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MURPHY BED BUYING GUIDE

How to Choose the Right Murphy Bed for Your Space
 Murphy bed - Alegra twin murphy bed open

WHY NOT HAVE A REGULAR GUEST ROOM?

For most homes, a guest room is only used a few times a year. Why keep that room set up with just a bed when it can be used for a home office, exercise space, craft room, playroom, etc., AND a bedroom? With a space-saving Murphy bed, you can regain that space, using it all year long, and still be ready to entertain a guest when needed.

WHY PURCHASE A MURPHY BED INSTEAD OF A SOFA BED?

For years, the sofa bed was the default choice for a multipurpose room. However, as we all know, they are extremely uncomfortable to sleep on. Sofa beds typically use a thin mattress, and because the springs don’t provide adequate support for most people, the metal bar digs into your back at night.  

With an Xtraroom Murphy bed, you get a great night’s sleep and the comfort of sleeping on a standard mattress. Our beds are designed with a Euro Slat system that provides fantastic support without using a box spring or that dreaded metal bar. You’d never guess you’re sleeping on a bed that moves.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A MURPHY BED?

There are several things you need to take into consideration when purchasing a Murphy bed.

  • What is the height of the ceilings in the room you want to install the bed?

  • What is the configuration of the room? Take note of the location of the doors, windows, and outlets. How much wall space do you have available?

  • How low from the ceiling does your lighting fixture hang? Do you have the clearance to open the bed?

  • What is the thickness of the baseboards in the room?

  • What size bed do you need? Queen, Full, Twin?

  • What features do you need? Do you need a desk, extra storage, or both?

  • What is your budget?

WHY IS THE HEIGHT OF MY CEILING AND THE LAYOUT OF MY ROOM IMPORTANT WHEN SELECTING A MURPHY BED?

The height of your ceilings and the layout of your space will be important factors in determining what style and size of bed will work in your space. Things to keep in mind...

 

  • Although your room may have an adequate ceiling height for the fully assembled Murphy bed, you will need additional working space above the unit to secure the top of the cabinet to the wall with the L-brackets that are required for safety. 

  • Take note of the dimensions of the bed when the cabinet is open. Will you have enough space to comfortably move around the end of the bed? Even if your ceiling height is adequate for a portrait-style bed, perhaps a landscape-style bed is better suited for the size of your space, since it doesn't protrude into the room as much when open.

 

  • The locking mechanism on all of our beds is located on the top right-hand side of the cabinet. The bed should NOT be put into a corner effectively blocking the ability to lock/unlock the cabinet. You should also avoid blocking any HVAC vents or electrical outlets. 

  • Do you have a ceiling fan or light fixture that hangs down from the ceiling? If you have any kind of light fixture or ceiling fan that is not mounted flush to the ceiling, it must be far enough away from the wall where you want to install the cabinet that you can open the bed without hitting the fixture.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HORIZONTAL AND A LANDSCAPE MURPHY BED?

They are the same thing. A landscape Murphy bed rotates away from the wall, pivoting from the side of the bed instead of the head. If the ceiling height in your home is low and preventing you from installing a portrait/vertical bed, a Landscape Murphy bed is a great way to get the benefits of a Murphy bed despite the ceiling height limitations.

 * Something to keep in mind, if two people are sleeping on the bed, one person will be sleeping next to the wall.

Murphy bed - Adonis landscape Murphy bed open
Landscape/Horizontal Murphy Bed
Murphy bed with desk - Alegra queen murphy bed with desk open
Portrait/Verticle Murphy Bed

WHAT TYPE OF MATTRESS DO I NEED TO USE WITH A MURPHY BED?
The cabinet of our beds is designed to accommodate most mattresses up to 12 inches thick, so you can personalize the feel for maximum comfort. You are able to purchase whatever mattress meets your needs in style and budget. Please note, we do not recommend the use of pillow-top mattresses with Murphy beds. Xtraroom’s Murphy bed mattress support uses a euro slat design with curved wood slats that provide support where you need it and eliminates the need for a box spring.


ARE MURPHY BEDS EASY TO OPEN AND CLOSE?
The ease of opening and closing a Murphy bed is greatly affected by the frame and the mechanism it uses, making it an integral part of the bed. This mechanism allows the bed to fold up and down smoothly and safely. Many Murphy beds on the market today use inexpensive ones that may not stand the test of time. You need to examine this hidden and vital part of the Murphy bed carefully. Remember, not all mechanisms are engineered the same.

