7 Spots for Sleeping in Sacramento Airport

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) has a below-average sleep score rating, primarily due to the lack of modern sleep facilities and designated sleep areas. Despite these shortcomings, this SMF Sleep Guide provides some viable sleep options for travelers who find themselves with a layover or an early morning flight and need to stay at the airport. The absence of sleep pods and the lack of investment in an in-airport transit or landside hotel significantly impact the overall sleep experience at SMF.

This guide not only highlights the available sleep options and the best quiet areas but also provides crucial information on the airport’s hours of operation, including when it closes and reopens, and the TSA security checkpoint hours.

By following the advice in this guide, you can navigate SMF more effectively, avoiding high-traffic and noisy zones while making the most of the amenities such as Wi-Fi and charging stations. With this comprehensive information, travelers can find rest during their time at SMF, despite the airport’s limited sleep facilities.

Sleeping in SMF Airport – Take Note of Airside Closure Overnight:

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is open 24 hours, providing both daytime and nighttime sleeping options for travelers. According to flier feedback, the TSA security checkpoints operate from 4:00 AM to 12:30 AM, and the concourses close 30 minutes after the last flight lands, typically between midnight and 1:00 AM. This means that during the late-night hours, travelers must stay in the landside areas when the airside sections are closed.

Daytime sleep options are plentiful, with Terminal B offering the best conditions. Travelers have praised the comfortable full couches, leather sofas, and double seats near power outlets and restrooms. The Wi-Fi connectivity is excellent, and the environment remains relatively quiet during the day, making it conducive to rest.

At night, although the airside is inaccessible, landside areas in Terminal B remain a good choice for overnight stays. Passengers have found it to be a secure and accommodating space, though occasional cleaning activities and announcements can cause minor disturbances. Food and retail options become limited after 11 PM, so planning ahead for late-night needs is advisable.

However, it’s important to note that SMF currently lacks sleep pod technologies with pay-per-use options, which are available in some other airports. Despite this, the available amenities and positive traveler feedback make SMF a favorable choice for those needing rest during their layover or unexpected overnight stay.

Unfortunately, there are no Sleeping Pods in Sacramento Airport:

The absence of modern sleep pod technologies at Sacramento International Airport (SMF) significantly reduces its sleep score rating. These sleep pods, which are compact and flexible in usage hours with payment options based on a pay-per-use basis, offer travelers the convenience and privacy essential for restful sleep.

Sleep pod brands such as Minute Suites have yet to announce any plans to expand to SMF, and the airport’s near-term plans do not mention any concessions for sleep pod operators. This lack of advanced sleeping facilities means that travelers must rely on less comfortable and more public options, which can impact the overall comfort and restfulness of their airport experience.

Check out airports with sleep pods here such as Milan Malpensa Airport, JFK Airport, San Francisco Airport, Detroit Airport, Shanghai Airport, Bangkok Airport, Changi Airport, Kansai Airport, Incheon Airport, and more.

Benefits of Sleeping Pods that Sacramento Airport is Missing:

  1. Noise Reduction: Sleep pods provide a quiet, enclosed space that shields travelers from loud music, frequent announcements, and cleaning activities, ensuring a more peaceful rest environment.
  2. Comfortable Sleeping Surfaces: Equipped with flat, comfortable surfaces specifically designed for sleeping, sleep pods eliminate the need for awkward positions and offer better rest compared to benches or chairs.
  3. 24/7 Availability: Available at all hours, sleep pods ensure that travelers can access a comfortable resting place regardless of the time, even when security checkpoints are closed and airside access is restricted.
  4. Privacy and Security: Offering a private, secure space, sleep pods protect travelers’ belongings and provide a personal area to relax, reducing concerns about safety and privacy in public seating areas.
  5. Temperature Control: Sleep pods typically feature adjustable temperature settings, allowing travelers to create a comfortable sleeping environment without worrying about the airport’s ambient temperature.
  6. Food and Beverage Access: Some sleep pods, like those offered by Minute Suites, provide amenities such as complimentary snacks and beverages, addressing the challenge of limited food options at night.
  7. Connectivity and Charging Facilities: Sleep pods often come with power outlets and Wi-Fi, enabling travelers to charge their devices and stay connected, which is particularly useful during extended layovers.
  8. Enhanced Rest and Productivity: The private, quiet environment of sleep pods allows travelers to rest more effectively, reducing fatigue and enhancing overall travel productivity and comfort.
  9. Improved Hygiene and Cleanliness: Sleep pods are regularly cleaned and maintained, offering a more hygienic option compared to public seating areas, which can sometimes be less sanitary.

