I'm in the process of designing a canopy bed with a few kinky features. Most of them aren't too problematic, but I lack the knowledge about structure and weight support to calculate this:

I want a hook above the centre of the platform (~1,60x2,00 metres) that supports an adult suspended from it with ropes. We will assume that I cannot just place this hook in the ceiling (which is very likely to be true). We will also assume that the individuals suspended won't be heavier than say about 80 kilograms, although they might swing on the rope for a bit, which may cause additional stress.

There will be solid bed posts at each corner of the bed, however I need to know what "roof" construction will allow me to support this kind of weight above the centre of the platform, both in terms of how and where to place the beams and approximate minimum requirements for the strength and type of the wood where it matters. I have some flexibility in the height of the posts, but not too much as the platform itself will be set fairly high up.

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    I don't think the biggest issue is going to be the cross beams. It's easy enough to increase the strength of those. (I'd say something like a 2x6 on edge would be plenty.) I think your major issue is going to be preventing the frame from racking if the load swings around. I'd plan on adding some diagonal corner braces to counteract this. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


What you have described is a swingset with a mattress connected below.To design this hybrid fabrication you must first consider each function separately. For the swing, consider the designs for children's swingsets: a beam at the top to support the swing's load and a triangular frame at each end to carry the beam. The triangular frame shape is the simplest design to take into account the constantly changing force direction as the swing moves with vertical loads from the weight of the person in the swing transferred through the beam and horizontal loads as the person moves forwards and back. The triangular shape provides a wide base to prevent the assembly from rotating from vertical (tipping over). If you model your design after a swingset with comparable sizes and similar connections you can really swing!

Your bed frame will be similar in size and construction to any bed found in a furniture store. With the basic design for each function set, you can then look to join them together and possibly combine some of the parts to serve for both functions using the larger/stronger part.

I would envision the swing positioned to swing side to side rather than head to toe with the bed. That way you have easy access to the sides of the bed. You could also then use the headboard and tailboard of the bed as part of the triangular swing frame.

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