It may not be the most well-known house item, but Murphy beds have been around for a long time and are hugely valuable for various apartments and homes. If you’ve never used or bought one before, it can feel strange considering a bed that folds up into the wall. However, these goods can make all the difference to how you live in and make the most of a space.
Read on for the lowdown on this type of product that any potential buyer needs to know.
Murphy Beds Explained
A Murphy bed is designed for compact spaces. This clever stored bed solution folds into a wall, cabinet, or closet. The beds have hinges on one end so they can be lifted up and down as needed, and they maximize the use of space. They’re prevalent in small homes as they help limited areas seem more spacious and liveable.
The Murphy bed was named after the man who invented it, William Lawrence Murphy, who devised the ingenious design for a bed that could fold into a closet back at the turn of the 20th century. Murphy created his own firm, the Murphy Wall Bed Company, and patented his design within a few years.
Pros and Cons of Murphy Beds
As with most products, the Murphy bed has benefits and limitations. Looking at the pros, one of the biggest ones is that it makes it simple to do more with compact spaces. Those who install a Murphy bed can fold their bed down when they’re ready to get some shut-eye and then put the bed away again when they want to use the area for other purposes or simply make the area look and feel a lot bigger.
The beds are handy for making rooms more multifunctional, too. If you want a home office set up but also need a spare bed for guests when they come to stay, you can put in a Murphy bed and get the best of both worlds. If you rent, too, that’s okay, since the Murphy beds can be moved from property to property and don’t harm the walls or closets they fold into.
Another plus of these products is that you can buy them in numerous sizes, depending on your needs. For example, not only are there Twin, Queen, and King options, but also bunk bed solutions. If you want extra storage or other additions, you’ll be happy to hear that lately, Murphy bed manufacturers have been adding features. These include storage cabinets, built-in lighting, and office-related components.
Also, Murphy beds are known as a much more comfortable offering than a traditional sofa bed when you need a spare sleeping spot or to take up less room with a bed. You can easily use the mattress you already own, in most cases, or you might like to invest in a brand new foam mattress or another mattress type according to your preferences. You don’t have to deal with a thin, less-than-plush product if you don’t want to, although there are also specific mattresses designed for Murphy beds that are thinner than regular products.
As for the potential downsides of Murphy beds, some units can be tricky to fold out and put away again. Low-cost Murphy beds don’t usually have the type of springs that make setup so easy. Also, Murphy beds can be dangerous if not used properly. However, you can mitigate all these risks by investing in a top-quality option that should negate these issues.
Types of Murphy Beds
If you like the idea of shopping for a Murphy bed, consider if you want a freestanding design that’s easier to move elsewhere and doesn’t take much in the way of installation or a wall-mounted solution. The latter gets anchored into the wall and potentially the floor of the room you place it in, making it sturdy and taking up less room than a freestanding product.
Many people don’t realize that Murphy beds come in a vertical or horizontal design, too. Over the years, most have been vertical, which suits rooms where you have decent floor space to place the bed when it’s folded down, and the ceilings are high enough to accommodate the length of a full mattress. However, today you can also purchase horizontal Murphy beds that open out in the other direction and work perfectly for spaces with low ceilings and tight, awkward areas.
Some Murphy beds have a piston lift mechanism, while others have a spring lift option. The latter cost less but can be noisy and need tightening after a few years. They take more strength to open and close, too, so if you want ease of use, pick a piston lift option instead. The piston lift models use gas or air pressure to work and are whisper-quiet and quick and easy to open and close.
As you can see, there is more to Murphy beds than you might have realized. Conduct research when shopping for one, read testimonials and reviews and see what kind of warranty the products have on them. Murphy beds can be real space savers and are well worth purchasing.