How to Build a Hanging Bed

Easy to build, super fun, saves on space. Take a look at how to build a hanging bed for less than $100. Photos and inspiration to build your own suspended bed.

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DIY Suspended Loft Bed

Nowadays, you can find a whole world of design ideas on the internet, from a outdoor hanging bed for some relaxing time, to a rustic deck for your outdoor space. Maybe you’ve been looking for inspiration for floating bed designs and you’ve come to realize that for a kid’s bed, the hanging bed (suspended bed) is a better bet (save on space). And finding hanging beds for sale is crazy, they’re expensive. A hanging bed is easy to build, theres many bed designs, and can save loads of space in a small room in a affordable way. All you’ll need are a few tools and a trip to the home improvement store. And the best part is: this DIY hanging bed “plan” is really simple and takes just a few hours. This is a Twin XL (mattress) sized bed.This floating bed looks awesome with the right bedding. Some pillows or cushions with patterns can give a great look to small spaces. There is million design ideas! 

DIY Suspended Bed for a Kid's Room

Materials Needed for Creating a Hanging Bed

Materials for the bed can all be purchased at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Links for materials for the floating bed in this post are for Home Depot. Cost of materials for the bed (not the stain or guardrail) should total less than $100.

1 x 4 Common Board
2 x 4 Stud
2 x 6 Stud
Spring Link
Gusset Angle
Steel Screw Eye
High Test Chain
1/4 in. x 4 in. Zinc-Plated Hex Lag Screw
#10 3-1/2 in. Star Flat-Head Wood Screws (1 lb.-Pack)
#8 2-1/2 in. Phillips Bugle-Head Coarse Thread Gold Screws (1 lb.-Pack)

Cost of Hanging Bed Materials = $95.29

DIY Hanging Bed (Kid's Room)

Stain and Varnish

Pick a stain that makes sense for the style of the room or the design ideas you have (rustic, for example). We went with Jacobean (dark) the color also accentuates the textures in the wood and gives a nice touch to the swing bed.

Twin XL – DIY Hanging Bed for Kids (Build Steps)

You’re only going to need a few hours to get this relaxing floating bed project completed. Here’s the thing… the staining process takes longer than the actual build. Take your time and space with it, it’s worth it to get the finish just right.

Cut Wood to Size

You’ll need to cut the side guard rails, end rails, bed slat supports, bed slats.

  • Side Guard Rails 2×6 – Need (2) – 82 1/2 inches (table saw or skill saw)
  • End Rails 2X6 – Need (2) 39 1/2 inches (table saw or skill saw)
  • Bed Slat Supports Take a 2×4 and cut it length wise in 2 pieces. Length must be 79 1/2 inches. You’ll need a table saw for best results. (table saw)
  • Bed Slats 1X4 Whitewood common board. You’ll want 15 slats at 39 1/4 inches. You’ll get (2) slats for each 8ft board you purchase. (table saw or skill saw)
Suspended Bed in a Kid's Room (DIY & Pics)

Assemble & Hang Bed Frame

Note: the end rails go inside the side rails. Use the 3 1/2 inch screws (2 in each corner on the guard rail sides).

Right Angle Clamp

The top of the guard rails will be exactly 33 inches from the ceiling. Mark the stud locations on the wall.

Find Studs to Level Bed

Level and mount the constructed frame with the top of the frame 33 inches from the ceiling. Use a drill bit smaller than the lag screw (bolt) for your pilot hole. Then secure the frame (using one lag screw) to the wall. We didn’t use washers but in retrospect, I would have.

Wall Mount Hanging Bed

While having someone hold the one end of the frame use a 2X4 (the one you purchased if you’d like / before the cut) to level the bed and to prepare to attach the chain to the ceiling. At this point (now that the bed is level) use the other lag screws to attach the frame to the wall. Attach a lag screw to each stud the frame touches. Add the larger lag screws (double up) to the ends (touching the wall) of the frame. Adding the extra (and larger) lag screw to the ends is just a little extra precaution.

Process of Leveling a Hanging Bed

Drill a pilot hole in to the joist (this is a basement room) as close to directly over the corner of the frame. Screw in the the screw eye using a screwdriver (horizontally for leverage).

Steel Screw Eye Install

Install the other screw eye in to the side guard rail, close to the edge so the screw enters the end rail as well. We placed the screw eye down 2 1/2 inches from the top of the rail. Connect the spring links to the chain and attach both spring links respectively to the screw eyes.

Hanging Bed Chain Attachment

Remove the 2×4 brace you were using to level the bed, cut it (as explained previously) and attach it using the 2 1/2 inch screws. Add one screw every foot.

Install Bed Bracket

Mount the gusset angle using the 1 inch screws. This is to add a bit more stability to the frame.

Mounting Gusset Angle

Then hang on the bed frame like a monkey.

Hanging Bed Test

Staining and Prepping the Hanging Bed

Depending on your situation, you can stain the pieces of the swing bed frame before assembling, before attaching to the wall or after you’ve attached it to the wall. The after you’ve attached it to the wall is a little more difficult so we went with that. 🙂

Finish Preperation

  • Sand with an orbital sander.
  • Application of paint thiner to clean up and prep for stain with cloth.
  • Application of stain using a cloth.
  • Application of polyurethane using a foam brush.
  • Very fine steel wool to work out any imperfections and prepare for second coat of polyurethane.
  • Application of the second coat of polyurethane.
  • Very fine steel wool application to finalize the look and feel of the bed frame.

Buy rubber gloves (that stain sticks around if you don’t).

