Guide to Sleep Pods at Gatwick Airport

Got a layover at Gatwick Airport and need an in-terminal hotel or some futuristic sleeping pods? Well, you’re in for a treat!

Although Gatwick has made some progress in improving its accommodations for travelers, it still falls significantly short of meeting the demand for bed capacity to satisfy the millions of passengers passing through the airport.

Despite handling an astonishing 40 million passengers each year, Gatwick Airport currently offers only 46 sleep cabins, which resemble compact hotel rooms and provide a far more comfortable experience compared to sleeping pods.

Since 2007, the compact sleep cabins at Gatwick has received great reviews.

What Kind of Sleep Pods are in Gatwick?

While Gatwick Airport has not installed capsule-looking sleeping pods such as those designed by GoSleep, it has installed a different more comfortable airport sleep technology provided by YotelAir. YotelAir cabins are self-contained units that offer guests a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and a pull-out desk – pretty neat for airport accommodation!

Moreover, YotelAir offers are similar to typical sleeping pods in that they offer pay-per-use pricing that allows travelers to rent the cabins for short stays of up to four hours. This is perfect for those passengers who just need a quick recharge before their next flight.

YotelAir at Gatwick Airport

The innovative sleep technology adopted by Gatwick since 2007 is sleeping cabins that are similar to Minute Suites operating in the US but which offer specialized sleep-enhancing technologies and other home comfort amenities, such as memory foam mattresses and soundproof walls.

These sleeping cabins are located in the North Terminal of Gatwick Airport, with each cabin offering a small double bed, a shower, toilet, Wi-Fi access, and room service available from nearby airport restaurants. This is an ideal option for passengers on long layovers or those needing a quick rest before catching their flight.

Aside from sleeping cabins, Gatwick Airport also offers a variety of other accommodations for passengers in need of rest. These include the Bloc Hotel located at the South Terminal, offering modern and stylish rooms with soundproofing and high-tech amenities such as free Wi-Fi and mood lighting.

In addition, several nearby hotels offer shuttle services to and from the airport, making it convenient for passengers to find a comfortable place to rest before or after their flight. Some of these hotels include the Hilton London Gatwick Airport, Premier Inn London Gatwick Airport, and Sofitel London Gatwick Hotel.

YotelAir vs GoSleep

The main difference between Yotel and sleep pods is that Yotel offers a wider range of amenities and services compared to traditional sleep pods. While both provide compact, private sleeping spaces for travelers, Yotel goes beyond just a bed and offers features such as showers, TVs, free Wi-Fi, workspaces and more. In addition, Yotel operates like a traditional hotel with 24-hour reception and concierge services, allowing guests to check in and out at any time of the day or night.

Unlike traditional sleep pods(GoSleep) offered by RestWorks, the sleep cabins available at Gatwick are not detachable sleep equipment but are mini-suites that offer a convenient and comfortable place to rest, shower, or watch TV while waiting for your flight.

Check out YotelAir in London’s Heathrow as well

What Fliers Think of YotelAir at LGW – Reviews:

While sleep pods by companies such as GoSleep are fairly recent in most airports, Gatwick Airport has had an airport capsule hotel or its version of sleep pods called YOTELAIR. The Guardian reported back in 2007 of the Japanese Yotel and these mini-suites have been available since. A spot check in 2023 revealed that this service is still receiving great reviews.

A notable review from 2011, featured on Tripadvisor, had the following to share:

I have stayed in Yotel at both Heathrow aiport as well as Gatwick; both are very tidy, smart and sophisticated. You can sleep, shower and watch TV if bored. You are right next to a good collection of restaurants, shops and cafe places. To check in or catch your flight all you need is 5 mins walking. Read more here

Below is a snapshot of the review;

While Heathrow also has YotelAir, British Airways has recently introduced ‘forty-wink’ nap lounge and RestWorks now has sleep pods at Heathrow. Read more about it here.

Gatwick’s sleep cabin services by Yotel have been available since 2007 and continue to receive great reviews from travelers and has even received recognition as one of the best airport hotels in the world!

