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What is a murphy bed? Should you get one?

If you’re wondering, “What is a murphy bed?” this will answer all your questions. A murphy bed is essentially a bed that folds into the wall. 

If you’re trying to find out more about a murphy bed, here’s your guide. The article below should answer all your questions about this unique space-saving bed. 


What is a Murphy Bed?

We’ve all likely asked ourselves what a Murphy bed is. Fortunately, this bed has many names. Some of us know it as a wall bed, a fold-down bed, or pull-down bed. 

The thing about this bed is that it doesn’t matter what we call it because, at the end of the day, it serves the same purpose for us. We don’t need to worry about our bed frame taking up a lot of our floor space.

Even though most of these beds come with a full-size mattress, they can still help us achieve adequate space-saving purposes. 

There’s no doubt that having a Murphy bed is an ideal solution to ensure that we have enough space in our tiny apartments. 

what is a murphy bed?

History of the Murphy Bed

First things first, we should better understand what this kind of bed is. The most simple fact that we should know about a Murphy bed is that it’s named after William Lawrence Murphy, the man who invented it until the 20th century. 

He needed to have a bed that could easily fold into his closet. At the time, there were strict societal rules that forced his hand into designing a bed that could easily fold into his wall. In fact, a certain opera singer that William Lawrence Murphy was trying to court is the main reason he invented the bed.

Back then, women weren’t allowed to enter a gentleman’s bedroom. And, William Lawrence Murphy was short on cash and had a small apartment. So, he decided that limited floor space wouldn’t come between him and his desires.

Fortunately for him, inventing his Murphy bed designs worked in his favor. A disappearing bed enabled him to entertain his romantic interest without breaking moral code by having women in his bedroom. His romantic endeavors were successful, and he was soon married to the opera singer he was pursuing. 


Do people still use murphy beds today?

Today, this bed is something that’s a household brand. It can be easily stored away in a cabinet or closet by folding it upright. However, it still serves the same function as it used to, maximizing space in households facing floor space challenges.

The great thing about a Murphy bed is that it has always been increasingly popular, so nobody looks at us strangely for hauling out a disappearing bed in the middle of our living rooms.

We can either thank William Lawrence Murphy for turning a frustrating housing challenge into a strategic invention. Or, we can thank him for falling in love in a time when courting required people to follow strict moral rules. 

The one thing that we know and love about these fold-up beds is that they’re an efficient solution if there are any issues with space in an apartment. 

Since it was patented in 1911, a Murphy bed has helped estate agents to sell even the tiniest apartments. The fact is that they continue to fill a need whenever we look at the type of living spaces that we have today.

Nowadays, these beds are pricier than when they were invented. This has more to do with the way that living room spaces remain smaller as more housing developments are built.

However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t find something that we can all afford. The prices vary according to what we can afford more than anything. 

Even though we won’t find a very cheap Murphy bed because of the additional installation costs, we should understand their purpose for many city dwellers. 

We can even use this type of bed to transform our suburban nests into our dream guest rooms. The options are available for our needs. And they also provide us with additional storage when we use them to maximize our limited space needs. 


Types of Murphy Beds

These beds have changed over the years. Nowadays, we have wall beds that can be turned into Murphy bed units. Modern Murphy beds even have office components like lighting that are ideal for students living in college dormitories when they need to study in the wee hours. 

When we use a quality Murphy bed company, we can see just how much our modern Murphy beds have changed. They aren’t as simple as they used to be for a young man’s bedroom who was chasing down a young opera singer. The following are the main types of wall beds that we can come across. 

1. Horizontal. This type of Murphy bed almost looks like our sofa beds. However, instead it has a cabinet hinged at one end so that it folds up horizontally.

2. Vertical. A vertical Murphy bed is one that we typically find in our small apartment. It will fold up so that it can be stored vertically into a space and it can transform our limited space into what we need it to be. 

3. Folding. A folding Murphy bed is one that can transform your room into whatever you want it to become. You can use the folded cabinet into a coffee table for your makeshift living room. 

Related: Best Mattresses Under $300

What is a Murphy Bed FAQ


Do murphy beds really work?

Since their invention, Murphy beds have come a long way. We can even safely say that due to their popularity they do work. If we have limited floor space in our small apartments, then having a Murphy bed is a smart choice to improve our limited space.


Which kind of bed folds into walls and looks like a bookshelf?

A Murphy bed is often called different things. We know it as a pull down bed, a wall bed, or even a hidden bed. Moreover, in different parts of the country we call any bed that folds into walls and that can transform into a bookshelf a Murphy bed. 


How much does a Murphy bed cost?

It depends on the kind of Murphy bed that I want to buy. If I am strapped for cash and need to save money, then I can find a bed that doesn’t cost as much as an ordinary smaller sized bed. However, if I have enough money to spend on a high end quality frame, then I should make sure that my budget is very flexible. 


Has anyone been killed by a Murphy bed?

If we don’t use the lock mechanisms properly to secure our Murphy bed then we might run into more trouble than we want to. Take for instance these reports from 2005 where a Murphy bed trapped and suffocated two women. There have been other cases of a Murphy bed causing either terrible injuries or death. 


What is the point of a Murphy bed?

The main purpose of having any type of Murphy bed is to make sure that we save as much space as we can. The great news is that over time these beds have become very innovative. Not only do they ensure space-saving, but they include other components such as storage and lighting fixtures. So, we can safely say that nowadays the purpose of a Murphy bed has evolved from just helping us in maximizing our space. 


What is a zed bed?

I always get surprised to find out how many types of beds there are out there. My most recent discovery has been a zed bed. Simply put, this is a bed that has a metal frame that’s divided into three parts. But, that’s not all. This metal frame can be folded into a literal Z-shape. 


When did Murphy beds become popular?

When we think of Murphy beds, there’s never a time in history where they aren’t popular. It’s safe to say that our favorite bed inventor, William Lawrence Murphy, created the most important invention that we’ve come across. A Murphy bed has been popular since the 1900s when Charlie Chaplin had a 5-minute skit battling to fold this bed. 


Why do they call them Murphy beds?

Calling a bed a Murphy bed seems rather odd when we don’t know much about the history behind them. But, the answer is very simple. The inventor of a Murphy bed is named William Lawrence Murphy. I guess, he didn’t want to overcomplicate things or confuse patenting his invention, and decided that using his last name to name his bed was the best way to go. 


What is the average cost of a Murphy bed?

The average cost differs due to several factors. We should consider the size, type, and lock mechanisms before anything else. In addition to this, we also have to think of the installation costs separately from the bed costs. So, it always helps to find someone who knows more about Murphy bed installations to get a better average cost.

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