Advertiser Disclosure
What Is A Murphy Bed?

What Is A Murphy Bed?

Unfamiliar with a Murphy bed? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. They aren’t the most popular style of bed, but you may have seen one featured on television in hit shows like Cheers, Frasier, Suite Life Of Zach and Cody, and it even had a cameo in Charlie Chaplin’s One AM from 1916. Continue on in our blog post to find out what a Murphy bed is, and why you might want to have one in your home or bedroom.

The Slumber Yard team has personally tested hundreds of mattresses.

Answer 5 easy questions and we'll help you find the perfect mattress!

What Is A Murphy Bed?

A Murphy bed, a.k.a. “wall bed” or “pull-down bed,” is a bed with hinges on one end, so it effortlessly folds into the wall when it’s not in use. Most Murphy beds fold up vertically, but there are more unconventional ones that fold horizontally.

Murphy bed Comparison Graphic Example
The difference between a vertical and horizontal Murphy bed

People’s only caveat with a horizontal Murphy bed is that you can only get in from one side. But regardless of the kind you get, they are usually camouflaged into your room under the guise of a bookcase, shelving, or your wall.

Measure For Your Murphy

If you decide to make the switch from a standard mattress to a Murphy bed, make sure to measure out the space in which you intend to place it. You’ll want to account for the space of the bed, as well as the molding, cabinets, or shelving units that stick out on the sides.

There isn’t a definite standard for Murphy bed dimensions. What we’ve found is that it ultimately depends on where you get your Murphy bed from. We have configured an average number based on the range of figures we saw across the internet. Use the chart below to give you a rough estimate, but you’ll have to double check the exact measurements once you figure out what you want.

Murphy Bed Chart Graphic Verticle
The average figures for a vertical Murphy bed (give or take a few inches)

Projection refers to the space in between the wall and the very end of the Murphy bed when it’s pulled out from the wall.

Depth is the amount of space your Murphy bed takes up when it’s pushed upright against the wall in a closed position.

As a rule of thumb, your ceiling should be about 2 ½” taller than the bed you install. Also take into account the dimensions of your (possible) cabinets/shelving.

Assembly will likely be required, and more often than not, they don’t come included with a mattress. You won’t need a box spring, though. At least that goes for the Murphy beds we’re familiar with.

Reasons To Sleep On A Murphy Bed?

The main reason why people sleep on a Murphy bed is because it enables a ton of space to be opened up in your bedroom when you aren’t’ using your mattress for sleep. They’re most popular in small spaces like studios, one bedroom apartments, or even dorm rooms like my sister who had one during her time in student housing at graduate school.

You can also purchase a Murphy bed just because you think it would spice up your bedroom, or use it to impress a lady friend like William Lawrence Murphy who popularized the bed (hence the name). We’re just kidding, you probably won’t use it for that reason. But fun fact, that’s really how the bed design came about.

Back in the early 1900’s, Murphy was living in San Francisco and wanted to host a woman he fancied over for dinner. The only problem was the era’s social taboo of having a woman in your bedroom and he owned a studio apartment. Determined to have his lady love over to his house, he found a way to conceal his bed without looking un-gentlemanly. Soon, the design blew up in popularity because it was a simple solution to San Francisco’s increase in population and decrease in apartment square footage.

How Much Is Your Average Murphy Bed?

The cost of your new Murphy bed will primarily depend on the size that you want, but we’ve seen prices start as low as $1,200 and go as high as about $3,000 or more. As you can see, they aren’t necessarily cheap. So make sure your budget allows for you to furnish your space with a Murphy bed.

Where Can You Buy A Murphy Bed?

Unfortunately you can’t go to your nearest Ashley Furniture Store or Bed Bath and Beyond for a Murphy bed. Some major retailers like Costco or Walmart might have one in stock, but we honestly think you’ll have better luck online. You can go to those big store websites, or you can search for online shops who offer more custom Murphy beds. We especially recommend the latter if you have a small/strangely-shaped space to fit your bed into.

How Big Is A Murphy bed?

Most standard Murphy beds are available in twin, twin XL, full/double, and queen. However, measurements are slightly different than your standard mattress dimensions, so you should check the exact figures when you decide on one.

Where Can I Buy A Murphy Bed?

Some retailers like Costco or a Super Walmart might carry them in-store, but we suggest going online. Not only can you see what these large brick-and-mortar stores have to offer, but you can also check out Murphy beds from internet-based retailers like Bedder Way.

Are Murphy Beds Dangerous?

We know different TV shows and old movies have made Murphy beds out to be unpredictable and maybe even a little dangerous, however, they’re completely safe and won’t actually close on you while you’re asleep.

How Expensive Is A Murphy Bed?

Like anything, Murphy beds range in pricing depending on what you purchase. You can find ones for over $3,000 or you can buy a more wallet-friendly model.