DIY Murphy Bed Installation: Tips and Tricks for a Seamless Setup

Introduction: What is a Murphy Bed?

A Murphy Bed, also known as a wall bed or pull-down bed, is a space-saving furniture piece that can be folded up and stored vertically against a wall or inside a cabinet when not in use. It is designed to maximize space in small living areas, such as studio apartments, guest rooms, or home offices. When the bed is needed, it can easily be pulled down and unfolded for a comfortable sleeping surface.

The concept of the Murphy Bed dates back to the early 20th century when William Lawrence Murphy invented the bed as a solution to his small apartment in San Francisco. At the time, it was considered scandalous for a woman to enter a man’s bedroom, so Murphy came up with the idea of a bed that could be discreetly hidden away during the day. He patented his invention in 1900 and started manufacturing Murphy Beds commercially.

Benefits of a Murphy Bed: Space Saving and Versatile

One of the main benefits of a Murphy Bed is its ability to save space in your home. In small living areas, every square inch counts, and having a bed that can be folded up and stored away when not in use can make a significant difference. This allows you to utilize the space for other purposes, such as a home office, play area, or exercise room. With a Murphy Bed, you can have the best of both worlds – a comfortable sleeping area at night and a functional living space during the day.

Another advantage of a Murphy Bed is its versatility. It can be used in various spaces and serve different purposes. For example, in a studio apartment, a Murphy Bed can be used to separate the sleeping area from the living area, creating a sense of privacy and division. In a guest room, a Murphy Bed can be a great option to accommodate overnight guests without sacrificing the room’s functionality when they’re not around. Additionally, a Murphy Bed can be installed in a home office, allowing the room to double as a guest room when needed.

Choosing the Right Murphy Bed for Your Space

When choosing a Murphy Bed for your space, there are several factors to consider. First, you need to assess the available space and determine the size of the bed that will fit comfortably. Measure the wall where you plan to install the Murphy Bed and take into account any obstacles, such as windows, doors, or electrical outlets.

Next, consider the type of Murphy Bed that will best suit your needs. There are several options available, including vertical Murphy Beds, horizontal Murphy Beds, and Murphy Bunk Beds. Vertical Murphy Beds are the most common and fold up and down vertically. Horizontal Murphy Beds, on the other hand, fold up and down horizontally and are ideal for rooms with low ceilings or narrow spaces. Murphy Bunk Beds are a great option for maximizing sleeping capacity in a small room.

Lastly, think about customization options. Murphy Beds can be customized to match your existing decor and style preferences. You can choose from a variety of finishes, materials, and hardware options to create a bed that seamlessly blends with your space.

Tools and Materials Needed for Installation

Before you begin the installation process, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here is a list of tools you will need:

– Tape measure
– Level
– Stud finder
– Drill
– Screwdriver
– Hammer
– Pliers
– Allen wrench
– Saw (if necessary for trimming)

In terms of materials, you will typically receive a hardware kit with your Murphy Bed purchase, which includes all the necessary screws, brackets, and hinges. However, you may also need additional materials such as wood screws, wall anchors, and trim pieces, depending on the specific installation requirements.

Measuring and Preparing Your Wall for the Murphy Bed

Before you can install the Murphy Bed, you need to measure your wall to ensure a proper fit. Start by measuring the height, width, and depth of the space where the bed will be installed. Take into account any baseboards or moldings that may affect the measurements.

Once you have the measurements, mark the desired location of the bed on the wall. Use a level to ensure that the markings are straight and even. Next, use a stud finder to locate the wall studs. It’s important to anchor the Murphy Bed securely to the wall studs for stability and safety.

After locating the studs, mark their positions on the wall. If the studs are not in the ideal location for the bed, you may need to add additional support by installing a plywood backing or using wall anchors. This will provide a solid surface for attaching the bed frame and hardware.

Installing the Frame and Hardware

Once you have prepared the wall, it’s time to install the frame and hardware for the Murphy Bed. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a successful installation:

1. Begin by assembling the bed frame according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves attaching the side panels, headboard, and footboard together using screws and brackets.

