Introduction: Ikea Hack - Murphy Bed With Sliding Doors

Picture of Ikea Hack - Murphy Bed With Sliding Doors

We have a spare bedroom that is long, but also fairly narrow.  With a queen bed there wasn't much space for anything else, but we wanted to make the room more multi-functional.  The obvious solution was a murphy bed.

We spoke to some of the local suppliers, and for a basic murphy bed and cabinet with no additional storage space the price would have been about $3,500.  That's a little steep, but the bigger problem is that we didn't like the style of any of them.

I'd seen two ikea hacks that used Pax cabinets with a murphy bed kit:

Neither of those were what we were looking for either, but they inspired me to try something similar with some tweaks.

Step 1: Two Pax Wardrobes

Picture of Two Pax Wardrobes

Two Ikea Pax 100x236 Wardrobes spaced about 172cm apart.
If I were doing it again, I would probably increase the spacing to 180cm, just to get a few more inches clearance.

Step 2: Assemble and Install the Bed Mechanism

Picture of Assemble and Install the Bed Mechanism

After some searching online I decided to use the Next Bed kit for the murphy bed hardware.

Here it's shown assembled and installed.  It rests on the floor, and is attached to the wall at the baseboard level with 8 screws.

Just for reference, the mattress is a 12" pillowtop, with a mattresspad on top of that.  It's currently set up so that it's tight to the wall, but there's enough clearance that I move the bed further out from the wall to hang a picture on there.

Overall I'm really impressed with the quality of the Next Bed kit, and would recommend it to anyone. The instructions are clear, and they have several helpful assembly videos available online as well.

Step 3: The Bottom Section

Picture of The Bottom Section

I did the bottom section in 2 parts.

There is a reinforced L-section that gets screwed into the warddrobes.
Then a cover gets screwed on top of that. The exposed edge gets hidden by the track for the sliding doors.

The material for this comes from cutting up a third Pax wardrobe.

This doesn't take much load, but I made it fairly strong because I didn't want it to break if someone stepped on it or kicked it.

Step 4: The Lower Track

Picture of The Lower Track

Each track is about 198cm. The total width of my assembly is only about 372mm, so I shortened each track by about 12cm using a dremmel and hacksaw.

The lower tracks are notched for the sides of the wardrobes, but since I wasn't using standard dimensions I had to cut an extra notch with the dremmel.

Step 5: Assemble the Top Section

Picture of Assemble the Top Section

This is the top section, showing the underside and the top.

The material for this comes from cutting up a third Pax wardrobe.

The "fingers" are there so that after it was lifted up it would hold itself in place.

Once it's in place there's no way to run cabling, so all of the lighting had to be installed first.

After it was in place I added a stiffener at the front, because it was flexing a bit too much under the weight of the doors.  Refer to "Step 11: Lessons learned" for some more details on that. 

Step 6: Install the Top Section

Picture of Install the Top Section

The top section is lifted into place, and is supported by "fingers." I then connected it to the wardrobes with screws.

I ran an extension cord from the left wardrobe to provide a power connection in the right wardrobe. This had to be done before the top section was in place.

Step 7: The Upper Track

Picture of The Upper Track

Each track is about 198cm. The total width of my assembly is only about 372mm, so I shortened each track by about 12cm using a dremmel and hacksaw.  The plastic piece is easy to remove, and then I re-drilled new holes on the shortened track and moved the plastic piece over.

Step 8: Joining the Track

Picture of Joining the Track

Ikea tracks are not meant to be connected together (usually they're too short for that to work).

But the Ikea hardware still does a pretty good job of joining them together.

I used pieces of an aluminum can as a shim to get the alignment just right. When the doors cross the joint there's a little bump, but they roll very smoothly.

Step 9: Little Details

Picture of Little Details

I replaced the switch from an ikea ansluta power supply with a pushbutton switch that I ordered from  ebay.  I ran the wires in the through the bottom instead of the sides, and then mounted it on the sidewall to control the overhead lights.

One of the Pax wardrobes was in front of an electrical outlet.  I cut a rough opening in the back panel, and then finished that by gluing on a typical coverplate.

Step 10: All Done!

Picture of All Done!

After that you just follow Ikea's instruction for installing the doors, and then you're done!


