How to build a Murphy Bed

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For years we have had a daybed in our guest bedroom. A daybed is an odd type of space-saving bed that takes up a lot space. When it’s retracted, it’s too deep to use for seating. When it’s made into a bed, it’s uncomfortable and the two sections tend to separate.

This small bedroom gets used for guests maybe once or twice a year, hardly justifying wasting half its space with a bed. The answer is a Murphy bed. Mine contains a full-sized mattress and when in its upright position, takes up a mere 16″ x 60″ (40cm x 152cm) of floor space.

DIY Murphy Bed

Murphy Bed hardware kit

Building the cabinet and bed frame is pretty easy. The most challenging part is installing the hardware. I bought the DIY Starter Kit from MurphyBedHardware.com. I don’t have any affiliation with them, but they offer several different kits, the prices seem competitive, and shipping is free.  That said, the hardware kit cost me more than the lumber. At $369, The DIY kit is the least expensive.

It comes with instructions for building a basic bed frame and cabinet. Having never seen a Murphy bed in person, I had to spend a lot of time studying these instructions to understand the big picture. They could certainly do with a few more detailed drawings. To make it much easier for me to visualize, I drew up plans in Sketchup which you can download below. Note that these are specific for the DIY Starter Kit and built for a full-sized mattress. 

Other materials I used for this project:

Casper Mattress

I am thrilled that Casper Mattresses agreed to sponsor this project. I love that they are shaking up the mattress industry by offering a great product at half the price of brick & mortar retailers. Most mattress dealers try to convince you that a good night’s sleep depends on spending $2000 on a mattress with pretty floral quilting. Casper instead focuses on making super comfortable mattresses in the U.S.A. that combine memory foam with latex foam. It comes to your doorstep in a big box, with free shipping. If you are considering purchasing a new mattress, I hope you will give them a try. Plus, they are giving a $50 discount to all WWMM viewers! Make sure you use this special link to get the discount

Free Plans

Murphy Bed

12 COMMENTS

  1. Great video and thank you for the plans!

    Note for others. Unless you already have the “SketchUp” program installed on your computer, stick with the PDF.

    RESIST the human curiosity to view the SK file and avoid screwing around with installing the proprietary “SketchUp” program, it’s clearly for professional designers who have a decent modern computer. I wasted my time installing the SketchUp software only to find that the only version that would install was too old to open the SK file above.

  2. what kind of hardware do you need for this project
    if you don’t mind can you post a list of this you need

  3. “_Eu amo seus projetos cara! Você é realmente o super de todos os caras que lançam vídeos explicativos sobre marcenaria, porque seus projetos além de serem superfantásticos são realmente muito bem explicados. Parabéns por sua filantropia em compartilhar conosco seus projetos e experiência e muito boa sorte em tudo. deus Jeová os abençoe sempre. Amém!”

  4. I would love to try this project. 3 questions: what are the side and end cleats exactly? what is the width of the side and end rails ( ? x75 3/4 x 3/4)? And where is the leg crossbar dowel used (I don’t see it anywhere on the plans other than the cutting layout page)? Thank you so much, I’ve wanted to do this for years, with your plans this seems very doable.

  5. OK, I feel slightly stupid. Now that I’ve watched the video 2 of my questions have been answered. Sorry!! My only remaining question is the width of the side and end rails.

    Thank you!

    • I had the same question. I looked at the sketchup model. Dimensions are 75-3/4″ x 4-1/2″ x 3/4″ and 56-1/8″ x 4-1/2″ x 3/4″.

    • Husband and I built one of these and he closed the bed up and drilled a hole through the outside and through the mattress box support and used a really long bolt. Just slide it in and that’s it. We done one on each side. But if you build close to a wall on one side you can just use one bolt. Worked perfect

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