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Murphy beds, Next beds, Wall beds, Spacesaver beds - how they differ and how they work. Differences In Murphy beds,Next beds, and Wall beds
Murphy beds - the original bed in a cabinet

Murphy beds - the original bed in a cabinet

Murphy beds

Murphy BedAlthough they're often called the same thing, Murphy beds, Next beds, Wall beds and Spacesaver beds are different types of bed and each are constructed in different ways. They're all beds that either fold into a cabinet or fold into cabinets. That's where the similarities are and where they end. The difference in these beds stems from the way their lift mechanisms operate. And because they use different lift mechanisms, they require different types of cabinets.

Next beds


Murphy beds and Next beds are basically metal frame beds that are stored in a cabinet (either vertically or horizontally) that's placed on a wall to free up the space the bed takes up. This of course, is to use the space for other purposes during the day when the bed is not being used. A wall bed, by the same token, is a bed that's folded into a cabinet for opening up the same floor space. 

The differences in these beds lie in how the lift mechanisms work. Murphy beds and Next beds are bed frames that bolt to the floor in the Murphy bed's case, or your choice of the floor or base of the wall, in the case of the Next bed. They both have springs attached to the bed frame to assist in lifting the bed into the cabinet when you're ready to store the bed.


Wall beds, on the other hand, attach to the wall and use a lift mechanism on the sides of the cabinet to assist in lifting the bed panel into the cabinet. The mattress sits on a bed panel which, as the face of the cabinet, and is pulled down to open for sleeping. It becomes the face of the cabinet again, when the bed is put back up into the cabinet to be stored. It's for this reason that they are often call panel beds.

When looking for a Next bed, Murphy bed, wall bed, also called a panel bed, Alpha Bed or a Spacesaver bed, the most important thing to look for is the mechanisms used to help lift the bed into the cabinet. The second thing is how the mechanism is secured to the your home. The third thing is the materials used in the construction of the cabinet. All of these important aspects of Next beds, Murphy beds, wall beds, and Spacesaver beds are explained below.

Murphy beds use a lift mechanism that attaches to the floor to assist in lifting the bed into the cabinet when not in use. Floor savers are available, when it's not advisable to attach the lift mechanism to the floor, that attach the bed to the wall through the baseboard. They come with bi-fold doors that you have to open to pull the bed frame out of the cabinet for use. Because Murphy bed frames have thin metal slats across the bed frame to support the mattress, it's often necessary to place a foundation under the mattress for proper support. This is to keep the mattress from sagging.

Next beds work like Murphy beds in they can attach to the floor. But, they can also attach to the wall negating the need for floor savers or wall brackets. They also are constructed of tubular steel instead of plate steel like the Murphy bed which gives them rounded corners unlike the square corners of the Murphy bed. They have heat treated wooden slats to act as a foundation so you don't have to buy an extra foundation like you would have to with the Murphy bed.

Wall beds

This bed panel gives you the support that a foundation would for the Murphy bed but it does it without having to add anything to the unit. Your mattress simply sits on the bed panel which is the face of the cabinet when the bed is stored,  so instead of opening up doors to pull out a bed frame, you simply pull out the face of the cabinet or bed panel which becomes the bottom of the bed.

There are different types of lift mechanisms used for wall beds. There are pneumatic gas springs or shocks that are used on many wall beds. These usually have about a 10 year life span and often need to be exchanged in that time frame. Of course, this depends on how often you open and close your bed cabinet. A longer lasting type of mechanism used on many beds are coil springs. These type of lift mechanisms usually last a lifetime and many come with a lifetime guarantee.

Due to the strain
that all Murphy bed, Next bed and wall bed cabinets have to withstand as the bed is stored and deployed, it's important to understand how each of these different mechanisms work to choose the best solution for your needs. No matter how you store and deploy your bed, it's always going to be subjected to strain on the joints and mechanisms. Of course, this depends on how often you open and close your bed and how much strain its subjected to while you're doing so. This is why its important to know how each bed works and what materials are used for the cabinet, the mechanisms, and how they attach to your home.


