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The Ultimate Guide to Murphy Bed with Desks (10 Key Buying Tips)



Introduction to Murphy Bed with Desk

Murphy beds with desks are innovative space-saving furniture solutions that serve double duty – transforming from a bed to a desk and back again in seconds. As small living spaces become more popular, Murphy bed-desk combos maximize every inch.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about Murphy beds with built-in desks: key buying considerations, mechanism and hardware options, installation, placement in your home, and decor ideas to integrate these multi-functional units.

What is a Murphy Bed With Desk ” Combo ”?

A Murphy bed desk combo, sometimes called a wall bed desk, is essentially a fold-down bed that has an integrated desk surface on the underside of the bed frame. When folded up into the wall, the desk can be used for working, crafting, reading, or extra counter space. Then the bed can be pulled down at night for sleeping.

Benefits include:

  • Save space in studio apartments, tiny homes, spare rooms, offices, and more
  • Get double-duty furniture – bed + desk in one unit
  • Easy to open and close with hydraulic lifts
  • Contemporary, space-saving style

Standard Murphy beds only provide a sleeping solution. The Murphy bed desk combo takes it to the next level by adding an extra usable surface for productivity, tasks, dining, or projects.

Are Murphy Beds with Desks Right for You?

Before purchasing a Murphy bed with a desk, analyze your space, lifestyle, and needs:

Assess Your Space

  • What are the room dimensions? Include ceiling height.
  • Are there any doors, windows, plumbing, or wiring to work around?
  • Is there an adjacent wall for the bed to fold up against?

Determine Your Needs

  • Will the desk be used for work, office tasks, or hobby projects?
  • Do you need shelving for storage, books, and supplies?
  • Will guests use the Murphy bed for sleeping?
  • Is a trundle bed needed for extra sleep space?

Decor & Style

  • What design style do you want it to match – modern, contemporary, industrial, etc?
  • Should it blend seamlessly into your existing decor?
  • Do you want bold colors or neutral wood tones?

Once you analyze your space, functional needs, and style preferences, you can zero in on the right Murphy bed desk solution for your home.

Key Considerations When Buying

There are several options and configurations to choose from when shopping for a Murphy bed combo unit. Consider these key factors:

Murphy Bed Size

Standard mattress sizes for Murphy beds with Desk include:

  • Twin (39″ x 75″) – best for home offices or kids rooms
  • Full (54″ x 75″) – fits most small spaces
  • Queen (60″ x 80″) – most popular for comfortable adult sleeping

The bed size affects room dimensions when open. Factor in proper clearances for opening and closing too.

Integrated Desk Size

Typical desk depths are:

  • 20 to 24 inches deep
  • 30 to 36 inches fits most tasks
  • Adjustable depth mechanisms available

The wider the desk depth the larger the unit footprint. Decide if you’ll use it for a computer workstation or casual tasks.

Storage Options

Many Murphy bed-desk combos offer integrated shelving and storage solutions above, below or surrounding the bed including:

  • Cupboards
  • File cabinets
  • Shelves for books, office supplies, clothes
  • Baskets or cubbies

Consider how you’ll use the storage when selecting options. Closed storage helps keep clutter out of sight.


Murphy bed desks come in a variety of finish options:

  • Wood types – oak, maple, cherry, etc. More premium in cost. Provides classic warmth.
  • Laminates – vinyl or thermally fused. Affordable, durable. Modern look.
  • Metals – aluminum, steel. Sleek industrial aesthetic. Sturdy but light.

The materials not only impact cost but also tie into room decor. Match or complement your existing furnishings.

Special Features

Higher-end models offer special features like:

  • Integrated lighting under the bed for desk tasks
  • Electrical outlets, USB charging ports in the desk
  • Headboards, cubbies, and other built-ins

Include any must-have features in your budget. These elevate the functionality of a basic Murphy bed desk.


Budget Murphy bed desks start around $1,200. Consider what features are non-negotiable vs “nice to have”. Prices increase for:

  • Larger queen and king bed sizes
  • Solid wood overlaminates
  • More storage elements
  • Special features like lighting and charging ports
  • Delivery and professional installation

Now that key criteria are covered, let’s look at options for smooth opening and closing mechanisms.

Murphy Bed Combo Mechanisms and Hardware

The means of lifting, lowering, and tilting the bed frame are what transforms this clever furnishing from bed to desk positions.

Mechanisms should open and close smoothly and safely. Several hardware systems and options are available.

Folding Mechanisms

Vertical lift – The entire bed lifts vertically before folding down. Takes less space but a higher lifted weight.

Tilt lift – bed frame tilts up slightly then folds down flat. Requires less ceiling clearance. Lower weight capacity.

