The wall bed came about like any other invention: someone had a problem to solve. Inventor William Lawrence Murphy lived in a one-room apartment similar to the studios you might find in big cities like Washington, D.C. He desperately wanted to hide his bed so that his tiny room could double as a parlor—and so the Murphy bed was born.
Like Murphy’s apartment, your studio may not be big enough to hold your belongings while offering storage and a comfortable bed. And like William Murphy, a wall bed could be the answer to your problem.
But not all wall beds are created equal. While shopping around for a wall bed for a studio apartment, you’ll run into both out-of-the-box and custom-built solutions. What should you look for in your Murphy bed? Quality, design, and customization are key. Here are the pros and cons of out-of-the-box versus custom-built wall beds.
The Types of Wall Beds and Their Pros and Cons
There are basically two types of wall beds for a studio apartment: out-of-the-box and custom-built solutions. You just have to decide how much time and effort you’re willing to put forth for the design, assembly, and installation of your wall bed, and what matters to you most when it comes to quality.
1. Out-of-the-Box Wall Beds That You Assemble
Sure, out-of-the-box wall beds cost less than custom-made wall beds on average. However, if you’re not comfortable putting together large furnishings, assembling a wall bed can be difficult. Here’s an overview of the out-of-the-box wall bed’s pros and cons.
Costs less than custom-designed and installed wall beds
Can assemble and install yourself—if you have the right skills and tools
Can buy multiple kits to customize your room as needed
Often made of fabricated materials and cheaper wood that may not last
Requires a variety of tools and a drill to construct the wall bed properly, which are not included
Takes more time to assemble and installed compared to custom-built wall beds, because you must put the bed together (along with the headboard and wall brackets) and then:
Mount it on the wall, which means properly hitting the wall stud;
Construct the support panels for the mattress;
Assemble your lifting mechanism—including the installation of pistons or springs to leverage the bed—which can be dangerous and requires precision
May require multiple kits, which takes more time and raises costs
No guarantees on components, assembly, or installation—or that they will fit properly
Out-of-the-box wall beds are easy to pick up at a home improvement store. However, they are not easy to put together unless you are a highly skilled craftsman. If you’re not into handiwork, a custom-built wall bed may suit you better.
2. Custom-Built Wall Beds Installed by Design Experts
Custom-built wall beds that are designed, manufactured, and installed by custom designers cost more than most out-of-the-box wall beds. But it’s well worth it; the best ones come with a double lifetime warranty. Custom wall beds can also come with custom-created cabinetry, adjustable shelving, and other features that don’t often come with traditional box units.
Quality materials that often offer a lifetime or double lifetime guarantee
You don’t have to design, assemble, or install custom-built wall beds yourself
A package deal comes with the design; including sturdy components and careful installation
A custom designer handles all of the details for you
Can cost more upfront than out-of-the-box solutions (though this cost is often lower than that of the repairs, potential hospital trips, and other unexpected costs often incurred by DIY installations)
It can be difficult to find the right custom designer that offers free design consultation, production, installation, and follow-up— as well as all of the quality, design expertise, and customization capabilities you need
While there are pros and cons to both boxed and custom solutions, there are a few more things to think about before choosing a wall bed for your studio apartment.
What to Look for in a Wall Bed for a Studio Apartment
When looking for a wall bed for your studio apartment, there are three major factors to consider, regardless of the type of bed you think you want to buy. These include:
Out-of-the-box solutions simply can’t measure up to custom-built solutions in this regard. Most custom designers offer extensive warranties for their wall beds and components as well as installation. When it comes to quality, custom-designed solutions are built from high-quality materials that will last much longer than those of a typical out-of-the-box solution.
Ask yourself this: How much do design and style matter to me? If they aren’t priorities, then an out-of-the-box wall bed will do. But if you care about how your wall bed will look and want added features like built-in cabinets or shelving, then choosing a custom designer is the only way to get everything you’re looking for.
Your home is unique, and customization is the only way to ensure your wall bed will fit the rest of your home aesthetic perfectly. Not to mention, a customized wall bed can be tailored to fit your lifestyle perfectly as well, with features like overhead lights that make reading before bedtime a dream come true.
Create an Ambiance with the Right Custom-Designed Wall Bed
There are many custom closet manufacturers who claim they can deliver the ideal wall bed for your studio. But only a team composed of experienced craftsmen and artistic designers can help maximize the functionality of your small space while giving it a beautiful ambiance.
Here are some of the benefits the right design firm can deliver:
More space in your studio during the day, and total comfort at night
A wall bed that fits perfectly
Additional storage that can be incorporated into your wall bed’s design, or added as separate room components:
With a quality wall bed, your small space will be more organized and more appealing. It will also be easier than ever to tidy up quickly, making life more comfortable for both you and any guests you may have over—even last-minute ones.
Ask About Your Own Custom Wall Bed Today
If you’re ready to get the most functionality possible from your small space using a wall bed, Closet America can help. Our expert designers are always available to discuss the best solutions for your space. If you’re ready to get started on your own custom wall bed or if you just have questions, contact us. We can schedule a free design consultation at your studio apartment, at your convenience.
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