Save Space in Style! Your Murphy Bed Buying Guide
A Murphy bed can transform any room into a cozy and comfortable bedroom.
Convenient, practical, and an excellent space saver, a Murphy bed, is fabulous for small apartments, dorm rooms, mobile homes, a home office, and more. Effortlessly transform just about any room into a comfy bedroom in mere moments.
True to its original design, Murphy beds are simple in concept — essentially, a bed that folds away, either sideways or lengthways, into a cabinet anchored to a wall.
But what to look for when shopping for a high-quality Murphy bed? This handy guide can help!
Why a Murphy bed?
For most, the main reason they decide to purchase a Murphy or wall bed is space. They just don’t have enough room, or accommodate enough house guests, to have a guest bed all the time.
A Murphy bed is a tremendous space saver, even if you opt for a Queen Murphy bed. Whether it’s a small apartment, a mobile home, or just not enough space for a dedicated guest room, Murphy beds offer additional sleeping without taking up valuable square footage.
In many cases, depending on the design you choose, a Murphy bed can enhance the space you have attractively and innovatively. For home offices, rec rooms, and spare bedrooms, a Murphy Bed helps to create a multi-purpose space with more room for office furnishings, workout and play equipment, and other priorities.
Stylish, attractive, and versatile, make any room a bedroom with a high-quality Murphy bed.
Choose your Murphy bed size and design
While the basic concept hasn’t changed since the introduction and patent of the Murphy bed 120 years ago, there has been a wonderful evolution in its design. Integrated into just about any configuration of cabinet; some with a sofa; others with a desk variation; and so many others, the range in bed designs seems endless.
As with conventional beds, Murphy beds come in a variety of sizes. Choose from a Full size Murphy bed, a Queen Murphy bed, twin size, and even bunk beds.
Whether it’s a foldable mattress, a vertical design, or folds down horizontally, the right model for you will come down to your specific needs and preferences as well as the space you have available.
Seamlessly integrate Murphy bed systems into just about any room. Many models incorporate additional storage with convenient shelving and cabinets. A Murphy bed with a desk or a sofa offers added convenience, usability, and space saving.
Which style of Murphy Bed is best for you?
- Standard vertical: The standard vertical model is tall, hinges vertically, and usually comes in a Queen size Murphy Bed or a Full size Murphy bed. Often, you will be able to choose the type and quality of mattress you prefer for a standard model. Keep in mind, however, that this model may be limited when it comes to the mattress thickness and its ability to close properly.
- Horizontal: Perfect for small rooms, low ceilings, or less floor space, horizontal models are handy when you don’t want or can’t accommodate a tall piece of furniture. A horizontal Murphy bed folds into a shorter cabinet and takes up far less space vertically when extended. You’ll find that bunk versions tend to open horizontally.
- Murphy Bed with Foldable Mattress: When you are limited by space and need a more compact bed cabinet, you can opt for a Murphy bed with a specially designed foldable mattress. Most foldable models use mattresses made of memory foam given its malleable and adaptable quality.
- Murphy Bed Desk: Super functional and truly multipurpose, a space-saving Murphy bed with desk allows you to properly utilize the wall upon which your folding bed is mounted. No wasted space! With a variety of designs, it’s up to you and the space you have to work with to decide which model is best for you.
- Sofa Murphy Bed: Similar to the Murphy bed desk model, a Murphy bed with a sofa allows you to utilize the wall space that contains the bed. Install a Murphy Bed in a den or living room and enjoy a space-saving built-in sofa design. Most models store the bed upright in the backside of the sofa, and when in use, the bed folds down over the couch.
Common Murphy bed materials
Designed initially with bed frames made of metal, today’s Murphy Beds are made of wood and wood-based materials. Here are the most common:
- Solid Wood: Strong and timeless, wood is among the most common materials used to construct Murphy beds. It’s not unusual, however, for wood to warp naturally over time, so shop wisely as it will be among your most costly options.
- Plywood: Made with multiple layers of thin wood, plywood resists warping and offers excellent durability. However, due to its feature knots, plywood pieces may be vulnerable to structural weaknesses.
- Particle Board: Made from wood particles compressed together, particle board offers the look and feel of real wood. It’s typically more affordable than other Murphy Bed materials, but may compromise durability.
- MDF: Rather like particle board but made from much finer wood particles, MDF is a dense, durable material that is strong and long-lasting.
Safety of folding mechanism
Wall beds, no matter the style, usually have a hinged counterbalance system to facilitate the act of folding the bed up and down quickly, easily, and safely. You will find that there are a couple of folding mechanism options: piston or spring.
A piston system incorporates air pressure with a lock to hold the bed upright when it’s not in use. They rarely require adjustment and, as piston bed systems are typically wall-mounted, they are easy to remove with only minimal damage.
The spring mechanism may need to be adjusted occasionally and will need to be contained by cabinetry to house the spring mechanism. Spring bed systems tend to be floor-mounted, making them very stable but difficult to remove without significant damage to your floor.