch. It is possible to lift the frame without disturbing your beautifully made bed..

And as a bonus, my completed accent wall as well!

IMG_20140208_212021332 IMG_20140208_212015545