Best way to lift my bed a foot and a half?
August 29, 2007 11:26 AM   Subscribe

What is the most visually pleasing, safest way to lift this IKEA MALM bed frame about a foot and half off the floor?

In bed, I need to be at least two and a half feet off the ground. Otherwise, I feel gross and dirty. Don't know why.

I'm moving to Chicago with almost no furniture and no car, although I will be renting a van for two days. IKEA strikes me as a good, cheap one stop place for my furnishing needs. I know that there are other beds on the site that are higher than the MALM (whose mattress rests a little under a foot off of the ground). However, I'm extremely attached to the black-brown finish (I have another item in this color) and no other beds seem to be available in that color.

Therefore, my solution is modification. Ideas I've had:

option 1: buying four black metal posts and awkwardly drilling them into the bottom of the headboard and footboard. is this stable? will it break when boyfriend sleeps over?

option 2: buying wood at home depot or something, painting it, and trying to attach it to the bottom of the headboard and footboard.

is there a better way? help.
posted by anthropomorphic to Home & Garden (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have that same bed. Putting a box spring under the mattress has helped to raise it up about 10-12". Dunno if that's enough for you.
posted by toomanyplugs at 11:41 AM on August 29, 2007

If it's like every other Ikea bed I've seen the head/footer are made out of laminated MDF. You wouldn't have any surface area to attach any sort of legs, and even if you could it'd be horribly unstable riding up on four posts like that. You'd want something that'd run the full width of the supporting surfaces, like a row of cinder blocks. Even then you're talking about 30" which is an extreme modification for a frame like this. Imagine the most wobbly table you have ever owned and multiply that exponentially. With two full adult bodies shifting back and forth across it in tandem. Yeah.
posted by prostyle at 11:44 AM on August 29, 2007

Well I might as well share the cheap method I have been using for over a year now. I needed something to put my mattress on that would be very sturdy but cheap, so I went to home depot and bought a piece of 3/4 inch thick plywood the same size as my mattress and 6 cinder blocks, which are 16 inches tall when stood on end. I placed the cinder blocks under the plywood spaced out around the edge, so the board lay on top. It isn't attached to the blocks but the bed is in the corner of the room so it gets some support from the walls. Only cost me about 25 bucks, it looks jenky even though I spray painted the blocks and the edge of the wood, but works for my college kid aesthetic. Its also very sturdy. Yep.
posted by gavtaylor at 11:47 AM on August 29, 2007

I think a box spring and a bed skirt is your most aesthetic option.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:50 AM on August 29, 2007

I bought these bed risers from Linens-N-Things for some under bed storage. There's a little lip thing to prevent the posts from sliding off, but the lip is only half an inch or so high; you could attach some little half-inch-high feet and then put the bed on the risers.
posted by mdonley at 11:50 AM on August 29, 2007

Used box springs shouldn't be hard to come by, by the way.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:51 AM on August 29, 2007


I had those bed riser thingies. They do not necessarily stand up to-- movement. Shall we say.

I would advise against them.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 12:01 PM on August 29, 2007

I can't think of any aesthetically pleasing way to do this, period. It's a nice looking bed. You're getting it for its looks. Don't put stilts or 2x8s under it.

Check out West Elm ( They have tons of furniture in that dark brown wood. I have this headboard that I attached to a regular, metal frame box spring bed. I also like this one. They have both headboards and entire beds.

I've ordered a lot of their stuff via mail order, but there's a store west of Chicago, too. (It's not a full catalog store, though.) Not too far from a couple IKEAs.
posted by iguanapolitico at 12:16 PM on August 29, 2007

If sleeping so close to the floor makes you feel dirty, maybe the answer is to clean the floor?

