Heathrow Airport Sleep Pods + 13 Alternative Options

If you find yourself facing a lengthy layover at Heathrow Airport, you might become frustrated when searching for a suitable place to catch some shut-eye within the terminals.

It’s even worse if you don’t know of the latest sleep innovations such as sleep cabins that Heathrow has installed in its terminals to provide respite to weary travelers. While it may not be as bustling as JFK and boasts a more appealing layout, locating a comfortable spot to rest can prove to be quite a challenge.

Having experienced first-hand layovers in Heathrow(LHR), I have observed that passengers with long transits often end up lounging on the floor or slumped over their luggage. This is not an ideal situation for anyone. However, thankfully, there’s a solution to this problem – compact sleep suites and sleep cabins. Read more about airport sleep technologies here.

As an expert with a special focus on airport sleep tech, I found Heathrow to be doing a little better than other airports in terms of facilities to sleep. You’ll find a designated resting zone in Terminal 3 and sleep-friendly seating in Terminal 2 and this article with focus more on the sleep cabins in Terminal 2. This is much more than what you’ll find at other London Airports such as Stansted Airport without sleep pods.

Read on to learn more about the innovative sleep tech in London’s Heathrow with details of sleep tech pricing, locations, and what you can expect when using them.

Are there sleep pods at Heathrow Airport?

Yes, Heathrow Airport has installed sleep pod facilities in the form of cabins which as mini-suites and are being offered by YotelAir and Aerotel. YotelAir and Aerotel’s sleep pods are close in design to Minute Suites’ pods but and are more equipped compared to EnergyPods Sleep Pods by RestWorks.

Unlike EnergyPods, Aerotel and YotelAir’s sleep pod solutions feature an actual bed with intergrated smart solutions that come with sleep-enhancing innovations.These compact sleep facilities are located in Terminal 2 and are different from the futuristic capsule-like GoSleep or EnergyPod designs that British Airways had installed in T5.

British Airways has discontinued its 7 complimentary sleep pods in Heathrow’s Terminal 5. While the decision to discontinue the pods does not appear to be directly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may have been influenced by passengers’ reluctance to use self-cleaning sleeping facilities due to concerns over health and hygiene.

In 2007, Heathrow pioneered the introduction of innovative sleeping solutions by integrating YotelAir for a trial period assisting YotelAir to prove its business model.

Upon discovering that British Airways had phased out its sleep pods in its First Class ‘Forty Winks’ Lounge, I suspected that their complimentary self-service sleep solution had met a similar fate to JetBlue’s sleep pods at JFK. The onset of COVID heightened flyers’ concerns about shared surfaces potentially transmitting infections, and the timing of BA’s pod launch just before the pandemic likely sealed the facility’s fate. Read about JFK’s Jetblue T5 sleep pods here.

This wasn’t the end of innovative sleep solutions at Heathrow though.

While the British Airways sleeping pods are no longer available, there are other great innovative sleep technologies slightly different in design and located right in the terminals provided by YotelAir and Aerotel in Terminal 2.

These sleep cabins are more comfortable than EnergyPods or GoSleep sleeping pods are they are more spacious, offer more privacy, and are well-sanitized. These cabins can be conveniently booked online and offer the convenience of self-check-in.

There are 2 Sleep Pods at London Heathrow Airport:

With closure of British Airways’ EnergyPods Sleeping Pods in T5, the only innovative sleep pod solutions available are in Terminal 3 and 4 with no pods in Terminal 2 and 5.

Aerotel pods are in Terminal 3 and YotelAir pods are in Terminal 4. More details below;

Aerotel Sleep Pods in Terminal 3(Option 1)

Aerotel is located inside Terminal 3 of Heathrow Airport, specifically in the Arrivals Hall. It’s conveniently positioned to allow for easy access from Terminal 2 and the Heathrow Express, making it an ideal spot for travelers looking for a place to refresh and recharge right at the airport.

Aerotel sleep pods in Heathrow Terminal 3
Aerotel sleep pods in Heathrow Terminal 3. Credit: Tripadvisor.

Amenities:

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi to stay connected.
  • Solo Plus, Double and Family Rooms options
  • Private bathrooms equipped with towels, a bath or shower, and free toiletries for personal care.
  • Bedroom comforts such as linen and various pillow options for a good night’s sleep.
  • Media & Technology features like flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, ensuring entertainment and connectivity.
  • Room amenities including sockets near the bed for charging devices.
  • Daily housekeeping to maintain cleanliness.
  • Shared lounge/TV area for a communal relaxation space.
  • A wake-up service to help guests catch their flights or start their day on time.

Location and Rates:

It is located in Terminal 3 and has 82 guest rooms which can be rented in blocks of 6, 9, 12 hours or overnight. The rates are from GBP 64.00 to 127 for Solo Plus package and GBP 76 to 152 for a Double Plus package.

Check Aerotel rates here.

YotelAir Sleep Pods in Terminal 4(Closed):

2024 Update: Unfortunately, Yotel has ceased operations in Terminal 2 and is no longer available. It is currently unclear whether this closure is temporary or permanent, as specific details are not available. Despite this, information about YotelAir will continue to be included here for reference.

You can find Yotel Sleeping Pods in London’s Heathrow which compact, Japanese-inspired cabin rooms, complete with complimentary Wi-Fi. This innovative hotel is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and provides a 24-hour snack bar for guests.