All Murphy beds, Next beds, Wall beds and Spacesavers Wallbeds have straps to wrap around the bedding, that are fastened to the frame to hold the bedding into place so the bed can be stored in the cabinet without removing the bedding. The different types of lift mechanisms used in each type of bed are explained below in how each bed functions. Each type of bed uses a different type of mechanism to help lift the bed into the cabinet and some mechanisms allow you to adjust them for heavier mattresses. Some mechanisms have a longer life than other also, which is important to know. This is also explained in further detail below.

Although melamine particleboard is used in many cases to build the cabinet, to help keep the initial cost lower, melamine particleboard may give you fewer years of service. A lot of manufacturers are switching from particleboard to plywood because of the longer life that a plywood cabinet will give you over one made out of particleboard, even though they put a layer of mica or melamine over the material to help it last longer. Even though plywood is a little more expensive than particleboard, most manufacturers who use this type of material have found it better to use than particleboard in order to keep their customers satisfied longer. Solid wood on the other hand will usually give you more years of use because of the nature of the material and it's resistance to normal wear and tear. Most high quality Murphy beds, Next bed and wall bed cabinets are made out of solid wood to allow their owners a longer lifespan. Where the bar that holds the springs is fastened to the cabinet, whether screws or bolts are used, experience has shown that they last longer in solid wood than they do in plywood, which lasts even longer than in particleboard. This will give the owner many more years of use due to the normal strain that these joints are under.  

The most important distinction between a Murphy bed or Next bed and a wall bed is the way the bed uses the cabinet for storage and the way it's attached to your home. Because of the nature of Murphy beds, Next beds and wall beds, you also want to make sure they’re setup properly so they can give you years of good use. A good Murphy bed or wall bed needs to be installed in your home rather than just put together and sat up against the wall.  Murphy beds are attached the floor in your home because of the way the lift mechanism works. This can be avoided by using a floor saver, as mentioned above. Next beds attach to either the floor or wall where as wall beds are attached directly to the wall. Hence the name wall bed. This is because of the way their lift mechanisms work and how they're attached to the cabinet.

As mentioned before, Murphy bed and the Next bed are beds on a metal frames that are stored in a cabinet. The legs on the Murphy bed and Next bed frames pivot on the side of the frames to store the bed in the cabinet. The bed frame is designed to allow the legs on the frame to remain vertical while deploying and storing the bed, so the bed is supported by the metal legs on the frame. The Murphy bed frame uses slats to support the mattress for the bed. The Next bed has heat treated wood slats for its foundation. Because of the way the lift mechanism works on the Murphy bed and Next bed, the cabinet is secured to the floor or base of the wall to keep the cabinet from moving when the bed is stored and deployed for sleeping.

A wall bed is a bed that uses the cabinet to support the mattress and this is why it's important to know how they differ. The legs on a wall bed fold out from the cabinet face to support the bed when the bed is lowered to sleep on. The rest of the bed is supported by the cabinet itself where the face of the cabinet, which acts as the base for the bed, is attached to the cabinet on an arm that acts as an axle to allow the bed to be lifted up for storage. Because of the way the wall bed uses the cabinet face for the support for the mattress, this has a tendency to put more strain on the cabinet. If you're the type of person that likes to sleep with a lot of covers, this will add to the weight and bulk to the bed putting more strain on the cabinet.

Because the face of the cabinet acts as the support for the mattress, the wall bed gives you the same support that a platform bed, or having your mattress on the floor, would give you. The Murphy bed, because the mattress sits on slats on its metal frame, has only the slats to support the mattress. The slats on the frame are metal to keep the frame lightweight, so it can be more easily stored in the cabinet, and to give the frame a longer life. Slats have a tendency to sag after years of use, thereby not having the ability to offer the support that a flat surface, like the face of a wall bed cabinet offers. this is why an extra foundation is necessary. Because the face of the wall bed cabinet is reinforced with a metal frame to hold the mattress, it doesn't sag or bend, keeping the surface flat for the life of the cabinet. Although some Murphy beds offer more support than others, they don't always offer the same amount of support that the Next bed, wall bed or the Spacesaver bed does. Of course, some mattresses will give you more support than others and this is where the buyer must be aware. An informed educated decision is important because your sleep (and maybe your back) depend on it.

