Frequently Asked Questions
Murphy Bed & Wall Bed FAQ’s:
Who purchases Murphy Beds?
What’s new with Murphy Beds?
How do Murphy Beds go up and down?
So why does Smart Spaces use a spring-loaded mechanism?
Do the beds have a warranty?
What materials do you use to make the bed?
Why would I want my bed to be made with melamine?
What is thermofoil?
Should I choose a vertical or side bed?
What is the lead time for ordering and installation?
Should I choose a 15- or a 20-inch depth bed cabinet?
What about the mattress?
Can the furniture exactly fit my specific dimensions?
What about the baseboards where the bed will be installed?
How are the Murphy Beds attached to the wall?
Our most common client is someone who wants an extra bed for occasional guests, but only has limited space and wants it to “disappear” when not in use. These people can be condo owners, both in town and at resorts, families that have parents visiting and ”man cavers”. Less than 10% of clients use their Murphy wall bed every day.
My favorite story is about the Oklahoman who has a large vacation home in the mountains. His extensive family visits and he needed five Murphy beds in a variety of sizes and styles to put in different rooms–and hallways. We completed the entire selection and contract in under one hour. Fabulous!
CABINET BEDS. Cabinet beds don’t attach to the wall, so they can be easily assembled and/or moved by the customer. They are a dedicated, comfortable gel-foam mattress that folds into thirds for efficient storage. They are made out of a solid hardwood and are available in several stain colors. Lastly, they are a little less expensive than traditional wall beds because they needn’t be professionally installed.
The other big addition to our product—and in fact to the entire furniture design industry—has been the introduction of entirely new laminates. New laminates such as high-gloss and textured melamines, metallic, engineered woods and high-pressured laminated (HPL) surfaces such a s Formica and other brands, allow for almost unlimited creativity in a contemporary style. Slap on some awesome handles and you get a style, variety and probably some cost savings as well.
Also, manufacturers are creating new ideas for cabinetry—especially closets—such as soft-close doors and drawers, pull-out shelves, pull-down upper cabinets, mirrors, electric outlets and others. All of these can be integrated into other cabinetry for advanced individual functionality.
In the world of Murphy Beds, the mechanisms that allows the bed to go up and down come in two types: spring-loaded and piston. Smart Spaces uses a spring-loaded mechanism from Murphy Wall Beds Hardware, Inc. of Canada. Both types are equally safe and can be easily operated with a single hand.
Our mechanism has several important advantages:
- It is ISO 9002 certified. While not an absolute guarantee, it does show that the manufacturer has made the investment in the time and money to achieve this certification of quality. Ask the other retailers’ why their mechanism isn’t certified.
- All steel (or aluminum) construction.
- It can be considerably less expensive to buy, and certainly to repair, if the springs ever do fatigue. If they do, Smart Spaces will replace them for free—forever.
- The mattress is recessed into the cabinet, which means that the bed has a smaller “footprint” (than a traditional bed), both when up and when down.
- The Murphy Bed legs are curved to go under the bed when down, to reduce “toe jam.”
The mechanism is an important part of your decision process. Please take the time to compare all costs and benefits of every retailers’ products.
Yes. The mechanisms have a 25-year warranty, the mattresses that are included in the package are warrantied for 5 years (upgrades for 10 years), and Smart Spaces warranties our products for life against defects of materials and workmanship.
Smart Spaces can use virtually any generally available material.
- Natural wood products such s walnut, oak, cherry, alder, maple and hickory and are available in both select and rustic styles. Also, we use the flat wood veneers in the above species.
- Man-made products such as melamine, thermofoil, and almost any other laminate.
The man-made products offer the advantage of lower costs, greater color variety, and greater durability. Generally, solid wood and thermofoil that offer a design such as raised panel or shaker will be more expensive than the veneers and melamines that are flat.
This is not your Mother’s melamine (rhymes with “bean”). Modern melamine substitutes for and offers several advantages over unstained wood veneers: Melamine comes in a greater variety of colors, wood grains, and textures; it is less expensive; and, it is more durable and worry-free. We use a three-quarter inch industrial grade particleboard core that has proven itself year after year. Particleboard, like plywood, is made from forestry byproducts and residuals, thus aiding the environment by recycling this raw material into higher value-added products that would otherwise be discarded.
Thermofoil does for real wood what melamine does for wood veneer: It comes in greater variety of colors, wood grains, and textures than wood; it is less expensive; and, it is more durable. It is the popular choice for people wanting a real wood appearance but wanting more choice, cost savings, or a maintenance-free material. It is so like wood that most people have to be taught to tell the difference.
A vertical bed that comes down so that the head of the mattress is against the wall is typically the first choice if ceiling height and room dimensions allow. However, if a low ceiling or a narrow room makes that impossible, a side bed where the length of the mattress is against the wall may be the answer. Also, a lower side bed can allow space for storage cabinetry on top.
That depends on what you are ordering and its material. Materials that take more time include: real woods, thermofoil, unique construction and staining. If none of these are included, lead times can be measured in a few weeks if not less.
The larger depth allows a shelf to be installed inside the cabinet next to the wall to hold small items such as glasses, books, and clocks. Also, if a closet is included in a side cabinet, the closet rod can run in a conventional side-to-side manner rather than a valet rod that pulls out back to front.
First, Murphy Beds do not require a special mattress. Second, we know that mattresses are a personal decision, so we offer a variety of styles and firmnesses. Last, the mattress’ height is limited to 12 inches, which is governed not by the cabinet depth (15 or 20 inches) but by the cross bar separating the two leg frames.
Yes. Smart Spaces is a production furniture maker with custom capabilities and can produce products that go wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, or whatever else you want. While the dimensions of the beds’ cabinet are fixed, the dimensions of any side cabinets, closets and home offices can be unique and made to fit your requirements.
Standard baseboards generally do not present a problem and you have two choices:
1. Remove them. Our crews can do this on-site and this presents the cleanest look.
2. Leave them on. We can either put the cabinets over the baseboard or we can notch the cabinet so that its back side lies flush against the wall all the way up.
The top of the Murphy bed cabinet is attached to the studs in the wall with “L” brackets; nothing goes into the floor. Side cabinets are attached to both the wall and to the bed.