Camp Loft Bed with Stair, Junior Height

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 07/16/2019 - 17:45
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Build your own loft bed plans with stairs all from 2x4 and 2x6 lumber!  This super sturdy and beautiful design features a platform for easy access, junior height loft bed plans free from

wood loft bed with stairs

This loft bed has been built and cherished the world over for almost a decade.  Here's why-

  • It's inexpensive to make - about $50-$100 in materials
  • It's super sturdy and strong because of the 2x4 and 2x6 materials - the same materials we build houses out of
  • It's an easy to build design that is fairly quick to tackle
  • The platform with stairs make it very easy to access the loft.  The lower platform is at about the same height as a floor to mattress, so it's a very natural and easy process to go from the bed to the platform
  • This loft bed is a very beautiful piece that can go with just about any decor

I built this loft bed for my then four year old daughter.  At four years old, a loft bed seemed like a bad idea.  But with the stairs, it's really not that different than a regular bed - just the access is at the bottom.

The stairs are so much easier to use than a ladder.  And the platform is just right.  Instead of having to crawl down a ladder, you simply swing your legs off the bed (just like a normal bed) and they rest on the platfrom.  Then you stand up (with good headroom) and walk down the stairs.

The goal was to create a loft bed that mom and dad could easily crawl into and snuggle and read bedtime stories - and easily sneak out when the child drifted off to sleep.



We designed this bed to fit inside a room just bigger than 8x8.  Yes, 8x8.  It gave the room so much more useable space!

The window was previously the obstacle in the way of building stairs.  But with the lower platform, we were able to not cover the window. Now it's entertainment for the kids as they use it as a stage, and look out the window from it.

Under the loft bed stair platform, no storage is lost.  It's a great spot for a toybox or bin.


The best part about this bed is how easy and inexpensive it is to make.  That's all 2x4s and 2x6s (I'll share my finishing technique with you later this week) bringing the total cost of lumber up to about $50!!!  



Convert to Bunk Bed with Stairs Option

We also love this bed with a second bed under it to create a bunk system.  We have plans for a matching twin bed frame here.

NOTE: You may wish to increase the leg length by about 6" to give more headroom to the lower bunk - depending on how tall you make your lower bed height.

bunk bed with stairs



Loft Bed with Stairs Plans

loft bed with stairs dimensions
Dimensions shown above. Fits twin.


Shopping List
  • 15 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 4 – 2x6 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 – 2x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 ½” pocket hole screws
Cut List
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 65 ½” - legs
  • 2 – 2x6 @ 37 ½” -bed siderails on ends
  • 5 – 2x4 @ 37 ½” - guardrails on ends
  • 5 – 2x4 @ 75” - guardrails and base support
  • 2 – 2x6 @ 75” - bed siderails
  • 2 – 2x2 @ 75” - cleats
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 30 ½” - platform
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 37 ½” - platform
  • 1 – 2x4 @ 41 ½” - platform
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 20 ½” - platform
  • 12 – 2x4 @ 22” - decking
  • 2 – 2x6 @ 43” (both ends cut 45 degrees off square, ends NOT parallel) – to be trimmed down in later steps
  • 6 – 1x2 @ 7 ¾” (both ends cut at 45 degrees off square)
  • 6 – 2x4 @ 20 ½” - stair treads

This bed requires a slat system (1x3s, 1x4s or 2x4s or similar) or a bunkie board mattress to complete

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Build the ladder end as shown in diagram with 1 1/2" PHs and 2 1/2" PH screws. Use glue to fasten - these joints are permanent. If you are building this loft bed without the stair platform, add 2x4s all the way down to make a "ladder" for the kids to climb up.

Step 2

Build front end of loft bed same as ladder end.

Step 3

Now here's where we skip the glue. To make this loft bed easy to disassemble, I did not use glue here. The inside width for the mattress area should be 39", insetting the side rails 1 1/4" from outsides. I did this so your PH screws have lots of board to grab into. This bed has NOT been weight tested or guaranteed. If you feel you need extra support - add metal brackets under the 2x6s. An alternative method is to attach metal bed brackets directly to the ends if you have those. Notice the cleat is added in this step to. I used 2 1/2" screws and glue to attach, screws every 6-8" all the way down. This bed is designed to work with a bunkie board, but we just used 2x6s cut to length as the bed slats.

NOT SHOWN: Add the fifth 2x4 @ 75" at the back base of the bed to support the legs at the bottom.

Step 4

Now we'll start building the stair platform for the loft bed with stairs.

Step 5

Attach stair framing to the loft bed legs.

Step 6

And then the decking is placed on top of the stair platform.

Step 7

The stairs are easy to build - just 45 degree angles! We went ahead and drilled 1 1/2" PHs along top edge of the stairs to connect the stairs to the bed later on.

Step 8

Then we added the stair treads. We also drilled 1 1/2" PHs along ends of the stair treads and attached with 2 1/2" PH screws just for extra strength. Everything gets glued.

