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Murphy Bed Sizes and Dimensions Guide

Brian Wu

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Murphy beds (also called wall beds or cabinet beds) are one of the best furnishings for a guestroom, studio, or dorm room. They’re great at saving space because you can flip them up into a wall cabinet when you’re done sleeping, thus eliminating your home’s most useless piece of furniture for the day while allowing you to have its most vital piece of furniture for the night.

Some Murphy beds even have sofas or other seating on their undersides. When you flip them up, they turn right into your living room couch! Even with all that space-saving talent, you still need to be aware of Murphy beds’ standard dimensions so you can be sure you’re able to flip yours up and down after installing it. Let’s talk about what to expect.

Murphy Bed Types

There are two basic configurations of the Murphy bed: horizontal and vertical. With horizontal beds, you’ll need to take good measurements of your wall length, while vertical beds require a solid knowledge of your ceiling height and the location of any ceiling fans.

Horizontal Murphy Bed

Horizontal Murphy beds flip into the wall sideways, tilting the left or right side downwards while lifting the other side upwards. This configuration only leaves one side of the bed open to the room, so you won’t get a symmetrical look out of it. It also may be harder for couples to get in and out of a horizontal bed.

Vertical Murphy Bed

Vertical Murphy beds flip into their cabinets longways, tilting the foot of the bed up towards the ceiling. This exposes both sides of the bed to the room and offers a symmetrical look, which is why vertical is the most popular configuration for Murphy beds.

Murphy Bed Sizes

Generally, Murphy bed sizes correspond to the standard sizes of bed frames (e.g., a queen size Murphy bed is the same size as a queen size normal bed). One thing you have to worry about with Murphy beds is projection.

Projection is how far the bed extends into the room when in the open position. Of course, vertical Murphy bed frames will have larger projection measurements than horizontal ones, but horizontal Murphy beds need more wall length. Either way, you’ll need to know what you’re getting into with each bed size.

Twin Size Murphy Bed

Here are the potential vertical and horizontal dimensions of a twin size Murphy bed.

Vertical Dimensions

  • Height – 82 to 87 inches
  • Width – 43 to 46 inches
  • Depth – 18 to 21 inches
  • Projection – 80 to 82 inches

Horizontal Dimensions

  • Height – 45 to 48 inches
  • Width – 80 to 85 inches
  • Depth – 16 to 20 inches
  • Projection – 44 to 46 inches

Twin XL Size Murphy Bed

Here are the potential vertical and horizontal dimensions of a twin XL size Murphy bed.

Vertical Dimensions

  • Height – 87 to 89 inches
  • Width – 43 to 46 inches
  • Depth – 18 to 21 inches
  • Projection – 85 to 87 inches

Horizontal Dimensions

  • Height – 45 to 48 inches
  • Width – 85 to 90 inches
  • Depth – 16 to 20 inches
  • Projection – 44 to 46 inches

Full/Double Size Murphy Bed

Here are the potential vertical and horizontal dimensions of a full size Murphy bed.

Vertical Dimensions

  • Height – 82 to 87 inches
  • Width – 57 to 61 inches
  • Depth – 18 to 21 inches
  • Projection – 80 to 82 inches

Horizontal Dimensions

  • Height – 62 to 64 inches
  • Width – 80 to 85 inches
  • Depth – 16 to 20 inches
  • Projection – 58 to 60 inches

Queen Size Murphy Bed

Here are the potential vertical and horizontal dimensions of a queen size Murphy bed.

Vertical Dimensions

  • Height – 87 to 89 inches
  • Width – 64 to 68 inches
  • Depth – 18 to 21 inches
  • Projection – 85 to 87 inches

Horizontal Dimensions

  • Height – 68 to 70 inches
  • Width – 85 to 90 inches
  • Depth – 16 to 20 inches
  • Projection – 65 to 68 inches

King Size Murphy Bed

Here are the potential vertical and horizontal dimensions of a king size Murphy bed.

