diy murphy bed

Are you tired of sacrificing precious floor space for your bed? Do you dream of a home that seamlessly transforms from bedroom to living room in a blink? Look no further than the DIY Murphy bed, a space-saving marvel that’s both functional and stylish.

What is a Murphy Bed?

A Murphy bed, also known as a wall bed or folding bed, is a bed that cleverly tucks away into the wall when not in use. This ingenious invention maximizes space, particularly in small apartments, studios, or multi-functional rooms.

Imagine the possibilities:

  • Transform your living room into a bedroom in seconds for overnight guests or spontaneous sleepovers.
  • Create a home office by day and a cozy sleeping nook by night without sacrificing dedicated space for each.
  • Declutter your bedroom and add an air of spaciousness by reclaiming the floor area typically occupied by your bed.

Read Also: What is a Smart Bed?

Why is it Called a Murphy Bed?

The Murphy bed’s namesake comes from William Lawrence Murphy, a San Francisco carpenter who patented the design in 1900. Legend has it that Murphy created the bed to comply with San Francisco’s strict housing regulations, prohibiting visible beds in living quarters. At the time, it was considered improper for a woman to enter a man’s bedroom while he was still living in it. Murphy’s invention allowed him to transform his bedroom into a parlor, thus circumventing the moral code of the era. This ingenious solution not only brought about a revolution in furniture design but also reflected a shift in social norms.

Murphy’s invention revolutionized space-saving furniture and continues to be a popular choice for its functionality and versatility.

How to Build a DIY Murphy Bed Step-by-Step Guide?

Ready to unleash your inner carpenter and build your own Murphy bed masterpiece? Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

Tools and Materials

  • Lumber (plywood, MDF, or solid wood)
  • Murphy bed hardware kit (including hinges, pistons, and support brackets)
  • Mattress (twin, full, or queen size recommended)
  • Screws, nails, and other fasteners
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper and paint (optional)

Step 1: Planning and Design

  • Measure Your Space: Determine the available wall space and desired bed size.
  • Choose Your Design: Decide whether you want a basic Murphy bed or one with additional features like storage compartments, a desk, or a sofa.
  • Sketch Out Your Plans: Create a detailed drawing with dimensions to ensure accurate cutting and assembly.

Step 2: Building the Frame

  • Cut the Lumber: Use your measurements to cut the wood pieces for the bed frame, cabinet (if desired), and support structure.
  • Assemble the Frame: Join the wood pieces using screws, glue, and corner braces for added stability.
  • Attach the Hardware: Install the Murphy bed hinges and pistons according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 3: Mounting the Bed to the Wall

  • Locate Wall Studs: Use a stud finder to mark the location of wall studs where you’ll secure the bed frame.
  • Drill and Secure: Pre-drill holes in the frame and wall studs, then securely fasten the frame to the wall using lag bolts.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

  • Sand and Paint (optional): If desired, sand the wood and apply paint or stain for a polished look.
  • Install the Mattress and Bedding: Place your mattress and bedding inside the folded bed.
  • Test and Adjust: Ensure the bed opens and closes smoothly and adjust the pistons if necessary.

Also Read: How to Choose a Smart Mattress?

Pro Tips

  • Safety First: Use appropriate safety equipment like goggles and gloves while working with tools.
  • Seek Help if Needed: Don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a friend or professional if you’re unsure about any step in the process.
  • Customize it: Get creative and personalize your Murphy bed with built-in storage, lighting, or decorative elements.


Building your own DIY Murphy bed is a rewarding project that can transform your home and your lifestyle. With careful planning, the right tools, and a bit of elbow grease, you can create a functional and stylish space-saving haven that’s uniquely your own. So, grab your hammer, unleash your creativity, and get ready to reclaim your precious square footage!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There's no real difference! Both terms refer to the same space-saving bed that folds up and hides against the wall. "Murphy bed" is the popularized term, while "wall bed" is more generic.

It's possible, but only sometimes practical. Converting an existing bed often requires extensive modifications and may not be structurally sound. If you're handy and the bed is sturdy, go for it! Otherwise, consider building a new one from scratch.

The difficulty level of building a DIY Murphy bed can vary based on your carpentry skills and the complexity of the design. With a good set of instructions and a basic understanding of tools, most people find it a manageable and rewarding project.

Yes, for safety and stability, a DIY Murphy bed needs to be securely attached to the wall. This ensures that the bed stays in place when folded up and does not tip over when in use.

Sure! Most Murphy bed designs accommodate leaving pillows and blankets on the mattress when folded up. This saves time and keeps your bedding fresh.

It depends on your skill level, the complexity of the design, and the available tools. A basic bed could take a weekend, while a more elaborate one might require a week or more.

Choose high-quality plywood with a thickness of at least ¾ inch for the frame and support structure. Baltic birch or maple plywood are excellent options due to their strength and stability.

If DIY isn't your forte, consider these alternatives:

  • Prefab Murphy Bed Kits: These come with pre-cut lumber and hardware, making assembly much easier.
  • Ready-Made Murphy Beds: Purchase a fully assembled Murphy bed and simply have it installed.
  • Creative Furniture Solutions: Explore options like futons, daybeds, or bunk beds that offer similar space-saving benefits.

The cost of a DIY Murphy bed varies widely depending on the materials used and whether you purchase a pre-made kit. Typically, the cost can range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars. Opting for a DIY approach usually offers a more budget-friendly alternative to pre-made models.

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