Image of Yotel Sleeping Pods in Heathrow Terminal 4
Image of Yotel Sleeping Pods in Heathrow Terminal 4

Each snug cabin is outfitted with a flat-screen TV and a workspace. Guests can enjoy high-quality linens and ambient mood lighting, while the en-suite bathrooms offer a powerful monsoon shower and complimentary toiletries.

Yotel Heathrow Airport serves a selection of light snacks around the clock, delivered directly to your cabin for convenience. Additionally, the hotel boasts a 24-hour self-service check-in, ensuring a seamless arrival experience.

Conveniently located just steps away from The Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 Railway Station is also within a quick 5-minute walk, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking efficiency and comfort.

At YotelAir, you can stay in a small cabin for up to 12 hours at a time.

The YotelAir cabins start at £30 for 4 hours, £40 for 8 hours, and £50 for 12 hours. If you want to add an extra bed, it is £10 per night.

Booking:

  • Advance Booking: Highly recommended due to high demand. YotelAir allows bookings on an hourly basis, catering to varying layover durations.
  • Flexible Hours: Accommodation can be tailored to match flight schedules, whether it’s for a few hours to freshen up or overnight stays.

Location:

  • Situated: Landside in Terminal 4, making it accessible before security checks. Ideal for travelers arriving internationally who need to pass through customs.
  • Transport: Heathrow offers free inter-terminal transfer services, simplifying access to Terminal 4 from other terminals. It’s specifically designed for transit passengers and those with an early flight or a long layover, offering a place to rest and refresh without having to leave the airport.

Arrival and Departure:

  • Post-Flight Procedure: After landing, international travelers must clear customs to access YotelAir landside.
  • Pre-Flight Planning: For departure, allocate enough time to transfer back to your departure terminal and pass through security checks. For Terminal 3 departures, consider leaving YotelAir about two hours before your flight.

Amenities and Room Features:

  • Design: YotelAir’s rooms, often referred to as “sleeping pods,” are compact yet comfortably furnished with high-tech features and efficient use of space.
  • Rooms: Options range from premium double rooms to single pods, all equipped with essential modern conveniences.
  • Beds: Equipped with adjustable beds that can create more space when not fully extended, alongside luxury linens for a restful sleep.
  • Entertainment and Work: Flat-screen TVs, multiple power outlets including USB plugs, and free Wi-Fi support both relaxation and productivity.
  • Bathroom Facilities: Private bathrooms come with rain showers, complimentary toiletries, and ample towels.

Food and Beverage:

  • Complimentary Drinks: Upon check-in, guests are welcomed with a choice of free beverages. Continuous access to complimentary coffee and tea is provided.
  • Dining: While YotelAir has a limited menu, it caters to various meal times. Travelers with specific dietary needs should note the limited food options landside at Heathrow.

Navigation:

  • Directions: Clear signage within Heathrow aids in finding YotelAir. From Terminal 4’s floor 0, follow signs to the end of the arrivals hall, then ascend the escalator to YotelAir’s reception, whimsically dubbed “mission control.”

Check-In Experience:

  • 24/7 Reception: Known for its unique ambiance with magenta lighting, the reception area ensures a smooth check-in process, with staff available round-the-clock.

Below is an image of one YotelAir sleep area;

YotelAir London Heathrow is a convenient and unique hotel in terminal 4. We slept in the coolest Heathrow sleeping pods and this is the full review. #yotelair #yotel #airporthotel #londonheathrowhotel #wheretostayatheathrow #yotelairlondonheathrow

British Airways Sleep Pods in Terminal 5(Reopened)

After closing the Forty Winks Nap Lounge with Sleep pods installed in Terminal 5, British Airway has reopened the lounge and you can anow access the sleep pods.

Sleep Pods at British Airways Forty Winks Nap Lounge
Sleep Pods at British Airways Forty Winks Nap Lounge

British Airways unveiled its innovative sleeping pods at First Lounge in May 2021 with plans to add more in the Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Here is the press release of the launch.

During the COVID pandemic, the Nap Lounge temporarily closed, and its pods were unavailable for a period.

The BA sleeping pods were intended to replicate the ones installed by JetBlue at JFK. BA had plans to launch them at JFK’s Terminal 7 as well, but that plan fell through due to the unsuccessful rollout at Heathrow.

  

Press release announcing launch of sleeping pods at Heathrow airport by British Airways

How do RestWorks’ Sleep Pods look like?

RestWorks is an independent company that specializes in sleep and works with businesses to improve their employee productivity through better sleep. The company’s CEO told Business Insider that the pod resembles “a cross between a La-Z-Boy and a Tesla.”

The EnergyPod has a ” zero-gravity ” recline position that makes it easier to fall asleep. It also has a ” white-noise ” machine and a ” light-blocking visor ” to help you relax.

energypod dallas stadium

The EnergyPod has a privacy visor, a built-in timer, and music created especially for napping. The EnergyPod gently but effectively wakes the user at the end of the nap with a mild light, sound, and vibration combination.

