Murphy Beds are a novel idea that both conserve space and add much-needed functionality to urban living areas. But are they practical, and can you make them look nice? Read on to find out.
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What Is a Murphy Bed?
Murphy beds are a genius way to save space. These fold-up wall beds are perfect for studio apartments, guest rooms, and home offices. Unlike sofa beds that have thin mattresses, Murphy beds can conceal a full mattress and box spring.
This way, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for space. The technology isn’t new. This smart solution has been used since inventor William Murphy applied for a patent for the innovation in 1900.
Legend has it he was wooing an opera singer but lived in a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. Moral code of the era forbade a women to enter a man’s bedroom.
Murphy’s solution instantly transformed his sleeping quarters into a formal parlor. Even with today’s comparatively loose morals, Murphy’s ideology is still relevant.
Murphy beds easily transform small spaces into guest bedrooms. But technology that has been around for more than a century shouldn’t cost a fortune. Thankfully, there’s a Murphy bed model for every style and budget. We’ve rounded up our 10 favorites.
1. Rolling Queen Murphy Bed
A rolling Murphy bed makes it easy to maneuver in virtually any space. This Wayfair design is $1,589 and folds up into a sleek piece of furniture with no box spring required.
A queen size mattress folds into the solid-wood design, which reviewers give high marks for quality and appearance. Note that you have to remove the bedding and comforter before trying to store the folding bed.
2. Wall Mounted Murphy Bed Frame
If you’re not looking to spend into the quadruple digits, wall-mounted Murphy bed frames are a good option. This style from Murphy Bed Depot retails for $460 and can be mounted from the floor or ceiling.
You can install in a closet or build a built-in wardrobe to conceal the frame. If you budget doesn’t allow right now, you can always order the frame and add-on later. This design is available in single/twin, double/full size, and queen bed size.
3. Murphy Bed Hardware Kit
Handy? You can make your own Murphy Bed. This Amazon hardware bed kit will get you started. Designed for a vertical queen, it includes all of the hardware you need as well as illustrated instruction booklets for creating the rest of the frame.
There’s a step-by-step DVD and cut sheets for the lumber. Reviewers say you don’t need to be a skilled woodworker, but some general building knowledge would be helpful. The cost of the kit is $299, but you have to purchase your own lumber and mattress.
4. Murphy Bunk Bed
Murphy bunk beds are a genius solution for grandparents or anyone who hosts small children now and then. This Otis Bunk Wall Bed on Houzz folds up into a sleek piece of bedroom furniture when not in use. At $2,870, it’s a more expensive option, but mattresses are included. Plus, bunk beds are a two for one!
5. Revolving Bookshelf and TV Murphy Bed
This Compatto TV revolving bookcase hidden bed by Expand Furniture is one of the most expensive options on the market. Costs are in the range of $7,000. But if you have the budget, it is pretty dang cool.
Simply “open” the bed like a refrigerator door and pull so that the storage unit revolves to reveal the bed. It’s a cool magic trick your guests won’t see coming. The deign is ideal for a living room, as the TV area can instantly become a bed.
The system fits a mattress compatible to a queen in Canada and the United States. If you really want the works, the company can build matching custom cupboards to flank the bookcase.
6. Library Bed
If the revolving bookshelf is out of your budget, consider this attractive library. The Majestic Library Bed: Supreme is just under $2,000 from Murphy Bed Depot.
Two shelving units pull out to reveal a single, full, or queen wall bed. Built with 3/4-inch industrial-strength particle board, the cabinet bed is stronger than your average cabinetry.
It looks great in any living space, and since you shelves slide you, you don’t have to remove anything from the Murphy bed cabinet before opening it up.
The wall space behind becomes your headboard. Reviewers highly recommend this model, but warn to take your time with assembly. It can be a little tricky!
7. Desk Murphy Bed
A space-saving Murphy bed is extra valuable when it can double as a desk. This Tova Portrait wall bed from Wayfair is pricey at $3,399, but it offers a two-for-one.
With a built-in desk and storage unit, this design instantly transforms a room into a home office. Choose from a full or a queen size model.
8. Horizontal Murphy Bed
This smart Hover Horizontal Murphy wall bed from Expand Furniture is a smart solution for low ceilings or narrow wall widths. It would be perfect in a finished attic or loft with cathedral ceilings.
At $2,995, the design isn’t cheap, but it it includes a quality mattress and offers glossy panels for contemporary style. Use it as a wall buffet and decorate the top shelf with flowers and picture frames aside your dining table.
9. Storage Murphy Bed
This Graham Queen Storage Murphy Bed is a bargain for $1,239. The design comes with a mattress, is made from solid wood, and features smart storage at the foot of the bed.
When not in use, stash pillows and bedding in the drawer. Then, the whole unit folds up into an attractive console. Reviewers love the attractive chest storage.
They also warn that the boxes are very heavy and that assembly can take some time. In the end, it’s worth it!
10. DIY Murphy Bed
Another option is to DIY the bed all on your own! This is not for the average crafter, so only take on the task if you are handy with woodworking.
First thing’s first, purchase a Murphy bed kit online or at a local hardware store. You’ll need to create the struts; assemble the subframe.
Then, you assemble head, foot, and side rails; attach the panels; assemble and mount your cabinet; add handles; and install support panels for your mattress.
It’s a tall order, but if you’re up for it, the result will be beautiful and handmade. Consider positioning behind sliding barn doors for a shabby-chic look.
Start Saving Space with a Murphy Bed
When shopping for a Murphy Bed, there are two major factors to consider. First, what is your budget? Second, how handy are you? These favorites range from easy to difficult and affordable to investment.
No matter what, you’ll have a space-saving solution that is beautiful and easy to use. Then, tell those guests to start coming over.