How to Make a Loft Bed Frame Taller to Fit a Desk Underneath

Check out this easy hack to make a loft bed frame taller to fit a full-size desk underneath, a perfect solution for teenager or big kids bedroom. We also added stairs to the high loft bed for easy access, with bookshelves for extra storage.

Love DIY bed frame hacks? See how we turned an IKEA bunk bed into a cottage playhouse bed and how to use IKEA Kallax cube shelves to make a platform bed. Plus, you’ll love our easy house bed frame plans and this DIY built-in bed nook with drawers.

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How To Make a Loft Bed Frame Taller

Our oldest two girls share a room, which they like… most of the time. Now that they are teenagers, they needed more work space for homework and their other creative endeavors.

When you need space play space or work space AND a bed, a loft bed is a logical choice to save floor space and have double-duty furniture. So, we started shopping for loft beds for a shared kids room.

We first planned to use IKEA loft bunk beds, because we like the neutral scandi style and you know how we love a good IKEA hack! But the beds we wanted were out of stock and we wanted to get moving on this project.

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So, instead we went with these dark wood twin loft beds we found at Walmart. We would have preferred white, but the dark wood actually worked out well and looked great with the large area rug rug we added. (The loft bed frame does come in 4 other colors, but our store just had the one finish in stock.)

Walmart Tall Loft Bed With Bookshelves
photo via Walmart.com

These loft beds are a little taller than average, and the solid wood construction makes for a sturdy bed that’s also great for hacking. We also really liked the added bookshelf section, and it made for a great hackable loft bed kit with plenty of material to move around to make it into a custom loft bed with stairs.

However…. once we built the beds, we realized they were much too short and our girls had basically already outgrown the desk area underneath. Since we have vaulted ceilings, we could extend the loft bed legs and add some height underneath without cramping the girls’ sleeping quarters.

Design Inspiration

We loved the different ideas we’d seen in these Parade of Homes bunk rooms, so we wanted to try stairs and get creative with these kids loft beds.

We needed the loft bed frames to be taller by about 18 inches, and we wanted them to still look nice, too, so adding a random 4×4 post or bed risers wasn’t the look we wanted.

Instead, we bought a third loft bed frame, then used the legs and spare pieces to extend the legs and raise the height of loft bed — plus build the stairs and railing. We ended up using almost every piece of the extra bed kit!

Double Tall Loft Bed Setup For Shared Teen Bedroom With Stairs Between Beds Remodelaholic

Watch the video above to see how we raised the loft bed to add desk space, or read below for more details. We used this trick to raise a standard loft bed frame, but this could be used to raise low loft beds, too, as kids grow bigger.

Tall Double Loft Beds For Teenage Shared Bedroom With Full Desks Under And Stairs, Remodelaholic

Just look at all that added space! The standard desk height is the same as the horizontal supports, so you can see in the other photo above how little clearance there would have been above the desktop.

DIY Taller Loft Bed with Desk Space For Teens

The loft beds we used originally had a total height of 64″ with 46″ clearance for the under bed desk area – only about 20″ of space above standard desk height.

This hack added 18″ to the height of the loft bed frame, so the total height is now roughly 92″ and the loft bed desk area has plenty of head clearance at 64″ tall!

Moving the bookshelf to the outside of the beds also created enough room for a full size desk (5’10” W x 2′ D) under each bed.

Tall Double Loft Bed For Teenage Shared Bedroom With Full Desks Under And Bookshelf Stairs, Remodelaholic

The ceilings in this room are vaulted (slanted) and the lowest end is a little over 8 feet and 11 feet at the opposite highest part of the ceiling. Thanks to the open beams (like the other areas of the house), even after we added the mattress to the loft bed frame, the 8-foot corner area doesn’t feel too tight for the girls.

Safety and Liability: Please remember, this blog is for entertainment purposes only. As with ALL of our DIY projects and tutorials, be certain to read over the complete tutorial before starting a project. Build at your own risk and be smart, be safe. We will not be responsible for any injury or damage incurred while following a tutorial from our site. None of our posts should be considered expert advice; please consult a professional when needed, read all safety and instruction manuals, and take all safety precautions. All projects performed following instructions found on this site are done at your own risk.

Build a Loft Bed From Scratch

Prefer to build your own kids loft bed frame? See how to build this darling princess castle loft bed!

Materials

To build this tall loft bed frame with desk space and stairs between the two beds, we used:

If you use a kit without the bookshelves included, you could add a dresser or storage drawers instead to take advantage of the extra space beneath the stairs.

Tools

  • Miter Saw
  • Drill/Driver
  • Orbital Sander (for added lumber on landing/stairs)
  • Paintbrush/Stain Rags (for landing/stairs)

Step 1: Assemble the Loft Bed Frame (with Modifications)

Assemble the bed (or both beds, in our case) following the manufacturer instructions. Anytime you’re hacking a piece of furniture, it’s a good idea to put it at least partly together before you start cutting or changing it, so you know which pieces go where and which pieces are needed for the furniture to be safe and stable.

