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Vertical bed: A vertical murphy bed folds up so that the head of the bed is against the wall.  This type of wall bed orientation will allow access to the bed from both sides.  A vertical wall bed will require full height ceilings in most cases as the mattress stands up against the wall the long way.

Vertical Tilt Murphy Beds and Panel Beds

Every design we make is available in a Murphy wall bed or a Panel bed.  There are advantages to both flip panel beds and murphy beds.  The beauty of a panel bed is that there are no physical doors to open (the doors are faux) when the bed is opened up.  In the case of a murphy bed the doors are real bi-fold doors and expose the Murphy bed mechanism which independently supports the mattress.  I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the murphy bed and panel or wall bed below.

Dimensions of Panel beds and Murphy beds:  whether it is a murphy bed or a panel bed the dimensions are within 1/2″.  all measurements are the outside dimensions of the cabinet.  We can lower the height of the Murphy bed or Panel bed cabinets by 3″ if needed.

Twin- 45″ wide, 85″ high, 15″ deep.

Double- 60″ wide, 85″ high, 15″ deep.

Queen- 66″ wide, 90″ high, 15″ deep.

Panel Bed Closed: To the right is displayed a Panel bed with raised panel doors.  It will look identical to a Murphy bed when closed.  Every configuration we design can be constructed using flat doors, which give a contemporary look; raised panel doors as shown, which are more traditional and more popular.  

Shown I’ve made the front appear to be 8 doors.  I usually like this look with just a bed cabinet.  We can easily make 4 longer doors to accentuate a higher ceiling or just to make the murphy bed look a little less busy if you are adding side cabinets and cupboards to your wall bed.

Panel Bed Open: Being displayed here is a Panel bed or wall bed that is being opened.  It is clear to see in this picture that the wall bed’s doors are not actually real, but they are actually an integrated part of the wall bed mechanism and cabinet structure.  The 8 (or 4) door panels are physically supporting the mattress along with 3 horizontal stiffening bars.  

The leg is hinged on either side of the foot of the bed and flip up over the mattress when closed.  The only disadvantage to this type of wall bed is that because the leg has to flip over the panel bed’s mattress, it will limit your wall bed mattresses thickness to a maximum of 12″ of thickness.  The only other down side is that the leg must manually be flipped from the closed to open position (it takes 3 seconds).

Murphy Bed Closed:  A murphy bed and a panel bed appear to be the same when closed.  Both cabinets seem to be large armoires.  They are both designed to conceal or hide a bed.  

The big difference is that a murphy bed was originally designed to go inside of a closet, so the mechanism is completely independent of the cabinetry.  When we open a murphy bed, the cabinet doors open to either side of the cabinet and then the standard mattress gently lowers to the floor.  

The disadvantage is that when the murphy bed is down, the doors stick out to either side of the cabinet so if we have side cabinets or drawers we cannot get into them until the bed is put up and the murphy bed cabinet doors are closed.  The biggest advantage to the murphy bed over a panel bed is that there is no limitation to the thickness of mattress that a murphy bed will accommodate.  

A panel bed is limited to a 12″ thick mattress.  The other advantage to the murphy bed is that when it is lowered from the vertical position the leg automatically extends where a panel bed requires the user to physically flip it down.

Murphy Bed Open:  Since a Murphy bed has bi fold doors that open to the sides, it will end up adding about 14″ to either side.

Why build a Murphy bed?  There are several reasons that a Murphy bed is superior to a panel bed.

If we are installing the bed in a prefabricated dwelling that has 2″ thick walls, they will not provide the structural support required for a panel bed.  The cabinet is free standing (attached to wall for safety), the murphy bed frame is either anchored to the floor or we can use a wall bracket that will spread the tension evenly against the entire wall.

When installing a unit into a rental or hotel we have to anticipate careless or abusive guests.  When a murphy bed mechanism is lowered from the vertical position, the wall bed support leg automatically lowers to support the weight of the mattress and guests.  If the bed gets abused when down by having 5 kids jumping and exceeding the 1700 lbs rating, it is only the angle iron frame that may suffer damage.  Angle iron is inexpensive and easy to repair.  In the case of a panel bed, the cabinetry is the bed so if it gets abused the cabinetry may be damaged and that is expensive and difficult to repair.

There is no limit to the thickness of mattress you can have on a Murphy bed where a panel bed is limited to a maximum thickness of 12″ with 10″ +/- being recommended.

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