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Who Invented the Cabinet Bed: Uncovering the Mysterious Creator

One creation stands out in inventive furniture design for its practicality and historical relevance - the cabinet bed. Combining the functions of a bed with the looks of a cabinet, this versatile piece of furniture was developed to maximize space in compact living quarters. Sarah E. Goode, a pioneer with a remarkable life story, inspired the cabinet bed.

Who Invented the Cabinet Bed: Uncovering the Creator

Sarah Goode was born into slavery in 1850, yet she overcame adversity to become an entrepreneur and innovator. She made history in 1885 when she became one of the first African American women to be given a patent in the United States. Goode's ingenious creation gained her Patent #322,177, paving the way for her to leave an indelible mark on furniture design. 

Goode's cabinet bed was genuinely avant-garde. She probably understood the demands of her clients who lived in tight urban houses as a furniture company owner in Chicago. The cabinet bed provided a space-saving solution without losing comfort or aesthetics. Its original design would be a forerunner to later unique space-saving furniture designs, such as the Murphy bed. Sarah E. Goode's cabinet bed survives today as a testimony to her inventiveness and pioneering spirit.

Who Invented the Cabinet Bed?

Sarah E. Goode, a trailblazing African American inventor, invented the cabinet bed. Born into slavery in 1855, Goode became one of the first African women to earn a US patent.

She received Patent #322,177 in 1885 for her unique folding cabinet bed. Goode was intimately aware of the problems of individuals living in small dwellings as the owner of a Chicago furniture company. She envisioned furniture that could adapt to the existing space, and thus the cabinet bed was created!

When folded, the cabinet bed resembled a regular desk, making it a perfect option for saving room in small apartments. Goode's inventiveness and commercial energy enabled her to develop and promote this functional and fashionable piece of furniture.

Along with her innovative creation, Goode broke down boundaries for African women at the time. She demonstrated that creative ideas and perseverance, despite one's modest beginnings, may redefine one's path as a former enslaved person turned successful company owner and patent holder.

History of the Cabinet Bed

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Early Origins

Sarah E. Goode, a trailblazing personality and genuine innovation in a space-saving design, is at the heart of the cabinet bed's history. Sarah Elisabeth Jacobs was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1855, and as a furniture business owner in Chicago in the 1880s, she found inspiration in the modest living quarters of her clients.

Goode recognized the need for a space-saving solution and combined her creative energy with a desire to create. In 1885, she created and received a patent for her "folding cabinet bed," a versatile piece of furniture regarded today as the forerunner of the contemporary Murphy bed (Patent #322,177).

Evolution and Improvement

Goode's design was revolutionary for inhabitants of Chicago's small apartments: it could be converted from a bed to a desk when not in use, making optimal use of the limited space available.

Goode's cabinet bed design evolved, with other innovators and designers expanding on her breakthrough work. The bed grew compact, simpler to use, and adaptable to different living conditions with each iteration, paving the way for several current iterations.

  • The Murphy Bed: Named after its creator, William Lawrence Murphy, this version includes an innovative spring and hinge system, allowing the bed to be lifted into a closet or recess in the wall when not in use.
  • The Wall Bed: Similar to the Murphy bed but featuring a less elaborate mechanism, the wall bed can be folded up against one side of a room.
  • The Sofa Bed: Combining seating and sleeping functions, the sofa bed is the most common space-saving option today, with a mattress stored within the sofa frame and easily unfolded when needed.

Over time, technology played an essential part in improving the user experience with these beds. Modern designs today provide more efficient and user-friendly mechanics, higher-quality materials, and a choice of aesthetic alternatives to accommodate a wide range of preferences and living situations. 

From its humble beginnings in Sarah E. Goode's clever innovation to its numerous modern versions, the cabinet bed has remained an essential option for space-conscious people, offering a lasting legacy and tribute to the power of human creativity.

Design of the Cabinet Bed

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Sarah E. Goode's design of the cabinet bed took into account the restricted space in compact households.


The cabinet bed's innovative mechanics allowed a smooth transition from a little piece of furniture to a comfy bed. It looked like a desk or cupboard that took up little room when folded. The cabinet bed unfolded into a full-size bed, giving a practical sleeping option without taking up too much space.


Cabinet beds are often made of wood and are designed to be durable and long-lasting. Quality materials were employed in the construction to ensure the bed's structural integrity throughout time, ensuring it remained practical and visually beautiful.

Types and Variations

Since Sarah E. Goode's original invention in 1885, cabinet beds have evolved into various models and designs:

  • Folding Cabinet Beds: Featuring a folding mattress, these types fit within the confines of a cabinet, allowing even more space-saving advantages.
  • Bookcase Beds: A combination of a bookshelf and a bed, these models provide additional storage options and a hidden sleeping area.
  • Murphy Beds: Although different from cabinet beds, Murphy beds also cater to limited space concerns by folding into a wall.

The adaptability of cabinet bed designs and their current versions continue to meet the demands of persons living in limited places, preserving Goode's original goal.