I'm just saying...
posted by LN at 12:19 PM on August 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: i found some cheap used mattresses. one is 11" deep i'm getting at a great bargain, and one is an older 7" deep mattress that's ripped but otherwise okay.

what if i stacked the nice on on top of the bottom? is this done?
posted by anthropomorphic at 12:20 PM on August 29, 2007

I have similar bed risers, but the ones I have are round, and look much more heavy duty. I've been using them with a traditional mattress frame. They easily support 400+ pounds, and "the motion of the ocean" hasn't been a problem. But I have mine sitting on a thick rug, which may help stabilize them. Maybe you could get some screw in bun feet (maybe three on the head board and three on the foot board for stability), then combine with the risers.
posted by kimdog at 12:25 PM on August 29, 2007

Response by poster: they're both only a year old. they can't be mice houses, can they?
posted by anthropomorphic at 12:34 PM on August 29, 2007

For real on the cheap used mattresses. That would make me feel much dirtier than sleeping near the floor!
posted by crabintheocean at 12:34 PM on August 29, 2007

Response by poster: the one i intend to put on the top is 200, new was 379 ... is that really so bad?
posted by anthropomorphic at 12:37 PM on August 29, 2007

I wouldnt lift the entire frame-headboard, baseboard, rails, etc. unless it too is causing the ickyness that you describe. If your MALM is like mine, it has 2 levels of screw holes to mount the inner racks on which the mattress lies. Use the upper track to gain an extra 1 inch to 1.5 inches. You can further boost the height by placing 3 to 4 pieces of 2x4's cut to size horizontally across the tracks with 3/4" plywood on top. And sit your mattress on all of this. My guess is that it would be close to 3-4 inches higher.
posted by AMP583 at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Two stacked mattresses is definitely done. It's pretty traditional. You're barely going to be able to even see the headboard any more, though. Still not understanding why you're going to junk up a bed you're getting for its looks. :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 12:51 PM on August 29, 2007

I slept on two mattresses (one atop the other) for a while. I wouldn't advise it. It was really soft (like the Princess and the Pea!) but after a few weeks my back was aching all the time. Matresses need to have something more-or-less solid underneath them (a box spring, or slats), and if you double them up it just won't give enough support.

I have a Hemnes Ikea bed and I raised the mattress using the method AMP583 describes which took it out of low-bedness into normal-height bedness.

If you want to go higher, the only thing I would do would be to get someone who's handy to knock up a kind of platform or dais, a few inches bigger on each side than the bedframe, which the whole thing could rest on top of. This would be a bit of hassle but would look really nice.
posted by tiny crocodile at 12:52 PM on August 29, 2007

New York City last year considered a ban on the sale of used mattresses because they're one of the most common ways to spread bedbugs. I would never, ever buy a used mattress unless it was from someone I know very well who was willing to swear they weren't infested, because once you get bedbugs, you're going to have to move heaven and earth to get rid of them. It doesn't matter how old they are or how clean they look. My apartment got infested once and we finally had to throw away our mattress and our couch to end the plague. Do not buy used mattresses, especially from strangers.
posted by decathecting at 12:53 PM on August 29, 2007

please, please, please, get new mattresses. just do it. used mattresses are so gross. other people are gross. even if they're clean people, they still shed skin cells and hair and what not, and that attracts the dust mites and their poo.

just get a new mattress. ikea sells them. i can't imagine they're great, but they are a LOT better than a used mattress.

as for stacking the bed frame, i don't think there's an aesthetic way to do it, so i would get a mattress plus box spring and a dust ruffle.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2007

Response by poster: people need to sell them before they move?

my goodness, people seem opposed to this. i shall reconsider the used mattress angle. maybe i can convince a parent to give me some money.

is a used box spring a terrible idea as well?
posted by anthropomorphic at 1:18 PM on August 29, 2007

I have the Malm. There are metal rails on the inside that hold the platform, and the rails can be installed at different heights with pre-drilled holes. Install it at the highest setting.

(If that isn't high enough, you could conceivably drill your own holes higher, but I'm not sure I'd try that.)

Then, get one of those sweet pillowtop mattresses that's 15" thick. That should get you high enough off the floor. If you need to be higher, a boxspring should cover it.

I guess I'd count myself among the people that don't understand why the floor is too dirty and a used mattress isn't.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:31 PM on August 29, 2007

I use to have the Malm too, MegoSteve is right, install it at the highest point and then get a boxspring... that should put you close to your desired height.

I bought a used matress once... it was still covered in plastic... and barely used.. Guy moved in than moved out and I got the mattress when i moved in. 75 bucks YES!
posted by crewshell at 5:23 PM on August 29, 2007

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