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What Is A Murphy Bed? 2023 [Types, Sizes, Pros And Cons]

By: Susie
Updated On: September 24, 2023

Do you live in a small space, and you're wrestling with the problem of arranging furniture, keeping things tidy, and still having room to breathe?

You might have heard about an all-in-one miracle solution that people are raving about - the Murphy bed. So, what is a Murphy bed?

A Murphy bed, also known as a wall bed or fold-down bed, is an ingenious invention that allows you to reclaim your space without sacrificing comfort. This is not just any ordinary piece of furniture!

It's a transformative solution that adds character to home layouts and empowers homeowners like yourself with added flexibility. Read on to learn more about this unique space-saving functionality.

What is a Murphy Bed?

A Murphy Bed, also known as a wall bed, pull-down bed, or fold-down bed, is a type of bed hinged at one end to store vertically against the wall or inside a closet or cabinet.

The design is aimed to save space in small rooms or apartments when the bed is not in use. William Lawrence Murphy invented this space-saving furniture piece around the turn of the 20th century, and has been popular for its functionality and versatility.

They can come in various sizes, from twin to king, and often include additional features like lighting, shelving, and additional storage.

Types of Murphy Bed

Types of Murphy Bed

When you delve deeper into Murphy beds, you'll notice several types. Each type caters to a specific need or room, offering unique features and advantages. The two main categories include Sofa Murphy Beds and Murphy Cabinet Beds.

Sofa Murphy Beds

Sofa Murphy beds provide a dual purpose, acting as a comfy sofa during the day and converting into a full-size bed at night. This feature particularly appeals to those living in studio apartments where every inch counts.

Whether entertaining guests or planning for unexpected overnight visitors, Sofa Murphy beds blend inconspicuously into your living area while providing an instant guest room setup when needed.

They combine functionality with aesthetics - maintaining the decorative appeal of your space without sacrificing practicality.

  • 2-in-1 Design: It effortlessly transitions from a couch to a bed.
  • Space-Saving: Ideal for small spaces, leaving more room for other furniture or creating an open room feel.
  • Versatile: A wide range of styles and designs to fit any decor.
  • User-Friendly: Easy to transfer with minimum effort.

Murphy Cabinet Beds

Murphy Cabinet Beds are another excellent option for space-conscious individuals. During the day, these beds fold into what appears to be a stylish cabinet or credenza - adding personality and functionality without taking up extra floor space.

When opened, the cabinet doors fold out into supportive legs, creating a comfortable sleeping platform once the mattress is pulled down. What's more? Some designs even offer additional storage drawers underneath.

  • Concealed Design: It hides away attractive furniture during the day.
  • Storage Option: Extra storage compartments for keeping bedding essentials organized.
  • Portable: Generally lighter than other models and easy to relocate if needed.
  • Comfort: Despite their compact size, they provide a full-size bed's comfort.

Bookcase Wall Beds

If you're looking for a stylish addition to your space-savings solutions, a Bookcase Wall Bed might be the answer you've been seeking. This ingenious design packs more punch by combining the space-saving advantage of a traditional Murphy bed with the storage capability of a bookshelf.

During the day, this model appears as an elegant piece of furniture that hosts your favorite reads and ornaments with built-in bookshelves.

When night falls or when guests sleep, all it takes is pulling down the front panel smoothly to reveal a comfortable bed. Its practicality and aesthetic appeal are wrapped in one dazzling package!

  • Dual Function: They operate as both a bed and a bookcase.
  • Space-Saving: It effectively utilizes vertical space by storing books and beds in the same location.
  • Flexible Design: Many models offer adjustable shelves for storage needs.
  • Ease of Use: It's effortless to transform without removing items from shelves.

Regular Murphy Beds

The Classic or Regular Murphy Bed is what most envision when they think of a pull-down bed. It is designed effectively, hinging at one end so it can be stored upright against the wall or within a closet or cabinet when not in use.

Renowned for its simplicity and effectiveness, it's essentially just a bed that folds away when unnecessary, without any added frills. It remains stylish in its beauty of purpose and offers everything required for a comfortable sleep.

  • Space Efficient: The regular Murphy beds utilize optimal room space by folding up against the wall.
  • Variety in Size Options: Available from twin-sized beds to larger Queen versions.
  • Ease Of Operation: Most use piston-lift or torsion springs, making opening and closing effortless with just one hand.
  • Affordability: They are typically less expensive than other Murphy bed variations due to their simplicity.