Staining the Wood for a Hanging Bed
DIY Suspended Bed for Kid's Room

Please share:

  1. Don’t you need 3 of the 2x6x104-5/8 boards? 2 for the long ends and then 1 cut into two 39.5″ pieces for the ends? Also, why get the 104″ boards at all. When everything is less than 8′, just use that as the length for everything (before cuts).

    1. Just got back from Home Depot, and found the same: Yes another 2×6 is needed!

      Thanks Rob for posting all this…my boy is gonna love it.

    1. Hi,

      Would using a 1 × 6 for the back guard rail be sufficient instead of a 2 x 6? There is 3/4″ of a window sill that will be in the way of one of the end guard rails. Would I be better off putting a notch in the end of the 2×6 that would otherwise overlap the window sill? Thanks.

    1. I would, but I would change the design a little. Instead of the chain I would add a vertical ladder to the unsupported corner so the weight of the bed rests on the floor.

    1. Sorry for the delayed reply! The hanging bed is very sturdy, we’ve been using it for quite awhile now and it’s rock solid.

  2. I was just taking some time this morning to draw this out and by chance did a search in Google; and BOOM here is everything I was planning! This is awesome. Thanks alot for the details and the pictures.

    1. Same here! Being a single mom (death :(..) and money now super tight I’m forced into diy can’t say I dislike it either though learn so much. I will say I’m very GRATEFUL to have been blessed by finding these details ESPECIALLY in the shopping list; I hate having to make returns for wrong interpretation of in item needed. And the proper names of screws bolts and things is simply not known by me! So much to do in this life we all live my memory fails in those details!! Thank you for your time and work you have provided here my friend this helps me immensely! Again thanks. It’s people like you that help make a lemon filled life a bit sweet. Such a welcome treat! Peace

    1. What we did for the climbing wall wasn’t all that great. Some of the “rock” pieces came out.

      Here’s what I’d do if I knew what I know now:

      Before adding the plywood to the wall I’d secure the “rock” pieces to the plywood with some type of lock on the back piece of the plywood. Then I’d take the plywood and attach it to the wall (studs).

      What I did before: I hung the plywood then I screwed in the “rock” pieces via provided hardware as instructed via the company that sold the pieces. A few of them failed.

      But… A nice lock (bolt and washer) on the back of the piece/hardware (then sink that into the dry wall when you hang the plywood would work great.

      Hope that helps.

  3. This looks amazing and thanks so much for posting. I’m going to see if my husband is brave enough to make two of these for our boys. Couple of questions:
    1. You’ve made this look quite easy to do but we don’t have much experience of carpentry, do you think a novice can handle this?
    2. If our walls aren’t very straight how much of a problem do you think this might cause us?
    3. What should we get for the slats of wood that the mattress sits on?

    1. I just did this myself and if you have a drill and some kind of saw to cut the wood it really isn’t that hard. Just plan your layout carefully after locating studs. The hardest part probably was getting the chain taught and lined up. I also suggest getting an attachment for the chain that lets the chain rotate without linking. That way you can adjust the eye hooks as needed.

  4. My husband and I made three of these in the last two days! We adjusted sizes and made one queen and then 2 twin beds for our boys. Thank you so much for sharing! I’d be more than happy to share photos if you’d like to see!

    1. I want to make a full size one. Would love to see your pics and adjusted measurements. Never cut wood before, but plan to!!

  5. What methods or devices are there to insure the chain is tight? It seems like you would need some slack to attach the clips on the ends of the chains to the eyelets but once attache you don’t want that slack. Thanks. Getting ready to start this for my son.

  6. Would you recommend building this in a rental home? IF not, do you have a sample of a left bed I can play novice carpenter with? LOVE your ideas!

  7. Thanx so much. I’ve been searching for instructions that had the great details as well as it being an affordable option.
    I am going to tackle this project starting as soon as I can figure out the measurement adjustments for the larger size. I have always been very timid when it comes to numbers and figuring out what formula is needed. Is there anyone out there who will be willing to help me by sharing the adjustments for a queen mattress?

    Thanx so much,

  8. Hi, this looks so cool :)! We are planning of doing a similar bed on top of an existing cupboard, but it will overhang… we have a sloped ceiling so can’t attach to ceiling , is it possible to go at an angle to the wall instead with the chain??

  9. We have a small extra room which can’t fit a proper bed otherwise and that’s exactly the setup I had on my mind before finding your detailed creation. I’m thinking of giving it a go.

    May I ask if the bed still “hangs on” ? If yes, what’s its age exactly? Has someone slept there every night?

    Thank you

  10. Hey! This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing. Would it work with a double bed do you know? As then it would have to stay up with the extra weight of two adults. I only have a two bedroom house but very high ceilings, so wanted to put a double bed up high in my sons room for if we have guests to stay and also to be like a little den area for him. Let me know what you think if you have time. Thanks so much :).

    1. If I were to do that I think it could work just fine… I would think a more rigid mattress might help too.

  11. I’m trying to adapt this hanging bed so that it can be folded up when not in use, also with a matching lower bunk

    1. That’s cool. If you get a chance, take a picture, I’ll add it here. Would be great to see how you do it.

  12. Hi there do you recone I could do this in a apartment only in a small apartment and this would be great just worrying if I drill through the ceiling to put the chain on it might go
    Through to the apartment upstairs thanks

    1. Hi Emma,

      If the apartment was built to code the wood between the ceiling and the floor will be thick enough to easily allow for the screw eye that you need to secure the chain to the bed frame.

    1. I don’t but that’s a great suggestion for another post. I may need to do another room and get pics and details of the entire process. 🙂

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