Implementing sleep pods like Minute Suites at SMF would address these sleep challenges, providing travelers with a more comfortable, private, and convenient rest experience.

Best Locations for Sleep at Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

Terminal A: Quiet Room

Located just outside the Terminal A security checkpoint, the quiet room offers a tranquil space for rest. It features three chairs with armrests and power outlets. Although the chairs aren’t perfect for lying down, you can use your backpack as a pillow and a chair to prop up your feet, providing a reasonably comfortable spot for a couple of hours of rest.

Terminal B: Full Couches

Terminal B is praised for its full couches without armrests, providing an excellent place to lie down. These couches are clean, and the terminal is quiet with good Wi-Fi. Additionally, there are conveniently located clean bathrooms and easily accessible public transit options. However, food options are limited after 11 PM.

Terminal B: Double Seats Near Restrooms

For those arriving after midnight, double seats near restrooms in Terminal B offer a place to stretch out. These seats come with power outlets and nearby coffee machines, making it a practical option for overnight stays. The area is secure, and the soft jazz music can be ignored with earplugs or a neck pillow.

Terminal B: Leather Sofas

Located landside in the Southwest Airlines Arrival area, Terminal B offers leather sofas without armrests. These are often available even late at night and provide a comfortable place to rest. The terminal has good Wi-Fi, so your devices will work well here.

Terminal B: Level 3 Divans

For a more secluded spot, Level 3 of Terminal B has divans. This area is less crowded and provides a peaceful environment for rest. You can sleep undisturbed, as no security guards or police are patrolling this level frequently.

Terminal B: Benches with Power Outlets

Near the light rail that takes you to the actual terminal, Terminal B offers several benches with power outlets. These benches are suitable for resting and charging your devices. The light in this area is reduced overnight, adding to the restful atmosphere.

Terminal A: Couches at the Bottom of Escalators

At the bottom of the escalators in Terminal A, there are comfortable couches. This area is patrolled by security, ensuring safety. Facilities such as restrooms, water fountains, and vending machines are available nearby, although frequent announcements about unattended luggage can be disruptive.

These spots collectively provide several comfortable options for travelers looking to rest at Sacramento International Airport, ensuring a more pleasant overnight experience.

How to Choose the Best Locations for Sleeping at Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) provides a variety of options for travelers needing rest. Each area offers different advantages depending on the traveler’s needs, such as quietness, comfort, or temperature control. Below are expert recommendations on where to sleep based on specific conditions.

For Quiet:

If finding a quiet spot is your priority, consider these locations where noise levels are generally lower and conducive to rest.

  • Terminal A: Quiet Room: Located just outside the security checkpoint. It provides a tranquil environment despite limited seating options.
  • Terminal B: Level 3 Divans: Less crowded and quieter, making it a peaceful area for rest.

For Comfort:

Comfort is essential for a good rest. Here are the locations offering the most comfortable seating and amenities.

  • Terminal B: Full Couches: Throughout Terminal B, these couches provide ample space to lie down comfortably.
  • Terminal B: Leather Sofas: Located landside in the Southwest Airlines Arrival area, offering spacious and comfortable seating.

For Security:

Security is a key concern for many travelers. These locations are well-monitored and safe for overnight stays.

  • Terminal B: Double Seats Near Restrooms: Close to restrooms and outlets, this area is frequented by other overnight travelers, ensuring a sense of security.
  • Terminal A: Couches at the Bottom of Escalators: Patrolled by security, providing a safe environment for rest.

For Temperature Control:

Staying warm is important, especially at night when temperatures can drop. Here are the best spots for maintaining a comfortable temperature.

  • Terminal B: General Seating Areas: These areas are well-heated and air-conditioned, ensuring a comfortable temperature throughout the night.

For Convenience:

Convenience is about easy access to amenities such as power outlets, Wi-Fi, and restrooms. Here are the top spots offering these conveniences.

  • Terminal B: Benches with Power Outlets: Near the light rail area, these benches allow you to charge devices and enjoy a convenient location.
  • Terminal B: Double Seats Near Restrooms: Offers proximity to restrooms and power outlets for a hassle-free stay.

For Availability:

If availability of seating is your primary concern, these areas typically have more open spots, even during busy times.

