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When space is at a premium but you need somewhere to sleep, a Murphy bed might be an ideal solution. At the most basic level, this style of bed can be hidden as a piece of furniture with a relatively small footprint until you need it. Most Murphy beds come equipped with specially designed mechanisms to make them easy to pull down and put back. People who live in small apartments have long looked to Murphy beds to provide a sleeping arrangement that doesn’t sacrifice living space.
With so many different styles of Murphy beds available, you’ll likely find a model that addresses your needs. In addition to hiding a sleeping space, some Murphy beds are designed as accent pieces or storage solutions. Whether they’re your primary sleep surface or a guest room option, this style of bed frame may be worth considering if you need extra space. Among other details, we’ll highlight the different types of Murphy beds, common prices, and materials as well as our top picks
Who it’s best for
- Value seekers
- Those who have a partner to help lower the bed
- Shoppers looking for a Murphy bed with vertical or horizontal orientation options
- Can be assembled vertically or horizontally
- Lightweight yet durable poplar plywood construction
- Lifetime limited warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee
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The Lori Bed is a versatile Murphy bed that gives shoppers a high-quality option at an attractive price-point. Made from 100% poplar plywood, this Murphy bed mounts directly to the wall. It is available with a horizontal or vertical orientation. Many shoppers opt for the vertical orientation for a traditional look, though the horizontal assembly is a suitable choice for those with low ceilings or limited space.
Rather than cutting costs by using lower-quality materials, the Lori Bed maintains an approachable price-point by omitting a lifting mechanism. Therefore, lowering this Murphy bed requires help from a partner. Assembly is also required, and detailed instructions explain the process.
The Lori Bed is compatible with mattresses up to 12 inches thick and is available in twin and queen sizes. Shoppers can choose between three finish options, all of which include storage shelves.
Shipping is free within the contiguous U.S. Those living in Canada, Hawaii, and Alaska should expect additional shipping charges. Your purchase includes a 60-night money-back guarantee. For returns within this window, Lori provides a full refund of the purchase price minus $150 for return shipping. The bed is backed by a lifetime limited warranty.
Best for Saving Space
Expand Furniture Hover Fold-Away Wall Bunk Beds
Who it’s best for
- People who live in studio apartments and other relatively small living spaces
- Children who share a bedroom
- High-end shoppers
- Twin-over-twin bunk design can be folded upward to be flush with your wall
- Each bed has a bendable headboard and footboard
- Wall brackets anchor the bunks to create a sleek floating effect
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Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Expand Furniture mattresses
Murphy beds are designed to conserve floorspace, but most include cabinets, chests, and other storage components that still take up a fair amount of room. The Hover Fold-Away Wall Bunk Beds do not come with any frame whatsoever. When not in use, the top and bottom bunks can be folded and tucked upward against your wall with straps holding them in place. A piston system allows you to open and close them gently. Both bunks feature bendable headboards and footboards, and the top also includes foldable safety rails.
Since there isn’t a frame, you’ll need to anchor the bunks to your wall with metal hardware. This process is quite time-consuming — our team needed a couple hours — but once successfully installed, the bed feels remarkably stable. This also creates a cool floating effect, with rounded shapes and a white finish adding to the clean, modern aesthetic. A ladder allows easy access to the top bunk.
It’s important to note the relatively low weight capacity. The top bunk can support up to 250 pounds maximum, while the bottom bunk is designed for 300 pounds or less, and both are compatible with mattresses measuring up to 8 inches thick. Factor in the weight of the mattress, and this means children and adults who weigh 200 to 250 pounds may be limited to the bottom bed. We recommend weighing any mattress you use with either bunk prior to use. For an upcharge, Expand Furniture allows you to include mattresses with your purchase.
As a luxury bed frame with advanced technical components, the Hover Fold-Away Wall Bunk Beds’ expensive sticker price reflects the high-end design. However, you won’t find many Murphy-style beds on the market today that conserve as much space as this model. If saving room is a top priority, the long-term benefits may be worth the hefty up-front cost. Expand Furniture does not allow returns at any point, so all sales are final, but your purchase is backed by a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
AFI Hamilton Murphy Bed Chest
Who it’s best for:
- People who want a Murphy bed that doubles as an attractive bedroom furnishing
- Those with storage needs in their guest bedroom
- Shoppers with flexible budgets
- Bed housed in a sturdy, all-wood chest
- Frame comes equipped with USB ports and charging outlet
- Mattress measures 6 inches thick and is infused with cooling gel
Sleep Foundation Special Offer
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on AFI mattresses
The Hamilton Murphy Bed Chest from AFI Furnishings builds on a classic design with modern features to enhance stays for your overnight guests. These include USB ports on each side of the bed, as well as a pair of electrical outlets and a grounded 9-foot power cord. The frame consists of an all-foam mattress enclosed within a handsome wooden cabinet, and a spacious bottom drawer provides ample room for storing linens, pillows, and other guest room essentials.