Assembling The Bed Before Adding Leg Extensions To Make Taller, Remodelaholic

We knew we were going to move the bookshelf sections from beneath the bed to the outside of the bed posts, to give more room under the bed and to fill the space beneath the stairs we were adding.

Modify A Tall Loft Bed Frame To Add Stairs, Remodelaholic

To accommodate an easy entry to the bed from the stairs, we removed the foot rails and lowered them down below the mattress height, so the girls can climb from the stair landing right into the bed. This also makes it easier to make the bed — and we love our Beddys zippable one-piece bed sets!

Change Loft Bed Footboard Height For DIY Stairs On Tall Loft Bed, Labeled, Remodelaholic
This picture shows the original mattress height and the mattress height after we added the leg extensions – the top of the footboard is at the bottom of the mattress after our modifications.

Step 2: Cut & Prep the Extra Bed Posts

On this particular loft bed, the corner posts (legs) are in 2 sections anyway, so that made it simple to add height to the bed posts in the center. We just unstacked the top section to add the leg extension, then we could add the top bed section stacked right back on top.

Tall Loft Bed With 18 Inch Bed Post Extension For Taller Legs, Remodelaholic

I cut 18 inches from each of the bed posts from the extra loft bed kit. Then I drilled holes in the center to use the extra hardware and a few extra dowel pins to attach the bed post extensions to the original bed posts.

Cut Extra Bed Post To Make Tall Loft Bed Leg Extension, Remodelaholic

Tip: To drill holes exactly in the center of the post, mark the center by drawing a diagonal line from each set of opposite corners.

Step 3: Reassemble the Tall Loft Bed Frame

After we had the loft bed post extension added to the lower section of the bed, it was pretty easy to reassemble to make the taller loft bed, just by stacking the bed frame section back on top.

For extra stability, we also added a few flat braces (mending brackets) to the back legs where they wouldn’t be seen. We also added extra bed slats to the mattress platform and screwed them into the frame to help the bed be more stable and comfortable.

Add Extra Bracket Plates And Screws To Stabilize Tall Loft Bed, Remodelaholic

Because we were adding the stairs to get into the beds, we also turned the beds so the railing with the space for the ladder was against the wall.

Step 4: Secure the High Loft Bed Frame to the Wall

Especially if you’re stopping at this step and not adding stairs, it’s important to secure the high loft bed to the wall for extra security. Bunk beds and lofts tend to be a little bit wobbly anyway, especially as kids get bigger and heavier to have more force as they climb up to the bed, so it helps to stabilize the bed by attaching it to the wall with a few screws into studs or using drywall wingnut anchors.

Double Loft Beds With Stairs And Desks, In Progress, Remodelaholic

We also secured the loft beds together via the bookshelves so they were ready for the stairs!

Step 5: Build the Loft Bed Stairs

The 2 bookshelves between the beds created the perfect place to add the stairs to get into the beds. (And it fit our space perfectly, too! Love when that works out.)

DIY Bunk Bed Loft Bed Stairs For Tall Loft Bed For Teenagers Remodelaholic

First, I built a platform frame for the landing using extra unused pieces from the bed kits.

Use Spare Parts To Build Stairs And Landing For Tall Loft Bed Frame, Remodelaholic
These corner clamps make it so easy to build a square frame and we love the big work surface of my DIY workbench!

I placed this platform on top the bookcases and attached it to the bookcases, the beds, and the wall. Then I attached the cut and stained 2×6 boards to create the landing.

Install Stair Landing For DIY Lof Bed Stairs On Tall Loft Beds For Teens, Remodelaholic
In a pinch, paperback books make great spacers between the boards.

I build the steps of the stairs using extra pieces from the bed kit as the stringers and 2×6 as the treads.

Build Stairs For A Tall Loft Bed, Remodelaholic

Then I was able to use the extra pieces from the ladders that we didn’t use to build the stair railings.

Install Railing For DIY Loft Bed Stairs On Tall Loft Beds, Remodelaholic

The finished stairs are sturdy and easy to climb, and I think they look pretty great too!

How To Make A Loft Bed Taller For Full Size Desk Underneath, Remodelaholic

The girls have really loved these kids’ loft beds. There is so much storage space that it’s easy for them to be organized have the opportunity to organize all their things.

Double Loft Bed For Teenagers With Stairs And Full Size Desks Underneath, Remodelaholic

The stairs are a fun and easy way for them to get into their extra tall loft beds, and there’s even room on the landing for a bedside table! If you only have one child in the room, the double beds would still be fun for sleepovers.

Cat Approved Tall Loft Bed With Stairs For Shared Teen Room Remodelaholic

Even our cat Tiger approves of this new bed setup! The loft bed with stairs makes it easy for 2-legged and 4-legged family to enjoy a comfy sleeping spot.

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How To Make A Loft Bed Taller And Add Stairs, Teen Bedroom Ideas, Remodelaholic

Tall Loft Bed FAQs

How can I raise a loft bed frame?

