Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  My family had a sofa bed years ago and I remember an uncle who had murphy bed when he lived in San Francisco. I want something for our spare room. Are murphy beds still a good idea? 
A:  Far from just a good idea, the murphy bed of the 21st century (now called a wall bed) is a brilliant solution in homes of today where space-saving solutions are so necessary. Most sofa beds aren’t so comfortable; the wall bed is a real bed and can have a really comfortable mattress. Empty nesters, too, are realizing how smart it is to buy one, especially in view of the cost of homes and remodeling today.
Q:  I know murphy beds are a good idea but how in the world do I know what to look for, there are so many out there?
A:  Deciding who makes the best wall bed for your needs can be a task, but the best advice is to buy locally, or at least from someone within your state or region with whom you can trust and has designs you like. In the unlikely event something goes wrong, you want to be confident they stand behind their product and give you the level of service you expect. Beware of sellers who don’t make their own product. Not every market has local manufacturers who can be on the spot to help.
Q:  Wall beds are pretty big pieces of furniture. How can I know it will fit into my home and my room?
A:  Some are pretty big and awkward to move and require careful consideration, especially if you want one installed in an upstairs room. Fortunately, most can be disassembled for transport and, with some re-assembly required, those issues can be minimized.
Q:  I could never assemble and install a wall bed myself; I’m just not that handy. What are my options?
A:  In that case, you want to choose a manufacturer or retailer who provides this service for you. If you are having your wall bed shipped to you and you are handy, most wall beds come with detailed, illustrated instructions (even a video or online support) to get you up to the task. For some, hiring a reputable handyman may be the best idea.
Q:  What about the mattress? I might like to use one I already have, but if I need to buy one, does the wall bed maker/seller included one in the price? What specs are required?
A:  Your own mattress may work well (but not your box spring; it’s built into the bed). It should be no more than 12” thick (10” or less is better, so that there will be plenty of room for bedding), and it should weigh about 65 lbs. for a queen), 55 lbs. for a full and 35 lbs. for a twin. Latex or foam mattress are too heavy for some wall beds, especially those with piston lift systems like ours. If you need a mattress, check with your wall bed maker/seller; they may recommend the best sources.
Q:  So, what about the wall bed’s lift system, the heart of a murphy bed? The murphy beds of old used springs -- some still do today -- but what about the piston strut lift systems so popular in modern wall beds?
A:  Frankly, we like the piston systems, because they are so quiet, so simple and so user friendly (read “Jake’s Blog”). Springs can be difficult, they can fatigue over time and they aren’t always that user friendly. Besides, the newest piston systems now can be fine-tuned to the weight of the mattress and have a life-time guarantee.
Q:  How do I choose a good wall bed maker?

A:  Deciding who makes the best wall bed for your needs can be a task, but the effort can be worthwhile. The best advice is find a business whose designs you like and one who you sense can be trusted, a company of integrity, one that stands behind its products. That requires some research. Look too for a company that uses solid wood facing, furniture-grade plywoods, reliable lift systems and environmentally correct materials and finishes. Watch out for formaldehydes and toxic glues. And avoid particle board.

Sonoma Woodcraft is known for its responsible sourcing, including the materials, mechanisms and hardware. Everything is finished with a conversion varnish, the same durable finish used on kitchen cabinetry and vanities.  It's the perfect for thing for furniture that gets handled a lot, such as the moving parts of a wall bed. And, it's easily pigmented to any color, yet is low in VOCs -- those nasty Volatile Organic Compounds -- that some other finishes release. We like it too for its satin sheen, an almost rubbed effect. 

Our craftsmanship is guaranteed for as long as you own the bed. The lift mechanisms -- much like the gas pistons used in the hatchback of cars -- enjoy a lifetime warranty as well.
The competition won’t tell you, but most manufacturers use single-wall construction in their cabinet sides, unlike Sonoma Woodcraft’s solid, double-walled sides. This makes for cabinets that are truly solid pieces of furniture. It helps conceal the mechanism from the outside, too.
Finally, make sure your wall bed is relatively easy to install. Spring lift systems can be complex and not user friendly. Sonoma Woodcraft provides written, illustrated instructions and phone support too, so it takes only a hour (two, max.) with its five-piece system. Or, if you request delivery, assembly and installation are free.
Q:  How do I care for Sonoma Woodcraft products?
A:  You'll find our furniture easy to care for. Just wipe down with a light, dampened cloth. If you find highly soiled areas, such as the bed face or any areas that get handled a lot, try Murphy's Oil Soap. We also like the Old English brand. Just don't use a wet cloth or sponge.

If we haven't answered your question in our FAQ's above, please contact us. We'll be glad to answer your questions and may offer items you haven't thought about.

Find Us
9 AM - 4 PM PT Weekdays
Call for an appointment.
(707) 824-9866
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