Minute Suites Sleep Pods Guide

The 2000s marked a pivotal decade for sleep pod innovations, with groundbreaking developments taking place on multiple fronts. In the Americas, Minute Suites(MS) began piloting their compact sleep solutions.

In August 2007, a group of physicians and healthcare professionals, led by Dr. Sara Mednick, collaborated to design the perfect airport sleep and relaxation experience. Their efforts culminated in the launch of the first Minute Suites at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2009.

As Minute Suites made inroads in the U.S., Yotel was testing its innovative sleep pods prototype at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports, with further expansions to Amsterdam in 2008. These parallel advancements underscored a significant era of innovation in providing restful, convenient options for travelers.

Table of contents

What is Minute Suites?

Minute Suites is an innovative airport sleep pod operator offering travelers a private, comfortable space to rest, work, or relax within busy airport terminals.

Unlike traditional lounges, Minute Suites provides individual rooms designed to maximize comfort and privacy. Each suite is equipped with amenities such as a padded couch that doubles as a bed, a workspace with a desk and chair, free Wi-Fi, and power outlets. With locations in several major U.S. airports, Minute Suites offers a convenient retreat for travelers needing a break from the hectic airport environment.

History of Minute Suites

According to details on its website, in August of 2007, a group of physicians and healthcare professionals met with Dr. Sara Mednick, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and author of “Take a Nap! Change Your Life,” to research the best way to deliver sleep and relaxation in airports. Together, they built the first Minute Suites prototype based on their findings.

After launching at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2009, Minute Suites gained traction and started to expand into the top 40 busiest airports in the nation. You can now find Minute Suites in airports all around the country.

More About ‘Take a Nap’

Overview of “Take a Nap! Change Your Life”:

“Take a Nap! Change Your Life,” co-authored by Mark Ehrman and Dr. Sara C. Mednick, is a comprehensive guide that advocates for the power of napping as a transformative tool for improving various aspects of life.

Dr. Mednick, a renowned researcher from the Salk Institute, presents scientifically-backed strategies to combat the widespread fatigue epidemic affecting millions of Americans through customized napping.

Key Benefits of Napping

The book highlights numerous benefits of napping, such as:

  • Increased Alertness
  • Enhanced Creativity
  • Reduced Stress
  • Improved Perception and Motor Skills
  • Better Decision-Making
  • Youthful Appearance
  • Aided Weight Loss
  • Lowered Risk of Heart Attack
  • Elevated Mood
  • Strengthened Memory

Scientific Basis

Dr. Mednick delves into the five stages of the sleep cycle, emphasizing the importance of Stage Two, Slow Wave Sleep, and REM. Each stage offers distinct benefits, and understanding them is crucial for optimizing nap effectiveness.

Personalized Nap Profiles

The book guides readers on how to assess their level of tiredness and develop a personal sleep profile. It addresses common misconceptions about napping, such as the belief that it signifies laziness, citing historical figures like JFK, Churchill, Einstein, and Napoleon, who were known for their napping habits.

Practical Tools and Techniques

“Take a Nap! Change Your Life” includes practical tools like:

  • The Nap Wheel: A unique tool that helps determine the best time to nap and the ideal nap duration.
  • Environmental Tips: Advice on creating an optimal napping environment.
  • 16-Step Technique: A detailed method for falling asleep efficiently.
  • Six-Week Workbook: A structured program to incorporate napping into daily routines

Like other pod designs, Minute Suites’ Compact Design was Inspired by the Metabolism Architecture Movement

Image of Capsule Hotel in Nakagin Japan
Image of Image of Capsule Hotel in Nakagin Japan

Minute Suites’ design philosophy draws inspiration from the Metabolism architecture movement, which emphasizes modular, flexible, and compact living spaces.

The suites are designed to provide maximum functionality within a minimal footprint, making them ideal for the dynamic environment of an airport.

Size and Layout of Minute Suites

Size of Minute Suites Rooms:

Each suite measures approximately 7 feet by 8 feet, creating a small but efficient space that maximizes utility.

