How to Convert a Regular Bed to a Platform Bed

Some people have beds that are just a little too high for getting in and out of comfortably. Most of these use a mattress and box spring. It is a simple matter to convert a regular bed to a platform bed, which will lower the bed considerably.

Empty bedroom
credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

There are a couple of methods that can be used to make this conversion, utilizing slight alterations to the techniques depending on the size of the bed you want to convert. These work very well if your regular bed has metal side rails.

Twin Bed Conversion: Slats

Step 1

Remove the mattress and box spring. You will see some slats, probably four or five, which supported the box spring. If these slats fit tightly against the rails, you can use one of them as a cutting guide; otherwise, you will need to measure the distance between rails to determine the proper length for your new slats.

Step 2

Cut the 1x4s to the slat length you decided to use. You will need roughly 21 or 22 of these; the exact number will vary according to your individual bed's frame size.

Step 3

Lay these new slats onto the side rails as closely together as possible. You may end up with a space that is less than the width of one slat; this is acceptable.

Step 4

Place the mattress on the slats. The bulk of the mattress will hold the slats in place. Your platform bed is ready for use.

Twin Bed Conversion: Plywood

Step 5

Remove the mattress, box spring and slats.

Step 6

Measure the length and width of the area inside the rails.

Step 7

Mark these measurements on the plywood sheet. Be sure you have these measurements correct, then use the saw to cut out the panel.

Step 8

Place this panel on the side rails, just as you would place slats. The platform should feel very solid.

Step 9

Place the mattress on the panel. Your platform bed is now ready for use.

All Other Size Conversions: Slats

Step 10

Remove the mattress and box spring. Larger beds like this also use slats, typically four or five, to support the box springs. As with the twin size, if these slats fit tightly against the rails, you can use one of them as a cutting guide; otherwise, you will need to measure the distance between rails to determine the proper length for your new slats.

Step 11

Cut the 2x4s to your measured slat length. You will probably need 22 or 23 of these; the exact number will vary according to your bed frame's dimensions.

Step 12

Place these slats onto the side rails as close to each other as possible. You may end up with a space that is less than the width of one slat; that is acceptable.

Step 13

Lay the mattress on the slats. The bulk of the mattress will hold the slats in place. Your platform bed is ready for use.