What You Should Know Before Buying a Murphy Bed

Lori Wall bed

Buying a brand new piece of furniture is a home improvement delight that delivers instant gratification in the form of a chic change of scenery. The process is fun and deceptively simple — you can just buy what you like, right? While that is certainly true, there are tried-and-true guidelines that apply to all furniture purchases that will ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment. 

These specific parameters not only guarantee your new piece blends cohesively in your home, but saves you a stress headache once you bring it home and find it is a quarter of an inch too long. Understanding what you’re buying before you swipe your card is essential for all good purchases. 

Any interior designer would advise that you should think through your furniture choices to avoid the pitfalls of purchasing pieces that don’t quite work or fall short of expectations. From the perfect sofa to a dresser, there are buying basics for every piece — Murphy beds included. 

Murphy beds are known as space-saving saviors for small homes and apartments. In recent years, these fold-out beds have become popular in all size living spaces. Homeowners and renters are embracing the units because of their ability to create multifunctional spaces, for example, a guest room that can double as a home gym when the Murphy bed is in the upright position. Far from flimsy, modern-day models like the Lori Wall Bed are outfitted with display shelves that can be custom finished. 

If you’re new to the wall bed market, this checklist will guide you through all the factors to consider before making your Murphy bed purchase. 

Measure For A Murphy Bed

Remember the saying “measure twice, cut once?” Measuring your space before you buy is the number one headache-saving tip for any furniture purchase. Spend some time drawing up a plan to check proportions. Instead of measuring a few things and hoping for the best, grab a cup of coffee and a measuring tape and map out a to-scale plan. 

This is a good time to get clear on the function of the room. For example, if you’re using the space as a guest bedroom that doubles as a home gym, being crystal clear on the measurements will help you determine if you should select a vertical or horizontal wall bed model to accommodate your fitness equipment comfortably. 

The plan should include where your Murphy bed would be positioned in relation to other furniture items, as well as the room’s length and width or any unusual corners or angles. Also take note of often-overlooked elements of the space, including the location of windows and electrical outlets, the way the door swings and if there are baseboards or crown molding. The height of the Murphy bed you're considering is among the most crucial measurements to consider. If the bed is too high or low when it is in the upright position, it can be a challenge to reach when lifting and lowering. 

This may seem like a lot to keep in mind, but we’ll help you keep it streamlined. To be sure you considered everything before buying a Murphy bed, use this handy checklist to keep the process simple:

Murphy Bed Pre-Purchase Checklist 

 Ceiling Height: Murphy beds come in different sizes and orientations. Checking the ceiling height will help you narrow down the model that is the best fit.

 Doorway Location(s)

 Direction of Swing Doors (Closets included)

 Untraditional Angles/Corners

 Position of Windows: Most Murphy beds must be mounted to either the wall or the floor so selecting a windowless wall is optimal.

 Electrical Outlets: Be aware of the location of outlets to ensure you still have access to plug in power cords. 

 Wall Studs: For wall-mounted Murphy beds, it is important to mark the location of studs for proper installation.

 Lighting Fixtures/Ceiling Fans: Take note of the ceiling fans and overhead light fixtures so the Murphy bed can fold out without interference.

 Floors/Baseboards/Molding: The presence of baseboards is not a deal-breaker when it comes to installing a Murphy bed. There are three options to consider:

1) Remove the baseboard.

2) Leave the baseboard and cut a base notch. A base notch is a cut-out at the back base of the Murphy bed cabinet, which allows it to be installed flush with the wall over the existing baseboard without cutting into or removing the baseboard. Each Lori Wall Bed already has this baseboard notch cut out.

3) If you want to preserve your floors, baseboards and molding, the Lori Wall Bed is the best option 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. 

 Wall Material: Depending on if you have drywall or brick, you’ll need different wall anchors and tools to complete the installation. Here is a handy guide to installing a Murphy bed

 Low Profile Heater Vents: Lori Wall Beds does not recommend installing a bed of any kind that would cover a vent or a heat source as it could potentially create a fire hazard and could also warp the wood.

 Painting & Staining: Not many Murphy bed manufacturers give you the option to paint or stain your frame. But those with an eye for design value the ability to customize its look. An unfinished Lori Wall Bed, which is crafted from 100 percent cabinet-grade baltic birch plywood, can be painted or stained to the color that your heart desires. We recommend painting or staining the unfinished frame before installation to keep the process clean and simple. 

Buying a Murphy bed is a great addition to any home. They are the perfect fit for a small space or a multifunctional room. Keep the buying process simple and streamlined with this handy checklist, and you’ll be lifting and lowering your way to a new space in no time. 


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