How to Choose a Murphy Bed

Murphy Bed

When you want to save space in your living area, whether it is a studio apartment, a dorm room, or an office that you spend a lot of time in, having a murphy bed (also called a wall bed) can be a great addition to any smaller space. Murphy beds conveniently fold up into or against a wall in an attractive way that can enhance the space when not in use.


Things to Consider in a Murphy Bed

There are many different types and styles of Murphy Bed, and it’s wise to do your research to determine the best Murphy Bed for your needs. It all comes down to the layout of the room, how often you plan to use it, and how much additional space you need when it’s not in use. Do you want a lightweight version that one person can handle, or a more deluxe model that is requires two people to safely lower the frame?


Another factor to consider is the mattress. You want to select a mattress that will be both compatible to the Murphy bed frame, and comfortable for you and/or your guests. Generally, Murphy bed frames are designed to work with standard twin, full, and queen size mattresses. Weight capacity is important – bed have variations in how much it can hold, depending on the materials used in its construction. In a walled bed style, one factor to consider is how it is anchored and whether that supports the weight of the bed. If the weight limit is surpassed, it could damage the bed, or be a safety issue.

murphy bed with sofa

Quality, Style, and Price

Most people want their Murphy bed to last a long time, so quality is important. You should consider the bed’s construction: heavy wood tends to be longer-lasting, but may be tougher to lower than the lighter versions made of plywood or particle board. Take into consideration how often you intend to use it, and whether two people will readily be on hand to help lower it if you prefer the higher quality wood.


As far as style, a typical Murphy bed will attach to the wall and be lowered from two hinges. On the other hand, horizontal layouts are available. These can be an option if your space has low ceilings. Murphy beds with a sofa are a popular alternative. Then there are chest Murphy beds that when packed away resemble a chest. Whichever style you choose, it’s important that it complements your floor plan and other preferences. All of these types come in multiple finishes.


Storage options are another consideration that can increase the attractiveness of the space. Options such as drawers within the Murphy bed, or shelves that provide a nice look to wall space when the bed is in the stowed position. You will want to consider how you want to use the storage space, whether it’s for long-term storage, or if you don’t mind moving items before and after each use, as with shelves.


If cost is important, you will want to consider the fact that Murphy beds include more parts than a traditional bed, and therefore will be more expensive. The overall construction materials, its lifting mechanisms, amount of storage, and the size will all effect the price.


murphy bed with desk

Assembling a Murphy Bed

Many Murphy beds require that you put it together yourself, so a good rule of thumb is to make sure you have the required tools. You may want to hire a professional to put it together. This, of course, usually involves additional cost.


Whatever you choose, a Murphy bed is an attractive and functional way to free up space in any room.