A closet bed, known by various names such as the Murphy bed, is any kind of bed that’s mounted on a surface so that it can be folded into a closet, wall or any enclosed space. Most of these beds are deceptively hidden and elastic bands are usually strapped around the mattress to keep it fastened to the bed frame while its folding mechanism keeps the bed in an upright position when collapsed and in a flat position when it is being used. Even though the original design of the closet door was powered by a spring that required periodic adjustments to prevent accidents, later modifications to the design has allowed the bed to last for ten or more years without the need for any adjustment. Here are some of the factors one has to take into consideration when choosing a closet bed.
Most closet beds are operated by two main mechanisms; these are the piston and spring mechanisms. The piston mechanisms use air pressure or gas to move the bed. Even though they can’t be adjusted manually, they do come with a ten year lifespan. In this regard, it is very important to install the right piston strength for the mattress. Piston systems that are too strong can make the bed float off the ground since there is not enough weight to ground it. Spring mechanisms use heavy duty counter-balanced coil springs that aid in the lowering and lifting of the bed. Depending on the manufacturer, some of the mechanisms can last a lifetime without the need for replacement or adjustment every so often due to fatigue which can lead to what is referred to as an off-frame bed.
The bed can either be wall or floor mounted. Generally, the floor mounted beds are the ones that rely on a spring mechanism and are more stable. One of the main disadvantages of this bed is the damage to the floor and the inability to move the bed after installation. On the other hand, wall mounting is the ideal installation for beds with a piston mechanism. The bed naturally doesn’t cause a lot of damage to the floor because it is attached to the wall using some studs that can easily be removed if and whenever necessary.
The configuration of the bed is also very important. There are vertical and horizontal beds. Horizontal beds consume a lot of storage space but take up less of the floor space when used; on the other hand, vertical beds may not consume a lot of storage space but tend to consume a lot of floor space when they are opened up. Horizontal beds are ideal for use in spaces with relatively low head space and can be installed in room dividers, mini-bars, attic walls and decks.
While the materials used to make a closet bed can only be limited by your imagination, the four most common materials are solid wood, plywood, medium density fiberboards (MDF) and particle boards. Homeowners who are keen on the more luxurious and expensive option often get a bed frame made of solid wood. Particle boards are the most affordable but are not known for their longevity and durability. On the other hand, MDF are engineered using small wood particles and are more refined. Even though the beds made using this material are stronger, they also tend to be heavier which makes them difficult for both removal and installation.
Depending on your preference, closet bed come with double-size, single, king and queen size mattresses. When choosing your bed, it is advisable to check if it can accommodate the typical eleven inch mattress , this is important to check out because some closet door only allow a mattress height of nine inches which can be quite discomforting for someone sleeping on it. You should also take into consideration the weight of the mattress which can negatively affect the spring tension and piston mechanism of the bed.