Sleeping in Airports

Best Airports of 2013

Date: October 15, 2013

For 17 years, travellers at SleepingInAirports have been rating airports not only for their sleep comfort, but the services and amenities they offer during a layover.

When selecting an airport to declare as the “best”, travellers were asked to consider the four C’s: comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.

  • Comfort: Armrest-free seating and quiet/rest/relaxation zones.
  • Conveniences: Free WiFi, 24-hour food, showers, pay-in lounges, and activities to do on a layover.
  • Cleanliness: Clean floors, bathrooms and food courts.
  • Customer Service: A smile and friendly attitudes go a long way. We are so thankful for the kind airport workers who help us when we are lost and give us blankets and pillows when we’re stranded.

While no airport is perfect, the airports on this list realize that travellers want more things to do during a layover and they have introduced services and amenities to improve our airport experience such as: Free WiFi, movie theatres, tv lounges, mini-golf, bicycle rentals, gardens, aquariums, art exhibits, and showers. Airports may not have been built with sleeping in mind, but nowadays more of them are implementing rest zones and quiet areas to help us relax on our journeys. We like that!

We’ve listed the top 10 airports below, but you can also see the regional results:

…. and then there are the “Worst Airports for Sleeping“.

So now here are our 2013 Best Airport winners.

1. Singapore Changi

Best Airports in the Worold 2013: Singapore Changi Airport

Silence is mandatory in the “Snooze lounge” which boasts very sleepable chaise lounge, you can even ask for bedcover. – survey respondent

Singapore Changi has once again been voted as the SleepingInAirports Best Airport for the 17th year in a row. Even after all this time, the airport continues to impress travellers with its comfort and long list of activities.

Here at Club Changi, tired travellers can sleep in special relaxation zones that feature reclining lounge chairs and padded seating. After a nap, travellers can connect to the internet using the Free WiFi and internet stations, enjoy a free city tour of Singapore, join a cultural activity or take a leisurely walk in one of the seven gardens. Other airport amenities include a movie theatre, music and TV lounges, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, 24-hour massage and spa facilities, video games, and a 4-storey slide. This year the airport introduced the Social Tree, an interactive attraction designed to share and remember your Changi experiences.

The zzz Factor: Travellers rave about Changi’s 6 rest zones with special reclining sleep seats. They are popular, so if you can’t get a seat, you can still enjoy some quiet time in other cushioned seating and armrest-free seating areas throughout the terminal. Showers area available for a fee. Food is available 24-hours. Survey respondents say they’d like to see more rest areas. See also Best Airports in Asia.

2. Seoul Incheon

Best Airports 2013: Seoul Incheon Airport

we found a nice lounge in the rest & relax area, moving 2 seats next to each other it was enough sleeping room for 3 people.” – Phtraveler

Here at Seoul Incheon, travellers love the fast Free WiFi, cleanliness, friendly staff and comfortable seats. When they weren’t napping in one of the relaxation zones they were enjoying the gardens, watching traditional dance performances and learning how to make traditional pencil cases, fans, and bags. Other services and amenities include: a spa, transit tours, pay-in lounges, and an Ice Skating Rink.

The zzz Factor: Travellers love the padded seats in the comfortable rest zones near the gates. The airport also offers armrest-free seating. Showers are available for a fee and food is available 24-hours. See also Best Airports in Asia.

3. Amsterdam

Best Airports 2013: Amsterdam Airport

There’s a place on the upper level between Departures 3 and 4 that is supposed to look like a forest. Apart from the nature sounds that go until about midnight, there are a lot of reclined chairs as well as these great leaf-shaped beanbag chairs that make amazing beds.” – Adam

This is the first year Amsterdam Schiphol or a non-Asian airport has cracked the top 3 on our Best Airports list. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is popular for its facilities and comfort. The airport offers one hour Free WiFi and activities to keep you entertained, such as city tours, TV lounges, a movie theatre, museum, casino, library, spa and pay-in lounges that are accessible to economy travellers.

The zzz Factor: The airport offers a variety of comfortable couches, relaxation chairs and other seats in transit. Before security (landside) airport sleepers do not have the luxury of loungers, but they still report good experiences. Showers and 24-hour food are available. See also Best Airports in Europe.

4. Hong Kong

Best Airports 2013: Hong Kong Airport

you will find there a few ‘beds’ made of 4 seats together (no armrests). it was a real bed. I went to bed at about 11 pm and got up at about 9 am. It was a perfect place to spend the night.” – thisisme

Travellers at Hong Kong International Airport say they like the clean, comfy, easy-to-navigate terminal. Before or after your nap you might like to take advantage of the activities and cultural experiences offered at the airport. Airport amenities include: pay-in lounges and an IMAX theatre.

