Fold-away furniture is the answer to so many of life’s little problems. Guest beds, in particular, are posing a special challenge with so many guest rooms converted into home offices. How can you fit a big bed into a tiny room without overtaking the space? How can you make a room both a bedroom and an office – at different times of the day? The answer is a Murphy bed, the vanguard of fold-away furniture design.
As furniture technology has improved, so too have Murphy beds. Foam mattresses can stay perfectly molded after weeks or months upright in the cabinet. Lightweight locking spring supports make it easy and safe to transition your bed to a bookcase, desk, or even a sofa!
The question is: how much space will it take? Does your room have enough space for a wall bed, and if so, what size would fit comfortably? If you do install a Murphy bed, how big will the footprint be? This is exactly why you want to have your Murphy bed dimensions ready when you start planning.
How to Plan for the Footprint of a Murphy Bed
- Mattress Size
- Bed Orientation
- Additional shelving or cabinets
- Optional desk, table, or sofa
What determines the footprint of your Murphy bed? It starts with the size of your mattress. Naturally, framing the mattress defines the minimum size of the bed. Extending from the mattress will be a few inches of framing, or roughly a couple of feet if you choose to add piers on one or both sides of the frame. Be sure to also calculate for any decorative or functional features like shelf columns along the sides.
The orientation of the bed matters as well. Beds that fold upright into a vertical position have less width while horizontal Murphy beds are a wonderful option for low ceilings. Don’t forget to calculate for height as well as the floor space needed. The exact dimensions of each of our wall bed models are listed on its spec sheet.
Measure Your Room
Step one: measure the room. While knowing your murphy bed dimensions is important, those dimensions need to fit into your very real and finite room. Measure from the wall, the space you want to put the bed, and the distance from the floor to ceiling. You will need all these measurements.
You can get started with our floor planner kit to envision your Murphy bed placement. Each model’s specific dimensions are listed on its spec sheet.
The Size of Your Mattress, Plus Framing
Most Murphy beds are about 15-20 inches deep, as in the distance from the wall to the front of the cabinet. However, your size will depend on the size of the mattress as well as the cabinet you choose.
Here are your baseline Murphy bed sizes based on your mattress size. Keep in mind that height isn’t just to the ceiling. Height plus width is also the footprint on the floor.
- Height V: 80-85 in, or H: 45-50 in
- Width V: 43-46in H: 80-85 in
- Twin XL
- Height V: 85-89 in, or H: 50-65 in
- Width V: 43-46in H: 85-90 in
- Full / Double
- Height V: 80-85 in, or H: 58-65 in
- Width V:55-60in H: 80-85 in
- Height V: 85-90 in, or H: 65-70 in
- Width V: 64-68in H: 85-90 in
Make sure your rooms have enough height for the cabinet, especially when you’re looking to add a wall bed to your attic, basement, or loft. Remember that with the typical vertical Murphy bed, you also need some swing space along the ceiling for the end of the bed before it starts coming downward. Watch out for light fixtures as well as ceiling fans that might be in your way.
The Width of Your Side-Shelves or Columns
Next, consider the decoration and function of your Murphy bed design. For example, many designs can be customized to include two shelf columns on either side of the bed, which help the folded bed blend as furniture, look nice when the bed is folded down, as well as provide some personal storage space. You may have a small closet space, open shelves, or closing cabinets that affect the dimensions of your murphy bed.
Many Murphy bed types also come with things like crown molding which may raise the height or add a few inches to the width or depth.
Adding a Desk to Your Murphy Bed
There are also several models of Murphy beds where you can add a desk. This increases the dimensions of your bed, but also can add essential utility. Choose whether the desk folds in as well or is an extending arm of the side furniture.
Adding a desk to your Murphy bed or choosing one that folds upward to reveal a desk is an ideal way to make the guest room into a convertible home office – or the home office into a convertible guest room.