Anyone have a Murphy bed?

snowyshastaFebruary 1, 2008

I'm not sure entirely whether this is the right forum for this question or not. But we are planning a remodelling project and are planning to install a Murphy bed in a new room. (The kind of bed that folds up into the wall when you aren't using it.)

Does anyone have experience with these beds? Pros and cons? Any brands to recommend/avoid? I know Murphy Bed Company is the original manufacturer but there are others available now as well.

Thanks for any tips!

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Fold-down beds can be a real space-saver and practical if you're putting one in to accommodate occasional house guests. Most of the time it will be up and out of the way, freeing up space that you can use for your day-to-day needs. A craft room, home-office, TV room, whatever.

If, however, you're thinking of this as a solution for a family member to use on a nightly basis, I'd urge you to think about this carefully. Most of the fold-down beds I've encountered are not terribly comfortable. The mattresses are hard and on the thin side. They definitely aren't a bed that you'd want to sleep in regularly. They're fine for occasional house guests who might be visiting for one or two nights, but not something you'd look forward to crawling into on a nightly basis.

Before buying one, be sure to try it out by lying down on it. Don't just sit on it -- lie down on it and spend 15 or 20 minutes without turning. You'll quickly determine if the mattress is something you'd look forward to spending a night on.

Sorry I can't help you with brand names. I just know that the one in a friend's place is like sleeping on a concrete garage floor. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. When I visit his city, nowadays -- I stay in an hotel.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 12:55AM
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I built one for a customer a couple of years ago that took a regular mattress. It came as a kit in a box- hardware only plus instructions. I'm not sure where he ordered the kit other than that it was online somewhere. You have to buy the plywood or particle board to build it yourself and you can incorporate it into a wall cabinet if you like. But I wouldn't recomend it unless you havesome cabinet building experience. It was a good product though and the fact that you supply your own mattress is a plus. It could be ordered in several standard sizes. Don't go cheap or you'll get what you pay for in the product.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 1:21AM
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I've had one a couple of years now, I like a lot. I just bought a kit with just the mechanism (queen $275). Mine is actually built into the wall with bifold doors. You can you use any thickness of mattress, but you have to compensate for the extra depth in the design. I slept on ours a lot last summer, since it is in the basement and much cooler than the 2nd floor MBR. I bought mine online and I can't find the place. I saved the link on my other computer though.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 8:51AM
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Rockler has plans and mechanisms. You'll need carpentry/woodworking skills or hire it done.

Here is a link that might be useful: murphy bed

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:48AM
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When we bought the lake house it only had 3 bedrooms.
We made one bedroom into an office/computer room with lots
of built ins. I tore out the double closets then built a
center closet with a single closet on either side.
We bought the Murphy bed had it installed in the closet
with bi-fold doors. It has a regular mattress and my
sister and I made a padded headboard which is attached to
the bed.
It is one of the best ideas I've ever had and it is quite
comfortable. I wouldn't hestitate to do it again.
When we have company all we have to do is open the doors
pull down the bed and the office becomes a very nice bedroom.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 10:45AM
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Here is another view across from the Murphy bed.
I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback! We are doing a fairly big remodel, so have a contractor who will do the actual installation, we're mainly trying to determine whether some brands are better/more comfortable than others.

This will be for occasional guests - the Murphy bed is the compromise between my desire for a guest room and my husband's desire for a pool table. So the room will be a billiards/guest room. Normally it will just have the pool table with plenty of space around it for playing, but when we have guests we can pull down the Murphy bed, which should just fill up the space to the pool table, and make the room into a guest room. Anyway, so comfort is of course nice for the guests but it isn't a must-have for short periods of time.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback (and the pictures, that bed looks nice!) If anyone has specific recommendations for brands, I'd love to hear them. Sounds like we might be better off buying just the kit and then getting our own mattress separately?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 1:20PM
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Just as with a sofabed, the secret is in the mattress. DH and I have been very comfortable on one of these beds at the home of friends in California. (We bought a sofabed with an extra-thick 6" mattress for our Maui condo; it's comfortble, too.)

Hmm...maybe a sofabed would work for your guest/pool room. You'd have a sofa and a bed.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 2:46PM
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Good thought on the sofa bed. I think my husband was so taken with the coolness factor of the Murphy bed that we hadn't really thought much further than that. I think it would take up more floor space than a Murphy bed (which we could recess into the wall) but then again it might be nice to have a sofa for pool players or spectators. Food for thought.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 5:06PM
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we had a home made one that fit in the original 1920s murphy bed closet of our apartment. although it was heavy, it held a real mattress and we slept on it every night. we liked it so much that we will try to re-create it, this time with the "create a bed" hardware instead of just hinges and dowels like before...
unlike a sofabed, the murphy bed in its upright position does not collect our guest room this is an issue for us. kren

