Published on December 23rd, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Expedit storage bed

IKEA Expedit storage bed

Materials: Expedit shelving unit, Sultan Lade

Description: I used 5 Expedit shelves as the base, arranged so that there were no gaps along the 2 exposed sides.

I built a bed box for the top by cutting planks into boards 6″x77.75″ (2 each) and 6″x40″ (2 each).

The boards for the bed box were held together with screws through the end and corner braces on the inside. I used the Expedit wall fasteners to secure the bed to three of the bookcases so the mattress and bed would not shift.

I used the Sultan Lade twin size bed slats across for support and two flat metal bars I had left over from another project to support the slats in the gap between Expedit shelves.

The Expedit shelf in the front middle is not anchored so we can pull that out and get to the shelves in the back for long term storage like winter clothes and such. Not easily, but it can be done so it’s not totally wasted space.

Drona bins and Leksvik stool are also pictured.

~ Meredith

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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".

19 Responses to Expedit storage bed

  1. Aaron says:

    Nicki – they renamed those shelves as KALLAX. They’re the same though, pretty much.

  2. Nicki says:

    I love this idea and my 12 year old has decided that this is what he wants for his new bedroom! Unfortunately, I cannot find that specific shelf on the IKEA website, and there does not seem to be any there that are comparable. Any suggestions??

  3. Deepika says:

    Can this version be adapted for a full size? I’ve only seen full size for a 4×1, but I like the idea of using a a few 2×2 so I can avoid needing a dresser and save a lot of space.

  4. Laura says:

    I made this when I moved into my own apartment last year. I only have one room (about 30 square metres) and there is no room for a wardrobe or anything else to store my clothes, so this was a perfect solution.
    I bought five black 2×2 Expedits and arranged them like pictured above. I didn’t even screw them together or to the wall, since my floor is very flat and I want to be able to clean the floor underneath my bed.
    On top of the expedits I placed a sultan slatted bed base (SULTAN LÖDINGEN, 90x200cm, probably only available in Europe). I glued some pieces of felt and some anti-slide material to the underside of the sultan bed base, so it would 1) protect the Expedits and 2) stop the whole thing from sliding around.
    Then I threw a coloured sheet over the whole thing to conceal it a bit. On top of it all sat a futon for the past year – I only just bought a mattress today.

    Since people were asking about how much weight this construction can carry, I thought I’d reply.
    I was a bit sceptical at first and moved very carefully. After more than a year I can say that the expedits don’t show any signs of usage and the whole thing is rather sturdy. I weigh between 70 and 80 kilograms (154 / 176 pounds) so I can assure you that this “bed” is safe to use for kids, teens and adults :) (except for the obvious danger of falling down, but I got used to sleep up there fairly quickly.)

  5. Anonymous says:

    this is the best! I can’t wait to put this in my kids’ room :) I also am wondering if any of you have already done this and how much weight it withstood. One of my kids will soon be a teen and while they don’t weigh much now, they will grow.

  6. Does anyone know how much weight this can hold? I would like to use this idea in my guest room.

  7. Bingo says:

    A great idea! Will test to see what fits best here. Maybe I should order a tailormade mattress to really make use of the space ontop :)

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have to thank You a lot!!! Nedded an idea for kid’s bedroom (they grow, you know…), and I got it almost for free, as already got three expedit-
    I thing i’ll put some wheels to move the front Expedit and let it turn as a door……….
    Got an idea to put a little wood border not to let little climber to fall…
    I’ll post as I will fix all! THX again!

  9. Faith says:

    This is by far, one of the easiest space saving bed ideas I have seen so far. And I love the idea of switching the hole to the front so it can be a fort underneath. I’ve been looking at a bunk system so my 5 year old can have space to play or hang out under his bed, but he is afraid to be too high off the ground.
    I’m wondering though, how many years do you think I’d get out of this layout?? I mean, it would need some more support under it to carry it further than a few years. ??

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’ve thought of doing something like this many times! Looks great. My son regularly climbs into the cubby holes so I know he’d love the idea of doing that to get in. I’m showing this to my husband so he can get a visual.

  11. Anonymous says:

    brilliant idea!! i think ill have to show hubby :)

  12. Meredith says:

    My boys are having no problem at all climbing inside as it is. They pull out a bin and crawl right through.

    I did debate using something else for the back or side corner but I ended up just happening to go to Ikea on the day they had these half off, so I got another bookcase for $20 – I wouldn’t get lumber and heavy duty hardware too much cheaper than that. I figure when he outgrows this, we will use the bookcases elsewhere.

    Thanks for the comments. :)

  13. Anonymous says:

    I very much like this hack.
    Regarding the proposed under-bed storage/fort area for kids, I’d suggest getting rid of one of those horizontal shelves within the Expedit bookcases. Structurally, I you will find that they bear absolutely no weight, and I imagine the a small child will easily be able to squeeze through that area sideways. For a more universal size hole that even an adult could fit through, I imagine that the center vertical wooden piece in the Expedit bookcases is non-crucial to the stability of the bed, so if you went ahead and anchored that front middle bookcase but removed all of the shelves, you’d have a rather large area that just about anyone could fit through. Perhaps regain some structural stability by placing a couple of “EKBY LERBERG” brackets (or similar, but sturdier supports not found at IKEA) on each side of that front middle shelf.
    That should do the trick and cost very little more. Of course, be sure to test it thoroughly before letting anyone sleep on it.

  14. I agree with Steph Perry – plus all of the cubbies would be accessible by whoever could squeeze through the 15″ opening :)

  15. Great idea. Those storage beds are expensive and this is a creative solution.

  16. ------------------------------- says:

    If you want to get 2 of those Expedits back, you could get a stud finder. Pull the bed a way from the wall and draw a line on the wall using the top of your Expedits as a straight edge reference. Screw a 2×4 to the wall just below your line. You’ll probably need 4″ screws for that. Then you can get 2 of those Expedits back, because the bed will rest on top of the 2×4 ledge you create. For safety, I would probably still run 3″ screws into the wall through the Sultan frame to keep it from sliding away from the wall.

  17. Steph Perry says:

    what would be really fun for younger kids is if you reversed the layout so the opening was facing out so the kids could have a fun play fort right under their own bed…and you could also rig some lighting in there to have a cozy little nook to hide out in…

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