Buying Guide – How to Buy a Murphy Bed
A useful space saver in smaller apartments, dorms, and mobile homes, a traditional Murphy Bed pivots at an end to be folded vertically against a wall or inside a closet or cabinet. Murphy beds can often be effortlessly lifted and lowered with piston-lift or torsion springs.
Following the original design, additional Murphy Bed models have been introduced, including sideways mounted beds and beds with foldable mattresses. When folded up, the bed may look like a bookcase, cabinet, or a wall. Read on to learn more about modern-day Murphy Beds, including designs, safety features, and alternative space-savers.
Why Buy a Murphy Bed?
The decision to purchase a Murphy Bed typically comes down to a single reason: saving space. For studio apartments, mobile homes, and other small spaces, the Murphy Bed frees up precious living space.
For spare bedrooms, home offices, and hobby rooms, the Murphy Bed creates room for office furniture, workout equipment, and the like. And their resurgence in popularity means the Murphy Beds can come with stylish, customizable designs that fold up into cabinets and drawers that match your home’s aesthetic.
Murphy Bed Designs
Over the years, a variety of inventive Murphy Beds designs have emerged, including Murphy Beds with foldable mattresses and those that unfold horizontally rather than vertically. Choosing the right model for you may depend on the type of space you plan to install your Murphy Bed, your size needs, and personal preferences. To help you decide on your ideal design, we’ve discussed the various Murphy Bed models available on the modern market below.
Standard Murphy Bed
Without a mattress included, the standard Murphy Bed places a full- or queen-size mattress on a frame that hinges vertically to become a tall piece of furniture. Before bedtime, the owner lowers the Murphy Bed onto the floor horizontally to sleep.
Because a traditional Murphy Bed doesn’t include a mattress, you are allowed the freedom to choose a mattress type instead of being stuck with the one included with the bed. However, standard Murphy Beds may also have limits on how thick the mattress can be in order to be able to close properly.
Murphy Bed with Foldable Mattress
Murphy beds that come with a specially designed foldable mattress can often fit into more compact cabinets. Many foldable mattresses used with Murphy Beds are made of memory foam due to the material’s moldable, adaptable nature. However, spring, latex, and hybrid mattresses may also be included.
Because these types of Murphy Beds require special, customized foldable mattresses, sleepers aren’t able to choose the material, firmness, design of their mattress. This can be problematic for sleepers with special needs or preferences; for example, those who prefer an all-natural mattress, extra-firm bed, or specific brand.
Horizontal vs. Vertical Folding Murphy Beds
In addition to vertical Murphy Beds, horizontal versions have been introduced that can fold into shorter cabinets, and take up less vertical space when expanded. The horizontal bed is ideal for smaller rooms with low ceilings or less floor space for bed projection, such as an attic or basement. Bunk Murphy Beds typically open horizontally.
When choosing between a horizontal versus vertical Murphy bed, consider the size and shape of the room in addition to the height of the ceiling. Also consider furniture placement in regards to how different pieces will fit or may be moved once the bed is unfolded.