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Desk Murphy Beds – The Space-Saving Desk Bed Buying & Install Guide



Introduction to Desk Murphy Bed

A desk Murphy bed is an innovative type of furniture that combines a desk and a bed into one space-saving piece. The desk has a fold-down mattress inside that can be pulled down to convert the desk into a comfortable bed.

Desk Murphy beds are perfect for small spaces like studio apartments, tiny homes, spare rooms, home offices, and other multifunctional living areas. They allow you to get double duty out of one compact furniture unit.

So how does a desk Murphy bed work exactly?

A desk Murphy bed consists of a typical desk or table surface with cabinet doors and side panels. Hidden inside the cabinet is a metal frame with a mattress that can fold down to become a bed.

The mattress folds vertically on a hinge to store inside the cabinet depth when not in use. The metal frame provides the structure and support needed to hold the weight of a person sleeping. Most desk beds use a spring or gas piston lift mechanism to gently guide the lowering and raising of the mattress.

When it’s time for bed, you simply lift the desktop work surface, pull down the mattress, and then lower the desktop back down to create the bed platform. The mattress usually rests 12-15 inches off the ground when fully open into a bed.

Different Types of Desk Murphy Beds

There are a few different configurations when it comes to desk Murphy bed mechanics and positioning. The four main types are:

  • Vertical desk Murphy beds – This is the most common type with a vertically stowed mattress that pulls down from above the desk space.
  • Horizontal desk Murphy beds – Less common, with a mattress that slides horizontally out of a cabinet behind the desk.
  • Dual function desk murphy beds – Allows use as both a bed and desk simultaneously, no conversion required. The desk surface flips up to reveal a permanent bed underneath.
  • Wall bed desk combos – A Murphy bed positioned horizontally behind a fixed desk instead of combined into one unit. Takes up more floor space but allows the use of a desk when the bed is down.

The vertical lift style with a mattress stored above the desk cabinet offers the most versatility and space-saving functionality in one unit. But other designs offer unique advantages that suit different needs.

Advantages of Using a Desk Murphy Bed

There are several excellent benefits to using a desk Murphy bed system:

  • Saves floor space – Perfect for small rooms since they take up less space than a separate desk and bed. The horizontal footprint remains that of a single desk.
  • Allows for an extra guest bed – Having a comfortable bed ready to pull down instantly adds a place for guests to sleep without hogging living space.
  • Dual-function furniture – You get two useful furniture pieces – a desk and bed – in a consolidated unit. Maximum functionality from minimal floor area.
  • More affordable – Buying a consolidated desk bed costs less than purchasing a standard bed plus a good quality desk separately. It’s a furniture combo deal.

For small dwellings or situations where you occasionally need a spare bed for visitors, a desk murphy mattress system truly optimizes your interior layout and budget.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Desk Murphy Bed

While the functionality of a desk bed seems alluring, you need to make sure your space, needs, and lifestyle are suited to this convertible furniture piece. Some key aspects to think over first:

Available Space – You need enough open floor space for the bed to fully extend down. Between 6.5 and 7.5 feet is ideal. Measure to ensure sufficient clearance. Also, check the room for you to comfortably walk around an open bed.

Mattress Size – Standard twin and full sizes can accommodate most desk beds, but measure inside cabinet depth first. Thicker premium mattresses may prove too bulky. Know mattress limits before shopping.

Outlet Placement – Electrical outlets around the unit area are crucial if the desk surface will be plugged in. Extenders or moving outlets may be needed so you can safely use devices around the unit.

Noise Level – Desk beds employ metal frames and mechanical lifts so opening/closing makes some noise. Oil hinges to minimize, but sound should be expected with use.

Carefully considering these factors will set you up for desk Murphy bed success.

Measurements and Dimensions

Since you likely have a defined space in mind for a desk murphy bed, taking careful room and furniture measurements is crucial before shopping and installing.

Be sure to measure:

  • Floor Area Dimensions – Empty floor space size where the unit will go. Width and depth are vital. Include wall proximity.
  • Mattress Thickness – Inside cabinet depth sets limits. Standard sizes usually accommodate 6-8 inch profiles.
  • Ceiling Height – Adequate overhead clearance to fully pull the bed open/down is key. Most need 80+ inches.
  • Doorway Width – To fit the unit inside the room. Will it fit down halls and through door frames during delivery?

Knowing these room specifics, as well as standard mattress sizes, helps narrow suitable desk bed options:

Mattress SizeDimensionsFits Cabinet Depth
Twin39”x75”7-8 inches
Full54”x75”Under 7 inches

Measure twice to be sure! Comparing furniture dimensions against your available space is the only way to confirm whether a specific desk bed model will properly function in your room before purchasing.

Design and Customization Options

One great aspect of quality desk Murphy bed systems is the wide range of styles and customization available nowadays. Models, colors, and integrated features vary broadly between brands.

Consider what design factors matter most:

  • Colors – Stain, paint, and finish options allow matching room decor. White, wood tones, and black are standard.
  • Desk Styles – Desktop surface shape, integrated shelves, and cubbies can provide work/storage solutions.
  • Custom Sizing – Some brands allow minor width and height adjustments to perfectly fit your space.
  • Extra Storage – Drawers, cabinets, and shelving built into the base unit add functional storage capacity.