No matter your style, the Murphy bed gives you a flexible living area while offering comfortable sleep and saving space. Why occupy a room with a bed used only roughly a third of the day when you can open up your space with a Murphy Bed?

Also Read: How To Hang Sheers On A Canopy Bed In 2023 [15 Easy Tips]

How to Install a Murphy Bed

How to Install a Murphy Bed

A Murphy bed can be a brilliant solution to crunch space and add a unique element to your room. Whether you are someone who loves DIY projects or just a beginner, don’t worry.

With detailed instructions and the right tools, installing a Murphy bed is achievable in just one day. Here's a step-by-step guide for you.

Find the Right Location

Before you begin with the installation, you must pick an appropriate location for your Murphy bed. The location should have enough space to allow for comfortable use of the bed when it's extended.

Measure the wall to ensure it has sufficient length in line with your bed size and height to accommodate the cabinet structure - this should include some extra inches for smooth operation. Consider obstacles such as windows, light fixtures, or heating vents that may interfere with placement.

Another crucial aspect is accessibility. You'd want to ensure ease of access when opening and closing. And remember, it should not obstruct pathways or doorways. Once you've figured out these parameters, mark the area where the wall bed will go.

Find the Wall Studs

Securing your Murphy bed safely involves anchoring it into wall studs — vertical pieces of wood behind your drywall that provide stability. Consulting a blueprint helps, but using a stud finder makes this task more manageable.

Run the stud finder along the wall where you plan on installing your Murphy Bed until it signals – usually by lighting up - indicating a stud behind it.

Mark these spots as they'll be vital when installing the mounting brackets for your frame; place them across multiple studs to distribute weight evenly and ensure maximum support.

Avoid potentially harmful elements like wires or pipes running through studs; adjust accordingly if faced with any.

Take time at this stage because securing mounts correctly means having a safe and reliable system once everything’s set up.

Mounting the Brackets

To mount the brackets for your Murphy bed, first scrutinize the instructions from your Murphy bed kit. Typically, you'll start by marking spots on the wall where you want to place the brackets.

Using a drill, make holes in these marked spots. Now insert screws through the brackets into these holes, and then tighten them with a screwdriver.

Remember to use the stud finder tool to mount these securely into wall studs for added safety and stability.

Securing Your Murphy Bed To The Floor

To secure your Murphy bed to the floor, first position your Murphy bed frame at the proper spot based on where you have mounted your brackets.

Make sure it stands upright at a right angle to the floor. Once positioned correctly, use a pencil to mark points on the floor that align with pre-drilled holes in your bed’s frame feet. Remove the bed frame temporarily and drill holes into this marked spot in alignment with the frame feet.

Place the frame back over these drilled spots, insert screws through the feet into the drilled hole, and tighten down using a wrench or socket set.

Attaching The Bed And Springs

It's time to attach your bed and springs. The springs provide resistance, which aids in easy lifting and lowering your Murphy bed, so don't skip this step!

With all components of your Murphy operated via spring system - You can think of them like an ‘assistant’ helping lift & lower it smoothly.

Start by adding shocks/springs onto shock/spring mounts on each side of the bed frame (typically two or more shocks). Ensure they are securely attached and cannot loosen accidentally when opening/closing the bed.

Attach mattress panels or straps as intended by your specific model or kit using the appropriate screws provided – remember not over-tighten as this may cause damage.

The overall process might vary a bit depending upon the specific type or model of Murphy Bed, but general concepts remain the same. Always refer to the provided manual for the best results.

Also Read: Mattress Pad Vs Mattress Protector 2023 [Which Is Better?]

Different Sizes of Murphy Bed

Murphy Beds come in various sizes tailored to fit the needs of their users. Their space-saving efficiencies are well-documented across the different dimensions. Let us walk you through two popular options: Twin and Twin XL.


The size that tops our list is the Twin Murphy bed, designed specifically for individual use. The clever part of this design is how it works perfectly in children's bedrooms, home offices, or guest rooms.

Let's look at its dimensions:

  • Height: Somewhere between 82 and 87 inches
  • Width: Ranges from 43 to 46 inches
  • Depth: Usually between 18 and 21 inches
  • Projection: Around 80 - 82 inches when open

The compact design of a twin Murphy bed fits comfortably into small spaces while giving you a full-sized bed's spacious feel.