3 Ikea Pax 100x236 wardrobes (1 was cut up and used for materials)
2 sets Ikea Pax Lyngdal 200x236 sliding doors
1 set Ikea Inreda LED spotlight
2 Ikea Inreda LED light strips

Ikea Cost: $1,010
(we waited until Ikea had a Bedroom event. We bought the Pax stuff, got $150 gift card back, and then used that to buy the lighting)

1 Next Bed Murphy Bed hardware kit
Lots of 2" and 1-1/4" particle board screws (different lengths depending on the type of join)
1 roll of dark-brown cabinet edging tape.

Total Cost: $1,650
Total Width: approx. 372cm (12'-2")

From start to finish the project took about 1 week - that was one solid saturday of work, with everything else done in the evenings.

For the most part all of the work was done by one person, but there were a few steps were a second set of hands was needed: initially assembling the Pax wardrobes; lifting the top piece into place; and lifting the doors onto the rails.

Next step: buy new comforter cover.

Step 11: Lessons Learned

Picture of Lessons Learned

As mentioned, I spaced the two wardrobes about 172cm apart.  With the bedding and sliding doors installed this is a little bit tight.  It's still workable, but if I were doing it again it would be nice to have a bit more clearance so I would space them at 180cm, for a total overall width of 380cm.

Also, with the doors installed the weight causes the centre section to bow down a bit.  The deflection is only a few mm, but it's enough to throw the angle of the doors off.  They stay on the tracks and move freely, but there's a little gap at the bottom when they're pushed together.  This really isn't a big deal, but the photo shows a stiffener that I added to the top section to lessen the bending.  It is just one of the end cap channels that came with the sliding doors - I have two sets, but I only need one, so I cut down one of the spares and attached it.


nagupak (author)2015-06-26

Would I be correct in assuming that you cannot access the side pax cabinets when the bed is down? And if so, how much of a hassle is that to deal with?

Celina Q (author)nagupak2016-04-12

Although I have not completed this project (and you've probably moved on to other things), you could always install a shade and rolling rod at the top of the bed, mounted on two cabinets of your choosing and simply roll the shade down when the bed is up and put it up when you want to use the bed. It wouldn't take up any floor space or block access to your side shelves.

ClaireO2 (author)2015-08-12

Reason I want to use something that's not PAX is because it has too much depth. I understand the murphy bed with mattress takes up about 18 inches in depth? I want the side cabinets to also be about the same. and not 22 inches in depth like the Pax because I feel like it would be wasting a lot of space, especially when you're in a small studio. Was hoping to use the side cabinets for things like books and blu-rays, some photos on frame, statues, etc. Was thinking maybe lining up some Kallax / Expedit shelves maybe.

ClaireO2 (author)2015-08-12

Can you make this with sliding doors with the Pax? For example, use the same Pax Doors and Rails, but with maybe the Billy Bookcases on the sides?

AndyM17 (author)2015-07-13

This project looks great. Do you think this setup would be durable enough for everyday use, or would you only recommend for occasional / guest use of the bed. My kids have pretty small bedrooms and we're trying to determine how to maximize space.

bathhomeward (author)2015-04-16

Nice Collection...!!!

murphybedhq (author)2015-02-12

Great stuff, I really dig it!

veronicas1 (author)2015-01-09

I LOVE this design and the way you did this! Can you tell me about how much this cost you to build all together?

emc2mm (author)2014-12-01

Great job

Cclarke15 (author)2014-10-20

Hello is it possibly to use the Pax wardrobe w/ mirror instead?

regine.kjellerup (author)2014-10-05

Hi, I'm in Australia and looked for the frame for quite some time. Is it possible helping me how I could find the frame?

murphybedhq (author)2014-07-24

Cool! How well would you say the bed is "balanced"? is it easy to pull up and down?

murphybedhq (author)2014-07-24

Really nice! I love the clean and very stylish look. Amazing what you can get out of Ikea stuff :)

tcosupreme (author)2013-09-15

I've just installed the next bed kit too... and I'm still trying to decide how to enclose it in cabinetry, etc... but the most imminent issue right now is that we've realized (too late of course) that there is a HUGE gap between the head of the bed and the wall when the bed is laid down - which of course makes it impossible for guests to sit up and read in bed. Have you figured a way around this? Somehow the picture in your instructable here does not appear to have such a big gap...

newfangled (author)tcosupreme2013-10-04

That huge gap surprised me too, and it's definitely worth mentioning. For a 12" deep mattress you're going to have a 12" between the wall and the bed when it's in the down position.

