Murphy beds are an excellent solution for maximizing space in tiny or container homes. These innovative bed designs offer a perfect blend of functionality and style.

They can transform any limited living area into a comfortable bedroom within seconds when your living quarters have limited space.


In this blog post, we will dive into the benefits of choosing a bed for a shipping container home or tiny home.

We’ll discuss how these popular bed styles provide comfort levels comparable to conventional beds while saving precious floor space with their unique design.


Most people can not imagine a bedroom space in a tiny room. It is possible, my friends.

I have seen hundreds of small rooms that utilize the area so well it is surprising.

Key Takeaways
  • Maximize Space: Murphy beds are perfect for tiny and container homes, saving space without sacrificing style.
  • Planning is Key: Proper layout planning ensures the bed fits well and enhances living space functionality.
  • Multi-Functionality and Comfort: Choose beds that offer multiple uses, like built-in desks or storage, without compromising on the comfort level of traditional beds.
  • Ease of Use and Versatility: Modern designs are easy to operate and come in various styles to match any decor, emphasizing the importance of assessing your needs and storage requirements effectively.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I can earn commissions. If you decide to purchase through my links, it is at no cost to you.

How to Choose the Best Murphy Bed for a Shipping Container Home or Tiny Home

When choosing a bed for your space, planning the layout is crucial. If you get it wrong, it could be costly.

Let’s talk about what thought needs to go into your bed selection. Thoughtful planning will be time well spent.

1. Space Planning & Placement Ideas

Space planning is an essential part of tiny living. A shipping container home or tiny home may have limited headspace but usually always has limited wall space.

  • Is your bed going into a dedicated sleeping space, or will it be part of the living space?
  • How much height do you have to allow the bed to open and close?
  • How much wall space do you have to spare to attach the bed to the wall?
  • Do you need space to walk around the bed?

Consider drawing your space out in chalk and using cardboard to understand how the area will function.

Identify what placement options your space can cater to and think through each. If you have space for a bed to be used horizontally or vertically, decide what you will gain or lose if you choose each option.

2. Functional Needs

Tiny living means creative space utilization and multi-purpose furniture. Some pieces need to have two or more functions.

Assessing your functional needs can help you decide on a bed.

Be honest with yourself when considering function. While having a desk would be nice, are you going to use it every day for several hours, or is there another way to have a workspace?

Take a true and honest assessment of your needs versus your wants.

  • Do you need your bed to have another function?
  • Do you perhaps need storage, a desk, or a built-in sofa?
  • Does your bed need to be an accent piece in the space?

3. Storage Assessment

Is storage important or needed in your bed? There are lots of options to house clothes or knick-knacks.

Do you need storage:

  • For clothes?
  • For books?
  • For Decor?
  • To store the bedding or pillows?

The Benefits of Murphy Beds in Small Spaces

In tiny homes or small shipping container homes, every square foot counts. One of the struggles with a tiny home is climbing a ladder to the bed in a loft.

This is where a Murphy Bed shines.


A Murphy Bed, also known as a wall bed, provides the same level of comfort as conventional stationary beds but with one key difference – it can be stored away when not in use.

This feature can significantly make your tiny space suddenly feel larger. With a wall bed, you can have your bed on the main floor in the living area or in a downstairs bedroom.

A tiny house

1. Comfort Level of a Murphy Bed Compared to Conventional Beds

Comfort is not an issue with a Murphy Bed. Murphy Beds are designed with standard mattresses offering the support and comfort you expect from any high-quality bed.

Murphy Beds don’t require unique bedding or thin mattresses like some sofa beds do. Your back will thank you.


You get to enjoy your beauty sleep on a bed that folds neatly into a cabinet during the day. I would put the Murphy bed against other popular bed styles any day.

2. Space-Saving Designs for Small Living Spaces

The genius behind the design of Murphy Beds lies in their ability to transform your room within seconds.

They take up minimal floor space when folded up, making them the perfect bed for a shipping container home or tiny home.

Pull it down for the night and put it back up for the morning. Easy Peasy. 

Why people love it:

  • Ease of Use: Modern designs have made these beds incredibly easy to operate using pistons calibrated according to weight, which makes opening and closing effortless.
  •  Versatility: These cleverly designed pieces can double up as shelves, desks, or sofas during daylight hours, providing additional functionality beyond sleeping arrangements.
  •  Aesthetics: With various styles available, from traditional wood finishes to sleek modern designs, there’s something suitable for every taste and interior decor theme.

Investing in a quality wall bed could prove invaluable if you’re considering moving into a smaller home or looking at ways to maximize existing spaces.

It’s time we rethink our bedroom furniture choices, especially if living large isn’t about how much space you have but what you do with it.

Construction and Setup of Murphy Beds

Unlike traditional beds, Murphy Beds designs don’t require box springs, so you can save a little money. A Murphy Bed uses a system of wooden slats that prevent mattress sagging.

Piston Mechanism & Setup

Setting up a Murphy Bed is as easy as 1-2-3. There is a piston lift mechanism calibrated to your mattress’s weight to ensuring a smooth transition between sleeping and stowed positions.

The piston system has come a long way since it was invented decades ago. The beds are designed to prevent sudden drops or closures that could cause injury.

Don’t worry if you’re not a DIY expert – most Murphy Bed models come with step-by-step instructions and all the necessary hardware for installation. Some manufacturers offer professional installation services.