The tutorial above shows how we raised a loft bed frame using additional pieces from an extra bed for a seamless matching bed post extension. You could also use extra tall bed risers like this or lofted bed risers like these.

What if I can’t find a matching bed frame to use pieces from?

If you’re using a thrifted or hand-me-down bed frame, or just a loft bed that you’ve had for a while, you might not be able to find an extra bed frame to use pieces like we did.

In that case, you could use a 4×4 post or a 3×3 square table leg to mimic the bed post, then add the dowel attachment holes like we did. Furniture legs are rarely standard lumber sizes, so that will be a bit more work to make a good dupe, which is why we opted to use the extra bed kit.

DIY Loft Bed Stairs Between Raised Tall Loft Beds For Teenagers With Full Desks Under, Remodelaholic

Are loft beds a good idea?

If you need both work space or play space and sleeping space, a loft bed is a great way to make the same amount of floor space work for both day and night. The lofted bed is a comfortable and cozy private sleeping space, which is appealing to many children (and adults) who want a nook with privacy. A loft bed frame also frees up floor space for other furniture or activities, making it ideal for a small bedroom.

What is a good age for a loft bed?

We built these tall loft beds for our pre-teen and teen daughters (12 and 13 years old) and they love them. For a younger child, we’d suggest waiting on a loft bed until the child can easily and safely climb a ladder or stairs on their own AND until they are no longer regularly waking up in the night. Depending on the child, that could be as young as 4 (for a loft bed with stairs and a railing), but typically loft beds are best and safest for children age 6 to 18. Be sure the room has an adequate nightlight for safely getting in and out of bed at night.

Can adults sleep in loft beds?

Yes, of course! I mean, adults are building tiny houses with loft beds all the time these days 😉 For adults living in small spaces, loft beds are a great option – just be certain the the bed is a sturdy build that is intended for a higher weight limit than a child’s loft bed. Older adults may prefer a traditional height bed as mobility and comfort become more important than saving space, though.

How much weight do loft beds hold?

Typically, loft beds are designed to hold 200-250 lbs, which includes the mattress and the person. Adding the loft bed leg extensions likely reduces that weight limit a bit, which is why we also added the metal brackets to brace the legs, as well as attaching the beds to the wall and to the stairs and each other for stability. We also added extra bed slats and attached them to the frame which adds stability and also raises the weight limit of the tall loft bed. For extra weight-bearing capacity, you could also add extra frame-to-floor reinforcement.

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How To Make A Loft Bed Taller And Add Stairs For A Teen Bedroom, Remodelaholic

DIY Taller Loft Bed with Stairs and Desk Space For Teens

Print Recipe
Tall Double Loft Bed For Teenage Shared Bedroom With Full Desks Under And Bookshelf Stairs, Remodelaholic

Equipment

  • Miter saw
  • Drill/Driver
  • Orbital Sander (for added lumber on landing/stairs)
  • Paintbrush/Stain Rags (for landing/stairs)

Ingredients

  • 3 x Better Homes and Gardens Kane Twin Loft Bed with Bookshelf from Walmart — other similar beds would work, too, so we’ve linked some other options below as well.
  • Dowel pins
  • 2 x6 boards for stairs and landing
  • Polyurethane sealer and Dark Walnut wood stain to match the beds or paint for a two-tone look

Instructions

Assemble the Loft Bed Frame (with Modifications)

  • Assemble the bed following the manufacturer instructions. We moved the bookshelf section to the outside of the under bed area and also lowered the foot rails down below the mattress height for easy access from the stairs in the middle of the two beds.

Cut & Prep the Extra Bed Posts

  • Cut 18 inches from each of the bed posts from the extra loft bed kit. These will be added between the lower section of the loft bed and the upper bed section.
  • Drill holes in the center of each extension post at the top and the bottom.,
  • Use the extra hardware and a few extra dowel pins to attach the bed post extensions to the original bed posts.

Step 3: Reassemble the Tall Loft Bed Frame

  • Reassemble the bed with the leg extensions between the lower section and the bed frame section.
  • Add a few flat braces (mending brackets) to the back legs where they are less visible.
  • (Optional) Add extra bed slats to the mattress platform and screw them into the frame to help the bed be more stable and comfortable.

Secure the High Loft Bed Frame to the Wall

  • It’s important to secure the high loft bed to the wall for extra security. Attach it to the wall with a few screws into studs or using drywall wingnut anchors.
  • We also secured the loft beds together via the bookshelves so they were ready for the stairs!

Build the Loft Bed Stairs

  • Build a platform frame for the landing using extra unused pieces from the bed kits.
  • Place the frame on top the bookcases and attach it to the bookcases, the beds, and the wall.
  • Attach the cut and stained 2×6 boards to create the landing.
  • Build the steps of the stairs using extra pieces from the bed kit as the stringers and 2×6 as the treads.
  • Use the extra pieces from the beds/ladders to build the stair railings.

Video

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I am the husband of the amazing Cassity of Remodelaholic. I love to problem solve and to design and build things inside and outside the house to make life better. I am a professional Landscape Architect by trade and love the outdoors.

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