To setup a good Murphy bed or wall bed it's essential to know what your doing before you do it. It's king of like installing new software on your computer. You can do it if you know what you're doing. If you don't, it's best to leave it to someone who does.I good DIY craftsman can achieve the same goal and this is why Spacesavers Murphy Wall beds ships wall bed kits   nationwide. We supply you with the needed hardware, the plans, instructions on how to build it and a cut list that you can take to your local lumber yard where they will cut your wood to the specifications on the list so you can make your own wall bed and save the money it costs to build it. You supply the tools, wood, and manpower and we supply the mechanisms,  hardware, instructions, cut list, and savings. It's advised that you have a friend help you also. This advice isn't concerned with how much experience you have. Some things you just have to have the help of that extra person.

A lot of stores and sites sell Murphy beds as wall beds, but they're really not wall beds, because of the metal frame the mattress sets on, on the Murphy bed. By the same token, a lot of sites sell wall beds as Murphy beds, which aren't really Murphy beds, because of the way they work and attach to your home. Murphy bed has become somewhat of a generic label for all beds that store in cabinets to free up space in the home. Because Murphy beds, Next beds, wall beds, panel beds, Spacesaver beds and Flying beds work differently, use different mechanisms and attach to the house or apartment differently, the buyer should be aware of the differences to make a knowledgable intelligent decision if they or loved ones are going to be using this type of bed to sleep on.

All Murphy bed, Next bed and wall bed cabinets offered on this site, that are made with solid wood if chosen, come with a 10-year warranty. Spacesaver beds come with a lifetime warranty on the lift mechanisms and hardware because they’re made with solid wood and a lift mechanism that’s tested to be as good, after 10,000 uses, as it is when it’s brand new.

 

Murphy bed kit

 

Murphy bed, the original bed in a cabinet is simply a bed on a metal frame that's stored vertically or horizontally in a cabinet with doors, usually bi-fold, allowing you to store your bed so you can open up your room for other needs. The cabinet is bolted to the floor to secure the cabinet and keep it from moving when storing the bed or deploying the bed for use. 

Most Murphy beds use springs as a counter balance to help lift the bed into the cabinet. The springs are located in a row at the head of the bed on a bar attached to the frame. The number of springs can be increased or decreased to allow for heavier or lighter frames and mattresses. Murphy beds have been around for over 100 years and have been helping people make wiser use of space in homes where space seems to always be diminishing.

The Library bed as shown below uses bookshelves as doors for it's cabinet, making it quite an unusual piece of furniture that can easily turn any reading room, den or office into a bedroom where there appears to be absolutely no room for a bed.

 

Single. Full or Queen murphy bed


How a Murphy Library bed works

How a Murphy Library bed works


Click on image see how this Murphy bed opens

The Library Bed

How Next beds differ from Murphy beds and wall beds

How Next beds differ from Murphy beds and wall beds

Next bed frame

Next Bed

Next beds are the new generation of spacesaving furniture for the bedroom in that they work like a Murphy bed but they don't have to attach to the floor. Because they can attach to the wall as well as the floor, you don't need any kind of a floor saver or wall mount brackets for installation. You also don't need a foundation to lay over the thin metal slats like you would with the normal Murphy bed frame.

Next beds are made of tubular steel instead of the plate steel of the Murphy bed and come incorporated with heat treated wooden slats to act as a foundation negating the need to purchase an extra piece of hardware that you have to have, with the Murphy bed.

The Next bed corners are rounded instead of square eliminating the hazard of bumping shins on the corner of the bed as well, making the Next bed your a better solution for spacesaving bedroom furniture.

Wall bed - the Murphy bed made simple

Wall bed - the Murphy bed made simple

Click on image to see how this wall bed opens

please wait for file to download
What to look for in a wall bed

What to look for in a wall bed

  Vertical Twin Wall Bed

Vertical Single Wall Bed

 Wall bed cabinets are custom made to be assembled in your home. The wall beds offered on this page are all nade with your choice of wood. Hard wood, plywood, and fiberboard are available for you to choose from. The unit is then secured to the wall so the cabinet will maintain its integrity while being used. The cabinet and bed panel (usually preassembled) are fit together as the unit is installed in your home. This differs from the Murphy bed, in that all Murphy beds are secured to the floor.

Pistons are installed on each side of the cabinet and are connected to the frame that holds the mattress in place to help lift the bed into the cabinet. The face of the cabinet, which acts as the support for the bed, gives better support than most box spring foundations and all Murphy beds because it will never sag after years of use like box springs and Murphy beds have a tendency to do.

