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How to Make a Tatami Platform Bed

A platform bed is simply a reinforced box upon which you can place either a mattress or tatami mats. This Asian style version includes a mattress over which the tatami mats can be placed. It is traditionally low to the ground with lots of back support.

Step 1

Measure your foam mattress.  Add a 2-foot lip all around to that size. Have the lumber company cut finished plywood to measure.  Have 1-inch by 4-inch lengths of pine, four each, cut to frame the length and width of the mattress. Have 2-inch by 2-inch widths of pine, four to six each, cut to add support under the plywood platform. 

Step 2

Use medium and fine grit sandpaper to smooth all wood.  Stain all wood. Give at least two coats and dry thoroughly between coats. 

Step 3

Drill pilot holes into the pine support slats and always drop wood glue into the holes to ensure a better bond.  Use woodscrews to fasten the 2-inch by 2-inch pine lengths the width of the plywood. Add the four corner leg posts and turn the frame over. 

Step 4

Mark the center of the platform to determine where your mattress will sit.  Mark around the mattress and use the 1-inch by 4-inch lengths to build a frame. Attach it to the platform with wood screws.  Drill from beneath the platform so there are no visible screw holes.

Step 5

Touch up where necessary and finish with two coats of acrylic finish.  Dry thoroughly between coats. Insert the mattress.  Cover with tatami mats and enjoy a stylish Asian style bed with all of the comfort and support this project provides.

About the Author

Pat Olsen has over 35 years of experience as a professional journalist in California. She attended San Francisco State and Pacific College. Olsen has several published books, is a staff writer for Mill Creek Living Magazine, and currently writes for Demand Studio. She is a retired educator who still teaches twice a week.