The zzz Factor: Hong Kong offers armrest-free seating and rest loungers. If you are in transit and need to rest, look for the lounge chairs hidden behind shrubbery. Showers are available in one of the lounges for a fee. Food is available 24-hours. See also Best Airports in Asia.

5. Helsinki Vantaa

Best Airports in the World 2013: Helsinki Airport

I am amazed! The airport is very clean and quiet, has Free WiFi and many places for charging your phone or computer or whatever you may need to use. There are benches all over the place” – sleeping around

Helsinki Vantaa offers travellers comfort and ease of transit. Services and amenities include: Free WiFi, a book swap, art gallery and exhibits, a spa, pay-in lounge, and airport tours. The airport recently opened a free Relaxation Zone, an area that features different styles of rest seats: chairs, pods and beds.

The zzz Factor: In addition to the airside Relaxation Zone, the airport has areas with reclining loungers and armrest-free seating. Showers are located in the lounges and food is available 24-hours. If you can’t find a way to sleep in this airport, there might be something wrong with you. See also Best Airports in Europe.

6. Munich

Best Airports in the World 2013: Munich Airport

The Munich airport has plenty of seats without armrests and security watches over you.” – a traveller

At Munich Airport, travellers say they enjoy the facilities and easy transits. Services and amenities include: Mini-Golf, airport tours, a casino, spa, pay-in lounges and an airport brewery.

The zzz Factor: Munich offers travellers armrest-free seating and quiet rest areas with reclining seats. If you prefer more privacy (and don’t mind paying), there are sleep cabins near the rest area. Showers are available for a fee. Food is available 24-hours. See also Best Airports in Europe.

7. Zurich

Sleeping on the seats was obviously not as comfortable as sleeping in a bed. But for seats, I had quite a good nights sleep. Travellers were stretched out on seats around me. It comforted me that I was not alone.” – Khai13

At Zurich Airport airport sleepers can be found snoozing away on the armrest-free seating. At night, lights are dimmed and it is quiet since the stores and food concessions shut down. Before or after your nap, you can enjoy an airport tour or keep fit with a bicycle rental.

The zzz Factor: If you are in transit and bench sleeping is not for you, the airport has rest zones and day rooms. Showers are available for a fee. See also Best Airports in Europe.

8. Kuala Lumpur

Best Airports in the World 2013: Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Pleasantly long movable benches were available and we pushed some vacant ones creating a small bed. Slept awfully well with extremely quiet surroundings (except the flight announcements) and dimmed lights (after 12am). Woke up the next morning and felt refreshed!” – hilman91

There are two terminals — KLIA and the LCCT. The KLIA terminal is nicer and more comfortable. Airport sleepers like the airport’s long benches, reclining rest chairs and showers. Both terminals have 24-hour pay-in lounges that economy passengers can access. Travellers can enjoy the gardens or take advantage of the hotel facilities which include a spa, swimming pool and gym.

The zzz Factor: The best sleep can be had in the designated rest areas (airside) and the benches on the 4th floor (landside). Showers are available for a fee. Food is available 24-hours. See also Best Airports in Asia.

9. Vancouver

Best Airports in the World 2013: Vancouver Airport

It was nice, quiet, the seats were cushioned and not all of them have the arm rests which was perfect for leg room” – paullion

Vancouver Airport offers travellers Free WiFi and self-guided tours where you can see attractions such as the totem poles, aboriginal art and a 30,000-gallon aquarium.

The zzz Factor: While there are no designated rest zones, the airport offers plenty of armrest-free seating before and after security. Long-haul travellers say they would like the airport to install showers in the transit area. Until that dream becomes a reality, they can pay to use the showers at the Fairmont Hotel connected to the terminal. Food is available 24-hours. See also Best Airports in North America.

10. Frankfurt am Main

Best Airports of 2013: Frankfurt Airport


Most of the seating is the armless type so I was able to really stretch out and fall asleep. Overall it was pleasant, with the little nook being quiet and free from distractions.” – nasromolla

While Frankfurt Airport’s Free WiFi is restricted to only 30 minutes, travellers can fill their spare time with an airport tour, concert, a visit to the casino, a pay-in lounge, or the Visitor’s Terrace.

The zzz Factor: The airport offers airport sleepers armrest-free seating and rest zones with reclining chairs. Food is available 24-hours and showers are available for a fee. See also Best Airports in Europe.

Have Your Say!

Your votes and feedback are essential to the SleepingInAirports annual Best and Worst Airports survey. Now it is your turn to tell us which airports deserve to be included on the 2014 list. There are a few ways to participate:

  • Survey: If you have a bit more time, leave some comments on the Airport Survey so that we know why you like this airport.
  • Polls: The easiest way to participate is to vote in the quick poll at the bottom of each regional page. Even if an airport is not listed, write it in the “Other box” and it will be included in the total count.
  • Airport Reviews: Your airport reviews are the most important contribution that you can provide to the community. Please submit your airport reviews here.