The History of Wall Beds, Revisited


By David Boyle - Flickr: P-Town_0022, CC BY 2.0,

The Murphy bed, also know as a wall bed, pull down bed or fold-down bed, is a bed hinged at one end against a wall enabling it to fold up and store vertically alongside a wall. The bed is named for William Lawrence Murphy, who applied for patents around 1900. As the story goes, Murphy was pursuing a beautiful opera singer, however living in a small one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco during a time that society frowned upon a woman entering a man’s bed room, necessity called for invention. Murphy, being the resourceful man he was, began his plans for a way to make his bed disappear quickly when he wanted to have the lovely opera singer in his home. Murphy’s foldaway bed invention allowed him to turn is bedroom into a sitting room, letting him entertain his opera singer in a respectable fashion. Although earlier fold-up beds had existed, Murphy’s invention included pivot and counterbalanced features. Murphy applied for a series of patents including one for the “Disappearing Bed” in June of 1912 and another in 1916 for a “Design for a Bed”. Mr. Murphy soon had a secure patent and great success not to mention, he got the girl! The two were married in 1900.

The Wall Bed: How it Works

The first Murphy bed design hinged at one end to store vertically against the wall, or inside of a closet or cabinet. Since the first Murphy bed, several other variations and designs have been created, including: sideways mounted Murphy beds and Murphy bunk beds. Modern Murphy beds are easy to lift and lower with piston-lift or torsion springs. Most Murphy beds do not have traditional box springs. Instead, the mattress is typically attached to a wood platform or wire mesh. The mattress is attached to the bed frame, often with elastic straps to hold the mattress in position when the unit is folded upright and to prevent sagging while stored upright. With space saving in mind, the wall bed is a popular solution for situations with limited floor space. A wall bed works great for:
  • Small Homes
  • Apartments
  • Hotels
  • Mobile Homes
  • College Dorms
Not only do Murphy beds allow for vertical bed storage, today, these beds have options for built in lighting, bunk beds, converting office space, bookshelves, shelving, sofas and storage cabinets. Murphy beds have been used for 100 years now to help reclaim valuable floor space and create practical and multi-functional rooms.

Wilding Wallbeds: Space Innovation Specialists

If you are in the market for a wall bed, we are simply the best choice. At Wilding’s our Murphy beds are handmade by skilled furniture crafters with only the finest hardwoods and top quality graded furniture plywood available. Since 1997, we have been building and shipping our top quality wall beds all across the United States and internationally. You can count on us to deliver the best quality Murphy bed at the best price. We guarantee to match or beat any competitor’s price or service. Wilding’s is the direct manufacture, which means that you will save thousands on comparable products on the market.

Our Promise to You

We promise to deliver you the best through our team’s efforts, handcrafting the finest quality wall beds and innovative space saving furniture that brings you superior value. We strive to create a positive customer experience through thorough attention to detail and unsurpassed customer service. All of our Murphy bed selections have a Lifetime Guarantee to ensure our customers stay satisfied for years to come.

Get in Touch Today!

Contact us today for more information or to place an order. We are ready to help you make the most of your space.

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Image credit: By David Boyle – Flickr: P-Town_0022, CC BY 2.0,