Best Wall Beds

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
24 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
143 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best wall beds

Some homes are smaller than others, which means space-conscious decisions are important when it comes to choosing furniture. Beds have a fairly large footprint, and in some situations, you might need to forgo a larger mattress so it fits in your bedroom — or do you? If you invest in a wall bed, you can maximize your usable space without sacrificing mattress size.

Wall beds fall into two categories: Murphy beds and panel beds. Murphy beds consist of multiple sections that fold into one another for storage. Panel beds pull down like an oven door to reveal a regular mattress on a platform. Regardless of the wall bed you choose, you’ll be saving space, and, depending on the design, you might end up with usable drawers, bookshelves, or tables.

If you’re considering a wall bed, read our buying guide first. We cover all the important features you need to compare, offer a few recommendations, plus share a few shopping tips to help you choose the right one for your room.

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If you own a rental property, an easy way to maximize sleeping space is to invest in wall beds. Panel beds give guests more usable room during the day, and Murphy beds let guests set up sleeping quarters however they like.

Key considerations

Murphy bed vs. panel bed

It’s important to know the difference between a Murphy bed and a panel bed. To put it simply, Murphy beds fold up and panel beds pull down. It sounds relatively straightforward, but if there’s one thing you should know about these terms it’s that manufacturers use them interchangeably. That means you’ll need to thoroughly read the product description and carefully examine all product images or you could end up with a completely different wall bed than you expected, one that might not fit in your space.

Mattress

Wall beds don’t require box springs like traditional beds. Instead, they have a drop-in design or slats to support a mattress. Some wall beds come with a mattress or mattress panels, many of which have gel or memory foam to make them more comfortable. 

Other wall beds require a thinner mattress that fits into the frame. To save you any guesswork, these designs detail the required dimensions to ensure a good fit. Certain wall beds are compatible with regular mattresses, but you might run into challenges with specialty mattresses from premium brands.

Assembly and installation

Only some wall beds come fully assembled. For all others, you'll have to decide whether you can handle the assembly yourself. While some wall beds have user-friendly instructions, many are simply too heavy for one person to manage. As a result, you’ll either need to enlist the help of a couple of family members or friends or pay a professional to assemble the bed for you.

Use a round rug to add a touch of warmth to the room with your wall bed. This also adds dimension to the room, and it won’t be disturbed when the bed is extended.

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Features

Design

While most consumers purchase a wall bed for functional reasons, aesthetic value is also something to consider. To envision how a wall bed might fit in with your room’s existing décor, here are three popular wall bed designs:

Armoire: Wall beds that resemble armoires or wardrobes have large panels and faux knobs and handles. These grand designs draw the eyes upward and make your ceiling appear higher.

Cabinet: Cabinet wall beds, which may resemble chests, are usually waist-high. More often than not, these are Murphy beds, so they jut out from the wall more than armoire wall beds.  

Integrated: Wall beds that are functional whether the bed is extended or stored are referred to as integrated designs. These are the largest wall beds on the market because they have built-in bookcases, chests of drawers, or cubbies.

Footprint

While wall beds are genuine space savers, keep in mind that each type has a different footprint. 

Closed: Armoire and integrated wall beds can be anywhere from 12 to 24 inches deep when closed. Cabinet wall beds can be anywhere from 16 to 30 inches.

Extended: For the most part, the length of the wall bed reaches only a couple of inches beyond the length of the mattress, which is 75 inches for twin and full beds and 80 inches for queen beds.

Height: Panel beds always require more height clearance than most Murphy beds, in which case you’ll need no less than 95 inches. If you have a low ceiling, you might need to invest in a Murphy bed, and these range in height from 30 to 70 inches.

Materials and finishes

Materials: Wall beds are typically made of a combination of natural wood, manufactured wood, and metal. The more natural wood the bed has, the more expensive — and heavier — it will be. Those with metal in their designs, namely the legs, tend to be a bit lighter yet remain a sturdy choice.

Finishes: These vary considerably among wall beds, and some designs come in as many as ten finishes, whereas others only come in one or two. While you might consider refinishing and repainting a wall bed to match your existing furniture, keep in mind this is most successful on natural wood beds. 

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DID YOU KNOW?
While many wall beds can be stowed with the bedding on them, it’s a good idea to wash sheets and comforters prior to each use.
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Wall bed prices

Wall beds cost anywhere from $800 to $3,500. For the most part, the sophistication of the design and the quality of the materials are the factors that impact the price the most.

Inexpensive: Wall beds that cost $800 to $1,200 include cabinet-style Murphy beds, which are usually twin or queen beds. While these beds are solid, they’re often made of manufactured wood, and poorly made wall beds in this category can feel flimsy or wobbly.

Mid-range: The majority of wall beds fall in the $1,300 to $2,000 price range. These include twin, full, and queen beds. Many designs use a combination of natural wood, manufactured wood, and metal and are far more stable than their cheaper counterparts.

Expensive: When you enter the $2,000 to $3,500 bracket, you’re investing in a wall bed that will last for years. In addition to superior construction, these wall beds are often multifunctional and double as desks or bookcases. 

To give your wall bed a modest makeover, upgrade the knobs or pulls.

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Tips

  • Hire a mover to assemble your wall bed. If you can’t book a professional through the retailer, consider hiring a moving company. The staff includes experts in building and breaking down furniture, including wall beds.
  • Mount a panel bed to the wall. Given their height and weight, many manufacturers recommend securing your bed to the wall to ensure stability and safety.
  • Add furniture sliders to a Murphy bed. If your Murphy bed isn’t on wheels, you can move it from one location to another with furniture sliders. Simply place these disks beneath the legs and push the bed gently across the floor.
  • Choose your bedding. Make a checklist of all you’ll need to buy for your wall bed, including sheets, comforter, throw, pillows, and perhaps a mattress topper.
  • Check all the pieces prior to assembly. Before diving into the assembly, make sure you have all the pieces and components. If anything is missing, contact the manufacturer directly for replacement parts. 
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Make sure pets and small kids are out of the room when you pull down or unfold your wall bed so they don’t get stepped on or injured.

FAQ

Q. Is a wall bed a better option than a sofa bed?

A. It really depends on your needs. Sofa beds and even some futons can provide much-needed seating, but they have a large footprint that isn’t ideal for smaller rooms. Wall beds are best for rooms where no additional seating is required. Some designs are considered much easier to open than certain sofa beds, too.

Q. Can I put a mattress topper on my wall bed?

A. Yes, and many people do this to boost overall comfort in wall beds with thin or slightly uncomfortable mattresses. With that said, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to stow your wall bed with the topper on it. Since you’ll need to remake the bed every time you add or remove the mattress topper, keep in mind this can be time-consuming, especially when you’re tired at night or have busy mornings. 

Q. What are my options if I need to move my wall bed?

A. If you need to move your bed often, invest in a Murphy bed on casters. These are easy enough for one person to relocate. If you need to move a panel bed once it’s installed, however, you’ll have to disassemble it completely to get it through the door into another room.

 

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