Vertical Dimensions

  • Height – 87 to 89 inches
  • Width – 84 to 86 inches
  • Depth – 18 to 21 inches
  • Projection – 85 to 87 inches

Horizontal Dimensions

  • Height – 80 to 84 inches
  • Width – 85 to 90 inches
  • Depth – 16 to 20 inches
  • Projection – 78 to 80 inches

Types of Mattresses for a Murphy Bed

Certain types of mattresses are great for Murphy beds and certain types just aren’t. As a general rule, you should try to avoid mattresses with springs, which are much more vulnerable to being ruined by gravity than foams are.

Innerspring

Of all the mattress types, this is the one to avoid if you have a Murphy bed. The networked springs in an innerspring mattress’s open coil support system will not withstand being kept in a vertical position for a very long time, and closing the bed could also cause the plush materials in the comfort layer to shift.

Hybrid

Hybrids’ foam layers and pocketed coil support cores might be better suited to flipping into the wall. But their heavy springs will still suffer unsustainable stress under the pull of gravity, meaning hybrids are also not a great mattress for Murphy beds either.

Latex Foam

Natural latex is a durable foam that’s great at maintaining its shape and standing up to stress, making a latex mattress a good choice for a Murphy bed mattress. Watch out for it weight, though. Latex is heavy, so you’ll want to ensure your mattress doesn’t exceed the maximum weight capacity of your Murphy Bed’s spring mechanism.

If you’re interested in an organic latex mattress, you want to look for a certification like the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). Other certifications of interest include:

Memory Foam

Memory foam might just be the best Murphy bed mattress material. A memory foam mattress is durable, so it can stand up to the stress of being tilted into the wall all day. It’s lighter than latex, so it will be easier on your lifting mechanism. And it’s still comfortable and supportive, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice a great night’s sleep for a mattress that won’t be ruined by your Murphy bed.

Alternatives to Murphy Beds

If a Murphy bed doesn’t sound right for you but you want a space-saving bed, there are other options to consider. You can try a:

  • Bunk bed or a lofted bed frame
  • Trundle bed
  • Daybeds
  • Futons
  • Sofa beds

FAQs

Are Murphy beds good for long-term use?

That depends on the quality of the Murphy bed and the kind of mattress you put on it. If you just get a thin, cheap mattress and lay it on a Murphy bed with an inferior support structure, then it’s probably only suitable for intermittent use, such as for occasional guests.

However, if you purchase a high-quality Murphy bed and put a comfortable, supportive mattress on it, then Murphy beds are suitable for years of nightly use.

Can I use different styles of Murphy bed cabinets?

Murphy bed cabinets have tons of styles you can choose from. There are cabinets with crown molding, Murphy bed sofas, cabinets with storage space, or built-in nightstands—they even make Murphy bunk beds.

When it comes to styles, you’re truly only limited by your imagination and your space. Don’t forget to take accurate measurements of your cabinets and room so you can be sure your cabinets and decor will fit.

Why is there no California king Murphy bed?

You may have noticed there was no California king size Murphy bed on our list. That’s because California king size beds are a full 7 feet long by 6 feet wide. That means their vertical projection can be up to 90 inches, while horizontal Murphy bed cabinets might take 8 or 9 feet of wall space. Thus, California king Murphy beds are not typically sold because vertical ones are too tall for many ceilings while horizontal ones are too long for many rooms.

Is a Murphy bed bad for my mattress?

That depends on the kind of mattress you have. Murphy beds spend a ton of time flipped into the wall, so mattresses containing springs are not suited to Murphy beds. Avoid hybrid mattresses and especially innerspring mattresses, which will be ruined by spending too much time in the closed position.

Pure foam mattresses, such as latex and memory foam, can stand up to being tilted vertically in a Murphy bed. High-quality foam mattresses will not lose their shape or break down any faster in a Murphy bed than a regular bed.

Are there other space-saving beds?

Murphy beds aren’t the only space savers in town. If you’re looking for a space-saving option that doesn’t flip into the wall, you also have futons, sofa beds, trundle beds, day beds, and more. Most of these pieces double as a couch in one way or another, though trundle beds pull out from underneath another bed.

Bottom Line

If you have a teeny tiny space, Murphy might just be the name of your new best friend. When it comes to smart space utilization, there’s really nothing better. Some Murphy beds even come with extra hidden storage or additional seating on the underside. They truly help you make use of all the square feet in your space!

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