Horizontal Double Bed






 Double Horizontal Fold Wall Bed

Vertical Double Wall Bed

Vertical Double Wall Bed

 The legs of the wall bed fold out from the face of the cabinet to support the bed when it's being used. The inside of the face that holds the mattress has a steel frame that not only holds the mattress in place, it ads stability to the cabinet face keeping the face from sagging after years of use. The wall bed uses pistons on each side of the bed to help lift the bed into the cabinet and the Spacesaver bed like the Murphy bed uses springs to help lift the bed into the cabinet. The straps for your bedding are attached to the steel frame.

About the only drawback to wall beds is the occasional injury that can occur to the face of the cabinet when the bed is deployed without clearing the space where the bed needs to sit. You just have to make sure your sleeping space is cleared, before you pull the bed do.

Horizontal Double Wall Bed

Horizontal Spacesaver Wall Bed

Vertical Queen Wall Bed

Vertical Queen Wall Bed 

  The horizontal wall bed although shorter in height is often more useful in smaller rooms because of the space it saves when the bed is deployed for use. The biggest drawback of the horizontal wall bed is that you only have one side of the bed to use to get in to the bed. Because is takes up less space when the bed is not in the cabinet, this makes it ideal for dorm rooms and small offices. It is wider yet it’s also shorter and this is why you’ll usually see a top cabinet use in conjunction with the horizontal wall bed where you see the side cabinets added to many vertical wall beds.

 Horizontal Queen Wall Bed

Horizontal Queen Wall Bed

                                                                                                                                   
How a wall bed works

How a wall bed works


Click on image to to
see how this wall bed opens
    Please wait for file to download   
Spacesaver wall bed - an upgraded wall bed

Spacesaver wall bed - an upgraded wall bed

working wall bed

Click on image to view
how the Spacesaver wall bed opens
What to look for in a Spacesaver wall bed

What to look for in a Spacesaver wall bed

 

Vertical Spacesaver bed

  Spacesaver Wall Beds are beds that are in a cabinet that's built on a frame and attached, like a wall bed, to the wall where the leg for the foot of the bed, is a mechanism that is secured on the steel frame on the inside of the face of the cabinet, and folds into the cabinet rather than on the face of the cabinet, when storing the bed.

This makes it easier to place the optional drop down tables on the cabinet face adding versatility and giving it more space saving ability. As with the wall bed, the face of the cabinet is the bottom of the bed. This gives your much more support than a conventional box springs with a mattress, because their tendency to "sag" after years of use. The wall bed and the Spacesaver bed will never sag because of the way they're constructed with a steel frame on the inside of the cabinet face which holds the mattress in place while providing support for the face itself.

 Twin Horizontal Bed

Horizontal Spacesaver Bed

 
Full Vertical Spacesaver bed 
  The Spacesaver wall bed like the Murphy bed use a spring mechanism instead of pistons to help lift the bed into the cabinet and like the Murphy bed, to adjust the mechanism for a heavier mattress on the Spacesaver bed you just add springs and to compensate for a lighter mattress you just remove a few springs. To make it easier to adjust the mechanism, the springs are located on the sides of the Spacesaver cabinet, rather than on a bar in the bottom of the cabinet, like on the Murphy bed. In the vertical cabinet they’re at the head of the bed. On the horizontal cabinet they’re located at both the head of the bed and the foot of the bed.

The spacesaver bed also has a different leg that supports the bed when the bed is deployed. The leg that holds the bed is folded into the cabinet when the bed is stored allowing for a flatter surface on the face of the cabinet making it easier for optional drop down tables to be added to the cabinet adding more versatility to the Spacesaver Bed.

 

 
Full Horizontal Spacesaverbed
Full Horizontal Spacesaverbed

Queen Vertical Spacesaverbed
Queen Vertical Spacesaverbed
  The horizontal Spacesaver bed like the horizontal wall bed comes in a shorter yet wider cabinet, so when the bed is out of the cabinet ready to use, it takes up less space than the vertical bed. Again the drawback is that you only have one side of the bed from which you have access into, making it more desirable for children and single people, and ideal for students and small offices.

 

Queen horizontal Spacesaver bed


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