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What’s the Difference Between a Murphy Bed and Panel Bed?

Murphy and Panel Bed

If you have found yourself asking this question, hopefully this blog will help you better understand the difference between a Murphy bed and a panel bed. As the #1 Murphy bed retailer in America, our goal is to help you figure out which one is right for your home.

What is a Murphy Bed?

The Murphy bed, invented in 1894, is among the most reliable space-saving beds available. Its patented spring-loaded mechanism allows you to open the bed with just one hand, and features a support leg that extends and retracts automatically.

At More Space Place, the Murphy bed’s vertically stored mattress is comfortably supported by our Comfort Flex Frame System (a series of pre-curved high strength wooden slats) or a Bunkie board (a cloth covered foundation). Both frame options are designed to provide additional comfort and support for the mattress.

The most significant difference between the two wall beds lies with how its doors open. A Murphy bed’s doors open outward, as shown below in the Jefferson demonstration video. Like some other models, our Jefferson Murphy bed offers doors that slide out effortlessly from the center, and provide extra shelving.

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Some models of Murphy beds include bi-fold doors that hinge and overlap to the side (as shown below in the Madison Bi-Fold demonstration video), while others even offer hide-away bi-fold pocket doors that collapse into the bed’s side cabinets.

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What is a Panel Bed?

While both fall under the “wall bed” category, the panel bed’s functionality and design are notably different than the Murphy bed’s. Simply put, the panel bed was created to maximize space and offer a clutter-free design. Every More Space Place model includes spring-loaded and cabinet-mounted bed mechanisms for effortless operation.

Starting with the most obvious, a panel bed’s door opens downwards (much like an oven door), and serve as support for the mattress. The panel bed’s doors are not actual doors nor provide extra storage; however, most models offer additional storage space with drop-down nightstands or side cabinets.

As shown below in the Cosmopolitan demonstration video, another major difference between the two wall beds lies with the orientation options of the entire structure. The Cosmopolitan panel bed was designed horizontally for homes with low ceilings or for people who enjoy a contemporary look.

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Chesterfield Panel Bed
Chesterfield Panel Bed

Other models of panel beds, like our Manhattan, Metropolitan, and Chesterfield, were designed vertically to better fit rooms with less wall space. Are you interested in killing two birds with one, space-saving stone? Our Chesterfield panel bed, for example, was designed as a wall bed/sofa combo, so extra seating converts easily to extra sleeping. Simply remove the sofa’s cushions and allow the panel bed to rest comfortably between its arms.

When and Where Should Wall Beds be Used?

The time-tested Murphy bed is designed to fit the space you have in the style you want. Our expert designers recommend utilizing one of these wall beds in your home office, guest rooms, or the smallest rooms in your home.

Want to check out the difference for yourself? Visit our website to find the More Space Place store nearest you to consult with an expert designer.