Daybed or Murphy Bed?

Small living space?  One question that often arises is whether to purchase a daybed or Murphy bed.  So, let’s tackle the pros and cons.

Daybed or Murphy Bed?

Murphy Bed

Before we discuss the pros and cons of each, take a good look at the examples above so you will have an idea of which most appeals to you.  After all, you will be the one using it.

The Daybed

The daybed is one of those wonderful pieces of furniture that can serve two purposes.  By night it is a sleeping space.  By day it is a sofa.

The Pros of a Daybed

  • It is the size of a twin bed, so it is small and occupies little space, making it ideal for the single person.
  • Can be used as a sofa during the day, eliminating the need for extra seating.
  • The cost is minimal for the daybed frame, in comparison to the Murphy bed.
  • The daybed cover can accentuate your color scheme and decor.
  • A daybed with trundle offers additional sleeping area or storage area.
  • There is no moving furniture around to have full use of the daybed.
  • Variety of styles available.

The Cons of a Daybed

  •  Daybed only sleeps one person.  (Trundle may provide additional sleeping, but not on the same mattress.  Parents love it.  Young adults may not.)
  • The bed must be made up each day in case of guests arriving unexpectedly or just to keep a sense of organization.

The Murphy Bed

Like the daybed, the Murphy bed can double as a piece of furniture when not in use.  It neatly folds up in its entirety to remove the “bed” from sight.

The Pros of the Murphy Bed

  • Comes in several sizes, even queen size or king size for those who need extra length.
  • In the case of a sleepover guest, there is adequate room — if you do not mind sharing a bed.
  • Little need for more than bedding necessities such as sheets, pillowcases, blankets or comforter.
  • Save money on decorative bedding.
  • Available in a variety of finishes and styles.

The Cons of the Murphy Bed

  • In most cases, chairs and furniture will have to be moved to open the Murphy bed.
  • Offers no additional seating when not in use.
  • The cost is often quite expensive for Murphy frame.

Should You Select the Daybed or Murphy Bed?

Most females seem to enjoy the idea of a daybed as much as that of a Murphy bed.  Most young adult men seem to prefer the Murphy bed, at least in the apartments I have had a part in decorating.  (I will leave the reader to figure out why.)

As much as I hate to sound sexist, let me just say that moving furniture every time you get ready to go to bed was a pain in my…. back.

  • Take inventory of the area you are working with.  How large is the space?  Does it double as living and sleeping areas?
  • Do you need the extra seating provided by the daybed or the extra shelving provided by many Murphy beds?
  • Do you have other furniture that would be difficult to move daily to make room for the Murphy bed?
  • Do you plan to have sleepover guests?  Would the trundle work for the guest?
  • How long do you expect to use the daybed or Murphy bed?  Remember there is a BIG difference in cost.

As you can see the two real constraints are the space available and your preference (perhaps based on affordability).

  • Measure your room twice, tape off the area the beds would occupy.
  • In the case of the Murphy bed, measure the space it will occupy when opened for sleep.
  • If you plan to have a sofa in the same room with the Murphy bed or any other large piece of furniture, there should be walking room when the bed is open.  The bed should not create safety issues because one cannot exit the studio or apartment hurriedly in case of fire or other catastrophe.

Think about the practicality of the purchase and the length of time it will be in use.  A college student may only use the bed for approximately 4 years so cost could be a consideration.

On the other hand, if you are living in a NYC studio apartment and plan to be in the same apartment for several years the Murphy bed could be the best choice.

So, the bottom line is simple.  Decide which works best for you and your needs, keeping in mind the pros and cons of each.  And, Happy Shopping!


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