No Sleeping Pods in Melbourne Airport – Use These

All hope is not lost despite the lack of sleep pods or designated rest areas at Melbourne Airport(MEL). Admittedly, the limited facilities can be quite disappointing for those facing long layovers.

Given that Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) is the second busiest airport in Australia, serving over 30 million passengers annually as of 2023, its lack of investment in advanced sleep facilities like innovative sleep pods or dedicated rest areas might lead one to conclude that the airport places little emphasis on passenger comfort.

This Melbourne Tullamarine Airport Sleeping Guide should give you some reassurance with the list of 10 recommended spots within the airport’s waiting areas. We have also provided a review of the sleep quality at this airport so you know what to expect. I have also highlighted alternative airport hotels and nearby hotels to consider. You’ll also learn about airport hours, shower amenities, and more.

Sleeping at Melbourne Airport – Overview

Sleeping overnight at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport is generally feasible, with several areas throughout the airport providing adequate spots for rest. Many fliers find the amenities reasonably supportive of overnight sleep, especially in areas like the corridor between Terminals 3 and 4, the mezzanine level in Terminal 3, and near the food court in Terminal 4.

These spots offer access to essentials such as 24-hour food options, clean bathrooms, power outlets, and WiFi. However, some key hindrances include bright lighting, occasional noise from advertisements or early morning staff arrivals, and the airport’s overall chilly environment, necessitating the use of ear plugs, eye shades, and a blanket for comfort.

Not all terminals remain fully accessible overnight; Terminal 4, for instance, closes after the last flight at midnight, but the other terminals and connecting corridors offer sufficient space and amenities for sleepers to find a quiet and safe place to rest until morning.

Can I Sleep at Melbourne Airport Overnight?

Sleeping overnight at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport is generally feasible, with several areas throughout the airport providing adequate spots for rest. Unlike Sydney Airport with a curfew in place and closes overnight forcing passengers to find sleep in sleep pods and hotels, MEL Airport is open 24 hours and has sleep amenities within its terminals for fliers to sleep.

Many fliers find the amenities reasonably supportive of overnight sleep, especially in areas like the corridor between Terminals 3 and 4, the mezzanine level in Terminal 3, and near the food court in Terminal 4.

These spots offer access to essentials such as 24-hour food options, clean bathrooms, power outlets, and WiFi. However, some key hindrances include bright lighting, occasional noise from advertisements or early morning staff arrivals, and the airport’s overall chilly environment, necessitating the use of ear plugs, eye shades, and a blanket for comfort.

Not all terminals remain fully accessible overnight; Terminal 4, for instance, closes after the last flight at midnight, but the other terminals and connecting corridors offer sufficient space and amenities for sleepers to find a quiet and safe place to rest until morning.

Melbourne Airport Doesn’t Have Sleeping Pods

Unfortunately, there are no sleeping pods in Melbourne Airport, despite it being the second busiest airport in Australia, handling over 30 million passengers annually as of 2023. Unlike Sydney Airport, which has enhanced its sleep amenities by attracting Aerotel, an international operator known for its sleep pods, and Perth Airport, which features GoSleep Pods operated by Smart Carte, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport has yet to invest in advanced sleep facilities.

While Melbourne Tullamarine offers some areas for rest, such as corridors and food courts with basic amenities like cushioned seating and power outlets, it lacks the dedicated, well-equipped rest zones that would significantly improve the overnight experience for transit passengers.

Capsule Hotel or Sleep Pods Brands MEL Airport is Missing:

