Introduction to Murphy Bed Desk
A Murphy bed desk is an innovative hybrid furniture piece that combines a bed and desk in one space-saving unit. The bed can conveniently fold up into an upright position when not in use, revealing a built-in desk or workstation.
Murphy bed desks are ideal solutions for small homes, apartments, studios, and other compact living spaces. They provide dual functionality and maximize usable floor space.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about these transformable Murphy bed desk combos.
What is a Murphy Bed Desk?
A Murphy bed desk (also called a wall bed desk or fold-down desk bed) is a versatile, multifunctional furniture piece that integrates a bed with a desk in one unit.
The key feature that defines a Murphy bed desk is a fold-away bed that can lift up vertically or lower horizontally to reveal a built-in desk or work table. When the bed is folded up, there is a usable floor space for working, dining, studying, or other needs.
Murphy bed desks allow even the smallest home or apartment dwellers to have a guest bed along with a workspace in one compact setup.
The Murphy bed component can be sized as a twin, full, or queen mattress. The desk size and storage layout can be customized to your needs as well.
Below are some of the most popular types of Murphy bed desk configurations:
- Vertical lift Murphy bed desks – The bed unit lifts up vertically into the wall or a closet/cabinet. This style can fit into narrow spaces like alcoves or next to a wall.
- Horizontal fold-down Murphy bed desks – The bed unit lowers horizontally, folding down from a wall or cabinet that supports its weight. This style requires more open wall space.
- Storage cabinet designs – Many Murphy bed desks have built-in storage cabinets underneath the bed frame or within the wall unit. These provide clothing, linen, file, or supply storage when the desk is in use.
Now that you understand the definition and key features of Murphy bed desk combos, let’s look at why you may want one in your home.
Benefits of Murphy Bed Desks
Murphy bed desks offer several smart lifestyle and interior design benefits:
- Maximum space saving – By combining two pieces of furniture in one, Murphy bed desks minimize the bedroom or living room footprint. This allows you to have a guest bed along with a desk/table without sacrificing floor space.
- Dual functionality – One unit seamlessly transforms from a comfortable bed to a fully functional workstation or dining space within minutes.
- Perfect for smaller dwellings – With floorspace at a premium in city apartments, tiny homes, and micro-studios, Murphy bed desks enable comfortable living in compact quarters.
- Cost-effective – Rather than buying a separate bed and desk/table which takes up more space, a Murphy bed desk is a potential cost savings.
If you have limited square footage or want to comfortably accommodate out-of-town guests in your home, a Murphy bed desk creates flexibility and practicality.
Key Considerations When Buying a Murphy Bed Desk
As with any furniture purchase, there are several factors to weigh when choosing a Murphy bed desk:
Intended usage – Will this be used daily as your regular desk or occasionally as a guest bed? Frequent use needs more durable mechanisms/hardware. The standard lift capacity is 300 lbs. Some handle 500 lbs if you plan on full-time heavy usage or multiple sleepers.
Mattress size – Most models come in twin, full, or queen sizes. Choose based on your bedroom dimensions, sleeping preferences for guests or yourself, and how much room you need to work comfortably.
Below-desk storage – Many Murphy bed desks have built-in cabinets or shelves for storage while in desk mode. Assess if you need storage for clothing, office files, electronics, or other gear, and choose a model that can accommodate this.
Desk size and features – Evaluate how you intend to use the desk area. Standard widths allow comfortable laptop use but may not fit extra monitors. Check that the height, depth, style, and accessory options (shelves, lighting) fit your needs.
Cost – Murphy bed desks generally range from $1,200-$3,500+. Custom or hand-crafted versions can be more. Factor in special installation needs if considering DIY to save costs.
Installation requirements – Most Murphy bed desks need professional installation due to gas springs or adapter plates into studs for safety. If wall space is limited, vertical lift or rotational models have smaller profiles. Make sure to check condo rules if relevant.
Let’s explore two of the key components of Murphy bed desks more closely – the desk itself and integrated storage options.
Desk Size and Ergonomic Considerations
Since a good portion of your waking hours may be spent working, studying or dining at your Murphy bed desk, make sure the desk itself is optimized for your needs.
Most standard home office desks range between 50-60” long x 24-30” deep. This is a good guideline for selecting a Murphy bed desk size.
Here are a few other desk specifications to factor:
- Minimum dimensions for comfortable use – 24” deep x 48” wide. This allows enough room for proper laptop ergonomics, writing, dining for 1-2 people, etc.
- Standard desk heights – 28-30” is average. Taller heights around 36” allow standing usage as well.
- The ideal width for computer use is at least 48” wide. 60” is more comfortable for using a laptop alongside documents, monitors, or other gear.
- Legroom – If sitting close to the wall, make sure there is enough leg clearance and room to push back your chair when standing up.
