Are Murphy Beds Safe? Murphy Bed Child Safety Tips and Tricks
A Murphy bed, also known as a wall bed, is a fold-up bed that helps you save space. Most Murphy beds are attached to the wall and will fold either vertically or horizontally. However, you can find some that are freestanding units that fold up to resemble other pieces of furniture, like cabinets, when not in use.
Modern Murphy beds come with features that make them safe when used correctly. The hinge mechanism which holds the bed to the wall is designed so it doesn’t unfold automatically. Other fixtures used to keep the bed vertical also prevent the bed from opening quickly. Instead, modern murphy beds descend slowly when being pulled away from the wall for use.
With a large number of people looking to maximize the living space in their apartments, studios, basements, guest rooms, and even mobile homes, Murphy beds have become an incredibly popular option. Modern Murphy beds can come with all sorts of interesting space-saving features such as built-in sofas, desks, drawers, shelves, and extra bunks to help you make the most out of your room.
Most beds come with added safety features such as catches that will hold the bed upright when stored away, along with straps or ties to keep the mattress in place, and locking legs to provide extra support.
If you use the included safety features such as straps and ties or locking legs correctly, your Murphy Bed is safe for your children and guests in your home.
Can the Bed Spring Up or Drop Down Randomly?
No, as long as the bed has been installed properly, then there should be little worry of the bed springing up or dropping down on your child. Once the bed is in the prone position, the hydraulics of the bed ensure it won’t snap back up, especially once someone is laying on it. And because the hinges are typically constructed so that even once the safety latches have been released, the bed will either remain static until it’s pulled – or will only descend very slowly. If you want to know more about how a Murphy Bed works, check out our article.
Hydraulic pistons prevent a murphy bed from folding up and dropping down randomly.
Murphy Bed Child Safety Tips
Use safety latches to prevent the bed from opening on its own. Use adequate lighting when opening the bed to see all the safety latches and buttons. Purchase the murphy bed from a reliable source and hire a professional for installation. Do not install the bed yourself. Be wary of pinch points where fingers, clothing, or bedding can get trapped between the wall and the frame. Make sure the murphy bed is properly attached to the wall so it doesn’t fall,
Tip 1. Use Safety Latches to Prevent the Bed from Opening on its Own
There is a key-lock system positioned out of children’s reach on each side of the bed. This system is safe and secure and will prevent the bed from opening, unless you mean to open it. You can also use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers on the Murphy bed to help prevent fingers from being smashed or other similar injuries.
A well-made Murphy bed should stay closed even without a lock. In addition, cabinet doors may have additional safety equipment installed. However, if you have small children you may not want to risk having a young child climb on the bed and accidentally open it. Properly locking the bed and showing your children how to do so prevents accidents and gives you peace of mind. Learn more about why a locking mechanism is important in this article from wall bed manufacturer Stuart David.
Tip 2. Use Adequate Lighting When Opening the Bed to See All the Safety Latches and Buttons
It’s important to use adequate lighting when operating your new Murphy bed so that you can see all the safety latches. Since you won’t use your Murphy bed every day, you need to see it well to keep your fingers clear of being smashed in any of the machinery. Make sure that the room is always bright and that you can see all the safety latches and little buttons on the side of the bed so the child can’t make any mistake when operating the bed on their own.
Some lighting systems are made specifically for rooms that have Murphy beds, so you can easily find them on Amazon and get them at a very cheap price. You can even get a Murphy Bed with lights built-in on Amazon from Bestar.
Tip 3. Only Consider Reliable Sources When Purchasing Your Murphy Bed
You can never be over-cautious when it comes to your little ones. You should always buy your Murphy Bed from a reliable source, like a large furniture chain or a local trusted manufacturer. Amazon sells kits and beds from several prominent murphy bed manufacturers.
If you buy second-hand from a seller on somewhere like Craigslist, you don’t know what condition the bed is in. It could be damaged or weak in places, therefore you’re putting your child and guests at risk.