Choose based on your space. Tilting versions work better in shorter ceiling rooms but can’t hold as heavy of mattresses.

Opening & Closing

Gas springs – use hydraulics for smooth, nearly effortless lifting. Allows anyone to easily open and close.

Assisted lift – uses springs or counterbalanced bars to offset weight. Cheaper but more effort to lift the bed.

Go for gas lift mechanisms if concerned about the physical ability to lift the bed on your own. Very easy one-handed operation.

Safety Features

No one wants a bed frame crashing down unexpectedly. Several safety mechanisms give peace of mind:

Safety bracket – secures bed to wall in folded position so it can’t slam down if released. Essential feature!

Child safety – integrated locks prevent kids from releasing latched beds. Avoid finger pinching too.

Slow close – gas springs or springs prevent the bed from slamming down rapidly.

Don’t sacrifice safety! Prioritize key features that prevent accidents and pinched fingers when operating the unit.

Mounting Equipment

Proper installation is imperative. Most Murphy beds attach to the wall for security. Hardware may include:

  • Steel braces or rails
  • L-brackets
  • Wall anchors or toggles
  • Fasteners like lag screws

Consider DIY skills vs hiring a handyman or carpenter for installation. Complex mechanisms require precision.

Now that interior components are understood, let’s explore the installation process.

Murphy Bed Desk Installation

Installing a Murphy bed desk combo involves carefully mounting the steel frame, inserting the mattress, and testing the opening/closing function.

Let’s explore the DIY skills needed vs hiring a professional.

DIY Installation Considerations

Assembling and mounting a Murphy bed desk on your own is complex. It requires:

  • 2+ people for lifting and fitting joints/hardware
  • Structural knowledge of load capacities
  • Using power and hand tools properly
  • Precision measuring skills
  • Patience dealing with finicky mechanisms and hardware

Consider if these skills align with your abilities or seek help. Rushing through installation risks safety.

Professional Installation

Seeking professional assistance is advised to:

  • Assess all load capacities
  • Recommend mounting hardware needs
  • Provide liability if hardware fails or accidents occur
  • Install complicated mechanisms properly
  • Offer product warranty support if issues arise

Hiring a carpenter or contractor with Murphy bed experience removes the guesswork and anxiety of doing it yourself.

Cost Comparison

Installation TypeAverage Cost
DIY$120+ (hardware only)
Professional Install$400-$800

Factor hire cost into the overall project budget. Peace of mind hiring a pro may outweigh DIY cost savings through their expertise in mounting, safe operation, and warranty support.

Room layout, proximity to windows and doors, and decor style play key roles in integrating your new Murphy bed desk.

Design & Placement Tips

Strategic placement of your Murphy bed desk combo allows full functionality of sleeping and working. It also keeps an aesthetically pleasing room design.

Complement Room Decor

A hideaway wall bed disappearing into your room should blend with – not stick out – in the decor when closed.

  • Choose finishes like wood types and colors that match existing furniture
  • Incorporate decor pillows, throws, and lighting to tie in with style
  • Hide clutter in cupboards; use streamlined furniture shapes

Styles That Work Well

Murphy bed desks align with these interior design aesthetics:

Contemporary – fits sleek, modern aesthetics with neutral tones

Industrial – metal finishes complement exposed pipes and brick

Mission/Arts & Crafts – solid wood compliments earthy style

Farmhouse – white painted wood with storage works well

Strategic Placement

Carefully consider clearance, spatial impact, and functionality based on placement.

Allow Enough Clearance

  • 30-34” clearance in front for pull-down opening
  • 12-14” clearance above for lift hardware
  • 5-7” on sides for clearance getting in and out of bed

Living Area Size

  • Pull-down beds allow larger living areas when closed
  • Fold-up beds work well in studio apartments

Choose furniture layout wisely so the room doesn’t feel cramped when the bed is down.

Optimal Positions

Corner – Allows bed access from both sides. Ensures walk-around space.

On Adjacent Wall – Requires less depth than corner.

At End of Hallway – Leaves main room open if in a small home.

Above Regular Bed – Utilizes vertical space above low platform bed.

Getting the placement right from the start prevents frustrating rearrangements down the road.

Now that major criteria are covered for buying and installing Murphy bed desks, it’s time to summarize key pointers.


Murphy beds with integrated desks offer the ultimate space-saving solution for optimizing room functionality. By stowing away the bed when not sleeping, a desk surface becomes available for work, hobbies, dining, and more.

Important factors covered include:

  • Assessing room space limitations
  • Choosing bed size, desk size, and storage options
  • Mechanisms for smooth opening and closing
  • Hiring professional installation
  • Design and placement considerations

With thorough planning and strategic placement, Murphy bed desk combos transform living areas and maximize every inch of real estate.

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