For longevity and correct posture, also consider these ergonomic factors for intensive desk usage:
- Sturdy build that doesn’t wobble when typing
- Adequate surface depth for proper monitor distance
- Keyboard tray if using standalone keyboard
- Proper desk chair height for typing comfort
- Cable holes to reduce clutter
- Task lighting
- Monitor riser/arm to elevate screen height
A well designed murphy bed desk prioritizes both bed AND desk comfort plus takes limited room size into account.
Integrated Storage, Drawers and Compartments
One advantage of murphy bed desks is integrated storage space so you get two functions within one furniture footprint.
When selecting a model, think about what you may need to store when the bed is folded up and you need to access items in desk mode. This helps determine if you need cabinets, shelves, drawers or other built-in compartments.
Here are some popular murphy bed desk storage ideas:
- Drawers for office supplies, electronics and small items
- Hanging shelves that pull out for clothing, linens or towels
- File cabinets for paperwork
- Enclosed cabinets for miscellaneous gear, cleaning supplies etc
- Shelves for books, display items or collectibles
- Hidden safety compartments for valuables
- Discreet cable management holes
Specialized vertical lift Murphy bed desks allow installing pull-out pantries, garment racks, custom closet systems and other storage components you may also find in armoires or wardrobes. This enables using the bed sleeping space for expanded wardrobe and household storage when closet by day.
Getting the right mix of storage options helps maximize the potential functionality of your murphy bed desk.
What Impacts Murphy Bed Desk Costs?
There is quite a wide spectrum when it comes to murphy bed desk prices ranging from:
- Budget – $1200 – $1800
- Mid-Range – $1800 – $2500
- Premium – $2500+
What makes one murphy bed desk more expensive than another? Here are key factors that influence costs:
- Materials used – Affordable options use laminates, melamines and vinyls. Mid-range incorporates hardwoods, leathers, metal and stone accents. Premium is made of fine woods like oak or maple.
- Size – Queen or king sized mattresses cost more than twin or full. Desk width/depth, storage space and bed lift capacity also impact pricing.
- Features – More complex mechanisms, customization options, and high end details raise costs.
- Brand name – Leading designers like Resource Furniture command a designer price tag. Budget imports can be generic unbranded quality.
Like any significant furniture purchase, there is a spectrum between affordable simplicity and high-end bespoke styles at designer prices when buying a murphy bed desk. Determine the balance of size, functionality and cost that best fits your needs.
Now that we’ve covered the key components to look for when selecting a murphy bed desk, let’s go over actually using one properly.
How to Use a Murphy Bed Desk
Using a murphy bed desk combo is meant to be intuitive and seamless once properly installed. But knowing the operation, safety tips and care guidelines helps ensure optimal user experience.
Here is a general step-by-step process for opening and closing your murphy bed desk:
Lower Murphy Bed into Sleeping Position
- Clear any items from top of the desk area and the surrounding floorspace making sure you have adequate room for the bed to fully lower down.
- Locate the opening mechanism (handle, latch, or release locks) typically positioned underneath the desk top, near the bedframe rails or at the bottom panels of the unit.
- Undo any safety latches or locks that secure the bed during vertical storage.
- Gently pull/unfold the release mechanism. This allows the bed to lower down gradually in a controlled manner. Most integrate heavy duty counterbalance springs that enable slow descending without slamming down rapidly.
- Fully unfold bed frame completely until fixed into the sleeping position. Adjust or fluff pillows and make up mattress fully into bed mode.
Lift Murphy Bed Back into Upright Storage Position
- Remove all bedding and pillows from the Murphy bed mattress til fully clear.
- Find the closing mechanism that lifts the bed back up right. This may be side handles, straps or hydraulic push-up poles.
- Use the mechanism to slowly lift the bed from the base upwards against the force of internal springs or cylinders. Continue guidance til fully upright and folded back to original vertical position.
- Secure all safety latches or locks to safely contain the bed frame while stored vertically. This prevents sudden or improper release which can damage lifting arms.
Murphy Bed Desk Safety Tips
When using any furniture with integrated moveable mechanisms like murphy beds and fold-away walls beds, following basic safety common sense helps prevent accidents:
- Keep hands and fingers clear of beds folding mechanisms when opening and closing
- Ensure locking clips or supports are securely fixed in place once bed is positioned
- Do not allow children to play on or operate murphy beds without adult supervision
- Do not store any items on top of the bed when folded into up-right position
- Avoid overly forced pulling on opening/closing handles if resistance is met
- Have professional confirm gas springs engage properly to enable slow lifting motions
- Ensure proper clearance so no risk of hitting walls lights or ceilings when lowering
- If height clearance is limited, use necessary caution not to bump head on bed ends
With routine care, your murphy bed desk can provide safe, smooth daily functioning for years. Notify manufacturer if any mechanical issues arise.
