Hack your Bed for More Storage with Ikea

Ikea Hacker

Ikea Hacker is a popular website showing projects where Ikea furniture has been repurposed or modified somehow to make it more useful. Turn a CD holder into a dish rack, a door into a computer table, a cabinet into a computer server enclosure, or a metal box into cable/power supply holder to declutter.

Expedit Bookshelf / Queen Bed Storage

Inspired by Ikea Hacker, I created underbed storage using Ikea Expedit Bookshelves. This is a super easy project with no sawing needed. And surprisingly, the bed is completely stable. Since I already had a bed and frame, it cost about $400.

Parts needed:

Optional items:

  • Ikea Lekman boxes ($12 each; 8 fit in each bookcase; I only put 8 Lekman boxes in the bookcase at the foot of the bed; Ikea has many storage options for the Expedit Bookcases)
  • 3 X Mat Shelf Liners sized at least 15.5″ X 59″ ($5-8 each)

Tools needed:

  • Drill
  • Philips screwdriver

The steps to build are:

Step 1: Build the Expedit Bookshelves as Ikea instructs. Place them spaced evenly on the floor as shown.

Step 2: On the two end-unit bookshelves, drill and screw in the Ikea Observator 39″ Cross Brace as shown. This will keep the bed from swaying left to right. Just with one cross brace, the bed was stable. I added a second one to be careful.

I chose to install the cross brace at the foot of the bed on the inside (under the frame) so that it would not interfere with reaching storage from the outside. At the head of the bed (touching the wall), I installed the cross brace on the outside so that it would not interfere with reaching the storage under the bed.

Step 3: In order to protect the shelves from scratches and provide some grip, consider placing a mat liner at least 15.5″ X 59″ on top of them (mine are 16″ X 62″, so I had to cut a few inches off the end).

Then place the bed frame or 80″ X 58 5/8″ sheet of wood on top of that. For this project, I lined up 4 narrower sheets of 80″ X 14 5/8″ wood.

Tall Storage Bed

Because the bed is around 3 1/2 feet high, kids and those under 5’10” will need a chair or stool to climb into it. But if you need the storage, this provides lots of organized space.

8 Replies to “Hack your Bed for More Storage with Ikea”

  1. I need a lower bed for my son and loved your shelving to bed idea, but what about the Expedit long/narrow 5 shelves; w -17; d -15 and h- 72 inches (901.530.79) to create a twin or larger bed/bench that sits lower to the ground. Could place 2 or 3 horizontally, with all openings creating tunnels of storage accessible from front to the back.

    What you think!

  2. When I was 13 I had did the same thing but I used house speakers. so while in my room I can hear music while doing homework or getting ready to go somewhere without the bulkiness of the speakers. I had my father’s help with cutting the ply-board and securing it onto the speakers. it was so cool my little sister took my room when I moved into my town-home. You have to admit, it’s pretty efficient thinking.

  3. Luv Maura’s idea of having speakers under bed and storage idea, how would you get to the middle one and front one, that would be a lot of picking up the mattress for one thing and doesnt the mattress loop or get ruined from pressure in btwn the shelves?

  4. 1 – you can put anything you want in the middle shelves, but there are much more cheaper durable and flexible boxes to go in expedit now than there used to be so get those if you want to use it for storage and put stuff in there you dont use a lot (linens, out of season clothes, shoes, and all that stuff you cnat bear to throw away but wont really use). The other option could be leave the shelves without drawers/boxes and put speakers in them or something like that. You could also turn them into cabinets.

    2 – it doesnt have to look ugly, ikea has many options now. I think this is brilliant for the right space.

    good hack!


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