The mattress measures 6 inches thick and is constructed with a memory foam comfort layer over a high-density polyfoam base. This is fairly thick for a Murphy bed mattress, so your guests may not need a mattress pad or topper to sleep comfortably. Cooling gel infused into the top layer also helps the mattress resist overheating and sleep at a comfortable temperature. The mattress has a suggested weight capacity of 800 pounds.
Although the Hamilton is somewhat pricey, its durable design should translate to a long lifespan and keep your overnight guests comfortable for years to come. Assembly is also a quick, straightforward process. Shipping fees and return options vary by seller. If you order the bed through Amazon.com, your purchase comes with a 30-night trial period.
Best Murphy Bed Chest Cabinet
Night & Day Furniture Murphy Cube Cabinet Bed
Who it’s best for:
- Shoppers who do not want to mount their Murphy bed to the wall
- People who prefer not to purchase a separate mattress
- Those who want to be able to set up the bed without a partner
- Foldable queen size gel memory foam mattress included
- Durable hardwood construction
- No wall mounting is required
Sleep Foundation Special Offer
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Night & Day Furniture mattresses
The Murphy Cube by Night & Day Furniture features a unique construction that’s designed to take up very little room without mounting to the wall. When closed, this bed looks like a chest or cabinet. Once assembled, it requires minimal lifting for easy use. To convert it from a cabinet to a bed, users remove the top, fasten the latches, pull out the legs, and fold it down. The included mattress unfolds easily to rest on top of the support system.
This bed is designed to take up 10 square feet when closed. Users don’t need to purchase an additional mattress since it includes a 6-inch gel memory foam model that folds into the chest. The bed is made from solid hardwood and is available in multiple finishes.
The Murphy Cube comes in a standard queen size and requires assembly. Return and shipping policies vary by seller, though Night & Day backs this product with a 10-year limited warranty.
What Is a Murphy Bed?
A Murphy bed is invaluable for people who need a versatile sleep surface. Though there are multiple styles of Murphy bed, each model shares the same overall goal of saving space. Generally speaking, a Murphy bed packs or folds away when it’s not being used. The most widely known style is the standard Murphy bed, which sits flush with the wall and is hinged on the bottom. When pulled, it unfolds so that the bed’s surface is perpendicular to the wall behind it.
People who live in studio apartments, mobile homes, or other small spaces may choose to free up additional living space by using a Murphy bed. Home offices or bonus rooms can also double as a guest bedroom with the addition of a Murphy bed. There are a few different styles, each of which takes up very little square footage. In addition to standard styles, horizontal and chest Murphy beds are available. Users can also opt for a model that includes storage to maximize the utility of their space.
The type of mattress that is compatible with a Murphy bed varies between models. Chest or cabinet models often come with a foldable mattress that fits into the base. Wall-mounted Murphy beds work well with many mattress types, though they won’t close if the mattress is too thick.
How to Choose a Murphy Bed
Picking between Murphy beds largely comes down to your space, aesthetic, and sleep preferences. You’ll want to consider how often you plan to sleep on it, where you’ll use it, and whether you’d like added storage space. Certain styles of beds are easy for one person to convert, while others require two people to lift and lower the frame. Your intended mattress is also a factor due to compatibility guidelines.
What to Look For in a Murphy Bed
Rather than looking at trends or buzzwords, it’s important to think critically about what you need from a Murphy bed. Most shoppers want to save space, but since designs can vary widely, there typically isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, think about details like your budget, who will use the bed, and the logistics of assembly and operation. Considering the following factors can help you narrow down the contenders.
Murphy beds are usually designed to work with standard mattress dimensions, the most common being twin, full, and queen sizes. The mattress’ height is also an important factor. Some units require a low-profile model to close properly.
Potential buyers should look at a Murphy bed’s construction since this can affect its weight and lifespan. For instance, solid hardwood is durable, though it may be heavier and harder to lower than a particle board or plywood option. When choosing between materials, think about how often you intend to use the bed and how you plan to lower it.
Due to variations in their construction and materials, Murphy beds differ in how much weight they can hold. Additionally, if it’s a wall bed style, how it is anchored can be a factor in determining the capacity. Surpassing the weight limit could damage the bed and present a safety issue.
Murphy beds come in multiple styles. Standard Murphy beds, sometimes called wall beds, attach to the wall and are lowered from a hinge. Normally, they fold out vertically, but some horizontal layouts are available, which can be beneficial if you have low ceilings. Chest Murphy beds look like a cabinet but have a bed packed away inside. The best Murphy bed style for you will depend on your preferences and floor plan. Many manufacturers also offer multiple finishes to match a range of decors.
Since Murphy beds require more parts and features than many traditional bed frames, they can often be more expensive. As is standard with bedding products, Murphy bed prices typically increase with size. The average range for a queen size Murphy bed without a mattress is between $1,000 to $3,500. Materials, construction, lifting mechanisms, storage, and size factor into the overall cost.
Ease of Assembly
Many Murphy beds require assembly, and it’s critical to make sure they’re put together correctly. Before purchasing, check to see if additional tools are required or if professional assembly options are available. These factors may add to the total cost of your bed.