Save money and DIY Instead

For more information on Murphy Beds, check out this DIY guide on building your own. A DIY bed could allow you to play with bed designs to match your functionality needs for your tiny space.

Versatility Offered by Different Types of Murphy Bed Cabinets

These versatile beds come in various cabinet designs that allow you to customize your living space while maintaining functionality. Let’s explore some popular options:

Murphy Bed as a Plain Cabinet

A plain cabinet Murphy bed offers a clean, minimalist look and gives you more freedom regarding furniture selection.

This option is perfect for those who prefer customizing their living space with unique pieces that reflect their style.

This very plain piece is disguised as a dresser. Grab those doors to open it up and reveal a bed that comes in Twin XL, Full & Queen.

Murphy Bed with Built-in Sofa

Want a bed that won’t interrupt your daytime activities? Consider a model with an attached sofa.

When the bed is folded, you can use the couch without moving any furniture around – ideal for uninterrupted daytime use. When you need the bed, just pull it down.

The bed uses the sofa as support. There is still space on the wall for art as well.

Murphy Bed with Desk Attached

Need a desk and a bed? No problem! In today’s work-from-home era, a dedicated workspace is a must.

A desk-attached Murphy bed can convert your bedroom into an office during the day and back into a comfortable sleeping area at night – all within seconds. The items on the desk can remain in place when you lower the bed.

Murphy Bed with Side Shelves

For extra storage, look for models with side shelves or cabinets – ideal for stowing away books, decorations, and bedding when not in use.

The LED lights give an ambiance to the unit too. This piece has an open back to hang some fun art on the wall.

3 Practical Considerations When Choosing a Murphy Bed

Choosing the right bed for your tiny space might seem easy but requires careful consideration. The height you have available, your functional needs, if your wall can support the weight when the bed is attached, and what size bed you need.

From cost comparisons to assessing available floor space and bedding storage solutions, several factors must be considered before choosing the best Murphy Bed.

How to choose the best bed for a shipping container home or tiny home

Cost Comparisons Between Different Models

The price of a Murphy bed can vary greatly depending on its design and features. A simple wall-mounted model may be more affordable than one with built-in furniture or high-end materials.

Considering your budget and needs, comparing prices from Murphy bed retailers is essential. Plan to spend about $1000-$2000 on a basic model.

You could buy a simpler model and then add functional pieces to it. Bookshelves are relatively inexpensive and could easily be attached to look like one piece.

You could also get creative and create a stay-level shelf that attaches to the front of the bed and stays level as the bed folds.

Assessing Available Floor Space Before Purchase

You likely have limited space, so measuring accurately before purchasing large furniture items like a bed is crucial.

Ensure that there is enough room for the closed cabinet and that the bed is fully extended into the room.

Also, consider if models with additional shelving would fit comfortably within your living area without causing clutter or obstruction.

Bedding Storage Solutions

A common question among potential buyers is where to store their bedding when folded up during daytime use.

Some models come with built-in storage, such as drawers or shelves, which can keep bedding when the bed is folded up.

I have even seen a few people hide their bedding in the space between the mattress and the frame.

Where do we hide the pillows

Conclusion

Murphy Beds for Tiny Houses and Container Homes are a game-changer for maximizing living space, and they’re surprisingly comfy too!

When choosing a Murphy bed, consider practical factors like cost, available floor space, and storage solutions for bedding. But don’t sacrifice style for function – Murphy beds come in various cabinet designs to fit any aesthetic.

Plus, with the rise of remote work, a Murphy bed can quickly transform your home into a multi-functional workspace.

So say goodbye to cramped quarters and hello to a cozy, versatile living space with a Murphy bed!

Frequently Asked Questions

How big should a bed be in a tiny house?

You want to be comfortable, so get a bed to serve your needs. You do not need a bed the size of a blow-up pool toy just to save space.

Can you put a Murphy bed in a tiny house?

Absolutely! It’s a good idea even. A lot of tiny house owners use the Murphy bed to save space.

What is an elevator bed?

An elevator bed is on a platform that raises out of the way when not in use, freeing up the space under the bed for other needs.

Are Murphy beds good for small rooms?

Thanks to their space-saving design, Murphy beds are an excellent choice for small rooms like tiny houses or container homes. 

What is the difference between a wall bed and a Murphy bed?

The terms ‘wall bed’ and ‘Murphy bed’ are often used interchangeably, but the original Murphy Bed refers specifically to a patented design by William L. Murphy.

What is the point of a Murphy bed?

Murphy beds maximize floor space, offering flexibility in multi-purpose rooms by folding into cabinetry when not in use.

What is the minimum room size for a Queen Murphy bed?

A  basic vertical queen-size Murphy bed typically requires about 90 inches at minimum in height. Opting for a horizontal bed may be an option if you have a low ceiling. 

Author
  • Erin Hybart

    Meet Erin, a real estate enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge and an insatiable curiosity for all things Real Estate and living with intention. She passionately advocates for alternative, affordable, and eco-friendly housing solutions. She believes in pushing the industry's innovation boundaries and thinking outside the box. As a licensed real estate agent in Louisiana, Erin dedicates herself to assisting clients in buying and selling properties and mentoring fellow agents to succeed in their own Real Estate businesses. In addition to her professional pursuits, Erin channels her expertise into captivating house-flipping adventures.

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