Apartments tend to be smaller and smaller these days, and finding furniture that is both practical and small enough to fit can be quite difficult. Therefore, if you also have a small bedroom or are looking for an affordable option for your weekend guests, a Murphy bed is the answer.
Also known as a wall bed, this is great for creating double-use rooms, such as a home office by day that can be turned into a guest bedroom when needed. Named for William Lawrence Murphy in the 1900s, Murphy beds have remained a popular choice for more than a century and are still going strong.
The fold-down bed works in a simple, yet ingenious way: all you have to do to pull the bed out to unlatch the sides and let the mattress supports down. The bed has hinges on one end which allow you to store it vertically against the wall or inside a closet when not in use. This way, the bed looks like an ordinary piece of furniture, such as a cabinet, and you can even hang a TV screen above it.
Your wall bed will fit in perfectly with the rest of the room when you pick the right colour and texture, and fortunately there are plenty of options to choose from.
Benefits of having a Murphy wall bed
1. Perhaps the greatest benefit is its space saving feature. Since you can fold your Murphy bed vertically, you get plenty of extra space to store or display other items during the day, while providing your guests with a comfortable place to sleep in at night. Thanks to all that extra space, the room will look bigger when the bed is folded to the wall, thus giving you the optical illusion of a bigger apartment.
2. Secondly, wall beds are comfortable, much like conventional beds and more so than a pull-out sofa. The mattress is the item that really makes a difference when it comes to a good sleep, and the padding on pull-out sofas is usually so thin that you can feel the bed frame underneath. However, you can fit thicker mattresses on your Murphy bed, so that comfort is not an issue.
3. You might be worried about the overall look of your room, but this type of bed is designed to look good. Mimicking a faux drawer or cabinet, it won’t look cheap and no one will know it is actually a bed, unless you tell them or open it.
4. Depending on the brand, pushing the bed up or pulling it down might require a bit of effort, especially until you get used to it, but the good news is that it doesn’t take more strength to open and close a twin fold down wall bed than it does a king model.
Beds with a spring lift mechanism are generally easy to handle, as they are fitted with a maximum of 9 springs on each side, based on the size of the bed and the weight of the mattress.
5. If opening and closing your Murphy wall bed can be tricky at times, making up the bed is quite easy, since you can tilt away your bed along with all the bedding. To clear the headboard for the day, simply store the pillows at the foot of the bed (some models feature Velcro straps for this very purpose). At night or whenever you need to use the bed, all you have to do is unfasten the straps and place them down the inside the side rails, then put the pillows back at the headboard.
Factors To Consider Before Buying Your Fold Up Wall Bed
It is worth noting that wall beds typically require assembly, but no box spring. You can get the maximum level of comfort even in the absence of a box spring, due to the newer base supports that are able to bring the coil spring mattress up to your desired height.
Also, a coil spring mattress will still breathe like any other mattress, with your every move. To make sure the coil springs last for a long time, just remember to flip the mattress regularly.
As for the assembly, it can take anywhere from 60 to 150 minutes, depending on who installs it and how accurate the instructions are. All parts need to be clearly labelled to take out the guesswork from the installation process.
Any fold up wall bed should come with instructions to aid the professional team putting it together. A few reviewers on most websites complain about the difficult installation process, regardless of the brand of Murphy wall bed, so in case you decide to try assembling it yourself, make sure the instructions are complete, clear and easy to follow before you begin.
Check that the product is properly set up so that there is no risk of it falling off the wall and injuring you or your guests. If you do decide to assemble it yourself, you can definitely save a lot of money, but be sure that by doing so you won’t put yourself or your family in danger, should the bed not stay in place. You can prevent that problem by getting at least one more person to help you out.
Moreover, an item that is sturdy and well made is a guarantee that the panels won’t bend each time you open and close the bed. Sometimes during shipping the product can get dented and scratched, so read reviews carefully to make sure that the panels arrive intact and you can use them all.
Set aside plenty of time and check that you have all the parts, otherwise you will have to order the missing pieces separately and wait for them to arrive before you can finally set up your new Murphy bed.
You can purchase your wall bed either upholstered or without a mattress. If the mattress is included in the price, make sure it is high quality and thick enough, otherwise you might have to use it in conjunction with a topper – which leads to additional expenses.
Alternatively, you can use your own mattress, as long as it has a spring coil and you can balance it with the correct number of springs upon installation. Also, check the recommended mattress thickness (if the manufacturer provides this kind of detail) to get a perfect match for your new bed.
Typically, Murphy fold up wall beds can be paired up with standard mattresses with a thickness of 11 inches or more. Remember how important a good, comfortable mattress is to help you or your guests get a good night’s rest.
Given the extended range of wall beds on the market, you can choose the colour of the upholstery and of the frame to suit your existing furniture or room theme.
Moreover, spend some time weighing in on the type of frame: should it be wooden or metal? To give you a general idea, metal hardware connections are sturdier than their wood counterparts. In other words, wood frame models are usually connected metal to wood, while metal models are connected metal to metal, but of course you also need to base your decision on the price of each Murphy bed frame and the budget you have.
Some wall beds come with extra features, such as an under-bed storage drawer or a built-in charging station for your phone. Each one has its perks, so think about which feature you might find the most useful when using the bed.
To take things further, many pull down beds feature a headboard, but most lack a footboard. You will need to clear the headboard before closing the bed.
Weight and depth:
Finally, something else to take into account before placing your order is that a fold up wall bed can hold about 1,700 to 2,000 pounds, depending on the manufacturer, and has a depth of 16 inches (standard) to 23 inches. The depth of your Murphy bed will also have an impact on the overall design of the room.
Wall beds are here to stay, as proven by their lengthy history. Their popularity is mostly due to these important features: they are comfortable, and you can use a Murphy bed to save a lot of space, as well as to change the purpose of a room in an instant.
While some models can be quite pricy, the features listed above are worth the cost. However, make sure to get all the panels intact, plus all the screws and any other small items with your order. Think carefully if you are able to install it yourself, with family or friends, or if putting the bed together is better left to the pros. Finally, be sure you purchase a sturdy fold up wall bed that will not only stand the test of time, but that is also completely safe to use.
All in all, a Murphy wall bed can be an elegant yet simple solution to any space problem, especially if you can browse reviews first to make sure you get the best brand for your needs.