Published on June 15th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Expedit’s were made for sleepin’

Materials: Expedit 1×5

Description: We wanted a bed that:

* was sturdy
* had storage
* was reasonably easy to disassemble
* looked decent
* would not break the bank

So, we:

1) assembled 2 1×5 Expedit bookcases
2) constructed a wood platform to top them
3) made the visible bits look nice
4) slept on our stored stuff

It turned out well enough that sharing seemed a good idea.

For more photos and detail, go here.

I could compile a bill of materials or better document the steps if it would be useful to someone.


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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

27 Responses to Expedit’s were made for sleepin’

  1. SMAD says:

    2015 Update: bed was moved again, then modified to with a new platform for use with a king mattress. expedits still holding up very well. :)

  2. Paige says:

    Hi! Do you have any recommendations or advice for those of hoping to build this bed frame now that Expedit shelving units were discontinued? Is there a similar unit out there that will work just as well? I’d love to make something like this but am disappointed that I can’t buy these shelves anymore. Please let me know if you have any ideas!

    • SMAD says:

      Kallax is the Ikea replacement for Expedit
      Last I checked (about a year ago), Wallmart was selling a bookcase nearly identical to Expedit

  3. SMAD says:

    2014 Update: bed has been moved several times (broken down, reassembled). still in use, still sturdy.

    To those who commented since I last visited this site, thank you very much and we’re pleased to know it has been useful!

    • Charlotte says:

      I was wondering if you could break the process down and complie a list of materials and tools needed? Maybe a step by step procedure? Really interested in doing this but so unsure of measurements/how to make the wooden platform.

  4. Sivan Pereg says:

    I really like the idea, juste wandering if by any chance I could do il with Billy bookcase instead of Expedit ?
    what do you think, will it support the same weight ?
    thanks for an answer ….

  5. gachelet says:

    I’m sorry, I see you did publish it above. I just now noticed. Thank you for that. It really is gorgeous :)
    Thanks for having it here – C

  6. gachelet says:

    I love the pine wood platform. Is there anyway you might be ale to share how you made it? I love it very much – So beautiful !!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This inspired me to build my own! With the help of craigslist it cost me less than $120!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this post! It would be really fun to build one of these.

    One question – do you think if you put baskets in the expedits that it would weigh it down more and be more sturdy?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this post! I just finished making my own Expedit bed and I love it. I did a few things differently but it is very similar. I referenced your post and instructions a lot and it was really helpful. Thanks!

  10. Anonymous says:


    so, what about your experience? I’m planning to do a similar thing with my futton, but instead of Expedit I would like to use Lack (as I think it’s more stable).

    What do you think? Is it safe for two persons? :)

    Thanks… great werk!

  11. SMAD says:

    @Mitch: as-is, i would not use them for seating. but with two or four simple cross braces at the corners, i think they would hold steady.

    @Anonymous on Aug 27: the next commenter was correct – we purchased the inserts from ikea

  12. Anonymous says:

    Great Idea and Im currently doing the same thing but mine will be a fullsize bed instead of queen.

    They have inserts all over Ikea! they have different baskets, plastic cubes, drawers or doors. You should checkout their website

  13. Anonymous says:

    where did you get the inserts for the cubbies? i have similar ikea bookcases but i can’t find anything that will even come close to the size of the cubby space!!

  14. Mitch says:

    do you think the book shelves would be strong enough to use as seating in a kitchen nook?

  15. Anonymous says:

    it’s a fantastic idea and use of space, but i hope you never, ever get bedbugs! :(

  16. SMAD! says:

    Bill of Materials

    * Ikea
    o 2 – Expedit 1×5 Bookcase ([email protected]$59.99)
    o 1 – Rug Anti-Slip large size ($7.99)

    * Wood
    o 2 – 1x6x78 Side – cut from 1x6x8 ([email protected]$5.18)
    o 2 – 1x12x48 End – pre-cut ([email protected]$6.62)
    o 9 – 1x4x48 slat – cut from 1x4x12 ([email protected]$4.97)
    o 1 – 1x4x78 midbeam – cut from 1x4x8 ($3.11)
    o 1 – 2x2x15 leg – cut from 2x2x8 ($1.87)
    o 1 – 1x4x15 foot – midbeam excess

    * Hardware
    o 8 – Steel Menders ([email protected]$1.89)
    o 32 – #8 Screws ([email protected]$4.47)
    o 3 – 1/4″ Bolt/Nut/Washer for midbeam and leg ([email protected]$2.00)
    o 1 – 1/4″ Threaded Stud for leg ([email protected]$3.00)

    * Other
    o Heavy Duty Felt Pads (rectangular, beneath bookcases) $11.37
    o Heavy Duty Felt Pads (circular, between leg and foot) $1.00
    o Anti-slip drawer liner $4.48
    o Contact paper $6.48
    o Scotch Tape (had)
    o Cardboard (cut from bookcase box)
    o Duct Tape (had)

    Total Cost < $250.00

  17. Morgan says:

    @Kathryn We were considering making a bed just like this, except our plans included a third Expedit placed horizontally in the front, adding additional length to the bed overall to accommodate a queen size mattress, plus adding extra storage and closing the “hole” in the front.

  18. SMAD! says:

    Hi, thank you all for the comments.

    To those who might like better photos, does the flickr set ( have what you’re interested in? If not, I’d be happy to snap a couple more. Let me know of what, and what angle. And feel free to ask any question in the comment area for a photo on flickr. I’ll respond.

    Good suggestion. We had planned to add backing, but wound up buying an insert for each cubby.

    @Kathryn,Doug, Morgan
    Queen size (Ikea, in fact). The wood platform is 79×59. So, it “floats” a few inches all the way round – which is nice, if you like that look. Our first plan did include a third Expedit placed in the front, but it would have been too bulky for our room.

    This evening I will compile a bill of materials and more useful instructions.

  19. Doug says:

    Awesome! I’d love as much detail as you can provide for this. I’m hoping to do something similar in my bedroom.

    What size bed do you have? Can you offer the step-by-step instructions for making the platform?


  20. Kathryn says:

    Weird! I just spent a good part of the day yesterday thinking about a major bedroom update that would involve making a platform storage bed out of either 2 1×5 expedits or else some 15″ tall Akurum kitchen cabinets installed with pullout drawers.

    It’s not clear from the picture, so my biggest question is this: what size mattress do you have? Is it a full? We’ve got a queen, which is 80″ long, but the expedits are only 72″.

  21. KG Style says:

    I absolutely love this idea! This is definitely a must do! I never even thought of doing something like this.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Really cool. Putting some sort of rolling tray to put the underbed storage on would make things much more accessible.

  23. gS49 says:

    Excellent idea. I could use more detail on constructing the platform itself, but I can probably find that elsewhere.

    I would suggest adding a back to the expedites, or things will get pushed into the middle under the bed. Or if you have a cat.

  24. Anonymous says:

    very nice, a great way to make a platform bed that’s also useful! how about providing a better pic of the finished bed? it’s a bit difficult to see how it all looks in that top picture…

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