Murphy Bed Desk Cleaning Tips
Since murphy beds see dual duty as both bed and seating area, they need occasional cleaning care for longevity and hygiene. Here are handy maintenance tips:
- Use disinfecting wipes or sprays monthly to sanitize mattress, hardware and surfaces
- Vacuum upholstered cushions/mattresses or woven rug coverings when dirty
- Spot treat fabric or upholstery stains immediately to prevent setting in
- Dust cabinets, ledges, desktops when visibly dusty
- Keep mechanisms lightly lubricated per manual instructions to prevent squeaking
- Tighten loosening screws or hardware over time
With regular quick cleanings, your murphy bed desk will stay looking fresh and prevent build up of dirt in grooves.
Now that you know the essentials of how to operate a murphy bed desk properly, let’s weigh up some of the key pros and cons.
Pros vs Cons of Murphy Bed Desks
As with any hybrid product that multi-functions, there are both advantages and disadvantages to evaluate with murphy bed desks.
What are the Key Pros of Murphy Bed Desks?
Combining bed and desk avoids need for two bulky separate pieces. Even when closed, murphy beds are about the size of a coat closet or armoire. You save precious square footage for living or working.
Rather than buying an additional bed and desk/table which takes up more space, a murphy bed desk can save money long term. It is a particularly smart choice for smaller spaces like studios or one bedrooms.
Convenient and Accessible
Having a comfortable guest bed accessible in your living space, home office, or bedroom enables accommodating visitors or sleeping there yourself as needed. The fold-away function keeps the bed out of the way til required.
What are the Downsides to Consider?
Higher Upfront Cost
Murphy bed desks have more complex engineering with hinges, custom carpentry, and mechanical parts like springs/gas cylinders or reinforcement plates. So the starting price tag is higher than a basic bed or desk.
More Moving Parts Prone to Breaking
The fold down function exposes more gear components to potential loosening, wear and tear or jamming over time. Without proper handling, the heavy bed can slam down or slam ceilingward rapidly. Thorough installer quality checks plus following safety guidelines helps minimize such risks.
Limited Bed Accessibility When Used As Desk
Unlike a typical permanently fixed bed, murphy bed desks lack quick 24/7 access for sleeping. Lowering it requires clearing work items and prepping it into bed formation. The process only takes a few minutes but reduces spontaneity.
If the convenience and space savings outweigh the cons for your needs, a murphy bed desk ultimately enhances room versatility.
Now let’s spotlight the top rated murphy bed desk options worth considering.
Best Murphy Bed Desks
With growing mainstream popularity, many major furniture brands now offer their own unique murphy bed desks versions.
When reviewing the highest quality options praised for functional design, robust hardware and seamless transitions between bed and desk modes, a few names stand out repeatedly across best of reviews and customer feedback.
Here is a highlight of top rated murphy bed desks worth checking out:
|Elia Vertical Murphy Bed Desk
|Weisman Wall Murphy Bed Desk
|Glenn Murphy Storage Bed Desk
|Wayfair Sleep Philosophy
|Declare Horizontal Fold Down Murphy Bed Desk
|Crafty Desk Beds
|Lexington Murphy Bed Desk Combo
This covers prominent brands with reputations for well designed murphy bed desks worth your investment. Shop around for sales on floor models or special discounts that make these more affordable.
Finding the right blend of size, configuration, price and quality level that fits your needs results in happy ownership.
Murphy Bed Desk FAQs
For those new to the idea of a murphy bed desk combination, naturally many questions come up.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked queries about using these multi-functional pieces:
Do I need professional installation for my murphy bed desk?
Yes. Unlike standalone beds or desks, murphy bed desks have complex, heavy folding mechanisms needing exact hardware fixes and reinforcements into walls and flooring. Always hire a certified installer or assembly team to ensure structural safety.
How much weight can a murphy bed hold if used every day?
The standard mattress lift capacity is around 300 lbs for two average weight adults. But dual lift hydraulic systems or reinforced beds can handle 500 lbs for heavier daily usage.
Can tall or overweight people comfortably use a murphy bed desk?
Many quality models cater to taller people around 6’5” with extra mattress length options. And heavy duty steel frames with thicker, reinforced stabilization legs easily hold heavier occupants. Shop accordingly to mattress/frame specs.
Are murphy bed desks safe for kids?
Supervised young kids can safely enjoy murphy beds for occasional fun. But the folding mechanisms make them unsuitable for unattended play or letting children operate them without adult help. Enact strict safety rules.
How much space do I need to install a murphy bed desk?
- Horizontal Fold Downs: Need about 1.5 times width of bed available when open for clearance. So a standard 60