DIY Loft Bed for Adults (Thanks for Those Bunk Beds, Kids!)

How to DIY a loft bed for adults from IKEA KURA kids beds.

We have a small apartment. We have a principle that every piece of furniture needs at least two functions. It’s a bed, storage, and reading corner.

Besides, we also wanted a bedroom free of any clutter.

So there’s just a bed in there.

IKEA items used:

Other materials and tools:

  • Birch plywood
  • Futon Mattress (160 cm width)

Tools:

  • Japanese saw
  • Electric drill
  • 14mm carpenters flat drill bit
  • Allen key (of course!)
  • Zinc corner brackets
  • Zinc flat brackets
  • Screws
  • Sanding paper
  • Gorilla tape

Hacking the KURA bed into a loft bed for adults

1. Build the KURA beds as per IKEA instructions and rotate so that the slats are at the top.

IKEA KURA beds assembled

2. Cut off the top part of the frame so that the KURA forms a rectangular cube. At this point it will be quite weak and wobbly. Ensure that that they can be supported by the wall.

top of KURA bed cut off

3. Take the electric drill and 14 mm flat drill bit to drill about 2mm into all of the screw fittings holes where the KURA bed frames meet each other. They need to be flush (the screw heads stick out and prevent this otherwise).

KURA Beds screwed together

4. To support the frame, I added two extra upright supports underneath each horizontal frame (so ten upright supports in total). I screwed them on with zinc brackets. The remaining wood from the top of the frame can be used for this.

Note that the frame is not made from a single piece of wood (multiple pieces pieces glued together and the horizontal frame will bend under adult weight without the upright supports.

Place the three beds together. I made the bed secure by wedging it in-between two walls using leftover wood. Brackets could also work if you have a solid brick wall.

I then obtained the birch ply. 152 x 210 (in three pieces). There’s also some overhang between the frame and the side wall. This will depend on your circumstances and the width of your bed. I screwed the birch ply onto frame and then used zinc flat brackets to screw the birch ply together.

I used some gorilla tape against the back wall to stop any potential forward wobble and to cushion the wood against the wall. It’s so secure though.

DIY loft bed for adults - IKEA KURA bed hack

For the shelving, I used the MALM chest of drawers, they fit nicely.

The central part is empty so that we can get in.

One option would be to add doors to the frame (would probably require creating a column around the frame to give sufficient space for the hinges.

We’ll probably cover with linen eventually.

Overall, it feels very secure and it’s a nice height!

How long and how much did it cost?

The KURA beds were given away or thrown out. I only needed to pay for one (£20).
The birch ply cost £200 (currently in short supply due to war in Ukraine)
Osmo £30
Drill bit £10

Note that a carpenter quoted me £2500 + VAT for the same result. So it’s only 10% of that!

In total, it took me about two weekends with a big wait to move the radiator and for the birch ply to arrive.

What do you like most about the DIY adult loft bed?

I’m recycling wood and following by my principles.
It’s hilarious that I’m using some kids beds – but they were being thrown away!
It’s quite novel and it’s easy on the eyes. It doesn’t look like an IKEA hack.
I sleep like a baby on that platform bed.
There’s space for reading and a ton of storage.

What was the hardest part about this hack?

We had a radiator in the way. So we had to move it first which delayed us by a month!

What to pay special attention to?

The upright supports.
Tighten those screws as much as you can, you won’t be able to do it later.

I took my time and I was quite lucky that it worked out so well for us in our small room.

More details on my blog.

~ by Neal Taylor


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