Murphy Bed VS Sofa Bed: Which is the Best One?

What is a Murphy Bed?

Murphy Bed VS Sofa Bed: Which is the Best One? What is a Murphy Bed?

A Murphy bed can is also termed as a pull-down or fold-down bed. One point of a murphy bed is hinged to a frame stuck into a wall. When not in use the bed folds back onto the wall, closet or cabinet. That helps to create more space in a room. At the same time, the underside of a murphy bed is designed to have storage cabinets. Therefore when folded and hidden on the wall, it leaves a nice finishing that’s decorative too.

What is a Sofa Bed?

A sofa bed is also called a pull-out couch. It doubles as a bed and a sofa too. During the day it acts as a couch but at night it acts as a bed. To use it as a bed you simply pull out the folded mattress. So both the sofa bed and Murphy bed are ideal when space is limited. So which is better than the other murphy or sofa bed? Well, let’s tackle one case at a time then finally conclude. 

Reasons to Choose a Murphy Bed Over Sofa Bed

Space requirement

Like said earlier on, a Murphy bed when not in use, is tucked into a wall. The frame depth is usually about 18 to 19 inches. While in that position it occupies less space compared to a sofa. A pull-out couch is usually 24 inches deep. Also, it also has armrests on either side. Moreover, you can’t completely remove it from the room. So comparing the two, a sofa bed still takes up much space.

The thickness of the mattress

In ordinary cases, a murphy bed has a mattress that’s 10 to 11 inches thick. With such a size you can sleep on the bed daily comfortably without developing a sore back. Even your one-time visitor who uses such a bed will still wake up refreshed from a comforting sleep. 

Sofa beds, on the other hand, have mattresses of 4 to 5 inches thick. These mattresses are thin in nature since they have to be folded over and tucked into the bed frame. The thin mattress rests on metal slats. 

So in terms of thickness, a murphy bed wins. Although you can sleep on a pullout couch, to an extent it feels discomforting. You may wake up from the couch feeling sore. That’s especially true if it has been used for a long time. 

Easy to set up

To sleep on a murphy bed you simply pull it down from its tacked frame, remove the straps holding it in place and enjoy your sleep. When you are done in the morning you push it back. 

How about a sofa bed? Imagine coming back from work exhausted and then before you sleep you have to engage in the following preparations;

  • Taking off the cushions, and deciding on where to keep the cushions
  • Laying out new sheets

When you are tired all you want is to throw yourself on the bed and enjoy your night. So Murphy bed requires very minimal preparations.

Extra storage facility

The major reason to go for a Murphy or sofa bed is their space-saving ability. With a Murphy bed, you can build an extra storage cabinet on its sides without interfering with the impeccable appearance of the bed. Thus if you are using the same room as your yoga or home office, the extra cabinet helps you to organize your materials better. 

For example, you can keep your yoga workout clothes or your office files in the cabinet. Doing so helps in better organization of a room. On the other hand, there are several cases where a sofa bed if preferred to a Murphy bed

Reasons to Choose a Sofa Bed over a Murphy Bed

Reasons to Choose a Sofa Bed over a Murphy Bed

When you need more seats

When you reside in a studio apartment and require a seat and a sleeping space then a sofa bed makes more sense. Sofa beds offer a variety of designs and styles that can fulfill such requirements easily. Although you can get a Murphy to play those two roles, cost-wise it will be higher. In addition to variety, the traditional sofa bed is also cheaper too. 

When you move often 

Let’s assume that you live in a rented apartment and your nature of work requires you to be away most of the time. Besides you might also be planning to relocate soon. Concerning those two conditions, a sofa bed suits your lifestyle. You simply purchase the bed and position it in its place; no fixing is required. When you are ready to relocate it’s very easy to carry away. 

 A murphy bed, on the other hand, will have to be fixed on its frame and wall. It’s not therefore ideal for someone who relocates often; you will have to meet several repair costs of the wall.

Cost factor

If you are on a tight budget and require a budget-friendly option then a pullout couch should be your couch. For instance, you can find a pull-out couch for around $450. A sofa bed’s mattress isn’t as thick as that of a murphy bed. Besides, its frame isn’t as sturdy as that of a Murphy bed. For that reason, a low-budget option falls on a sleeper sofa.


So between a Murphy bed and a sofa bed which is the best? The answer is; it depends on what you are looking for. For example, if you are prone to relocating or require a bed that you won’t use often then a sofa bed is the best option. Also for the budget-friendly bed sofa combination, a sleeper couch still takes the crown. 

On the other hand for a regular space-saving bed that guarantees comfort, a Murphy bed is the way to go. It greatly saves on space, requires very minimal preparation, and offers valuable storage facilities. Besides, when tucked on the wall it still looks elegantly. 

So does your room require a Murphy bed or sofa bed?

You may also want to read our article about Platform Bed vs. Box Spring: Which Should You Choose

  • 1. What is a Murphy Bed?
  • 2. What is a Sofa Bed?
  • 3. Reasons to Choose a Murphy Bed Over Sofa Bed
    • Space requirement
    • The thickness of the mattress
    • Easy to set up
    • Extra storage facility
  • 4. Reasons to Choose a Sofa Bed over a Murphy Bed
    • When you need more seats
    • When you move often 
    • Cost factor
  • 5. Conclusion