Step 9

The bed was finished outside and then assembled in the room. TIP: We haven't found our bed needs it, but for extra support, you could add another 2x4 @ 75" (at $2 a 2x4, cheap insurance) to the base of the bed to further support the bottoms.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Kristinemomof3boys (not verified)

Mon, 11/12/2012 - 16:47

Please tell me the modifications to make this a full size bed....I am a beginner to say the least and I would love to make this for my son who has a bed on the top of his Christmas list!!

Sheri reichard (not verified)

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 13:23

I've been looking for something like this, but with a full size mattress. Do you think it would work and do you know what measurement adjustments I would need?


Fri, 08/03/2012 - 13:34

I'm doing this bed as a full size bed...should be starting (and hopefully finishing) it this weekend. I'll let you know what are measurements are if you want.

Amberann (not verified)

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 21:52

Yay! Pammylaine, I want to make this bed in a full as well! If you wouldn't mind sharing your measurements I would really appreciate it!


Mon, 08/06/2012 - 06:55

Well, I managed (with lots of help from my parents) to get the bed built this weekend. What we did to get the measurements was to measure the mattress and then, just to be sure we were pretty accurate, we measured the actual bed that we were replacing (which was a full size antique bed that belonged to my great grandmother). The overall length stayed the same (the bed portion at 75 inches) however, obviously the width changed.

Everything that was measured to be cut at 37 1/2inches was changed to 55 inches.

The board that was to be cut 40 1/2 inches was changed to 58 1/2 inches. This was due to the width of the bed changing to 62 inches over all. This accounted for centering the board on both end posts with the other two 2X4's sitting flush with the edge of the boards (this is for the stair case).

The added inches also changed the required number of boards. We went with:
--------6-2X6's instead of 4 (we used an extra to brace the back of the bed instead of a 2X4)
-------20-2X4's instead of 14 (this gave us a few extra that we used to cut bed slats with...they were 56 inches perfectly from one end to the other)

All the other lumber stayed the same.

The only changes we made to the number of cuts was for the landing of the steps. We ended up using 15-2X4's cut at 22 inches and slightly spaced so that it covered the entire end of the bed. I wasn't comfortable with leaving the end open and not having something all the way across.

Oh, we also changed where the side boards were set on the end posts. The plans call for it to be 1 1/4 inches from the edge of the board. We clamped a 1X2 to the edge of the bed which was easier on us. That put it about 1 1/2 inches from the edge. It worked great for us.

On a personal note, make sure you measure to make sure the stairs won't prevent doors from closing. I didn't and we had to modify the stair case some to accommodate for the door. Have fun! We did...just make sure you take the weather into account. If I do it again, it won't be during the beginning of August in East Texas (typically the hottest time of the year) when the temperature is over 90 with a heat index rising to triple digits. I hope this helps some of y'all. I'll post a picture of it when I finish filling holes and touch up painting.

Julie Russell (not verified)

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 19:09

Would you be able to give me a list of all of the measurements that you've done. As well as a picture ?
I'd appreciate it !



Fri, 08/17/2012 - 11:09

So, I'll break it down into our cut list and our step by step measurements. If you would like I can still email them to you though. If you click on my name you should be able to go to my brag post where a few pictures are of the bed.

Cut List-
4-2X4 @ 65 1/2 inches
2-2X6 @ 55 inches
4-2X4 @ 55 inches
2-2X4 @ 75 inches
3-2X6 @ 75 inches (the extra is for additional frame bracing)
2-2X2 @ 75 inches
2-2X4 @ 30 1/2 inches
2-2X4 @ 20 1/2 inches
16-2X4 @ 22 inches
2-2X6 @ 43 inches
6-1X2 @ 7 3/4 inches
6-2X4 @ 20 1/2 inches
1-2X4 @ 58 1/2 inches

Step 1-Center boards between legs
1-2X6 @ 55 inches
1-2X4 @ 55 inches

Step 2-Center boards between legs
2-2X4 @ 55 inches
1-2X6 @ 55 inches
1-2X4 @ 55 inches

Step 3-Side Rails
4-2X4 @ 75 inches
2-2X6 @ 75 inches
2-2X2 @ 75 inches (Cleats)

Step 4-Stair Platform
2-2X4 @ 30 1/2 inches
2-2X4 @ 55 inches

Step 5-Stair Platform Framing
2-2X4 @ 20 1/2 inches
1-2X4 @ 58 1/2 inches

Step 6-Remains the same as original plans

Step 7-Remains the same as original plans

Step 8-Remains the same as original plans

Step 9-Additional framing support
1-2X6 @ 75 inches long---this was just to give me the feeling of additional sturdiness (is that even a word?) since my 4 year old is using it.

fdfdfd (not verified)

Fri, 09/14/2012 - 18:10

Thank you so much! We already have a full size mattress and wanted to upgrade these plans for that. Did you have to add any extra supports to make sure it stayed sturdy?


Mon, 09/17/2012 - 07:10

We just added an extra 2X6 as a brace between the back legs on the bottom. We also made sure it was directly against a wall on one end...that helps as well with the sturdiness thing. I really do feel like the bed is sturdy enough. I'm up there with my son at bed time reading books, and he likes to be a bit daring and do flips (it makes my heart stop when he does them!!) and we haven't had ANY issues...I see this bed lasting him a good long time.