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Murphy Bed Couch: Is It a Good RV Sleeping Option?

Murphy Bed Couch: Is It a Good RV Sleeping Option?

A Murphy bed or Murphy bed couch have become popular options for bringing additional sleeping capacity to homes and RVs alike.

For example, a homeowner might want to turn a home office into a temporary guest bedroom at times.

Likewise, an RVer who would like to travel with guests occasionally may want to add a Murphy bed couch to the living room. An alternative is to buy an RV that already comes factory equipped with this great space-saving piece of furniture.

Murphy beds are also a great full-time bed option for smaller RVs (Class B, Class B+, Class C, and smaller towables) as a way to provide comfortable sleeping while freeing up usable space during the day. A bed that you can tuck up into the wall will make a smaller RV seem larger due to the additional space provided when the bed isn’t in use.

But are Murphy beds a good option? Are they comfortable? Are they too small? How do they work?

What’s a Murphy Bed Couch?

A Murphy bed, also known as a wall bed, can be pulled down from the wall for sleeping and folded back up against the wall to move it out of the way when it’s not being used.

A Murphy bed couch is similar but the bed integrates with a sofa. This is different from a sofa bed that pulls out into a couch. With a Murphy bed couch, the couch is laid flat and then an actual bed is folded out over the seating area.

These are less common (and less available in RVs) than traditional Murphy beds.

Either way, these pieces of furniture serve both functions and offer space-saving features that many RVers desire.

They’re most commonly queen-sized but can be smaller or larger.

Can You Put a Murphy Bed in an RV?

You absolutely can put either style (with a couch or without) into an RV… if there’s room in the rig to accommodate it.

This means that you’d need sufficient space up against a wall or in a slide-out to accommodate the stowed bed. You’d also need sufficient floor space directly in front of that wall for the bed to lay flat for sleeping.

For example, here’s a Murphy bed couch for home use, but it’s almost 7.5 feet tall.

Bestar Edge Queen Murphy Bed with Sofa in White, Space-Saving Wall Bed for Multipurpose Guest Room or Living Room
  • MULTIPURPOSE DESIGN: Queen Murphy bed can be folded away into a cabinet to open up floor space in any room. A cabinet bed is the ideal space-saving...
  • PRACTICAL WALL BED: Dual-mount wall bed mechanism attaches to floor and wall for stability and ease of assembly. The bed accepts most Queen mattresses...

So, you’d of course need to find a model that would fit in your RV.

Do Some RVs Have Murphy Bed Couches?

A few RVs come equipped with these as a standard feature, although they’re less common than traditional Murphy beds.

But while it’s rare to find an RV with a Murphy bed couch, there are some out there.

Airstream Atlas

In the Airstream Atlas, a 24′ Class B RV, you’ll find a full-size couch in the general living space. This area is in a slide-out.

Here, the couch offers comfortable seating and allows for sufficient space to walk around the RV during the day.

A full-size convertible bed (in couch mode) in an Airstream Atlas

In the Airstream Atlas, the placement of this full-size couch is in a slide-out, allowing for plenty of space to move around the RV during the day. (Image credit: Airstream)

At night, the arms of the sofa are removed and the couch folds down flat. At this point, you might say you’ve got a relatively uncomfortable sofa bed to sleep on (a “jackknife” sofa, like ours.) But what happens next is the real magic of the Murphy bed couch.

The wall behind the couch comes down to reveal a full-size bed (with a real mattress!). We have a friend with an Airstream Atlas, and we spent a few nights sleeping in this exact bed. So we can tell you from first-hand experience that it’s surprisingly comfortable for a convertible bed.

A Murphy bed couch in bed mode in the Airstream Atlas

At night, out from the wall comes a full-size bed with a real mattress. It even includes LED lights for reading, making this a comfortable sleeping space (Image credit: Airstream)

Leisure Travel Vans Unity

Leisure Travel Vans’ Unity Murphy Bed model is a 25′ 1″ Class C RV with a king-sized Murphy bed lounge system.

Similar to the Atlas, the lounge/bed area is built into a slide-out, offering optimum space in both “lounge mode” and bed mode.

Lounge mode in this case isn’t a couch, but a pair of comfortable reclining chairs with a table between them.

The Leisure Travel Vans Murphy bed model in "couch mode" - a couple of reclining chairs.

“Lounge mode” for the Leisure Travel Vans Unity Murphy Bed model is a couple of comfortable reclining chairs with a table between them. (Image credit: Leisure Travel Vans)

When the chairs are placed upright and folded forward, the bed can then be deployed into the space, creating a comfortable bed (again, with a real mattress) that is just shy of king-size.

Leisure Travel Vans Murphy bed model in bed mode

In bed mode, Leisure Travel Vans Murphy Bed model of the Unity reveals a nearly king-sized bed! (Image credit: Leisure Travel Vans)

This floor plan of the Murphy Bed model of the Leisure Travel Vans Unity illustrates how the bed/lounge system works. The bed is essentially stored behind the lounge seating, all of which is built into a slide-out.

The floor plan of Leisure Travel Vans Unity showing their bed system built within the slide-out.

This floor plan of a Leisure Travel Vans Unity shows the Murphy bed system built within the slide-out. (Image credit: Leisure Travel Vans)

A system that integrates the RV’s lounge area with a bed that pulls out and away from the slide-out wall is an innovative way to combine comfortable living space with comfortable sleeping space in a smaller RV.

How Comfortable is a Murphy Bed?

Murphy beds tend to be far more comfortable than sofa beds because they use a real mattress that’s suitable for long-term use.

An RV sleeper sofa isn’t designed to be a long-term comfortable sleeping space. They’re generally best for that once-in-a-while short-term guest who probably won’t get a great night’s sleep unless they’re under the age of 10.

The mattress of a typical Murphy bed should be far more comfortable and offer a better night’s sleep. This is why they can be used as the main bed in smaller RVs like the ones we’ve highlighted above.

For short-term guest use, a Murphy bed might be impractical unless it’s already in the RV when you purchase it.

Even if your RV has a traditional sofa bed, however, there are ways to accommodate your guests more comfortably.

Here’s how we’ve addressed our guest’s sleeping arrangements in our RV:

If you’re like us and have guests only rarely, but no Murphy bed or comfortable sleeper sofa, you might be able to go the same route we did: an inflatable mattress.

Sale
EnerPlex Camping Air Mattress with Built in Pump - Twin Blow Up Mattress for Travel & Guests - Portable Bed for Adults and Kids - Blue
  • PERFECT CAMPING MATTRESS - Camping season is coming up, folks; This sleeping mat is the perfect solution for a nap in nature, or just as an extra...
  • 2 MINUTE INFLATION - Dont waste your breath with a manual blow up bed; Our camping air mattresses for tents come with a high-speed pump that inflates...

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John S.

Sunday 27th of November 2022

A Murphy bed couch?

Congrats John & Peter. You made this another 'learn something new every day day'.

TheRVgeeks

Saturday 3rd of December 2022

Thanks John!

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