Murphy bed with desk - alegra full Murphy bed with desk open at 45 degrees showing the desk remaining level
the steel frame of xtraroom's murphy beds showing the quad-pistonn design
Xtraroom's steel frame and
quad-piston design

The mechanism you should be looking for is the metal frame mechanism. These mechanisms incorporate 4 pistons and are attached to a solid metal frame. Some manufacturers use spring mechanisms, while others use pistons that attach to the inner wood panel sides of the bed, making them less durable and safe.

 

Xtraroom’s Murphy beds use 4 pistons (2 per side) to maximize the ease of operation and safety. In addition, each piston is designed with 2-stages that provide maximum lift when you need it and prevent the bed fromslamming shut. You can easily open and close the bed one-handed.

DO YOU HAVE TO ATTACH A MURPHY BED TO THE WALL?
The short answer is yes.

Some Murphy Beds on the market require that they be secured to the floor as well which, unfortunately, damages the floor. However, all Xtraroom’s bed frames are attached directly to the wall for maximum security. Our beds are designed to be installed by the homeowner with basic tools (for homes with standard construction and wood studs), our step-by-step installation instructions are simple to follow, and drilling into the floor is not required.


DO I HAVE TO REMOVE THE BASEBOARDS WHEN INSTALLING THE BED, OR CAN I LEAVE
THEM ALONE?

It’s an aesthetic decision and totally up to you. If you want the cabinet of the bed to sit flush against the wall, then you will need to remove the baseboards from behind the bed. However, if you prefer not to remove them and your baseboards are 1” thick or less, you can install the bed leaving the baseboards in place. The bed will sit slightly away from the wall, but this does not affect the use of the bed or compromise its safety.

 

We DO NOT recommend notching the base of the cabinet to make it fit around the baseboards because doing so compromises the strength and integrity of the cabinet itself.

Marble Surface

WHAT OTHER FEATURES ARE AVAILABLE WITH MURPHY BEDS?
Today Murphy beds solve many space-saving problems. The most popular Murphy beds, however, are the ones that include desktops and storage solutions.


DESKS: Some manufacturers offer a simple shelf attached to the front panel of the bed. This is not the ideal setup since you’ll have to remove all the contents from the shelf before you pull down the bed. Xtraroom’s Murphy Beds with Desks are designed with a unique self-leveling desk. This means that you don’t have to unload the desk before opening the bed. Even your cup of coffee will not spill as the desk stays perfectly level through the opening and closing process. The wide desks provide ample space for your laptop and other work materials.

Murphy bed with desk - Azores queen murphy bed with desk open at 45 degrees showing the desk remaining level
Murphy bed with desk showing a close up image of the self-leveling desk lying flat under the bed with all the contents of the desk still in place

STORAGE SOLUTIONS: Extra storage is something nearly everyone can use, and Murphy beds come with a variety of options to choose from. You can have shelves, drawers, hanging space, and open and hidden storage with your bed.

 

Xtraroom’s storage cabinets come with an array of customizable options. The top section can be set up with 3 adjustable shelves or a hanging bar for clothes. The bottom sections feature 3 pull-out drawers and a pullout nightstand. Many of our Murphy beds include one or two storage cabinets with the bed.

storage cabinet built with the hanging bar for storing clothes
storage cabinet built with the adjustable shelves
storage cabinet - pullout nightstand in the storage cabinet
storage cabinet - three drawers and the pullout nightstant in the storage cabinet

Xtraroom also offers Murphy beds featuring 2 integrated towers, this style of wall bed has closed cabinets on the lower portions perfectly sized to store pillows when not in use and glass shelves in the upper sections for small decor items and a place to store your devices overnight. The units also feature integrated wire management so you can set up your phone charge or alarm clock.

a closer view of the pillow storage cabinet in the Alegra Queen Murphy bed with integrated storage
Murphy bed with storage - Alegra Queen Murphy bed with integrated storage's inside shelves
Murphy bed with storage -  integrated wire management of the Alegra Queen Murphy bed with integrated storage

WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO SPEND ON A MURPHY BED?
Murphy beds can range in price from $850 for a twin Murphy bed to $10,000+ for a custom-built wall bed. In general, most Murphy beds fall into one of two groups, the economical or the custom-built high-end groups. The pros of the economical group include the price is low, the delivery is fast, and the homeowner can install the bed. The cons are they are made with cheaper materials and offer fewer features. Custom-built Murphy beds offer endless features and high-quality materials, but they are extremely expensive and take months to be installed. Xtraroom’s Murphy beds fit right in the middle offering high-quality design and materials, and great features. They can be installed by the homeowner and come at a moderate price.

Xtraroom Buying Guide Table showing the comparison between ecomonical, custom built, and xtraroom Murphy beds
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