How Does A Murphy Bed Work?

 murphy bed design

(Credit: Apartment Therapy) 

Murphy bed is a clever piece of furniture that allows rooms to serve multiple purposes. Many people recognize the wall bed for its unique fold-up lifting system, that allows it to seamlessly become flush with a wall when it's not in use.  

But how exactly does it work? There are two groups of systems to consider: The traditional metal spring or pistons systems and the modern Lori Wall Bed system, which doesn’t involve metal coils or force-loaded components 

The Early Design 

first murphy bed

William Lawrence Murphy use a metal spring method when he first came up with the idea for the fold-out bed around 1900 in San FranciscoMurphy created the wall bed to disguise his mattress within a closet in the confines of his small studio apartment.  

Early designs call upon springs or pistons to lift and lower the frame. The metal mechanisms were primitive, clunky, and sometimes dangerous, but the system achieved the goal: Allowing a mattress to fold up into a cutout space in the wall or cabinet with a hinge.  

The majority of wall beds on the market today still rely on this often-costly metal spring system, however, the technology has improved over the century.  

A Modern Design 

Unlike its counterparts on the market, the Lori Wall Bed’s design allows for high-quality at an affordable price point without cumbersome metal springs or pistons. The inventor of the bed, Lori Moore, found that designing-out the metal lifting mechanism eliminates one of the biggest costs. 

Instead of using the force of springs or pistons, the Lori Wall Bed can be lifted and lowered by hand. And as a result of this new design, the company was able to pass that savings on to the customer. Models start at less than $800 compared to traditional Murphy or wall beds that can cost several thousands of dollars. 

Some things haven’t changed. Even back then, Murphy beds didn’t require a box spring. And most still don’t. The mattress instead rests on a platform and is secured by elastic straps or a metal bar to prevent sagging when it's in the closed position. Not having to purchase a box spring is another cost-saving advantage of Murphy bed 

High-function & High-design 

 murphy bed

(Photo credit: By Brittany Goldwyn) 

 Today, wall beds come in a variety of sizes and in both horizontal and vertical orientations. There are Murphy bunk beds and even models that double as pull-down sofas.  

Clever home design lovers often take their Murphy beds to the next level, combining high-function and high-design by adding custom upgrades to make the wall beds that much more a part of their personal aesthetic, from LED lighting to chalkboard paint. 

One of the greatest advantages of choosing a Lori Wall Bed, especially for those with an eye for design, is the ability to customize its look. The company has pre-finished models that tie into any color scheme in beautifully-finished real wood.  

The makers also offer unfinished Lori’s Murphy Beds, which are crafted from 100 percent cabinet-grade Baltic birch plywood that can be painted or stained to the color that your heart desires. 

At a glance, fold-down Murphy beds can appear complicated to maneuver, but modern technology has made them simple and easy to use. What are your burning Murphy bed questions? Let us know in the comments and we’ll answer  them in an upcoming blog article.  


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