What’s the Difference Between a Murphy Bed and a Wall Bed?

What’s the Difference Between a Murphy Bed and a Wall Bed?

If you’re looking for an innovative way to save space in your home or apartment, you may have heard about Murphy beds or Wall beds as an amazing way to expand the functionality of almost any room. These two terms are frequently used interchangeably and they can describe the same product so there is no difference for their use in modern terms. While the term Murphy Bed and Wall bed can be the same this does not mean all designs are equal. There are some key differences to be aware of as you shop for the perfect solution for your home. Check out this guide to learn about the unique features of each type of space saving bed as you decide which choice is best for you!

What's the Difference Between a Murphy Bed and a Wall Bed?

What’s the Origin of Murphy Bed?

The Murphy bed was first developed in San Francisco in the late 1800s by a man who needed a way to fold a bed into the wall so that he could utilize his small apartment space for multiple purposes. With this goal in mind, he developed a metal bed frame that could fold into a closet so that the space was open. Modern Murphy beds have been further developed so that they no longer use closet space, but are often paired with a sofa, desk, bookcase, or cabinet for storage in order to provide an aesthetic appearance.

How Did Wall Beds Evolve as an Alternative to Murphy Beds?

Although the Murphy bed was popular, some people did not want to use a closet for storing the bed, so the wall bed was developed. This model typically folds into a cabinet that is mounted to the wall. When a person was ready to sleep, they could simply open the cabinet and pull out the bed, rather than using an entire closet to store the bed. The cabinet feature gave wall beds more furniture-like design options. Modern wall beds  and Murphy Beds now use gas-charged pistons to make the bed fold up and back, which greatly reduces the weight that individuals must lift when they want to use the bed or put it away.

Murphy Beds vs. Wall Beds: Which One is Right for Your Space?

Both Murphy beds and wall beds are are used to describe a space saving fold up bed. These modern Murphy Beds are even available as combinations with sofas, couches, desks, cabinets, and even revolving bookcases in order to provide ultimate storage solutions while remaining out of the way when not in use. The mattresses are available in twin, full, and queen size with plenty of comfort and cushion to promote a good night’s sleep. Murphy beds are popularly used in studio apartments, living rooms, spare bedrooms, cabins, and more.

These beds can be built with different types of frames. Some designs use metal frames with springs, while more modern beds tend to be built with wood slats and utilize a piston or other alternative lifting system.

What Are the Key Factors to Consider When Deciding Between a Murphy Bed or a Wall Bed?

Consider the footprint the bed takes up in your home. Some Murphy Beds are built with a deep cabinet while others are built with a shallow depth. Both of these space-saving bed depths offer unique advantages. One is not necessarily better than the other. A deeper cabinet will allow a thicker mattress but it also extends out further into the room. A shallow cabinet saves some space but at the expense of a thinner mattress. You can find something in between and a 10″ mattress with a 15.75″ closed bed depth has become a popular size for an optimal space saving design that works with a comfortable mattress. Some additional considerations you may want to look at before making a decision include the following:

Construction Materials

Ensure that you purchase a Murphy bed or wall bed from a company who has a reputation for quality mechanics and hardware. Don’t purchase a cheap bed from a manufacturer who cuts corners on quality and has poor metal work or mechanics. Not only will the bed be difficult to move and uncomfortable, but it won’t last long.

Weight Capacity

Murphy beds can mostly hold a high weight capacity that easily supports 2 adults. However some Murphy Beds are much harder to lift back up if they don’t have balanced mechanics and a well built design.

Ease of Assembly

Trade off of partially assembled vs flat packed. Some Wall beds are shipped with some boxes and parts partially assembled, which makes the process of assembly much quicker and more convenient. With an assembled frame this usually is also a much stronger design as it is often welded. Unfortunately, this means the boxes will be heavier and larger, and may be more difficult to maneuver into your home and the system likely cost more. On the other hand a flat packed Murphy beds may be shipped completely in parts which usually results in a cheaper cost and a longer assembly time. Often the partially assembled units will be of higher quality with stronger parts as they are welded together.


A quality space saving furniture supplier offers attractive style options for Murphy wall beds which means you’re sure to find one that you love. You can find both types of beds combined with comfortable sofas, attractive cabinets, shelving space, rotating bookcases, desks, and other combinations that help you save space and maximize storage.


Most Murphy wall beds have queen or king size, twin, twin XL, and full sizes.


Some Murphy and wall beds secure to the wall at the head of the bed, while others will hinge on the long side of the bed. There are pros and cons to each type, and it may take some measuring to see which will be a better fit in your home.

Maximize The Potential of your Home with Expand Furniture’s Murphy & Wall Beds

If you’re ready to learn more about the benefits of space saving furniture or want to find the perfect model for your home, visit Expand Furniture to discover your options! We offer the widest selection of high quality Murphy beds and wall beds in various sizes, styles, and colors, combined with sofas, desks, bookcases, and more. Our customer service team is ready to walk you through the options and help you discover the perfect fit for your home. Visit our website and contact us today!


Expand Furniture

2050 Scotia St #108
Vancouver, BC V5T-4T1

Phone: 778-580-7818