How to Build Raised Sleeper Beds

How to Build Raised Sleeper Beds

Wooden Sleeper Beds are a simple and effective way to grow plants in your garden. Not only will it allow you to increase your gardening skills, but it will also enable you to add an effective garden border or feature area for your friends and family to admire.

More often than not we would recommend hiring Landscapers for projects like these but if you want to undertake a project this summer then building sleeper beds is the way to go. You have a wide range of garden design ideas to play with if you have raised sleeper beds in your garden, and hopefully, our guide will help you get started.



Timber screws (150mm and 250mm)

Weed membrane


L shaped brackets


The first step is to decide which Wooden Sleepers you want for your garden. At Stone Zone, we have a wide range of sleepers for you to choose from depending on what kind of look you are going for. We have Pine Sleepers, Oak Sleepers, and Prime French Oak Sleepers. This range of sleepers will give you a variety and options to play around with.

Step two is to decide on the placement. Once you have decided which sleepers you want, it is time to decide where you want to install your sleeper beds. We recommend building the sleeper beds in an area that gets a lot of sunlight so that your plants are able to get all the nutrients they can. It is also best practice to ensure there aren’t any overhanging trees above the beds because that prevents rainwater from reaching them.

The third step requires you to start building the sleepers in place. The most popular shape for sleeper beds is a rectangle. Start laying the sleepers and check that they are level and straight with a spirit level. Make sure that the pieces are as tightly fit as possible to ensure they are secure.

Step four is to add the second layer of sleepers on top of the frame created in step three. Once you are happy that that base layer is stable, you are now able to add a second layer of sleepers to create a deeper bed. Keep in mind that you can stop at just one layer of sleeper beds, but it is a more popular garden design idea to have two layers. When adding this second layer, we suggest that you lay each sleeper individually and overlap them – similar to how bricks are laid. The best practice is to start at one corner and screw the sleepers together before adding the rest of the sleepers, we think this is the most efficient way to achieve the classic rectangular shape of raised sleeper beds. Start attaching the sleepers with timber screws, drilling from the top down for maximum security. Repeat this process until you are happy with the size.

Step five, although not technically necessary, we strongly suggest that you lay down a layer of Weedcheck inside your raised bed to fashion a barrier between the moist soil and the wooden sleepers. At Stone Zone we offer Weedcheck in multiple sizes therefore you will be covered no matter how big or small your sleepers are. Our Weedcheck is available in 14m x 1m; 25m x 2m and 50m x 2m.

Step 6 is the best part. Your sleeper beds are now ready to be filled! The first material that goes in is that some cobbles are hardcore, to ensure that there is sufficient drainage within the sleeper beds. Once that is done, you can add in the layer of soil. Browse through our extensive Soils range, including Wessex Soils, to find the one that’s best for your plant bed. Each of our soils has been specifically designed to ensure that your plants get all the necessary nutrients they need.

What to Plant in Sleeper Beds

Now that your raised sleeper beds have been constructed and you have added in the necessary aggregates and soils, you can now think about which plants you want to grow on your beds!

There is a wide range of things you can plant in your sleeper beds. If you want to add more fruits to your diet, soft fruits such as strawberries and blackberries are a good option. If you are a beginner then small berries are an excellent gateway to becoming proficient at gardening. Our Wessex® Fruit & Veg Topsoil is a good choice for this project.

If you want to try something slightly more advanced then try your hand planting vegetables, then your sleeper beds are a great way to take on this project. You can plant almost any vegetable on sleeper beds, depending on how big your beds are. If you intend to grow bigger vegetables like butternut squashes or pumpkins then we would recommend building a larger, square-shaped sleeper bed rather than a rectangular one.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to try something different, you may also want to consider planting small trees in your sleeper beds if you have the space! Smaller trees like Bonsai trees or shrubs are a fun option to plant in sleeper beds if you want to try something a little more challenging.