How To Make A Rope Bed? In 4 Easy Steps!

How to make a rope bed? A rope bed is a type of platform bed that uses a woven rope design instead of wooden slats.

Rope beds were used way back from the 1800s to the early 1900s.

How to make a rope bed

The lattice of ropes provides support to the mattress.

The ropes were tightened to make sure the mattress is firm and well supported.

Hence, the phrase “sleep tight” started.

Currently, rope beds are not as popular because of the invention of coil beds.

This article will help you create an inexpensive rope bed.

Before we go to the steps, let’s check first what we’ll need.


What To Prepare To Make A Rope Bed

Here are the things that you should prepare:


Eight pieces of wood from 2 by 6 lumber- 2 for the sides, 2 for the ends, and 4 for the legs;

Ropes (preferably, sisal) – 150 feet (100 for the sides and 50 for the ends)

Bolts and nuts (washers – optional)

The amount per material needed varies depending upon the desired dimension.

Let us assume the rope bed is for a twin-size mattress (39 by 72 inches) for this project.


  • Drill
  • Saw


Steps To Make A Rope Bed

So, what are you waiting for?

Here are the steps on how to make a rope bed:


Step #1. Cut the different parts

Using a hand or band saw, cut the length of the wood according to the intended part.

For the sides, cut two 75 inch lengths.

Then, two 42 inch lengths for the ends and two 22 inch lengths for the legs.

Cut the ends of the rails and sides in a manner that they form dovetail joints.


Step #2. Drill holes to the sides and rails

The next step is to drill holes of insert points on the sides and rails.

For the sides, drill 17 holes along the rails.

The ropes from side to side need to be closer to another because they provide principal weight support.

For the end rails, drill only five holes because the intervals in between the ropes are wider.

The ropes that go from end to end keep the support ropes which allows more spacing.


Step #3. Bolt

Dovetail the sides to the end rails, then fasten them together using bolts.

It is better to use washers when bolting, so the bolts don’t pull into the wood.

It prevents the bolts from loosening over time.


Step #4. Assemble

It is best to assembly the parts with the bed upside down with the legs pointing upward.

It will be more convenient at the same time keep the parts from moving.

First, string the 100 feet rope 17 times on the sides and 50 feet rope 5 times on the ends.

You will approximately use 71 feet on the sides and 38 feet on the ends.

Because the ropes will be longer when the bed is loose, you will need more than the exact measurements.

Next, secure the rope between the ends.

Don’t forget to alternate up and down while you weave.

It will result in the second rope being woven into the first rope.

It means that the rope originating from one end is first under the rope it counters, then above the next rope it encounters, and so on.

After weaving, check to make sure that the ropes follow the plain weave pattern.

Finally, tighten the ropes, then flip the bed right side up.


Downsides Of Rope Beds

While it seems evident that rope beds did serve some purpose, there must be valid reasons why it has lost its past prominence.

Written below are the two common disadvantages of rope beds:



Retightening your rope beds is a tedious task to do.

Even on older beds where the ropes are expected to reach their “stretch limit”, you might still find yourself under your bed fixing ropes in the middle of the night.

If your bed stretches a lot, you have to deal with loose ropes frequently.

You can use a wedge to resolve this tightening issue.



Unlike wood slats with a rigid support, rope beds tend to sag in the middle.

It’s no big deal if you’re sleeping alone though a bent position can cause you a back problem.

Worse if there are two of you in the bed because you’ll end up rolling with each other a lot while sleeping.

Sounds pretty uncomfortable, right?


Other Things To Consider

Aside from the downsides, it would help if you also considered the following:


#1. Size

Though it’s also allowed to sleep on a rope bed without a mattress, adding one will make your sleep more comfortable.

The best size of a rope bed is where a twin or double size mattress will fit.

If you prefer a standard bed size for your rope bed, a futon mattress is a perfect pair.


#2. Transporting

When transporting a rope bed, the first thought that comes to mind is to unstrung the ropes.

Loosening up the entire bed is more convenient.

When you wish to install the bed again, unroll the thing then tighten the body.


Tying Everything About Rope Beds!

How to make a rope bed?

You’ll only need some pieces of wood, ropes, bolts, and common tools.

It’s easier than you might expect.

Check the steps above and build your rope bed now!

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