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  • Keith Cobb

How Do You Choose a Space-Saving Bed?

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

If you're wondering how to go about selecting the right bed, the following pointers will help you to work through this thought process.

1.   What will the bed be used for?

Personal daily use or occasional guest bed: Both the Desk Beds and Wall Beds are the preferred choice for daily use as they can be stored made up with their sheets and blankets tucked in. There are a lot of options, especially among murhpy beds.

  • Desk Bed: An excellent option is a Desk Bed if it's a small room where you want both a desk and a bed. It's very convenient since it transforms in seconds from desk to bed and back, and you don't need to take anything off the desk when you want to use the bed. Desk beds can be purchased with a top hutch, side cabinets, and rolling file cabinets to provide for desk and home office storage needs.

  • Stand Alone Murphy Bed: A murphy bed is great wherever you want to just be able to get the bed out of the way when you wish to use the room for other purposes. The cabinets are sleek and hug the wall. They can be purchased in either a vertical or horizontal format. The vertical beds are narrower and taller. The horizontal beds are wider and not so tall. These beds can also be purchased with interior light systems and a wide variety of optional side cabinets. If you wish to use the room as a home office as well as a guest bedroom, the wallbed is a good choice. If the room is large enough to house both the wallbed and your home office setup, a separate desk can be a good choice. For smaller rooms, there are many more compact options:

  • Murphy Table Bed: This option is a murphy bed with a built-in table that folds out of the front of the bed case. The table can be used as a desk, sewing/crafts table, or dining table. When you want to use the bed, simply fold the table up into the front of the bed cabinet and lock it in place. You can hardly tell that there is a table ready for use later on!

  • Muprhy Bed with Side Desk: Another desk option for a murphy bed is one that includes a side cabinet with a permanent desk built into it. This home-office arrangement works well in the corner of a bedroom. The side desk comes complete with a file cabinet and pencil drawer.

  • Murphy Bed with Murphy Desk Cabinet Another option for a wallbed with desk is what is called a murphy desk cabinet. The bed on the left has a murphy desk cabinet to the right of the bed. The desk can be folded up onto the front of the cabinet when not needed.

Rolling Desk Cart option for desk and bed
Wall Bed with Rolling Desk Cart and Rolling File Cabinet
  • Murphy Bed with Rolling Desk Cart: Another option is a wallbed with a rolling desk that can be put in front of the bed cabinet or rolled anywhere in the room when you want to use the bed. .

  • Cabinet Bed: A cabinet bed is only half the height of a murphy bed. Even though the cabinet is a bit deeper than wall bed cabinets, it appears more compact due to its lower height. Since the back of the top of most cabinet beds is stationary, you can set a flat screen TV on it and make your room into an entertainment center as well. Cabinet beds take a bit longer to set up compared with murphy beds since the mattress can't be stored with much bedding on it. If used only occasionally, the added convenience of its size and the back shelf outweigh the speed of setting it up.

2. How many will use the bed?

  • Couples. Choose a double or queen. In the Desk Bed line, choose from the Avalon or the Bristol. Wall beds all come in at least queen size, and many models come in both queen and double. All the Cabinet Beds come in queen size only. There are no options for a double or single.

  • Singles. The following murphy beds come in both twin and twin xl size: the Bristol and the Metro.

3. What orientation would work best, vertical or horizontal?

Here are some points to consider:

  • Ease of access. Where two people will be sleeping on a bed, one of our vertical murphy beds, or one of our cabinet beds provide easier access to both sides of the bed. We would like to note however, that for horizontally opening beds - desk beds and horizontal wall beds, on which you sleep parallel with the wall, the person sleeping on the back side of the mattress can fairly easy slip onto the bed from the end. So, this may still be the best option if your room is not very deep, or you have a low ceiling that will not accommodate a vertical bed.

  • Multi-purpose capability Desk beds are multi-purpose, offering both a desk and a bed in one compact furniture. Cabinet Beds are slightly multi-functional. Besides being a great guest bed, their back shelf can support a flat-screen TV or other items. Wall Bed with table: We have two murphy beds with fold-out tables that are integrated into the face of the cabinet. Additionally, our wall beds can be purchased with a stationary or fold-down desk on the side of the bed cabinet. Or, you can purchase a matching rolling desk to go with your wall bed. Wall bed with desk option: we have shown many wall beds with desk options above.

  • Best fit. Consider the space in which you'll be putting your bed. What is its size and shape? How high is the ceiling? Where are the windows and doors located Vertically opening beds work best in narrow rooms with no less than 8’ high ceilings. They take up less width on the wall, but open farther out into the room. Horizontal beds may work better in wider rooms. They take up more width on the wall but don’t open up so far out into the room, and are not as tall. The top bunk would be too close to the ceiling for comfort. Cabinet Beds have slightly deeper cabinets than wall beds, but they're only half the height of a vertical wall bed. If you have a low ceiling or window in the wall, this may be the best choice. Confirming your choice. Once you have a good idea about the size and kind of bed would work best for you, go to its product page and note down the dimensions. Take some painter’s masking tape and put an outline of the bed on the floor and wall where you want to place it. This will help you visualize how the bed will look and fit in your room.

Wall bed and murhpy bed finishes
wall bed and murphy bed finishes
Finishes available for beds from Wallbeds Inc.

4. What finish and hardware should I choose? Come to our showroom, if you could, to see the beds, finishes, and hardware in person. There's nothing like seeing the real thing. However, you can see the available materials, finishes, and hardware on each of our product pages as well.

  • Choose a finish that will complement the existing finishes in your room.

  • Choose hardware that will complement the hardware already in use in your room.

5. Mattress choices: In choosing the mattress to use with your bed, read about your mattress options on the Mattress page.

  • Cabinet Beds require a tri-fold mattress. They're almost always purchased with the bed, and are surprisingly comfortable.

  • Wall Beds and Desk Beds are mostly limited to mattresses that are no thicker than 11”. Additionally, we recommend mattresses that are relatively light – about 65 lbs. is a good weight for ease of use.

Murphy desk for wall bed.
Murphy desk. Add a desk to your wall bed system

6. Optional Cabinetry: All our beds can be purchased with optional cabinetry. It's a matter of personal preference. See the individual product pages for available options.

7. When do you need it?

  • We have some cabinet beds in stock. Please call us to see if the one you want is in stock. If not, it could take between one to two months to get your bed.

  • Wall Beds may have a lead time of up to two and a half months.

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