  1. Aerotel Sleep Pods:
    • Located at Sydney Airport, these pods provide private, soundproof cabins with comfortable bedding, charging points, and ambient lighting, perfect for a restful nap between flights.
  2. GoSleep Pods:
    • Available at Perth Airport, these sleek and ergonomic pods offer a reclined seat that transforms into a flatbed, equipped with a storage compartment for luggage and a privacy shade to block out light and noise.
  3. Minute Suites:
    • Found in various airports like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, these suites offer a small room with a daybed sofa, a work desk, and soundproofing for a quiet, restful environment.
  4. YOTELAIR Cabins:
    • Present at London Gatwick Airport, these cabins feature a compact, cozy space with a fold-out bed, a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and an en-suite bathroom, providing all the essentials for a quick rest.
  5. NapCab Sleep Pods:
    • Located at Munich Airport, these futuristic pods include a reclining chair that converts to a bed, personal TV, charging stations, and a sliding shade for privacy and noise reduction.
  6. Sleepbox:
    • Previously available at Washington Dulles International Airport, these modular rooms come with a single or double bed, a work desk, mood lighting, and soundproof walls to ensure undisturbed sleep.
  7. Zzzleepandgo Pods:
  8. First Cabin:
    • Located at Osaka Kansai Airport, and in Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, these cabins provide a premium experience with a private, airplane-style cabin, complete with a bed, TV, and storage space, designed for both comfort and privacy.
  9. 9 Hours[nrt]:
    • Found at Narita Airport, these minimalist sleep pods offer a simple, clean design with a comfortable bed, personal lighting, and a ventilation system, perfect for a short rest or overnight stay.

Benefits of Sleeping/Nap Pods:

  1. Privacy and Comfort: Sleep pods provide a private, enclosed space, ensuring a quiet and comfortable environment away from the hustle and bustle of the airport.
  2. Improved Sleep Quality: Features like soundproofing, adjustable lighting, and comfortable bedding enhance the quality of rest, reducing the impact of noise and light.
  3. Convenient Amenities: Many sleep pods come equipped with charging stations, Wi-Fi, and personal entertainment systems, allowing travelers to relax and stay connected.
  4. Security: Sleep pods often include secure storage for personal belongings, providing peace of mind for travelers while they rest.
  5. Accessibility: Located within the airport, sleep pods offer easy access to departure gates, making it convenient for travelers to rest without leaving the terminal.
  6. Flexibility: Sleep pods can be rented by the hour, allowing travelers to customize their rest time according to their layover duration or travel schedule.
  7. Hygiene: With regular cleaning and maintenance, sleep pods provide a hygienic resting environment compared to public seating areas.
  8. Productivity: Equipped with workspaces, some sleep pods allow travelers to catch up on work in a quiet, focused setting.
  9. Health and Well-being: A restful sleep can reduce travel fatigue, stress, and the physical strain of long journeys, contributing to overall well-being.
  10. Cost-Effective: Compared to booking a hotel room, sleep pods offer a more affordable option for short-term rest within the airport.
  11. Enhanced Travel Experience: By providing a comfortable and restful environment, sleep pods enhance the overall travel experience, making long layovers and delays more bearable.

Here are Melbourne Airport Hours for you to Plan Accordingly:

Melbourne Tullamarine Airport remains open 24 hours, making it possible to stay overnight. However, specific terminals and areas within the airport have varying hours of operation.

Terminal 4, for instance, often closes around midnight and reopens in the early morning, typically between 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM. Despite these closures, travelers can remain in the landside areas of other terminals, such as Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, which offer some quiet spots for sleeping.

The airside areas become inaccessible overnight once security checkpoints close, so it’s essential to find a suitable place landside if you arrive late or have an early flight.

Popular landside sleeping spots include the corridor between Terminals 3 and 4, the mezzanine level in Terminal 3, and various benches and seating areas in Terminal 1. While the airport can be chilly and noisy due to cleaning and announcements, it is generally safe, and security personnel are accommodating to overnight sleepers​

Locations to Sleep in the Landside when the Airside is not Accessible Overnight:

Expert List of Places to Sleep in Melbourne Airport (Landside)

