9 Places for Sleeping at Manchester Airport – Pod Alternatives

Despite being the third busiest airport in the UK, handling over 28 million passengers in 2023, Manchester Airport(MAN) lacks modern sleep pod technologies and designated sleep areas. Travelers often have to improvise for suitable sleep solutions within the terminals but cheer up as we’ve spent hours researching how we can best guide our readers on best spots to sleep. Good news? There are plenty of spots to sleep.

This Manchester Airport Sleeping Guide details 9 identified locations, both airside and landside, that are suitable for rest during layovers or before early morning flights. It will help you navigate the best spots to catch some sleep, ensuring a more comfortable experience despite the airport’s limitations.

Additionally, the guide includes a summary review of sleep in this airport, what to expect and tips from other fliers on how to best prepare for good sleep at Manchester Airport. You’ll also find some recommendations of hotels at or near MAN Airport for more comfortable sleep. Check back soon for additional section with details of MAN Airport Sleep Score.

Let’s start by answering the most common question potential layover passengers have in regards to overnight stay at this English Airport:

Can you sleep in Manchester Airport Overnight?

Manchester Airport is open 24 hours, allowing travelers to stay overnight. However, access to certain areas may be restricted during late-night hours. For instance, airside areas typically close after the last flight of the day and reopen early in the morning, making it necessary for overnight sleepers to find spots landside.

Despite these limitations, there are several suitable locations for resting. Terminal 1, particularly near the Jet2 check-in area and the Departures B section, offers quiet and comfortable seating options. Terminal 2’s arrivals level is another good choice, providing armrest-free benches and around-the-clock amenities like an all-night café.

In Terminal 3, numerous arm-free benches are available, though it can get crowded. The 24-hour ReFresh café in the railway station also provides a warm, well-lit area with food, drinks, and charging points. Therefore, while airside access is limited overnight, landside areas offer various options for a restful stay at Manchester Airport.

While Manchester Airport is open 24 hours, you can sleep in these landside locations if access to the airside is limited overnight:

Manchester Airport operates 24 hours a day, but airside areas close overnight after the last flight and reopen at 3 am in the morning. This means overnight sleepers must stay landside, where several areas are suitable for resting.

Terminal 1:

  • Ground Level Check-In Area (Jet2 Desk): Quiet with soft, armrest-free seats.
  • Departures B: Soft chairs, charging areas, very quiet at night.
  • Above the Bus Station: Quiet with minimal disturbances, limited food options.

Terminal 2:

  • Arrivals Level: Less crowded, armrest-free benches, 24-hour café and shop.
  • Level 2: Quiet environment, helpful security, potential cleaning disturbances.

Terminal 3:

  • Initial Seating Area: Armrest-free benches, ample space, can be crowded and noisy.
  • Additional Seating Area Near the Lounge: Quieter, comfortable seats, convenient departure screens.

Railway Station:

  • ReFresh Café: Open 24/7, warm, well-lit, hot drinks, snacks, numerous plug/USB sockets, relatively peaceful.

Access and Amenities:

  • Landside Areas: Open throughout the night with various resting spots.
  • 24-Hour Amenities: Cafés and shops in Terminal 2 arrivals and the railway station offer food, drinks, and charging points.

In summary, while airside areas close overnight, landside areas across all terminals at Manchester Airport provide comfortable and quiet spots for travelers to sleep, with essential amenities available 24/7.

Sleeping in Manchester Airport – Overview:

Sleeping at Manchester Airport is quite feasible, with several areas across its terminals offering decent amenities for weary travelers.

While the airport has its drawbacks, such as bright lighting and occasional noise from announcements and maintenance, many fliers find it manageable to catch some rest.

Terminal 1’s ground-level check-in area near the Jet2 desk is particularly favored for its soft, armrest-free seats and minimal disturbances. Terminal 2’s arrivals level provides quieter, more spacious seating options with accessible amenities like an all-night café.

Terminal 3 boasts numerous arm-free benches, though it can get crowded and noisy. Additionally, the 24-hour ReFresh café in the railway station offers a warm, well-lit space with hot drinks, snacks, and ample charging points.

Overall, while not perfect, Manchester Airport offers several spots that make it possible to get some sleep during an overnight stay.

