Crate bed

project: , published: by Maarten Tromp, updated: .

One day in 2005 I was looking for a new bed. The old mattress was worn pretty thin, I didn't like the frame and the bed wasn't even mine to begin with. I had already got hold of a decent but odd sized (190 x 120 cm) mattress. Where do you find a frame this size? I can build a bed frame myself, off course, but didn't want to spend too much time and money on the bed.

Then I realized; when you can sit on an empty crate and stand on an empty crate, why can't you sleep on an empty crate as well? Why not build a bed base out of empty crates? The crates have a surface of 30 x 40 cm so, if you position them correctly, you can exactly match the mattress dimensions. And if you ever want to get rid of this bed, you can always return the crates to the supermarket and get your deposit back. This would make the bed cost-neutral over its lifespan.

In the corner of the room were some pipes, from the central heating, so the bed couldn't be as close to the wall as I would have liked. This issue is resolved by cutting some bits off the corner crates. Worst case I might not get the deposit back if I return the crates, but at least the bed fits snugly in the corner now.

After a couple of days of usage I noticed that the crates tended to slide outwards from under the bed. This is only a minor inconvenience, but I wanted it fixed anyway. So I slung a long tie down strap around the inner stands of the outer crates, to hold the bunch together. It's not noticable unless you look for it and it fixed the problem.

I have used this crate bed for a little over 2 years and have to admit; it is not as comfortable as a real bed base. It lacks springiness and this bed base is about as soft as putting you mattress directly on the floor. When I dismantled the bed I noticed the bottom of the crates, which supported the mattress, was cracked in several places. Maybe the crates weren't ment for this after all. The mattress is also quite worn down by the lack of flexing of the crates, combined with little pieces of plastic sticking up.

On the upside, I have had a lot of positive comments on the bed. The bed was unique and I didn't mind showing it off. When I finally decommissioned the bed I returned the crates to the supermarket. They didn't even notice the bits I chopped off and I got the full deposit back.