  1. Connecting Space Between Terminals 3 and 4
    • Quiet corridor away from shops and announcements.
    • Security screening checkpoint closes at 11pm; only cleaners and occasional staff pass through.
    • Carpeted floor space, seating with armrests, and multiple power points.
    • 24-hour food and toilets are about 100m into Terminal 3.
  2. Top Floor Near Airline Offices Between Terminals 3 and 4
    • Access via elevators behind a luggage carousel.
    • Carpeted foyer and adjacent stairwell offer privacy and quiet.
    • Ideal for those with travel air mats.
  3. Nando’s Restaurant in Terminal 3
    • Narrow but comfortable sofa available until 10am.
    • Suitable for early morning departures.
  4. Food Court in Terminal 4
    • Long benches available for sleeping from 12:30am.
    • Some noise from early morning staff and TV running commercials.
  5. Virgin Terminal (Terminal 3) Mezzanine Level
    • Quiet carpeted walkway away from escalators.
    • Plug sockets available.
    • Airport security does not disturb sleepers.
  6. Qantas Domestic Arrival Hall (Terminal 1)
    • Wooden benches near Thrifty car rental and baggage claim.
    • Plugs available; WiFi is unlimited.
    • Quiet after 5pm; airport wakes up at 5am.
  7. Hudsons Cafe in Terminal 2 (Qantas Side)
    • Power points and USB sockets accessible 24/7.
    • Quiet and secluded after the cafe closes.
  8. Giancarlo Coffee in Terminal 1
    • Wide cushioned chairs that can be joined for sleeping.
    • Staff-friendly but need to move before 5am.
  9. International Terminal (Terminal 2) Near Gate 12
    • Quiet gate area with power outlets.
    • Suitable for those arriving early or waiting for early departures.
  10. Terminal 2 Check-in Area (Post-Renovation)
    • Comfortable leather seats without armrests.
    • Plugs available; quieter and more comfortable than metal seats.
  11. Subway Area in Terminal 1
    • Bench seating near power outlets.
    • 24-hour Subway nearby for food and drinks.
  12. Prayer Room Near Terminal 2 (Gate 7)
    • Quiet space for meditation and rest.
    • Free hot shower facility nearby.

These spots offer varying levels of comfort and amenities, providing options for different preferences and needs.

10 Best Locations to Sleep at MEL Airport:

1. Corridor Between Terminals 3 and 4

  • Pros: Quiet, away from shops and announcements, ample power points, and 24-hour food nearby (McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King).
  • Cons: Seating has armrests, large LED screen with advertisements, needs eye shades.
  • Details: This location is ideal for sleepers as security patrols do not disturb, there’s a plethora of power sockets for device charging, and food and clean toilets are accessible within a short walk, making it convenient and restful.

2. Top Floor Corridor Near Krispy Kreme

  • Pros: Clean bathrooms, cold filtered water nearby, 24-hour food within a short walk (McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King).
  • Cons: Long walks, bright LED advertisement.
  • Details: The security checkpoint F closes between 12 am and 5 am, ensuring minimal foot traffic. The corridor’s proximity to food options and clean facilities makes it a comfortable and quiet sleeping area with necessary amenities.

3. Elevators and Foyer Near Airline Offices (Between T3 and T4)

  • Pros: Quiet, private, carpeted floor, minimal disturbances.
  • Cons: Limited space.
  • Details: This secluded spot offers a peaceful environment with a carpeted foyer by the elevators and an adjacent stairwell, making it ideal for comfortable and undisturbed sleep, away from the busy terminal areas.

4. Food Court Area (T4)

  • Pros: Cushioned benches, 24-hour McDonald’s, quiet overall, no announcements.
  • Cons: Early morning staff arrivals, some noise.
  • Details: The food court provides ample cushioned seating, and the presence of a 24-hour McDonald’s ensures food availability, while the overall quiet environment and friendly cleaning staff make it conducive for a good night’s rest.

5. Qantas Arrivals Area (T1)

  • Pros: Wooden benches, power points, WiFi, safe environment, toilets nearby.
  • Cons: Bright, firm benches.
  • Details: The long slat benches without armrests are comfortable for lying down, and the availability of power points and WiFi ensures connectivity, while the presence of friendly cleaning staff and nearby toilets adds to the convenience and safety of the area.

6. Hudson’s Coffee Upstairs (T2)

  • Pros: Power points with USB ports, quiet spots behind café chairs, WiFi.
  • Cons: None noted.
  • Details: This area is accessible 24/7 and provides a secluded and dark spot behind café chairs, making it a quiet and comfortable place to rest, with the added benefit of power points and WiFi for convenience.

7. Terminal 2 Departure Gates (Near Gate 8)

  • Pros: Leather seats without armrests, plug sockets, water fountain nearby, WiFi.
  • Cons: Chilly.
  • Details: The leather seats are suitable for flat sleeping, and the proximity to plug sockets and a water fountain enhances convenience, making this location a good option for a restful sleep with necessary amenities.

