The Solution To Sleeping In Airports Has Finally Been Solved

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It is an accepted fact of life that when a traveler concludes a cross-timezone flight, they are going to look pretty rough. They will be starving because in-flight peanuts don’t suffice for dinner. They will hobble from the gate, gimp-like, after being cramped in a window seat. And most of all, they will be exhausted.

Eight-hour layovers are not conducive to sleep, as chairs in airport waiting pens are outfitted with hard metal armrests, leaving a crusty-eyed traveler forced to slump over one armrest, body angled and stuffed into the wee square of a seat. Arms must be wrapped in a death grip about their backpack, lest they be robbed of its precious contents during slumber. So it’s pretty safe to say that a recent invention highlighted on Good, is in fact, a great idea.

Designed by the Russian architecture firm Arch Group, Sleepbox has been installed in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Essentially, Sleepbox is a private seven-by-nine foot pod containing up to three beds, equipped with electricity for charging gadgets, a bedside table, and a reading lamp. It can be rented anywhere from 30 minutes for a quick snooze to several hours for longer naps. Ideal if you don’t want to go through the hassle of waiting in line to find a hotel.

This is a nifty idea, and I find it hard to believe that it is just now being realized. The Moscow Sleepbox has received quite a lot of admiration. However, there are a few concerns and questions that arise.

Is it soundproof? I would find it hard to sleep in the center of a bustling metropolis, no matter how tired I was. Is it serviced after each user? I can rapidly foresee this morphing into a place of, ahem, on-the-go romantic endeavors. Is it cleaned after each person? Is there some type of automatic sheet-changing mechanism? And a built in shower wouldn’t hurt either.

That said, Arch Group recommends that each unit be rented for $15 per hour, which in an airport is the equivalent of a dry turkey sandwich. I wouldn’t substitute Sleepbox for an actual hotel room, but for an hour-long catnap, slight risk of catching bedbugs aside, Sleepbox is mighty clever.

Photo by Ivanov Ilya, Arch Group

By Jenna Blumenfeld


About the Author

Jenna Blumenfeld, (Jenna Ogden Blumenfeld when she’s in really big trouble) hails from the wee state of Connecticut. Although her childhood dream of becoming a bug doctor — with a specialization in ladybugs — has gone unfulfilled, she is content writing about travel, cuisine and culture. A vegetarian, she currently resides in the food hub of Boulder, Colorado. Read more of her food-centric writing at

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