How to Make a Platform Bed Using MDF

Written by marie mulrooney
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A good platform bed offers more support than aged box springs or rickety bed frames. While a hardwood platform bed, ready-made, could cost you £650 or more, you can make your own sturdy platform with nothing more than a sheet of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), some 2-by-4s and a screwdriver. The platform bed you build should be the same size as your mattress or just a little larger. The instructions given here are for building a king-size bed platform using MDF. If you're like to build a smaller platform, measure your mattress or consult the Mattress Sizes Chart in the resource section and adjust the dimensions of your project accordingly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Wood screws, 3 inches or longer
  • Power screwdriver
  • 4 2-by-4-by-76-inch boards
  • 2 2-by-4-by-72-inch boards
  • Medium-density fiberboard/MDF: 76- by 80-inches

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  1. 1

    Measure your mattress or consult the Mattress Sizes Chart in the Resources section.

  2. 2

    Lay two of the 2-by-4-inch boards out, parallel, about 76 inches apart from each other. Place the other two boards in between the first two boards to form a box that measures 76 inches by 80 inches.

  3. 3

    Use the power screwdriver to put two screws, each about a half in from the edge of the 2-by-4 boards, into each corner. This constructs a solid box frame for your platform.

  4. 4

    Wedge both of the 72-inch long boards into the box as crossbar supports. They should run parallel to the shorter side of the box and their 4-inch sides should be perpendicular to the ground. If you cut your boards precisely they should only just fit into the box without any difficulty.

  5. 5

    Screw two wood screws through the box and into each end of each crossbar support.

  6. 6

    Place your sheet of MDF on top of the frame you've made. If you were precise in your cutting, the edges should line up nicely. If you were unable to get one sheet of MDF that was 76- by 80-inches you can use two sheets. For example you could still cover the top of the platform evenly, without any gaps, by using two 76- by 40-inches of MDF laid side by side.

  7. 7

    Place screws straight down through the MDF into your 2-by-4 frame to secure the MDF in place. Put one screw in each corner first, to keep the MDF from sliding around, then go back and place one screw every 10 or 12 inches around the outside of the MDF. Make sure every screw you place goes into the frame. A lumberyard should be able to cut the boards and MDF for you.

  8. 8

    Place your mattress on top of your MDF platform bed.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're having a hard time getting the screws into the wood, pre-drill a small hole or, if you don't have a power drill handy, pound a nail about an inch in, pull the nail out, and use as a pilot hole. The nail or drill bit should be just a little bit narrower than the screws you're using.

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