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 9:12AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I asked my husband about the sofa bed, and he thought it might take up too much floor space, and also would not be as comfortable as a Murphy bed. He is currently thinking of the "create-a-bed" hardware he found online, which he could then get a regular mattress for. Sounds like that's what you did, kren? Good to know that it was comfortable enough for you!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 2:23PM
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We bought ours from International and had our carpenter install it.
We added our own mattress, that's the way to go.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 10:25PM
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Mine is from 1-800-WALLBED, which is an Atlanta based company-- it is soooo easy to use and you can iuse ny kind of mattress, so I used a really, really good mattress. It is extremely comfortable and easy to use. Mine is mounted between bookcases, I did not have money for a cabinet, so I just used a shower curtain pressure rod between the tops of the bookcases and put a curtain across. It looks great and functions perfectly. I am very glad to have it. Their website is linked below, but there are lots of companies out there. i would not hesitate to use a murphy bed in my next house, either. Just like any bed-- how comfortable it is depends on the mattress, so splurge on the best mattress you can afford.

Here is a link that might be useful: my murphy bed is form this co

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 1:04PM
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We used a local wallbed company. The bed is in a freestanding cabinet, with a gravity counterbalance (don't know if that's the technical term, but it doesn't use any spring or piston mechanism to raise or lower the bed).

Any mattress up to 11" thick works with it. Just like using a platform bed; no box springs needed. There's even enough room to hang a picture inside so when the bed is down, the room looks completely finished.

This is strictly a local company but I am attaching the URL so you can check out their photos. The really cool one is the "lateral wallbed" - we would have loved to use this instead but lacked a couple of necessary inches.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roomax wallbeds, San Francisco CA

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 6:03PM
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Thanks for all the pointers. We're in Portland, but have family in the Bay Area, so we might even be able to check out the Roomax one next time we're down there. We might even be able to do the lateral one - I think we'd have the space and it might fit better in our room, too.

It does sound like providing your own mattress is the way to go.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:15PM
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My parents got the wallbed too and we stay in it when we visit. It has a standard mattress, which I like a lot better than even the thickest sofabed mattress. I also like how easy it is to put up and down, it doesn't squeak and creak like the old spring loaded murphy beds used to. I think it's a great option for the situation you have.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:46PM
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well you don't have to have any special hardware...we did create the bed from 2x4s and it had a dowel running through the base that it rotated around...when it was stored, we had hooks and eyes that attached the bed to the walls of the closet. it's a wonder that no one was killed by this bed!! but we didn't put it up very much... we have not yet made "murphy #2" but this time, we have discovered the create a bed hardware and will use that to keep it balanced better than the $3.00 worth of hardware we used before!! btw, there are also other mechanisms you can buy besides create a bed...but we can buy it in person at a local store and so prefer understanding is that all the new mechanisms they are selling accomodate a full thickness mattress...thank goodness!!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 2:42PM
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Our house was built in the 20's. A few years later they closed in the "sleeping porch" and we now have a beautiful round parlor with five 5X7 windows, walnut french doors into the living room and a big closet that holds a "real" Murphy bed, with a tag that says 1915. The bed turns out of the closet so easily, then it folds down. We bought a full size mattress from Sears. I spent 7 weeks on it with a broken ankle. Our old house really only has 2 bedrooms, but this was advertised as a bedroom, too. I prefer to call it the parlor/guest room.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 3:01PM
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We have one in our son's room. It has a regular, full size mattress and is quite comfortable. Plus, he likes that he doesn't have to fix his bed every morning!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 6:48PM
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janis--Love your Murphy bed--infact love your guestroom. I am trying to design computer/sewing room and cannot come up with a working design. Of course my room is going to be very large.

Sue in Wyoming

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Thanks for the reply - I can't believe I posted so long ago and we're still not quite finished. But we're getting there. The Murphy bed we ended up going with is Create-a-bed from, and since we ended up going with custom cabinets in the kitchen, the cabinet maker is also going to do some cabinetry for us around the Murphy bed. I'll try to remember to post pictures once it's done (hopefully in the next few weeks, but we'll see).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 10:10PM
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(deleted post made in error)

This post was edited by sushipup on Wed, Jan 8, 14 at 18:09

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:06AM
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I've just completed building a wall bed using the Create-a-bed kit from Rockler.

It was a good project, but you'll need some woodworking skills, and the kit is $450+ with tax, plus the wood for construction. The main advantage is this kit can take any regular mattress (up to 11") and while a bit heavy, the counter balance gas pistons work great.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Depending on where you are located, I have an amish friend who does amazing woodwork. I know he does murphy beds

Feel free to e-mail me.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:51PM
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I think you had put a extreme advance thought for murphy bed actually I agree with this idea and this will really help in manage small area home. Murphy Bed IKEA helps you in any manner to perform interior of your home

Here is a link that might be useful: murphy beds

    Bookmark   September 22, 2014 at 12:36PM
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