Murphy Bed Hardware

A few general observations on the challenge of assembling and installing a Murphy bed. August 22, 2007

I've been asked to build my first Murphy bed. Can anyone recommend hardware (queen vertical)? Anything I should know about?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor F:
You will never forget your first one! Now that I have your attention, there are 3 basic mechanisms - an enclosed spring system, an open spring system, and a piston system type. I believe there are many more spring types sold than piston types.

The most flexible is the enclosed spring type of SICO or Pardo. Sico sells to a dealer (Fabricator) network and Pardo is sold exclusively by Selby Hardware and their distributors in the USA. Enclosed spring types are adjusted by turning an adjusting screw. The mechanism is fastened to the cabinet and the cabinet is fastened to the wall.

There are two configurations of exposed spring types. The original Murphy bed was spring type that attached to the floor of the room where it was installed. Adjustments for load are made by adding or removing exposed coil springs. The springs are fastened between the bed and the floor. The second fixes to the cabinet.

Piston systems can be likened to your 1948 Plymouth hatchback. The system is fastened to the bed cabinet and the cabinet to the wall much like the enclosed spring type.

Locate a vendor that can walk you through the process and literature to show how and what to build the first time, from cutting list to final adjustment. Far too many first timers never start their second but the ones that do find a very profitable niche. This post is totally over simplified!

From contributor J:
Fred covered the basics of the differing mechanisms better than I could... I've only used piston systems and never had any complaints. Create-A-Bed has a good piston system, including cutlists and a construction demo CD that would be of use on your first one.

One caveat: These things are big and heavy. I oftentimes construct the final case on location. If you build it all in the shop you are going to need an army to deliver it. I build the bed platform, mount all the hardware to finished case sides, and then assemble the final case and set the bed in place on site.

Be accurate in your hardware placement and follow the manufacturer recommendations and you should be fine. Oh, and don't try to open it until it's secured to the wall.

From contributor C: has both spring and piston hardware available.

From contributor M:
I bought my hardware from Woodworker Supply. It come with plans and cut list. I built it and installed it alone and had no trouble. I am 71 today.

From contributor F:
Happy birthday.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor R:
As mentioned earlier, there are three basic Murphy wall bed systems: Piston, Enclosed Spring, and Open Spring. I chose the Open Spring from Murphy Wall-Beds in Canada which was recommended by a friend who had used this system. The bed casement is mounted vertically against the wall with L brackets. (In applications where the vertical bed will not fit, too long for room, low ceiling, there is a side tilt model which mounts horizontally against the wall).

Make sure to ask ahead the maximum thickness your mattress can be. I made the cabinet from a cut list they provided (I made some small modifications by adding lights) and assembled it with a friend. Overall, it was very simple, but a two person job when installing it. I am happy with it and the next one I do I want to put in a wall to wall unit with a desk incorporated.