How to shop for a Murphy Wallbed #6: Types of Mechanisms

WallBedsUSA helps you to understand the benefits and differences to the two main types of Murphy Bed Mechanisms. This is a critical part of our discussions educating you on the important options when it comes to designing your custom Murphy Wallbed. In this article, we discuss the differences between a Spring and Piston Mechanism. Since the mechanism is the most important part of the bed, its mechanism determines the structure.

Your bed is easy to open and close because it utilizes either a Spring or Piston Mechanism. The mechanism makes it possible that you can use your own mattress, up to 11” thick. You can also make up your bed completely with all bedding and pillows.  When the bed is down, the loads can be up to approximately 1700 lbs or 2000 lbs dead weight load. Usually, a Spring lift mechanism is engineered for up to 9 springs per side and the number of springs is determined by the size and weight of the mattress. A Piston Lift Mechanism cannot be adjusted once installed, but is customized to provide the effortless operation of your Murphy bed . Both mechanisms can be used for home residences as well as commercial uses such as dormitories, vacation resorts, hotels and fire stations.

Piston Lift Mechanism

These pistons utilize either gas or air pressure in their function, and thus give generous support when lowering and lifting your Murphy bed. A child or an elderly person can easily operate a piston lift mechanism with little effort. Piston systems generally require less space for operation than any other lift mechanism available, and it also has fewer moving parts.  The mechanism is contained within the cabinetry and requires no adjustments after it is adjusted to your specifications.  The piston-lift mechanism is counter-balanced and designed for daily use, and is not to subject to metal fatigue. The locking mechanism prevents the bed from being opened accidentally and an important safety feature is that it locks the bed inside the cabinet when not in use. Pistons cannot be adjusted once installed, so proper installation is critical to promote the longevity and use of the mechanism for your needs. There is usually a limited lifetime warranty on all parts of this piston mechanism.

Spring Lift Mechanism

Spring mechanisms are part of the traditional Murphy bed system and usually consist of a heavy duty compressed steel spring system composed of several individual coils since it is a coil driven mechanism. In order to balance your Murphy bed, springs are added or eliminated to balance the unit for the weight of the mattress. Spring mechanisms are counter balanced to facilitate the lowering and lifting your Murphy bed. Static force holds the bed in its closed position and utilizes high carbon steel springs to eliminate spring fatigue. These springs may require adjustment after a couple of years because the springs can fatigue and stretch over time. This fatigue may lead to the Murphy bed sagging. Being able to adjust the mechanism allows you to have complete control over the degree of tension in the springs, which is impossible in piston mechanisms. There is usually a Lifetime Warranty on this mechanism from the manufacturer.

Locks on Murphy Wall Beds

A piston mechanism has the huge benefit of its locking device, a valuable safety feature. These locks keep the bed secure inside of the cabinet. Wall bed systems with piston mechanisms typically experience less mechanism fatigue and bed sagging.

Both types of mechanisms and no floor mounting allow for the entire Murphy Wallbed system to be easily moved within rooms in your house without damage, and between houses should you need to move. Understanding the types of Murphy Wall bed mechanisms and choosing the right one for your needs can be difficult. Wall Beds USA offers excellent consultation and design services, and can completely customize your bed with cabinetry, shelving, built in lights, storage or desk. Call Wall Beds USA at (972) 775-5119 or create your custom Murphy Wallbed in your favorite styles and colors. Contact us today if you have any questions!

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