3 Cheap DIY Murphy Beds (And 5 Alternatives)

In Furniture by Morten Storgaard

We LOVE Murphy beds. We have built our own many years ago and it still works flawlessly. It gives us an entire extra room in our small apartment.

Let’s take a look at some of the best and easiest DIY Murphy beds out there.

We start with our own model and then we look at a couple of other great designs.

1) DIY Murphy Bed With Built-In Storage

This is our Murphy Bed. Maria has designed it and built it.

The bed is built with extra storage behind the bed, to add some extra depth and get space for our winter clothes, travel gear etc.

Built With Extra Height

We have built it with longer legs than normal murphy beds because we were used to sleeping 25” above ground in our tall storage bed.

We don’t like laying close to the floor so we chose to make it higher than normal.

Video & Pictures

Here’s a video tour off out of the bed is constructed. We put it up on YouTube several years ago and noticed (all of a sudden) that it had a lot of views :-)

As you can see we have built the cabinet on each side for storage. That cabinet to The left contains all of our clothes and the cabinet to the right contains on Maria’s sewing machine items.

We also building storage below the bed.

You can see the two little doors below the bed and when you open them you can access guitars and two extra collapsible chairs.

closed-murphy-bed

Here’s another picture, where the bed is folded down, and closet behind the bed is revealed.

As you can see most of our clothes are in drawers. The rest of the closest hanging on the hangers above the drawers. We constructed the area around the bed this way because we needed to get out your clothes and stuff out of the way.

Before we build the bed we had two large wardrobes along the wall and in front of them, we had a normal bed.

Closet-inside-for-storage

Finally, you can see inside the closet behind the bed.

Here we store our trolleys (carry-ons’ only of course – we are light travelers), winter clothes etc. So we are actually able to keep me most of our belongings inside the bed. It’s well-hidden away during the day. This is really important when you’re staying the small space.

Hidden storage behind the bed

We wanted to get our stuff out of the way so we don’t have to look at it all the time. Because this room is also our office space so we actually use it day and night.

Storage can sometimes be a challenge in a tiny space because you don’t have extra rooms to stack boxes and stuff.

We didn’t want to keep stuff in the attic, we wanted to only half the number of things which we could fit into our apartment.

So we have sold a lot of things as you can imagine.

We haven’t gotten to the part about paint yet. So the bed and the cabinets are still not painted white. But This is something we have on how to do list and at some point, we will do it eventually.

We hope you like the bad and that it could inspire you to build something yourself. It has been a really great project for us and we liked the outcome.

2019 update:
Now we have been using the bed for several years and everything still works properly.

We have built a low daybed that can fit under the bed when it is folded down. We also chopped a bit of the leg on a second-hand table we found for free. So now we have a cozy lounge area when the bed is folded up.

This only took us 7 years to do even though it was the plan all along. I guess we are NOT finishers :)

The Murphy bed is folded up and we have storage and a daybed underneath

We are still very happy with the design Even though we never got to the painting part ;)

Building plans

We have put on building plans for the bed and more info over at this website. It’s a separate website we did about Murphy beds and here you will find a lot of information about local stores across the US.

This website we also wrote a lot about the history of the Murphy bed as well as a lot of different designs. So if you’re interested in seeing all the different creative designs people have made with wall beds, go visit the website.

2) DIY Twin Murphy Beds With Desk (horizontal)

This next bed we found in a very nice tiny house we were filming for the blog a couple of years ago. It was designed specifically by Cornerstone Tiny Homes (click for video).

The designers did a very good job fitting this unique Murphy twin bed into this tiny space and they have mounted a desk on the front.

Here you can see Brett fold it down.

The bed is pulled down from the wall

Twin DIY Murphy bed with horizontal mounting

When the bed is down you can fold up the little desk that is mounted on the back.

They have mounted it with a simple table leg structure that folds down with the table.

DIY Murphy Bed (Twin bed) with a fold-up desk

3) DIY Queen size Murphy Beds

This is a queen size Murphy bed we saw in Den Haag in the Netherlands. We rented an apartment space with AirBnB for a week and this cool homemade bed was installed in the bedroom which was also the living room.

The bed is lifted up here and the locking mechanism is unlocked.
The closet bed is closed

Maria is pulling down the bed. It is very well balanced and easy to pull down.

Maria opening the lock to the bed on the wall

The bed had cool writing on the inside saying “I need space”.

There’s a strap to hold the duvet and the pillow so they don’t fall off when the bed is lifted up.

Queen size model from the side

Notice how the headboard prevents everything from falling in behind the bed.

Our own Murphy bed (the one at the top of the article) also has a headboard but things can fall down behind the bed. It’s pretty annoying because you have to crawl under the bed in order to get to it.

Not too easy.

The duvet is strapped up with a strap when the bed is ready to be folded up

This is the bed from the front. It’s a rather low Murphy bed and the legs, pistons, and hinges are from a wall bed kit. We don’t know which kit but it could be the one from Rockler (which we also used).

This kit has worked perfectly for our bed for more than six years now!

Queen size Murphy bed folded down

The Cheapest Murphy beds Online

We have been writing about Murphy bed systems for the last 5-6 years and we have listed some of the best stores to do a good deal here.

You can see the price ranges below. They all have free shipping!

Building your own Murphy bed is not for everyone so you might consider getting a ready-to-install bed delivered to your door if you can afford it.

StorePrice rangeMurphy beds 
Wayfair$949 - $6,399179
Expand Furniture$1,195 - $9,99535
Amazon$1,100 - $3,499 25

Cheap Alternatives To A Murphy Bed

There are also other great alternatives to a homemade Murphy bed. These are some ideas that are very creative in order to save space around the sleeping area.

The first one below is a shelving system where you can sleep on top of it.

It looks 100% homemade and it’s as simple construction most people can build.

You can also place a bed on top of two closets like the room below.

It could probably be done even simpler if you just had to wardrobes that are not too tall. If you have a high ceiling in your room this is definitely a good idea in order to utilize the vertical space.

I love how simple this idea is. You could probably use a standard ladder you can hide around the corner during the day.

This next example has the bed sliding out from under the stairs. This is a sort of trundle bed system with they have probably built themselves.

Two other examples below are also very smart. Again, you must have a pretty high ceiling in order to pull this off.

If you do have the high ceiling this is a very good way to save space and hide the bed during the day.

It’s also simple construction and you don’t have the danger of the bed falling down. This can often be a problem if you have a homemade Murphy bed around kids.

The last example is also a bed that is hidden below the ceiling.

It’s a more complicated construction and it’s probably harder than building your own Murphy bed with a hardware kit. But it’s a cool design and we just wanted to include it.

Why Build Your Own Murphy Bed?

Because it’s often the only way to get the best solution that really fits your room and your needs.

It’s a good way to get a bed that fits perfectly in your room in order to utilize the space as good as possible.

We chose to have the bed fit the exact measures of our wall. We have placed a cabinet with clothes to the right and a cabinet with storage to the right as you can see in the video at top of the article.

We hope these ideas and designs have inspired you to go ahead and build your own DIY Murphy bed.

We love sleeping in our homemade design and we can only recommend you build your own.

Good luck and happy dreams to you!