I think some of the other mechanisms might be offset back to cut down the gap a bit, but not much. I've seen videos of some of the fancy cabinetry, and they use a headboard that slides up and into position to fix the problem. So I think all murphy bed mechanisms must have this problem to one degree or another.

Short answer is that my guests don't get to read in bed either.

jimuncle (author)newfangled2013-11-28

My solution!

murphybedhq (author)2013-11-06

WOW this is so stylish - love it.

Dadrepus (author)2013-10-20

How do you open the Pax units when the bed is down?

Gilo (author)2013-07-09

nice and informative.

How do you keep the mattress from falling off the frame when its up?

tcosupreme (author)Gilo2013-09-17

@Gilo - the frame has supports built-in that hold the mattress up when it is in a vertical position, AND there is one strap near the foot of the bed that wraps around the mattress to keep it from falling or shifting while opening/closing.

dsherlock-lewis (author)2013-05-24

Hi I'm looking at building a wallbed just like yours. I looked at the ikea wardrobe that you have used. But ikea say I need 2.4 metre to fit wardrobe or the doors which I don't have. In your photos it does look like you have 4cm clearance above the wardrobe

Sorry, I've tried to reply to this twice but my responses keep disappearing for some reason.

Short answer: our ceiling is 95-1/2" (2.43m).

That is low enough that we built the Pax standing up against the wall, rather than building them on the floor and then rotating them up.

I think the 2.4m clearance is mostly because you have to lift the sliding door up and onto the track. You could potentially slide the door on at the end of the track instead, but I can't guarantee that would work.

jimuncle (author)2013-04-13

hey, a UK company consider your design as a solution to house the Next bed.

btw, I'm that HK client~ XD


nickchomey (author)2013-04-07

Also, I'm thinking that instead of cutting the 12cm off the tracks, you could make the whole thing as wide as possible and perhaps squeeze some Lack or Komplement upright shelves inside beside the bed for books, water, alarm clock etc...

newfangled (author)nickchomey2013-04-08

It really depends how much wall space you've got. In our spare room 390cm was about the max possible, so since I was going to have to cut anyway I shortened it down to 372cm. For something like a basement though, I think 4m would probably work fine.

One thing about a wider span, is that the center section will sag more. jimuncle has done a version of this bed, and had a great idea for how to prevent the sagging:

maguzzy (author)2013-03-11

With the Next Bed System, does it have to be screwed into the wall? Thanks.

newfangled (author)maguzzy2013-03-12

This video shows it being screwed into the wall and the floor (starting at the 2:30):

The instructions only say to screw it into the wall. I think you could go either wall or floor, but it definitely needs to be fastened to something.

The instructions also assume that you have a wood stud wall, and involve putting several long woodscrews into the bottomplate of the wall. Done properly there should be minimal damage - just 8 holes down at the baseboard level.

I have steel stud walls, and getting the screws to securely hit the bottom steel channel was trickier than it would be with wood framing. I ended up with a mix of machine screws into the channel and large toggle bolts in the drywall. I'm happy with how secure it feels.

newfangled (author)newfangled2013-03-12

Oh, and the instructions that come with the Next Bed can be found here:

And has more detailed installation videos.

jimuncle (author)2013-02-27

That is the best hack I've ever seen.
I'm living in a tiny flat in HK and just bought a next bed and a second hand ikea pax wardrobe with 2 sliding door. Need another 2 doors to make a similar cabinet. Hope I can finish it within March.
Thx for your magnificent idea.

jooknon (author)2013-02-01

Looks great! Lights are a nice touch.

meerar (author)2013-01-31

fantastic hack. looks really good professional and custom made rather than a diy job. does that mean that the next bed cost about 600 dollars?

newfangled (author)meerar2013-02-01

I'm in Canada, so with delivery it was about $600. But in the US it should be possible to find it for in the $400~500 range.

TyrleY (author)2013-02-01

Its great!!! good job

WorkingGunn (author)2013-01-31


jravenelle (author)2013-01-31

Looks great! Nice way to have a great guest bed (or everyday bed) The doors finish it off so well - really clean, great look. Some wall color- a pale gray or beige - wood be great too.

DanielCG (author)2013-01-31

Really good instructable and great looking finished project. I really liked the lessons learned you inserted. "If I were doing it again..."

DeeRilee (author)2013-01-30

Very nice!!!! I love Murphy beds....just wish I had a 'need' for one! lol

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