If you live in a small apartment, you probably know that a Queen-size bed standing in a tiny bedroom will easily eat all the floor space and leave you no room for maneuver.
Unless you can make your bed disappear!
A disappearing bed — also known as a Murphy bed, wall bed, or pull-down bed — is a bed frame with a wall-mounting mechanism that turns into a compact cabinet when not in use and can save you the precious space!
So, I invite you to take a look at my review of 5 best Murphy beds and carefully choose the one that can satisfy your needs!
A Quick Preview
Best Murphy Bed
Night and Day Cube
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Best Queen Murphy Bed
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Best Full-Size Murphy Bed
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Best Twin Murphy Bed
Atlantic Furniture Nantucket
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Best Freestanding Murphy Bed
Arason Enterprises Creden
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Our Reviews of 5 Best Wall Beds
Best Murphy Bed - Night and Day Cube
I would like to start my review of the best Murphy beds with the Cube by Night and Day. This incredibly compact cabinet turns into a full-fledged Queen bed in seconds and has a solid hardwood construction that will last you for years!
The first great thing that has caught my eye is that the Cube is a freestanding cabinet bed. This means you don’t have to drill holes in your walls to install it, which is great for those who live in a rented apartment.
Also, the bed frame includes a fairly comfortable tri-fold memory foam mattress. It has a medium feel, so I think it may satisfy most users.
Finally, when folded, the Cube can work as a small desk or a TV stand, which makes it a pretty versatile addition to any room.
Overall, the cabinet bed by Night And Day is a real find. It will work for everyone who is looking for something with a space-saving design and durable construction.
- Rooms with low ceilings. This Murphy bed is less than 40 inches high and can fit into any tiny space.
- Rented apartments. The Cube is a freestanding piece of furniture, meaning that there’s no need in mounting it to the walls.
- Those who need a turnkey solution. This cabinet bed comes with a mattress inside, so you don’t need to spend time shopping for it separately.
- once assembled, becomes pretty hard to move;
- the mattress inside might be too thin for heavy users.
Best Queen Murphy Bed - BESTAR Nebula
The next product in this review of the best wall beds is the Nebula model by BESTAR. It has a minimalistic design, features a supportive foundation for any type of mattress, and can hold up to 1,000 lbs, which is really impressive.
When folded, the bed frame measures nearly 65 x 90 inches and turns into a modern-looking cabinet that can fit into any interior while saving the precious floor space.
The mattress foundation has wide bent wooden slats and is compatible with any standard mattress type (except for futons). The thing that makes the Nebula the best Queen Murphy bed is that it can accommodate mattresses up to 12 inches high with ease, which makes your choice of the mattresses wider.
Another great thing about the Nebula is that the assembly is easy and doesn’t take much time, although you might need a couple of friends to hold the parts of the frame because they’re pretty heavy.
My only complaint about this wall bed is that it offers no storage. This might be a turn-off for some users.
Despite one little flaw, I really loved this BESTAR model. Being quite basic, it’s still a decent investment for all those living in small apartments.
- Heavy sleepers. The weight capacity of 1,000 lbs will work for heavier single sleepers and even heavy couples.
- Guest rooms. This BESTAR bed can make a great sleeping spot for two adults, taking very little space when folded so that you could use it for other needs.
- Those who live in studio apartments. If you don’t have a separate bedroom, the BESTAR will help you arrange a multifunctional space in your studio.
- you may need 3 other people to hold the parts during assembly;
- the white finish is prone to staining and scratches.
Best Full-Size Murphy Bed - BESTAR Pur
Another top-rated wall bed I’ve reviewed is the Pur by BESTAR. This wall bed comes in the Full size, so if you need something even more compact than a Queen mattress for regular or occasional use, here you have it.
Another great thing about this Full-size Murphy bed is that it has a piston lift mechanism, which is more durable and easier to install than spring lifts and doesn’t require you to be a bodybuilder to open and close the bed frame.
The Pur pull-down bed comes with a slatted mattress foundation. You can choose any mattress up to 10 inches thick to pair with it. The slats can offer the needed support and a little bit of bounce to your mattress to enhance its feel.
The Pur is available in three neutral colors, so you can easily find the most suitable one for your interior.
To sum it up, I really think that the Pur is one of the best Full-size Murphy beds out there. Whether you need something to accommodate your guests or use yourself, this model will be a worthy purchase.
- Guest rooms. This Full-size bed can easily support two adults but won’t eat up much space in the room, which makes it a perfect alternative to a bulky sofa in the guest room.
- Narrow spaces. The BESTAR Pur wall bed can fit into slightly narrower areas and requires less space to unfold than a Queen-sized bed.
- Kid’s room. Such a compact Murphy bed can offer a supportive surface for a school-grade kid or a teenager to sleep along with providing enough space for daily activities after they fold it.
Best Twin Murphy Bed - Atlantic Furniture Nantucket
While reviewing the best Murphy beds, I wondered what’s the smallest configuration you can get today. Because some people may have very limited space and can’t afford to waste any extra inch. So, meet this Twin-size cabinet bed by Atlantic Furniture.
