Bedroom kallax-queen-underbed-storage

Published on May 26th, 2017 | by [email protected]


IKEA KALLAX Queen Storage Bed

I built this prior to knowing this website existed, this probably would have saved some contemplation. For difficulty reference, I am no carpenter (electrician actually) and I built it with my right hand in a cast.

We bought an old house with original hardwood flooring from the 40s so we were very concerned about damaging it. The casters on a normal bed frame put a lot of pressure on a small surface and we didn’t want it dented or damaged if things started a rockin …. Plus, a 40′s house has virtually no storage as you only needed 3 pairs of pants back then.

IKEA material :

Non-IKEA material :

  • 4 x 2×4 A grade (saves time)
  • 2 x 2×6
  • 2 x sheets 1/2″ plywood (what ever grade you want)
  • 25ft x iron-on edge trim
  • 100 x 3″ #8 wood screws
  • 20 x 1-1/4″ #8 wood screws
  • satin white paint

Tools (I used) :

Assembling the queen sized KALLAX storage bed

I had the luxury of building in my garage first as I am a firm believer that my first cut will always be wrong.

The bed will comprise of 3×4 unit shelf kits. The shelf is just a touch smaller than a queen mattress so it works near perfect. As a side note, all measurements were done to the outside edges of the KALLAX as the end pieces are slightly larger than the inners. I banked on the plywood sagging that gentle 3/16″ and not noticing it.

I build the inner ‘wall’ out of 2×6 to take pressure out of the floor and all more distribution surface area for the plywood. The vertical supports were just left over lumber and I centered them on the shelf ‘dividers’ so there is the opportunity of sliding long objects through the bed. I left this roughly 1/8″ longer than the length of the KALLAX shelf just so there would be some wiggle room for putting it all back together if we move it.

The rear side is T’d into the center support and is again sanded and painted to match the white. This one is load bearing (sort of), so I added a few vertical supports.

Vertical supports

Back and center frame

vertical supports

First side positioned

With a 2×4 on edge behind the front shelf and a 2×4 on flat behind the bed, the dimensions were perfect, not planing needed to trim them down. I built a ‘spacer’ frame to go behind the front shelf. Solid 2×4 vertical as to be a clean line from the outside with a 2×4 on edge (sideways) along the top. This piece isn’t load bearing so I wasn’t concerned with strength, just to keep it square as its visible. Sand and paint the outside edges of the vertical 2x4s so they blend better with the KALLAX white. I screwed the frame into the shelf in just 2 places, the weight will hold it all together but I just needed to keep things square. Be sure the screws don’t penetrate all the way through or you will regret it.

Front support added

Front support added

The front shelf is slid into place and gently screwed to the frame work in the middle upper section. Always to the thickest part of the shelf. Be conscious as to the positioning of the pre-drilled IKEA holes as they may affect your orientation of drawers.

Front shelf installed

Front shelf installed

Plywood top. I cut to extend 1/2″ larger than the KALLAX + wood as the mattress needed support on the ends. It is smaller than the mattress so you won’t rip your leg off on the edges. I rounded the corners to the radius of a roll of tape that was nearby and it turned out perfect. Just slightly extending passed the corners of the KALLAX so there isn’t anything sharp.

Radius cut corners with jig saw

Radius cut corners with jig saw

I ironed on white edge trim to the plywood for visual prior to screwing the plywood down. I only put screws into only the frame work, not to the shelf.

I was going to wrap it in fabric as a secondary means of friction so it wouldn’t slide

Mark the center line

Marked my center line all the way down so I could easily keep it straight.

Installed the IKEA drawer kits in the front and put the pull out boxes on the side. Laid the mattress and made the bed. Voilà.

IKEA KALLAX Queen Storage Bed


Next step … floating shelves for end tables and get rid of the college dorm plastic.

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The Author

4 Responses to IKEA KALLAX Queen Storage Bed

  1. Laura says:

    Love this bed! This design is elegant and very stable, and the builder has every right to be proud of his work. My own version was a little simpler. I crafted a series of 3 “X” supports by cutting 3/4″ MDF or plywood, whichever was cheaper, 6 pieces 12-18″ x the height of the storage unit measured from the floor. Clamp two of each together and cut a slot in the middle 7/8″ wide. MAKE SURE THAT THE SLOT IS ABSOLUTELY STRAIGHT AND 90 DEGREES FROM THE EDGE. Take the clamps off and insert the slot of one piece into the slot of the other, and the X formed will make up one of the center supports. (If needed, make a box frame for the wall side of the head of the bed to add a little length, depending on the length of the mattress, as the builder here did.) Arrange the storage unit boxes along the sides and bottom of the bed location and put the three Xs in the middle, then top with the plywood cut to size (this works well for either full or queen size beds, cut plywood for mattress support to suit mattress size). To keep the entire structure stable, I screwed through the 1/2″ plywood I used for the top into the storage units below, two flat headed 3/4″ screws for each. Because the mattresses tend to slide around a little too freely on the plywood, I added a 2′x2′ piece of carpet gripper material that I duct taped in place to the middle of the top. I also used a little piece of duct tape to cover each screw head to keep from snagging the mattress material. If you are interested in protecting the finish of the bare wood floor and want to be able to move your finished project a few inches from here to there without having to disassemble and reassemble the entire bed to do it, I encourage you to glue felt padding (it comes in sheets that can be cut to size, like this: to the bottom of the storage units and support Xs. As for drilling holes in the top board, that may depend on your climate; I live in California and have also lived in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts with beds like these and never needed ventilation holes. The tightness of the fit of the boxes underneath doesn’t exactly promote air circulation, so I am not sure what purpose they would serve.

  2. Ashley says:

    Love this bed! Do you know if it will support two adults? I’ve been looking for a storage bed but think I will build this one if it holds our weight! Thank you.

  3. Ed says:

    Great bed, but I LOVE the floor! What is it?

  4. Stella says:

    Well done, it looks stable and the drawers are protected against dust. You still need to drill holes in the top board, for the mattress needs breathing to avoid mold.

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