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Murphy Bed Kits – Sizes, Costs, Features and Installation Tips

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Introduction to Murphy Bed Kit.

A Murphy bed kit is a complete system that allows you to convert an ordinary room into a guest bedroom. The kit contains all the hardware you need to install a foldable bed that can be stowed away in a cabinet or closet when not in use.

Murphy bed kits are a great solution if you want to add a flexible sleeping space without committing an entire room to a conventional bed. They are commonly used in:

  • Small homes to convert living rooms, dens, or offices into part-time bedrooms
  • Rental units, guest houses, and pool cabanas to accommodate visitors
  • Multipurpose rooms and studio apartments optimize space

Benefits of Murphy bed kits include:

  • Save floor space – Bed folds compactly into wall unit when closed
  • Multipurpose rooms – Room can serve as bedroom + living space
  • Simple installation – Easy DIY for many kits
  • Customization – Many sizes, styles,s, and finish options

Murphy Bed Kit Costs

The price of a Murphy bed kit varies greatly depending on:

  • Materials
  • Size
  • Features
  • Delivery fees
  • Installation costs (if hiring out)

Here is an overview of typical Murphy bed kit costs:

Bed SizeBasic Kit Price Range
Twin$400-$800
Full/Double$700-$1200
Queen$800-$1500
King$900-$1800
California King$1000-$2000+

The basic kit price generally includes:

  • Hardware for mounting and opening/closing
  • Sideboards or cabinets for mounting

You’ll also need to budget for:

  • Mattress
  • Bedding
  • Pillows
  • Installation tools/supplies
  • Potential electrical work for lighting
  • Professional installation fees (avg $800-$1500)

So your total budget for a complete Murphy bed will likely run $1500+ on average.

Standard Murphy Bed Sizes

Murphy beds come in all standard mattress sizes:

Twin Murphy Beds

  • Mattress size: 38″ x 75″
  • Minimum cabinet size: 43” x 83”
  • Best for: Small rooms, home offices, kids rooms, studio apartments

Full/Double Murphy Beds

  • Mattress size: 54” x 75”
  • Minimum cabinet size: 61” x 83”
  • Best for: Medium-sized spare rooms, fold-out sofas alternative

Queen Murphy Beds

  • Mattress size: 60” x 80”
  • Minimum cabinet size: 67” x 87”
  • Best for: Main guest bedrooms

California King Murphy Beds

  • Mattress size: 72” x 84”
  • Minimum cabinet size: 79” x 91”
  • Best for: Tall people that need extra legroom

When choosing a size, make sure you have adequate floor space in the room to fully lower the bed for sleeping. Measure carefully!

Murphy Bed Kit Materials

Kits contain the mounting hardware plus two main components:

Sideboards/Cabinets

The foldable bed and mattress are housed inside sideboards or cabinets when closed. These come in different materials:

  • Wood – Oak, birch, maple. Custom stains/paint available.
  • Laminates – Durable, affordable. Many colors/finishes.
  • Metal – Steel, aluminum. Usually coated for looks and durability.

Hardware

The pistons, pivot bars, lifts, and hinges that allow the opening/closing mechanism to function smoothly and safely:

  • Steel – Strong, durable but heavy. Can be coated in finishes.
  • Aluminum – Lightweight but still sturdy alternative.

See the features and options for customizing your kit below.

Features to Consider

There are a variety of Murphy bed features and customizations to consider depending on your needs, budget, and room setup.

Folding vs Sliding Kits

Folding kits have beds that lift vertically from the cabinet to open. Takes up less depth when open.

Sliding kits have a bed that pulls horizontally out of the cabinet. Needs room extended fully. More prone to alignment/leveling issues over time.

Folding kits are generally recommended for reliability and space-savings.

Orientation

Vertical kits open from the foot of the bed with the headboard stored inside a cabinet. Takes up less floor space when open but you see cabinet exterior vs. decorating headboard.

Horizontal kits deploy the bed sideways. It allows you to see decorative headboards but uses more floor space when open.

Soft-Close Mechanisms

Cushion the closing motion to prevent loudly slamming shut. Useful if noise is a concern.

Storage Cabinets

Integrated drawers, shelves, and closet space allow the use of the unit for more than just the bed. Helpful for small rooms and apartments.

Safety Features

Fingertip releases, ventilation and won’t close with obstructions present. Provide security for kids and pets.

Mattresses

Many kits don’t include. Size to fit bed frames. Consider foam, spring, or latex based on preference.