Also, we advise you to avoid anyone selling a homemade or DIY Murphy bed. If they do not have the proper training and certification to build a bed, it could easily break and harm the person sleeping in it. It is best to buy online from reputable manufacturers whose products have passed all of the relevant safety tests.
Tip 4. Hire a Professional for Installation
Many people who order a Murphy bed will try to install it themselves, but this is a risky idea. If your bed is not installed the right way, it can break more easily and be dangerous for you and your children. Always hire a professional for installation and don’t install the bed yourself if you are not one hundred percent sure of what you are doing.
If you order your Murphy Bed online, you can check to see if it comes with set-up or requires an additional fee. You can also do a quick google search to find professional furniture installation services in your area. Amazon home services may also be able to service your area.
Tip 5. Be Wary of Pinch Points Where Fingers, Clothing, or Bedding Can Get Trapped Between the Wall and the Frame.
Whilst a Murphy bed is unlikely to close up on your child or fall down if the bed has been installed properly, watch out for pinch points. Pinch points are areas on your Murphy Bed where you or your child can get your fingers, clothing, or bedding trapped between the bed and the wall or frame. Specifically, you’ll want to watch out for the pinch points created by the hinges of the Murphy bed. These are designed to lock into place to stop the bed from falling down, so it’s difficult to remove anything stuck in them.
You’ll want to be extra careful when you have children – and when a Murphy bed is being used by your kids. Make sure they are far from the bed when you are lowering it and folding it away so they don’t get their hands or fingers caught in the pinch points.
Tip 6. Make Sure Your Bed Is Properly Attached To The Wall So That It Doesn’t Fall
There’s little chance of the bed just randomly dropping down from a fixed position because the hinges lock the bed into place when upright. The modern-day hydraulic systems operate so the bed will descend either slowly or not at all when the bed is unlocked from its upright position.
However, there is a chance that the bed could fall if it’s not attached to the wall or anchoring unit properly. This could happen if excessive strain is placed on the wall joints – typical if the bed has not been assembled properly.
When the bed is in the prone position, make sure that there is no gap between the frame and the floor. If there is, then each time that you put weight on the bed, you could cause dangerous shearing on the joints which will wear them down and make it easier for the bed to collapse later on. Make sure that the wall can support the actual weight of the bed before installation. Use a stud finder to help find the most sturdy location to secure your bed. However, these are all reasons for having a professional set the bed up properly.
Another thing to avoid is folding up the bed with sheets and bedding still on it. Some manufacturers say it’s okay, but if you over-stuff the space between the bed and the wall you’ll put extra strain on the hinges and increase the risk of the bed becoming damaged.
For safety reasons, you may need to check the weight limits on the bed before purchasing. Use our article to cross-reference for murphy bed weight capacity guides.
Tip 7. Buy the Best Murphy Bed for the Space Available in Your Child’s Room
Make sure that you buy the best Murphy Bed for the space available in your child’s room. For example, you might think that buying a Murphy bunk bed is a great idea to save even more floor space, but will your ceiling be high enough to accommodate the extra bunk? Will there be enough room to sit up without hitting your head? These are important things to consider. If you
Similarly, while a built-in sofa, desk, table, or bookcase might sound like an even better way to leverage the space in your room – will you have enough clearance to account for ‘extendables’ like trundles and drawers? Consider all the details of the room before you install the Murphy Bed.
If you want to look at different options for a small room, check out our article which discusses five murphy beds for rooms with low ceilings.
Should You Get A Murphy Bed for Your Child?
Now that you know that Murphy Beds are safe, consider getting one for your child.
Get a murphy bed for a child because murphy beds encourage daily cleaning routines, murphy beds offer greater storage space and organizational options, and murphy beds are customizable so they can add personality to the room.
