Have you ever heard of the Murphy bed? Most people probably haven’t. It’s also known as a fold-down bed, pull-down bed, pull-up bed, or wall bed. It’s a bed with a hinge on one end so that you can lift it up the wall or inside a cabinet or closet for storage. Now maybe this bed type rings a bell to you.
It’s named after William Lawrence Murphy, who invented in around 1900 or the 20th Century. He introduced counterbalanced and pivot designs even though earlier fold-up beds were available in the Sears, Rosebuck & Co. catalog.
10 Best DIY Murphy Bed Plans and Ideas
Here are the best do-it-yourself plans for making your own Murphy bed.
#1. Know Your Limits and When to Use Kits
If you’re a newbie woodworker who isn’t used to making commercial-grade beds then you’re probably reading this guide for help. For DIY novices, try out the “Woodworking for Mortals” DIY Murphy bed kit.
Its creator specializes in designs for people with zero building experience and limited budgets. The kit includes all the stuff you need to assemble the lifting mechanism for the bed. It also includes building plans for constructing the bed frame and the cabinet used to store it. Just follow instructions and DIY.
#2. The DIY Murphy Bed Office Combo
You can use the Murphy bed office combo from the “Addicted 2 DIY” website in order to get a nice and elegant DIY bed. It’s a unique furniture storage system that doesn’t only include the bed but also a desk and bookcases for good measure.
This way, you’re really maximizing your DIY Murphy bed investment by leaps and bounds. The bed cabinet, by the way, resembles a storage wall when closed up. No one will guess there’s a mattress inside it. It’s like one of those Transformer toys, but instead of a giant robot it turns into a bed!
#3. Using Rockler Hardware for Your Basic DIY Murphy Bed Needs
“Make Something TV” has a DIY Murphy bed project setup that makes use of Rockler’s Side Mount Deluxe Murphy Bed Hardware. Every kit includes construction instructions, but you can use a video by David Picciuto to make sense of it all.
Both the written and video guides are novice-friendly. With the assistance of the kit, you should be able to do things like build a horizontal queen-sized Murphy bed. As long as you have enough space to spare, you should be good to go.
#4. Making a Petite Murphy Bed for Children
This is yet another IKEA hack. If you wish to make room for a child-sized Murphy bed then keep on reading. You can use the leftover parts from an IKEA Ivar storage system in order to make a Murphy bed with built-in shelving included.
Such a bed will serve as a tiny home study for your grade school child since it comes with built-in shelving to boot. The man who came up with this Murphy bed plan is Martin Vester. In particular, he made use of plywood sheets for the bench that houses the sheets and blankets.
#5. DIY Guestroom Murphy Bed for Tiny Spaces
Turn your craft room into a guestroom by installing a DIY Murphy bed on the nearby wall. You can use MDF, plywood, or hardwood to construct this particular design. It all depends on what your budget can allow.
If you can afford hardwood plywood of the PureBond variety then get that one. The finished product will certain benefit from an extra-strength material in terms of form and function. This wood product also has Forest Stewardship Council certification on top of being free of Formaldehyde.
#6. A DIY IKEA Bed Hack You’re Sure to Love
Hacking isn’t just something you do to computers any longer. There are also “life hacks” you can use for everyday life that makes what’s normally difficult as easy. You can even hack your IKEA Murphy bed for DIY purposes.
Instead of buying an IKEA Murphy bed set, you can repurpose pieces from the PAX series to incorporate a floor-mounted bed frame into a Murphy bed spring mechanism. This way, you can construct your pull-down or pull-up bed without paying upwards of $3,000 or more for it from IKEA.
#7. Lowering The Costs for Your DIY Murphy Bed
A true Murphy bed uses a piston or spring mechanism to lift or swing the bed platform upwards and downwards. As far as DIY projects go, this part of building a Murphy bed can be too much for the DIY novice.
The good news is that the hardware takes the effort out of closing and opening. The bad news is that it doubles the cost of making the bed by yourself. Consider getting the Lori wall beds kit if you want a mechanism-free solution (using a counterbalance and rocker edges) that won’t break your budget.
#8. The Case of the Disappearing Murphy Bed
Most Murphy beds are set up in a way that has you bolt them to the floor or wall. These freestanding furniture pieces tend to be hidden away by pulling them up to the wall or sliding them down some sort of storage space. With that said, you can make a Murphy bed that practically disappears from view like a David Copperfield act.
