How Do I Choose the Best Modern Murphy Bed?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan
Know the measurements of the room and bed before making a purchase.
Know the measurements of the room and bed before making a purchase.

Modern murphy beds offer comfortable, space saving bedding in a variety of styles, from a simple foldaway frame to an elaborate series of cabinets and book cases. Designs can be customized in materials and style as well as size and functionality. Many companies offer ready made modern murphy beds, but carpenters and cabinet makers can often build units from scratch as well. The only limitation in choosing the best modern murphy bed are your budget and your space.

Start by measuring the area where you intend to place the murphy bed. Measure the total height, depth, and width that you can accommodate for a stowed murphy bed unit. Next, measure the maximum length from the wall for the length of the bed. Remember that murphy beds usually need at least 24 inches (60 cm) of space plus the full length of the bed, so add the additional length to your measurement. Some units need more or less space, so you will have to reconsider this measurement once you begin shopping for units.

If you have more width than length available, consider a horizontal murphy bed. These units fold up to rest on their side instead of their top. A horizontal murphy bed is also a good choice if you have low ceilings or wish to incorporate storage, like shelves or cabinets, over the bed.

For adults, a full or queen sized bed is the most comfortable option, but it takes up more space than a twin. If you are undecided about the size of the bed, choose the largest bed the area can accommodate. The exception is if the murphy bed will only be used by children, and in that case, the smaller bed will be sufficient.

Typically, murphy beds are used in rooms that serve more than one purpose Consider what other functions the space serves — relaxing while watching television, running a home-based business, or simply storing household items. A modern murphy bed design can combine the function of a stowaway bed with many other functions, creating an efficient use of space. Make a list of everything you need or want, and keep that with your measurements.

Also consider what type of mechanism you need for your bed. A modern murphy bed has two basic mechanisms — powered and manual. A manual murphy bed must be pulled down from the wall, but a powered murphy bed is controlled with a remote. The powered versions are the most expensive but are not physically demanding to use, which is especially useful for children and older adults.

There are also roll up and fold up murphy beds. The roll up bed is typically a powered mechanism that slides a foam mattress up behind a cabinet. The footboard of the bed is the only cabinetry that moves, so the outside of the cabinet can be used to display art or to hold a television, even when the bed is in use. Fold up murphy beds can be designed to have a table that folds down when the bed is stowed or shelves that slide out to allow the bed to be lowered.

Finally, consider your budget. A ready made modern murphy bed is usually the most expensive. Building a murphy bed yourself or finding a secondhand murphy bed are the least expensive options. You can also hire a carpenter or cabinet maker to build a murphy bed, but the cost will depend entirely on the cost of labor, materials used, and the design. The least expensive design is the simple murphy bed frame, which has no surrounding cabinetry to hide it.

Whether you decide to purchase a ready made bed, hire a carpenter, or build a modern murphy bed yourself, look online and through catalogs to find the most appealing design. Most murphy beds can be made with a variety of finishes so that the style of the bed matches will your aesthetic taste. If possible, go to a store which sells murphy beds and try out different types to see if the mechanism is easy to use and the materials are good quality.

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    • Know the measurements of the room and bed before making a purchase.
      By: DURIS Guillaume
      Know the measurements of the room and bed before making a purchase.