My wife has severe allergies and has found that sleeping on an incline helps matters. We have a queen mattress on an Ikea MALM bedframe, and I'm trying to think of a simple way to test this out easily and cheaply.

I'm thinking of cutting pieces of wood to fit and stacking them flush against the headboard, each layer a little shorter length-wise, to create a basic ramp. I'm told that a 15-degree tilt would be enough. A queen mattress is 79.5 x 76".

My questions are:

  1. Does this seem reasonable, e.g., any gotchas here? Or is there a simpler (and cheaper) way?
  2. If the answer to the above is 'yes', what type of wood should I go for? Regular lumber? Plywood? And how thick?
  3. Based on a given thickness, how many pieces would I need, and how long should each be, to make the 15-degree tilt?
  • 2
    According to Google, 79.5 sin(15 degrees) is 20.6". That's probably a large stack of wood, so you might be better to make a plywood box shaped like a wedge of cheese with internal bracing. Maybe you could modify something like a LÖNSET Oct 15 '14 at 10:44
  • Do you want the entire bed angled up like a ramp, or do you want the torso propped up, but the legs horizontal still?
    – rjbergen
    Oct 15 '14 at 13:04
  • @rjbergen: In this case, I want the bedframe to stay as-is but the entire mattress propped up. Apparently, it's not as effective an allergy remedy if only the torso is canted, so something like a few extra pillows won't do the trick.
    – braymp
    Oct 16 '14 at 1:54

"My wife has found that sleeping on an incline helps. I'm trying to test this." To confirm her findings, or that you can sleep on it? --Two cinder-blocks and one brick makes for 20 inches to test it. Confirm this and then proceed. Personally, I'd build it like a deck:

The structure using 2x6's or larger, joist hangers, blocking, and on 16" centers. With 3/4" cabinet grade plywood as the 'deck' and sides, finished with poly. Keep in mind that unless you own a table saw or (even) a very nice circular saw, the angled 'faces' will be hard to cleanly cut. Try to keep the factory edge at the top, where it will show the most. Ripping the angles on the joists isn't going to be fun without one, either.

Kind of like this (not exactly built the way I mentioned), but the pitch makes it angled, it doesn't 'account' for it, like in the picture:

enter image description here


With some nails and some 2x4 you can just create a ladder and prop it up on the far side.

I suggest against a solid plywood sheet braced up because that prevents the mattress from breathing.

  • Many, many platform beds these days have solid surfaces. Modern mattresses seem to tolerate this Just Fine.
    – keshlam
    Oct 15 '14 at 12:20
  • @keshlam depends on the type of mattress I guess Oct 15 '14 at 12:29

In college, I made a loft for my twin XL mattress with a 2"x6" runner on one side and a 1/2"x6" plywood runner on the other. On the inside of each runner was a 2"x4" wide side flat against the runner, and flush with the bottom edge. 2"x4"s were then laid crosswise between the runners, on top of the supports. They were space with 1" gaps the whole length of the mattress. This worked very well and did not require a box spring. The frame was very sturdy.

This type of set up could be expanded to a 2"x6" frame all the way around. The 2"x4" cross members would work, but may need a brace in the center running the length of the frame. One end could have legs attached to provide the proper angle.

If you would like this frame to look nice, it could be made from a nice hardwood and stained and finished.

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