Below is a summary of YotelAir reviews at Gatwick Airport;

Pros:

  • Convenient location within the airport: It’s located right inside the South Terminal next to International Arrivals, making it highly accessible for incoming passengers or those waiting for their next flights.
  • Affordable prices for short-stay options.
  • Modern and comfortable rooms with necessary amenities.
  • Easy access to other accommodations and services within the airport.
  • Flexibility to book for a few hours or overnight stay.
  • Efficient use of space: Rooms, although small, are efficiently designed. They are modeled after cabin-style accommodations, providing essential amenities in a compact space, which includes a comfortable bed, bathroom, and sometimes a workstation.
  • Rooms are noted for being clean and well-maintained. Despite their small size, many travelers appreciate the comfortable beds and quiet atmosphere, which are conducive to resting and sleeping.
  • The inclusion of modern facilities such as WiFi, a decent shower, and sometimes entertainment options in the rooms are highlighted as positives that enhance the stay.

Cons:

  • Some travelers find the rooms to be quite small, which might be an issue for those with a lot of luggage or who prefer more spacious accommodations.
  • Noise from nearby airport operations may be a disturbance for some.
  • No on-site restaurant, but many dining options available within the airport.
  • Limited availability during peak travel seasons.

A Yotel is a unique type of hotel that offers compact, high-tech rooms designed to provide a comfortable and efficient stay for travelers. Inspired by Japanese capsule hotels, Yotel offers a modern and innovative approach to accommodation with its minimalist design and focus on technology. This pod-style hotel is from the company behind the Yo! Sushi restaurant chain.

Read more about other airport sleep technologies here.

How YotelAir Operates:

To create a serene atmosphere conducive to sleep, the YotelAir accommodations are strategically located in dimly lit corridors, devoid of natural light. The cabins are thoughtfully designed, reminiscent of business class on an airplane(this Guardian reporter found it to be close to stylish ferry cabins).

The premium rooms span a comfortable 10 square meters and feature a cozy double bed, while the standard rooms offer a compact seven square meters with a generously sized single bed tucked away in a cozy nook. All rooms are equipped with a convenient fold-out desk, complimentary internet access, an en suite bathroom, and ample storage space in the bedside table, under the bed, and on narrow shelves.

What to Expect from LGW’s Cabin

image showing Standard sleep capsule at Gatwick Airport

According to Yotel’s website, there are three main types of cabins offered at Gatwick by Yotel;

  • Standard Cabins: ideal for 1 guest, however, it can accommodate 2 guests. They’ve indicated that these standard sleep pods have limited privacy as the toilet has no door and there is just one spacious single bed. 
  • Premium Cabins: 2 adults, 2 adults with 1 child under 5 or 1 adult and 2 children
  • Family Cabin: 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children. A baby cot can be added to the Family cabin ONLY – no other bedding can be added to any other cabin type.
Image of Premium Queen cabin at Gatwick Airport

Cabin Amenities:

Standard Pod/CabinPremium QueenPremium Twin
Wi-FiWi-FiWi-Fi
Limited storage spaceWireless chargingAccessible room
Small safeHot showers
Hot showersIron and hair dryer
Basic amenities for city livingA small safe – size of a laptopLimited storage space
Smart TVWireless charging

Where they are Located:

Since its inception in 2007, YotelAir has always been situated in the convenient landside location of the South Terminal. Just minutes away from both departures and arrivals, it provides unparalleled accessibility for travelers.

Are there Pods in the North Terminal?

Unfortunately, there are no sleep pods or YotelAir’s sleep cabins at the North Terminal. If you land at the North Terminal and have a long layover, you can simply hop on to the free inter-terminal shuttle service that runs 24 hours. This will take you directly to YotelAir’s sleep pods located in the South Terminal.

North Terminal Hotels at Gatwick

  • Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport: Directly connected to the North Terminal through a covered walkway, providing a convenient lodging option. Check Rates
  • Premier Inn London Gatwick North Terminal Hotel: Just a 5-minute walk from the North Terminal, this hotel also offers a free 24-hour shuttle from the South Terminal. Check Rates
  • Sofitel London Gatwick: A 4-star hotel directly connected to the North Terminal via a covered link bridge, offering upscale accommodations. Check Rates

YotelAir Cost:

YOTELAIR at London Gatwick offers compact, efficiently designed rooms suitable for short stays, available in three types: Standard, Premium Twin, and Premium Queen. Each room can be booked for a minimum of four hours, with pricing structured to accommodate stays of increasing duration up to eight hours, plus an overnight option.

