How to Make a Pallet Bed

How To Make A Pallet Bed

The world of furniture has been turned on its head thanks to the introduction of affordable and friendly pallets.

These cheap and easily accessible sources of wood have completely changed the game when it comes to making your own furniture, and if you require a new bed frame, they’re the perfect way to get one.

Pallets are shipping platforms that have been used to store and send items nationally and globally, and when they’re no longer needed, they can be snapped up by savvy people and turned into all manner of things.

A pallet bed especially is easy to create and requires very little DIY knowledge, so learning how to make a pallet bed should is a project anyone can do.

How do you make a pallet bed?

Pallet beds are one of the easiest pieces of furniture to create as they require no power tools and won’t even require you to pull them apart first. The pallets just need to be tidied up and assembled in the right way to make them a suitable frame for your bed, and it can be done in under an hour.

There’s a little more to creating a pallet bed than it seems though, with some of the more important steps being sourcing the right wood for the job and knowing how to finish it.

With our help, you’ll have everything you need to create a rustic-chic bed frame for less, and a sense of satisfaction knowing that you made your very own piece of furniture.

What Is a Pallet Bed?

What Is A Pallet Bed?

A pallet bed is another term for a bed frame that’s been made using the wood that’s been taken from pallets.

The wooden frame is created using pallets and then your mattress is placed on top, and thanks to the structural integrity of these items, they’ll easily hold the weight of your bed and you at night.

Pallets are flat transport structures used to hold all kinds of things, and they’re made of several types of wood. Provided you choose the right type of wood, this bed frame can last for many years, and because it requires very little in terms of construction, it’s easy enough for anyone to make.

A pallet bed is usually low lying and has a rustic look to it, making it ideal for most modern types of décor. If you’ve been looking for a new bed frame but don’t want to spend hundreds to achieve that look, sourcing a few pallets for the job is a cheap and easy way to get exactly what you want.

Benefits of a Pallet Bed

Benefits Of A Pallet Bed

With a treasure trove of DIY projects available online for pallets and suited to people of all skill levels, nothing is stopping you from creating your own pallet bed. Check out some of the benefits they can bring to your bedroom.

Easy to make

You’ve probably driven past piles of free pallets before or seen someone advertising used ones for cheap in an online marketplace, but put off getting any because you doubted your DIY skills.

A pallet bed requires zero power tools and even less effort, and it’s a project that even the most unskilled person can make.


If you’re lucky enough to source pallets for free, this will result in a completely free bed. Even purchasing used pallets for their regular price will save you hundreds from purchasing a new or used bed frame.


A wooden bed frame looks good in just about any type of bed room and with pallet furniture being so in fashion at the moment, you’ll get an enviable style without having to pay a fortune for it.


Most pallet bed instructions are for queen sized frames, but you can adjust them completely to suit what you need. You might want one wider or higher, and it’s all possible with the versatility of pallets.

Long lasting

Quality pallets can last up to 25 years with regular use, so this is a bed frame that’s going to be around for a while. Even if one of the pallets start to wear down, you can easily replace it with a new one without having to build it all again.

The Best Pallets for the Job

The Best Pallets For The Job

The most important part of learning how to make a pallet bed is choosing the pallets themselves. A piece of pallet furniture will only be as good as the wood it’s made from, so here are some tips to help you find the right ones for your new frame:

  • Think about what color of pallet you want and how it will work with the rest of the bedroom.
  • Choose a type of pallet that will give the style you prefer, with the best choices being close-boarded, baseless and reversible pallets.
  • Ensure the pallet hasn’t been treated with any toxic chemicals by looking for stamps, or ask the manufacturer of the pallet if you’re unsure.
  • Work with pallets that have been either kiln-dried, steam-treated, or heat-treated, as they’re the strongest.
  • Choose a pallet that’s structurally sound and doesn’t have any visible damage. As it has to hold the weight of your bed and you, you’ll want something durable.

Assembling Your Tools and Materials

Assembling Your Tools And Materials

Before you get started making the bed, it’s a good idea to assemble the pallets first.

For a standard queen size mattress, you’ll need four standard-sized pallets, preferably of the same material and quality. This will have enough room to hold the mattress and give you some space around the edges.

If you plan on painting the pallets, you’ll need wood friendly paint and polyurethane for a protective top coat.

The only power tool you’ll need is a power sander, and this won’t be necessary if it doesn’t require sanding. Do a check for any splinters and consider using sandpaper and doing the job manually if it doesn’t need a lot of work.

The Steps for Building a Pallet Bed

To make your own pallet bed requires surprisingly very little, and the most important task of assembling the four pallets you require is the hardest part. With everything ready to go and your protective gear on, follow these steps to create your fabulous new bed frame.

  1. Sand the pallets down so that there are no splinters and it has a smooth finish, unless you prefer a more rustic look. If you don’t have access to an electric sander, use a coarse piece of sandpaper to do it by hand. Make sure you go to the edges of each pallet to smooth everything out.
  2. If you want to paint your pallet bed, start once sanding is done and the pallets have been dusted off completely. Choose either spray paint, wood stain, or whitewash paint and apply it with a brush, but not so much that you can’t see the wood grain through it. Once dry, apply a layer of water-based polyurethane to protect the wood.
  3. Assemble the four pallets on the ground so that they form a rectangular base. Push them up against each other so there are no cracks in between and push the frame against the wall.
  4. If you want a higher bed, add another layer of four pallets on top of the existing base.
  5. Once you’ve made the frame to the height and width you want, add a thin, protective layer of foam or another soft material in between the wood and your bed.
  6. Place your mattress on top and position it so there’s an even space between it and the edge of the pallets. This will allow you to store books, magazines, and anything else you keep close to the bed.
  7. Make the area look nice with a rug placed underneath the bed frame, some potted plants, and a decorative quilt cover or throw rug.

Other Cool Pallet Bed Projects

Other Cool Pallet Bed Projects

One of the best things about pallets is that they’re versatile enough to let your imagination run wild. If you want to go a little further than just making a pallet bed frame, check out these ideas for what you can do.

Pallet day bed

If you don’t need a new bed in your room, you can create a pallet day bed of half the size to keep outdoors. Day beds are great for relaxing on and require the same minimal amount of effort as the other frame we’ve created.

Pallet bed head

To spruce up the look of your pallet bed, you can construct a bedhead to match. This requires a little more effort so you’ll need some power tools to pull them apart and stick them back together again, but it’ll be worth it.

Hanging pallet bed

Pallets are durable enough to be strung up from above and have you laying in them, provided they’re secure. If you’re handy and capable, you can attach your pallet bed to a suspension rope or platform that hangs from the ceiling, and completely transform the way you sleep.

Related Questions

Pallets are one of the easiest ways for everyday people to make their own furniture and home goods.

Whether you’re creating a new bed frame or making an outdoor garden bed, the options are endless with this affordable material. We’ve answered some FAQs about pallets and DIY projects to give you some more insight into what they’re all about.

Do You Need a Box spring for a Pallet Bed?

There’s no need to use a box spring on top of a pallet bed if you don’t have one, as most types of mattresses will do just fine. When complete, the pallet bed will have a slatted surface just like other styles of bed, so you can use any type of mattress you’d prefer on this DIY frame.

How Much Weight Can a Pallet Bed Hold?

Pallets are capable of holding a lot more weight than they appear to, as they’re used predominantly for shipping and warehousing. A standard pallet can hold up to 4,600lbs, so using four of them to hold your bed and whoever is sleeping on them will give you more than enough weight capacity.

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