Murphy Bed Guide: Can a Wall Bed Ruin a Mattress?

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One of the most creative solutions for maximizing small spaces is to use furniture that serves multiple functions. A beautifully upholstered ottoman with secret storage, a decorative yet sturdy bookshelf room divider, and a cleverly designed Murphy Bed are all go-to choices for getting the most out of your floor plan. 

When researching pieces that are designed to pull double duty it is natural to wonder if it can perform each feature well. It is a common question, “Can a Murphy Bed ruin a mattress?” 

The short answer is: no, if you select the right mattress. We’ll explore the answer to this frequently asked question and provide recommendations for the right Murphy bed mattress that will fit your frame and offer a comfortable night’s sleep. 

Murphy Beds & Mattress Maintenance 

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Bed frames and mattresses are one of the greatest investments to make in your long-term health. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Maintaining your health is tied to getting proper rest. For most, that means a comfortable place to lay their head each night. 

In addition to the right bed being a sound investment in your well-being, it is also a financial investment. Mattresses alone can be expensive. They are considered a large purchase because they have staying power. The average lifespan of a mattress is between 7 to10 years, so buyers are curious if a Murphy bed will wear them out before their expiration date. Wall beds move around and spend a lot more time up on end more than a traditional mattress. For that reason, you might expect the mattress to peter out sooner.

That is not exactly the case. A Murphy bed or wall bed won’t ruin a well-made mattress even after several years of use. Of course, there are certain considerations to keep in mind to maintain a mattress’s integrity, depending on the type of bed frame you choose. For example, it is recommended that you rotate a mattress on a traditional box spring every three to six months to prevent permanent body indentations. 

There are different care recommendations for Murphy bed mattresses. “Slumping” is the most common concern. According to Slumber Search, slumping occurs when the top part of the mattress bunches up because it is vertical for long periods of time. 

Murphy beds do not have box springs. Instead, the mattress attaches to the bed frame with a retention system, like an elastic strap to hold the mattress in place when it is in the upright position. Slumping can be mitigated by keeping the mattress strap tight, which will help the mattress stay straight when it is stored upright.  

All mattresses break down over time, but a few key pointers can help reduce the strain. Here is what to look for when you’re in the market for a Murphy bed mattress. 

Types of Mattresses 

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Almost any mattress can be used inside a Murphy bed frame as long as it meets these considerations: mattress weight and mattress thickness. Mattress comfort is another key metric, but that is entirely dependent on personal preference if it fits within the above technical specifications. 

Mattress Weight 

There are a couple of reasons why choosing a lighter mattress for a wall bed is optimal. Firstly, the lighter your mattress, the easier the bed will be to lift. Lori Wall Beds, which don’t use a traditional spring lifting mechanism, recommends using as light-weight of a mattress as you’d find comfortable. For example, a conventional inner-spring or latex foam mattress. A lighter weight mattress is also less likely to sag or slump under its own weight.

Read Our Comprehensive Murphy Bed Mattress Guide

Mattress Thickness

Typical mattress thickness (also referred to as height) ranges from 9 to 12 inches. These mattresses can fit most Murphy beds, though each model on the market is different and can accommodate only a specific maximum thickness. Those specifications can generally be found in the product description.

The Lori Wall Bed can accommodate any mattress up to 12 inches tall. To preserve the integrity of the mattress for the long-term, Lori Wall Beds recommends choosing a thicker mattress. Thicker mattresses are less likely to bend or slump than a thinner option, since the wall acts as a support if the mattress is thick. A thinner mattress, on the other hand, would need to bend more before it rests on the wall for support. 

Murphy Bed Specific Mattresses 

There are mattresses on the market with design features that complement Murphy beds well. Brands like Saatva Luxury Mattresses are designed with motion transfer and edge support, making it a comfortable and long-lasting option.