Features of EnergyPods

EnergyPod Features Summary:

  • Ergonomic Design: The EnergyPod is ergonomically designed to elevate feet, relieve cardiac pressure, and contour the seat to support the lower back and knees for optimal comfort.
  • Quality Materials: Covered in high-quality synthetic leather, the EnergyPod is both comfortable and durable, providing a smooth and easy-to-clean surface.
  • Secure Storage: Features two internal compartments for safely storing personal items and bags.
  • Privacy Visor: Adjustable privacy visor offers semi-privacy, blocking distractions and providing a personal relaxation space.
  • Customizable Nap Times: Offers the ability to set a personalized timer or use a one-touch button for a standard 20-minute nap.
  • Complementary App: British Airways Lounge users can download the Restworks app for access to complimentary audio content, enhancing the relaxation experience with the EnergyPod.

Who is eligible to use the Sleep Pods?


Access to the nap pods in Heathrow’s First lounges is granted to passengers who meet the following criteria:

  • Travelers flying on a scheduled British Airways flight in First class.
  • Gold Members of the British Airways Executive Club traveling on a scheduled flight operated by British Airways or a oneworld partner.
  • Emerald members of any oneworld airline frequent flyer programs traveling on a scheduled flight operated by British Airways or a oneworld partner.
  • Individuals over the age of 18, or those under 18 accompanied by a responsible adult, with local laws on alcohol consumption applying.
  • Emerald members may invite one guest per departure flight to join them in the First lounge, provided the guest is traveling with British Airways or a oneworld partner.

Read all details on Brisitsh Airways website here.

They have a height of 147 cm (58 inches), 122 cm (48 inches) in height and a 212 cm(83.5 inches) in length.

Aside from JFK and Heathrow, Restworks has also installed sleep pods in Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore.

Where were these Sleep Pods located?

The pods were only available in the First Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5, but British Airways had plans to add more pods to its Concorde Room lounge when global travel restrictions eased.

We have confirmed that as of April 2024, there are no sleeping pods at First Lounge of London’s Heathrow Airport.

What about other Terminals?

British Airways was the only airline with sleep pods at Heathrow Airport. However, Virgin Atlantic has introduced private suites called the “snooze zone” at its Clubhouse lounge in Terminal 3 where you can catch some shut-eye on a daybed or in one of their two “sleep pods” for £25 (about $33) for up to 45 minutes.

Heathrow Airside Bedrooms

Another option for you can opt to sleep at Heathrow Airport is using The Airside Bedrooms in Terminal 3 which, unfortunately, are temporarily closed since the COVID travel restrictions were put in place in the UK. However, you can check if they are now available using this link.

No1 Lounge Sleep Rooms:

After a brief hiatus, the No1 Lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 has reopened, offering unique amenities and comfort, including compact sleeping pods, ideal for travelers looking for a place to relax during daytime layovers. This lounge provides a combination of relaxation, entertainment, and convenience, all wrapped up in one stylish package.

Sleeping Pods
No1 Lounge offers private sleeping pods available for £20 per hour with a minimum booking of three hours, making them perfect for short stays. Please note that these pods operate from 5 AM to 10 PM and are not available for overnight stays.

Eligibility
Any traveler flying out of Heathrow can book a stay at the No1 Lounge, regardless of the terminal from which their flight departs. Located airside (post-security), guests must be checked into their flight to access the lounge. Along with the sleeping pod, your booking grants you entry to the No1 Lounge itself.

Amenities
A visit to No1 Lounge is more than just a seating area. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Fully Tended Bar: Enjoy a selection of beverages from the signature, fully-stocked No1 Lounges bar.
  • Cinema Room: For entertainment, the lounge features a cinema room where guests can catch their favorite sports, films, or TV shows.
  • Lifestyle Wine and Table: Engage in some pre-flight relaxation at the stylish wine table.
  • Guaranteed Delay Cover: For those who book directly with No1 Lounges, enjoy extended lounge access until your departure if your flight is delayed.
  • Wi-Fi and Charging Points: Stay connected with free and unlimited Wi-Fi, and keep your devices charged up.
  • Digital Newspapers and Magazines: Free digital newspapers and magazines in over 60 languages are available for download.
  • Flight Information Screens: Stay updated with the latest flight statuses.
  • Comfortable Seating and Runway View: Relax in comfortable seating with a view across the airfield.
  • Facilities: Access to toilets and meeting spaces is also included.

Access and Booking
Bookings can be made directly with No1 Lounges, ensuring that you have a guaranteed spot and benefit from the delay cover. For a seamless experience, consider booking ahead of your visit. You can book on No1 Lounge’s website here.

The Best Sleep Pods in LHR:

YotelAir is my favorite sleeping pod solution in Heathrow’s T4 and many celebrate it for its convenience, particularly for those with early flights from Terminal 4.

It offers the flexibility to book rooms by the hour, which is a unique feature that appeals to travelers with varying layover times. The cabins, although compact, are well-equipped with modern amenities, including comfortable SmartBeds that can transform into a couch, mood lighting, and essential electronics charging options.

Yotel also utilize smart tech such as SmartKey via the app to facilitate contactless check-in. Inside the room, you can use the touchscreen control to order breakfast.

The ensuite bathrooms, while small, are functional and include a rainforest shower. Issues such as ineffective ventilation in the bathroom were noted, potentially leading to a humid room environment.

For some, the rooms might feel a bit dark and could be challenging for those who experience claustrophobia. The provision of complimentary hot beverages and a selection of food for purchase add to the convenience.

The pricing is competitive, especially when booking in blocks of hours, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers. Guests appreciated the seamless check-in process, the overall ambiance, and the strategic location within the airport​.

Check rates here.

