{Build A Bed} Free Plans for Triple Bunk Beds

I remember with fondness the battles over “space” and the closeness of late night chats with my siblings as I grew up sharing a room.   I hope to give our kids the gift of comrade by through shared space.     With our recent adoption, space is at a premium.

Triple bunk bed plans

We were thrilled to discover this tutorial by  Handmade Dress where they had a triple stacked bunk!   It would work great for the girls bedroom… BUT it screws into the wall.   We wanted a more adaptable version, in case the kids decided to switch rooms, we have to move, or if they wanted to change the layout of the bunks.   With the help of the friendly lumber assistants at Lowes, we were able to create our own freestanding triple bunks.   Click any of the photos on this page to be directed to more detailed plans.

Triple bunk bed plans.

Supplies Needed:

  • 18 carriage bolts and nuts.
  • 2×6 boards
  • 2×4 boards
  • 2×3 boards
  • 3 sheets of plywood – all cut to be 39 3/4″ x 75 inches.
  • Box of wood screws 3″ long.
  • Gel Stain
  • Rub-on Polyurethane

Tools to use or borrow:

  • Table Saw
  • Router
  • Drill
  • Power Hand Sander – otherwise you’ll spend hours sanding!

We were able to borrow a router, if not we would have rented one – we used it to mold the edges so they were slightly curved.   It really added a polished look to the finished product!       We do have a circular saw, but we barely used it as the staff at Lowes cut the wood for us.   Saved us work and helped us fit the pieces into our van.   Thanks Lowes!!

Triple bunk bed plans.

Sizes to Cut the wood:

2×6 Boards.   6 boards 80″ long; 6 boards 40″ long {These will make the bed “box”}

2×4 Boards.   6 boards 66″ long; 2 boards 43 3/8″ long {Those will make the uprights for the top bunk};   2 boards 40″ long; 2 boards 25 inches long {These will support the middle bunk}; 4 boards 20″ long {the steps of the ladders}; 16 boards 7 1/4″ long {These are the supports between steps in the ladder}.

2×3 Boards: 2 boards 60″ long {Top Bunk’s guard rail}; 15 boards roughly 40″ long {NOTE:   These are the supports for the bed platforms.   If your wood is slightly bowed as ours was you may need to measure these after you get your bed box created and cut to fit}

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We have happy kiddos – they love the New Year with their new beds!!   I love the floor space in what was before a crowded bedroom!   Thanks Lowes and the Creative Ideas Network for our new bedroom.   If you are looking for other weekend projects, check out their website and facebook page – they have tons of inspiring ideas.   For more details, click on any image on this page and you can see the PDF of “plans” that we put together.
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Are your kids in bunk beds?   What age did you move your children into bunk beds?

51 Comments

  1. Yes, they are 6-inch deep IKEA “roll-up” mattresses, standard Twin size.

  2. How long is the whole set up? My husband thinks you would need a really big room to get twin size beds end to end like this.

  3. They are really not end to end though. The middle one is inserted between the top and bottom.

  4. Our boys have bunkbeds already. It has a full size bottom and a twin top. We also have a custom made toddler bed in the room too. So all 3 boys have thier own beds but share a room. I like having a spare room for all the toys. But we are thinking of adding to our family. These would open up so much room in the “boys room”. I’m now working up an estimate to give to my husband. LOL! He’s an awesome craftsman so I know this can be done quickly.

  5. Thanks for sharing this Rachel!! I am sharing it as one of “My Friday Fave Pins” tomorrow, Jan 25. I hope you stop by for a visit!! Love your blog!!

  6. WOW!!! Fantastic!!! My husband is so making this!!!!

  7. The only alteration we will make, will be the colors!! Totally colorful – each bunkbed in different color :))))

  8. I notice the upper bed doesn’t have a rail. I’m guessing attaching another 2×4 w/an additional support would suffice for that. 🙂

  9. I really like this plan, but the pieces of wood sticking out look hazardous? Especially for rambunctious boys. The top bunk definitely needs a railing also. I suppose adding more wood would solve these problems.

  10. This is exactly what we need! We have 3 boys – 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 and I think they need to move up from their toddler beds, but twins take up so much room! We knew we’d end up with bunk beds, but I love the triple as it takes up less room than a twin and bunk beds would! Thanks for making the plans available!!

  11. how much did all the supplies cost? I am wondering if it is cheaper than buying a used set on craigslist.

  12. I am looking into making this, but to save some “play space” I am mounting the “D” bed with drawer slides, and adding heavy duty casters on its legs so I can slide the bed closed when not in use!

  13. The measurements for this are WRONG!!!!! The design seems sound though. I am in the middle of building this right now, and decided to check the measurements. Close call, measure twice and cut once.

  14. Which measurements are wrong? I’m getting ready to tear into this project soon. I’m sure I would be able to figure it out, but some help would save some time.

  15. Can you tell me how you plan on making the d bed slide in thanks

  16. Which measurement were wrong? We are building these today. I don’t want to make a mistake and have to buy lumber again.

  17. Awesome. Gonna make next weekend. Thanks for sharing. Only thing that would be more helpful is a total board count without having to add it all up myself. 😉

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  19. This is a great idea, but does not meet CPSC government laws on Bunk Bed Safety. For only $9.95 you can download plans that do meet and exceed these safety laws at http://www.BunkBedsUnlimited.com

  20. I think these are unsafe with no sides! Good idea though!

  21. 2×4 is strong enough as a support? Most bunk beds I have seen use 4×4.