2. Once the bed frame is assembled, position it against the wall in the desired location. Use a level to ensure that the frame is straight and level.

3. Attach the frame to the wall studs using wood screws. Make sure to drive the screws through the frame and into the studs for a secure attachment.

4. Install the pivot hardware on the bed frame. This hardware allows the bed to fold up and down smoothly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.

5. Test the bed to ensure that it folds up and down smoothly. Make any necessary adjustments to the hardware or frame if needed.

Attaching the Mattress Support and Bed Frame

Once the frame and hardware are installed, it’s time to attach the mattress support and bed frame. Follow these steps for a smooth installation:

1. Lay the mattress support on top of the bed frame. This is typically a set of wooden slats or a metal grid that provides support for the mattress.

2. Secure the mattress support to the bed frame using screws or brackets. Make sure that it is centered and evenly spaced.

3. Attach the bed frame to the pivot hardware using the provided screws or bolts. This will allow the bed to fold up and down smoothly.

4. Test the bed to ensure that it folds up and down properly. Make any necessary adjustments to the hardware or frame if needed.

Adding Finishing Touches: Trim and Paint

To give your Murphy Bed a polished look, you can add trim and paint it to match your existing decor. Here’s how:

1. Measure and cut trim pieces to fit around the edges of the bed frame. Use a miter saw or a hand saw to make precise cuts.

2. Attach the trim pieces to the bed frame using wood glue and finishing nails. Make sure that the trim is flush with the edges of the frame for a seamless look.

3. Fill any nail holes or gaps with wood filler. Sand the filled areas smooth once the filler is dry.

4. Prime the bed frame and trim with a high-quality primer. This will ensure that the paint adheres properly and provides a smooth finish.

5. Paint the bed frame and trim with your desired color. Use a paintbrush or a roller for even coverage. Apply multiple coats if necessary, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

Troubleshooting Common Installation Issues

During the installation process, you may encounter some common issues. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

– If the bed doesn’t fold up or down smoothly, check the pivot hardware for any obstructions or misalignments. Make sure that all screws and bolts are tightened properly.
– If the bed frame is not level, adjust the screws or brackets that attach it to the wall. Use a level to ensure that it is straight and even.
– If the bed feels unstable or wobbly, check the attachment points to the wall studs. Make sure that the screws are securely fastened and that the frame is properly aligned.

If you are unsure how to resolve any issues, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional assistance.

Enjoying Your New Murphy Bed: Maintenance and Care Tips

Once your Murphy Bed is installed, it’s important to maintain and care for it properly to ensure its longevity. Here are some tips:

– Regularly inspect the bed frame and hardware for any signs of wear or damage. Tighten any loose screws or bolts and replace any worn-out parts.
– Clean the bed frame and mattress support regularly using a soft cloth and mild detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish.
– Rotate and flip the mattress periodically to prevent sagging and ensure even wear.
– Avoid placing heavy objects on the bed when it is folded up to prevent damage to the frame or hardware.
– If you need to move the Murphy Bed, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disassembly and reassembly. Take extra care to protect the bed frame and hardware during the moving process.


In conclusion, a Murphy Bed is a versatile and space-saving furniture piece that can transform any room into a multi-functional space. With its ability to fold up and store vertically against a wall, a Murphy Bed can maximize space in small living areas and provide a comfortable sleeping surface when needed. By choosing the right Murphy Bed for your space, properly measuring and preparing the wall, and following the installation instructions, you can enjoy the benefits of a Murphy Bed in your home. With proper maintenance and care, your Murphy Bed can last for years to come, providing convenience and functionality to your living space. Consider investing in a Murphy Bed and discover the endless possibilities it can bring to your home.
If you’re considering installing a Murphy bed in your home, you may also be interested in learning about the benefits of attic ladder installation. Attic ladder installation can transform your home by providing easy access to your attic space, allowing you to utilize it for storage or even as an additional living area. To find out more about how attic ladder installation can enhance your home, check out this informative article on

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