Bedding/Pillows

Murphy bed-specific bedding/pillows fit kit dimensions. Makes for quick, easy bed-making.

Lighting

Scones or under-bed lighting. Automatic systems trigger lights when opening. Helpful if there is no other room light source.

Entertainment Mounts

Integrated TV mounts or shelves above the bed serve as a media center while reclining.

Where to Buy Murphy Bed Kits

Murphy beds have exploded in popularity in recent years. You can now find them at:

  • Online retailers – Wayfair, Amazon, Walmart, Overstock. Convenient. Most budget-friendly prices.
  • Murphy Bed specialty stores – Murphy Bed USA, Flying Beds, Costco. Largest selections. Custom options.
  • Local furniture stores – Offer a few standard sizes. Support local businesses.
  • Custom workshops – Handmade. Highest quality materials. Credenza/bookshelf combo units.

When choosing a retailer, look for:

  • Detailed sizing guides and room measurements
  • Different style options shown installed
  • Clear imagery of units both open and closed
  • Video demonstrations of the opening/closing functions
  • Examples of real living spaces they are used in
  • Strong reviews and testimonials
  • Responsive customer service reps to answer questions

Murphy Bed Installation

With basic skills and tools, many standard kits can be tackled as a DIY project. More complex installations may require hiring a professional.

DIY Installation Considerations

  • Have at least 2 people for the install
  • Make sure you have drills, stud finder, level, pry bars and screws
  • Set aside 4-6 hours for end-to-end installation
  • Carefully review all instructions before starting
  • Check for obstructions like pipes or wiring behind the installed wall
  • Proper alignment is crucial – measure twice, install once!

Hiring a Professional

Pro installation averages $800-$1500 depending on:

  • Your location
  • Complexity of install
  • Any electrical or carpentry work needed
  • Whether removing old furniture/fixtures

Ensure whoever does the installation secures the bed safely into studs and tests the opening/closing mechanism thoroughly before completing the job.

Electrical and Lighting

Consider wiring for:

  • Side mounted scones
  • Under bed lighting
  • Wall switch to control lights
  • Outlets for chargers, CPAP machines, etc nearby

Ideally have electrical work completed beforehand so the bed can be placed in front of fixtures.

Designing a Room for a Murphy Bed

When planning a space for a Murphy bed, consider:

Layout

  • Murphy beds open lengthwise. Make sure you have enough empty floor space for it to fully extend without blocking doors/walkways.
  • Allow 15-30” clearance in front for making the bed and entering/exiting.
  • Try to install perpendicular to windows to allow natural light while the bed is extended.

Storage Solutions

  • Built-in closets and shelving flanking the bed hide items when folded up.
  • If the room doesn’t have closets, freestanding wardrobes provide clothing storage.
  • Cubbies or cabinets below the bed folded up offer a place to store extra linens.

Multipurpose Space

Without a bed dominating the room, the room can be used for:

  • Office
  • Craft area
  • Kids playroom
  • Sitting room
  • Exercise room

When the bed is extended – it becomes a bedroom!

Safety Tips for Using a Murphy Bed

While cooler than conventional beds, Murphy beds do come with some safety considerations:

Operating Guidelines

  • Make sure all people, pets, and objects are out of the way before lowering
  • Do not hang on the lowered bed or roughhouse around it
  • Take care not to pin clothing or items
  • Do not force the mechanism if obstruction is blocking the closing

Weight Limits

  • Most home Murphy beds have a tested weight capacity of around 600-700 lbs
  • Exceeding could lead to structural failure or damage

Child Safety

  • Lock accessible Murphy beds in an upright position if young children are present
  • Warn kids to keep hands clear of mechanism and not play around beds
  • Consider safety straps that prevent accidental closing

Monitoring and Maintenance

  • Listen for grinding/squeaking indicating worn parts
  • Lubricate hardware every 6 months
  • Watch for loose bolts or sagging chains
  • Have professionally serviced if concerned

Conclusion

Murphy bed kits allow you to transform any room into a functional, comfortable guest or main bedroom when needed while freeing up floor space for other uses when stowed away.

From studio apartments to spare basement rooms, Murphy beds provide affordable, adaptable sleeping solutions for modern lifestyles, while taking up half the footprint of traditional mattress setups.

By following the recommendations on sizing, features, and room layout above combined with professional installation, your Murphy bed can reliably serve your evolving space needs for years to come!

I aimed to provide a comprehensive overview in an easy-to-digest format. Please let me know if you would like me to modify or expand on any sections!

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