How to Turn a Bunk Bed Into a Loft Bed

Updated March 23, 2017

As convenient as bunk beds can be for some arrangements, a time often comes when that second bunk is simply wasted space. Fortunately, you have the option of converting a bunk bed to a loft bed. It's a little more complex than simply removing the bottom bunk, since most frame designs use that bunk to stabilise the frame. Though a metal frame requires special skills and specialised gear, you can brace a wooden bunk bed yourself with standard woodworking tools.

Sand all faces of your boards and paint them to match your bed frame. If you can't find an exact match, you can choose a complementary colour and still have an attractive final product.

Disassemble your bunk bed by working backward through the instructions that came with it. In most cases, you'll use your hex wrench and/or screwdriver for this.

Reassemble your bunk bed according to the instructions. As with disassembly, this usually requires a hex wrench and/or screwdriver. Skip any steps for installing the bottom bunk.

Hold the 80-inch plank along the long side of the frame that you intend to place toward the wall. Position it about halfway between the floor and the top bunk, at a slight angle. Screw it to the legs using three wood screws, evenly spaced, in each leg.

The 30-inch boards will be attached on the short sides of the frame. Set one so that it is attached just above the long board, and the other so that it is attached just below the long board. Position both at a slight angle and screw them to the legs as you did the long plank.

Cut off the planks' protruding corners using a jigsaw.

Add touch-up paint to wood exposed by trimming, or to any points that got dinged or scratched during assembly.


The lumber dimensions given here assume a twin-size bunk bed, the most common style. If you have a larger, or off-size, bunk bed, adjust the length of the boards to suit your needs.


It can be tempting to try to shortcut the disassembly and simply remove the bottom bunk without fully taking the bunk bed frame apart. This usually results in frustration at best, and a dangerously unstable finished product at worst.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden bunk bed frame
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 boards, 1 inch by 6 inches by 30 inches
  • 1 board, 1 inch by 6 inches by 80 inches
  • Hex wrench
  • Power drill with screwdriver bits
  • Wood screws, 2 inches long
  • Jigsaw
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About the Author

Jake Wayne has written professionally for more than 12 years, including assignments in business writing, national magazines and book-length projects. He has a psychology degree from the University of Oregon and black belts in three martial arts.