Whether you want drawers for guest use or need to consolidate your belongings, there are many options for storage solutions within Murphy beds. Perhaps one of the more important aspects to consider is whether you need long-term storage or are comfortable removing your belongings before converting the bed. Some units have shelves that must be cleared before lowering the frame.
Types of Murphy Beds
With the number of Murphy beds available today, nearly every shopper should be able to find a model that fits their needs and living space. Though there are many styles and customizable options to choose from, most fall within the following common categories for Murphy bed construction.
Standard Murphy Bed
When folded up, the standard Murphy bed looks like a tall, thin cabinet or piece of furniture. It’s mounted to the wall with hinges at the bottom that allow the user to pull the bed from the top and lower it to the ground. This style is typically sold without a mattress and buyers must supply a compatible model.
Chest Cabinet Murphy Bed
A chest cabinet Murphy bed looks like a rectangular chest or cabinet when it’s not in use. The exact method for converting the bed varies by model, but typically the top lifts off and becomes support for the mattress, which unfolds from inside the chest. Many manufacturers include a mattress with the purchase of the frame since the dimensions of the chest dictate the required style and size of sleep surface. This kind of Murphy bed takes up very little floor space and can often double as a piece of accent furniture.
Murphy Bed With Folding Mattress
Some Murphy beds include a foldable memory foam or polyfoam mattress to fit into a compact space. Therefore, sleepers who choose this type of Murphy bed should ensure they’re comfortable sleeping on a foam mattress. The firmness and thickness of the mattress will greatly impact its performance. Lighter individuals and side sleepers may prefer a softer, thicker option, while heavier individuals, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers are likely to get the support they need from a thinner and/or firmer sleep surface.
Horizontal Murphy Bed
A horizontal Murphy bed functions the same way a vertical model does, but the orientation of the bed is sideways instead of up and down. This means that when you open the bed, the side will be next to the wall. For some spaces, especially those with low ceilings, this configuration may be a better fit. The user also doesn’t have to reach as high to unfold the bed, which may be more convenient.
Do I Need a Murphy Bed?
Murphy beds are often compatible with standard mattresses, which may make them attractive to those looking to use one full-time. Some also have storage options and inconspicuous designs to fit seamlessly into the room.
Though Murphy beds can be a worthwhile option for people looking to save space, they aren’t the only compact bed available. Think about your needs and goals and reflect on whether the following options may also be worth considering.
Bunk Beds: Bunk beds save valuable floor space by stacking two sleep surfaces on top of each other. Some bunk bed mattresses and frames are geared towards children, requiring additional safety features. However, larger frames with higher weight capacities may accommodate adults.
Sofa Beds: If you’re looking for a versatile piece of furniture that occasionally acts as a sleep surface, a sofa bed may be a good option. A sofa bed is a couch that easily converts to a bed, though multiple styles are available.
Loft Beds: Often seen in small apartments or dorms, loft beds create additional floor space, much like a bunk bed. However, instead of two beds, there is one top bed and an open space underneath.
Foldable Mattresses: Foldable mattresses are typically foam models that can be packed accordion style and stored until needed. They may be placed on the floor or a bed frame. Many chest Murphy beds require this type of mattress.
Air Mattresses: An air mattress is typically made of heavy-duty vinyl. This flexible material is inflated using a pump until it reaches its full dimensions. Air mattresses have long been a staple in guest rooms and on camping trips because they’re easily transported. However, temporary air mattresses are not the best option for long-term use since they generally don’t offer robust support.
Frequently Asked Questions About Murphy Beds
Murphy beds vary in price depending on their materials and construction, but the average range for a queen is between $1,000 to $3,500. Some considerations to factor into the overall cost are expected lifespan, extra features, whether a mattress is included, and whether there are additional assembly-related expenses.
Shoppers can purchase a Murphy bed online or in select stores. The main advantage of shopping online is that it gives you the flexibility to browse for the best value and fit for your needs. However, some people prefer shopping in person where they may be able to see the bed before completing their purchase.
Due to the wide selection of Murphy beds available today, the vast majority of sleepers should be able to find a comfortable option. A Murphy bed is essentially a bed frame, and while it can certainly impact your sleep, your mattress will dictate much of your comfort level. For optimal comfort, you may prefer to choose the kind of mattress you want based on your weight and personal preferences, then find a Murphy bed that's compatible.
The Murphy bed is named after the inventor, William Lawrence Murphy. In around 1900, he lived in a one-room apartment in San Francisco. In order to entertain guests, he came up with a disappearing bed as a creative solution to convert the room into a parlor as needed. Fold-up beds were not a new idea, but Murphy created patents for his versions and helped bring the product into the mainstream.
The type of mattress you need depends on the style of Murphy bed you select. Standard and horizontal Murphy beds work well with most types of mattresses as long as they're the right profile. A mattress that's too thick won't allow the Murphy bed to close properly. Chest cabinet Murphy beds often require a foldable mattress, which is usually made of foam.
Murphy beds work by folding up to create additional living space. There are multiple varieties of Murphy beds, and the exact mechanisms differ from bed to bed. Generally speaking, standard Murphy beds fold away from the wall using a hinge, while chest cabinet styles have a mattress and frame that pack away when not in use.