In a review of ATL’s Minute Suites, TPG measured the Magnolia Room to be approximately 6.8 feet wide by 8.3 feet deep, which is close to the standard 56 square feet, being just 0.44 square feet above it.

Size of the Bed and mattress:

The pull-out trundle day bed in Minute Suites typically measures around 36 to 38 inches wide (3 feet) and 75 inches long (6.25 feet) when fully extended. This size provides enough space for a comfortable nap or rest period for an adult.

In his review of Atlanta’s Minute Suites, The Points Guy noted that the couch day bed is 67 inches long (5.6 feet). This length is relatively short, especially considering that the average height for men in the US is 5.9 feet, according to Healthline.

The mattress in Minute Suites is typically a trundle day bed, which is approximately the size of a standard twin mattress. This means it measures about 38 inches wide (3.17 feet) and 75 inches long (6.25 feet).

It is important to clarify that the Minute Suites “mattress” isn’t a traditional mattress. Instead, it’s a couch stuffed with padding to make it softer and more comfortable for resting.

The use of trundle beds in Minute Suites is a key innovation that maximizes space efficiency, allowing these compact rooms to serve multiple functions. Unlike traditional beds, trundle beds can be neatly tucked away when not in use, freeing up valuable floor space. This design choice enables Minute Suites to incorporate additional furniture, such as a table and chair, creating a versatile workspace within the same compact footprint.

By employing trundle beds, Minute Suites transforms a small room into a multifunctional area. Travelers can comfortably work at a desk, make use of ample outlets for their devices, and then easily convert the space for restful sleep when needed. This innovative approach ensures that each suite meets diverse needs, providing both a quiet office environment and a cozy sleeping area in a limited space.

Minute Suites are 83% smaller than US hotel rooms

Minute Suites, at 56 square feet, are approximately 83% smaller than the average U.S. hotel room, which is 330 square feet. Compared to modern compact hotel rooms like Marriott’s Moxy (183 square feet) and Best Western’s Vīb (200 square feet), Minute Suites are about 70% smaller.

Despite their size, Minute Suites efficiently utilize space with innovative features such as trundle beds, offering both a workspace and a sleeping area. This is according to CNBC Report.

Hotel TypeAverage Room Size (Square Feet)Average Room Size (Square Meters)
Standard U.S. Hotel Room33030.7
Marriott’s Moxy Hotels18317.0
Best Western’s Vīb20018.6
Minute Suites565.2

It is important to note that another report noted that rooms in the 90s were twice as large as the ones above.

Modularity:

Similar to the modular units of Metabolism architecture, Minute Suites are designed to be partially self-contained, providing all essential amenities within a compact area.

Functional Design Elements of the Minute Suites Cabins

  • Privacy and Comfort: Despite their small size, the suites offer a private, quiet environment suitable for individuals or small groups. The layout includes comfortable seating, a workspace, and essential technology.
  • Multifunctional Spaces: The design incorporates multifunctional elements, such as:
    • Seating and Sleeping: Armchairs that can be used for both sitting and reclining.
    • Workspace: A desk and chair that provide a dedicated area for work.
    • Technology Integration: Multiple power outlets and free Wi-Fi ensure that travelers can stay connected and productive.

Aesthetic and Ambiance of the Minute Suites Pods

  • Efficient Use of Space: Every square foot is utilized effectively, reflecting the Metabolism movement’s focus on creating livable spaces within constrained dimensions.
  • Adaptable Environment: Features like dimmable lights allow users to customize the ambiance, making the space suitable for both work and relaxation.

