Choosing the right Murphy Bed

Murphy beds have been around for more than 100 years. The reason why they’ve managed to stay relevant, even in today’s times, is a testament to the bed’s versatility.

Mr. Murphy first came up with his unique bed design when he was living in a one-bedroom apartment. Social norms wouldn’t let him bring a woman into his bedroom. So he figured he’d solve the problem by being able to turn his bedroom into a living room by making the bed disappear. 


While historians might not know how real that origin story actually is, the benefits of the Murphy bed are very real.

These beds are able to save space and can be quite affordable. But how do you find the Murphy bed that’s perfect for your space?

That’s where we come in. Keep on reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to consider when you’re looking to buy a Murphy bed.

  1. Understanding the mechanism:

A feature that distinguishes a Murphy bed from regular beds is its mechanism that allows for closing and opening. Normally, you have two options for lift mechanisms: piston lift mechanisms and spring lift mechanisms.

Piston lift mechanisms are extremely quiet. These lifts are durable and many even have guarantees to last a lifetime.

A spring lift mechanism causes some noise. It also might need to be tightened every few years. 

  1. The different orientations 

The majority of Murphy beds open vertically. However, nowadays, you can find a variety of beds opening horizontally. 

So how can you determine which kind of bed is suitable for your bedroom? A horizontal bed, or loft bed, is going to be best for awkward or tight spaces. This includes rooms with low ceilings, such as a bedroom in the attic.

A vertical bed will be an ideal choice for a room that has high ceilings. Ample floor space must also be available in order to make room for when the bed opens.

  1. Renter’s choice

A freestanding Murphy bed will be a great option for renters. As the name implies, this kind of Murphy bed doesn’t require fastening or mounting to floors or walls.

Many freestanding Murphy beds are able to convert into other pieces of furniture. 

  1. Hidden from view

A built-in Murphy bed is hidden behind furniture and walls. Unlike the other kinds, they are permanent fixtures. You can’t take these Murphy beds with you when you leave.

These kinds of beds can turn into sofas and other pieces of furniture when you put the bed up.

  1. Durability

The most durable beds are going to be constructed from solid wood. However, these kinds of frames can also be rather expensive. Solid wood can also warp sometimes. 

For people who want an option that is cheaper, plywood is a great alternative. It is sturdier and it can last longer than particleboard. It’s usually more durable than a fiberboard too.

The fiberboard’s weight might cause difficulties when working with it. However,beds made using this material are quite strong.

  1. Appearance

Because a lot of Murphy beds are not manufactured from solid wood, you might have to finalize a finish. A solid wood veneer has the ability to make your Murphy bed feel and look more expensive than it might be..

Laminate veneers will provide the appearance but not the authentic feel of the wood. They’re also cheaper than veneers that are solid wood. 

Paint will change the color. Water-based finishes maintain the wood color and also provide protection. 

  1. After sales:

In case you did not buy your Murphy bed from a seller closeby, then it’s important that you take a look at the return policies and shipping costs of the seller that you choose. Curbside delivery is usually given preference over in-home delivery. That’s because the bed can be very heavy.

Make sure to look at the installation instructions to check if you’ll be able to do it yourself or if you’d be better off paying someone to do it. Always check the warranty for the bed. A short warranty could mean the bed might not last you very long.

  1. DIY Options:

You can always buy DIY kits and make your own Murphy beds. With that said, this task is for an experienced DIYer or a carpenter.

People who don’t have experience with this kind of work would be better off buying the Murphy bed from the store. You should also get it installed by professionals.

A Murphy bed that’s built and installed properly is necessary for safety. 

  1. Purpose

When the bed isn’t being used, some Murphy bed cabinets can become other things. Folding your bed up might reveal a desk, a couch, or shelving.

These can all be useful additions if the room also serves as an office.

Some beds are able to combine these features. They add more utility to the room and might get you more bang for your buck.

The Importance of Knowing How to Choose a Murphy

After reading the above article, you should now have a much better idea of how to pick the right Murphy. Now, you can have more than a comfy bed but also a more spacious home.

Are you looking for other helpful articles? Make sure to check out the rest of our site today!


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