  • Standard Room: This room, ideal for solo travelers, starts at £39 for a four-hour stay, with the cost increasing incrementally by £10 for each additional hour up to eight hours. An overnight stay in the Standard room is priced at £127.
  • Premium Twin Room: Designed to accommodate two adults or one adult with two children under five, the Premium Twin room starts at £49 for four hours. Similar to the Standard, the rate increases by £10 per additional hour up to eight hours, with an overnight rate of £147.
  • Premium Queen Room: Offering a bit more space, this room is suitable for up to two adults and a child under five. It also starts at £49 for the initial four-hour period, with each subsequent hour adding another £10 to the cost, up to eight hours. For those needing to stay overnight, the rate for this room is £152.

These rates include all taxes and charges, ensuring that travelers can enjoy a comfortable, hassle-free stay with amenities like fast WiFi, modern furnishings, and luxurious bathroom products. YOTELAIR’s pricing structure and room options make it an attractive choice for those in transit or facing early flights, providing flexibility and convenience inside Gatwick Airport’s terminals.

Here’s a detailed table showing the rates for YOTELAIR at London Gatwick Airport, including different room types and costs for durations ranging from 4 hours:

Room TypeCabin SizeBase Cost for 4 Hours (£)Cost for 5 Hours (£)Cost for 6 Hours (£)Cost for 7 Hours (£)Cost for 8 Hours (£)Cost for Overnight
Standard75 sqft/7sqm3949596979127
Premium Twin108 sqft/10sqm4959697989147
Premium Queen110 sqft/10sqm4959697989152

Room Descriptions:

If you decide to extend your stay by an additional hour, the rates increase to £100 for the standard cabin and £135 for the queen and twin premium cabins. These are the maximum charges for a booking of 7 hours, the maximum duration allowed.

Below are snapshots from the website with pricing for their different cabins;

Snapshot showing cost of YotelAir booking of 4 hours -39 GBP for 4 hours at LGW Airport
Snapshot showing the Cost of Standard Cabin YotelAir Gatwick Airport for 4 hours. Check Rates and Reviews here
Cost of Premium Cabin YotelAir Gatwick Airport
Snapshot showing the Cost of Premium Cabin YotelAir Gatwick Airport for 4 hours. Check Rates and Reviews here

Why YotalAir is still regarded as Sleep Pods:

Sleep pods technology is classified as part of pay-per-period amenities available in airports and YotelAir runs a similar model where you only pay for the duration of your stay. Their concept was inspired by Japanese capsule hotels and they aim to provide travelers with a comfortable, convenient and affordable option for relaxation or rest.

Unlike traditional hotels that charge a nightly rate, YotelAir charges an hourly rate making it perfect for short stays during layovers or early morning flights. The cabins are designed to optimize space and provide all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay, including free WiFi, power outlets, and flat screen TVs. They also have 24-hour room service available for guests.

YotelAir sleep pods are therefore similar in concept to other pay-per-period sleep pod options, but with additional amenities and a focus on providing a comfortable and convenient experience for travelers. This makes them a popular choice for those seeking an affordable and efficient way to catch up on rest or relax during their travels.

In addition, YotelAir also offers various packages and promotions such as their “Day Stay” option which allows guests to book a cabin for just a few hours during the day, perfect for business travelers or those with long layovers. They also have partnerships with various airlines and offer discounted rates for their passengers.

Check Prices for all Hotels in South Terminal:

  • Bloc Gatwick: A budget-friendly option located on the 3rd Floor of the Departures Level, right beside security in the South Terminal. Check Rates
  • YOTELAIR: Situated next to International Arrivals in the South Terminal, YOTELAIR offers budget accommodations with the flexibility of day rooms available for 4 to 24 hours. Note that transit passengers must have valid UK entry to access this hotel. Check Rates
  • Hotel Hilton London Gatwick Airport: This hotel is conveniently linked to the South Terminal via a covered walkway, offering easy access for travelers. Check Rates

Best Spots to Sleep at LGW for Free:

Here are detailed descriptions of the best places within the London Gatwick Airport’s North and South Terminals where travelers have found good sleeping conditions:

North Terminal Sleeping Spots:

  1. Check-In Area
    • Location: Upper area near the check-in desks.
    • Description: Two padded bench chairs without armrests are available here. The area is appreciated for being reasonably dark and completely silent, making it conducive for sleeping.
  2. Near Sunglasses Hut/Excess Baggage Store
    • Location: Just downstairs from the check-in area.
    • Description: This spot offers padded seating without armrests and is away from the escalators, which reduces noise levels. It is quieter compared to other areas, providing a more peaceful sleeping environment.
  3. Airside Seating
    • Location: General seating area accessible after security clearance, opens at 4:00 AM.
    • Description: The seating here is better padded than landside, and although it’s louder and busier, it becomes available in the very early morning when fewer people are around.

