IKEA Murphy Bed

Murphy beds are a great way of providing some extra functionality to an otherwise empty room. They tuck up easily and can quickly provide an extra guest in the house with a comfortable bed to sleep in throughout the night. However, they can be just a little bit on the pricey side. Pre-built Murphy beds start at around $1,500 at most of the stores!

The general best practice for most buyers is to purchase a do it yourself kit for a few hundred dollars and then take an afternoon to put the project together. While it takes more time, it saves quite a bit of money versus the conventional method of purchasing the package in full. Most installers gouge you for this type of in demand installation and building work. Here’s a quick guide so you can beat them.

murphy bed with ikea cabinetsDIY IKEA Murphy Bed

IKEA Murphy Bed Hack

While a DIY murphy bed kit will enable you to build a murphy bed easily, for aesthetic purposes, most will combine the murphy bed with some other furnitures. IKEA hacks are one of the most popular options as IKEA furnitures are affordable and beautifully designed. These makes them a good combination with a DIY murphy bed – hence the IKEA murphy bed plan.

In this guide, we will be combining a murphy bed with IKEA pax wardrobes.

diy-ikea-murphy-bedMade using a murphy bed kit + 2 x IKEA Pax wardrobes

Build Materials

  • Murphy bed kit is available here.
  • Pax wardrobe from IKEA can be found here.

Step By Step Murphy Bed Plan

Step One – Placement

In order to adequately place a do it yourself murphy bed in the correct location so that it is functional and 100 percent stable, I would suggest laying the bed directly in between two IKEA Pax wardrobes. These wardrobes can function as stabilizers for the bed and allow it to swivel safely on its hinges. It’s preferred that these cabinets be attached or built directly into the wall.

Step Two – Building the Bed Box

Measure the bed so that you know how big the murphy bed box should be for the entire project to be structurally stable. You will need probably at least an inch of extra space for the mattress to have room. Get three 2×4 wood planks and wood boards around the edge so that the mattress is 100% stable within it.

Step Three – Attach the Hinges

The murphy bed needs to be hinged in order to rotate properly into the upright position. You will need, durable, stable hinges in order to put this together properly and make sure that it works. Heavy duty door hinges are typically the best performing for this particular use as they are designed to withhold some weight while still being able to rotate smoothly and easily.

Step Four – Secure the Stands

You’ll need a stand for your murphy bed that can fold in and out at any time. A stand should be a wood plank that is attached via screw that you can fold out or a spring loaded stand that can come out when the bed is lowered down. Another alternative to this is to build the murphy bed low so that it can rest on the floor when it is pulled outright.

Step Five – Place the Mattress

The mattress needs to be secured in the bed box, otherwise it will fall out a lot of the time. It’s recommended to use a simple rope or twine to tie down the corners of the mattress and secure it to a nail. This will not damage the mattress but will provide a bit of extra stability. It can also be removed if the mattress needs to be replaced, cleaned or have new sheets covered.

Step Six – Cover the Bottom of the Murphy Bed

It’s likely that simple 2×4 wood planks will not look good in your bedroom or living room. For that reason, it’s a good idea to cover it with a more suitable wood and possibly even paint over that section of the bed to keep a nice, clean image for the entire project. Put some painted wood on the bottom of the murphy bed so that it blends well with the cabinets it is using as stabilizers to improve the overall look and feel.

Step Seven – Try it Out!

Rotate the hinges a few times and get a good feel for whether or not the bed is in the correct place. If you can rotate in and out easily and get into the bed without a huge hassle, you are doing a pretty solid job. If you notice the bed getting stuck, it’s time to revise or rebuild the murphy bed. If you need more ideas for murphy bed, check out this guide of murphy bed with Ikea furniture.

top-IKEA-bedroom-bedMurphy bed with white pax wardrobes from IKEA


Some of the most common mistakes are:

  • Improperly sizing the bed box. This can cause the murphy bed to get stuck every time you try to put it into the upright position.
  • Not securing the hinges properly. The bed might fall off.
  • Not securing the wood properly on the bed box. We recommend several nails in each plank to make sure every part is secure.
  • Not sizing the legs of the bed properly. Too long and it stands up at an angle. Too short and it drags the bed too low and can damage the hinges. Make it just right and measure every time!

To get started on your IKEA murphy bed DIY project, come up with a game plan that fits your room design and has a great look and feel within the scope of your project. Make sure it works for the room and don’t make any of the above errors while building your project!


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