What are the Different Types of Murphy Beds?

Chapter 02 – The Total Murphy Bed Buying Guide

By Caden

What are the Different Types of Murphy Beds?

Chapter 02 – The Total Murphy Bed Buying Guide

By Caden


The original Murphy bed was invented in the 1890’s by a man name William Murphy. Fast forward to today and there are many variations on Murphy’s original idea of freeing up space by folding the bed up against the wall. There are nearly as many types of Murphy beds as there are manufacturers, but most fit cleanly into a handful of different categories. These categories include Murphy beds, Murphy Desk Beds, Bookcase Wall Beds, Bunk Murphy Beds, Sofa Murphy Beds, and Closet Murphy Beds. Each category has distinct advantages and ideal use-cases, so let’s dive in! We’ll be covering the basics of each category and when you should consider a Murphy bed or wall bed of that variety.

A Note on Quality

Before getting too far, there is one important factor that plays a crucial role for your consideration of every type of Murphy bed: quality. With a quick online search, you can find manufactures of each type of bed on this list with varying prices and marketing claims. So, how can you be sure you are buying a quality product that won’t disappoint? Generally, you want a manufacturer based in the US, that uses real wood, and offers a warranty on their products. Avoid things like particle board, laminates, MDF, and nearly all mass-produced products imported from overseas. Murphy beds of all their varieties use high amounts of stored energy to function, so high-quality materials are imperative. In fact, in 2022 a manufacturer of low-quality Murphy beds had to recall nearly 130,000 units due to “serious impact and crush hazards.”

Types of Murphy Beds

1. Regular Murphy Beds

Regular Murphy beds are the most common type of Murphy bed or wall bed, and they’re perfect for anyone who needs a comfortable and convenient guest bed. These beds are designed to fold up and disappear into the wall when not in use, and they can be easily pulled down when guests arrive. You can choose from a variety of sizes and styles to suit your needs, and many models come with built-in storage compartments for extra convenience.

One of the best parts of regular Murphy beds is the versatility and flexibility. You can typically get any size, any style, vertical or horizontal orientation, and with any features you’re interested in. This means you can find a way to fit a Murphy bed like this into nearly any space.

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Murphy bed Open
Remington Murphy Bed Open
Murphy desk bed in a room with items on the desk.
Harmony II Murphy Desk Bed

2. Murphy Desk Beds

Murphy desk beds are the perfect choice for those who need a home office space and a guest bed but are limited on space. These beds are designed with a desk built into the front panel, which can be easily lifted and lowered to reveal a bed behind it. When not in use, the bed folds up and disappears behind the desk. This type of Murphy bed is perfect for small apartments or studio spaces where every inch of space counts.

One of the best parts of the Murphy Desk Bed is the always-level desk. The desktop always stays level, even when the bed is being pulled down for use, so you can leave your computer, printer, photos, etc. on top of the desk all the time. One thing to watch out for is the vertical clearance of the desk when the bed is in use. This clearance determines the height of items that can be left on the desktop without getting crushed. Some beds only allow for 7″ or 8″ while others allow as much as 17″. You want as much space as possible because without decent clearance you will have to clear the desk to use the bed.

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3. Bookcase Wall Beds

If you’re looking for a space-saving solution that also offers plenty of storage, a bookcase wall bed could be just what you need. These beds are designed to look like a bookcase when not in use, with shelves and compartments for storing books, decorative items, or other household items. The bed folds down from the wall behind the bookcase, creating a comfortable sleeping area for guests.

When considering a Bookcase Wall Bed, are two varieties to know about, the Standard Bookcase Wallbed and the Bi-fold Bookcase Wallbed. The Standard Bookcase Wallbed has two bookcase doors that open like french doors whereas the Bi-Fold doors open like french doors and then fold back on themselves, thereby saving width.

Bifold Bookcase Wallbed Queen size natural alder wood
Bifold Bookcase Wall Bed
Murphy Bunk Bed

4. Murphy Bunk Beds

If you have children or frequently host multiple guests, a Murphy bunk bed could be the perfect solution. These beds are designed with two or more beds stacked on top of each other, and they can be easily folded up and tucked away when not in use. Optional lights or side cabinets can also add functionality to take the experience up a notch.

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5. Murphy Cabinet Beds

If you’re looking for a space-saving solution that also looks great, a Murphy cabinet bed could be just what you need. These beds are designed to look like a cabinet or a chest of drawers when not in use, with the bed hidden inside. When you need to use the bed, you simply open up the cabinet and pull it down. Murphy cabinet beds come in a variety of styles and finishes, so you’re sure to find one that matches your decor.

Murphy Cabinet Beds have a couple of unique benefits to keep in mind:

  • Lower cost: Typically, Murphy Cabinet Beds are less expensive than other Murphy beds.
  • Includes mattress: Because of the unique nature of the trifold memory foam mattress, this bed includes a mattress.
  • Freestanding design: These are one of the very few hidden beds that do not need to be mounted to the wall.
  • Minimal height: These cabinets can be as short as 36.5″, making them very unintrusive.

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Remington Sofa Murphy Bed

6. Sofa Murphy Beds

In certain instances, the Sofa Murphy Bed is the perfect solution for your space! If you have a TV or a good view that you want to be able to comfortably view, you can sit on the sofa when the bed is not in use. These beds are designed to look like a sofa or a loveseat when not in use, with the bed hidden inside. When you need to use the bed, you simply pull it out from the sofa. Sofa Murphy beds are perfect for small apartments or living rooms where space is at a premium.

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In conclusion, Murphy beds are a great solution for anyone who needs an extra bed but is short on space. With a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect Murphy bed for your home. Whether you’re looking for a Murphy desk bed, a bookcase wall bed, a regular Murphy bed, a Murphy bunk bed, a Murphy cabinet bed, or a sofa Murphy bed, you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs and budget.

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…