Cleveland Airport’s Nap Pod Alternatives

Sleeping in Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) was my key research topic as I put together this guide to CLE Sleep but was very inspired to learn of the Airport’s history. Here is a gist before talking about sleep at CLE.

CLE was the first airport in the world to create an air traffic control tower and implement radio-equipped air traffic control systems. This innovation in the 1930s helped improve air traffic management and safety. Read CLE’s Wikipedia page here.

Do you think the airport is still known for innovative breakthroughs? Yes!

CLE was one of the first to install a runway with a grooved surface to enhance safety by improving traction and reducing hydroplaning during wet conditions.

Do you think CLE’s progressive and innovative approaches also include innovative compact sleep solutions for airport layover passengers? That’s our next question.

This Guide for Sleeping at CLE Airport provides details on the available sleep amenities, where to sleep at CLE Airport as nap pod alternatives and other suitable sleep options to consider including nearby hotels.

Does Hopkins CLE Airport Have Sleeping Pods?

Unfortunately, Cleveland Airport has not installed airport-operated or third-party operated compact sleep pod technologies such as nap capsule pods designed by GoSleep and RestWorks or compact mini-suites such as those designed and operated by Minute Suites in these 10 US Airports: JFK, DFW, ATL, BWI, DTW, SLC, PHL, CLT, IAH, and BNA.

Airports such as Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Nashville International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport have installed Minute Suites, providing travelers with a comfortable, private space to rest. Additionally, Miami International Airport is in the process of installing Wait n’ Rest sleep pods, further expanding this convenient service.

Benefits of Sleeping Pods

Sleeping pods offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Privacy: Provides a quiet and compact personal space away from the busy terminal.
  • Comfort: Equipped with comfortable daybed and often additional amenities such as charging ports and Wi-Fi.
  • Flexibility: Available for short-term rentals, allowing travelers to rest for a few hours between flights.
  • Security: Secure areas where travelers can relax without worrying about their belongings.

CLE’s Expansion Doesn’t Include Compact Sleep Technologies:

Despite these advantages, the current master plan for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, which aims to handle up to 13.5 million passengers annually (a significant increase from the current 4.2 million), does not include provisions for installing sleeping pods.

The ambitious $2 billion, 20-year master plan focuses on expanding and modernizing the airport’s infrastructure, including new concourses, improved traffic flow, and additional parking and rental car spaces. However, the plan does not specifically address the introduction of sleeping pods as part of its passenger service enhancements​.

Snapshot of CLE Airport Projects in Master Plan Does Not Include Installation of Sleep Pods in the Near Term
A snapshot of CLE Airport Projects in Master Plan Does Not Include Installation of Sleep Pods in the Near Term

You can check this CLE Airport’s Presentation(PDF) of the updated Master Plan.

In summary, while CLE does not have sleeping pods, the airport continues to evolve and may consider such amenities in future updates to meet growing passenger demands and enhance traveler comfort.

Where to Sleep in CLE Airport:

There are innovative DIY sleep solutions that make great alternatives to CLE’s lacking nap pods and missing quiet rest areas. Though not equipped as dedicated rest areas, travelers can still find suitable places to sleep for free by planning ahead and bringing some overnight airport sleep gear, such as a travel blanket, pillow, or noise-canceling headphones. Below are some of the best spots within CLE Airport where you can find a relatively comfortable place to rest during your layover or unexpected overnight stay.

Terminal C

  • Pros: Comfortable seating, 24-hour vending machines, quiet areas, safe, 24-hour Dunkin’.
  • Cons: Limited quiet areas with comfortable benches.
  • Details: Terminal C, particularly near gates C1 to C5, is a favorable spot for overnight stays, especially during flight cancellations. The area remains relatively quiet, with only a few travelers opting to stay overnight. Police officers are present and provide helpful advice. While the prayer room (located near gate C2) is suggested for sleeping, some travelers may prefer more populated areas. Leather booths in the food court by Terminal C offer reasonable comfort, though the area is well-lit with music playing all night. This space starts to get busier around 5 AM when the food court opens.