Terminal 5 Rest Alternative: Sofitel Hotel

British Airways permanently removed the EnergyPods Sleep Pods by RestWorks at Forty Wink First Lounge in Terminal 5. You can, however, opt for the Sofitel Hotel that is close to the Terminal 5 exit.

Sofitel London Heathrow is the only hotel with direct access to Heathrow Terminal 5 through a 5-minute covered walkway. Sofitel combines French luxury with modern comfort.

Illustration 1 The hotel is adjacent to the international business and shopping centre Terminal 5, with its many restaurants, bars, and stores. There are also 2 spas and a fitness center on-site.

The Grand Suite has a separate bedroom with a king size bed and an LCD TV. The living room has a sofa bed, work desk, and another TV.

Image of Classic room queen size bed that you can sleep in as a sleep pod alternative
Classic Room, Queen size Bed. Credit: accor.com

Guests have free access to the Executive Lounge with its complimentary continental breakfast and evening drinks.

Rates start at £114 per night for one person.

Illustration 1

Classic Room, Twin Beds; Credit: Twin Bed at Sofitel listed by Accor.com

Sleep Pods at Heathrow Airport Prices

When they were still available the British Airways sleeping pods cost £30 (about $40) for a 30-minute session, or £50 (about $66) for an hour, according to British Airways’ website. Later on before they phased them out, they were offering them for free to fliers on a first-come basis before their eventual closure.

YotelAir pod rates start at £30 and Aerotel pods start at £64

Sleep Pods at Heathrow Airport Amenities

Aerotel Amenities:

Aerotel’s Solo Plus Amenities:

  • Size: 10 sqm
  • Occupancy: 1
  • Bed: Single
  • En-suite bathroom with high-pressure shower, fresh towels, and amenities
  • Variety of pillow options
  • Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi
  • TV with multiple channels
  • Wake-up call service
  • Access to the Library Lounge

Aerotel’s Double Room Amenities:

  • Size: 14 sqm
  • Occupancy: 2
  • Beds: 1 double or 2 singles
  • En-suite bathroom with high-pressure shower, fresh towels, and amenities
  • Variety of pillow options
  • Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi
  • TV with multiple channels
  • Wake-up call service
  • Access to the Library Lounge

Aerotel’s Family Suite Amenities:

  • Size: 21 sqm
  • Occupancy: 4
  • Beds: 2 double
  • Private bathroom with shower, fresh towels, hairdryer, and toiletries
  • Pillow options
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Large-screen TV
  • Complimentary coffee and tea
  • Wake-up call service
  • Access to the Library Lounge

BA’s GoSleep Pod Amenities:

When they were still available, these were the GoSleep Pod amenities at Heathrow:

  1. Reclining seat that converts to a flat surface
  2. Privacy screen to block light
  3. Charging port with USB ports
  4. Sound-masking
  5. Wake up/alarm set up
  6. Free WiFi

YotelAir Amenities:

  • Premium bedding
  • Adjustable ambient lighting
  • Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi
  • Power sockets and USB charging
  • Smart TV with streaming capabilities
  • Soundproofing for a quiet rest
  • Climate control for personalized comfort
  • Private, en-suite bathroom with monsoon rain shower
  • Complimentary toiletries
  • Fold-down work desk
  • Luggage storage space
  • Mood lighting

13 Best Places to Sleep at Heathrow Airport: Alternatives to LHR Nap Pods

Terminal 2

  • Departure Side by Costa: Chairs without armrests and power outlets, suitable for resting but not specifically for sleeping.
  • Near Level 2 Arrivals and Level 5 Departures: Soft padded seats without armrests near gate 1, conducive to sleeping; note the non-working power outlets.
  • Quiet Corner Near Gate 24: A quiet, makeshift oasis for weary travelers, though availability can be unpredictable.
  • A Relatively Secluded Quiet Zone: Located on the way to gates B31-B49, avoid the escalator and instead use the lift for access.

Terminal 3

  • Quiet Area: Chaise lounge-style seating possibly without armrests, more comfortable for sleeping but with limited seats.
  • Above Departures Near Pret a Manger: Padded benches without armrests and plenty of power outlets for charging devices.
  • Hidden Sanctuary Near Meeting Point: Offers a series of padded benches for brief reprieves, not the quietest but less known.

Terminal 4

  • Arrivals Lounge Near Baggage Reclaim 10: Quiet space with interconnected seating without armrests, basic comfort with possible intermittent disruptions.
  • Landside 24-Hour Café: Possible to stay long if you purchase something, offering a place to rest in a more public setting.

Terminal 5

  • Waiting Area Near Gate A2: Tranquil ambiance suitable for quick naps, though comfortable seating is limited.
  • Floor Above Departures Near the G Area: Some armrest-free benches available for resting.
  • Departures, Upper floor: Look for armrest-free benches near the G area. For a peaceful experience, seek out the Quiet area between gate A12 and A13. Here, you can find over 40 lounge chairs and tables with electric sockets. These comfortable seating options allow passengers to relax and wait for their flights with ease.

Additional Options

  • Landside at the Central Bus Station: Connected to Terminals 1, 2, and 3 via an underground tunnel connector, offering a space for rest.

No Sleep pods Heathrow at Terminal 2

There are no sleep pods in Heathrow’s Terminal 2 and the only sleep options available are the 4 free sleeping spot which you can utilize the chairs to make a makeshift bed.

