A Real Murphy Bed Plan


Look on the Internet for plans to build a robot from an old computer mouse and you’ll find plenty.  Really useful, huh?  But, look for a set of plans for a Murphy bed and you’ll be disappointed.  Oddly there are plenty of people out there searching for do-it-yourself plans for Murphy beds, myself included (both in the “searching” and in the “odd” category).

Murphey Brown

Eddie Murphy

A typical Murphy bed

A typical Murphy bed

Moddi Murphy bed (twin size)

I finally found the Moddi Murphy Bed Plan and purchased their set of plans for $8.  The plans include not only the exact parts that are needed (and where to buy them) but a pretty thorough set of instructions, too, including cut sheets.  I was suspicious about shelling out money for a set of plans that you would think would be available anywhere on the internet but after a few days of searching and not finding such a thing, I was willing to splurge.

The deciding factor for me was not only that the plans are in one place and contain obtainable parts list, but that the entire bed (minus mattress) can be constructed for less than $400 (or less than $300 for a twin size).

Posted in: Home and Kitchen
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Julie January 20, 2010, 1:07 pm

    Of course you have to show us the final product once you build this bed 🙂

  • Michael Rothermich January 20, 2010, 1:59 pm

    My parents have a small, 1 bedroom condo and I hated sleeping on an air mattress, so I recently added a Murphy Style bed. I had significant concerns about a spring based design, and eventually went with a kit from a wood working supply store I buy on line (Woodcraft). The kit is not cheap, but directions, video and hardware were top notch and the bed came out great. Plans are easy to disguise as a wardrobe or other large piece of furniture. Would consider looking into it. Most other reviews I’ve read were also favorible. BTW – I used oak plywood. Sorry I don’t remember what the final cost of all materials were. The kit is resold lots of places, but the homepage is at: http://www.wallbed.com/index.html

  • Gardenwife January 20, 2010, 2:05 pm

    I’d like to see the finished bed, too. Thanks for writing about this. We space-short people will benefit. By the way, I got a kick out of the Murphy Brown & Eddie Murphy pictures.

  • Sandee Cohen January 20, 2010, 7:51 pm

    Anyone who’s not a Do-it-yourselfer should look at http://www.disappearingwallbeds.com/doityourself.htm

    They sell three different types of wall bed supplies.

    The cabinet maker supplies all the gears and hinges to make the bed disappear into a wall. But you have to make the cabinets, bed frame, etc. This costs about $300.

    The Handyperson supplies the lift mechanism and some of the wood, but not all. You have to make the cabinet, bed, liners, etc. This costs about $600.

    The complete assembly is everything you need, but you have to put it together. They have a wide variety of finishes and options. The costs is over $1000 or more!

  • Ian January 21, 2010, 7:21 am

    Brings back bad memories of these at boarding school.(in a very basic version)
    Let’s just say you needed to be able to wake up and get up in a hurry…..

  • Cobin Rox January 21, 2010, 8:32 am

    @Michael, @Sandee – yah, I had seen those too but they charged $300 just for the mechanism. The cool thing about the Moddi plan is that it is $300 – $400 for the entire thing, including the wood. And you can download the parts list for the Moddi plan for free to see in advance what you need and what it will cost.

    And actually re the Moddi plan – you can save an extra $100 or so by not including the Ikea side tables as the fascia. Also, those Ikea side tables are actually on sale down to $8 from $12 apiece.

  • Lancaster Handcraft February 21, 2010, 12:35 am

    It took up a couple years to perfect our Murphy Bed system. It was tough. Create a Bed system is pretty good! We use our own, but theirs is pretty good too.

  • Natalie January 24, 2011, 11:03 pm

    The Moddi-Murphy…I built this bed according to these plans three years ago and have had to fix it due to the poor material choices more than three times.

    MDF is a bad choice for anything like this. I have had the caddy rip away from the wall (the MDF ripped) the lower bracket tear away from the side rail (again the MDF) and just tonight the MDF broke at another part of the siderail and tore away from the 1/2 inch plywood base (another material upgrade I had to make when the luan sagged). Oh, I also had to upgrade to use more substantial toggle bolts to hold the tables on.

    Seriously, if you are making this bed for regular use, how about you just don’t. I live in a tiny urban apartment and it seamed like a good idea for the price. But if I had to factor in all of the upgrades necessary, the additional costs and the headaches of having my bed break when I am tired and sick and just want to get some sleep I would have gone another route. I really I regret it.

  • Kristen April 8, 2011, 12:31 am

    The shop where you bought the wood should have told you not to use MDF. The wood is definitely not the best for this kind of project.

  • Francis February 20, 2013, 9:35 pm

    I found myself do the exact same thing, looking at these Murphy beds and not finding any simple plans, in the UK it’s really tricky to find these beds I have seen the fully made versions but so expensive! You mention that the mechanism is about $300 is that fully built? I have found one website here in the UK WallbedKing that sells them very cheap. Does anyone have any experience of them? The beds look really good but so cheap!

  • Eric April 3, 2013, 1:49 am

    I’m so glad I get to leave a comment. Yes, MDF wood was way too weak… we knew that and bought oak or maple instead. I don’t remember now.

    The hinge mechanism doesn’t work. We had to return ours and ask for a cheaper one. The company that sells the pistons actually asks people if they’re ordering for the Moddi Bed and I believe refuses to sell them for this… or at least warns them. They started doing that after we originally ordered it.

    The plans are actually fine enough, although I remember some difficulty deciphering them. But now we have a bed that only I can lift up because there is no hinge.

    I recommend against the plans. I think it’s a shame they keep taking people’s money.

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