A horizontal Murphy bed is a popular variety of fold-up, space-saving bed that lies flat and hinges horizontally to store upright against a wall. This type of Murphy bed is an excellent choice when you want to incorporate a bed in a room without dedicating a permanent floor space.
What is a Horizontal Murphy Bed?
Unlike vertical Murphy beds that fold up on their side, horizontal Murphy beds fold down from the wall to a flat position.
Key benefits of horizontal Murphy beds include:
- Smaller footprint – Requires less open floor space than sofa beds or vertical Murphy beds
- Easier to open and close than vertical options
- More design flexibility for the use of the room
Murphy beds first emerged in the early 1900s to maximize space in small apartments. The horizontal style has grown in popularity in recent years thanks to its versatility and convenience.
Horizontal Murphy Bed Designs
Horizontal Murphy beds come in a variety of sizes and configurations:
- Single horizontal Murphy beds – Twin mattress suitable for one sleeper
- Double/full horizontal Murphy beds – Full/double mattresses for single or couples
- Queen horizontal Murphy beds – Queen-sized mattress, ideal for couples
- Horizontal Murphy bunk beds – Stacked twin beds perfect for kids’ rooms or extra guests
The frame, hardware, and mechanisms may differ slightly between these sizes to support the mattress weight. But overall, the concept remains the same.
You’ll also find differences in materials like wood finishes, available storage options, and style of hardware. More customization is often possible on higher-end horizontal Murphy beds.
Space Saving Advantages
One of the biggest perks of a horizontal Murphy bed is its minimal footprint. By folding flush to the wall, you can create a bedroom literally anywhere without claiming permanent floor space.
- Smaller footprint – Uses less floorspace than sofa beds or vertical Murphy beds
- Create a bedroom anywhere – Even in a small home office, living room or guest room
- Multifunctionality – Use the room for other purposes whenever the bed is in the upright stored position
This versatility means horizontal Murphy beds are great options for:
- Studio apartments
- Shared living spaces
- Home offices
- Guest rooms
- Kid bedrooms
- Multipurpose rooms
- And more!
With creative, integrated storage solutions, the bed can entirely disappear into the wall. This leaves maximum space for other furniture and activities.
Some horizontal Murphy beds even come with optional desks, cabinets, shelves, and seating that match the materials and finishes of the bed. This creates a cohesive, custom built-in look when the bed is stored.
How a Horizontal Murphy Bed Works
While designs vary across models, most horizontal Murphy beds share common mechanics.
Components typically include:
- Frame – Supports the mattress and hardware
- Hinges – Allow sideways rotation between vertical and flat
- Hardware – Pistons or springs that guide opening and closing
- Mattress – Thinner than average mattresses reduce weight
- Safety features – Locks and braces hold the bed vertical when not in use
The basic folding-up process is:
- Release safety locks or braces
- Gently pull the bed away from the wall horizontally
- Springs or pistons engage to slowly unfold the bed to flat position
- Pistons soften weight when lowering the bed fully horizontal
- Refold in reverse pushing bed to wall to re-engage locks
It’s important to have properly weighted hinges and hardware calibrated to the mattress to ensure smooth operation. Reputable manufacturers over-engineer the lifts and mechanisms needed to prevent slamming or dropping.
Considerations When Buying a Horizontal Murphy Bed
If you’re looking to purchase a horizontal Murphy bed, keep the following considerations in mind:
- Quality of materials and hardware – Choose solid wood over veneers or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) when possible. Opt for steel or cast iron pistons over cheaper polyurethane lifts.
- Customization options – Measure space carefully and look for beds sized appropriately. Choose finish, wood type, and optional furniture pieces.
- Delivery and installation – Unit shipping and professional installation may add cost. But worth it to prevent damages or improper assembly.
- Budget – Horizontal Murphy beds range widely from about $1,200-$5,000+ depending on materials, size, customization, and more.
Be sure to measure carefully and educate yourself before purchasing. A reputable retailer will guarantee the bed’s operation and condition when professionally installed.
Ideal Room Types and Layouts
Thanks to its multi-functional design, a horizontal Murphy bed works well integrated into all kinds of room layouts and purposes including:
The minimal floor space required is perfect for transforming tiny living rooms or dining areas into a bedroom at night. Look for vertical storage cabinets next to the bed.
Add a comfortable guest bed to a spare home office when needed. Opt for a matching Murphy desk and storage to eliminate the need for a separate guest room.
Integrate a horizontal murphy in multipurpose rooms, like basement rec rooms or lofts. Use space for play by day, and sleep at night.
Rather than dedicate permanent space to a rarely used guest bed, stow it on the wall of a spare room or even hallway. Pull out when the company stays over.
Kids’ Rooms and Bunk Beds
Double up on floor area with horizontal bunk beds perfect for siblings sharing rooms, play areas, and sleepovers.
Look for units with integrated shelves, cabinets, closets and desks to enhance functionality when the bed is out of the way.
Maximize Murphy beds as part of an overall space-saving furniture plan. Folding chairs, tables, cabinets and more means the room completely transforms when the bed is stowed.
Decor and Design Ideas
A horizontal Murphy bed doesn’t have to look awkward or out of place. With some creative design choices, it can blend seamlessly into room decor when closed.
- Matching furniture – Like modular closets, tables, chairs, cabinets
- Coordinating paint colors on walls and trim
- Lighting fixtures – Sconces, track lighting or recessed lights
- Window treatments – Curtains, blinds, and valances in similar tones
- Artwork – Oversized canvas prints covering the bed area make it disappear
- Accessories – Vases, trays, plants, and decor in related color schemes
This visually minimizes the bed so the space appears like an everyday living or work area when closed upright.
Then, the surprise of pulling a full-sized bed out of the wall delights guests. It adds fun and personality to small or restrictive spaces.
Summary & Conclusion – Horizontal Murphy Bed
Horizontal Murphy beds provide incredible space-saving possibilities without sacrificing comfort and function. By folding flush to the wall, the bed’s footprint disappears allowing room double purpose.
Key benefits include:
- Save floorspace with a smaller footprint
- Create guest beds, offices, playrooms, and more
- Design flexibility to use rooms for multiple functions
- Easy to open and close
- Cost-effective way to add extra sleep space
When shopping, carefully measure your space and research reputable retailers. Focus on quality materials and hardware paired with integrated storage solutions. With some creative design, your horizontal Murphy bed can disappear against the wall or become a beautiful multipurpose focal point.
The versatility of these beds provides the ultimate space-saving flexibility while maintaining style and comfort when unfolding. Give yourself the gift of extra square footage by going horizontal with your next Murphy bed purchase.
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