Murphy beds are tremendous space savers. They fold up and can be stored vertically, which opens up a ton of room when they’re not in use, especially in a small bedroom or home. But for them to be an effective solution, you need the right mattress.
As you may have already figured out, not every mattress will work in a murphy bed. Luckily, though, there are many options available. In this article, we’ll let you know exactly what you need to look for (and avoid) when purchasing a murphy bed mattress. We’ll look at four different categories of mattresses: memory foam, innerspring, latex, and hybrid. Finally, we’ll review 5 of the best models on the market today.
What to Look for in a Murphy Bed Mattress
First things first: what is a murphy bed? If you haven’t heard of them before, you’re not alone.
Murphy beds are designed to get the most out of small spaces. When they’re not in use, they swing vertically on pivot hinges located near the head of the bed to fold entirely into some kind of cabinet or space. They can be stand-alone pieces of furniture, or they may fold directly into the wall.
Very often, you don’t need to remove the mattress or even most of the bedding to fold them. When you’re ready to crawl into bed at night, simply pull your bed down from its storage space and climb right in.
Obviously, not any mattress will do for this kind of bed. Let’s take a look at some of the specifications that need extra attention when you’re shopping for a murphy bed mattress:
- Weight: You need something that’s not too heavy and not too light. It will be cumbersome and difficult–perhaps even dangerous–to fold and unfold if it’s too heavy. If it’s too light, it may not provide enough weight for the bed to remain in the down position without someone laying on it.
- Length and width: If the mattress is the wrong length or width, it may be too large for the bed to fold. If it is too small, the bed may fold, but the mattress will slide around. Mattresses come in standardized sizes, but features such as pillow tops or extra padding can slightly alter the dimensions. Take careful measurements of the space you have and make sure whatever you purchase is that exact size.
- Depth: For safety reasons more than any other, you need the murphy bed to close securely. If the mattress is too deep, it won’t be able to do that. Typically, 12 inches will be your maximum.
- Type: Not all mattresses can withstand being stood on end for many hours each day. We have provided much more information about that below.
- No box spring: You don’t have room for a box spring in your murphy bed, and the bed platform itself provides the support that the mattress needs. You don’t want to have a box spring delivered only to have to worry about getting rid of it.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mattress
In addition to murphy bed specifications, there are some other factors that you should absolutely take into consideration when shopping for a murphy bed mattress or any other type of mattress.
- Trial period: It is very difficult to gauge how you will like a mattress by simply laying on a sample in a store for a few minutes. You need to give your body time to adjust and see how it feels over a more extended period. Most mattress companies offer risk-free trials, especially since many people now buy mattresses online. Be sure to check your responsibilities if you decide to return it within the trial window, such as return shipping or other fees.
- Warranty: Practically every mattress comes with a warranty. Check to see what that warranty covers, though. Sometimes, it is just the actual parts and won’t protect you if something out of your control happens to the mattress.
- Price: You probably have a budget that you want to stay within. A couple of additional factors to bear in mind: first, more expensive mattresses aren’t always better. Sometimes you pay more for a brand name or features you don’t need. On the other hand, you spend one-third of your life on your mattress (at least). This isn’t somewhere that you want to cut corners to save a buck.
- Shipping, delivery, assembly, and haul away: It’s expensive to ship a mattress. See if you can negotiate that fee if there is one. If not, find out if you’ll have to do some assembly yourself. If you live in a walk-up apartment, will they deliver it to your unit, or will you have to lug it up the stairs? Do you have an old mattress that you’d like them to take with them? These are all factors to consider.
Now that we have a basic understanding of what you need in a murphy bed mattress and how to shop for one, let’s take a look at different types of mattress options for murphy beds.
What Type of Mattress is Best for a Murphy Bed?
There are several different types of mattresses for murphy beds from which to choose. Each has its pluses and minuses. Let’s quickly run through them so that you’re better informed to make the best choice for you.
Memory Foam and Foam
Memory foam and foam mattresses are characterized by their ability to conform to your body shape and type. They are typically made from polyurethane, though they can be composed of a variety of materials.