Just follow the project instructions of the “Junk in Their Trunk” blog. However, you’ll need to invest in an expensive lifting mechanism to make it work. The rest of the bed is made of basic door hinges, thin sheets of finish-grade plywood, a platform made of sheets of wafer board, and ordinary framing lumber.
#9. The DIY Transforming Sofa and Murphy Bed
This is kind of like the Murphy bed office combo, except instead of a cabinet, your Murphy bed transforms into a sofa. This is another versatile, money-saving Murphy bed project idea that gives you two pieces of furniture in one package. A great deal for any home.
You can use the Soderhamn series of IKEA for your ottoman and sofa base. Afterwards, to streamline the DIY building process, buy The Next Bed mattress frame that has a lifting mechanism included to anchor the bed to the floor or wall. It comes with a custom mount for the bed frame to allow it to open over the sofa.
#10. Building a “Faux” Murphy Bed for the Tiniest Spaces
What does a “faux” or “fake” Murphy bed look like? The “Tiny Revolution” website owners Andrew and Crystal Odom have the answer for you. They have what their site describes as a tiny living space. Even a space-saving Murphy bed is too big for them.
Therefore, they had to make an even more space-saving “faux” Murphy bed that you can roll out. This fusion between a roll-out bed and a Murphy bed makes use of a two-box design, with the front box hiding a bed frame capable of stretching out or compressing like an accordion. The second box houses the foam IKEA mattress.
#11. Cabinet with fake door and drawers
#12. Rustic Queen Sized Wall Bed
#13. DIY Murphy Bed for Home Office
#14. DIY murphy bed for guests
#15. A Murphy Bed with plan
#16. Murphy Bed Plans for a Studio Flat
#17. DIY Murphy Bed Dresser
#18. Wilding Wall Bed DIY
#19. DIY Wall Bed
#20. Cheap Wall Bed Under $50
#21. DIY Side-Fold Murphy Bunk Bed
#22. Modern Farmhouse Murphy Bed
#23. Murphy Bed with IKEA Cabinets
#24. Murphy Bed and Bookcase
#25. Murphy Bed in IKEA closet
Can You Use Your Own Mattress For A Murphy Bed?
Yes, you can. Just ensure you’re making your DIY pull-up bed big enough to accommodate a given mattress size. You can base your DIY Murphy bed size on the size of the mattress or you can buy a mattress to accommodate the bed and the space allowed by your bedroom.
What Kind Of Mattress Do You Need For A Murphy Bed?
Any mattress that’s about 10 to 12 inches in thickness can be used for a Murphy bed. To make sure your Murphy bed’s operation is balanced properly you should get the mattress size measured first then use it as a basis for your Murphy bed frame.
How Much Does It Cost To Put In A Murphy Bed?
You can buy a new fold-up bed at a shop and installed by professionals for about $3,000 or so. It can go up or down depending on where you live, how tight the space is, and how much labor costs it will take to get the bed installed.
Can A Murphy Bed Kill You?
Accidents do happen and there are news reports about such incidents out there. One impetus to buy and professionally install a Murphy bed is to avoid you making a shoddy Murphy bed that can lead to injury and bodily harm. Don’t build your own DIY Murphy bed unless you’re confident with your building skills.
Does IKEA Have Murphy Beds?
Yes. You can buy your own Murphy beds from them but they’re expensive. If you want to go the DIY route, you can repurpose their PAX series of floor beds and turn them into Murphy beds instead of simply assembling an IKEA kit.
How Deep Is A Murphy Bed?
Across the board, whether a Murphy bed is twin-sized, full-sized, double-sized, extra-large twin-sized, queen-sized, or king-sized, it’s typically about 16⅝ (horizontal Murphy bed) to 18¾ inches (vertical Murphy bed) in depth, give or take a fraction of an inch. It can vary in height and width, but typically its depth remains consistently within that range.
If you’re a DIY homeowner by heart, you can use the abovementioned techniques in order to install your own space-saving Murphy bed for a fraction of the price.
It’s always a delight to have a bed you can pull up or hide in order to open up your living room for activities other than sleeping and resting. The best Murphy beds are apparently those that turn into other furniture when you store the bed away.