How Minute Suites Serves as a Capsule Hotel and a Sleeping Lounge:

Minute Suites at JFK Airport blend the compact efficiency of capsule hotels with the comfort and amenities of sleeping lounges.

image showing the desk
Image showing a desk, table and bed in a Minute Suites Pod – Credit: Thepointsguy.com

Capsule Hotel Attributes:

  • Transforming Sofa-Bed: Functional sleeping arrangement similar to capsule hotels.
  • Sound Masking System: Reduces terminal noise, creating a quiet environment.
  • Personal Thermostat: Allows precise temperature control.
  • Spacious Rooms: Accommodates up to four people, unlike typical capsule hotels.
  • Complimentary Amenities: Free WiFi, Smart TVs, and flight information tracker.
  • Disabled Access: Inclusive design catering to diverse needs.
  • Air Conditioning: Ensures a comfortable environment.

Sleeping Lounge Attributes:

  • Temporary Office Space: Functions as a workspace for travelers.
  • Relaxing Environment: Spacious, well-equipped rooms for tranquility.
  • Additional Amenities: Access to showers (for a fee) and fax services.
  • Flight Information Tracker: Keeps travelers informed of flight status.
  • No Smoking Environment: Maintains a clean, comfortable atmosphere.

Food and Drinks:

  • Mini Fridge: Stocked with soft drinks and bottled water (not complimentary, prices range from $3 to $5).
  • Snack Basket: Includes various snacks such as trail mixes, candies, and chips, priced between $2 and $8.

Additional Amenities: Some locations offer wellness-focused features like daybeds and showers (not available at LaGuardia’s express suites).

Challenges and Solutions

  • Space Constraints: While the compact design is efficient, it can feel cramped for larger groups or families. The layout is best suited for individuals or couples who can appreciate the privacy and quietude the suites offer.
  • Modern Amenities: Incorporating modern technology and amenities within such a small space requires innovative design solutions, ensuring that each suite provides a comfortable and functional experience without feeling cluttered.

MS offers free period for nursing moms:

Minute Suites addresses the challenge faced by traveling nursing mothers by offering a free 30-minute stay in their private suites for breastfeeding or pumping. Recognizing that 80% of mothers in the U.S. breastfeed at some point during infancy, Minute Suites provides a clean, quiet, and private space in airports, alleviating the common issue of finding an appropriate place to nurse.

Mothers can reserve these suites at no cost, and families with multiple children are welcome. This initiative, launched in response to the lack of adequate nursing facilities in airports, has served over 22,000 mothers by the end of 2019, equating to about $840,000 in forgone revenue, underscoring Minute Suites’ commitment to supporting traveling mothers.

Pricing for Minute Suites – Standard and Priority Pass Rates

Minute Suites at most locations offer a range of standardized pricing options for different durations, with standardized rates applicable at most locations.

Below is a detailed summary of the pricing for stays ranging from 0 to 8 hours, including standard rates, Priority Pass rates, and discounts for military personnel and airline employees.

Duration (Hours)Standard PricingPriority Pass PricingMilitary/Airline Discount Pricing
0 – 1$55.00Free$44.00
1.25$68.75$8.50$52.70
1.5$82.50$17.00$61.40
1.75$96.25$25.50$70.10
2$110.00$34.00$78.80
2.25$121.25$42.50$87.50
2.5$132.50$51.00$96.20
2.75$143.75$59.50$104.90
3$155.00$68.00$113.60
3.25$166.25$76.50$122.30
3.5$177.50$85.00$131.00
3.75$188.75$93.50$139.70
4$200.00$102.00$148.40
4.25$211.25$110.50$157.10
4.5$222.50$119.00$165.80
4.75$233.75$127.50$174.50
5$245.00$136.00$183.20
5.25$256.25$144.50$191.90
5.5$267.50$153.00$200.60
5.75$278.75$161.50$209.30
6$290.00$170.00$218.00
7$335.00$204.00$252.00
8$380.00$238.00$286.00

Key Points

  • Standard Pricing: Starts at $55 for the first hour and increases incrementally.
  • Priority Pass Pricing: Offers the first hour free and discounted rates for additional time, making it a cost-effective option for Priority Pass members.
  • Military/Airline Discount Pricing: Provides a 20% discount off the standard rates, making it a more affordable option for military personnel and airline employees.