Like most cabinet beds, this one includes a foldable gel memory foam mattress. The mattress has a medium to medium-firm feel and offers a good hug in nearly any position. I think that petite side sleepers might feel a bit uncomfortable on it but for the rest of the users, it’s totally fine.
There are a couple more things I’d like to mention. First, the Atlantic Furniture has a roomy cabinet to store your pillows and blankets. Also, it features two USB ports and two 110V outlets, so you can charge your phone or use other devices not getting out of the bed.
Overall, I think that Atlantic Furniture is no worse than its competitors and even beats some of them. So, if you’re a single sleeper or are searching for a Murphy bed for your kid, then the Atlantic Furniture can be the right choice.
- Single sleepers. If you have an average body composition and want a comfortable bed to sleep on, the Atlantic Furniture offers a complete solution.
- Kid’s room. The Twin size is large enough for one kid. And while folded, this bed occupies almost no space and leaves more room for play.
- Rented apartments. You can place the Atlantic Furniture anywhere in the room without drilling the walls, which is a plus for those who live in a rented place.
- the assembly is a bit complicated;
- some users report missing parts.
Best Freestanding Murphy Bed - Arason Enterprises Creden
- doesn’t require vertical space to unfold;
- has spacious storage for bedding items;
- you can use its top as a shelf thanks to a convenient opening mechanism.
- Dimensions: 64.1” W x 26.4” D x 36.6” H
- Weight: 115 pounds
Wall beds surely can save you a lot of space, but they often have a downside: you have to drill the wall to mount the bed properly. If you rent an apartment, your landlord might be strictly against doing this. So, you’ll have to choose a freestanding model, and that’s why I’ve put the Creden by Arason Enterprises in my review of the best Murphy beds.
The Creden comes in the Queen size and features an extremely compact construction. When folded, the cabinet is only 43 inches high! You can even fit it under your window sill or use it as a stand for your TV or something else.
Also, one of the sections of the cabinet is actually a big storage cabinet for your bedding items. So, you won’t need to worry about where to place your blankets and pillows after you fold your bed!
Finally, the Creden includes a really great memory foam mattress for your comfortable shut-eye. I enjoyed every night of sleeping on it while testing this bed. The mattress gently cradles your body in any sleeping position and doesn’t make you sleep hot.
If you have a room with low ceilings and want a freestanding Murphy bed, the Creden is a great option to consider.
- Rooms with low ceilings. The Creden is 43 inches high and doesn’t require vertical space to unfold. In fact, it can easily fit under your windowsill!
- Rented apartments. Get a full-fledged sleeping spot and turn it into a compact cabinet when not in use. No wall drilling required!
- Hospitable hosts. This bed can make a good purchase for your guest room or serve as an additional sleeping spot in the living room.
- made of particleboard, which can affect durability;
- the mattress may come with a slight odor.
Do You Know How Murphy Beds Were Invented?
The 1900s were not fun to live in, you know.
A gentleman living in a studio apartment couldn’t even invite his lady to come over without scandalizing the neighbors — because the moral norms of the time were against a female visitor in a male’s bedroom.
But one gentleman, William Lawrence Murphy, found a solution. He thought, “A room is not a bedroom if there is no bed in it, right”? So, he invented a mechanism that allowed him to hide his bed in the cabinet, thus turning a bedroom into a living room.
Similar fold-down beds existed before Murphy’s invention, though. They were available through the Sears furniture catalog at the beginning of the XX century.
However, the American inventor presented a better design, which had consequently calmed the mass hysteria about wall beds suddenly collapsing and killing you in your sleep.
Murphy’s construction was counterbalanced, so the bed was able to support a sleeper’s weight without collapsing. For this feature, the inventor received a series of patents and his beds went into mass production.
Pros and Cons of Having a Wall Bed
Now, let’s admit this:
A Murphy bed is an extraordinary furniture piece.
I have rarely seen it in modern US homes, though. Probably because there are some other space-saving alternatives today, which could be a better fit for some users.
But if you’ve set your mind on buying a Murphy bed, let me briefly point out the pros and cons of having one so that you could make a fully informed decision.
I’ll start with the pros:
- More floor space. When folded, a Murphy bed is no bigger than a standard bookcase, which allows you to use the remaining floor space as you like.
- Storage problem solved. Some Murphy bed frames include storage units on each side of the bed or feature a roomy cabinet for your bedding item at the bottom of the cabinet. If you’re buying a wall bed for a small room, having extra storage space may help you avoid clutter and save even more space.
- As comfortable as a standard bed. Mattress foundations in wall beds are pretty much the same as in regular beds, so they can offer decent support for your mattress and ensure comfortable sleep for you.
Now, let’s point out the downsides.
- It might not fit all rooms. Potential limitations include low ceilings and narrow rooms. Still, you can get a freestanding Murphy bed that converts into a small cabinet and can be easily moved around the room.
