Which wall-bed should we buy?
March 2, 2021 8:39 AM   Subscribe

We’re looking to buy a Murphy bed for a home office, and we’re trying to figure out which one to get.

We have elderly relatives who live overseas, so when they visit it’s typically for weeks or months at a time. Some of them are pretty obese, so the bed needs to be sturdy enough to take some abuse. Another has a severe back problem, so comfort is also a priority — our current sofa bed hasn’t been good on that front.

This will wind up sitting in a home office, in view of Zoom calls etc, so aesthetics are an issue. We’d like something simple & clean-looking, and — since the room isn’t huge — something pretty compact. We also like the idea of having a built-in couch when the bed is closed, like this one. We could spend a reasonable amount on this, but we want to make sure we get something that’s comfortable and that will last — we don’t want to pay a premium for something that’ll fall to pieces in a few years.

Does anyone have any stories about wall-beds that they can share? Recommendations or warnings? We live in Chicago, if that’s a factor.

posted by Yo Soy La Morsa to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We bought a wallbed from Breda Beds in August of last year and LOVE it. Like you, we live in a big city, so space is at a premium. Also like you, we have relatives who visit infrequently, so it's suboptimal to have a queen-sized bed taking up a huge amount of space in your house.

Our priorities were functionality (had to be able to take our preexisting Tempurpedic mattress, which we love; integrated lighting and storage; sofa), design, cost. We looked at a ton of wallbeds in person before the pandemic started in the Design District in SF, but we either didn't like how they looked or they were hugely expensive ($7000+). My wife found a number of places online, and ultimately we decided on Breda Beds due to the reasonable price, aesthetics, and many different possible configurations. The particular model we chose was the InLine bed with hutches: it fits in exactly the same space that our previous queen-sized bed from Ikea fit in (including the side tables), but when it's folded up you have a sofa to sit on and work from.

We ordered the bed and it took maybe a month to arrive. It showed up on a gigantic pallet that they left in our driveway, and I moved everything upstairs myself. I spent an entire weekend putting the bed together with minimal help from my wife, but I'm fairly handy and already have an extensive set of hand tools; an impact driver (to mount the lag bolts to studs) and my normal cordless electric drill with a square bit (to mount the bed frame to the face) were absolutely essential. I wouldn't say that it was complicated -- if you're comfortable assembling Ikea furniture, it's only a little beyond that -- but it was two long days of bending over and assembling things. They also offer an in-house assembly service if you're not up to the effort or challenge of doing it yourself.

All in all, I'm extremely happy with our choice. We haven't had an opportunity for guests to stay there yet (thanks Covid) but our kids think it's the coolest thing ever, and it feels very sturdy. It takes maybe two minutes to reconfigure the whole thing (cheesy YouTube link here), including moving around the sofa cushions. I took a look at their website and couldn't find anything about maximum weights while down; they were very responsive to us when we were considering buying, though, so you might just email them and ask.

If you're interested in photos of what it looks like in place, I'm happy to provide them; just memail me because I'd prefer not to have that kind of stuff publicly associated with my account.
posted by kdar at 9:41 AM on March 2, 2021 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I went with a cabinet bed for a similar situation. It's a comfortable bed and doesn't feel like it's a cot or sofa bed. In Zoom calls it looks like a cabinet.

You don't get a sofa with it, so it wouldn't work if that's a priority, but I prefer that it's more easily moved and that it's less of a topple risk if there's an earthquake. The one I got (the Clover Murphy Cabinet Bed) has support at the foot if you pull it out properly, so it works for larger people -- they won't tip it over if they sit at the end while they get dressed or what have you.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:59 AM on March 2, 2021

Best answer: We are in Chicago and bought a queen size bed from Murphy Wallbeds Chicago. We are very pleased with the bed itself as well as the service. It looks like cabinetry when it's closed and we were able to select the color, finish, and hardware style. When we moved, they came and took it down and re-installed it in our new place. There are lots of photos on their website.
posted by MelissaSimon at 3:14 PM on March 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone! We went with the Breda. Really appreciate your help.
posted by Yo Soy La Morsa at 12:29 PM on March 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

Glad to hear it!

One thing that I would strongly, strongly recommend: if you're going to assemble it yourself, buy extra square drive bits and an extension shaft for assembling the front panel. I had a handful of #2 (I believe) square drive bits but all but one ended up getting stripped by the end of assembly due to a combination of impatience on my part and angle of the driver vs the screw. Having extra bits would have allayed some anxiety on my part, for sure. Something like this would go a long way towards letting you line the drive bit up with the screw. There are something like 140 combination Philips/square screws that attach the bed frame to the front panel, and using the square drive made things go much faster. Especially when I had to, err, unscrew the whole thing because my measurements were off by a quarter inch and the hutch wouldn't close. (They stress accuracy of measurements in the instruction manual -- heed that well!)
posted by kdar at 9:34 PM on March 4, 2021

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