What Should I Pay for a Murphy Bed?
How to avoid overpaying or underpaying for a Murphy bed.
- You get what you pay for: avoid underpaying
- The 4 M’s of a good Murphy bed:
- So, how much does a good Murphy bed cost?
I’ve found myself sitting at a restaurant considering ordering the $49 roll of sushi knowing that I am totally getting fleeced. On the other hand, I have also found myself considering the $3.99 sushi roll at the gas station, knowing that there is a good possibility it would leave me curled up in the fetal position praying for deliverance. Thankfully I have been to enough restaurants to know what a good sushi roll should cost. Murphy Beds are a popular item that many of us don’t have a whole lot of experience with purchasing. Just a quick google search will show that pricing of Murphy beds range from $795 all the way up to $10,000! This can be a little stressful because none of us want to overpay, but we also don’t want to underpay and end up with a useless expense or even worse, injured by an unsafe piece of furniture.
Mechanisms: Finding a reliable mechanism
To first attack the issue, I want to talk a little bit about Murphy Bed mechanisms. The mechanism is the system that controls the lift and lowering of the bed. The two most popular methods are spring lift and piston lift. The quality of the mechanism really is the most important factor in the quality and safety of a Murphy Bed. I have spent countless hours on the phone with people from all over the country trying to find out how they can add a better mechanism to their homemade/cheaply bought wall bed. In most cases the Murphy beds for under $1,000 don’t even include a mechanism and recommend 2-3 people to assist when opening or closing the bed. This is obviously inconvenient and can be unsafe for anyone who isn’t aware that help is needed. Cheap pistons wear out quickly and break with normal use. Cheap springs are noisy, ineffective and brittle. A good way to determine how good the mechanism is would be by looking at the warranty. Some companies offer a 1–5-year warranty. Wilding Wallbeds has a lifetime warranty on both their Spring and the Piston lift mechanism. This means that these mechanisms are built to be dependable and durable. (Which mechanism should I choose?)
Materials: Don’t settle for cheap wood alternatives
The second factor in price that you should be aware of is the quality of the materials. Murphy beds are generally made of wood, or a wood substitute. It is important to make sure that the material is durable enough to hold up to the stress of a bed, strong enough to contain the torque of the mechanism, and resilient enough to stand up to the dents and dings of daily life. Real wood products are the best option for Murphy beds. Melamine and Particle Board are both great, cheap cabinet making materials, but a Murphy Bed deals with so much more stress and torque than a regular cabinet that those materials just don’t hold up. Solid wood is strong and natural, but it is prone to warping and bowing. The ideal materials are solid wood for the trims and detail work, and furniture grade plywood for the large panels. Furniture grade plywood is an all-wood product that is made by layering wood cross grain, and then adding a solid wood veneer. This stabilizes the wood against bowing and cupping but also has the strength and beauty of the natural product. You can determine the quality of the materials by looking at the weight limit for the Murphy bed and reading up the types of materials the different companies use. Wilding Wallbeds have put their beds to the test in some entertaining ways, even putting a VW Jetta on one. You can check out a video of the test here.
Manufacturing: Made in the USA matters
The third factor of pricing that is good to be aware of is the quality of manufacturing. We have all found ourselves pulling our hair out trying to put together some Chinese made product where none of the holes line up and the instructions were done using google translate. Many of the Murphy beds that you find online are manufactured overseas and are seriously lacking when it comes to the quality of the manufacturing. These Murphy beds are bulky, unattractive, and once again just not very durable. You can determine the quality of manufacturing by looking up where the beds are made, and visually by the styles offered. If the bed looks awkward and clunky… it probably is. You can also check out the installation instructions, if you can’t find them on their website they probably aren’t great. Wilding Wallbeds manufactures their wall beds in their hometown of St. George Utah. They have found amazing ways of marrying time-tested manufacturing techniques and joints with cutting edge technology to produce the highest quality products available.
Middle-man: Stop paying the middle man, go factory-direct
The final aspect of pricing is whether or not you are buying from a middle-man. Are you dealing with a manufacturer or a retailer? Many Murphy beds are manufactured by one company, distributed by another, and then sold to customers by a third. Every company in that supply chain needs to make money so by the time you are buying the bed, you are paying the expenses and profits of all of the companies up the chain. Wilding Wallbeds manufactures their Murphy Beds and sells them directly to the public which means that you get factory direct pricing, and it is one of the reasons they are able to keep their prices so reasonable.
What Should I Pay for a Murphy Bed?
Okay, so now that I have gone through the different price drivers, it is time to answer the question. How much should I pay for a Murphy bed? What is the wall bed equivalent of $49 sushi, and what is the Murphy bed gas station sushi? The ideal pricing window is $2,000-$4,500. At this price you will find that they use quality mechanisms, the materials are good, and manufacturing is great. This is especially the case when you are dealing directly with the manufacturer and not a furniture retailer. Murphy beds less than $2000 are generally lacking in quality and not designed to last. Murphy beds more than $4500 are pretty dang expensive, and there is a chance you are seriously overpaying for what you are getting. Another great way to be sure before making your final decision is to check Google and Facebook for reviews. People with good and bad experiences love to share how it went and those platforms are popular places for the public to praise or give warning. With all this information under your belt now, you should be able to go out and make an informed purchase!