Published on July 5th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Finally, a Cal-King Bed Frame with space for dog kennels

Materials: 3 Expedit Units, two sheets of plywood, five 4 x 4′s, 5 metal ties, 10 metal brackets, king-sized sheet, staple gun.

Description: We had a really hard time trying to find a platform for our Cal-King mattress that would afford us the kind of storage we needed for our small two-bedroom condo in Southern California. Most of the platform storage beds for sale were prohibitively expensive. We had seen a few people make smaller beds on this site using the Expedit bookshelves, so we decided to give it a go ourselves.

Step One: Spend several weeks researching and arguing about how to design your bed. Or use our guidelines and skip to step two.

Step Two: Purchase and build your Expedit shelves. You will need three. (You can also purchase any storage bins you will need to fill the shelves under your bed.

Step Three (The night before): PLUG IN THE CORDLESS DRILL. This small step will help make this a one day project, instead of a two day project. Don’t ask me how we know know this. It is too painful to talk about.

Step Four: Make sure you have a plan for where to sleep if this project does not get finished in one day.

Step Five: You will need two sheets of 3/4″ hardwood plywood. We used Alderwood because Lowe’s was out of the Maple we wanted. Maple is less expensive at about $45 per sheet. Each sheet needs to be about 72″ x 42″. You should measure your mattress to be sure. We have a Tempurpedic mattress.

Step Six: There are a couple of options for how to attach the two sheets of plywood together. We considered using hinges, so that we could open the end half of the bed if we wanted to. Unfortunately, the Tempurpedic is not suited to this. So we bought steel ties and screwed them on to connect the two pieces of plywood together. You will want to reinforce on both sides if you use the steel ties. The ties were about $1 a piece.

Step Seven: You will need five 4x4s. Lowe’s will not cut them for you, so your choice is to cut them yourself, or to make them from 2x4s. Have them cut to 17.5″ each. You may need to cut them to a more specific height if you are on hard surface instead of carpet. We chose to have the legs a little taller than the shelves, so the platform would support most of the weight of the mattress. The extra height allowed for the platform to sink in a little to the carpet, meeting the top of the shelves, without putting too much weight on them. We screwed ours together with 2.5″ wood screws.

Step Eight: Attach brackets to the 4x4s and then screw the 4x4s onto the underside of the plywood. Brackets were about $1 a piece. The 2×4 we bought was about $8, and then cut into the 10 pieces we needed, and we had a piece leftover.

Step Nine: I used a king-sized sheet and staple gun to wrap the plywood. This isn’t necessary, it is cosmetic and it will protect the mattress and the tops of the shelves.

Once we were done building, we flipped the platform, and slid the shelves into place, put the dog kennels and storage bins in.

Step Ten: Enjoy your new bed!

We added a bench at the end, because I am too short to sit on the bed to put on my shoes and we have no other furniture in our bedroom. (Dog not included, you will need your own dog)

~ Andee Steinman, Southern California

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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".

37 Responses to Finally, a Cal-King Bed Frame with space for dog kennels

  1. Anonymous says:

    How did you connect your plywood, with a hinge or ties? Also what screws did you use to attach the ties and 4x4s?

  2. Anonymous says:

    We made this yesterday – Slept on it last night! It was a success! Thanks so much for posting!

    Here’s a tip for anyone new trying to make this – lay down the sheet on the floor first – then lay the plywood on top of the sheet, join the pieces together, and staple the sheet to the plywood. (We attached the two sheets of plywood first and then were faced with flipping the plywood over a total of three times or trying to staple gun from the underside of the bed.)

    We also have a dog, but ours is just a little too big for one of the expedit openings to be his bed. So we installed his doggy door on on of the cubbies and attached his crate to the other side (underneath the bed). So the Cubby is just his little foyer before he arrives in his crate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Having much experience with dogs I can tell you hat although I applaud IKEA’s idea on this one, the practical application is not a good one. Whoever would put their dog in kennels under the bed is really NOT thinking of their dogs comfort level. The airflow and oxygen level in that space is not sufficient. Even if you sleep like sleeping beauty the airflow is not adequate, if the blankets fall and block the front of those kennels the results would be suffocating. Great idea, bad application. Go back to the drawing board, As a dog lover I would really like to see what IKEA could come up with if the REALLY thought about it.

