Monday, October 25, 2021

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Wall Bed vs Murphy Bed: What’s the Difference?

You’ve got an extra room in your new home that you’re not doing anything with. You want to turn it into a guest room, but you don’t get enough visitors to warrant putting money toward it.

What if we told you that you can have your cake and eat it too? With a panel or Murphy bed, you’ll be able to use your empty space for something else until you have a guest come over. All you’ll have to do is pull it down from the wall to accommodate your visitors.

While a murphy and wall panel bed serve the same purpose, they do have their differences. Check out this guide to learn more.

Murphy Bed

Murphy beds fold down from the wall. They’re ideal for small places such as studio apartments because they allow for more floor space. Many homeowners use them in their guest rooms since they’re less expensive than regular beds.

The wood tends to fatigue over time. When this happens, you may have to fight with it to get it to stay in the cabinet. The heavy frame has been known to damage floors as well.

Many people invest in a rug to cover up the damage when the bed is against the wall.

Wall Bed

Panel or wall beds work almost the same way as Murphy beds do. The cabinets that they sit in are a bit smaller, so they take up even less space than the traditional murphy models.

They don’t use as many moving parts. The hardware that it does use closes up in the cabinet with the bed, making for a seamless and attractive look.


Traditional murphy models use a spring system that attaches to the side of the bed. When you lift the bed, the springs generate energy.

As you lower the device, the energy releases and holds the bed in place. As a warning, the spring system isn’t perfect. Not only is it heavy, but it can also take up a lot of space.

As time goes on, the springs will begin to wear out due to the weight that’s put on the bed. The good news is that they are replaceable.

Gas Pistons

Wall beds use gas pistons instead of a spring system. The pressure switches the bed between opened and closed. This system is a lot more durable than the springs.

It’s resistant to fatigue. Since it doesn’t use as many moving parts, it’s less likely that the system will break. If something does go wrong, you can easily replace the pistons.

Again, the piston system doesn’t take up any floor space, making it much more aesthetically pleasing than the springs. The stronger components allow wall beds to hold double the weight of a queen Murphy bed.

This being said, both models can hold over a thousand pounds. You’re probably not going to hit this weight limit no matter which bed you choose.


Besides hardware, the other difference is in the packaging. A Murphy bed kit will arrive in your home in several parts. This makes it easier to carry up the stairs and navigate into the room you want to set it up in.

Wall beds have the exact opposite problem. It will come fully assembled. You may have some trouble getting it into your home, but the setup process is super simple and doesn’t take much time at all.


You’re not going to be using your guest room when you don’t have anyone over. You can use it for something else, but that’s hard to do when you have a giant bed in the middle of the floor.

Both Murphy and wall beds will make it a little easier. When they’re not in use, these beds are against the wall in a cabinet. This gives you plenty of space for office supplies, exercise equipment, and arts and crafts.

You could even get a Murphy bed with desk. These models have a small drop-down table attached to the cabinet that you can use for work after you put the bed away.

Comfort Levels

Murphy and wall beds can pack the same comfort levels. It all depends on the mattress you choose. The first thing you need to consider is the thickness.

If the dimensions are too large, it won’t fit in the cabinet. When you’re choosing the mattress thickness, you should also consider your linens. Your comforter will add a little padding.

The next thing you need to think about is the weight. If the mattress is too light or too heavy, it will interfere with the closing mechanism. The instructions that come with your bed should have weight and size recommendations.

Are These Beds Dangerous?

The main concern people have with both Murphy and wall beds is safety. Customers are scared that they’ll get closed up inside the cabinet or that the bed will fall out on top of them.

We won’t lie, this has happened with both models. Still, as time has gone on, the mechanisms have become more sophisticated. The likelihood of an accident occurring is low.

Murphy Bed or Wall Bed

Many people use the term Murphy bed and wall bed interchangeably. While they have a lot in common, they also have several differences that set them apart from each other.

The one you pick depends on how much room you have to spare and how much installation expertise you have to bring to the table. If you don’t think you can put your bed in, you can always call a professional to help you out. For more tips on how to furnish your home, check out our blog. 

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