DIY Bookshelf Bed

6-Step Bed with Storage Project: Compact Solution

Want a bed with storage that’s also quick and easy to assemble? Then this inexpensive idea just might be what you are looking for…

DIY Bookshelf Bed

Using bookcases as a bed frame is one easy way to build a bed with storage.

You can look at old bookcases sold in thrift stores, however, this can be a bit challenging to find one or two that would fit perfectly with all your requirements. What size is your mattress? How many bookcase units would you need? How high or low do you want your bed to be?

Some people make this step easy by purchasing bookcases from IKEA. It’s more costly than buying from a thrift store, but a new bookcase is still less expensive than a standard bed with storage!

Which of the two options is better will depend on your situation. But ultimately building a bed from bookcases is a DIY project with many advantages. It’s space-saving, cheaper than a typical bed with storage, and easier to install, disassemble and transport!

DIY Bookshelf Bed

This DIY bed with storage is just perfect for people with small bedrooms and those living in temporary homes.

Is this the bed idea you are looking for?

Building a Bed With Storage


  • Bookshelves
  • Timber Slats
  • Wood Screws


  • Measuring Tape
  • Cordless Drill


Step 1: Planning and Preparation

  1. Measure Your Mattress: Determine the size of your mattress to ensure the bookcases will adequately support it. This will guide the layout and number of bookcases you’ll need.
  2. Select Your Bookcases: Choose sturdy bookcases that match your mattress’s width and length. Consider the height for storage preferences.
  3. Purchase Materials and Tools: Ensure you have all the materials (bookshelves, timber slats, wood screws) and tools (measuring tape, cordless drill) ready.

Step 2: Layout and Design

  1. Arrange the Bookcases: Position the bookcases on the floor where you intend to set up the bed. The layout should form a rectangle or square that matches the dimensions of your mattress.
  2. Space for Timber Slats: Plan where the timber slats will lie. They should be evenly spaced to provide adequate support for the mattress.

Step 3: Secure the Bookcases

  1. Connect Bookcases Together: If using multiple bookcases, use wood screws to connect them securely. Drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting, then fasten the screws.
  2. Anchor to Wall: For additional stability, anchor the bookcases to the wall. This step is crucial to prevent tipping, especially in households with children or pets.

Step 4: Install Timber Slats

  1. Measure and Cut Slats: Measure the internal length of the bookcase frame. Cut your timber slats to this length, ensuring they fit snugly.
  2. Place Slats: Lay the slats across the top of the bookcase frame, spacing them evenly for optimal mattress support.
  3. Secure Slats: Using wood screws, secure each slat to the sides of the bookcases. Ensure they are firmly in place to support the weight of the mattress and occupants.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

  1. Sand Rough Edges: If there are any rough edges on the timber slats, sand them down to prevent snagging the mattress or bedding.
  2. Add Mattress: Place your mattress on top of the slats. Ensure it fits well within the frame formed by the bookcases.
  3. Customize: Customize the bookshelf bed with paint, handles, or additional modifications to suit your bedroom decor.

Step 6: Organize Storage

  1. Arrange Items in Bookcases: Utilize the bookcase shelves to organize and store items. Consider using storage bins or baskets for smaller items to keep them tidy and accessible.

Maximizing Storage Space

Maximizing the storage space of a bed with storage is an essential consideration for those looking to enhance the functionality and organization of their bedroom. A bed with storage offers unique opportunities to declutter the space, store belongings efficiently, and keep essentials at hand.

Here are key strategies to make the most of your bed with storage.

Strategic Organization

Use dividers or storage bins within the bookshelves or drawers of your bed with storage. This approach allows for categorizing items such as clothing, bed linens, and personal belongings, making them easier to find and access. Dividers also help maintain an organized appearance and prevent items from shifting.

If your bed with storage includes bookcases, maximize the vertical space by adjusting shelf heights to accommodate different item sizes. Tall spaces can store larger items like blankets and pillows, while smaller spaces are perfect for books, accessories, and decorative items.

Seasonal Rotation

Use the storage space in your bed to rotate clothing, bedding, and other seasonal items. This keeps your wardrobe and linens fresh and relevant to the current season, while non-essential items are tucked away, freeing up closet and drawer space elsewhere in your room.

