Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in Newark Airport

Sleeping in Newark Airport
Photo by / 14Mar2013

If you’re dealing with a long layover or an early morning flight departure at Newark Airport, you might wonder if sleeping in the airport is possible. Our guide to sleeping in Newark airport provides essential information for seasoned airport sleepers and newbies to help travellers arrive prepared for the experience.

We keep this guide up-to-date with the help of airport sleepers who have generously shared their experiences and airport reviews. If you have any tips or photos to contribute, please take a moment to write a review. Your feedback will help us stay informed about the latest advice for future sleepy travellers.

Sleeping in Newark Airport Overnight

The airport does not allow travellers inside the airside zones overnight. Security will move anyone to the terminal’s public, landside areas until security checkpoints open early, around 4:00 AM.

Locations & Seating

Sleeping in Newark Airport
Airside seating. Photo by / 09Jun2012

The amount of seating is OK, but most seats are bolted to the floor and equipped with armrests. If you want to spread out, you’ll need to prop yourself between nearby seats or spread out on the cold floor. Extra layers or a sleep mat will help provide comfort, whether you grab a chair or opt for the floor. Terminal B is generally the most comfortable, particularly on the airside. Some travellers point out that the food court in Terminal A has a few padded benches.

Do you know a good location, airport tip or photos to add? Click here for our review form.

Rest Zones

There are no designated rest zones within the airport.

Weather Delays

Newark Airport Cots
Cots are set up for travellers who sleep inside the airport during flight cancellations. Photo by / 29Oct2011

Newark Airport sees more than its fair share of flight cancellations due to bad weather (summer thunderstorms and winter snow), but they are generally more prepared than other airports. When mass cancellations happen at Newark Airport, cots are available for stranded passengers who opt against getting a hotel room. To find them, ask an airline or airport employee (look for the red coats) or use a courtesy phone to reach someone with access to this information.

Just so you know, these cots cannot be reserved in advance and are unavailable except for mass cancellations. That means you cannot access them simply because you chose to stay the night in the airport instead of getting a hotel room.


Newark airport hotelsDo you prefer the privacy and comfort of a hotel room? You must head to a nearby hotel for a good, solid sleep. The Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott is located on airport grounds, and several other hotels, many with free shuttles, are within a 5-minute drive. See the hotel section in our Airport Guide for locations, or visit Tripadvisor to find hotel deals at Newark Airport.


Newark airport loungesNewark Airport has several lounges, none of which have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you want to relax in a comfortable seat for a few hours before your flight, check out the pay-to-use lounge details in our Newark Airport Guide.

More Airport Services & Facilities

For information about drinking water, 24-hour food & drink options, luggage storage, showers, mobile charging and WiFi, visit our Newark Airport Guide.

Airport Conditions

If you plan to spend the night at the airport, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Sleeping in Newark Airport seating
Landside seating. Photo by 09Jun2012
  • Temperature – Expect cold temperatures – many reviewers describe the terminals as “freezing.” Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie and gloves provide extra warmth if the airport gets even colder.  
  • Lighting – Lights stay on around the clock in the landside area, where all overnight travellers must congregate. Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.
  • Noise – Daytime sleepers can expect to hear frequent announcements regarding boarding calls and general airport announcements (safety warnings, passenger pages, etc). At night, when there are no more flights, you would think the announcements would be put to rest, but that is not always the case. As a precaution, you should come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones.

Security & Safety

Airport staff seem to be okay with overnight campers. Still, they will relocate anyone airside to the landside, public zones of the airport until about 4:00 AM, when security checkpoints open. Note: a traveller (April 2019) reported sleeping Airside in Terminal C from 11:00 PM – 6:00 AM with no issues from security. Please write a review to help future travellers.

At the time of this update, no recent traveller reviews mention any safety issues at Newark Airport. Older reviews included a few references to homeless people in the landside areas.

Sleeping in any airport can include a certain risk level, especially when travelling alone. It’s essential to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and the security of your valuables. Here are a few tips:

  • Safety First. It’s a good idea to know where the security office is and look for video cameras where you plan to sleep. You can also ask the security personnel for advice on the safest places to spend the night.
  • Don’t Seclude Yourself. If you’re travelling alone, we recommend you stay near other travellers or close to security. This will help you feel more secure and deter potential thieves.
  • Hide Your Valuables. It’s also important to hide your valuables. Please don’t leave them out in plain view, as this could make you a target for theft. Additionally, if you are a deep sleeper, you may want to padlock your bag to something or sleep with your bag up against a wall to make it harder for someone to access zippers and pockets. We have received reports of sleepers who awoke without their phones and laptop bags. The travellers were left with just their headphones and laptop bag strap.
  • Stay Alert. It’s best to stay alert and awake if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages to help you stay sharp, and remember that you can always catch up on sleep during your flight. These simple precautions can help you enjoy a safe night at the airport.

Pro-tip: If you sleep in the public zone, don’t be surprised if you receive an early morning wake-up call. Security is known to make the rounds, waking people up as travellers arrive for morning flights.

Write a Review

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Airport Photo Gallery

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