Have you ever wondered if Murphy beds are actually comfortable to sleep on? As small living spaces become more popular, Murphy beds (also known as wall beds or fold-down beds) have seen a resurgence in popularity for their space-saving convenience. But can these vertically stowing beds provide a good night’s sleep?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about assessing the comfort of Murphy beds, from mattresses and frames to pros and cons. Read on to get the full scoop so you can decide if a Murphy bed is the right fit for your space and sleeping needs.
A Quick Primer: What is a Murphy Bed?
For those unfamiliar, a Murphy bed is a specialized bed that can fold up and store vertically against a wall, allowing for more open floor space when not in use. The beds were invented in the early 1900s by William Lawrence Murphy and gained major popularity in the 1980s and 1990s for apartment living.
There are a few main types of Murphy beds:
- Basic fold-down – a simple bed that folds down from a wall
- With storage – Murphy beds with shelves or cabinets surrounding the bed frame
- Multifunctional – Beds that convert into a sofa, desk, or other furniture
When folded up, a Murphy bed can appear as a basic wall, a storage unit, closet, or even a couch. The versatility and space-saving appeal is definitely part of why Murphy beds are having a major comeback right now.
Assessing the Mattress: The Key to Comfort
When evaluating whether a Murphy bed is comfortable for sleep, the mattress is arguably the most important factor. Just like a traditional bed, the mattress provides the sleeping surface and needs to offer adequate cushioning and support.
The good news is you can use most mattress types with a Murphy bed, including:
- Memory foam – Known for contouring closely to the body
- Latex – Provides responsive bounce and cooling
- Innerspring – Classic spring coil mattress
- Hybrid – Combines foam and springs
Murphy bed mattresses are available in sizes from Twin to King, so you can find the right fit for your needs. No box spring is required since the mattress rests on a wooden platform or wire mesh frame.
Take time to test different mattress materials and firmness levels when selecting a Murphy bed. Your sleep preferences are personal, so it’s key to find what provides the most comfortable night’s rest for your body. And remember, you can always replace the mattress later if needed.
The Bed Frame Supports It All
A Murphy bed frame provides the essential underlying structure to hold the mattress and support sleepers. Most Murphy beds have a sturdy internal wood or metal frame.
When shopping for a Murphy bed, check the frame’s weight capacity to ensure it can accommodate you (and a partner if sharing the bed). Handles are usually located at the top of the frame to pull the bed down from the wall.
Many Murphy bed frames also have built-in storage racks or shelves on one or both sides. While convenient, be sure these additional pieces are solidly constructed and don’t compromise the frame’s stability.
Proper installation is key for safety and function. Have an experienced professional install your Murphy bed to ensure the frame is securely mounted and operating smoothly. DIY is not recommended.
Evaluating Overall Murphy Bed Comfort
When assessing a Murphy bed’s comfort, there are a few key factors to consider:
Mattress thickness, firmness, and materials – Test different options in person when possible
Frame support and stability – Shake the bed gently when open to check
Noise levels – Listen for squeaking or creaking
Ease of opening/closing – Pull the bed up and down a few times
Maximum weight capacity – Confirm it fits your needs
Trying before buying – Lie down and feel the comfort firsthand
Comfort is highly subjective, based on your personal preferences. If possible, spend an evening sleeping on the Murphy bed before purchasing. This will give you the full experience and is the best way to gauge comfort.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Murphy Beds
Murphy beds offer unique advantages but also come with some potential drawbacks to factor into your decision. Let’s explore the key pros and cons:
Pros of Murphy Beds
- Save space – Fold up when not in use for more open floor area
- Multifunctional – Some convert to a couch, shelf, etc.
- Guest bed ready – Easily accommodate overnight visitors
- Disguised design – Resembles a basic wall or storage unit
- Storage models – Integrated shelves and cabinets
Cons of Murphy Beds
- Difficult to close – Folding up can be physically demanding
- Rearrange furniture – Typically have to move stuff before opening
- Messy bedding – Sheets and pillows may get disheveled
- Less durable – Mechanisms wear faster than stationary beds
- Safety hazards – Potential for injuries if used improperly
- Expensive – Tend to cost more than some other bed types
As with any major furniture purchase, the benefits must be weighed against any potential disadvantages. Think critically about your needs, lifestyle and space constraints.
The Bottom Line: Can Murphy Beds Provide Quality Sleep?
So what’s the final verdict – are Murphy beds comfortable for a good night’s sleep?
The short answer is yes – with the right mattress and bed frame, Murphy beds can absolutely provide comfortable and supportive rest. However, comfort is subjective, so take time to evaluate your options in person when possible.
While Murphy beds come with tradeoffs like smaller size options and tricky operation, the space-saving versatility can be invaluable in tight spaces like studios and small guest rooms. With smart shopping and proper setup, Murphy beds are a viable option for maximizing both comfort and functionality.
Have more questions about choosing a Murphy bed? Reach out to our team of experts for personalized guidance any time. We’re here to help you discover the optimal solutions for living well – and sleeping soundly – in any sized space.