    • Helen says:

      I love when people exaggerate things where everything results in death. Dogs will burrow into blankets and sleep there all day if they could. The DO NOT ‘suffocate’. Good gravy. Dogs can sleep under the bed and not die from lack of ‘airflow’. What is everyone’s obsession with this ‘airflow’ problem? I have a sleep number and there is no airflow under the bed. I am not dead. Most platform beds are just PLATFORMS of wood and mattresses, people and dogs breathe just fine. You might be a dog lover but you are also nuts. I own two dogs and rescue regularly.

    • cory says:

      LOL My dogs crawl under the bed (7 in clearance) and each weights 85 lbs to sleep. Guess they have a death wish. We have storage containers etc under there and they just snuggle in.

  4. Moirla says:

    the accent wall between the two (PAX?) closets is also a nice touch. And I love the giant mirror, that’s like small spaces 101, right? :)

    I like seeing that you have built a support structure for the center of the mattress, too. I’m likewise interested in hearing if your build has withstood the pass of time.

  5. dr snortz says:

    Have you had any problems with the Ikea expedit falling apart from the weight etc? Because other similar hacks have so I just wanted to make sure your design stood the test of time before I make it. Thanks!!!!

  6. Jhon Yale says:

    It is very useful to my jack(my dog). Nice getting idea… Thanks dear and if u have any other idea to leave dog then please tell me.

  7. Michael Beatrice says:

    Great solution for dog beds! We did one recently — a coffee table to hide the crates in the living room. Be posting it soon! Thanks for the great idea!

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. Anonymous says:

    Regarding some sort of ventilation & tempurpedic mattresses not using slats…several small circular holes could be drilled out of the plywood.

  10. Artemide says:

    Oh Great yaar! This is a great idea bed with space for dog kennels. I love these beds. thanks a lot.

  11. LB says:

    Great write up. Even though I don’t have a need for this project, it was a fun read.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Looks good but your tempurpedic will suffer from no breathing room.
    It’s written on the manual that you have to have slatted base or box spring that lets air in.

    • The tempurpedic mattresses are not ever supposed to be on a slatted surface. That was one of the reasons we had such a hard time finding a platform bed. Almost all platforms come with a slatted surface.

  13. SBPscents says:

    I’d love instructions on how to make your bench.

  14. Great idea. The dogs will love it!

  15. mydecoreview says:

    Dog kennel underneath the bed. Its an innovative idea.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Great job! I love this idea! Anyway to post more pictures somewhere? I am really interested to see the sides.

  17. kenavo says:

    I wonder how the humidity from you and the dogs can escape.
    There are no holes under the matras?

  18. MacMama says:

    ‘space for dog kennels’, why? Why would you wanna sleep above your dogs?

    • Anonymous says:

      They mention that they don’t have much space.

    • Anonymous says:

      My dog keeps goiing to sleep under my bed, its helpless, and she has three really nice and cosy beds, even one in my bedroom as i have space for it, no way, she likes sleeping under, its not that we like sleeping above, its about the liking ofvthe dog herself

    • Zulaya says:

      There are lots of reasons to kennel dogs. It’s quite important during housebreaking not to let them make “mistakes” on the floor, and so most experts recommend kenneling at night, when the owner won’t be watching them to be sure they only go in the right place. Also it’s good to have kennel trained dogs if you plan to travel with them so they won’t keep auntie Mabel up whining and howling if you find yourself staying somewhere they can’t be loose. Also, you could store the kennels there whether the dogs are in them or not.

    • James Steinman says:

      The dog kennels take up two of the fifteen sections around the sides of the bed. The others are filled with Ikea Drona black drawer/basket things for storage and so that the dogs cannot get under the bed. The rest of the space is for long-term storage.

  19. Marjan Smit says:

    Nice! I wonder what dogs you have. Mine wouldn’t make it through the entrance ;-)

  20. Ruth Abbott says:

    I love the idea of the dog sleeping under the bed, hopefully it would stop the dog sleeping on top of the bed, and me for that matter.

    Brilliant hack and made me laugh so much I called my partner over to read it!

  21. mrslitaker says:

    I love this idea, but I am SO confused on the directions.

    • Zulaya says:

      I’m not the OP, but I think I understood the directions. Where did you get lost? (Not being snarky, trying to help.)

    • James Steinman says:

      1. Build three Expedit bookshelves. 2. Attached two pieces of plywood together that have been cut to size. 3. Attach 17.5″ 4″x4″ legs to the plywood (we used five of them). 4. Flip over the plywood so it is resting on the legs you just attached. 5. Slide the bookshelves under the plywood. 6. Insert dog kennels into two of the bookshelf openings. 7. Be happy that you just built a $1000+ bed for a few hundred dollars!

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