murphy wall beds

Murphy wall bed vs Furl fold-down bed

Do you know the difference between a Murphy wall bed and a Furl wall bed? Before we go any further, do you know what a Murphy wall bed is? This blog post looks at the two types of fold-down beds and how they differ.  

What is a Murphy wall bed?

A Murphy bed is also called a wall bed, a pull-down bed, and a fold-down bed. Its name comes from the man who designed it –  William Lawrence Murphy (1876 – 1959) 

It’s believed that Murphy was an opera singer, who lived in a small one-room apartment in San Francisco. At the time it was frowned upon for a woman to enter a man’s bedroom, and this led Murphy to invent a bed that could be folded away easily.

With this invention, he could quickly convert his bedroom into a parlor and entertain female guests without breaking any moral codes.

Although fold-down beds were already available to purchase before Murphy invented his bed in 1912, his design was the first to include pivot and counterbalanced mechanisms, for which he received a series of patents.

Why do people still call them Murphy beds? 

Murphy beds are a little bit like a ‘Hoover’, as in a vacuum cleaner. Not many people know that Hoover is actually a brand name. And it was a very well-known brand too. It’s normal to refer to your vacuum cleaner as a hoover because it’s a name that everyone recognises.

Murphy wall beds are sort of similar. They were a very well-known brand of wall beds in America, although in the UK Murphy beds were not generally known as such.

The key word here though is were. The original Murphy Bed company no longer exists. The great news for you though is that Furl wall beds are still around (a kind of modern Murphy bed). 

What’s the difference between Murphy wall beds and Furl wall beds?

1. The weight

Murphy wall beds were known for being incredibly heavy to lift. Of course, the mechanisms available in 1912 were very different from those we use now. Furl wall beds are fitted with gas pistons which makes them very easy to open and close.


2. The quality

Today’s folding wall beds use similar engineering principles to Murphy’s bed, but the mechanisms have improved in functionality and quality.

Furl use a steel mechanism with bolted gas pistons (which can be changed) and laminated beech slats. This gives you the feeling of sleeping on a real, very normal bed frame.


3. The mattress depth

Although this varies, most wall beds only allow for specially made mattresses. They often only come with one mattress option, which has to be purchased alongside the mechanism.

With a Furl wall bed, you can use any mattress providing it doesn’t exceed 22cm. This gives you more freedom to shop around to find a mattress that suits you. 


4. Internal storage

Murphy beds were only designed to store a mattress, but as storage specialists, we decided to go one step further. We created a bed that folds up in the wall and has internal storage too.

This space-saving bed is called Vertico, and it has two 25cm deep shelves and a storage box for all of your pillows, a duvet, and perhaps, even a dressing gown too.


5. The finished look

Murphy beds have always been designed to just look like cupboards, but at Furl, we also wanted you to be able to use the floor space in front of your wall bed when it’s closed. So, you have the option to add a desk or shelves.

The desk remains flat when you pull down the bed so you can leave items on it.

Space-saving wall bed

Furl wall beds are designed for everyday use 

Our wall beds have daily use in mind, which is why we make them with easy-to-use mechanisms. We also have a range of headboards and high-quality mattresses for you to choose from.

They come with internal storage, external storage, and they’re available in white, oak, or walnut.  Each foldable wall bed can be made to fit a slim unit, a deep unit, or even a horizontal unit  – and what’s more, they can be fitted to any wall, including plasterboard.

Murphy wall beds were a fantastic invention and served a great purpose for many years. We have taken this great invention then improved on it and given it a much-needed modern twist.

At Furl, our wall beds are known for their quality, and everything is made to order with you in mind.