- You may have to drill the walls. While it’s not a problem if you own the house, for those who rent an apartment, this might be problematic. It’s better to discuss the mounting of a wall bed with the landlord before you purchase it. Or, opt for a wall bed that doesn’t require drilling.
- It may be hard to find a budget option. The average price of a quality Murphy bed is $1,500-2,000, but some models reach as high as $5,000 in price. Yes, they may look stylish, offer spacious storage, and be very comfortable to sleep on, but there are more affordable space-saving alternatives on the market.
What Kind of Mattress Is the Most Suitable for a Fold-Down Bed?
The short answer to this question is:
You can use almost any mattress with your wall bed frame.
I say almost because there are a couple of limitations.
First, a high-profile bed (13 inches or higher) most likely won’t fit into the wall bed niche. So, you need to choose a thinner mattress, up to 12 inches. The great news is, the most common mattress height on the market is 10-12 inches, so you will easily find something that will suit your needs.
Now, it’s also not recommended to use a Murphy bed with a futon mattress. The thing is, a futon is foldable and can simply collapse inside the wall bed when it’s closed, making it harder to unfold it later. Plus, a futon mattress rarely exceeds 6 inches in height. And since most wall beds have either slatted or mesh-wired foundations, you will literally feel the slats or wires through your mattress, especially if you’re a heavy sleeper.
Main Types of Wall Bed Designs and Their Features
After the invention of wall beds in the second decade of the XX century, the diversity of their designs increased significantly. Instead of just one design available earlier, today you can choose among the following designs:
- Vertical. That’s what all Murphy beds have started with. Being the most common option until recently, vertical beds, however, require high ceilings and more floor space to be used (1). So, if you decide to go with this option, be sure to make the measurements beforehand.
- Horizontal. These models feature the same mechanism as vertical but require less space to be deployed because they’re facing the longer side upwards when closed. Horizontal wall beds fit perfectly into smaller spaces.
- Freestanding. The main feature of a freestanding bed is that you don’t have to secure it to the wall and can place it wherever you like. Speaking of the size and shape, a freestanding bed can either look like a cabinet or have the standard vertical Murphy bed look with a folding desk, which is another bonus for multifunctional rooms.
- Revolving. The fanciest one. Revolving beds require both high ceilings and large floor space. Also, they need to be secured to the wall, so they may not work for a rented apartment.
“If you’re shopping for a kid’s bedroom, you may want to consider a transforming bunk bed. It uses the same space-saving idea and can be very multifunctional.”
Things to Check Before Purchasing a Murphy Bed
Now, there are a couple more things left to consider before you will be fully equipped to choose the right Murphy bed:
- Wall measurements. Since the wall bed is secured to the wall, you need to find out how much space you will actually need and how to measure it properly (2). Depending on the size and type of a Murphy bed, the required space may vary significantly. Also, don’t forget to count in the space for a storage cabinet, if your model has one.
- Materials. Wall bed frames are typically made of different types of wood. And to be honest, it doesn’t really matter whether you choose particleboard or hardwood. Because once your Murphy bed is secured to the wall, it won’t move anywhere (assuming that you did everything right). Hardwood just has a more luxurious look, so if you want your bed frame to be aesthetically pleasing, you may go for hardwood.
- Lift mechanism. Modern wall beds feature either torsion springs or piston lifts (3) to help you pull down and lift them. The piston lift option is more advanced: beds using it are quiet, more durable and require low maintenance. Springs, on the other hand, might start to squeak and typically need to be tightened up every 3-5 years.
How big is a Murphy bed?
Most Murphy beds are equal in size to a standard mattress. Note, though, that you might need additional space — at least 7-10 inches — to mount the bed to the wall.
How deep is a Murphy bed?
Murphy beds typically have a 10 or 11-inch dip for mattresses. Using a thicker mattress isn’t advisable, or else you may not be able to close the bed properly.
What is more comfortable: a sleeper sofa or a Murphy bed?
A Murphy bed. A sleeper sofa uses a thinner mattress, usually 4” or 5” thick, that may fail to cradle your body properly. Some models also use a pop-up cushion, which means you may feel the sections under your body.
ConclusionIf you’re limited in space, don’t despair. A decent wall bed — like one of the models I’ve reviewed for you above — can easily substitute for a standard bed and offer you a good night’s sleep without taking a lot of space. If I were to pick just one out of the five, I’d choose the Night and Day model. It literally has it all: a durable hardwood construction, a freestanding design, and a really good memory foam mattress to sleep on! I mean, what else can you ask for? And what about you? What model among the five seems the most suitable fit for you? Share your thoughts below!
- Deirdre Sullivan (2019, November 29). How to Buy the Best Murphy Bed? Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/the-ultimate-murphy-bed-buying-guide-3017391
- Stephanie Mitchell (n.d.). How to Measure for Murphy Beds. Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/measure-murphy-beds-50201.html
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (n.d.). Murphy Bed. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_bed
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