  • Terminal B: Leather Sofas: Usually available even late at night, these sofas provide comfortable resting options.
  • Terminal B: Level 3 Divans: Less crowded, increasing the chances of finding an open spot.

For Extended Stays:

For those who need to rest for a longer period, these areas offer the best environment for extended stays.

  • Terminal B: Full Couches: Spacious and comfortable enough for longer naps or overnight stays.
  • Terminal B: Level 3 Divans: A quiet and comfortable spot suitable for longer rest periods.

These recommendations should help travelers at SMF find the most suitable locations for their needs, ensuring a more restful and comfortable experience.

8 Locations to Avoid Sleeping at Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

  1. Terminal A – Near Loudspeakers: Loud music and frequent announcements can disrupt sleep and cause significant discomfort, especially late at night.
  2. Terminal B – Near Restrooms: High foot traffic and noise from people using the restrooms can be disruptive and make it difficult to rest peacefully.
  3. Terminal B – Near Cleaning Activities: Regular cleaning activities, including the use of noisy cleaning machines, can disturb sleep throughout the night.
  4. Terminal A – Concourse Areas After Last Flight: Concourse areas close 30 minutes after the last flight has landed, typically between midnight and 1:00 AM, making them inaccessible for overnight stays.
  5. Terminal B – Middle of High-Traffic Walkways: High-traffic areas experience constant movement of passengers, which can lead to disturbances and lack of privacy.
  6. Near Security Checkpoints: Security checkpoints close at 12:30 AM and reopen at 4:00 AM, and these areas can become crowded and noisy when they reopen early in the morning.
  7. Terminal B – Near Food Courts Late at Night: While convenient during the day, food courts close by 11 PM, leaving these areas desolate and sometimes less secure.
  8. Landside – Near Entrance Doors: Entrance areas can be drafty, with frequent temperature fluctuations and noise from automatic doors opening and closing.

What Fliers Should Be Aware of Regarding the Sleep Situation at Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

  1. Noise Levels – Terminal A: Near loudspeakers, especially late at night, loud music and frequent announcements can significantly disrupt sleep. Consider avoiding these areas or using earplugs.
  2. Bright Lighting – Terminal B: In general seating areas, bright lights are maintained throughout the night, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Eye masks or choosing a darker, quieter corner might help.
  3. Temperature Levels – Landside Areas: Entrance doors can cause drafty conditions with frequent temperature fluctuations, making it uncomfortable to rest without adequate warm clothing or a blanket.
  4. Seating Comfort – Terminal B: Full couches and leather sofas provide comfortable seating without armrests, ideal for lying down. However, these can be in high demand, so early arrival is recommended.
  5. Security – Landside Near Restrooms: Areas near restrooms have high foot traffic and can feel less secure due to frequent public use. Opt for quieter, less trafficked areas for a greater sense of security.
  6. Wi-Fi and Charging Facilities – Terminal B: Benches with power outlets near the light rail area are convenient for charging devices and using Wi-Fi. However, these areas might be crowded during peak times.
  7. Food and Beverage Availability – Terminal B: Food courts and concessions close by 11 PM, so plan ahead for late-night snacks or beverages. Vending machines may be the only option during the night.
  8. Cleaning Activities – Terminal B: Near cleaning zones, especially around midnight, the noise from cleaning machines can be disruptive. Try to find a spot away from these areas to avoid disturbances.

By being aware of these conditions and choosing appropriate locations, travelers can improve their chances of having a restful and comfortable experience at SMF.

Review of SMF’s Sleep Quality:

Pros

  1. 24-Hour Operation: The airport is open 24 hours, allowing travelers to stay overnight without being forced to leave.
  2. Comfortable Seating: Terminal B offers full couches, leather sofas, and double seats that are relatively comfortable for resting.
  3. Good Wi-Fi and Charging Facilities: There are several locations with good Wi-Fi connectivity and power outlets, particularly in Terminal B, ensuring travelers can stay connected and charge their devices.
  4. Quiet Areas: Certain areas, like the quiet room outside Terminal A’s security checkpoint and the Level 3 divans in Terminal B, provide quieter spots for rest.
  5. Safety and Security: The airport has a good level of security, with patrolled areas that provide a safe environment for sleeping.