Smart Accessorizing

Consider adding specialty storage solutions to your bed with storage, such as under-shelf baskets, hanging organizers, or custom drawer organizers. These can enhance the storage capabilities of your bed, making it easier to store and retrieve small items without clutter.

Prioritize Accessibility

Store frequently used items in the most accessible parts of your bed with storage. This ensures convenience and efficiency in your daily routine, with essentials like clothing, shoes, or reading materials readily available.

Creative Use of Space

Beds with storage aren’t just for clothing and bedding. Use this space creatively to store books, electronics, hobby supplies, or even non-perishable snacks. This versatile storage solution can adapt to your lifestyle and storage needs.

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Safety Considerations and Stability

Building a bed with storage using bookcases and timber slats requires careful planning and execution. This guide highlights essential safety considerations and stability tips to ensure your DIY bed is safe and durable.

Choosing the Right Materials

Choosing the right materials is critical in constructing a durable and safe bed with storage. The integrity and longevity of your bed with storage largely depend on the materials you select. 

Here’s a guide on choosing suitable bookshelves and timber slats for your project.

Selecting Sturdy Bookshelves

When building a bed with storage, the bookshelves you choose serve as the foundation. Opt for bookcases made from solid wood or high-quality engineered wood to ensure they can withstand the considerable weight of a mattress and its occupants over time. 

It’s essential to check the load capacity of each bookcase, not just for the shelves but for the overall structure. A bed with storage requires bookcases that can handle dynamic loads, as the weight will shift with the occupants’ movements.

Consider the height and depth of the bookcases as well. They should be deep enough to hold the mattress securely and high enough to provide adequate storage space underneath. The ideal bookcase will also have a back panel sturdy enough to contribute to the overall stability of the bed with storage, preventing any lateral movement.

Choosing High-Quality Timber Slats

Timber slats form the support system for the mattress on your bed with storage, distributing weight evenly across the frame. Selecting the right timber slats is crucial for both comfort and durability. Look for slats made from robust, resilient wood species such as pine, birch, or oak, known for their strength and ability to withstand pressure without bending or breaking.

The thickness and width of the slats are also important. Thicker, wider slats offer better support, but they should be enough to prevent significant gaps. Large gaps can cause the mattress to sag over time, affecting sleep quality and lifespan. Ideally, the slats should be spaced closely enough to support the mattress effectively but allow for air circulation to prevent moisture buildup.

Ensure that the slats fit snugly between the bookcases. This tight fit is critical for the stability of the bed with storage, as it prevents the slats from moving or shifting when the bed is in use. Consider adding a center support beam if the bed is queen-sized or larger to prevent the slats from sagging in the middle.

Assembly Safety

Ensuring assembly safety is paramount when constructing a bed with storage. Proper assembly affects the bed’s durability, user safety, and overall functionality and storage capacity. 

Here’s a look at how to safely assemble your bed with storage, focusing on correctly using tools and securing connections.

Correct Use of Tools

The assembly of a bed with storage begins with the right tools, handled correctly and safely. The cornerstone of this process involves the cordless drill, a versatile tool critical for securing parts together efficiently. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your cordless drill to understand its features, limitations, and safety guidelines. This ensures that you use the tool effectively without causing damage to your materials or injury to yourself.

Wearing protective eyewear is non-negotiable. Even a minor task can send small particles flying, posing a risk to your eyes. In addition to eyewear, consider wearing gloves to protect your hands from splinters, especially when handling timber slats, and ear protection if you’re working in a confined space or for extended periods. Remember, safety gear is essential, not optional, when assembling a bed with storage.

Secure Connections

The integrity of your bed with storage relies heavily on the strength and stability of its connections. When attaching timber slats to the bookcases with wood screws, it’s crucial to ensure that each screw is driven in firmly and securely. This meticulous attention to detail prevents any potential movement or wobble in the bed’s frame, contributing to a solid, squeak-free structure.

To achieve secure connections, pre-drill pilot holes for the screws. This step makes the drilling process smoother and minimizes the risk of splitting the wood. Choose screws of appropriate length and diameter to ensure they can handle the load without bending or breaking. The goal is to create a bed with storage that stands the test of time, supporting the weight of the mattress and users comfortably.

It’s also wise to periodically check the tightness of these connections, especially after the bed has been in use for some time. Natural wood movement and regular use can lead to loosening over time. Tightening screws and checking the stability of the bed with storage ensures it remains safe and functional.

