Many people hear the term “homemade bed frame” and instantly images of collapsing wood come to mind. In actuality, homemade frames are not only more sturdy than most available in retail stores, but also allow for greater creativity in designing storage space under the bed.
Every bed frame must be the right size to properly fit the mattress. A twin mattress requires a bed frame that's 39 by 75 inches. A double or full size mattress requires a frame that measures 54 by 75 inches. A queen is 60 by 80 inches and a king is 76 by 80 inches. A California king, which is a non-conventional bed, requires a frame that's 72 by 84 inches.
The optimal height of your frame is determined by two factors, the type of mattress and whether you have a box spring. Box spring frames must be lower to ground to compensate for the extra foot of height from the box spring. For those without a box spring or those using a memory foam mattress, the actual bed frame can sit as high as 2 feet from the ground, providing optimal storage space.
As with any wood project, there are some basic tools that will make the job run much smoother. First, you’ll need a table saw for cutting the pieces to the correct size. If you don’t have a table saw, you can determine your measurements ahead of time and have the lumber yard or home supply store cut the wood for you. You’ll also want a quality drill with screwdriver bits, plenty of 3-inch wood screws, finishing nails, plywood for the compartment and mattress base, plus 2-by-4s and 2-by-8s for the frame structure.
First make the frame for the bed, matching it to your particular size of bed. The frame should be made from 2-by-8 pieces cut to length with a 2-by-4 leg attached at each corner. Space supporting 2-by-4 beams every foot across the width of the frame and screw them into position. Cut the leg pieces to your desired height. Set the final piece of plywood on top of the support pieces and secure it with a piano hinge. This will allow you to easily lift the plywood and store items underneath. Your mattress then rests on top of the plywood.