Unfortunately, there are no Manchester Airport sleeping pods installed:

Manchester Airport does not currently offer sleeping pods or a capsule hotel, which significantly impacts its sleep score and overall appeal for overnight travelers.

Sleep pod brands such as YotelAir operating in London’s Gatwick Airport has not indicated plans to expand to this airport. The specific benefits offered by capsule hotel such as flexible pricing per hour, flexible check-in and check-out hours and affordability are not matched by hotel offerings within Manchester Airport.

Although the Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport is connected to the terminals via a covered, moving walkway called Skylink, it is not a transit hotel and remains an expensive option, with rates starting at around $180.

The absence of affordable, compact sleep pod facilities means travelers are forced to resort to unequipped and unofficial sleep areas, such as benches and quiet corners in various terminals.

This lack of dedicated sleep pods and affordable in-airport accommodations makes it challenging for travelers to find private, comfortable spaces to rest, leading to a less favorable experience during long layovers or overnight stays.

Check out other airports with sleeping pods including some in the UK

Where to Sleep in Manchester Airport T1, T2, and T3? Free Alternatives to Pods

Terminal 1 (T1)

Ground Level Check-In Area (Jet2 Desk):

  • Pros: Soft seats without armrests, minimal disturbances, power outlets available.
  • Cons: Lights are no longer dimmed, occasional presence of soldiers checking the area.
  • Details: This spot remains a favorite among travelers due to its quietness and comfort. Security staff rarely bother sleepers here, making it a reliable option for a restful night.

Check-In Desk Area 60-78:

  • Pros: Cushioned benches, quiet area, luggage storage under benches.
  • Cons: Frequent staff passage, limited seating.
  • Details: Located slightly around the corner, this area offers a peaceful environment for sleep. Staff members are frequent passersby, but other passengers rarely visit until check-in opens.

Departures B:

  • Pros: Quiet, soft chairs, charging areas.
  • Cons: Bright lighting.
  • Details: This area provides a tranquil environment with plenty of seating options. The presence of charging areas along the walls adds convenience for travelers needing to recharge their devices.

Above the Bus Station:

  • Pros: Very quiet, no disturbances.
  • Cons: Limited food options nearby.
  • Details: This secluded spot offers a quiet refuge away from the busy terminals, perfect for uninterrupted sleep.

Baby Changing Room:

  • Pros: Privacy, lockable door.
  • Cons: Motion-sensing lights, barricaded by cleaning crew in the morning.
  • Details: This unconventional sleeping spot offers privacy and quiet, though it may require an eye mask due to motion-sensing lights.

Terminal 2 (T2)

Arrivals Level:

  • Pros: Armrest-free benches, less crowded than the departure level.
  • Cons: Noise from announcements and night maintenance workers.
  • Details: This level has more available seating and amenities like an all-night cafe and shop, making it a convenient choice for overnight stays.

Level 2:

  • Pros: Quiet, helpful security.
  • Cons: Disturbances from floor cleaning and other sleepers.
  • Details: Though cleaning activities may disrupt sleep, this level offers a relatively peaceful environment with security staff available to provide advice and assistance.

Terminal 3 (T3)

Initial Seating Area:

  • Pros: Arm-free benches, ample space.
  • Cons: Can be crowded, noisy.
  • Details: This terminal offers numerous armrest-free benches ideal for sleeping. The presence of comfortable seating and convenient departure screens enhances the overall experience.

Additional Good Spot for Sleep:

  • 24hr Café (ReFresh) at the Railway Station:
    • Pros: Open 24/7, sells hot drinks and snacks, plenty of plug/USB sockets for charging devices.
    • Cons: Limited awareness among travelers.
    • Details: Located on the platform opposite the escalators, this café is a hidden gem for overnight stays, providing a warm, well-lit environment with essential amenities.
  • Showers: Avoid the gym locker room showers for £6.50 and look for local gyms offering free one-day trial memberships for access to shower facilities.

These sleep-friendly spots at Manchester Airport provide a range of options depending on your needs for quiet, comfort, and amenities. Whether you prefer the solitude of a tucked-away corner or the convenience of a bustling café, there’s a suitable spot for every traveler.

8 Key Challenges to Sleeping at this Ringway(MAN) Airport:

Bright Lighting

  • Terminal 1 (Ground Level Check-In Area and Departures B): While these areas are generally quiet, the lighting is often bright and can be a disturbance. Travelers recommend bringing an eye mask to mitigate this issue.

