Introduction: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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.

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