Sleeping in Airports

Sleeping in San Francisco Airport

sleeping in san francisco airport

If you’re dealing with a long layover or an early morning flight departure at San Francisco airport, you might wonder if sleeping in the airport is possible. Our guide to sleeping in San Francisco 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 San Francisco Airport

Locations & Seating

The seating varies across the four terminals, though the International Terminal may be the most comfortable. Look around for new, padded, comfy, modern furniture on the airside. Other seating includes leather loungers, but they are equipped with armrests. If you want more privacy, please keep your eyes peeled for some hallways and corners, but be prepared to sleep on the floor – some carpeted. A sleep mat, blanket, or sleeping bag will go far to provide some much-needed cushion.

Here are good sleep spots that travellers have reported:

  • In Terminal 2, head to the hallway towards Gates 50-60 or Gates 40-48, near the yoga room, for an area with some couches.
  • In Terminal 2, Gates 52-54 have quiet corners for floor sleeping.
  • In Terminal 3, head to the food court at night and try moving furniture around for a makeshift bed.
  • Terminal 3, landside, has some couch-like benches. If that fails, try pushing furniture together for a makeshift bed with some privacy.

Rest Zones

At the time of this update, there are no designated rest zones within the airport.


san francisco airport hotelsDo you prefer some privacy and comfort? If you would like a good, solid sleep between flights without the stress of going through security, Nap Rooms can be found inside the airport. Nap Rooms offers three rooms, each equipped with a bed, but showers are an additional fee. Rent by the hour or overnight.

Several more hotels are located within a quick 6-minute drive of the airport, and most offer complimentary shuttle service. See the hotel section in our Airport Guide for locations, or visit Tripadvisor to find hotel deals at San Francisco Airport.


san francisco airport loungesSan Francisco Airport has several lounges, but none have designated sleep rooms or rest areas. If you only want to relax in a comfortable seat for a few hours before your flight, check out this list of lounges in our San Francisco Airport Guide that you can pay to access.

More Airport Services & Facilities

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

Airport Conditions

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

  • Temperature – Expect chilly temperatures inside the airport, especially at night. Arrive prepared with a blanket or even a sleeping bag. A hoodie provides extra warmth if the terminal gets even colder.
  • Lighting – At the time of this update, we have not received reports from travellers related to terminal brightness. Come prepared with eyeshades or something else to cover your eyes, such as a shirt or towel.
  • Noise – Daytime sleepers can expect the usual hum of airport activity: announcements and music blaring, travellers and workers passing by and chatting. The airport quiets down at night, but travellers have reported frequent overhead security announcements. Cleaning crews may be noisy as they move through, but don’t stick around for long. Come prepared with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones if you’re serious about getting some rest.

Security & Safety

Airport staff are generally tolerant of airport sleepers. They may wake you at night to check your ID and boarding pass.

At the time of this update, we have no reports from travellers commenting on safety issues at San Francisco Airport. However, a few travellers reported homeless folk wandering in the public areas of the terminals overnight.

However, sleeping in any airport can include a certain level of risk, 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.

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Airport Photo Gallery

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