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Why Is It Called A Murphy Bed

Why Is It 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 faced a common problem – lack of space. He wanted to entertain guests in his small apartment but didn’t have the luxury of a separate guest room.

Murphy’s solution was to create a bed that could be easily folded away when not in use, allowing him to utilize the space for other purposes. He began experimenting with different designs and mechanisms, eventually coming up with a system that allowed the bed to be stored vertically inside a closet or against the wall.

The Patent and Commercial Success

In 1900, Murphy filed a patent for his invention, which was granted in 1908. The patent described a “disappearing bed” that could be folded up and concealed within a closet or cabinet. With the patent secured, Murphy started manufacturing and selling his beds.

The Murphy bed quickly gained popularity, especially in urban areas where space was at a premium. It offered a practical solution for small apartments, boarding houses, and hotels. The beds were not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing, with various designs and finishes available to suit different tastes.

The Name: Murphy Bed

So, why is it called a Murphy bed? The name “Murphy bed” originated from the inventor himself, William Lawrence Murphy. As the bed gained recognition and popularity, people started referring to it by the name of its creator.

Using the inventor’s name to describe a product is not uncommon. Many other inventions and products are named after their creators, such as the Diesel engine (Rudolf Diesel), the Tesla coil (Nikola Tesla), and the Ferris wheel (George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.). It’s a way to honor the inventor and acknowledge their contribution to the development of the product.

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. You can opt for a high-quality mattress that suits your preferences, ensuring a good night’s sleep.

2. How much space does a Murphy bed save?

Murphy beds are designed to save space in your room. When folded up, they take up very little space against the wall or inside a closet. This allows you to utilize the floor space for other purposes during the day.

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 installation. A professional will ensure that the bed is properly secured to the wall and functions smoothly.

4. Are Murphy beds expensive?

The cost of a Murphy bed can vary depending on factors such as size, design, and materials used. While some Murphy beds may be more expensive than traditional beds, they offer the advantage of saving space and can be a worthwhile investment for those with limited living space.

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

Yes, many manufacturers offer customization options for Murphy beds. You can choose from a variety of finishes, materials, and additional features to match your personal style and requirements.

6. Are Murphy beds safe?

When properly installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, Murphy beds are safe to use. They are designed with safety mechanisms to prevent accidental folding and ensure stability when in use.


The Murphy bed, named after its inventor William Lawrence Murphy, is a space-saving solution that has gained popularity worldwide. Its ability to fold up against the wall or inside a closet allows for efficient use of space in small apartments and other living areas. Despite its compact design, Murphy beds can be just as comfortable as traditional beds when paired with a high-quality mattress. With customization options available, you can find a Murphy bed that suits your style and needs. So, if you’re looking to maximize space in your home without compromising on comfort, a Murphy bed might be the perfect choice for you.