A Murphy bed is a go-to solution for maximizing space, yet many people have never seen one in action. They're left with all kinds of questions about how they work, including whether wall mounting is necessary for installation.
Most people think that Murphy beds are only used for a small bedroom or in a studio apartment. But in truth, they have the ability to expand the functionality of any space. Spare rooms or guest rooms can double as yoga studios, home offices, children’s playrooms, and just about anything you could imagine once a Murphy bed is in its upright position.
Murphy beds are becoming increasingly popular. Still, there are several things to consider before your purchase. One of the most common questions from customers is: “How does a Murphy bed attach to the wall?”
Here is everything you need to know to answer this often-asked question.
Is Wall Mounting Necessary for a Wall Bed?
The most common Murphy bed options are floor-mounted or wall-mounted, which indicates where the bed will be secured.
Floor mounting is required by traditional spring mechanism systems. This stabilizes it, but it usually causes permanent damage to the floor, according to home improvement expert Bob Vila. Spring mechanisms are counterbalanced to lower and lift the Murphy bed. Floor mounted units are also more difficult to remove once installed.
The majority of Murphy beds on the market do require wall mounting. Wall-mounted units attach to studs and can generally be moved without causing much damage. Traditional wall-mounted Murphy beds rely on air piston lifting mechanisms to raise the bed platform up and down.
Depending on the model you select, different Murphy beds require different tools for installation. This is because most Murphy beds rely on either traditional spring-based or piston-based lifting mechanisms.
Although the Lori Bed is a Murphy Bed, the Lori Bed does not rely on springs or pistons – the complex lifting mechanisms too-often responsible for accidental injury – to lift and lower from the wall.
Instead, once the bed is unlocked from its cabinet, operators, with the assistance of carefully rounded rockers fixed to the base of the bed frame, use their own native strength to lift and lower the bed.
(A little exercise before bed is encouraged, right?)
If you want to preserve your floors, baseboards, and molding, the Lori Bed is a solid alternative because it doesn’t have a lifting mechanism which needs to create tension near the base of the bed to lift the mattress. The bed uses a standalone platform that only attaches to the cabinet when it’s in the upright position, meaning there’s very little weight, if any, pulling against the wall.
(Speaking of weight, find out how much weight a Murphy bed can hold here)
What You’ll Need to Install a Murphy Bed
Here’s a list of the equipment you’ll want to have around when installing your Murphy bed:
- Rubber Mallet
- Common Drill
- Measuring tape, pencil, level, etc. These are not strictly required, but may come in handy
- Paint or stain, sandpaper, brushes, etc. for finishing your project
Wall Mounting and Installation for a Murphy Bed
Full DIY assembly and wall-mount should only take you between 1-2 hours.
To complete assembly, you will only need a screwdriver, rubber mallet, wrench, stud-finder, and a common drill to mount the cabinet to the wall.
(Check out our full assembly guide next)
Other Considerations Before Installing a Murphy Bed
Vertical vs. Horizontal Frames
Murphy beds are housed in a cabinet that has to be mounted to the wall for security. When the bed lifts up, it becomes flush against the wall, revealing cabinets, shelves, paneling, or a desk that instantly changes the function of a room. Traditionally, customers can choose from two types of frames: vertical and horizontal. Each requires a different level of effort when it comes to installation.
Vertically mounted Murphy beds tend to have more installation steps compared to horizontal models because horizontally mounted Murphy beds have a lower center of gravity and are far less likely to tip than vertical options, according to the experts at Go Downsize.
Freestanding Murphy Bed Models
No-mount Murphy beds are probably the only option for renters whose landlords refuse to allow them to drill holes in the walls, or for those who simply don’t want to drill holes in the walls. As the name suggests, there is no wall mounting required. So, how does a freestanding Murphy bed work?
According to Expand Furniture, with free standing Murphy beds, “The legs are attached to a desk to provide a counterbalance for the bed unit. The bed does not have to be mounted to the wall because the metal legs prevent the unit from toppling over.”
Freestanding models are also more portable than wall mounted units, making it a more flexible alternative Murphy bed option for people who move around frequently. One major drawback to a no-mount wall bed is the cost. There are limited options on the market, and they cost close to $5,000.
In our experience, Murphy bed assembly typically takes two to four hours for one person working alone. With the help of a partner, it can take less than two hours.
At Lori Beds, our mission is to put the wall bed within everyone's reach. That's why we've designed step-by-step plans that make assembling the Lori Bed a breeze for even a novice. Each part of the process is detailed with pictures and explained in plain English. You can also follow along with our assembly video to see how to assemble the bed, including how to properly mount a Murphy bed to the wall.
Did you enjoy this post about wall mounting and Murphy beds?
Here are three more posts to read next:
- The Difference Between a Lori Bed and a Traditional Murphy Bed
- Murphy Bed Guide: Can a Wall Bed Ruin a Mattress?
- What You Should Know Before Buying a Murphy Bed
This post was first published in 2020. It was updated in 2022 just for you.