How to build a wall bed

Updated April 17, 2017

If you want to make a small space more liveable, consider a Murphy bed or wall bed. It frees up space and adds another bedroom or guest room. Here's how to make your own wall bed.

Choose the wall where you want to put a wall bed. Make sure there are no electrical wires, gas lines or anything of that nature.

Using a measuring tape, take measurements of the mattress you are going to be using. Measure the width, length and thickness, and transfer those measurements to a piece of paper.

On a 1-inch-thick piece of veneer plywood, measure out the length and depth of the mattress. Using a table saw, cut them out. On the remaining pieces of veneer plywood, measure out the width and depth of the mattress and cut them out. Sand down the cut edges.

Nail the pieces of cut veneer plywood together to form a box. Add wood glue to the connecting ends; then nail on two "L" brackets at the edges--one at the bottom and one at the top.

Measure the length and width of the box and transfer those measurements to a piece of paper. Using a pencil and measuring tape, measure on the 1/2-inch-thick piece of veneer plywood the dimensions you just wrote down, and cut the piece of plywood to match, using your table saw.

Place the cut piece of plywood on top of the box and make sure it fits. Trim if needed. Remove the plywood and put wood glue along the edges of the box; then, reset the plywood. Wipe off excess glue. Place one nail at each corner to set it in place; then add a nail every 6 inches along the edges.

Flip the box over and place the mattress inside to test the fit, making sure it is snug.

Using the measurements of the first bed box, create a second bed box that is 1/4 inch larger on all sides. This will be the storage box inside the wall.

Remove the mattress and move the bed box to the wall you wish to put it inside. Lift the box up to the wall until it is flush and exactly where you want it. Use a pencil to trace the outline of the box onto the wall. Set the bed box off to the side.

Cut two of the 2-by-4s to the length of your bed box plus 1/2 inch and repeat with the remaining 2-by-4s but using the width measurements.

Lay down a dust sheet.

Using a handsaw, cut a hole in the wall around the lines.

Nail the 2-by-4s inside the wall to make a frame for the box.

Place the second, slightly larger bed box inside the wall against the framing 2-by-4s and nail it into place. Paint it the desired colour.

Paint or stain the bed box as you like.

Install the substantial fasteners to the bottom of the mattress bed box according to the directions and install the mattress.

Attach one side of the piano hinge to the bed box (making it the headboard) and the other side of the hinge to the floor. Attach the other side of the hinge to the bottom edge of the wall box.

Fold the box up into the wall and attach an eye ring onto the bottom of the bed on both sides close to the wall. Attach the hooks level with the eye rings to keep the bed latched until needed.


If the mattress is not as snug as you would like, you can add small scraps of thin wood along the sides of the mattress to compact it more. It's a good idea to pick a wall location where one side will be a stud. You can add another 2-by-4 to the side to make it a more secure location for your wall bed. If left with unfinished or ugly edging, cover it up with decorative moulding.


Always use safety equipment when working with saws. Adhere to strict safety guidelines when working with power tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Mattress
  • Measuring tape
  • Electric handsaw
  • Table saw
  • Veneer plywood, 1/2 inch thick
  • Veneer plywood, 1 inch thick
  • Sander
  • "L" brackets
  • Nails
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Substantial fasteners
  • Dust sheet
  • 4 (2-by-4) boards
  • Piano hinge
  • 2 eye rings
  • 2 hooks
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