Murphy Bed Mechanisms

Despite the growing popularity of the Murphy Bed, a lot of people still don’t know what a Murphy Bed is. This article will explain just what these unique beds are, how they work, and where you can get them. Let’s start with — obviously — at the beginning.

What Is A Murphy Bed?

Anyone who does know what a Murphy Bed is, but that knowledge comes from TV or movies would have seen Murphy Beds in three ways:

  1. An unpredictable contraption with a mind of its own.
  2. A semi-ludicrous sexual prop, similar to a water bed.
  3. A matter of necessity for a space-deprived bachelor.

It’s another example of how the media can be misleading. Fake News! The real story is that a man named William Lawrence Murphy invented this style of bed. Murphy was an inventor in the late 19th century. And he was interested in an opera singer. The problem, however, was that in those days it was not proper for an unwed woman to be in a man’s bedroom. He decided he could beat the system with his one-room apartment. Thus, the Murphy Bed, a bed that was hidden from plain sight, was born. And it turned out to be a win-win situation because Murphy ended up marrying the singer, and the world got a fantastic creation.

How They Work

Murphy Beds generally do not have box springs. Most of them will have a mattress that is on a platform and is kept in place as the bed is either raised into a vertical position or lowered into a horizontal position. There are a variety of Murphy Bed mechanisms that are used to operate these beds. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Murphy Bed Mechanisms

There are basically two main styles of Murphy Bed mechanism. A system that used springs and one that uses pistons. When Murphy Beds were first created, they used a spring mechanism to operate the bed. Although, it wasn’t always a smooth operation. These mechanisms are still used today, but they have certainly been improved.

woman demonstrates Murphy Bed

Spring Mechanism

A spring lifting mechanism can actually handle a lot of weight. Another feature that comes in handy is the fact that you are able to adjust the tension in the spring mechanism. This gives you the ability to change how easy or hard it is to operate. It is also fairly easy to replace a spring when it is necessary.

This mechanism and the swing arm will be mounted into the sideboards of the bed. The frame attaches right to the back of the face of the bed. This enables it to be strong and stable. The legs feature a pivoting system so you can pull out the leg as the bed is lowered to the horizontal position. A Murphy Bed with a spring lift system is available in most sizes — twin, full, queen, and even some in king size. A spring lift mechanism from a leading Murphy Bed manufacturer like Wilding Wallbeds comes with these characteristics:

  • Features spring mechanisms consisting of several individual coils. As of all coil driven mechanisms, this requires less space for both width and projection as compared with older spring-driven systems.
  • No floor mounting. It attaches to the wall with three screws. This unit is able to be moved to a new room or a different residence as your needs change.
  • Compact self-contained spring chambers integrated into the surrounding cabinet; once properly set up, requires no adjustments.
  • Static force is used to hold the bed in the up position.
  • Panel bed design eliminates bi-fold doors.
  • Requires two to three hours of setup time for bed. Cabinets come fully assembled.
  • Utilize high carbon steel springs to eliminate spring fatigue. Lifetime guarantee.
  • It requires adding or eliminating springs to balance the unit for the weight of the mattress. If you have a heavy mattress — add some springs. With a mattress on the lighter side — remove some springs. Customize it for your perfect fit.
  • Uses any standard mattress.
  • Easily moved without permanent damage.
  • The bed itself is tested up to 2,000 lbs.

The spring mechanism is at rest when your bed is up in the vertical position. This ensures that it is safe and won’t fall on anything that may be beneath it.

Piston Mechanism

This is an easier way to make adjustments to your Murphy Bed. The piston mechanisms are designed to use either gas or air pressure. They make the operation of a Murphy Bed extremely easy. Plus, they normally have a locking mechanism to provide an extra measure of safety. This way the locks will keep the bed closed, no matter what the condition of the piston system. Pistons do need to be replaced in some situations. However, companies like Wilding Wallbeds have a lifetime guarantee on a piston lift system. Here are some other features of a piston lift mechanism from Wilding Wallbeds:

  • Features a state-of-the-art piston lift mechanism with few moving parts. The patented system is used both residentially and commercially in Hyatts, Hiltons, Sleep study labs, studio apartments, and residences in every state in the USA. The Piston system requires less space to use than any other lift mechanism available.
  • No floor mounting. It attaches to the wall with three screws. This unit is able to be moved to a new room or a different residence as your needs change.
  • The mechanism is completely contained within the cabinet and once set, requires absolutely no adjustments.
  • The locking mechanism prevents the bed from being lowered accidentally and locks the bed inside the cabinet when not in use.
  • Panel bed design eliminates bi-fold doors.
  • Sets up in approximately 1.5 hours. No extra time is wasted putting side cabinets together. They are all fully assembled.
  • The piston-lift mechanism is counter-balanced and designed for daily use. The piston is not subject to metal fatigue or catastrophic failure.
  • The mechanism is self-adjusting. It can be adjusted for mattress weight.
  • Uses any standard mattress.
  • Easily moved without permanent damage.
  • Tested to 4,000 lbs.

Both of these mechanism options make it easy for you to operate your Murphy Bed. Whether you want to go with a spring mechanism or a piston mechanism with your Murphy Bed, there are a bunch of Murphy Bed manufacturers out there. But the quality of products and customer service that you’ll find isn’t the same with them all. Before making a decision on which one is right for you, do some research and make sure that you contact a proven and respected company like Wilding Wallbeds.

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