Have you been wondering about whether you should make some space-saving changes in your home? A Murphy bed can be an excellent option for freeing up space and turning guest rooms or bedrooms into multi-functional spaces.
How do you know whether a Murphy bed is the right fit for your home and lifestyle? We’ve put together a list that highlights the pros and cons of Murphy beds so you can make an informed decision on whether the space-saving bed is right for you.
Pros of Choosing a Murphy Bed
1. Save space.
While a well-made Murphy bed can blend stylishly into a room, its biggest benefit comes from being a major space-saver. When you choose a Murphy bed, you can save a significant amount of square footage in your room.
For example, the average full bed mattress takes up about 28 square feet of space – that’s not including a headboard or footboard. The average bedroom might encompass only about 100 square feet, so the bed takes up well over a quarter of the room’s open floor space.
With a Murphy bed, you can free up much of that space, giving you room for working, playing and more.
2. Make space multi-purpose.
Whether you use your Murphy bed as a space-saving bed for your own room or for your guests, one of its biggest benefits is its capability to be out of sight, out of mind.
If you’re using it as your guest bed, you can fold it away until visitors are in town and can give your guest space a completely different feel. It can become:
- An office area
- A playroom
- A storage area
- A workout space
- A relaxing retreat
You have more ownership over your room and your space when you can use it for different purposes, and it can also be especially nice when you are trying to make the most of a smaller home or apartment.
3. More comfortable for guests (or for yourself).
When you have visitors in your home, it’s nice to be able to give them their own space.
A sofa bed can’t do that – it’s usually located in a main room in your house. That means guests can’t rest/sleep until others are ready to go to bed, that they have to be up (or get unceremoniously awakened) whenever someone walks through the living area, and that they may be exposed to more noise and light than they would be in a typical guest bedroom.
While a Murphy bed could also be installed in a living area, you have the option to install it in a more private room, like an upstairs game room, a study/home office, or a traditional guest bedroom. The Murphy bed doesn’t take up space or detract from the room’s typical function and is still easily available to provide a sleep space for guests when needed.
The same goes for your own bed/bedroom space. If you want to make room for a rowing machine or a Peloton, or if you’re expected to maintain a home office space, using a space-saving Murphy bed can give you the power to make your bedroom a multi-purposed space.
4. Ability to completely hide away.
With a sofa bed or a futon, you have to consider their visibility within your home.
Is a futon compatible with the rest of your home’s design aesthetic? Does the sofa bed’s solid sturdiness detract from delicate furnishings or those with particularly clean and modern lines.
With a Murphy bed, guests will see cabinetry (or a bookcase/shelf). The cabinetry can blend in with the design of your room and can be customized with a finish that allows it to blend in to your space.
5. Ability to use a very comfortable mattress.
A Murphy bed isn’t your only option for a space-saving bed; however, it’s probably the most comfortable.
Common alternatives to a Murphy bed might include a sofa bed, a futon or an air mattress. None of these sound like a joy to sleep on.
Sofa beds and futons both have thinner mattresses with less structure so they can fold and fit into a very confined space. A Murphy bed mattress, on the other hand, is a real mattress and can be customized to fit your sleep preferences – from memory foam to pillow top and more.
Cons of Choosing a Murphy Bed Over Other Space-Saving Bed Options
Is a Murphy bed ever the wrong option for your home? While these space-saving beds can be a great choice for almost any home, there are a couple of situations in which a Murphy bed might be less than ideal.
1. Not really a great option for renters/short-term homeowners.
If you’re renting or leasing a home, it’s unlikely that your landlord will allow you to go through the process of installing a Murphy bed.
A well-made, well-installed Murphy bed is an investment and one that you’ll want to take full advantage of. Installing it in a home where you’ll be living for a few months may be too big of a headache, even with the space-saving benefits the bed can provide.
2. Should not try to install on your own.
Like to do everything on your own? A Murphy bed may not be right for you.
Murphy beds require trained installers to manage the bed’s intricate design and spring-loaded mechanism, as well as the way it affixes to your home.
A professional installer will adjust the tension to ensure the bed will stay stored upright, as well as ensuring it closes only when you are ready and doesn’t surprise you by lifting up too quickly.
Their work can help to ensure you’re using the bed safely, that it’s installed on the right kind of load-bearing wall, and that all the nuances of your home (floor evenness, etc.) are taken into consideration during the installation process.
If you allow a Murphy bed installer to work their magic, though, you’ll be able to enjoy a bed that saves space and that’s convenient and safe.
3. Have to make your bed daily.
If you’re planning to use your Murphy bed as your main sleeping option, you will have to come to terms with making your bed every day. The good thing is – making up your bed and storing it away can be completed in less than two minutes.
A clean room and all that extra floor space? It might just be worth spending the extra couple of minutes straightening sheets and tucking in blankets.
After evaluating the pros and cons of Murphy beds, you may be ready to (safely) jump right in to one! If you’re interested in discussing Murphy bed styles and options that might be a fit for your home, download our bed planning guide. You can begin assessing the options that might fit your home, then get ready to make the right purchase.