Have you ever considered getting a murphy bed for your home or apartment to save space, but were shocked by the high prices? Murphy beds can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 typically, much pricier than a regular bed frame and mattress. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the hefty murphy bed price tags, and reveal some cheaper alternatives you can look into as well. Read on to get the full scoop on this space-saving furniture piece that many find worth splurging on!
What is a Murphy Bed?
Before we dive into murphy bed pricing, let’s quickly go over what exactly a murphy bed is for those unfamiliar with them. A murphy bed is a specialized type of bed that can fold up into a closet, wall, or cabinet to stash it away neatly when not in use. The bed operates on a system of springs, hydraulics, or pistons that allow it to be lowered down horizontally at night, then folded vertically up against the wall during the day.
Murphy beds were invented in the early 1900s by William Lawrence Murphy. His goal was to optimize small living spaces in crowded cities by creating a bed that could essentially “disappear” when not being used. Murphy beds remain popular today, especially in compact homes and apartments where space is limited. They are great for freeing up floor area for other purposes during the day.
The key benefits of murphy beds include:
- Space saving for small homes
- Multi-functional for rooms
- Convenient fold-up storage
- Customizable with cabinets, shelves, etc.
Now that you know the basics, let’s get into the reasons these ingenious beds often have such lofty price tags.
Murphy Bed Types and Components
There are a few main types of murphy beds to be aware of:
- Fold-down – A simple design where the mattress folds down on hinges
- Pull-down – The mattress store vertically in a cavity and pulls down
- Wall-mounted – The bed folds into a cabinet mounted on the wall
- With cabinets – Integrated cabinetry for storage
- With shelves – Shelving units around the bed
Murphy beds are made from high-quality materials like wood, metals, and laminates. The mechanisms used to lift and lower the bed components include springs, hydraulic pistons, and pulleys. Fancy models even have built-in lighting, charging stations, and electronic controls!
The mattress and beddings are separate purchases, allowing customization with any standard mattress size like queen, full, or twin. Murphy beds can also have bonuses like integrated desks, sofas, tables, cabinets, shelving, lighting, and more. As you can imagine, all these complex components impact the costs.
Murphy Bed Cost Factors
Many factors contribute to the steep pricing of murphy beds compared to basic bed frames. Here are some of the main reasons these specialized beds come with premium price tags:
Materials – Murphy beds use high-end materials like solid wood, metal alloys, and laminates to create durable, smooth-operating beds. These materials are more expensive than simpler beds.
Mechanisms – The hydraulic pistons, springs, and pulleys needed for lowering and raising the beds are complex and pricier to include than static beds.
Size – Larger sized murphy beds like queen and king cost more due to greater materials, sturdier mechanisms, and taking up more space.
Installation – Most murphy beds require custom professional installation to mount them correctly and safely on walls. This adds on labor costs.
Mattresses – You still need to buy a mattress for your murphy bed, which can range from $200 for basic mattresses up to $1000+ for luxury brands.
Beddings – Murphy bed compatible beddings like fitted sheets, mattress pads, and quilts add to the total cost as well.
Features – Added features like integrated cabinets, lighting, charging ports, sofa beds, etc all drive up the price but also the functionality.
Brand – Higher-end brands with superior construction, smooth performance, and appealing aesthetics command premium pricing.
As you can see, murphy beds involve much more than just a simple bed frame. The materials, mechanisms, installation, and features contribute to these beds costing far more than budget platform beds for example. But for many, the functionality and space-saving design makes it worth the investment.
Murphy Bed Pricing Examples
To give you a better idea of real-world murphy bed costs, here are some pricing examples across different types, sizes, and features:
- Basic twin murphy bed without extras – $1,200
- Queen-size murphy bed with cabinet – $1,800
- King murphy bed with sofa/desk combo – $2,500
- High-end full-size with shelving – $4,000
- Luxury queen with built-ins and lighting – $5,000
For a breakdown, the starting price is around $1,000 just for a simple twin murphy bed kit. Add a $300 mattress, $500 installation, and $200 for basic beddings, you’re looking at $2,000 minimum already. Building custom cabinets and integrating premium features can shoot the costs up from there.
Why So Expensive Compared to Regular Beds?
Murphy beds are definitely pricier investment compared to a basic platform bed frame or even a high-quality traditional bed. But why such a gap in pricing? Here are the key reasons:
- Specialized design – Murphy beds require complex engineering and custom parts to fold up into a wall or cabinet smoothly.
- Mechanisms – The hydraulic lift systems, pistons, pulleys, etc. needed for murphy bed function are expensive.
- Installation – Expert installation is generally required to mount a murphy bed safely and properly on a wall.
- Materials – Murphy bed materials like high-grade plywood, steel, and wood cost more than basic bed frame materials.
- Customization – Optional cabinets, lighting, desks, storage shelves all add to cost but utility.
- Space-saving – You pay a premium for the space-saving ability to fold away the bed when not in use.
- Larger size – Accommodating a queen or king mattress requires greater materials, construction, and installation effort.
- Multi-functionality – Beyond sleeping, murphy beds provide living space, storage, and decor options.
For customers seeking a high-performance, multi-purpose bed with excellent space-saving capabilities, murphy beds are often worth the extra investment over regular beds. But there are still some ways to lower the costs if your budget is tight.
Cheaper Murphy Bed Alternatives
If your eyes popped out of your head upon seeing murphy bed prices, not to worry – you have some cheaper options to consider:
DIY Kits – Order a murphy bed hardware kit and install it yourself to save on labor. Kits start around $200.
Basic Models – Opt for a simpler, no-frills murphy bed without all the costly add-ons to cut down on the price tag.
Used Beds – Search classified ads or thrift stores for second-hand murphy beds for deep discounts on pre-owned models.
Sofa Beds – Convertible sofa beds provide similar space-saving functionality at a fraction of the cost.
Futon Beds – An affordable replaceable mattress makes futons a budget-friendly foldable bed.
Shelving Units – Wall-mounted shelving can be used to simulate a folded-up bed when not in use for the illusion on a budget.
The trade-off is you lose the high quality, smooth performance, and seamless integration of a real murphy bed. But if you’re primarily just looking for the space-saving ability above all, these alternatives do the trick for much cheaper.
Murphy beds are a hefty investment compared to regular beds due to their specialized engineering, premium materials, complex installation, and optional custom features. But for the space-conscious customer, the ability to neatly tuck away your bed can be a house-saver, making the price tag worthwhile. If your budget can’t swing a real murphy bed however, options like DIY kits, basic models, used beds, or substitutes like sofa beds and wall shelving offer some money-saving alternatives.
At the end of the day, evaluate your space, needs, and budget to decide if a murphy bed is a smart purchase for you. And next time you see that shocking price tag, remember all the reasons these innovative beds come at a premium! Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the features, costs and alternatives when it comes to murphy beds. Happy shopping!