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Murphy Bed Ideas for Small Spaces

murphy bed in a small space also used as office

If your space is a little on the small side, you may despair at the thought of ever having a dedicated guest bedroom or a professional home office. But don’t. There are ways to make it work no matter what size home you have. The key is to make your rooms multifunctional. That way, each one can serve several functions and you never run out of rooms. A wall bed can help make it happen since everyone needs a bed, but not all the time. Try these Murphy bed ideas for small spaces. The spaces you’ve always dreamed of enjoying in your own home may already be there.

It’s wonderful to have a place to welcome friends and family when they come for a visit. But if you’re already tight on space, it’s difficult to justify keeping a whole room ready all year round for the occasional visit. Especially if overnight guests only stop by one or two weekends per year. It’s better to make your spare room into a multipurpose space with a Murphy bed that folds up into the wall when no one’s visiting. Transform that guest room into your home office, or craft room, or yoga studio — whatever you’ve been dreaming of. Or make a big closet do double duty as an occasional bedroom. And don’t worry about your guests. It’s easy to convert the space back into comfortable sleeping quarters with a simple tug on the bed.

Make your home live larger with these Murphy bed ideas for small spaces!

1. Combine a guest bedroom into a home office/den.

Are you looking for an all-in-one space? If so, a Murphy bed can make it happen. This small room is used as a living room for watching TV, a home office, and a bedroom for occasional overnight guests. Spend the day working at the large desk and talking to customers on the phone. When office hours are over, relax on the sofa and watch a little TV. In the evening, convert the space into a bedroom. The horizontal queen Murphy bed folds out effortlessly from the sidewall, instantly repurposing the room into a private sleeping quarters.

Murphy bed in a small space that functions as office, den, and guest bedroom
This room is a combination den, home office, and a bedroom for occasional guests. The horizontal queen Murphy bed makes it all happen.

2. Use a murphy bed to add an extra bed for child sleep overs.

Kids like to have sleep overs. It’s a right-of-passage during the preteen and "tween" years. It’s a time for whispering secrets, ghost stories, and lots of fun. Most kids' bedrooms tend to be on the small side, however. No room to keep an extra bed. A back yard camp out is an option for some. But what if you don’t have a backyard? Plus it’s nice to have some sleep overs indoors as well.

No worries. A twin-size Murphy bed that folds up into the wall when it’s not in use may be just the answer. Pull it down when a friend comes over. Enjoy the floor space for playing with toys or games when you fold it back up.

Child's bedroom with twin size wall bed
This child's bedroom has a hidden twin-size wall bed that folds out of the bookcase. It's perfect for sleepovers, or even for accommodating a step sibling who might not be there all the time.

3. Create a closet guest room.

If you really want a guest bedroom but your home doesn’t seem to have room for one, you may need to think outside the box. Get creative with your space! A closet can double as a guest bedroom. You just need to start with a very nice walk-in closet. Use a large pantry or a closet dressing room. The original function of the space is not important. It’s how you incorporate the Murphy bed that counts. First, make sure any open shelves are extremely neat. Baskets or decorative boxes for all the small stuff can help with this. Cover any hanging areas with cabinet doors to further eliminate clutter and “de-closet” the space. Install a small Murphy bed as part of a shelving unit. Horizontal wall beds work best in long, narrow rooms. That way, you can keep the length of the bed flush against the wall. You won’t get quite as much overall storage as with a single purpose closet because the bed does take up space. However, the versatility is worth it.

Closet converts to a bedroom using a horizontal full-size Murphy bed.
The small walk-in closet/pantry converts to a guest bedroom using a horizontal twin-size Murphy bed.

4. Add a Murphy Bed to a Finished Basement.

Basement office with queen murphy bed between built-in shelves
This home office / Murphy bed design maximizes versatility and available space by having both fold-away desks and a folding wall bed! The room easily performs not two, but three functions. It is a tidy home office with two large workstations that include ample desk space and separate storage cabinets for each worker. It is also a cozy den for watching the television mounted to the front of wall unit/ Murphy bed cabinet. When overnight guests arrive, the desks fold away. This frees up the floor space so that the folding Murphy bed can be lowered, turning the space into a comfortable guest room.

Have you considered moving your guest bedroom to the basement? A finished basement can make a very nice guest room. As long as it is a finished space that is warm and welcoming rather than damp and dreary, go for it. Moving the guest room to the basement may free up other areas of the home. And basements have the advantage of being quiet. The separation from the above grade areas of the home brings privacy your guests may enjoy.

Don’t worry if you already use your basement room for other purposes like a home office. Simply add a Murphy bed surrounded by a shelving unit to your workspace. The shelves can accommodate supplies, books, papers, etc. If you’re tight on space, mount the television to the outside panel of the closed bed. That way, you don’t lose any wall space from the bed. And don’t forget that desks can fold away as well.

Small basement home office with television mounted to closed wall bed panel
This small basement home office saves space by mounting the television to the front panel of the closed wall bed.

5. Put a Murphy bed in your dining room so that it doubles as a guest bedroom/home office.

Formal dining rooms rarely get used. But it’s nice to have a place to host holiday dinners. So keep the dining room. But make it into a multipurpose space that can be used year-round with the addition of a Murphy bed. Order a custom unit with panels that match your dining room furniture. Add shelving units with glass doors on either side of the bed for storage of glassware and dishes. The finished wall bed can take the place of your existing china cabinet, but it offers much more versatility than a simple storage cabinet for dishes can ever hope to provide. When guests arrive, all you need to do is remove the leaves from the table to free up space for the bed. Your guests will have a lovely place to stay, and you won’t lose your big table or separate dining room for special family dinners.

Open wall bed in corner near dining room of home
This wall bed is installed in a nook off the dining room. When an overnight guest arrives, just take out the leaves from the table. A new guest bedroom is born. This space is designed so that it can also be used as a home office when needed.

Get ready to host holiday get togethers! These Murphy bed ideas for small spaces accommodate overnight guests with ease.

The holidays are coming, and for many of us that means overnight guests. A full house can be wonderful, but it’s also stressful — especially if your home is on the small side. Why not make it easier on yourself with a Murphy bed? Wall beds add versatility to small spaces because they allow rooms to perform multiple functions. Use these tips to graciously accommodate overnight guests without feeling cramped.

  • Make a spare bedroom multifunctional by swapping out a traditional bed for a new wall bed. That way, you can use the space for a home office, den, craft area, or other things without losing your guest room.
  • Add a twin Murphy bed to your child’s bedroom to accommodate sleepovers.
  • Create a closet guest room from a large walk-in pantry or dressing room closet.
  • Put a wall bed in your finished basement. Basements are quiet and your guests will love the privacy.
  • Get more use out of your formal dining room when you replace the china cabinet with a custom Murphy bed that matches your dining room table. Flank the bed with shelving units covered by glass doors to accommodate your glassware, dishes, and guests all in one.
  • If the room is narrow, use a horizontal Murphy bed to better maximize space.

Remember, even if your house is tiny, you can still live large. The key is in how you use your space. Make sure your rooms are multipurpose. And one way to do this is with a wall bed. These versatile Murphy bed ideas for small spaces will help you accommodate overnight guests with ease without sacrificing precious square footage in the home.