There are even space-saving wall desk murphy beds with a fold-down desk instead of standard floor models if you prefer to sleep length-wise alongside the wall to save depth space.

No matter your style or room specifics, there are likely desk bed designs readily available that can conform nicely.

Prices and Costs

What does the average desk wall bed cost? As with most furniture pieces, the price largely depends on size, materials used, integrated features, and customization options chosen.

Here is an overview of standard desk murphy bed cost:

  • Entry-Level – $800 – $1500 range
  • Mid-Range – $1500 – $3000 range
  • High-End – $3000+ range

What impacts pricing?

  • Wood Types – Oak, maple, and cherry cost more than particle board or pine.
  • Size – Larger than twin size and mattresses over 6 inches thick raise prices.
  • Mechanisms – Smooth hydraulic lifts are pricier than chains.
  • Custom Features – Any sizing tweaks or storage add-ons increase costs.
  • Special Finishes – Custom paint or stain colors add designer price tags.

There are also some hidden expenses to account for beyond the base price of desk bed units:

  • Mattress Cost – You need to buy one if the unit doesn’t include it.
  • Delivery Fees – From manufacturer or furniture retailer.
  • Installation – Optional professional assembly fees if not DIY savvy. It can cost a few hundred dollars.
  • Permits – Local building permits if installing electrical or through wall.

Shopping smart allows finding functional desk beds even on limited budgets. But guarantee seamless integration in your space by measuring effectively and ordering a unit sized accordingly. Attempting risky DIY tweaks almost never saves money long-term.

Installation and Assembly

Once purchased, it’s decision time – brave the desk Murphy bed installation solo or hire professional help?

DIY or Hire Out?

DIY assembly is entirely possible for those fairly handy with tools, patience, and an assistant for heavy lifting. But mis-installs can lead to expensive replacements down the road.

Hiring professional installers adds instant peace of mind. Rates average $400-$800 regionally depending on bed size and labor intensity. Electrical wiring definitely requires licensed electricians.

What’s Needed and Step-By-Step?

If attempting self-installation, ensure you have proper safety gear plus tools on hand:

  • Safety glasses, gloves
  • Power drill
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Hardware kit (usually included)

Then follow installation guides unique to your specific model, but the process typically follows this order:

  1. Prep work area with drop cloths
  2. Unbox all components and organize hardware
  3. Attach mounting rails level to studs in the wall
  4. Attach base cabinet to rails securely
  5. Insert and secure the mattress frame
  6. Testbed lowering/retracting mechanism
  7. Install desktop worksurface
  8. Seal any gaps with caulk if needed

Some key nuances:

  • Locate and mark wall studs to ensure safely secured into the framing
  • Getting cabinet unit level is vital
  • Adjusting spring tension takes some finesse

If wiring the desk area for lamps or charging, hire a licensed electrician to tap into existing outlets or install new ones up to code.

Safety Tips

Desk wall beds feature heavy folding mechanisms supporting over 100 pounds with a person on them. Safety should not be overlooked. Follow these precautions:

Provide Adequate Clearance

  • Check manufacturer guidelines for height and width clearance needed with the bed fully extended to avoid collisions.
  • Leave the path free of clutter for lowering the bed.

Secure Safely to Wall

  • Attach securely to wall studs, not just drywall for sufficient structural support.
  • User wall anchor bolts where needed.
  • Don’t overload rated weight capacity to avoid collapse.

Maintain Proper Use

  • Don’t sit on a partially lowered bed to prevent tipping.
  • Lower slowly and cautiously.
  • Engage manufacturer-recommended locking pins and mechanisms.

Following basic safety measures and manufacturer instructions allows enjoying your innovative desk Murphy bed safely for years.


Desk Murphy beds offer excellent space-saving sleeping solutions alongside workspace versatility. By combining a bed and desk in one thoughtfully engineered unit, you get twice the function from a smaller footprint than traditional separate pieces.

Models now available cover designs from budget basic to lavishly customized. And installation can range from DIY to full-service based on your skill level and resources.

Just be sure to carefully measure your available space first when selecting an appropriately sized unit. This guarantees you can fully utilize the fold-down bed functionality central to maximizing small living areas with a desk murphy bed.

Top 5 Desk Murphy Beds

Here are 5 top-rated desk wall bed options showcasing various styles and budget categories:

  1. Best Choice Products Wall Murphy Bed – Space-saving vertical model good for tight spaces. Rustic wood finish. Excellent value under $500.
  2. ATOM Desk Bed – Feature-packed unit with storage drawers and shelves. Quality construction. Around $1500 price range.
  3. Crafters and Weavers Amari Wall Bed Desk – Horizontal design with beautiful contemporary style. Higher end around $2500.
  4. FlyingBeds HD Wall Bed Desk – Very versatile system. Features height customization abilities. Mid-range pricing is near $1800.
  5. Wayfair Basics Murphy Cabinet Bed Desk – Budget vertical lifted model for under $900. Wire management hole in desktop.

Hopefully, this overview gives you a comprehensive idea of the impressive functionality desk murphy beds provide alongside key factors to weigh when considering installing one in your own multipurpose space.

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