Twin XL

Alternatively, if you're looking for extra legroom without compromising space, then the Twin XL variant can be your answer.

A couple of inches longer than the standard Twin, this size gives extra comfort to taller individuals or anyone preferring additional space.

Here are its numbers:

  • Height: Typically between 87 and 89 inches
  • Width: Maintains a narrow figure at around 43 to 46 inches
  • Depth: Similar to the Twin, between 18 and 21 inch depth
  • Projection: Slightly larger due to the increased length – expect somewhere around an extension of about 85 -87 inches from the wall


This mid-range size, a full or double bed, is particularly favorable in apartments or smaller bedrooms where space might be a little tight, but having a bed larger than a twin-sized is preferred.

Some key dimensions you can expect from this bed size are:

  • Height: Ranging between 82-87 inches, the full-size Murphy bed sits comfortably for an average-height individual, providing ample head and foot space.
  • Width: It generally comes within 57-61 inches, giving more wiggle room than a twin size.
  • Depth: With depth typically lying between 18-21 inches, it gives an illusion of having more floor area when folded away.
  • Projection: This indicates how much floor space the bed occupies when pulled open, around 80-82 inches for the full/double size.


If you're looking for something larger that would provide more sleeping space, you might consider investing in a queen-sized Murphy bed. It's also popular among those who prefer extra legroom or share their bed with a partner.

Here are some standard measurements for Queen Size Murphy Beds:

  • Height: Queen-sized options generally measure between 87-89 inches in height.
  • Width: The width typically ranges from 64-68 inches - quite roomy even for two people sharing the bed.
  • Depth: Here again, the standard Murphy Bed depth interval of 18 - 21 inches maintains its sleek appearance when stowed away.
  • Projection: When unfolded, it projects into your room between 85 - 87 inches.

Also Read: Queen Air Mattress Dimensions 2023 [Twin, Full, Queen & King]

Twin XL

The Twin XL provides five extra inches in length compared to the traditional twin size. This might not sound like much, but it could make all the difference if you are tall or typically like a bit of hang-off space at the end of your bed.

Notable measurements include:

  • Height: Expect a height between 87 - 89 inches.
  • Width: The width generally hovers around 43 - 46 inches.
  • Depth: Typical depth for Murphy Beds is between 18 - 21 inches.
  • Projection: Twin XL beds will project approximately 85 - 87 inches.


The King-sized Murphy bed is the ultimate choice for luxury and maximum comfort. This site is a top choice for master bedrooms or large guest rooms, offering plenty of space for couples or people who like to stretch out while sleeping.

A king-sized bed can turn your room into a sumptuous suite when it's down and just as quickly become an expansive living or working area when it's stowed away.

Noteworthy dimensions for King Size Murphy Beds:

  • Height: The height can measure 89-92 inches, providing a grand visual when pulled down.
  • Width: With a width ranging from 84 - 86 inches, it's the widest of all sizes, offering ample space.
  • Depth: The depth remains consistent with most Murphy bed models at 18 - 21 inches, ensuring sleekness in its closed state.
  • Projection: The projection is approximately 85 - 87 inches, providing ample room for restful sleep.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Murphy Bed?

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Murphy Bed?

Incorporating a Murphy bed into your space has benefits and drawbacks. Understanding these pros and cons can be the deciding factor in whether or not this space-saving solution is right for you.

Pros of Murphy Bed

Murphy beds are designed to optimize space, boost functionality, and provide exceptional comfort. Here's why they might be your thing:

  • Be Multifunctional: A major advantage of having a Murphy bed is its dual functionality, which homeowners find very appealing. It’s not just a bed; it’s also storage, a desk, or even a bookshelf when folded up. This makes it a versatile piece that can adapt easily to the room's purpose changes.
  • A Space-Saving Solution: The fold-up and store-away design works wonders for small rooms, studio apartments, or office spaces, giving more floor room when the bed is not in use.
  • Disguised Design: When closed, it looks like any other piece of furniture, making it practical and stylish. It can blend seamlessly with your existing décor as it comes in various styles, finishes, and additional storage features.
  • Perfect As Guest Beds: Murphy beds provide an excellent sleeping arrangement for overnight guests without occupying permanent space within your home like traditional guest rooms do.