South Terminal:

  1. Near Costa Coffee Landside
    • Location: Banks of seats near the Costa Coffee shop landside.
    • Description: This area is recommended for its extended seating arrangements that allow travelers to lie down. It’s relatively quiet at night, especially when the nearby construction is not active.
  2. Departure Lounge by TV
    • Location: Lounge area near departures.
    • Description: This spot has a few seats and is close to a 24-hour food outlet. It’s considered safe and quiet enough for sleeping, with TVs that might stay on but provide a sense of normalcy and security.
  3. Airside Comfy Seating
    • Location: Seating area past security.
    • Description: Once through security, travelers find cushioned seating more conducive to sleeping. The area is also less noisy compared to the landside, with fewer disturbances.

North vs South Terminal – Which is best for Sleep?

Based on the reviews and experiences shared by travelers, the North Terminal at Gatwick Airport tends to be preferred over the South Terminal for sleeping, for several specific reasons:

North Terminal – Reasons for Preference:

  1. Better Seating Options:
    • Travelers often mention that the North Terminal provides more comfortable seating arrangements conducive to sleeping. This includes cushioned seating and areas with fewer armrests that allow for lying down.
  2. Quieter Areas:
    • The North Terminal is frequently described as having quieter zones compared to the South Terminal. This makes it easier for travelers to find a relatively peaceful spot to rest without the disturbance of constant foot traffic and airport noises.
  3. Access to Amenities:
    • The North Terminal is noted for having good access to amenities, including 24-hour food outlets and restrooms, which are conveniently located near sleeping spots. This reduces the need to move around a lot during the night.
  4. Temperature and Cleanliness:
    • Some reviews suggest that the North Terminal maintains a more comfortable temperature and is kept cleaner, both of which contribute significantly to a better sleep environment.
  5. Safety and Security:
    • Reviews often highlight a sense of safety due to visible security patrols, which can be reassuring for solo and overnight travelers, allowing them to rest more comfortably.

South Terminal – Less Preferred Reasons:

  1. Noise Levels:
    • The South Terminal tends to be busier and noisier, with more passenger foot traffic throughout the night. The noise can come from both fellow passengers and announcements, making it harder to sleep.
  2. Comfort of Seating:
    • Seating in the South Terminal is often described as less comfortable for sleeping, with more seats having armrests that restrict the ability to lie down.
  3. Cooler Temperatures:
    • Some travelers find the South Terminal to be colder, which can be uncomfortable, especially when trying to sleep without adequate warmth.
  4. Crowding:
    • During peak travel times, the South Terminal can become quite crowded, reducing the availability of good sleeping spots and increasing disturbances during the night.

These reasons make the North Terminal generally more recommended for travelers looking to get some rest at Gatwick Airport. However, personal preferences and specific travel situations (like terminal of departure) might affect the final choice.

Review of LGW’s Sleep Quality:

Sleeping at London Gatwick Airport, like many major airports, comes with a mix of advantages and disadvantages that can significantly affect the comfort and convenience of travelers opting to stay overnight. Here are some of the key pros and cons based on traveler reviews:

Pros:

  1. Cost Savings: Many travelers choose to sleep in the airport to save on hotel costs, especially when dealing with layovers or very early flights.
  2. 24-Hour Facilities: Certain facilities like Costa Coffee, Marks & Spencer, and other food outlets are open 24 hours, providing access to food and drinks throughout the night.
  3. Security: Gatwick is generally considered safe for overnight stays. Security presence, including patrols with friendly sniffer dogs, helps passengers feel secure.
  4. Quiet Areas: There are specific areas in both terminals that offer quieter environments with less foot traffic, making them suitable for rest.
  5. Padded Seating: Certain areas, especially airside, provide padded seating without armrests, allowing for more comfortable sleeping positions.