8. Terminal 3 Mezzanine Level (Near Krispy Kreme)

  • Pros: Quiet from 11 pm to 5 am, carpeted, plug sockets, WiFi, 24-hour food (McDonald’s).
  • Cons: Chilly.
  • Details: This location provides a quiet, carpeted area with plug sockets for device charging, and nearby 24-hour food options ensure sustenance, making it a comfortable and practical spot for sleeping.

9. Benches Near Giancarlo Coffee (T2)

  • Pros: Wide cushioned chairs, secluded, WiFi, power outlets nearby.
  • Cons: Must leave early before staff arrive.
  • Details: The wide cushioned chairs provide comfort, and the secluded location ensures privacy, while the availability of WiFi and nearby power outlets makes this spot suitable for a restful and undisturbed sleep.

10. Prayer Room and Nearby Area (T2)

  • Pros: Quiet, spacious, clean bathrooms, WiFi, power outlets.
  • Cons: None noted.
  • Details: This area offers a peaceful environment with ample space, clean bathrooms, and WiFi, making it an ideal location for rest and relaxation, ensuring comfort and convenience for sleepers.

Tips for a Better Experience:

  • Bring: Ear plugs, eye shades, a travel blanket or sleeping bag, and a pillow.
  • Timing: Arrive early to secure the best spots, especially before 11:00 PM.
  • Facilities: Utilize 24-hour food options and nearby bathrooms.
  • Security: Generally friendly and respectful of sleepers.

Review of Sleep at this Airport:

Pros:

Fliers generally appreciate several aspects of sleeping at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL):

24-Hour Access:

  • The airport’s continuous operation allows travelers to stay overnight without being forced out or limited by terminal closures.

Availability of Quiet Areas:

  • Travelers find the corridor between Terminals 3 and 4, the mezzanine level near Krispy Kreme in Terminal 3, and the Qantas Arrivals Area in Terminal 1 to be relatively quiet and less crowded, providing suitable spots for rest.

Convenient Amenities:

  • The presence of 24-hour food options such as McDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King is highly valued, ensuring that food and drinks are always available.

Clean and Accessible Bathrooms:

  • Access to clean bathrooms and free hot showers, particularly in Terminal 2, enhances comfort and hygiene for overnight travelers.

Safety and Security:

  • The regular security patrols and friendly cleaning staff contribute to a sense of safety and well-being, making travelers feel secure while sleeping.

Proximity to Essential Facilities:

  • Many sleeping spots are conveniently located near power outlets, water fountains, and toilets, making it easier for travelers to access necessary facilities without having to move around too much.

WiFi Access:

  • Availability of free WiFi in many areas allows travelers to stay connected, entertain themselves, or get some work done during their layover.

Carpeted and Cushioned Seating:

  • Some areas, such as the mezzanine level and food court, offer carpeted floors and cushioned seating, which are more comfortable for lying down compared to hard surfaces.

Overall, while MEL may not have advanced sleep facilities, the combination of 24-hour access, convenient amenities, and relatively quiet and safe areas makes it a favorable option for travelers needing to sleep overnight.

Cons:

Fliers have identified several drawbacks to sleeping at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL):

  1. Lack of Designated Rest Areas:
    • The airport does not offer dedicated sleep zones or innovative sleep pods, making it challenging to find optimal sleeping arrangements.
  2. Bright Lighting:
    • Many areas are brightly lit throughout the night, which can disrupt sleep, necessitating the use of eye shades.
  3. Noise Disturbances:
    • Frequent announcements, early morning staff activities, and occasional construction noise can disturb sleep, making earplugs essential for a more restful experience.
  4. Cold Environment:
    • The airport can get quite chilly at night, so travelers often need to bring blankets or sleeping bags to stay warm.
  5. Limited Comfortable Seating:
    • Most available seating has armrests, limiting the ability to lie down comfortably. Some spots also have hard, tiled floors, which are less conducive to restful sleep.
  6. Terminal Closures:
    • Certain terminals, like Terminal 4, close after the last flight, reducing the number of available spaces for overnight stays.
  7. Lack of Privacy:
    • The absence of private or semi-private sleeping areas means that travelers often have to sleep in more public, less secluded spots.
  8. Insufficient Power Outlets:
    • Although some areas have ample power points, others may lack enough outlets to accommodate all travelers needing to charge their devices.
  9. Noisy Cleaning Activities:
    • Cleaning staff activities can be loud and disruptive, especially during late-night hours when the airport is quieter otherwise.
  10. Inconsistent WiFi:
    • While WiFi is available, its coverage and reliability can vary, which can be frustrating for travelers relying on internet access.
  11. Limited Food Options in Some Areas:
    • Although 24-hour food options are available, the variety may be limited, particularly in certain terminals or areas of the airport.