Some fliers have also found resting chairs inside several lounges like the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Plaza Premium Lounge, or United Club. Access to the United Club is complimentary for passengers holding a United Airlines ticket, offering a space for relaxation.

Below are some helpful links to the lounges to access;

What to Expect with Heathrow Airport Sleep:

Noise:

Heathrow Airport has a planned flight schedule to reduce noise nighttime noise pollution and maintain quality of sleep for layover passengers and for nearby resident. Flights do not depart between 10:50 PM and 6:00 AM, and arrivals are prohibited between 10:55 PM and 4:40 AM. Additionally, there is a voluntary restriction on flights landing before 4:30 AM.

While the noise level decreases at night due to fewer flights and announcements you may still hear sounds from other passengers, cleaning activities, and the general buzz of the airport. For a better sleep experience, using noise-canceling headphones or earplugs can help block out these background noises.

Rest Zones:

London Heathrow Airport offers specialized rest zones for relaxation in Terminal 5 and Terminal 3, with the Terminal 3 rest area located near Gates 24-25 and in Terminal 5 near Gate A11. These zones are equipped with amenities designed for comfort, including couches, reclining chairs, and chairs without armrests, alongside snack machines and more, to provide a serene spot for rest.

Temperatures:

Heathrow Airport is located has an oceanic climate with mild winters and cool summers. The average temperature in winter is around 5°C (41°F), while summer temperatures can reach up to 22°C (72°F). It’s recommended to check the weather forecast before traveling to ensure you pack appropriate clothing for your trip. However, it appears that temperatures in the terminals are not entirely controlled and passengers have reported the terminal waiting areas to be cold. Below are direct quotes that mention cold temperatures;

  1. “It’s cold and the guards are disgustingly nasty to People or British people are just nasty. I don’t know” .
  2. “It is also extremely cold so bring a blanket or some other way to keep warm” .
  3. “The arrivals in terminal 5 is huge and clean, but very cold. Costa coffee have some mice… But seems people like eat there, when people see the mices, just smile” .
  4. “After 11:30 PM we felt really unsafe, because there is no staff around. Downstairs it is a bit cold and louder during the night, but we felt safer, because there is staff during nighttime” .
  5. “Better than expected – Special area for overnight, amiable staff – Few plugs, cold” .
  6. “Cold, uncomfortable – but at least there’s coffee – 24 hour Caffe Nero” .
  7. “okay but I would avoid it in the future – they collect all passengers from all terminals and sent you by bus to Terminal 3. there is one gate you are allowed to stay. Bathrooms are close by. it does get cold, I recommend a blanket or warm clothes” .

Lighting:

While Heathrow upgraded its runway lights a few years ago, it didn’t make any improvements to install nighttime dimmable lights and many fliers in Terminal 2, 3, 5 mention of very bright lights. One flier noted ‘Bright lights everywhere on the arrival level(T5)’ and another recommended that anyone with overnight layover here bring”blanket or warm clothes and maybe a sleeping mask, its stays very bright all the time(sic).

In summary, expect very bright airport lighting in all terminals and if you plan on sleeping, having an eye mask will greatly help you. If you arrive early, some shops sell them within the airport.

Table of All Hotels and Sleep Pods In LHR Terminals

Heathrow Airport, including their location, accessibility, and unique features:

TerminalHotel NameConnection to TerminalType of AccommodationFeatures
2Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow T2Connected by walkway to T2Regular Hotel RoomFirst hotel in central area, accessible by foot to T2
3Aerotel T3 London HeathrowLocated inside T3Compact 10 sq meters cabins(sleep pod)Offers hourly rates, less luxury
3No.1 LoungeT3Compact sleep room(sleep pod)Pods available for £20 per hour with a minimum booking of three hours. Available from 5 am to 10 pm
4Premier Inn Terminal 4Connected by covered walkwayRegular Hotel RoomAffordable option
4Holiday Inn Express Terminal 4Connected by covered walkwayRegular Hotel Room
4Crowne Plaza Terminal 4Connected by covered walkwayRegular Hotel Room
4Hilton Terminal 4Connected by covered walkwayRegular Hotel RoomHigh-end option
5Sofitel HeathrowConnected to T5Regular Hotel RoomLuxury hotel, one of the most expensive at Heathrow
5Thistle Hotel Terminal 5 HeathrowPod link to T5Regular Hotel RoomClose proximity, automated pod link to terminal
5Forty Winks Nap PodsTerminal 5Sleep pod designed by RestworksAvailable on first-come basis as a complimentary service.
This table captures the primary accommodations available at each terminal, focusing on their connectivity to the terminals and the kind of experience they offer, from luxury to more budget-friendly options.

Additional details:

  • The majority of hotels at Heathrow are located along the northern perimeter road, with good access to pubs, fast food, and stores.
  • Hotels for Terminals 2 and 3 outside the central area typically require a vehicle for access but offer terminal shuttle buses and have access to free public buses.
  • Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 hotels provide more isolated accommodations but are conveniently connected to their respective terminals.

