How Can I Put A Sofa Under My Murphy Bed?
March 2, 2014 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I have a very tiny new apartment, and the best place for a sofa also happens to be the wall where there is a Murphy bed. I'm considering a couple of options. I could put casters on my small loveseat so it's easier to push out of the way when the bed is down. But if I move the loveseat every day over a thick rug, will it damage the rug? (There's also isn't really a great place to move it to when the bed is down, because the space is so small). The other option I was considering was some type of floor seating that can fit under the bed, which has about 8" of space when it's down. Has anyone ever tried a sofa like this? Can floor seating be comfortable?
posted by three_red_balloons to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Resource Furniture sells a ton of murphy bed / sofa combinations. I don't get the impression you want to replace the whole piece, but looking at some of their styles might give you some more ideas of what you could do.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:22 AM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Can't speak to the other pieces but...

Has anyone ever tried a sofa like this? Can floor seating be comfortable?

I got this for my kids a while back. They never used it; too uncomfortable.
posted by kinetic at 9:26 AM on March 2, 2014

Can you post a photo?

I think it really depends on the rug. Something low pile and inexpensive -- will probably be fine and if you mess it up, no biggie. Something with more of a nap might start to look kind of threadbare if you're daily moving rolling furniture over it.

What kind of seating do you need? Someplace to lay out and watch TV? Something for guests to use when visiting? If so, how often? Some place to sit and read? I generally think that for compact spaces, smaller moveable pieces are a better deal. So, I might do two arm chairs (on casters) and then have a couple skinny folding chairs tucked away. Or a stack of floor pillows as extra seating.

Hard to say without seeing the space. I can't think of any sofa that would fit in 8" of space that would be comfortable.
posted by amanda at 9:59 AM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Could you pretend you don't have a Murphy bed, and get a daybed that stay in that spot and would double as a sofa?
posted by jessicapierce at 10:11 AM on March 2, 2014 [6 favorites]

Best answer: How about furniture sliders instead of casters?
posted by alphanerd at 10:43 AM on March 2, 2014

The big question is where the couch is going to go when the bed is pulled down. I think putting the couch on casters is a solution if the murphy bed is just for guests, but if it's your full time sleeping space, the logistics seem a little more difficult.

Two armchairs is a good compromise -- maybe look for some upholstered chairs without arms so you can shove them together to achieve a couch-like effect? The only drawback to not having a couch I can think of is that there's nowhere to snuggle/make moves on another person.
posted by Sara C. at 1:37 PM on March 2, 2014

The larger the surface area between the sofa and the floor, the less damage will be done by moving it. Ideally, some sort of big wide rollers, but if you can't find anything, using more than four casters would help.
posted by flimflam at 2:25 PM on March 2, 2014

I agree with the "use a daybed" suggestion. Barring that, I would probably put a smaller mattress against the wall under the bed and have a large bin of throw pillows nearby and use it as a flop-pad when the bed is up... Not very aesthetically pleasing though.
posted by celtalitha at 2:39 PM on March 2, 2014

Nthing jessicapierce's suggestion.

If you like this idea, I have a great sofa/bed recommendation. I live in a small studio myself, and use the West Elm Tillary Sofa. During the day, it looks like a sofa. At night, I lift off and set aside the back cushions, put some sheets on the base (which is conveniently the size of a twin bed) and tuck in. A great solution for those of us who don't love the traditional daybed look but like the idea behind it.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 2:44 PM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another vote for ditching the Murphy bed. I lived in an apartment with one and it was awful. The bed itself was uncomfortable, it was weird sleeping with a creepy closet behind my head, and it was a drag to deal with the bed twice a day.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:13 PM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Along the same lines as schroedingersgirl's suggestion, Ikea's Karlaby is surprisingly comfortable, and doesn't have the pokey bar in the middle like most futons and sofa beds.
posted by jessicapierce at 3:17 PM on March 2, 2014

Get a sofa like this.

It's comically light. Like i could pick one up entirely by myself without straining or grunting when i was 12 or 13 and walk around with it like it was an inflatable toy. A friend has one in her house right now, and she regularly moves it around. Shes a fairly petite lady.

You won't need casters, you just pick the thing up and drop it down wherever when you're done. The stucture/etc of the thing is just 99% foam in various thicknesses.

I'm mostly suggesting this because a nonfolding mattress is 1000% more comfortable than a sleeper sofa in every instance i can think of. Ikea used to make some really large modular sofas that weren't intentionally beds that were actually comfortable, but of the fold out/transforming variety i always end up being disappointed, grumpy, and uncomfortable.

I would much rather have a light, small sofa i could easily kick across the room and pull a real bed out. Hell, i'd even replace the mattress in the murphy bed if it sucked.

On preview though, if it was going to be my bed full time i feel like i might get tired of constantly moving the couch. Who knows though. I just really don't trust the concept of a "comfortable sleeper sofa" since i've been let down so many times.
posted by emptythought at 6:35 PM on March 2, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I'm going to try out the furniture sliders (just for occasional moving; I found a good semi-permanent place to stick the loveseat). I want to use the actual bed, since it's comfortable (for anyone considering a Murphy bed out there, I think it's fine-- at least with modern ones like this one, you can use any mattress you like, and it's no different from a platform bed. And mine doesn't have my head in any sort of closet). Also, it's big enough for my partner to share, unlike a daybed.
posted by three_red_balloons at 2:22 PM on March 3, 2014

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