These issues highlight areas where MEL could improve its facilities and services to better accommodate the needs of travelers looking to sleep overnight at the airport.

Is Melbourne Tullamarine Airport Open 24 Hours?

Yes, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport is open 24 hours a day. However, while the airport itself remains accessible, some terminals, such as Terminal 4, close after the last flight of the day, which is around midnight.

Despite this, there are plenty of areas in other terminals that remain open and available for overnight stays, providing essential amenities like 24-hour food options, clean bathrooms, power outlets, and WiFi. This makes it possible for travelers to sleep comfortably at the airport throughout the night.

What to Expect About Sleep in this Airport:

Fliers at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport should anticipate the following conditions regarding the sleep environment:

  1. Noise Levels:
    • Expect periodic announcements throughout the night, especially in busier areas. Noise from cleaning activities and early morning staff arrivals can also be disruptive, making earplugs a useful accessory.
  2. Temperatures:
    • The airport tends to be quite chilly, particularly at night. It’s advisable to bring a blanket or warm clothing to stay comfortable during an overnight stay.
  3. Bright Lighting:
    • Many areas of the airport are brightly lit, which can interfere with sleep. Eye shades are recommended to block out light and create a more conducive sleeping environment.
  4. Security:
    • The airport is well-patrolled by security personnel, contributing to a generally safe environment for overnight stays. Travelers can feel secure while resting in designated areas, though it’s always wise to keep personal belongings close and secured.

Alternative Sleeping Solutions at Melbourne Airport:

Melbourne Airport Hotels:

A great alternative to free in-terminal sleep spaces recommended above is an in-airport hotel.

  1. ParkRoyal Melbourne International Airport
    • Proximity: Just a two-minute walk from the terminal.
    • Accessibility: Connected to both the domestic and international terminals via covered walkways, providing seamless access regardless of the terminal.
    • Features: Offers day rooms, which are available based on availability, catering to travelers needing short-term rest or a place to freshen up between flights.
    • Amenities: The hotel provides a range of facilities including comfortable rooms, a fitness center, on-site dining options, and meeting rooms, making it suitable for both leisure and business travelers.
    • Convenience: Ideal for passengers with early morning flights, late arrivals, or long layovers, ensuring a hassle-free transition between the airport and hotel.
    • Check Rates
  2. Other Nearby Hotel Options:
    • Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport
      • Distance: Approximately a 5-minute drive from the airport.
      • Features: Offers a complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, a fitness center, on-site restaurant, and business facilities.
      • Convenience: Ideal for travelers seeking a nearby accommodation with easy airport access.
      • Shuttle Service: Free 24-hour airport shuttle available.
      • Check Rates
    • Ibis Budget Melbourne Airport
      • Distance: About a 10-minute walk or a short drive from the terminal.
      • Location: 400 meters from the airport.
      • Features: Budget-friendly option with basic amenities including WiFi, air-conditioned rooms, and breakfast service.
      • Shuttle Service: No airport shuttle available.
      • Convenience: Suitable for budget-conscious travelers looking for simple and economical accommodation close to the airport.
      • Check Rates
    • Quest Melbourne Airport
      • Distance: Roughly a 10-minute drive from the airport.
      • Features: Offers apartment-style accommodation with kitchenettes, a fitness center, and a shuttle service.
      • Convenience: Perfect for travelers needing more space or planning an extended stay.
      • Check Rates
    • Mantra Tullamarine
      • Distance: Approximately a 10-minute drive from the airport.
      • Features: Provides a complimentary shuttle service, indoor pool, fitness center, and on-site dining.
      • Convenience: A great choice for travelers looking for more upscale amenities and services.
      • Check Rates
    • Ciloms Airport Lodge Motel
      • Shuttle Service: Free 24-hour airport shuttle available.
      • Check Rates
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.