Reviews of Sleep Quality at Heathrow:

Pros:

  1. Cost Savings: One reviewer highlighted the benefit of saving money that would otherwise be spent on a hotel in London. They pointed out that while the seats in terminals 2 and 5 aren’t the most comfortable, being able to stay landside beats paying for expensive accommodation and commuting back to the airport for an early flight .
  2. Security Presence: Despite the discomfort and challenges, another positive aspect mentioned is the presence of security personnel. While their role is primarily for safety and sometimes involves waking sleeping passengers for checks, their presence also contributes to a sense of security for those spending the night at the airport .
  3. Access to Amenities: Several reviewers noted the availability of food options, albeit acknowledging the higher costs. Specifically, one review from Terminal 5 mentioned the availability of a Costa Coffee that remains open late into the night, providing a potential spot for more comfortable seating and access to food and beverages .
  4. Multiple Seating Options: Some passengers found spots with padded seating and places without armrests, suggesting that with some effort, one could find a somewhat comfortable spot to rest. This was particularly noted in Terminal 5, where some found areas with cushioned seats and less foot traffic during late hours .
  5. Clean Facilities: Cleanliness, especially of restrooms, is mentioned as a positive aspect by a few reviewers. This is important for passengers who need to freshen up during their stay, making their overnight experience slightly more bearable .
  6. Power Outlets and Charging Stations: Access to power outlets for charging electronic devices is a small yet significant convenience for travelers, especially in today’s connected world. This was appreciated by passengers who needed to keep their devices charged, either for entertainment or communication purposes during their stay .
  7. Signage and Information: Some passengers appreciated the clear signage and information available at the airport. This includes directions to different terminals, amenities, and sleeping areas, which can be particularly helpful for those navigating the airport for the first time or under the stress of unexpected overnight stays.
  8. Public Transportation Access: The accessibility of Heathrow to public transportation, including the Tube, buses, and Heathrow Express, is a considerable advantage for passengers. This connectivity allows for relatively easy and cost-effective travel to and from the airport, which is particularly beneficial for those looking to explore London during longer layovers or needing to secure accommodations quickly.
  9. Variety of Food and Shopping Options: Despite the higher costs, the variety of food outlets and shops open during the day provides passengers with multiple options to eat and shop. This diversity is a plus for passengers with long layovers, giving them the chance to explore different cuisines and last-minute shopping needs without leaving the airport premises.
  10. Safety Measures: The presence of security and police patrols throughout the night enhances the feeling of safety among passengers. While their checks might disrupt sleep, they are in place to ensure the safety and security of everyone at the airport, which is a crucial consideration for those deciding to spend the night.
  11. Luggage Carts: The availability of luggage carts is a minor yet helpful feature for passengers, especially those with heavy bags. It allows for easier mobility within the airport, reducing the physical strain of carrying luggage around, which can be particularly beneficial after a long flight or during overnight stays.
  12. Assistance for Special Needs: Heathrow offers assistance services for passengers with disabilities or special needs, ensuring they receive the necessary support during their stay. This includes mobility assistance and dedicated seating areas, which can make a significant difference for those concerned about accessibility and comfort.
  13. Family-Friendly Amenities: For travelers with children, Heathrow provides certain family-friendly amenities, including play areas and dedicated family rooms in some terminals. These facilities can offer a reprieve for parents and a space for children to relax and play, making the wait more bearable for families.
  14. Quiet Areas: Despite the challenges of finding a comfortable spot, certain terminals offer designated quiet areas where the lighting might be dimmed, and seating is slightly more conducive to rest. These areas, although not perfect, offer a relatively calmer environment away from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal areas.

Cons:

  1. Limited Comfort in Seating: Many travelers find the seating options at Heathrow to be less than ideal for resting or sleeping. The presence of armrests on most seats prevents lying down, making it difficult to get comfortable for a long rest. One reviewer specifically mentioned, “Not too comfortable, seats are connected” and lamented the lack of armrest-free options .
  2. Overcrowding and Noise: Terminal 4 was described as overcrowded with “weird smells,” indicating a less-than-pleasant environment for passengers hoping to relax. The crowded conditions can make it challenging to find a quiet spot to rest .
  3. Lack of Amenities for Overnight Stay: Passengers have reported challenges in finding open lounges and areas to rest, with some areas closing early or being under construction. This makes it tough for travelers looking for a spot to lay down or seeking peace .
  4. Security and Safety Concerns: While the presence of security is reassuring for some, others might find the environment less welcoming, especially when fewer people are around at night. Concerns about safety can add to the stress of staying overnight at an airport .
  5. Cleanliness Issues: Despite Heathrow’s efforts to maintain cleanliness, some travelers have noted areas that could use improvement, which can affect the comfort and overall experience of staying overnight .
  6. Limited Access to Food and Water: With most shops and restaurants closing overnight, accessing food and water can be a challenge for those not prepared, leading to discomfort during long waits .
  7. Temperature Control: Some areas of the airport can become cold, especially during the night, making it uncomfortable for passengers trying to rest. This was highlighted by a reviewer who faced issues with the temperature, finding it cold and less hospitable for an overnight stay .
  8. Challenges with Layovers and Transits: Navigating layovers and transits can be particularly challenging at Heathrow, with passengers often having to undergo security checks again, leading to additional stress and time consumed during their stopover. A reviewer expressed frustration over being forced through immigration into the landside area, which limited their access to more comfortable, secure areas designated for resting.
  9. Poor Signage and Guidance: Some travelers have found the signage and guidance at Heathrow to be lacking, making it difficult to navigate to rest areas, lounges, or even to find out where one can comfortably wait out a layover or delay. This lack of clear information can add to the frustration of an already tired traveler.
  10. Expensive Amenities: For those looking for more comfort, such as access to lounges or the option to book a room at the airport hotel, the cost can be prohibitively high. One reviewer noted the high expenses of trying to find a comfortable space, which can be a significant deterrent for budget-conscious travelers.
  11. Limited Facilities During Late Hours: The availability of basic amenities like food, water, and even restrooms can become scarce during late hours, as shops close and services wind down. This can leave overnight travelers with few options for sustenance and basic comfort.
  12. Unfriendly or Unhelpful Staff: While not universally reported, there are instances where travelers have encountered staff members who were either not helpful or outright unfriendly when seeking assistance or information about staying overnight at the airport. This can exacerbate the discomfort and uncertainty of spending the night in a public space like an airport.

