Instructions for an Ikea Malm Bed

Amanda Bell

The Ikea Malm bedroom series blends sleek, modern lines with functionality, and the Malm bed is no exception, with several finish choices and optional under-bed drawer storage.

Ikea's wordless directions have been confusing customers since the 1960s.

But, despite its versatility and simple appearance, the graphics-only instructions provided with the bed can push even the most advanced DIY expert to frustration. Combine written instructions with the pictures provided by Ikea for faster, easier assembly.

  1. Lay the headboard and foot board flat on the floor with the pre-drilled holes facing up and the holes along the edges facing each other. Gather the four threaded studs and insert two into the middle holes on the left and right sides of the headboard. Tighten them with the provided wrench. Insert the remaining two into the middle holes on the foot board, tightening them with the wrench.

  2. Locate the predrilled holes along the edges of the headboard and foot board. Push the two-prong, flat back pieces into the slots, three in the headboard and three in the foot board.

  3. Push the dowel rods into the ends of the two side rails, three per end. Position the headboard and foot board in the upright position, with the double-ended threaded studs facing inward, and push the rails into place, inserting the opposite end of the dowel rods on the rails into the predrilled holes on the headboard and foot board. Once set, you should be able to see the threaded studs through a circular opening on the inside of the rails.

  4. Snap the half-moon-shaped bracket onto the exposed portion of the double-ended stud already installed on the headboard, with the flat, closed part of the bracket facing toward the interior of the bed frame. Secure the end of the stud with nuts; tighten the nuts with the wrench.

  5. Secure the L-shaped mattress railing to the inside of the side rails with the provided screws. Install them using the uppermost pre-drilled holes for a higher mattress or the lower pre-drilled holes to position the mattress closer to the floor.

  6. Position the angled support rail bracket on the interior face of the headboard near the bottom, lining up the brackets holes with the pre-drilled holes on the headboard. Secure it with two screws, and then install the second bracket in the same manner on the foot board.

  7. Secure the ends of the two thin support rails to the horizontal holes on the headboard bracket, angling the rails out toward the side railing to create a V-shape. Hold the railing in place at the side rails with screws, but do not tighten them. Repeat this step at the foot board.

  8. Stand over the bed and check that the frame is straight and the corners are square. Use a carpenter square for accuracy. Adjust the thin, V-shaped support rails as necessary. Once the frame is perfectly square, secure screws to the center of each rail and tighten them. Then, tighten the screws holding the interior rails to the side rails.

  9. Adjust the length of the center support rail to fit comfortably between the headboard and foot board. Snap it into the top portion of the bracket secured to the interior faces of the headboard and foot board.

  10. Move to the left side rail. Push a screw up through the bottom of the rail into the hole closest to the headboard and twist the platform spacing piece onto the end so that the rubber piece faces the ceiling. Repeat this process at the hole closest to the foot board, and then do the same along the right support rail. Secure one spacer into each interior angled support rail and four in the center support rail, two at the headboard and two at the foot board.

  11. Place the slatted base on the rails, ensuring the spacers are between the slats. Place the mattress on top.

  12. Tip

    Your bed should come with a wrench for assembly. If you misplace it, any small, adjustable wrench will do. The drawers, if purchased, assemble easily. Lock the rails into the drawer face with dowel rods and cam bolts, and secure the drawer back to the rails in the same manner. Screw the base into place and then add the wheels.


    Check all of the pieces thoroughly before you begin to ensure you have everything you need, and nothing is broken.