Reason 1. Murphy Beds Encourage Daily Cleaning Routines
There are many different styles to choose from when it comes to picking the perfect Murphy bed for your child. Do you find that your kids don’t make their bed? Or perhaps they leave toys out everywhere? Do you wish they had more floor space to play in their bedrooms? A Murphy Bed can be a solution.
Custom Murphy beds are easy to make for children. If your child keeps the surface clean, it will fold right up and fit properly. This also encourages them to have a daily cleaning routine to clear the area when the bed comes down at night. Keeping these routines can build habits and set boundaries for your children to learn when it is time to play and when it is time to sleep.
Reason 2. Murphy Beds Offer Greater Storage Space and Organizational Options
A Murphy Bed can double as storage and organizational space for children. They can use it to keep their toys or clothes in, and it is more accessible than just stuffing something under a traditional bed. There are so many options and ways to incorporate the framing and side piers that give you access to whatever they need. Design options can include USB ports, power outlets, shelving, and anything from wardrobes to shoe racks. Check out this Murphy Bed with a USB charging station by Atlantic Furniture available.
During the day, your child has more room for activities and play while the bed is put away. Your child can even use the raised bed as part of the room scenery. You can blend it in together with wall murals, creating a castle drawbridge, or a rocket ship ready to blast off.
They also make a great alternative to bunk beds if you have multiple kids and limited rooms. You can also find other types of space-saving furniture, like flip-up desks if your children are becoming older and need a place to study and do their homework. Here’s a great murphy bed with desk combination on amazon.
If you are looking for more accessories to add to your Murphy Bed, check out these ten options from our article.
Reason 3. Murphy Beds Are Customizable so They Can Add Personality to the Room
Unlike many traditional beds, Murphy beds are customizable. So, you can design the perfect bed to meet your child’s needs. If multiple children share the same bedroom, you might want to choose a bunk bed. Alternatively, flip-up desk Murphy beds will give your kids neat, convenient places to complete all of their homework assignments during the day and a cozy bed to sleep in at night. With a custom Murphy bed, you have a range of options you can choose from.
If you’re a parent, designing functional bedrooms your kids will love might be near the top of your to-do list. When selecting furniture for your children’s bedrooms, you can’t go wrong with Murphy Beds. Transform your children’s bedrooms to give a pop of personality, while also keeping practicality and efficiency central to the design.
If you need more information before considering purchasing a Murphy Bed for your child, check out our article about the pros and cons of Murphy Beds. If you're not completely sold on using a Murphy Bed in your home, you might find that a bookcase bed would be more suitable. Check out how to style a bookcase bed and decorate it properly and our 15 bookcase bed ideas to add utility to your bedroom for additional tips, tricks, and ideas.
What are Manufacturers’ Recommendations for Child Safety for Murphy Beds?
With every Murphy bed purchased, there comes a manual with manufacturers’ recommendations about safety. If you want to look at a thorough safety guide, check out this one from Murphy Bed manufacturer Rockler Woodworking and Hardware.
Manufacturer’s recommendations for child safety for Murphy Beds include avoiding overstuffing a murphy bed with extra pillows or toys and always using a lock to secure the bed in an upright position.
Tip 1. Avoid Overstuffing Your Murphy Bed with Extra Pillows or Toys
Overstuffing a Murphy bed can result in some malfunctions, especially when it comes to opening and closing. Be sure not to overstuff your Murphy bed with extra pillows, toys, or anything else. This is because the Murphy bed relies on tension and balance. If you put too much in it, it will throw the balance off and it could cause the bed to open.
Tip 2. Always Use a Lock to Secure the Bed in an Upright Position
Most of the Murphy beds on the market have an option to use a lock. This lock allows you to secure the bed once you put it back in an upright position. This ensures that your children do not mess with the Murphy Bed while you are away.
Also, you can always install separate locking mechanisms onto your Murphy bed. This will provide you with peace of mind.
If you're still not sure if a Murphy Bed is right for your child, you may consider a sleigh bed instead. To find out if a sleigh bed will work in your space, take a look at our detailed guide to sleigh bed dimensions.