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Twin Murphy Beds – Complete Guide to Maximize Small Spaces



Introduction to Twin Murphy Bed

A twin Murphy bed is a versatile space-saving solution that folds vertically or horizontally into a cabinet or wall to stow away neatly when not in use. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about twin Murphy beds, including ideal room types, storage customizations, installation tips, top brands, and design inspiration to maximize small spaces.

What are Twin Murphy Beds?

A Murphy bed is a foldable bed that can be folded up and stored vertically or horizontally in a closet or flat against a wall. The key mechanism allows the bed to effortlessly fold down when needed for sleeping and fold back up to reclaim floor space when guests leave.

Twin Murphy beds specifically refer to a Murphy bed designed for a standard twin-size mattress approximately 38 x 75 inches. Twin Murphy beds are available in different configurations:

  • Standard twin-folds down to a typical twin mattress sleeping surface for one person
  • Split twin – Allows for two separate twin mattresses that can fold together into one unit
  • Stacked twin – A vertical configuration with one twin stacked above another

Murphy Bed Mechanisms

There are a few types of Murphy bed mechanisms:

  • Vertical lift – The whole mattress unit lifts vertically from the base of a cabinet and rotates down parallel to the floor
  • Horizontal lift – The mattress unit lifts horizontally out from a cavity in the wall and lowers down to the floor
  • Pivoting bed – The unit is hinged at one end and the mattress pivots down from the vertical cavity

Most twin Murphy beds today utilize metal springs or pistons within mounting brackets and steel frames to smoothly lift and lower the bed. Precise engineering ensures years of reliable opening and closing.

Pros vs Cons Compared to Traditional Beds


  • Save a tremendous amount of floor space
  • Increase room versatility
  • Affordable compared to custom cabinetry
  • Conveniently conceal bed when not in use


  • Upfront installation cost
  • Weight and usage limitations
  • Accessibility considerations with storage
  • Generally less comfortable than a traditional bed base

While a Murphy bed comes at a higher upfront cost compared to a basic bed frame, the value lies in reclaiming square footage and room utility.

Why Choose Twin Murphy Beds?

There are several key reasons twin Murphy beds make excellent additions to small spaces:

  • Space Saving Design: Folding vertically or horizontally into a wall or cabinet conceals the mattress and frees up the floor area when the bed is not in use.
  • Storage Customization: Integrated shelves, cabinets, and other storage customizations allow you to maximize the empty space behind or around the folded twin Murphy bed.
  • Affordable Pricing: Prefabricated twin Murphy bed units cost significantly less than hiring a carpenter to construct a customized built-in bed cabinetry unit. High-quality twin Murphy beds start around $1,200.
  • Seamless Integration: With multiple wood finish options available, you can integrate a horizontal or vertical twin Murphy easily into existing room décor by matching the finishes of other furniture pieces and cabinets.

Ideal Room Types and Configurations

Twin Murphy beds work excellently as primary beds or secondary beds for guests in the following rooms:

  • Small guest rooms
  • Home offices
  • Children’s bedrooms
  • Studio and one-bedroom apartments

Consider your room dimensions, sleeping requirements, and cabinetry or wall space availability when selecting from these twin Murphy bed configurations:

Standard TwinUnit integrated into long horizontal cavity flush in the wall
Split TwinSeparate fold-down units for two 38”x 75” twin mattresses side-by-side
Stacked TwinUpper twin vertically stacked above a lower twin in a two-sleeper bunk bed design
HorizontalUnit integrated into long horizontal cavity flush in wall
Vertical LiftFolds down into a typical 38” x 75″ single twin-size mattress for one sleeper

Also, decide whether you need the operational twin Murphy bed to fold down in a horizontal or vertical orientation relative to the wall or cabinet it is mounted on.

Optionally, many companies sell matching standalone nightstands or other furniture that integrate with the look and feel of your Murphy bed unit.

