Murphy Bed vs Sofa Bed: Which One To Choose

If you are looking to maximize the living area of a small apartment or spare room, Murphy beds and sofa beds are practical choices that free up valuable space and offer dual-purpose utilization. Both types of beds have the same purpose, which is to provide a comfortable sleeping place for one or two people. However, the designs are quite different with their own set of advantages.

What is a Murphy bed?

Murphy beds are great for small rooms where every square inch of space counts. William Lawrence Murphy created the Murphy bed in the early 1900s when he converted a one-room apartment from a bedroom to a studio by storing his bed in a closet. When the bed is not in use, it is stowed away to free up valuable room real estate. But when pulled out, it provides an extra sleep space that is as safe and comfortable as a traditional bed.

What are the advantages of buying a Murphy bed?

There are several alternative names for a Murphy bed such as a fold-down bed, pull-down bed, and wall bed.

Dual-purpose use

During the day, Murphy beds can be easily concealed inside of wall cabinets, shelving, or any other form of creative design. At nighttime, the bed quickly converts a spare room, or home office into a usable bedroom.


The Murphy bed excels at assisting homeowners in space conservation. You can utilize the entire amount of space that a standard bed would normally obstruct by leaning the Murphy bed against the wall and incorporating an array of storage options.


The comfort of a Murphy bed depends on the mattress it is coupled with. A quality Murphy bed will support the mattress in any position and be able to hold mattresses that are 12 inches thick, making them just as comfortable as ordinary beds.

Creative Customization

You can personalize a Murphy bed to cater to your exact needs and preferences and enhance any room by adding elegance and functionality without using up space. If you’re looking to repurpose a room, the Murphy bed offers a big advantage.


Another one of the Murphy bed benefits is the ease and convenience of setting up the bed. When you set up a sofa bed, you need to pull it out, clear room space, get linen, and make the bed. With a Murphy bed, all you do is pull it out, ready-made. When it’s time to pack it up, simply make the bed and stow it away.

Are Murphy beds safe?

Murphy beds are perfectly safe with properly installed. Once folded down, the bed does not automatically fold in on you while you are sleeping. Simply be mindful if pets and children are around before pulling out and folding away the bed, and always use the manufacturer’s safety features and advice.

What is a sofa bed?

A sofa bed is essentially a bed housed inside a couch, often known as a pull-out couch or a sleeper sofa. It’s useful for making the most of your seating area while being easily converted to create an additional sleeping space for overnight visitors. Like a Murphy bed, a sofa bed also conceals its sleeping function to free up space by folding up into a seating position.

What are the advantages of choosing a sofa bed?

A decent sofa bed has the advantage of being two pieces of furniture in one. Because of its adaptability, a sofa bed is extremely versatile and a great space saver for smaller areas.

Dual-purpose use

Sofa beds look exactly like regular sofas. During the day, they provide plenty of seating space to watch TV or enjoy a get-together. At night, the sofa turns into a comfortable bed for guests.


Sofa beds are available in different shapes, sizes, and colors, and they can be custom-made. So, it’s important to measure the space you have available and choose a sofa bed that fits properly when extended out as a bed.


A quality sofa bed normally uses a high-density memory foam, which ensures not only comfort but also durability, especially if it is also regularly used as a couch. Some sofa beds come with foam filling, which offer a decent night’s sleep but may be less durable with frequent use.

Final Thoughts

The fundamental distinction when comparing a Murphy bed vs sofa bed is that the Murphy bed is specifically designed and built for sleeping while the sofa bed is primarily built as a couch with its secondary function for sleeping.

Murphy beds are intended for frequent use, so a quality bed and mattress are important. A Murphy bed can totally disappear when leaning up against a wall, freeing up a lot of room. A sofa bed offers its own convenience as a stylish couch for everyday use, which can be occasionally used as a bed to accommodate visitors.