Cons

  1. Loud Music and Announcements: In Terminal A, loud music and frequent announcements can be highly disruptive, especially late at night.
  2. Bright Lighting: Some seating areas maintain bright lighting throughout the night, which can make it difficult to sleep without an eye mask.
  3. Limited Food Options at Night: Most food concessions close by 11 PM, leaving few options for late-night snacks or meals.
  4. Lack of Sleep Pod Technologies: The absence of modern sleep pods that offer privacy, flexibility, and convenience reduces the airport’s overall sleep score.
  5. Temperature Fluctuations: Landside areas, particularly near entrance doors, can experience drafty conditions and temperature fluctuations, making it uncomfortable without adequate warm clothing or blankets.
  6. Cleaning Activities: Regular cleaning activities, especially around midnight, can be noisy and disruptive to sleep.
  7. High-Traffic Areas: Some areas near restrooms or in high-traffic walkways can be noisy and less secure, impacting the quality of rest.

By weighing these pros and cons, travelers can better prepare for an overnight stay at SMF, ensuring a more comfortable and restful experience.

Alternatives to Sacramento Airport Nap Pods: Hotels Nearby

Below is a table from Expedia with 10 hotels near Sacramento Airport that include a free shuttle service:

Hotel NameDistance from Airport (miles)AmenitiesAverage Review RatingPrice (USD)
WHOLE Family – Barrette – HostelNot specifiedFree Wifi, Free ShuttleNot specified54
Governors Inn Hotel1.2Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool, Free Shuttle8.6129
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Sacramento Downtown1.3Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool, Free Shuttle6.680
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Sacramento Airport Natomas2.9Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool, Free Shuttle8.8140
Hyatt House Sacramento Airport – Natomas4.0Free Wifi, Free Parking, Free Shuttle8.8161
Hyatt Place Sacramento International Airport4.0Free Wifi, Free Shuttle8.4161
Four Points by Sheraton Sacramento International Airport5.0Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool, Free Shuttle8.4197
Homewood Suites By Hilton Sacramento Airport – Natomas5.4Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool, Free Shuttle8.6187
Wyndham Garden Sacramento Airport Natomas5.4Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool, Free Shuttle7.8215
Holiday Inn Express Hotel Sacramento Airport Natomas, an IHG Hotel5.4Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool, Free Shuttle8.6218
This table should help you compare the hotels based on their amenities, review ratings, and prices.

Below is another table(from Tripadvisor) of cheapest hotels near Sacramento Airport with details of their amenities including parking and with pricing matching those of affordable sleeping pods;

Hotel NameDistance from Airport (miles)AmenitiesAverage Review RatingPrice (USD)
HI Sacramento Hostel0.28Free Wifi4.560
SureStay Plus By Best Western Sacramento North1.3Free Wifi, Free Parking3.576
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Sacramento Downtown1.3Free Wifi, Free Parking3.080
Governors Inn Hotel1.2Free Wifi, Free Parking4.0107
Comfort Suites Downtown Sacramento1.2Free Wifi, Free Parking3.5107
Larkspur Landing Sacramento4.3Free Wifi, Free Parking4.0119
Fairfield Inn by Marriott Sacramento Cal Expo2.9Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool4.0139
Residence Inn by Marriott Sacramento Airport Natomas2.4Free Wifi, Free Parking, Pool4.5157
Harbinson House1.5Free Wifi4.0112
Hampton Inn & Suites Sacramento at CSUS4.3Free Wifi, Pool4.0150

Concluding Summary of SMF Airport Sleep/Accommodation Options

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) lacks modern sleep facilities like sleep pods or capsule hotels, impacting the overall sleep experience. However, the airport offers several areas conducive to resting, particularly during the day. The summary table below categorizes and highlights available sleep options, including free designated rest areas, non-designated hidden spots, and nearby hotels with free shuttle services.

Table of All Sleep Facilities at SMF

CategoryAvailabilityDescription
Sleep Pod/Capsule HotelNot AvailableSMF does not have sleep pods or capsule hotels.
Free Designated Rest AreasLimitedTerminal A has a quiet room; Terminal B offers various couches and divans.
Free Non-Designated/Unequipped Hidden SpotsAvailableTerminal B has multiple options such as full couches, leather sofas, and double seats.
Transit HotelNot AvailableThere are no transit hotels within SMF.
In-Airport HotelNot AvailableSMF does not have any in-airport hotels within walking distance of terminals.
Nearby Hotels with Free Shuttle ServicesAvailableSeveral nearby hotels offer free shuttle services and are a viable alternative for travelers.
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.