Here are some solutions you can build out of cheap IKEA parts.
We have also listed exactly what you need in order to build each project. You just buy the parts and assemble it like our instructions. There are several options.
Disclaimer:IKEA does not sell ready-made Murphy beds. But if you are looking to buy a Murphy bed (rather than building one yourself) here are some alternative stores with wall beds:
|Store||Price range||Murphy beds|
|Wayfair||$949 - $6,399||179|
|Expand Furniture||$1,195 - $9,995||35|
|Amazon||$1,100 - $3,499||25|
|Houzz||$1,065 - $8,339||127|
If you’re just looking for cheap Murphy bed – check out this article.
Murphy Beds Built From (Mainly) IKEA Parts
Let’s start with the simplest solution.
This is a standard twin Murphy bed you can build as a DIY project. We will list exactly what you need to buy to build a comfortable bed you can hide away during the day. It’s a great Saturday project if you like building stuff.
Here’s what you need:
- A foam mattress (From $179 at IKEA)
- A Murphy bed lifting mechanism (at Amazon)
- A closet (From $99 at Ikea)
- Strong screws for wall mounting
The inner construction will look something like this example depending on which lifting mechanism system you get.
You need to consider whether you can mount the system into the wall or into the floor. It’s important to mount it properly to keep it from tipping down.
The pistons/spring system will pull down the cabinet if it’s not properly mounted one way or the other.
You then get a nice modern closet from IKEA and built mount the hardware into the closet.
There are several types of hardware kits for Murphy beds and depending on which style you choose you will choose either a spring-based system or a piston-based system.
Here are the pros and cons of each type:
Pistons are great because they are easy to operate and you won’t accidentally hurt your finger from getting caught up in between the springs. The pistons will get weaker over a period of many years. We have used the same two pistons for seven years now and the momentum is weakened a bit. But it’s still pretty easy to open and close the bed and I’d say the lifting ability of the pistons is probably 20% lower than when we first got them.
Springs can also work just fine for Murphy beds. I haven’t tried them personally but I have heard from people that they tend to work well. If you feel like they get worn over time and will not lift as much weight as they used to there are things you can do. With some systems, you can change out the springs or you can just change one or two.
Here’s an example of a closet that’s only $99 at IKEA.
It’s a fine basic closet which you can use to hide the bed system inside. The closet will have to either be attached firmly to the wall or you will have to mount it into the floor.
This is to ensure the bed will not fall down unintendedly.
You will have to modify the closet a bit. But it’s an easy hack compared to building a Murphy bed from scratz. We made a Murphy bed ourselves and it was a huge project.
First, you need to dismantle the doors in order to attach them to the back of the bed frame. You will need to make sure you choose a closet that is tall enough to fit the mattress.
IKEA has closet from 71” to 91” (180 cm – 230 cm) and this should leave plenty of room to cover the bed frame and hide all the mechanic parts around the bed in order to raise and lower the bed.
Kids Chest Bed Built From (Mainly) IKEA Parts
You can also build your own Chest-style bed.
A Chest bed is a mix between a Chest cabinet and a bed. You will hide a foldable foam mattress inside a chest cabinet in order to have an extra bed when you need one. Or you can build a really nice one with a better mattress in order to use it every day.
Here’s how we would do this using primarily parts from IKEA:
1) Find a foldable foam mattress
You can find a mattress like this one for around a hundred bucks at IKEA.
These foam mattresses can last for many years but they are not made of memory foam. If you want a better mattress you can use every night you will need to invest more and get one somewhere else than IKEA. The IKEA models are not great but for kids or for a guest bed they can work just fine.
2) Find a chest cabinet in the right size
A chest cabinet like the one below cost around $149 at IKEA.
There are many models to choose from and you just need to make sure the cabinet has the right measurements to hide the mattress. Most cabinets will not be deep enough to hold the mattress so you might need to adjust either the mattress or the cabinet a little bit.
3) Adjust the cabinet
Remove the drawer runners and apply a piece of wood on the back of the three front pieces of the drawers to turn them into a cabinet door.
You now mount the cabinet door with hinges on one of the sides so you can open the chest cabinet.
You might have to remove one of the four parts of the foam mattress which is why the finished bed will probably not fit an adult. So the idea is most suited for as a way to hide an extra bed in a kids room.
Now you should have extra space at the top or bottom of the cabinet for a pillow and a comforter.
The “Poor Man’s Murphy Bed”
The idea here is basically just to use a closet to hide a mattress during the day. Plain and simple.
If you want to hide your bed in a closet during the day in the easiest possible way you can just go with a mattress you can store away inside a closet during the day.
If you don’t mount the mattress on a bed frame it won’t be heavy.
A foam mattress only weighs around 7 Lb for a light-weight twin size and around 20- 30 Lb for a light queen size model.
So it will be easy to tuck the mattress away inside the closet during the day when you don’t need it.
Combine this mattress with a $100 closet like the one we showed above in this article and you have a very easy solution where you don’t have to build anything or even assemble more than a simple closet.
This can be a fine solution for a temporary stay at an apartment or if you don’t care about sleeping on the floor. But be aware that you might need to clean and vacuum more often if you intend to sleep on a mattress that is laying directly on the floor.
IKEA Inspired Murphy Bed With Couch
If you want to build something a little more extensive you can combine the idea at the top with a couch from IKEA.
IKEA has some small couches that can be placed in front of a cabinet. But an even better idea is to use a daybed instead and use some pillows for a backrest.
This is what we have done in our bedroom/office where we have a homemade Murphy bed with a couch in front. We haven’t mounted the daybed-sofa to the bed system – it is just placed in front of the bed to make the space into a lounge area during the day.
Here’s what it looks like:
The bed then folds down on top of the couch during the day. So we have cut off a little on the length of the legs. The table is also lower than an ordinary table.
We just cut it down a few inches to match the height of the bed system exactly.
This is an easy way to draw the attention away from the bed and on the wall and at the same time create a great little lounge area.
If you are interested in getting the plans for our Murphy bed on the picture above you can get it here.
This is what our bed looks like when it is folded down:
We use it every day and it works just great.
As we mentioned above, the pistons are losing some tension as they get older. We bought the hardware kit for this bed 6-7 years ago so the pistons could be changed in order to strengthen the lifting mechanism. But other than that we are very happy with our bed.
We can definitely recommend building your own wall bed whether you will do so from Ikea parts or you are up for the bigger challenge of a totally bespoke solution.
I have filmed and interviewed tiny house people and RVers since 2011. I love sharing ideas and inspiration about tiny living and space saving furniture. I have completely rebuilt two RVs (vintage & new) over the last couple of years and love to travel for months at the time in our family RV with my wife and our kid.