Murphy beds are great space savers, making them perfect as guest beds and for use in small multifunctional spaces.
If you are thinking about getting a murphy bed, we’ve written a quick buying guide to help you select the right one for your needs.
We’ve also reviewed our top 3 picks available to buy online in the UK.
What to consider when buying a Murphy Bed
You can get a murphy bed in all the traditional bed sizes including double, Queen and King. Just make sure you have enough space to set up the bed size you want.
Something else to consider is whether you have enough clearance space to raise and lower the bed without hitting the ceiling. Here is where the type of fold matters.
b. Type of fold: Horizontal vs. Vertical
Most murphy beds have a vertical fold design. You lift the bed up from the foot and it stands vertically against the wall.
A vertical fold can be problematic if you have an extra-long bed or a short ceiling. You won’t have enough clearance to lift and lower the bed.
In that case, a horizontal fold murphy is a better choice.
You lift it from the side and it sits on its side against the wall.
The main disadvantage of this design is that it takes up more wall space. But it’s the only option you have if the room doesn’t allow a horizontal fold.
c. Opening mechanism: Pistons vs. Springs
Most modern murphy beds use a piston mechanism, which is the best.
It makes it easy and safe to lift and lower a heavy bed. Pistons are also very long lasting. Some have a lifetime guarantee.
Cheaper murphy beds use springs. But these are not as durable and they can be a bit noisy.
The style and finish of the bed depends on the room décor and your own personal preferences.
You can go for a traditional or vintage design or opt for something with a more modern and minimalist style.
Also consider the bed’s construction design.
Most murphy beds come as a complete kit. You don’t need to retrofit your wall. This standalone design is the best and most convenient for many people.
As a bonus, you can move the bed relatively easily to another room or house.
Built-in murphy beds are more complicated. They are ideal for those who want a permanent fixture.
Other designs include revolving murphy beds and murphy beds that transform into a sofa or other types of furniture like a desk.
The Best Murphy Beds Reviews
This Murphy bed comes in two size options: 90 by 200cm (single) and 140 by 200cm (double).
It comes as a complete kit with all the parts and hardware you need to set it up. All you’ll need to buy are fixings for mounting the bed on your wall.
The bed doesn’t include fixings because different types of walls require specific fixings.
The best walls to mount the bed onto are concrete, timber and brick. If you mount it on a weaker material like plasterboard, make sure there is a solid structure underneath.
The bed uses a spring lifting mechanism. It’s not as good as a piston mechanism but it works almost as well and it’s reliable.
The bed is easy to lift. It has a self-holding mechanism that allows you to stop it at any position without the bed slamming back down.
When you lower the bed, there is a locking system to prevent it from opening accidently.
The bed itself is made from 22mm laminated board with a 16mm thick front panel. It includes wooden sprung slats for extra comfort.
Design wise, it has a beautiful modern style that goes great with a wide variety of decors. The overall finish is matte white contrasted by eye-catching cappuccino legs.
What we like about it:
- Beautiful modern design.
- Includes duvet straps to keep the bed neat when you raise it.
- Locking system and self-hold feature for maximum safety.
This is the exact same bed as the one above with the type of fold being the only difference.
This one folds horizontally, which is great for rooms with a lower ceiling. As with the vertical fold model above, it includes everything you need to set up the bed other than the wall fixings.
It’s also available in two sizes, has the self-hold feature and uses a spring opening mechanism.
The bed has the same matte white design with unique cappuccino legs.
What we like about it:
- Horizontal fold is perfect for rooms with lower vertical clearance.
- Excellent build quality.
- Beautiful design.
- Multiple safety features.
Despite using the term ‘basic’, this is a relatively pricey murphy bed. But it’s better, sturdier and more durable than most.
It looks great as well.
What we like most is how well it blends into the room when raised. You wouldn’t tell there’s a bed.
The bed has a Melamine-coated surface that gives it a sleek modern look. It also prevents scuffs and scratches.
Lowering and raising the bed is super easy thanks to the gas pistons. You use almost no effort and you can be sure the bed will never slam down on your fingers.
We also love the versatile options available.
There are three sizes: standard single (90 X 200cm), small double (120 X 200cm) and standard double (140 X 200cm).
That’s not all. For each size, you can select a vertical or horizontal fold design depending on the room’s size and layout.
The bed itself is very sturdy. The feet can support a total weight of 250kg. The wooden slatted frame adds extra support and durability.
What we like about it:
- Has an integrated shelf where you can place picture frames and other small items.
- Convenient and reliable piston opening mechanism.
- Versatile options.
- Includes holes on the side to increase ventilation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to make your own Murphy Bed?
This is a tricky build, but one that you will really love as a finished piece. You will need some equipment:
- Mitre saw
- Table saw
- Nail gun
- Pattern bit
Follow these steps:
- Start by building the inner frame. You will want to measure out your space to ensure that you have enough room to fit your chosen bed frame before you start this project!
- Use 3/4 inch plywood to ensure the frame will be sturdy enough.
- Make strong support beams for the frame of your bed, to ensure it will take the weight of a mattress and a person or two.
- The side rails will need to be curved to ensure the bed fits into the space well – you can find templates online to help you do this.
- Add the head board first and foot board last, and make the struts in between, so that you have created a bed that works for you and is strong and sturdy.
- Once you have assembled your bed frame, you will need to make it possible to fold it up into the wall. You can get Murphy bed assembly kits from most bed stores, so you can make your new bed fit your existing space fairly easily.
If you are struggling with how to build your own Murphy bed, you can contact a local carpenter or builder to help you out. It shouldn’t be more expensive than buying a brand new bed, and it will add value and functionality to your house.
How big is a Murphy Bed?
You can get a Murphy bed in most standard bed sizes – single, double, queen and king. The most important thing to do is to measure your space and see what size of bed will fit the best, before you get one, to avoid potential disappointment.
Murphy beds are generally vertical in alignment, but you can also get versions that fold away horizontally – again, it is all about the space that you have as to what will fit the best.
Why is it called a Murphy Bed?
You may have already guessed this one! It is named Murphy after its inventor, William Lawrence Murphy.
He first patented the design in 1900, and legend has it that he invented it to make his affair with an opera singer more socially acceptable – if he could fold away his bed, then it would be less frowned upon that he had an unchaperoned woman in his room!
Since those times, the Murphy bed is more used as a space saving device rather than a method to secretly canoodle.