A wall bed is a bed that folds down from a wall during the night and folds up against the wall during the day to provide extra floor space. Wall beds are also called hideaway or Murphy beds, in honor of its inventor, William Murphy, who patented the idea in 1900. Mr. Murphy wanted a bed that could be hidden in his closet supplying him the space needed to entertain friends in his otherwise tiny, one-bedroom apartment. Since then, wall beds have become extremely popular because of their effectiveness and functionality in maximizing the amount of space in an area.
Wall beds are hidden using of one of the three following methods:
The swing away bed system uses a set counter balance mechanism to "swing" the bed behind a curtain, blind or cabinet. This wall bed does not normally have attached doors for hiding the beds. This system is also called a CE wall bed system.
The foldaway bed system is designed to fit into a custom-built cabinet with a one-piece door (often 2 or 3 connected doors). By using an adjustable counter balance mechanism, the door is attached to the underside of the bed frame with a manual, fold-down leg. This wall bed system is also called a CM wall bed system.
The hide away bed system is also designed to fit into a custom built cabinet, however it uses split doors (often 4 or 6 connected doors). Using an adjustable counter balance mechanism the doors are attached to the underside of the bed frame, with an automatic leg, which allows the top door to form the footboard once the bed is lowered. This system is also called a CA wall bed system.
A wall bed is often used in small apartments that require additional space throughout the day. In addition to small apartments, a wall bed is ideal for places that are short on space, yet require additional sleep quarters. Fire stations, hospitals, hotels and college dorms are places that can highly benefit from wall beds. Depending on the size, design and make of the bed, wall beds can cost as little as $500.