Noise from Announcements and Maintenance

  • Terminal 2 (Arrivals Level): Frequent announcements and night maintenance activities, such as floor cleaning and waxing, can disrupt sleep. Earplugs or noise-canceling headphones can help block out these noises.
  • Terminal 3 (Initial Seating Area): Although there are numerous armrest-free benches, this area can become noisy due to announcements and the movement of travelers and staff.

Limited Airside Access Overnight

  • Airside Areas (All Terminals): These areas close after the last flight and reopen early in the morning, limiting access to potentially quieter and more comfortable sleeping spots. Travelers must rely on landside areas for overnight stays.

Crowded and Overcrowded Areas

  • Terminal 1 (Jet2 Check-In Area and Above the Bus Station): While these spots are generally quiet and comfortable, they can become crowded, especially during peak travel times. Arriving early in the evening increases the chances of securing a good spot.
  • Terminal 3: This terminal often experiences overcrowding, making it challenging to find a quiet and comfortable place to sleep.

Temperature Issues

  • General Areas: The airport can be quite chilly, particularly at night due to air conditioning. Travelers are advised to bring a blanket or extra layers of clothing to stay warm.

Security Checks and Interactions

  • Terminal 2: Although security staff are generally helpful, their presence and routine checks can occasionally be a disturbance for those trying to sleep.

Limited Comfortable Seating

  • Terminal 1 (General Landside Areas): While there are some comfortable spots, much of the seating landside lacks the comfort of airside seating. Armrest-free benches are scarce and highly sought after.

Cleanliness and Maintenance

  • Terminal 1 (General Areas): Regular cleaning activities, while essential for hygiene, can disrupt sleep. These activities include floor waxing and pressure washing, which generate noise and movement.

Specific Locations Affected

  • Jet2 Check-In Area (Terminal 1): Bright lights and occasional crowding.
  • Departures B (Terminal 1): Bright lighting, but generally quiet.
  • Arrivals Level (Terminal 2): Noise from announcements and maintenance.
  • Initial Seating Area (Terminal 3): Noise and potential overcrowding.
  • ReFresh Café (Railway Station): While generally quiet, it can be affected by occasional disturbances from passengers coming in to get refreshments.

Overall, while Manchester Airport offers several suitable spots for sleeping, travelers need to be prepared for challenges like bright lighting, noise, limited airside access, and occasional crowding. Bringing an eye mask, earplugs, and warm clothing can help mitigate these issues and improve the chances of a restful sleep.

How Sleeping Pods in Manchester Airport Could Solve Sleep Challenges:

  1. Private and Quiet Spaces
    • Capsule hotels provide individual, soundproofed spaces.
    • They minimize disturbances from airport noise and other travelers.
  2. Compact and Efficient Design
    • Sleep pods maximize comfort in a small space with ergonomic beds and adjustable lighting.
    • This design ensures travelers have comfortable sleeping arrangements without large hotel rooms.
  3. Accessibility and Convenience
    • Located within the terminals, sleep pods eliminate the need to leave the airport.
    • This is especially valuable for tight layovers or late-night arrivals.
  4. Affordable Options
    • Capsule hotels offer more affordable rates compared to traditional hotels.
    • They make comfortable sleeping options accessible to budget-conscious travelers.
  5. Flexible Booking Hours
    • Sleep pods offer flexible booking options for a few hours or overnight.
    • Travelers can book only the time they need, making it cost-effective.
  6. Enhanced Security and Safety
    • Sleep pods are in secure, monitored airport areas.
    • This provides a safe environment for travelers and their belongings.
  7. Additional Amenities
    • Capsule hotels include showers, free Wi-Fi, and power outlets.
    • These amenities make the stay more pleasant and reduce travel stress.
  8. Efficiency in Space Utilization
    • The compact nature of sleep pods allows installation in unused airport spaces.
    • Airports can offer more sleeping options without significant construction.

Incorporating capsule hotels or sleep pods would address sleep challenges at Manchester Airport. They provide private, quiet, and affordable rest areas within the terminals, greatly enhancing the passenger experience.

