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How To Build A Murphy Bed Without A Kit

How To Build A Murphy Bed Without A Kit

Are you looking to maximize space in your home without sacrificing comfort? A Murphy bed, also known as a wall bed, is a fantastic solution. These beds can be folded up and stored vertically against a wall, allowing you to reclaim valuable floor space during the day. While there are many Murphy bed kits available on the market, building one without a kit can be a rewarding and cost-effective DIY project. In this article, we will guide you through the process of building a Murphy bed without a kit, providing you with valuable insights and tips along the way.

1. Plan and Measure

Before you start building your Murphy bed, it is crucial to plan and measure the available space. Consider the dimensions of the mattress you intend to use and ensure that you have enough clearance for the bed to fold up and down smoothly. Take accurate measurements of the wall where the bed will be installed, as well as any surrounding furniture or fixtures that may impact the bed’s operation.

2. Gather Materials and Tools

Once you have a clear plan and measurements, it’s time to gather the necessary materials and tools. Here are some common materials you will need:

  • Plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) for the bed frame
  • Wood screws and nails
  • Hinges and brackets for the folding mechanism
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper and paint or stain for finishing

As for tools, you will likely need a circular saw or jigsaw, a drill, a screwdriver, a tape measure, and a level. Having the right tools will make the construction process much smoother.

3. Build the Bed Frame

The bed frame is the foundation of your Murphy bed. Start by cutting the plywood or MDF to the desired dimensions, ensuring that it fits the mattress snugly. Assemble the frame using wood screws and reinforce the corners with brackets for added stability. It is essential to follow the proper construction techniques to ensure the bed is sturdy and safe to use.

4. Install the Folding Mechanism

The folding mechanism is what allows the bed to be raised and lowered easily. There are various types of folding mechanisms available, such as piston systems or spring-loaded mechanisms. Choose the one that suits your needs and install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to test the mechanism thoroughly before proceeding to the next steps.

5. Attach the Bed Frame to the Wall

Once the bed frame and folding mechanism are in place, it’s time to attach the bed to the wall. Locate the studs in the wall using a stud finder and mark their positions. Secure the bed frame to the studs using screws, ensuring that it is level and securely fastened. This step is crucial for the bed’s stability and safety.

6. Finishing Touches

After the bed is securely attached to the wall, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Sand the bed frame to smooth any rough edges and apply paint or stain to match your desired aesthetic. Consider adding a decorative trim or molding to enhance the appearance of the bed when it is folded up against the wall.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I customize the design of my Murphy bed?

Yes, building a Murphy bed without a kit allows you the freedom to customize the design to suit your preferences. You can choose the type of wood, finish, and even add additional features such as built-in storage or a desk.

2. How much does it cost to build a Murphy bed without a kit?

The cost of building a Murphy bed without a kit can vary depending on the materials and hardware you choose. On average, you can expect to spend between $500 and $1500. However, this is still significantly cheaper than purchasing a pre-made Murphy bed.

3. How long does it take to build a Murphy bed without a kit?

The construction time will depend on your level of experience and the complexity of the design. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to complete the project.

4. Can I use any mattress with a Murphy bed?

Most Murphy beds are designed to accommodate standard mattresses. However, it is essential to check the dimensions and weight restrictions of the folding mechanism to ensure compatibility.

5. Is it difficult to operate a Murphy bed?

No, operating a Murphy bed is relatively simple. Most folding mechanisms are designed to be user-friendly, allowing you to raise and lower the bed with minimal effort.

6. Can I disassemble and move a Murphy bed?

Yes, one of the advantages of building a Murphy bed without a kit is that it can be disassembled and moved if needed. However, it is important to follow proper disassembly instructions to avoid any damage.


Building a Murphy bed without a kit can be a rewarding and cost-effective project. By carefully planning, measuring, and gathering the necessary materials and tools, you can create a functional and stylish space-saving solution. Remember to follow proper construction techniques and test the folding mechanism thoroughly for safety. With a little time and effort, you can enjoy the benefits of a Murphy bed in your home without the need for a kit.