Benefits of Cabinet Beds

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Space Saving

Cupboard beds are an excellent space-saving alternative for compact living areas like flats or tiny houses. When not in use, these mattresses neatly fold into a cabinet or desk, freeing up floor space for other activities.

Its innovative design helps residents to make the most of their limited living space, resulting in a more spacious and visually appealing setting. Cupboard beds, such as the one designed by Sarah E. Goode, are a practical and effective alternative for city inhabitants wishing to conserve space.


One of the primary benefits of cabinet beds is their versatility. Goode's cabinet bed changed from a single bed to a roll-top desk with stationery and writing supplies storage. This multifunctional piece of furniture allows users to use available space best by sleeping, working, or storing items.

Contemporary cabinet beds frequently include additional storage alternatives, such as shelves and drawers, which improves their practicality. The cabinet bed is a good investment for individuals living in tight areas or in need of extra storage and workstation options since it combines numerous purposes into one piece of furniture.


Cabinet beds provide people with a quick and simple solution for small living areas. When sleeping, the bed may be readily unfurled and then effortlessly transformed back into a cabinet or desk during the day.

Cabinet beds save space and eliminate the need for extra furniture or a designated sleeping area when friends or family visit, a cabinet bed may provide a suitable temporary sleeping option without needing a separate guest room.

Cabinet beds are an example of how furniture may be built to enhance usefulness and convenience in limited living spaces. They are efficient, space-saving, and multifunctional. These advantages have persisted since the late nineteenth-century introduction of the cabinet bed, making it a popular choice for city residents even today.

Popular Cabinet Bed Brands and Models

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Numerous cabinet bed brands and types have emerged as popular alternatives among consumers due to their usefulness and style. In this part, we will look at some of the most popular alternatives on the market.

Archic Furniture is a renowned brand in the industry, offering a variety of cabinet bed styles and finishes. Their best-selling models include:

Night & Day Furniture is known for its commitment to quality and innovative design. Their popular cabinet bed models feature the following:

  • Poppy Collection - available in various finishes
  • Mur-Cube Cabinet Bed - a minimalist design

Night & Day Furniture produces cabinet beds that blend style and functionality. They offer options such as:

  • Transitional Cabinet Bed with USB Charging Ports
  • Modern Cabinet Bed with Wireless Charging

In addition to the brands mentioned above, various custom cabinet bedmakers create bespoke designs tailored to individual preferences and room sizes. These craftsmen typically use high-quality materials and showcase unique, visually appealing designs.

When choosing a cabinet bed, it is essential to consider factors such as:

  • Size and dimensions
  • Material and finish
  • Additional features (e.g., storage, charging ports)
  • Warranty and customer support

Consumers may pick a cabinet bed that best fulfills their needs and adds flair and convenience to their living spaces by evaluating numerous possibilities and assessing the pros and disadvantages of various types.

Maintenance and Care Tips

Correct cabinet bed maintenance and care may considerably increase its lifespan and keep it operating smoothly. The following suggestions can assist customers in simply maintaining their cabinet beds and ensuring pleasant use.

1. Inspect the hardware regularly: Periodically check for loose screws, bolts, or brackets in the bed frame and cabinet area. Tighten them as needed to maintain the bed's stability and structural integrity.

2. Clean surfaces diligently: Maintain a clean environment by wiping down the exterior cabinet and bed surfaces using a damp cloth and mild detergent. Regular cleaning ensures the bed remains free from dust, allergens, and potential damage caused by spills.

3. Vacuum the mattress: To remove dust, dirt, and allergens from the mattress, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment. Vacuuming keeps the sleeping space clean and healthy while also avoiding the growth of mold and mildew.

4. Avoid overloading the cabinet: Ensure to place only a few items in the storage compartments, as excessive weight can cause damage to the bed's frame, hinges, or caster wheels. Adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines for weight limits for best results.

5. Lubricate moving parts: Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the moving parts, like hinges and caster wheels, to ensure smooth operation and reduce wear and tear. This will enhance the functionality and longevity of the cabinet bed.

6. Rotate the mattress regularly to distribute wear and prolong its life. Flip it from side to side and head to foot to encourage even wear and minimize the chances of sagging or uneven support.

By following these simple yet effective tips, users can keep their cabinet beds functioning at their best and enjoy the comfort and convenience of this space-saving furniture.


We investigated the origins of the cabinet bed in this article, highlighting the critical contributions of creator Sarah E. Goode. Goode's innovation, one of the first African American women to be issued a US patent, has had a lasting influence on furniture design and space-saving solutions.

Goode's folding cabinet bed creation exhibits her resourcefulness and grasp of the typical challenges people living in small areas encounter. Her foresight established the groundwork for other inventors, such as William Murphy, who expanded on the concept and patented the well-known Murphy bed in 1911.

Goode's journey from an oppressed person to a successful entrepreneur and inventor exemplifies the boundless possibilities of human innovation and tenacity. Her cabinet bed is still an important idea that is the cornerstone for many modern furniture designs. As we commemorate Goode's accomplishments, her legacy inspires us to push the frontiers of creativity and seek practical answers to common problems.

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