These pricing options ensure that Minute Suites can accommodate various needs and budgets, whether travelers are looking for a short rest or an extended stay.

Military personnel and flight crew discount

Military personnel and flight crew receive a 20% discount at Minute Suites, reducing the first hour’s cost from $55 to $44. To access this discount, a valid ID must be presented in person, and if the name on the ID differs from the reservation, it should be noted in the booking. For those with Priority Pass, the first hour is free, and subsequent hours are discounted to $27.20.

Extended Stay Pricing:

Overnight and Extended Stay Costs: Minute Suites offer flexible options for overnight and extended stays.

  • Overnight Rate: $195 for stays between 9 PM and 8 AM.
  • 24-Hour Rate: $450 for an entire day.
DurationRate ($)
8 Hours195
24 Hours450

Cancellation Policy for Minute Suites

  • Hourly Reservations: Cancellations must be made at least 3 hours before the scheduled arrival time to receive a refund.
  • Overnight Reservations: To be eligible for a refund, cancellations must be made at least 12 hours before the scheduled arrival time.
  • No-Show Policy: If you do not arrive within 15 minutes of your scheduled arrival time, Minute Suites reserves the right to cancel your reservation without providing a refund.

Comparison of Minute Suites vs Other Sleep Pod Technologies(GoSleep, and YotelAir)

When it comes to finding a comfortable place to rest or work during long layovers, Minute Suites, GoSleep, and YotelAir offer unique solutions tailored to different traveler needs. Minute Suites provide private rooms with ample amenities, making them ideal for business travelers and families.

GoSleep focuses on budget-conscious solo travelers with its compact sleeping pods, while YotelAir offers a more hotel-like experience with full-sized beds and private bathrooms, catering to those seeking more luxury and comprehensive services during their airport stay.

This detailed comparison highlights the features, pricing, and target audiences of each option, helping travelers choose the best fit for their needs.

Feature / ServiceMinute SuitesGoSleepYotelAir
LocationsMajor U.S. airports (e.g., ATL, JFK, DFW)Select international airports such as Helsinki, Beijing Capital Airport, and PerthMajor international airports (e.g., LHR, AMS, IST)
Room Size7 ft x 8 ft (56 sq ft)Compact sleeping podsVaries by location (starting at 75 sq ft)
Bed TypeTrundle bed/sofa bedReclining seat that converts to a bedFull-sized bed or bunk beds
AmenitiesDesk, chair, TV, free Wi-Fi, power outletsWi-Fi, USB charging, storage for carry-onPrivate bathroom with shower, TV, desk, free Wi-Fi
PrivacyPrivate room with lockable doorSemi-private pod with shadePrivate cabin with lockable door
Lighting & Temperature ControlDimmable lights, personal thermostatBasic lighting, no temperature controlAdjustable lighting and climate control
Additional ServicesAccess to showers at select locations, snacks/drinks (for purchase)None24/7 guest services, complimentary toiletries
Pricing (Hourly)$55 (standard), Free for 1 hour with Priority Pass, discounts for military/airline crewVaries by location, approx. $10-20/hourVaries by location, approx. $40-60/hour
Overnight Rates$195 (8 hours), $450 (24 hours)N/A (hourly only)Varies by location, starting around $130
Booking FlexibilityHourly and overnight bookingsHourly bookingsHourly and overnight bookings
Cancellation PolicyHourly: Cancel 3 hours before; Overnight: Cancel 12 hours beforeFlexible cancellation depending on locationFlexible cancellation depending on location
AccessibilityADA-compliant suites availableLimitedADA-compliant cabins available
Target AudienceBusiness travelers, families, nursing momsBudget travelers, solo travelersBusiness travelers, layover passengers

Key Points

  • Minute Suites: Ideal for business travelers and families needing a private, comfortable space to rest or work. They offer extensive amenities including a trundle bed, desk, free Wi-Fi, and personal temperature control. Discounts are available for Priority Pass members, military personnel, and airline crew.
  • GoSleep: Best suited for budget-conscious solo travelers. These semi-private sleeping pods provide a reclining seat that converts to a bed, basic amenities like USB charging, and Wi-Fi. GoSleep pods are less private and offer fewer amenities compared to Minute Suites and YotelAir.
  • YotelAir: Offers a more hotel-like experience with full-sized beds or bunk beds, private bathrooms with showers, and 24/7 guest services. YotelAir cabins are larger and provide more comprehensive amenities, making them ideal for travelers with longer layovers or needing a more luxurious rest. Prices are higher compared to Minute Suites and GoSleep.