Generally speaking, memory foam mattresses are the best choice for murphy beds. Their dense composition means that they won’t shift, slump, or lose their shape over time, even if they’re vertical every single day.
- Very comfortable: they conform to your body using your body heat
- Ultra-supportive: many people find that these mattresses reduce back pain and other chronic pain
- Good for your lungs: they’re hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, and suitable for respiratory problems
- Low maintenance: you never need to flip or turn them
- Heavy: while you don’t need to turn them, if you live in apartments and move often, a memory foam mattress may not be for you
- Heat absorbent: some memory foam mattresses get hot; look for a model that addresses this concern if you’re a naturally hot sleeper
- Price: they tend to cost more than other types of mattresses
- Odor: some users report a bad odor over time. Air it out regularly to prevent this from happening.
Because of their dense construction, memory foam mattresses are generally great for murphy beds. Their materials do not shift while stored in a vertical position.
An innerspring mattress supports sleepers using steel coils at the bottom and comfort through a padded or upholstered top.
- Traditional: you’re probably used to innerspring mattresses and the way they feel
- They don’t get hot: the coil design allows for good airflow
- Easy to re-adjust: some restless sleepers prefer innersprings because they don’t conform to your body, making it easier to move around during the night.
- Price: while there are very expensive innerspring mattress models, they tend to be more reasonably priced than other types.
- Customizable: they come very firm to very soft, may or may not have pillow tops, and have many more options than any other type of mattress.
- Less supportive
- The springs can break with heavy use
- These mattresses absorb sweat, dust mites, and other particles and get heavier over time.
- Need to be replaced every 8-10 years
If your preference is for innerspring over memory foam, you need to look around for a specifically designed model for Murphy beds. Otherwise, the coils may shift and warp over time from standing vertically. What is more, the use in a murphy bed could void any warranty.
As the name implies, latex mattresses are composed of 100% latex (derived from rubber), meaning that it is composed of natural materials. The layers of latex provide sleepers with sturdy support.
- Environmentally friendly and made from all-natural materials; it is also smell-free
- Support and comfort: latex mattresses relieve pressure points and reduce chronic pain in much the same way as memory foam mattresses.
- Motion isolation: excellent for partners; motion on one side of the bed does not transfer to the other
- Durability: latex mattresses tend to last at least 8-10 years or longer
- Heat resistant: the natural materials breathe well
- Heavy: they are at least as heavy as memory foam, usually even more so
- Very firm, which is too much for some sleepers
- Price: latex is expensive to grow and harvest, therefore these are pricey mattresses
While the dense composition of latex mattresses can make them a good choice for a murphy bed, their heaviness may cause them to slump with time. Be sure to speak with the manufacturer or salesperson about your needs and concerns and make sure it fits your bed frame perfectly.
Hybrid mattresses are made by combining two of the above types. They often have coils underneath with memory foam on top (latex is usually too heavy, but you sometimes see them made with latex).
- Some of the comfort of memory foam with the affordability of innersprings, you get some of the joint and back support without the high price tag.
- Less heavy than latex or full memory foam mattresses
- They can be cooler than traditional memory foam
- They require the maintenance of innersprings, including needing to be rotated, but they are heavier than traditional innersprings, making this task more difficult.
- Springs are more prone to breaking from the extra weight of the memory foam.
In some ways, hybrids carry most of the pros and cons from both memory foam and innerspring mattresses. As with traditional innerspring models, check to make sure the bed can stand up to standing up.
The Best Memory Foam Murphy Bed Mattresses
Now that we understand the basics about the different types of mattress options for murphy beds, we can look at our favorite models.
Memory foam simply holds its shape better because of its dense construction. Let’s take a look at a few of the memory foam mattresses that we love.
The Amerisleep AS2 is an amazingly comfortable and supportive mattress. It is medium-firm and has won awards and accolades recently from Healthline, Very Well Health, Men’s Health, Forbes, and more.
Their patented Bio-Pur material keeps sleepers cool through the night by wicking warm air away. The material is completely plant-based and natural for a cleaner, chemical-free night’s sleep. That’s a huge difference between this mattress and other memory foam models.
