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Why Is A Murphy Bed Called A Murphy Bed

Why Is A Murphy Bed Called A Murphy Bed?

When it comes to space-saving furniture, the Murphy bed is a popular choice. This ingenious invention allows you to fold up your bed against the wall, creating extra space in your room during the day. But have you ever wondered why it’s called a Murphy bed? In this article, we will explore the origins of the Murphy bed and uncover the fascinating story behind its name.

The Inventor: William Lawrence Murphy

The Murphy bed was invented by a man named William Lawrence Murphy in the late 19th century. Murphy was living in a one-room apartment in San Francisco at the time, and he faced a common problem: lack of space. In those days, it was considered improper for a woman to enter a man’s bedroom, which made it difficult for Murphy to entertain female guests in his small living quarters.

Determined to find a solution, Murphy began experimenting with ways to hide his bed during the day. He came up with the idea of a bed that could be folded up and stored vertically against the wall, creating more usable space in his apartment. Murphy’s invention was a game-changer, allowing him to transform his bedroom into a parlor or sitting room when needed.

The Patent and Commercial Success

In 1900, Murphy filed a patent for his innovative bed design. The patent was granted in 1908, and Murphy started manufacturing and selling his beds through his company, the Murphy Bed Company. The beds quickly gained popularity, especially in urban areas where space was at a premium.

Murphy’s beds were not only practical but also stylish. They were made with high-quality materials and featured elegant designs that appealed to a wide range of customers. The Murphy Bed Company became a leading manufacturer of space-saving furniture, and Murphy beds could be found in hotels, apartments, and homes across the country.

The Name: A Marketing Strategy

Now that we know who invented the Murphy bed and how it became a commercial success, let’s delve into the origin of its name. The term “Murphy bed” was not actually coined by William Lawrence Murphy himself. It was a result of a clever marketing strategy employed by his company.

In the early 1900s, Murphy’s beds were gaining popularity, but they were still relatively unknown to the general public. To increase brand recognition and make their product stand out, the Murphy Bed Company decided to give the bed a catchy name. They chose to name it after its inventor, William Lawrence Murphy, as a way to honor his ingenuity and promote the brand.

The marketing strategy worked like a charm. By associating the bed with a real person, the Murphy Bed Company created a sense of authenticity and trust in their product. The name “Murphy bed” became synonymous with space-saving beds, and it has stuck ever since.

FAQs about Murphy Beds

1. Are Murphy beds comfortable?

Yes, Murphy beds can be just as comfortable as traditional beds. The comfort level depends on the quality of the mattress you choose. Many Murphy bed manufacturers offer a variety of mattress options, including memory foam and hybrid mattresses, to ensure a good night’s sleep.

2. How much space can I save with a Murphy bed?

Murphy beds are designed to save space by folding up against the wall when not in use. Depending on the size of the bed and the room, you can save several square feet of floor space. This makes Murphy beds an excellent choice for small apartments, guest rooms, or home offices.

3. Can I install a Murphy bed myself?

While it is possible to install a Murphy bed yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional for the job. Installing a Murphy bed involves attaching it securely to the wall and ensuring it operates smoothly. A professional installer will have the necessary expertise and tools to ensure a safe and proper installation.

4. Can I customize the design of a Murphy bed?

Yes, many Murphy bed manufacturers offer customization options. You can choose from a variety of finishes, materials, and hardware to match your existing decor. Some manufacturers even offer additional features like built-in storage or desks, allowing you to create a multifunctional space.

5. Are Murphy beds expensive?

The cost of a Murphy bed can vary depending on factors such as size, materials, and additional features. While Murphy beds may be more expensive than traditional beds, they offer excellent value for money in terms of space-saving capabilities and versatility. It’s important to consider the long-term benefits and increased functionality when evaluating the cost.

6. Are Murphy beds safe?

Yes, Murphy beds are designed with safety in mind. Modern Murphy beds are equipped with mechanisms that ensure smooth and secure operation. They have built-in safety features such as locking mechanisms and sturdy frames to prevent accidental folding. However, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the bed responsibly to ensure safety.


The Murphy bed, named after its inventor William Lawrence Murphy, is a space-saving furniture solution that has stood the test of time. Murphy’s ingenuity and determination to maximize space in his small apartment led to the creation of a bed that could be folded up against the wall. The Murphy Bed Company capitalized on this invention and successfully marketed it under the name “Murphy bed,” which has become synonymous with space-saving beds. Today, Murphy beds continue to provide comfort, style, and functionality to those seeking to optimize their living spaces.