8 Places to Avoid Sleeping at LHR:

Based on over 200 traveler reviews I’ve examined, the following are locations that fellow passengers suggest avoiding for sleeping at Heathrow due to unsuitable conditions:

  1. Arrivals in Terminal 5: Known for being uncomfortably cold, noisy near electric stairs, and the unsettling presence of mice. While charging stations are available, the noise significantly reduces restfulness.
  2. Landside seating areas in Terminals 2 and 3: These areas are secure and clean but have limited access to electrical outlets, requiring passengers to sit on the floor to charge devices, which can add to discomfort. The landside area of Terminal 3, in particular, was highlighted for its lack of comfortable sleeping options, encounters with rude staff, and being moved around by security.
  3. Departures area in Terminal 2: Offers some padded seating and plug-in options but is described as bright, loud, and often crowded, disrupting sleep.
  4. Terminal 3, Gate 1 and Gate 7: While offering soft padded seats without armrests and designated nap areas, the non-working power outlets, the disturbance by staff, and the security monitoring movement make these locations less reliable for uninterrupted sleep.
  5. Security areas in Terminal 5: Reported as cold, unwelcoming, and with instances of rude treatment towards passengers, indicating a less hospitable environment for rest.
  6. International Terminal for ongoing passengers and Terminal 4, Area A (Qatar Airlines): Overcrowded, messy, and challenging due to the cumbersome check-in and customs process, as well as a lack of comfortable seating areas.
  7. Secure areas of Terminal 2: Forced landside with early lounge closures, under construction lounges, and misleading signage leading to discomfort and confusion.
  8. Terminal 5, next to section G: False expectations of armrest-free seating and a sense of insecurity due to the area being darker and less populated, making it a location to possibly avoid for those looking to sleep.

Where to avoid sleep at Heathrow:

  1. Arrivals in Terminal 5: Known for being uncomfortably cold, noisy near electric stairs, and the unsettling presence of mice. While charging stations are available, the noise significantly reduces restfulness.
  2. Landside seating areas in Terminals 2 and 3: These areas are secure and clean but have limited access to electrical outlets, requiring passengers to sit on the floor to charge devices, which can add to discomfort. The landside area of Terminal 3, in particular, was highlighted for its lack of comfortable sleeping options, encounters with rude staff, and being moved around by security.
  3. Departures area in Terminal 2: Offers some padded seating and plug-in options but is described as bright, loud, and often crowded, disrupting sleep.
  4. Terminal 3, Gate 1 and Gate 7: While offering soft padded seats without armrests and designated nap areas, the non-working power outlets, the disturbance by staff, and the security monitoring movement make these locations less reliable for uninterrupted sleep.
  5. Security areas in Terminal 5: Reported as cold, unwelcoming, and with instances of rude treatment towards passengers, indicating a less hospitable environment for rest.
  6. International Terminal for ongoing passengers and Terminal 4, Area A (Qatar Airlines): Overcrowded, messy, and challenging due to the cumbersome check-in and customs process, as well as a lack of comfortable seating areas.
  7. Secure areas of Terminal 2: Forced landside with early lounge closures, under construction lounges, and misleading signage leading to discomfort and confusion.
  8. Terminal 5, next to section G: False expectations of armrest-free seating and a sense of insecurity due to the area being darker and less populated, making it a location to possibly avoid for those looking to sleep.

Heathrow Airport ZZZ Score:

Sleep Accommodations: 26.5/37.5 Points

  • Innovative Sleep Technology (Pods/Suites): 8/8 – YotelAir in Terminal 4 offers innovative sleeping pods.
  • In-Airport Hotel: 7/7 – Aerotel in Terminal 3 and other accessible hotels such as Sofitel and Hilton.
  • Hotels with Free Shuttle Service: 2.5/5 – There are over 10 hotels with free shuttles from Heathrow.
  • Designated Rest Zones: 5/5 – Heathrow provides designated rest zones with comfortable seating.
  • At Least One Identified Sleeping Spot in Each Terminal: 2/5 – While there are good spots, consistent availability in each terminal is not confirmed.
  • Ease of Access to Free Sleeping Spots: 2/5 – Accessibility to free spots is variable and not extensively detailed.
  • Access to Day-rooms in Airport Hotels or by Nearby Hotels: 0/5 – Day rooms are mentioned but not extensively detailed for all terminals.

Seating and Space Availability: 6/10 Points

  • Armrest-Free Chairs: 2/5 – Various seating options, including armrest-free chairs, are available but very limited
  • Availability of Seating Spaces: 4/5 – Heathrow provides a wide range of seating options across terminals.

