A wall bed—also known as a folding bed or by its most popular brand, the Murphy bed—is a bed that folds down from a wall for sleeping and then stores seamlessly out of the way when not in use.
As David Gast, president of Beyond Storage, explains, “A wall bed doubles the usability of a room, adding value to the home and allowing the homeowner to completely rethink a space.”
Many homeowners use a wall bed to create a temporary guest bedroom out of a storage room, home office or finished basement. As Design Consultant Beth Winschel of California Closets explains, “Just imagine being able to take the largest piece of furniture you have in a room and shove it completely out of the way when friends and family come to visit.”
Empty nesters find the wall bed a perfect solution for those now unused bedrooms after the kids have headed off to college. The room still functions as a bedroom when they return, but now can also be used as a sewing, exercise or game room when they are away.
A wall bed is also a great option for lofts, studio apartments and vacation cabins with one general space that needs to be able to serve multiple functions.
Wall beds have been around for more than a hundred years and have come a long way in quality and style, although the design is essentially the same. A full-size mattress lies atop a wooden platform or wire mesh and is attached to the frame in order to hold it in when the bed is in storage position.
There are now many color and style options available. “The possibilities are endless, and no two projects are alike," says Winschel., “Bed-in-a-box” kits are available or a wall bed set can be customized to match the look and feel of a home’s existing decor. Additional storage, desks, bunk beds, sofas and built-in lighting all can be incorporated, depending on the function of the new space.
The Murphy-bed system is lightweight and easy to lift and much more comfortable than sleeper sofas and futons, making it a perfect solution for returning college students, holiday guests and last-minute visitors.