Enhancing Stability

Enhancing the stability of a bed with storage is crucial not only for the safety of its users but also for extending the lifespan of both the bed and the mattress it supports. Achieving a stable and secure bed with storage involves careful attention to the distribution of slats, anchoring the structure, and conducting regular inspections. 

Here’s a discussion on each of these critical points.

Even Distribution of Slats

The role of timber slats in a bed with storage cannot be overstated. They provide the essential support the mattress needs to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. For optimal support and durability, these slats must be spaced evenly across the length of the bed. This even distribution helps to evenly disperse the weight of the mattress and its occupants, preventing any sagging or uneven wear on the mattress. 

Moreover, it significantly contributes to the overall stability of the bed, ensuring that the structure remains firm and intact under varying weights and movements. Careful placement and secure attachment of these slats are fundamental steps in building a bed with comfortable and durable storage.

Anchoring the Structure

The importance of anchoring the bed with storage to the wall cannot be overstressed, especially in homes with active children or pets. This step is vital for preventing the bed from tipping or shifting, which could lead to accidents or injuries. 

Using appropriate mounting hardware, such as wall brackets or straps, ensures that the bookcases that form the base of the bed are securely attached to the wall. This enhances the bed’s stability and adds an extra layer of safety, providing peace of mind to the occupants. Anchoring is a simple yet effective way to ensure that the bed with storage remains a safe and stable furniture in any environment.

Regular Inspections

To maintain the integrity and stability of a bed with storage, regular inspections are key. Over time, the wear and tear of daily use can loosen connections and screws, potentially compromising the bed’s stability. By periodically checking all parts of the bed, including the condition of the timber slats, the tightness of screws, and the overall structure, you can identify and address any issues before they become serious problems. 

Tightening loose screws and replacing worn or damaged parts are simple maintenance tasks that can significantly extend the life of the bed with storage. These regular inspections ensure that the bed remains a secure and stable foundation for rest.

Final Checks

Conducting final checks on your bed with storage before its first use is a step that cannot be overlooked. This process ensures that the bed is not only aesthetically pleasing and functional but also, and more importantly, safe for daily use. 

Below, we review the key aspects that should be thoroughly reviewed to guarantee the success of your DIY project.

Comprehensive Assembly Review

Start by reviewing the assembly of your bed with storage from start to finish. Ensure that every component, from the bookshelves that form the base to the timber slats supporting the mattress, is correctly positioned and securely fastened. 

This includes double-checking that all screws are tightened and that the structure aligns with the design specifications. An accurately assembled bed with storage is fundamental to achieving a stable and durable final product.

Stability Verification

The stability of the bed with storage cannot be compromised. After assembly, physically test the stability of the bed by applying gentle pressure to various points, including the sides and the center. This test will help identify any potential weaknesses or instabilities in the structure. A stable bed with storage will not wobble or creak under weight, ensuring a safe and comfortable sleeping environment.

Inspection for Sharp Edges and Protruding Screws

Safety is paramount when it comes to furniture that will be used daily. Carefully inspect the bed with storage for any sharp edges or corners that could cause injury. 

Additionally, check for any screws that may be protruding beyond the surface of the wood. These can catch on clothing or cause scratches and should be addressed by tightening, countersinking, or covering them with protective caps.

Ensuring Accessibility and Usability of Storage

The primary function of a bed with storage is to provide additional storage space without compromising the comfort or utility of the bed itself. Verify that the storage compartments, whether they are drawers, shelves, or cubbies, are easily accessible and functional. 

This might involve checking that drawers slide smoothly or doors open without obstruction. The convenience of the storage features significantly enhances the overall value and satisfaction with the bed.

Final Aesthetic Check

Lastly, take a moment to review the overall appearance of your bed with storage. This includes ensuring that finishing touches, such as paint or varnish, have been evenly applied and are free of drips or streaks. The aesthetics of your bed with storage are just as important as its functionality, contributing to the overall ambiance of your bedroom.


Building a bed with storage offers a smart solution for maximizing space in any bedroom, blending functionality with aesthetic appeal. This innovative approach to furniture design allows for efficient organization and easy access to daily essentials, transforming cluttered rooms into models of efficiency and style. The benefits of a bed with storage extend beyond mere convenience, fostering a more organized living environment and enhancing the overall quality of life.

For more ideas in improving your kid’s bedroom, check out our bedroom design ideas!



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