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

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Camp Loft Bed

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.



Thu, 01/23/2020 - 22:14

Could I use the top as a play area for my 2.5 year old with her toddler bed (crib) mattress underneath until she gets a tad older? Or do you have other simple plans that you could recommend that would be more suitable? 


Tue, 02/04/2020 - 16:30

I was recently looking for a loft bed because my new bedroom is very, very small and I need a lot more space when suddenly, I came across this plan and my dream bed appeared! I love this so much and its so much cheaper than actually buying it. The only questions I have are what the weight limit for this bed is and if there is any way that I can make into a queen-sized bed. Did anyone make this bed for a teen or tween that could share some info about the weight and height they made it into? Thanks! 


Mon, 03/02/2020 - 07:52

I just finished this bed for my 4 year old son and i made a few changes and it worked out great.  Instead of the 2x2 cleat, i cut 2x4s at 39 inches and placed them every 9 5/8 across the 75 inch span and i also cut a half inch sheet of mdf to 39x75 and put on top of the previously mentioned 2x4s.  This bed held me no problem before adding the 1/2 inch sheet of mdf and Im 300+ lbs. To make this a queen size you will just need to adjust the length and width to fit the mattress. I would suggest maybe using 4x4s for the legs or adding more support front to back and side to side... 


Sun, 02/16/2020 - 05:58

Am I missing how the decking is attached?  Are they using pocket screws and if so how and where?  I missed that when reading through and have started the build. Please help!


Mon, 03/02/2020 - 07:57

I thought the same thing so i put pocket holes in all my platform pieces because i did all the holes before moving everything in to assemble in my sons room. When i got to that part i realized that they can not be attached that way.  I just drilled 4 holes in each board, 2 on each side and used 2.5 inch construction screws, and countersunk them.  just make sure to place the screws within the outer 1.5 inch on each side so when you screw them down you drive into the 2x4s that make the platform.  I did .75 inches from the outside so i would be directly in the middle of the 2x4s below just so i didnt have to worry about splitting.


Tue, 03/03/2020 - 04:58

Yes that would be pretty easy, the length is the same so all those pieces would be the same. A full is 54 inches wide and a twin is 38, so you would just need to extend those lengths out to support the 54inches.


Sun, 04/05/2020 - 08:18

I'm pretty new to project like this. I see your bedrails look like they T with the corner posts. Is there any special clamping you used to do that? In my limited experience, even with pre-drilling holes boards push away. Thanks for the insight.


Wed, 04/08/2020 - 09:56

If I add 6in to the legs do I need additional lumber? Or is there enough? Does that make sense?

Cabana Bob

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 17:41

My wife and I built this bed for my five year old grand daughter
I just finished making this loft bed for my five year old grand daughter. Boy she is thrilled to have this cool new bed!

This was a pretty straight forward project. Only basic wood working tools are necessary: Chop Saw/Circular Saw, orbital sander (Lots of Sanding), drill/driver (You will use a ton of screws), Krieg pocket jig, sandpaper, glue and a lots of pocket hole and construction screws.

The material list is accurate and contained everything you will need in the way of wood and supplies. I have to say that using construction grade 2x4 and 2x6 is an inexpensive way to go, but be prepared for a lot of sanding! The boards do have some warps to them and I had to use some bar clamps to get everything lined up when I assembled the various components. It is worth the time to carefully pick through the lumber pile when you choose your lumber.

Besides sanding (did I mention there is a LOT of sanding) we primed and painted each board before we started the build. It just makes the final painting that much easier than waiting until it is fully assembled. That is really what takes the time. The actual build is pretty easy if you are careful, measure accurately and take your time. I used pocket screws and Tite Bond HD glue where ever I could. The only way this thing is coming out of the bedroom is with a saws all. The entire project took about a week -- mainly because of the sanding and painting.

Give this project a try. It's very cost effective, is a cool feature in a little kids room and is really a blast to make. Trust the plans, or modify to meet your needs. You can't go wrong. Wood is a renewable resource and you can always go down and get another piece if needed.

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