Minute Suites Locations

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

  • Locations: Concourse B (near gates B16 and B24), Concourse E, Concourse F
  • Number of Units: 16
  • Showers: Available in B24 and Concourse E Locations. Showers are not available in B16 and Concourse F locations.
  • Date of Launch: 2009
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard), Free (Priority Pass)

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

  • Location: Concourse C, Airside
  • Number of Units: 5
  • Showers: Not available
  • Date of Launch: 2019
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard), Free (Priority Pass)

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

  • Locations: Atrium (food court), Concourse D/E Connector
  • Number of Units: 12 Suites and 2 showers(source)
  • Showers: Available in the two locations
  • Date of Launch: 2018
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard), Free (Priority Pass)

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

  • Locations: Terminal A near Gate A39, Terminal D near Gate D23
  • Number of Units: Terminal A has 7 suites, 4 regular and 3 premium window suites. D23 Location has 9 suites and 2 showers.
  • Showers: Not available in Terminal A near Gate A39 and available in Terminal D near Gate D23
  • Date of Launch: 2013(3rd location after ATL and PHL)
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard), Free (Priority Pass)

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)

  • Location: McNamara Terminal
  • Number of Units: McNamara Terminal Location(5 suites, bathroom with shower)
  • Date of Launch: –
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard), Free (Priority Pass)

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

  • Location: Terminal C North
  • Number of Units: 5 Suites, Bathroom and Shower
  • Date of Launch: 2022 (12th Location)
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard)

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

  • Location: Terminal 4 Concourse B, Near Gate B39
  • Number of Units: 7
  • Date of Launch: 2022
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard)

Nashville International Airport (BNA)

  • Location: Concourse D near Gate D3
  • Number of Units: 5 Suites
  • Showers Available? No
  • Date of Launch: 2020
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard), Free (Priority Pass)
  • Details: A permit valued at approximately $466,600 was issued in 2020 with Wellsprings Builders assigned to handle the construction work.
  • Guide on Nashville Airport Minute Suites

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

  • Location: Concourse A/B connector
  • Number of Units: 11 Suites, and a Bathroom with a Shower
  • Date of Launch: 2011, reopened in 2022 after renovation
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $45 (Standard), Free (Priority Pass)

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

  • Location: Concourse A
  • Number of Units: 7
  • Date of Launch: 2023
  • 1-Hour Pricing: $55 (Standard), Free (Priority Pass)

Notable Locations without Minute Suites:

  1. LaGuardia Airport(no pod solutions)
  2. Newark Airport
  3. San Francisco Airport but has Nap Pods
  4. Boston Logan Airport- no pods at all
  5. O’Hare Airport – It used to have Minute Suites but were removed
  6. Seattle Airport
  7. Orlando Airport(MCO)
  8. Miami International Airport.
  9. Los Angeles Airport

There are a few reports indicating plans of expansions to LaGuardia Airport but could not find direct info on the Minute Suites blog or LGA’s website about the plans or news of concession given to Minute Suites.

Conclusion

Minute Suites provides a valuable service for travelers seeking a private, quiet space to rest or work in an airport. The pros, such as privacy, comfort, and flexible pricing, make it an attractive option, especially for those with Priority Pass membership. However, potential drawbacks like space constraints, high costs, and limited availability should be considered. Overall, Minute Suites offers a unique and practical solution for enhancing the airport experience.

Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.