  22. That is what Rachel has used for her kids – they are under 8.

  23. You could easily add sides depending on your child’s age!

  24. what is the total board count?
    what is the finished size from side to side? I have only so much room trying to get 3 boys in one room.
    I have to this by myself so all info is needed.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    What about guard rails?? Do you have a plan that includes guard rails? Our kids move a lot during the night, and roll right out of bed! This would be a great idea for us for the three boys in their small room, but obviously this bed would not work unless guard rails.

  26. I built from this plan and it came out good. The plan is lacking in some detailed information but I was able to fit it with the needs we had. The middle bed could be made to adjust to a variety of room sizes. My beds covered 9’4″. Also the bed box dimensions could be altered a bit. I noticed that my twin mattresses were about 5 inches smaller than the length and width of the box. If I did it again I’d check the sizes. A smaller box would save some room which is the purpose of these to begin with. You can see the finished produce on my facebook page. I included a link I hope it works.

  27. What about hardware to put them together.. I mean I see tools and wood just no bolts screws or anything..

  28. Hahaha okay I’m blind..

  29. Anonymous says:

    We made these, love them! I agree with the comment about the bed sizes–our mattresses were a bit too small and the extra room is a great place for junk to collect. In hindsight it might have been better to get the mattress first and then build around it. The comment about the measurements being wrong, I believe refers to the ladder supports. We had to work a bit backwards to figure out how long they should be as the given dimensions didn’t seem to work out. We also added a guardrail. But despite some things that we wish we’d done differently, all in all we were VERY happy with them and very much appreciate you taking the time to put these plans online!!! It seems so obvious now, but I never would have thought of it on my own!

  30. We made this bed this weekend and had to tweak a few measurements but it came out great. We added casters to the extending became extra supports at the head of the bed so it can be slid into itself. Pushed in all threes beds take up the floor space of one twin. Extended it takes up a 9 ft 5in section of wall. My boys now have the extra floor space they so badly needed.

  31. We doubled the amount of carriage bolts (3in long) and added railings. All in all the total protect cost about $120. That’s including paint as we didn’t stain it.

  32. Norma Obremski says:

    Jesse…. I am not able to link to your facebook page. Could you send a copy of your revised plans to my email?

    Thanks so much…..

  33. How much did you spend on building these bunk beds. I really love them but I am on a budget.

  34. I agree that it’s a cool bed, but without rails, it’s not remotely safe.

  35. Jenny Gremm says:

    TOO COOL!!!

  36. Mistie J. says:

    This is a great idea, thank you for sharing and for sharing your plans! To everyone criticizing the design or plans, just keep your criticism to yourself and make your own adjustments, these beds obviously work for her and her family and do not pose a threat, as her children are fine sleeping in them. Me, I would have to add rails to two of the layers and Headboards, as well as rising up the bottom bunk to fit a line of drawers under it and then fill the space under the middle one with drawers to create a dresser space with a line of drawers for each bunk. See, take the plans and idea and customize it to make it your own to meet your family’s needs, without criticizing hers. 🙂

  37. Sam, I would LOVE a pic of your beds and the changes you made!! I love the idea of the middle bed rolling in to make more space during the day!!

  38. Anyone ever sit straight up from a bad dream? I would suggest sliding 3rd bed to the right and bolt to the end legs instead, would also suggest using 4×4 for leg post and horizontal braces on back and sides as well. Any horizontal shifting would cause this bed to sheer and eventually collapse. /-/ would be bad cross bracing would prevent that 😉 don’t want your kid on the lower bunk to get sandwiched = 😉 and yes I am a carpenter

  39. It’s a good idea just not all that safe as it is, horizontal bracing and 4×4 legs would make a world of difference, if you don’t have room to slide 3rd bed to the right I would advise padding the end of it to avoid kid whacking there head on it if the shot up from a bad dream, imagine that suddenly waking from a bad dream and get whacked on the forehead, I can hear the screaming now 🙂

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  41. This bed look absolutely perfect for our needs. Thank you so much. Might need to do some minor tweaking to meet our space needs but this is such a great jumping point. I love that you adapted the original design to be free standing. That is exactly what we were looking for!

  42. Hi there,
    Thank you for sharing this bunk bed plan, we are planning to build a similar one but with normal size single mattress 3ft, plus having the middle one as it is. The one problem I am find is the size of the boards do you have a measurement in height, width and length? I am from the UK and can’t work it out. Also I am thinking to add a sliding from the top bed to make it a bit fun for our daughter. Any ideas? Cheers

  43. kalibosilulu says:

    Very nice and sweet , great idea this bunk bed plan .. Thanks for the good idea

  44. MissIcarus says:

    I love this idea!
    But I am glad I aren’t the only one who thought the middle bed needs to be adjusted slightly, it seems too close to the head of the bottom bed, the child waking in middle of night could bump ibto it, I’m also not keen on the bits of wood sticking up, and no guard rail on top.
    Other then that.. few tweaks here n there, its good to go 🙂

  45. Sam, can you send me a pic of the casters and where you placed them? I like the idea of making it collapsible. Thanks

  46. Midwest Mom of 3 says:

    Awesome! I love these! I don’t get these people claiming it needs 4×4 legs? Maybe their building one for their college kids? One bed is on the floor so there is no weight issue there, and my two oldest will be past 5th grade before they hit a combined 100lbs! And the ones criticizing the heights need to teach their kid to sleep with their heads at the other end of the bed! I do love the caster idea, being able to slide the bed in when their not using it is genius! This would be great for working on school projects or when it’s time to swap clothes seasons out of the attic! My three are all 4 and under my only dilemma is to start with one with toddler mattresses or just move onto the two size ones?

  47. Ed keeney says:

    How many of each board do I need

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