Summary of Manchester Airport Sleep Reviews:

Pros

  • Soft Seating (Terminal 1, Jet2 Check-In Area): Comfortable, armrest-free seats.
  • Quiet Corners (Above Bus Station, Terminal 1): Secluded and peaceful.
  • 24/7 Amenities (ReFresh Café, Railway Station): Always open for food and drinks.
  • Power Outlets (Throughout Terminals): Ample charging points for devices.
  • Security (General): Helpful and ensures a safe environment.

Cons

  • Bright Lighting (Terminal 1, Departures B): Disturbing lights at night.
  • Noise from Announcements (Terminal 2, Arrivals Level): Frequent and disruptive.
  • Crowded Spaces (Terminal 3): Often busy and noisy.
  • Limited Airside Access (All Terminals): Airside areas close overnight.
  • Temperature (General): Can be chilly, requiring extra layers.

Sleep Conditions at Manchester Airport – What You Should Expect:

Noise Levels

  • Terminal 2 (Arrivals Level): Frequent announcements and night maintenance can be disruptive. Earplugs or noise-canceling headphones are recommended.
  • Terminal 3 (Initial Seating Area): Can be busy and noisy, particularly with travelers and staff moving around.
  • General Areas: Expect occasional noise from cleaning activities and other passengers, especially in landside areas.

Bright Lighting

  • Terminal 1 (Departures B and Ground Level Check-In Area): Bright lights can be disturbing at night. Consider bringing an eye mask to help block out the light.
  • General Areas: Lighting throughout the airport remains on, making it difficult to find a completely dark spot for sleeping.

Temperature Levels

  • General Areas: The airport can be chilly, particularly at night due to air conditioning. Bringing extra layers or a blanket is advisable to stay warm.

Safety and Security

  • Throughout Terminals: Security staff are present and generally helpful, ensuring a safe environment. They may provide advice on the best places to rest.
  • General Areas: The airport is monitored and safe for overnight stays, but keeping your belongings secure and within reach is always a good practice.

Seating Comfort

  • Terminal 1 (Jet2 Check-In Area): Offers soft, armrest-free seats suitable for lying down.
  • Terminal 2 (Arrivals Level): Features armrest-free benches that are more comfortable for sleeping.
  • Terminal 3 (Initial Seating Area): Provides numerous armrest-free benches, but they can be in high demand.

Crowded Spaces

  • Terminal 3: Often crowded and noisy, making it challenging to find a quiet spot.
  • General Areas: Some areas may become crowded during peak travel times, limiting available sleeping spots.

By understanding these specific conditions and locations, travelers can better prepare and enhance their chances of getting some rest at Manchester Airport.

Essential Sleep Gear for Sleeping at Manchester Airport

  1. Sleeping Bag
    • Used in: Quiet corners above the bus station (Terminal 1).
    • Recommendation: A lightweight, compact sleeping bag provides warmth and comfort, especially in colder areas of the airport. Ideal for creating a personal sleeping space in less conventional spots.
  2. Eye Mask
    • Used in: Terminal 1 (Departures B), Terminal 2 (Arrivals Level).
    • Recommendation: An eye mask is essential to block out bright lighting, which is prevalent throughout the airport. It helps create a dark environment for better sleep.
  3. Earplugs or Noise-Canceling Headphones
    • Used in: Terminal 2 (Arrivals Level), Terminal 3 (Initial Seating Area).
    • Recommendation: These are crucial for blocking out noise from announcements, cleaning activities, and other travelers. They help ensure a quieter sleep environment.
  4. Travel Blanket or Extra Layers
    • Used in: General areas across all terminals.
    • Recommendation: The airport can be chilly, so a travel blanket or extra layers of clothing are necessary to stay warm during the night.
  5. Neck Pillow
    • Used in: Terminal 1 (Jet2 Check-In Area), Terminal 3 (Initial Seating Area).
    • Recommendation: A neck pillow adds comfort, particularly when using benches or chairs. It supports the neck and helps maintain a comfortable sleeping position.
  6. Portable Charger
    • Used in: Throughout all terminals, especially near power outlets.
    • Recommendation: A portable charger ensures your devices remain powered, especially if you can’t find a working outlet. It’s a handy backup for staying connected and entertained.
  7. Compact Travel Pillow
    • Used in: Terminal 1 (Above the Bus Station), General Areas.
    • Recommendation: A small, inflatable or compressible travel pillow adds extra comfort without taking up much space. It’s useful for creating a more comfortable sleeping arrangement.
  8. Reusable Water Bottle
    • Used in: Throughout all terminals, especially near 24/7 cafés.
    • Recommendation: Staying hydrated is important, and a reusable water bottle ensures you have access to water without constantly purchasing bottled drinks.