Modern versions of the Murphy bed are more comfortable than traditional sleeper sofas or air mattresses. Plus, they add great value to apartments or homes, which could be beneficial if you decide to sell your place.

Cons of Murphy Bed

Although Murphy beds bring myriad benefits to the table, they aren't without some drawbacks. Before you commit to installing a Murphy bed in your space, it's equally vital to consider its potential downsides to determine its suitability. Here's a breakdown:

  • Challenging to Fold Out and Put Away: Depending on the design and mechanism, some Murphy beds can be quite heavy and require considerable effort to pull down or fold back up. This might pose an issue, especially for individuals with limited physical strength.
  • Requires Extra Rearrangements During the Day: Although Murphy beds save space, they often require daily rearrangement of accessories and furnishings in their vicinity when flipped up or down.
  • Not Very Durable: Like any piece of furniture, the durability of a Murphy bed depends extensively on its quality and usage frequency. Lower-end models might not last as long as higher-quality ones.
  • Bed Sheets Can Get Disorganized and Messy: Once a Murphy bed is folded back into the wall or cabinet, the sheets and bedding might shift or get disarranged, requiring redoing every night before use.
  • Relatively Expensive Compared to Other Bed Types: Although prices vary based on designs and additional features, Murphy Beds can range from $1,000 to $3,000, considerably higher than other conventional bed options.
  • Can be Dangerous if Not Used Properly: If not installed correctly or used without proper care, Murphy beds could pose safety hazards - such as accidentally falling when improperly secured.

Despite these cons, many people love their Murphy beds for their space-saving attributes, prioritizing floor space over counter spaces.

The key lies in understanding your needs and assessing whether the pros outweigh the cons in your situation.

Thorough research on different models available in terms of durability & safety aspects should precede your purchasing decision.

Where Can a Murphy Bed be Installed?

Where Can a Murphy Bed be Installed?

Murphy beds are highly versatile and can be installed in any room where wall space and actual room dimensions allow.

They've evolved with time to fit neatly into various settings, serving both functional and aesthetic purposes.

The best part is that they don't compromise your room's look or feel but enhance the overall design because of their dual functionality.

  • Children’s bedroom: An ideal solution for rooms where play space needs to be maximized. Murphy beds allow your child's room to switch from a fun play area during the day to a comfortable sleeping spot at night.
  • Bedrooms: Even if space isn’t an issue, a Murphy bed adds flexibility to your bedroom layout. You can accommodate guests more easily without requiring a dedicated guest room.
  • Living Room: A perfect choice for studios or open-plan apartments. Easily convert your living area into a sleeping spot when needed.
  • Guest Rooms: If you don’t frequently host guests, installing a Murphy bed in your guest room would allow the space to serve other purposes, like doubling as an office or hobby room.
  • Offices: Want to pull an all-nighter for work or need to accommodate visiting colleagues? An office with a Murphy bed is your answer.
  • Playrooms: Transform a children's playroom into an instant sleepover spot with the addition of Murphy beds.

By choosing these transformative pieces, you're not just getting a bed; it’s more like an investment towards enhancing lifestyle efficiency.

No matter where you decide to install it, remember that appropriate measurements must be taken before installation so that the bed does not obstruct any passage or furniture when opened.

Also Read: Can I Use Plywood Instead Of A Bunkie Board? [2023 Guide]

FAQs about Murphy bed

Are Murphy beds comfortable for regular use?

Yes, Murphy beds can accommodate standard mattresses, ensuring the same comfort as regular beds.

How much does a Murphy bed cost?

The price range varies widely depending on the size and type, from several hundred to a couple of thousands of dollars.

Are Murphy beds hard to pull down or push up?

Modern designs utilize springs or pistons to balance the weight, making them quite easy to operate.

Can I install a Murphy bed myself?

While it is possible with DIY kits available in the market, professional installation is recommended for safety and proper function.

Do Murphy beds require special mattresses?

No, most models are designed to accommodate conventional mattresses; however, thickness guidelines specified by manufacturers should be followed.


Murphy beds are an innovative solution to the common problem of conserving space without sacrificing comfort and style. They are an efficient addition to any small or multipurpose room, offering a versatile way to maximize your living area.

Adding a Murphy bed could be an excellent move, whether you live in a compact apartment or a spacious home that occasionally needs extra sleeping arrangements.

Choose one that fits your needs - style preferences, space limitations, and budget constraints. And lastly, enjoy the luxury of space it provides!

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