Ambient Environment for Sleep: 9/15 Points

  • Lighting: 4/8 – Most areas are noted to have very ‘bright lighting’ at night
  • Sound Level at Night: 5/7 – Efforts to minimize noise levels for restful sleep are evident with limiting flights at night but fliers noted in their reviews that cleaning crew and general airport terminals have passengers noises.

Operating Hours and Accessibility: 10/15 Points

  • 24/7 Operation: 3/5 – Heathrow operates 24/7, accommodating overnight stays but some fliers have noted in their reviews that security have, in the past, asked passengers to move from on terminal to another as some of them close for the night.
  • Ease of Overnight Stay: 2/5 – Despite some restrictions, Heathrow generally accommodates overnight stays.
  • Wheelchair Access: 5/5 – Specific details on sleep spot accessibility for wheelchair users were not covered.

Amenities: 21.5/22.5 Points

  • Cleanliness: 3/3 – High standards of cleanliness in rest areas are maintained.
  • Security: 3/3 – Secure areas for luggage and overall traveler safety are provided.
  • Wi-Fi and Charging Stations: 3/3 – Comprehensive coverage and ample charging options are available. Find steps to connect on our Heathrow Guide under amenities.
  • Food and Beverage: 3/3 – A variety of dining options are accessible 24/7. Get details of all food and shopping options on Heathrow Guide here.
  • Shower Amenities: 2.5/3 – Despite lack of free public shower facilities, passengers can pay for these services at various lounges. Get details on Heathrow Guide here.
  • Pay-Per-Use Lounge: 2.5/2.5 – There are more than 5 lounges accessible with day pass such as Premium Plaza – 40 Pounds to access.Get details on Heathrow Guide here.
  • Luggage Storage Facilities: 2.5/2.5 – Heathrow provides luggage storage through a third party company. Find these locations here.
  • Access to Smoking Areas: 1.5/2.5 – There are a number of designated smoking areas outside the terminals.

Total Score:

  • Sleep Accommodations: 26.5/37.5
  • Seating and Space Availability: 6/10
  • Ambient Environment for Sleep: 9/15
  • Operating Hours and Accessibility: 10/15
  • Amenities: 21.5/22.5
  • Total: 73/100

Closing Remark:

Heathrow Airport’s ZZZ Sleep Score of 73 out of 100 showcases its commitment to accommodating the varied needs of travelers seeking rest. With innovative sleep technology such as YotelAir’s sleeping pods in Terminal 4 and the presence of in-airport hotels like Aerotel in Terminal 3, Heathrow sets a high standard for comfort and privacy. Despite these offerings, the airport’s overall sleep accommodations indicate room for improvement, particularly in ensuring consistent access to free sleeping spots across all terminals and the availability of day rooms.

The seating and space availability score of 6 out of 10 reflects a mixed situation. While Heathrow provides a broad range of seating options, the limited availability of armrest-free chairs suggests an area where the airport could enhance the sleeping experience.

Ambient conditions for sleep, scoring 9 out of 15, highlight a significant challenge posed by lighting and noise. Efforts to minimize noise are commendable, yet passenger reviews suggest that more can be done to offer darker, quieter sleeping areas.

Operational hours and accessibility earned Heathrow 10 out of 15 points. The airport’s 24/7 operation is a major advantage for travelers. However, the need for clearer policies to support the ease of overnight stays is evident, especially for those navigating terminal changes due to overnight closures.

Amenities stand out as Heathrow’s strong suit, with a near-perfect score of 21.5 out of 22.5. High standards of cleanliness, security, Wi-Fi, and charging stations, alongside a wide variety of dining options and luggage storage facilities, make Heathrow a leading choice for travelers. However, improvements in providing free public shower facilities and more accessible smoking areas could further enhance the overall experience.

In conclusion, Heathrow’s investment in traveler comfort through sleep technology and amenities positions it as a leading airport for those in transit. To reach its full potential, focusing on uniform access to comfortable sleeping options across all terminals and improving ambient conditions for sleep would significantly elevate the traveler experience. Enhancing these aspects could transform Heathrow into an exemplary haven for rest-seeking passengers worldwide.

FAQs

Q: Where are the sleeping pods located in Heathrow Airport?

A: The pods are located in the First Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Q: How much do the sleeping pods cost?

A: They cost £30 (about $40) for a 30-minute session, or £50 (about $66) for an hour-long session. You can also opt for cheap hotels that you can sleep in for 12 hours with free shuttles from and to Heathrow airport.

Q: What amenities do the pods have?

A: The pods are equipped with a pillow, duvet, reading light, and air conditioning.

Q: Are there any other locations where I can find sleeping pods at Heathrow Airport?

A: British Airways plans to add more pods to its lounges at Gatwick and JFK airports. Check out Yotel Air Sleep cubicles at Gatwick Airport here.

Q: Are the sleep cabins terminal 4 Heathrow good?

A: The YotelAir sleep cabins at Terminal 4 are a good option if you want to stay in a small cabin for up to 12 hours at a time. They require you to get a pass of at least 4 hours. Here is a full review by Victoria who spent a night on the sleep cabins/Yotel cabins at Terminal 4 when she had a layover on her way to Kuala Lumpur.

Q: What are some fun things to do at Heathrow airport during layover?

A: There are several things you can do during your layover depending on the amount of time you have until your next flight. We have a list of 18 things to do that you can choose from.

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.