By equipping yourself with these essential sleep gear items, you can significantly improve your chances of getting restful sleep at Manchester Airport, regardless of the specific location you choose to rest.

Areas to Avoid for Sleeping at Manchester Airport

  1. Terminal 3:
    • Often crowded and noisy due to high foot traffic.
  2. Terminal 1 (Departures B and Ground Level Check-In Area):
    • Bright lighting throughout the night can be disruptive.
  3. Near Security Checkpoints:
    • Regular announcements and staff movement cause frequent disturbances.
  4. Near Cleaning Stations (Terminal 2 Arrivals Level):
    • Frequent noisy cleaning activities, including floor waxing.
  5. Skylink Walkway:
    • High traffic walkway with constant movement.
  6. Vending Machine Areas:
    • Attract constant traffic and noise from travelers.
  7. Proximity to Loud Announcements (Terminal 2):
    • Loud announcements disrupt sleep.
  8. Railway Station Platforms:
    • Noisy with frequent announcements and foot traffic.

write specific sleep tips that fliers shared to help others get good sleep but not writing list of spaces to sleep

3 Alternative to Manchester Airport Sleeping Pods: – Hotels

Holiday Inn Manchester Airport, An IHG Hotel

  • Overview: This hotel offers modern, comfortable rooms and a busy bar and restaurant. The reception staff are known for their friendliness.
  • Location: Adjacent to Terminal 2 and a 15-minute walk from Terminal 3. It is also near the train station with direct access to downtown Manchester.
  • Shuttle Service: Complimentary shuttle bus service to the Rental Car Hub.
  • Rates: The lowest among the three recommended options, starting at around $120 per night. Check Rates

Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport

  • Overview: The most luxurious option with high-end amenities and services.
  • Location: Connected to Terminals 1 and 2 via Skylink, a covered, elevated walkway, providing convenient access.
  • Shuttle Service: Not specifically mentioned, but the direct terminal connections reduce the need.
  • Rates: The highest among the three options, reflecting its premium services and convenience. Check Rates

Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport

  • Overview: Conveniently located with easy access to all airport terminals. The hotel provides modern facilities and comfortable accommodations.
  • Location: Situated within the airport grounds, a short walk to Terminal 2.
  • Shuttle Service: Regular 24-hour free shuttle bus service that can be pre-booked.
  • Parking: Available at £15 per day or £80 per week.
  • Rates: Average among the three options, offering a balance of cost and convenience. Check Rates

These three hotels provide practical and comfortable alternatives for travelers needing rest at Manchester Airport, each with unique advantages regarding location, services, and pricing.

Table with List of Nearby Hotels:

Here is a list of the closest hotels to Manchester Airport with essential details:

Hotel NameAddressDistance from AirportPriceAverage Rating
Radisson Blu Hotel, Manchester AirportChicago Avenue, Manchester M90 3RA0.7 milesCheck Rates4.5
Clayton Hotel Manchester AirportOutwood Lane, Manchester M90 4HL0.8 milesCheck Rates4.0
Holiday Inn Express Stockport, an IHG Hotel11 Station Road, Stockport SK3 9JD6.0 milesCheck Rates (Budget Option) -Train station is a 2 min with direct links to Manchester and Liverpool.4.5
Hyatt House Manchester – Aparthotel55 Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PQ7.9 milesCheck Rates4.5
Holiday Inn Manchester Airport, An IHG Hotel
1 Palma Avenue, Wythenshawe M90 4ZY England0.8 miles – Next to T2 but only 15 mins walk to T3.Check Rates4.5
These hotels offer a range of amenities and are located within close proximity to Manchester Airport, making them convenient options for travelers. Check out the list of all hotels close to this airport on Tripadvisor.

Want a hotel offering free 24-hour free shuttle? Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport is your answer. Below are more details with booking link:

  • Address: Outwood Lane, Manchester M90 4HL
  • Distance from Airport: 0.8 miles
  • Price: Check Rates
  • Average Rating: 4.0
  • Shuttle Service: Free shuttle to and from Manchester Airport.
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.