Can I Use a Regular Mattress in a Murphy Bed?

One of the most common questions we get is if a Murphy bed simply takes a regular mattress. Well, it’s a little complicated. Let’s dive in and sort it out!

By Caden

woman reading on a Murphy bed mattress

Can I Use a Regular Mattress in a Murphy Bed?

woman reading on a Murphy bed mattress

One of the most common questions we get is if a Murphy bed simply takes a regular mattress. Well, it’s a little complicated. Let’s dive in and sort it out!

By Caden

Murphy beds are a great way to save space in every home. They can transform a guest room into a home office, home gym, art studio, or myriad other purposes. The bottom line is that a Murphy bed allows you to have a real bed without taking up any floor space during the day. However, one of the biggest questions people have about Murphy beds is whether or not they use a regular mattress. It’s a valid concern! Can you remember a sleepless night spent tossing and turning on a hide-a-bed, futon, or air mattress? It doesn’t matter how gimmicky and high-tech a mattress look-alike is, nothing sleeps as comfortably as a real mattress.

So, do Murphy beds take a regular mattress? The short answer is yes, you can use a regular mattress in a Murphy bed. However, it’s not recommended. Mattresses are not designed to stand on-end for long periods, and over time, they can become damaged, worn out, and uncomfortable. Regular mattresses are designed to be used on a flat surface, such as a box spring or a platform bed. When a mattress is stored vertically, the weight of the mattress and the force of gravity can cause the coils and padding to shift and slump in a way that manufacturers don’t intend.

Because of mattresses being ruined in a Murphy bed, Wilding Wallbeds has gone to great lengths in partnership with Serta Mattresses to develop a line of specially-designed Murphy Bed Mattresses. These mattresses are specially engineered to stand on-end indefinitely without slumping or shifting. In fact, while most mattress manufacturers refuse to warranty a mattress that is used in a Murphy bed, this line of Murphy bed mattresses are actually warrantied for use in a Murphy bed.

murphy bed mattress vs. regular mattress
A Murphy bed mattress (left) vs. standard mattress (right)

What to look for in a Murphy bed mattress

When choosing a mattress for your Murphy bed, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure that the mattress is the right size. Murphy bed mattresses typically come in standard sizes, but it’s always a good idea to double-check the dimensions of your bed before you buy a mattress, especially if any DIY was in the equation.

Second, you need to make sure that the mattress is the right thickness. Some Murphy beds can accommodate mattresses that are up to 12 inches thick, while some have tighter restrictions. Because of these variations, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications to make sure that your mattress will fit in your specific bed.

Third, you need to consider who will be sleeping on your mattress. If it is primarily for children, a much lower-quality mattress is sufficient. If it will primarily be adults, you will want to consider a mattress that is higher quality in order to adequately support the size and weight of adult sleepers.

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What mattresses to watch out for

There are a few types of mattresses that are not good for Murphy beds. These include:

  • Mattresses with individually pocketed coils: These mattresses are designed to conform to the body, which is great for comfort. However, because the coils are individually pocketed and not tied to one another, they are almost guaranteed to slump over time.
  • Foam core mattresses: The primary concern with foam core mattresses is the glue. Foam core mattresses are typically comprised of several layers of different foams that are glued together. Because mattresses usually spend their entire lifetime laying flat, most manufacturers only use small amounts of glue to hold these layers together. In a Murphy bed mattress, the entire surface area of each layer is coated in glue.
  • Latex mattresses: Latex mattresses are very durable and supportive, but they are extremely heavy and typically stand on-end about as well as overcooked linguine.

Are Murphy bed mattresses more expensive?

While we can’t speak for every manufacturer, it is true that Murphy bed mattresses, on average, are more expensive than regular mattresses. This shouldn’t be a surprise as there are actual differences in the materials and quantity of materials used to construct them. However, Murphy bed mattresses are more than worth the extra up front investment. Our team fields literally thousands of calls about Murphy beds every year, so we hear plenty of questions about Murphy bed mattresses. One of the calls we get regularly are from people who decided to roll the dice on a cheaper mattress they found locally and are now looking for a replacement. Now, all mattresses have to be replaced eventually, no mattress lasts forever, but these calls are usually coming within a year of purchasing the Murphy bed. This means that in less than a year a Murphy bed will burn through some regular mattresses.

So, while a Murphy bed mattress may be more expensive than a regular mattress, it’s certainly less expensive than replacing the mattress every year.


Murphy beds are a great way to maximize your space, regardless of your home size. However, it’s important to choose the right mattress for your Murphy bed. A bed is only as comfortable as the mattress on it, and nothing is worse than a mattress that is lumpy and ruined from months of standing on-end. By considering the factors listed above, you can choose a mattress that will last for years to come inside of a Murphy bed.

Caden Wilding, author at Wilding wallbeds

Caden Wilding

Director of Digital Marketing

Caden is our in-house guru on all things digital marketing. But, before he was building advertising campaigns he was building Murphy beds and TV Lift Furniture. Woodworking is in Caden’s blood…