Does a Murphy Bed Require Wall Mounting?

Murphy bed is a go-to solution for maximizing space, yet many people have never seen one in action. They're left with all kinds of questions about how they work, including whether wall mounting is necessary for installation.

Most people think that Murphy beds are only used for a small bedroom or in a studio apartment. But in truth, they have the ability to expand the functionality of any space. Spare rooms or guest rooms can double as yoga studios, home offices, children’s playrooms, and just about anything you could imagine once a Murphy bed is in its upright position.  

Murphy beds are becoming increasingly popular. Still, there are several things to consider before your purchase. One of the most common questions from customers is: “How does a Murphy bed attach to the wall?”

Here is everything you need to know to answer this often-asked question. 

Does a Murphy Bed Need to be Mounted to a Wall?

Is Wall Mounting Necessary for a Wall Bed?

The most common Murphy bed options are floor-mounted or wall-mounted, which indicates where the bed will be secured.

Floor mounting is required by traditional spring mechanism systems. This stabilizes it, but it usually causes permanent damage to the floor, according to home improvement expert Bob Vila. Spring mechanisms are counterbalanced to lower and lift the Murphy bed. Floor mounted units are also more difficult to remove once installed. 

The majority of Murphy beds on the market do require wall mounting. Wall-mounted units attach to studs and can generally be moved without causing much damage. Traditional wall-mounted Murphy beds rely on air piston lifting mechanisms to raise the bed platform up and down. 

Depending on the model you select, different Murphy beds require different tools for installation. This is because most Murphy beds rely on either traditional spring-based or piston-based lifting mechanisms.

Unlike other Murphy beds on the market, the Lori Wall Bed has no mechanical aids for lifting and lowering the platform. This makes installation that much smoother—and safer—because it doesn’t involve coiled springs. It's a mechanism-free solution that can be lifted and lowered by hand. 

If you want to preserve your floors, baseboards, and molding, the Lori Wall Bed is a solid alternative because it doesn’t have a lifting mechanism which needs to create tension near the base of the bed to lift the mattress. The bed uses a standalone platform that only attaches to the cabinet when it’s in the upright position, meaning there’s very little weight, if any, pulling against the wall. 

(Speaking of weight, find out how much weight a Murphy bed can hold here)

What You’ll Need to Install a Murphy Bed

Does a Murphy Bed Need to be Mounted to a Wall?

Here’s a list of the equipment you’ll want to have around when installing your Murphy bed:

  • Safety equipment. Gloves, protective eyewear, earplugs and dust masks all make woodworking safer and more comfortable
  • Power drill, for driving screws and drilling pilot holes
  • Standard drill bits
  • Stud finder
  • Measuring tape, pencil, level, etc. These are not strictly required, but may come in handy
  • Paint or stain, sandpaper, brushes, etc. for finishing your project

    Wall Mounting and Installation for a Murphy Bed 

    The first step involves using your stud-finder to locate the studs (the vertical, wood 2x4’s) behind the drywall where you want to install your Murphy bed. Typically, studs are spaced out every 16-inches. This may vary depending on how your house was built. To make it easy to locate, most electronic stud finders beep once it discovers the right spot to drill. 

    Next, mark the location of the studs on the upper bed brace.

    Grab screws and drill through the marked points to create a pilot hole through the brace and into the stud. Lori Wall Beds provides large fender washers with its ready-to-install kits. The washers should be fitted around the screw to further secure the bed’s position to the wall. Don’t fully tighten your anchors until you are sure everything is where you want it. Small adjustments are helpful at the end. Once you have the position you desire, tighten them down.

    Pro tip: If you plan on painting or staining your Murphy bed, Lori Wall Beds recommends doing wood finishing before the installation. 

    (Check out our bed building 101 guide next)

    Other Considerations Before Installing a Murphy Bed

    Vertical vs. Horizontal Frames 

    Murphy beds are housed in a cabinet that has to be mounted to the wall for security. When the bed lifts up, it becomes flush against the wall, revealing cabinets, shelves, paneling, or a desk that instantly changes the function of a room. Traditionally, customers can choose from two types of frames: vertical and horizontal. Each requires a different level of effort when it comes to installation. 

    Vertically mounted Murphy beds tend to have more installation steps compared to horizontal models because horizontally mounted Murphy beds have a lower center of gravity and are far less likely to tip than vertical options, according to the experts at Go Downsize

    Freestanding Murphy Bed Models

    No-mount Murphy beds are probably the only option for renters whose landlords refuse to allow them to drill holes in the walls, or for those who simply don’t want to drill holes in the walls. As the name suggests, there is no wall mounting required. So, how does a freestanding Murphy bed work?

    According to Expand Furniture, with free standing Murphy beds, “The legs are attached to a desk to provide a counterbalance for the bed unit. The bed does not have to be mounted to the wall because the metal legs prevent the unit from toppling over.”

    Freestanding models are also more portable than wall mounted units, making it a more flexible alternative Murphy bed option for people who move around frequently. One major drawback to a no-mount wall bed is the cost. There are limited options on the market, and they cost close to $5,000. 

    In our experience, Murphy bed assembly typically takes two to four hours for one person working alone. With the help of a partner, it can take less than two hours.

    At Lori Wall Beds, our mission is to put the wall bed within everyone's reach. That's why we've designed step-by-step plans that make assembling the Lori Wall Bed a breeze for even a novice. Each part of the process is detailed with pictures and explained in plain English. You can also follow along with our assembly video to see how to assemble the bed, including how to properly mount a Murphy bed to the wall. 

    Did you enjoy this post about wall mounting and Murphy beds?

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    This post was first published in 2020. It was updated in 2022 just for you. 


    • Gina Brichoux

      Can I attach a TV to the underside of the vertical lori wall bed in the recess between the horizontal cross pieces (where the “shelf” is)? Any special instructions for that?


    • Alex

      You can. Water can migrate through concrete, so I would attach wooden sleepers ( strips of wood) to the concrete using redheads or other high strength wall anchors, then attach your Murphy bed to the sleepers. This way any moisture is not in direct contact with your bed. It also distributes the load more evenly across the length of the sleepers making for a more secure installation and provides air flow between the bed and the concrete wall. Even if you have a very dry basement, attaching sleepers to the wall first is the best way to do this.

    • Kathie Silver

      Can the bed be mounted to concrete? Am considering one but for in the basement.

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    The Lori Bed is the Most Reviewed Murphy Bed in the World

    With 20,000+ happy customers and 2,000+ 5-star reviews, we know you'll love our bed.

    We stand behind that belief with our industry-leading 60-Day Money Back Guarantee and Lifetime Warranty.

    Learn more

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