It is better for the planet and resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew. This is an especially great feature for murphy bed owners because a murphy bed has much less opportunity to “breathe” since it spends so much time folded up. It also helps with the odor issue that some memory foam sleepers have reported.
This mattress is also highly rated for comfort and back pain especially. It relieves pressure points and conforms to your body, perfect for back and stomach sleepers. It is made in the United States, ships for free, and Amerisleep offers a risk-free 100-day trial as well as a 20-year warranty.
Vaya’s signature mattress is precisely 12 inches deep, making it ideal for murphy beds. CNN, Newsweek, Real Simple, and other outlets recently featured it for its superior comfort at an affordable price.
Its memory foam design is perfect for spine alignment as you sleep, and unlike some other memory foam mattresses, it doesn’t make you feel stuck in place, and it is easy to reposition yourself during the night. Vaya designed it for back, stomach, and side sleepers.
Like Amerisleep, Vaya mattresses feature an open-cell design that helps keep you cool during the night. They provide two layers of their foam covering for a simple, durable bed. Once again, that’s great for murphy beds since you store them for the majority of the hours of the day.
Vaya offers free shipping and returns, a 100-day no-risk trial, and a 10-year warranty on all of their mattresses.
Other Mattresses for Murphy Beds
Because of their relatively dense construction, there’s no doubt that memory foam mattresses are the safest choice for murphy beds. That said, they’re not for everyone. Luckily, other types of mattresses can also work.
Let’s take a look at the best hybrid, innerspring, and latex mattresses for murphy beds.
Zoma Mattress – Best Hybrid
Zoma’s mattress comes in either an all-foam or hybrid model, the hybrid consisting of both innerspring coils on the bottom and gel foam on the top. It is designed especially for athletes, which means it provides outstanding joint and back support.
It also has a heat-resistant composition infused with cooling gel, so you don’t need to worry about getting too hot during the night. Zoma offers a 100-day risk-free trial, free shipping, and a 10-year warranty.
Sealy 8-inch Bed in a Box – Best Innerspring
Sealy is one of the most recognizable names in mattresses, and this innerspring model with a small gel-foam layer on top of the coils is a solid choice for murphy beds. It is firm and comfortable, even on a murphy platform without a box spring.
We can’t promise that it won’t suffer some of the effects that innerspring mattresses are prone to from standing up. However, it tends to be more durable than others, and Sealy’s warranty may cover premature damage. Either way, its low price tag and convenience mean that even if you have to replace it a little bit sooner, you won’t lose hundreds of dollars.
Sealy offers free delivery, a 100-day trial period with free returns, and satisfaction guaranteed. That said, their warranty is only five years and is limited.
Plush Beds Natural Bliss – Best Latex
This is an all-natural, all-latex mattress that is customizable. You can choose your level of firmness and thickness, so no matter what kind of sleeper you are, Plush Beds is a great choice. Fortune, Vogue, This Old House, and others have also recently featured it.
This particular bed is also incredibly durable, which makes it ideal for murphy beds. Plush Beds warranties their products for a whopping 25 years. They offer a 100-day risk-free trial and free shipping and delivery.
The latex material breathes well, and the bed itself bounces right back to its original shape. It is on the expensive side, though Plush Beds frequently offers sales. Keep in mind that Plush Beds designed it to last at least twice as long as most other mattresses, too.
Can You Use Any Type of Mattress for a Murphy Bed?
No–because murphy beds are stored vertically, you need a mattress that can withstand standing up for long periods of time. Innerspring or hybrid mattresses may become disformed when stored vertically, so these are generally not your best option for a Murphy bed.
Mattresses that consist of memory foam or latex tend to hold their original shape. This is typically the case whether they are stored horizontally or vertically. Because of this, it’s a good idea to start with a few of these options that we’ve mentioned on our list if you want a long lasting mattress for your Murphy bed.
Space and Comfort
With a murphy bed, you can maximize the space in your bedroom or home. And as you can see from the selections above, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or a good night’s rest, either.