Sometimes ingenuity truly comes from need. That was the case, at least, with the famous cot that folds up within a cabinet, the Murphy bed. Smithsonian Magazine says that William Lawrence Murphy, who lived in a one-room apartment in San Francisco at the time, came up with the idea for the Murphy bed around 1900. He was also in love with a young opera singer, but according to the convention, women weren’t allowed in men’s beds. Murphy solved this problem by making a quick-tuck bed, which turned his sleeping area into a perfect parlor for his songbird.
America embraced Murphy’s idea just as passionately when he married his girlfriend. They provide a spot for overnight visitors to sleep without consuming valuable floor space, which is especially useful if you don’t have a guest room but only, perhaps, a home office. They are the ideal option for those of us with tiny residences or who require small space ideas. Since Murphy beds have been increasingly popular over the past ten or so years, there are also blueprints available for storage units, workstations, and other smart, fashionable modifications.
15 Best Murphy Bed That Help You Save Space of 2022
A Murphy bed could be a fantastic alternative for you if you have a small house or just need to conserve valuable floor space. They don’t have to be expensive, though. Take a look at the inventive Murphy bed alternatives below, whether you want to buy a Murphy bed already assembled to save money or a DIY one.
How to Choose the Right Murphy Bed
As Challie Stillman, vice president of Sales and Design at Resource Furniture, notes, “much like a conventional bed, wall beds come in a range of sizes to match your needs and available space.” “Before selecting a size, think about who will use the bed and how frequently. Is it a bed for one adult, a couple, or a little child? Do you plan to use the bed every night or just sometimes for overnight guests? How much room do you require to sleep peacefully? Additionally, make sure the bed has adequate clearance to open and close without running into anything in your room and that it fits there comfortably.
Murphy beds may be constructed from a wide range of materials, just like any other piece of furniture. The most commonly used building materials include particleboard, aluminum, produced wood, and solid wood. The longest-lasting alternative is solid wood, but it’s also the heaviest and most costly. Although much less expensive and heavier than wood, particleboard is more brittle and more likely to degrade if it gets wet.
Consider how you want to use the area as a whole and what other uses would be beneficial when choosing how to include the bed, advises Stillman. One option is a wall bed with a built-in sofa, shelves or storage options, or a workstation or table. Assisted opening and closing mechanisms, integrated illumination, and built-in storage compartments are some of the other advantageous characteristics.
1. DIY Murphy With Mod Shelves
This Murphy bed also has shelves built-in, but they are narrower and have larger ledges for a more modern look. Add hooks next to the bed for your guests’ things, a retractable plant stand over the pillows, and a clamp reading lamp for a welcoming touch.
2. DIY Horizontal Murphy Bed
This Murphy, which folds horizontally rather than vertically, maybe the answer if all you have room for is a twin-sized mattress. Use a colorful cloth to resemble drawer fronts, then add knobs with screws to finish the design.
3. DIY Murphy Bed With Backless Shelves
This Murphy looks strong but also very sleek because it is made up of several rows of connected, backless shelves. You may use plywood for the project, but for a nicely polished appearance, use an oil-based primer as well, which won’t change the grain of the wood.
4. DIY Murphy Bed With Desk
Why confine your bespoke Murphy to just a bookshelf? A desk at the foot of the bed makes the space even more practical, whether it doubles as a cheerful kids’ playroom or an adult workplace. When you want to keep the surface folded up, use IKEA legs that are simple to disconnect.
5. DIY Murphy Bed With Built-In Storage
This bed can be the solution if you’re severely short on room in your residence. It’s ideal for compact homes since it has built-in closets on either side and additional storage space underneath the bed. Consider purchasing a Murphy bed hardware kit to make construction simple, and then complete the idea with a daybed that slides beneath the bed to provide additional seating.
6. DIY Armoire-Look Murphy Bed
This Murphy bed resembles a sleek cabinet when it is folded. When the sofa is folded down, the little space is made more vibrant by the addition of a painting over the bed. On the panel supporting the bed, nail, and glue pre-painted horizontal and vertical trim. Add handles as the final touch.
7. DIY Murphy Dog Bed
A Murphy for a man’s best friend is only fitting, and this stylish one not only folds up into a cabinet but also features a convenient port with plugs and USB ports. Decorate plywood shelves with holiday wallpaper for chic, practical dog toy storage.
8. DIY Murphy Bed With Twin Bookshelves
On either side of this warm Murphy bed are connected bookshelves and swing arm lights that add to its cozy look. Installing chain guards will guarantee that the bed stays folded while not in use, which is an additional safety step.
9. DIY Twin Murphy Beds
These two straightforward twin beds are robust and double the fun of a Murphy. They are made of plywood, which is highly wrappable, like the majority of Murphy beds. Using pocket holes every four to six inches can assist in driving the wood back into the appropriate form and fixing the problem.
10. DIY Queen Murphy Bed
This queen-size Murphy bed has a headboard that can be taken off and is held in place with PVC pipe caps. When the bed is closed, the clever flap at the top conceals the seam; it flips up when the bed is folded up.
11. European Twin Murphy Bed
This bed is made in Europe, has a stylish veneer chipboard finish, a sturdy metal frame, and folds down vertically. A top storage cabinet can be added to the bed as a custom option.
12. Portrait Wall Murphy Bed
Your guests wouldn’t even believe it, but this full-portrait wall bed can be converted into a functional, beautiful work surface when it’s not in use.
13. Full Size Murphy Bed
If you’d rather kick back and enjoy your Murphy right off the bat rather than build it yourself, this roomy full-sized bed features a modern design and a dual-piston system for safety and ease of use.
14. Wall Murphy Bed with Storage
Featuring sturdy storage units with open and closed shelving on each side, this handsome Murphy unit comes in a rich dark chocolate finish.
15. Murphy Bed Chest
It’s hard to believe that a queen-size memory foam mattress could fit inside such a compact chest, but it does—and this Murphy bed offers dual USB charging ports too. The chest itself is styled with a spiffy cottage-look and tongue and groove paneling.
How does a Murphy bed work?
Murphy beds feature a platform that folds vertically into a cabinet-type structure when not in use. The platform is typically supported by a spring or piston mechanism that helps you raise and lower the bed more easily, and pivoting legs often support the end of the bed. When open, the weight of the mattress keeps a Murphy in place, which is why most models have very specific mattress weight requirements.
Can you install a Murphy bed yourself?
Many Murphy beds can be installed by one or two people. The process usually involves mounting the cabinet to the wall, so you’ll need the proper equipment to locate wall studs and attach the furniture. If you don’t have the necessary tools or are uncertain about the process, it’s best to hire a professional to ensure the job is done right.
What type of mattress can you use in a Murphy bed?
Most Murphy beds have very specific mattress requirements in terms of weight and thickness, and it’s important to follow them exactly to ensure the bed is safe. The weight of the mattress is often what holds the bed in the down position—if the mattress is too light, the bed may spring up, but if it’s too heavy, it may not stay down.
Are Murphy beds safe?
When used according to the manufacturer’s directions, Murphy are perfectly safe. However, young children shouldn’t be allowed to play in or around these pieces of furniture, nor should they attempt to operate the device unattended.