Cons:

  1. Comfort: Despite some areas with padded seating, many spots have uncomfortable benches or chairs with armrests, not ideal for sleeping.
  2. Cold Temperature: The airport can be quite cold, especially outside of the summer months. This is a common complaint among travelers who find the air conditioning too strong for comfortable sleep.
  3. Noise: While some areas are quiet, others can be noisy due to ongoing construction, announcements, or general airport operations.
  4. Bright Lighting: Airports are typically well-lit for safety and security reasons, which can make it difficult to sleep without an eye mask.
  5. Limited Availability: During busy periods, finding a good spot to sleep can be challenging. Spots with comfortable seating tend to fill up quickly.

Travelers looking to spend the night at Gatwick should prepare accordingly, bringing items like earplugs, eye masks, warm clothing or a blanket, and arriving early to claim a good spot. These preparations can help mitigate some of the cons and make for a more restful night. Check out our list of essential airport sleeping gear

Practical Tips to Get Good Sleep at This Airport’s Terminals:

Getting a good night’s sleep at Gatwick Airport can be challenging due to the inherent nature of busy international airports. However, with some preparation and knowledge about the airport’s layout and facilities, travelers can improve their chances of having a restful stay. Here are some practical tips specific to Gatwick Airport:

  1. Choose Your Terminal Wisely:
    • The North Terminal generally has better reviews for sleeping, with more comfortable seating options and quieter areas.
    • The South Terminal can be busier and noisier, although there are lounges available which might offer a more peaceful environment.
  2. Arrive Early to Secure a Good Spot:
    • Especially during peak travel seasons, arriving early in the evening helps in securing the more comfortable spots before they are taken.
  3. Bring Necessary Sleep Aids:
    • A travel pillow, eye mask, and earplugs are essential for blocking out light and noise.
    • Consider a lightweight blanket or large scarf, as the airport can be quite cold at night due to air conditioning.
  4. Dress Appropriately:
    • Wear layers or bring extra clothing to adjust to the chilly temperatures inside the terminal.
  5. Know the Security Details:
    • Be aware of the security presence in both terminals. While it enhances safety, it can also mean disturbances throughout the night, so choosing a spot with less foot traffic might help.
  6. Stay Near Amenities:
    • Position yourself near restrooms and vending machines for easy access to bathrooms and snacks without having to move too much during the night.
  7. Use the Right Gear:
    • A sleeping bag or travel mat can provide additional comfort on hard surfaces.
    • Consider a portable charger for your electronic devices, as power outlets may not be available in all sleeping areas.
  8. Check Out Hotel Options:
    • If budget allows, consider booking a room in one of the airport hotels like Bloc Gatwick or YOTELAIR for a few hours. This can be particularly beneficial for those needing guaranteed rest.
  9. Be Prepared for Interruptions:
    • Even in the best spots, interruptions are possible, whether from other passengers, announcements, or cleaning crews.
  10. Stay Informed:
    • Keep an eye on flight information displays or set alarms to ensure you don’t miss your flight, especially if you plan to sleep deeply.

List of All 6 Hotels Inside LGW to Consider:

Here’s a table summarizing the hotel options available at both the North and South Terminals of London Gatwick Airport:

Hotel NameLocationDetailsCheck rates
South Terminal Hotels
Bloc GatwickInside South Terminal, 3rd Floor, Departures Level, beside securityBudget hotel offering convenience for departing passengers.Check rates
YOTELAIRSouth Terminal next to International ArrivalsBudget hotel offering day rooms/hourly rates for 4 to 24 hours. Transit passengers need valid UK entry.Check rates
Hotel Hilton London Gatwick AirportConnected to the South Terminal by a covered walkwayConvenient access with a direct connection to the terminal.Check rates
North Terminal Hotels
Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick AirportConnected to the North Terminal by a covered walkwayOffers seamless access to the terminal for easy transit.Check rates
Premier Inn London Gatwick North Terminal Hotel5 minute walk from the North Terminal, free 24-hour shuttle from the South TerminalBudget-friendly option with easy terminal access.Check rates
Sofitel London GatwickConnected directly to the North Terminal via covered link bridge4-star accommodations with direct terminal access.Check rates
These hotels provide a range of options from budget to more luxurious stays, all designed to cater to the needs of travelers passing through or staying at Gatwick Airport. You can also check out the list of all hotels close to Gatwick Airport

Helpful Answers to FAQs

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.