Storage and Customization Options

One advantage of investing in a Murphy bed system is the ability to customize storage and design features:

  • Integrated Shelving: Open and closed cabinets, shelves, drawers
  • Desks: Fold-down work surface desks
  • Headboards: Upholstered, wooden, metal framed
  • Lighting: Touch lights, scones, or under-bed lighting
  • Finishes: Paint, stain, and wrap to match existing décor

Work with your twin Murphy bed manufacturer to create storage that suits your precise needs around the bed. Factors like room dimensions, oversized furniture clearance, and anticipated storage use cases will determine what type of storage works best.

Some units even allow you to install a mounted TV that appears when folded up!

Installation Tips

Proper installation is critical for the functionality, safety, and spacing of your Murphy bed unit. Here are key guidelines:

Mounting Considerations

  • Freestanding – Unit with a cabinet that acts as its own stabilizer without mounting to a wall. Requires securing to the floor.
  • Wall-mounted – Install mounting brackets directly into wall studs for stability

Installation Steps

  1. Mark stud locations and points for fastening hardware
  2. Secure mounting rails vertically to wall studs
  3. Lift bed frame onto rails and fasten securely into place
  4. Tes bed unit by lowering and raising
  5. Finish cabinet frames around the bed as needed for built-in aesthetic

Spacing Guidelines

  • Place at least 30 inches of clearance space in front for the mattress to fully extend down
  • Allow 14-16 inches of overhead clearance above the lifted bed’s highest point
  • Position at least 4 inches from surrounding walls for cabinet doors or shelving room

Safety Precautions

  • Ensure mounting rails can support the bed’s weight capacity
  • Only occupy a lowered bed for sleeping. Do not sit on an upright folded bed.
  • Use safety straps during installation and teach children proper use

Always consult your manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation procedures. Consider hiring a contractor experienced in Murphy bed systems for the most seamless and safe mounting system.

Top Brands & Models

Several leading furniture brands offer quality twin Murphy bed systems with convenient online ordering. Here is an overview:

Clei Furniture – Founded in Italy, Clei makes Italian-imported wall beds that highlight fine craftsmanship and evenly weighted mechanisms guaranteed to last for years of regular use. Their Eco System line features environmentally friendly designs made with recyclable aluminum and sustainable wood finishes.

  • The Elizabeth model is quite customizable in terms of finishes. Their unique Lean To system lets you position two separate twin beds side-by-side.

Flying Beds – This woman-owned Austin-based company prides itself on American-made craftsmanship and easy online ordering with transparent pricing. Their horizontal Murphy beds boast smooth horizontal lift opening mechanisms made from steel and aircraft cables.

  • Their standard Classic panel twin bed offers a cost-effective model made from eco-friendly bamboo.

Expand Furniture – Expand offers vertical cabinet Murphy beds and customizable storage solutions catered to apartment living. Their heritage dates back over 60 years as an employee-owned manufacturer based in Indiana focusing on American-crafted quality.

  • The Collins model works well stacked in vertical configurations for two twin sleepers. The Dakota model optimizes floor space as a horizontal configuration.

Design Inspiration for Small Spaces

When integrated thoughtfully, twin Murphy beds allow you to design truly multifunctional spaces regardless of room size.

Twin murphy guest room

This guest room features a horizontally mounted twin Murphy bed flanked by open shelving. When folded up, the room converts into a home office.

Vertical twin murphy bedroom

This kids’ bedroom utilizes empty vertical space with an elevated twin Murphy bunk bed for maximizing limited square footage.

For even more inspiration, browse online design galleries showcasing the many applications of Murphy beds in small multipurpose rooms. With some creativity, a twin Murphy bed can transform seemingly unusable spaces into comfortable sleeping areas and more.

Conclusion – Twin Murphy Bed

Twin Murphy beds provide innovative solutions for maximizing room versatility through space-saving folding beds hidden away when not needed. This guide covered key considerations ranging from ideal room layouts, customization options, reputable brands, and installation best practices to help inform your buying decision. Just remember to measure carefully and ensure adequate clearance space for smooth functionality. With some creative planning around room layout and storage, a twin Murphy bed allows you to comfortably welcome overnight guests and reclaim precious square footage.

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