How to Make a Tatami Platform Bed

Written by pat olsen
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How to Make a Tatami Platform Bed
(tape measure 1 image by Martin Grice from

A platform bed is simply a reinforced box upon which you can place either a mattress or tatami mats. This Asian style version includes a mattress over which the tatami mats can be placed. It is traditionally low to the ground with lots of back support.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • 4-inch foam mattress
  • ¾-inch plywood cut to measure
  • 4 lengths of pine, 1-inch by 4-inch
  • 4 to 6 widths of pine, 2-inch by 2-inch
  • 4-inch leg posts
  • Medium and fine grit sandpaper
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Stain
  • Acrylic finish
  • Disposable foam paintbrushes
  • Tatami mat

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  1. 1

    Measure your foam mattress. Add a 2-foot lip all around to that size. Have the lumber company cut finished plywood to measure. Have 1-inch by 4-inch lengths of pine, four each, cut to frame the length and width of the mattress. Have 2-inch by 2-inch widths of pine, four to six each, cut to add support under the plywood platform.

  2. 2

    Use medium and fine grit sandpaper to smooth all wood. Stain all wood. Give at least two coats and dry thoroughly between coats.

  3. 3

    Drill pilot holes into the pine support slats and always drop wood glue into the holes to ensure a better bond. Use woodscrews to fasten the 2-inch by 2-inch pine lengths the width of the plywood. Add the four corner leg posts and turn the frame over.

  4. 4

    Mark the centre of the platform to determine where your mattress will sit. Mark around the mattress and use the 1-inch by 4-inch lengths to build a frame. Attach it to the platform with wood screws. Drill from beneath the platform so there are no visible screw holes.

  5. 5

    Touch up where necessary and finish with two coats of acrylic finish. Dry thoroughly between coats. Insert the mattress. Cover with tatami mats and enjoy a stylish Asian style bed with all of the comfort and support this project provides.

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