General Waiting Areas

  • Pros: Safety and comfort, undisturbed space, kind and helpful security.
  • Cons: Slightly eerie at night due to emptiness.
  • Details: General waiting areas outside the security zone, particularly near the main exit, are available for sleeping. These areas are safe and relatively undisturbed overnight, with cleaning and maintenance ongoing as noted on the reviews here. Security personnel are kind and attentive, ensuring the safety and comfort of overnight travelers. The space begins to fill up with passengers in the early morning hours. This area is easily accessible and provides ample space for those waiting for connecting transportation.

Food Court Booths

  • Pros: Comfortable leather booths, not bothered by staff.
  • Cons: Brightly lit, music playing all night, high traffic.
  • Details: The food court near Terminal C, right after the security checkpoint, features leather booths that provide a decent sleeping option. Despite the continuous music and bright lighting, travelers have found this area suitable for resting. The food court’s activity increases significantly starting at 5 AM, making it less ideal for extended sleep past that time. This location is near gate C4, providing easy access to amenities.

In conclusion, Terminal C and its surrounding areas, including the food court, are the best options for sleeping at Cleveland Airport. Travelers can expect a safe environment with helpful airport staff, though the lighting and noise levels may vary.

Can I Stay/Sleep Overnight at CLE During a Layover?

Yes, you can stay and sleep overnight at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) during a layover. Here’s what you need to know:

Airport Hours

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means you can stay at the airport overnight without worrying about it closing. However, keep in mind that while the airport itself remains open, some services and amenities might have specific operating hours.

Security Checkpoints

Security checkpoints at CLE do close overnight. They typically close around 10:00 PM and reopen around 4:00 AM. This means that if you arrive after the checkpoints have closed, you will need to stay in the landside (pre-security) area until they reopen.

  • Closing Time: Around 10:00 PM
  • Reopening Time: Approximately 4:00 AM

Accessing Airside

If your layover extends into the overnight hours when the security checkpoints are closed, you will have to remain in the landside area until they reopen. Once the checkpoints reopen, you can proceed to the airside (post-security) area.

Key Points for Staying Overnight

  1. Overnight Stay: Be prepared to stay in the landside areas, such as the main terminal areas and waiting lounges, until the security checkpoints reopen at 4:00 AM.
  2. Early Morning Flights: If you have an early morning flight, it’s advisable to arrive at the airport by 4:00 AM or slightly earlier to ensure you have enough time to pass through security.
  3. Amenities and Services: While the airport is open 24/7, some amenities like restaurants, shops, and lounges may close during the night. Check the operating hours of specific services you may need.
  4. Safety and Security: The airport maintains a safe environment with continuous security presence, even when the TSA checkpoints are closed. You can feel secure staying overnight in the designated public areas.
  5. Preparation: Bring necessary items such as blankets, pillows, and snacks, especially if you plan to stay overnight, as some services may not be available during late hours.

By understanding these details, you can better plan your overnight stay at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport during your layover, ensuring a smoother and more comfortable experience.

Review of Sleep at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)

Pros

  1. 24-Hour Operation: The airport remains open 24 hours a day, providing a safe and secure environment for overnight stays.
  2. Safe and Helpful Security: Airport security personnel are noted for their helpfulness and attentiveness, ensuring the safety and comfort of travelers staying overnight.
  3. Comfortable Seating: Areas like Terminal C offer comfortable seating and leather booths in the food court, suitable for resting.
  4. Quiet Areas: There are relatively quiet areas available, especially in Terminal C, which are conducive to sleeping.
  5. 24-Hour Amenities: Certain amenities like vending machines and Dunkin’ are available 24 hours, ensuring access to food and drinks throughout the night.

Cons

  1. Limited Quiet Areas with Comfortable Benches: There are not many quiet areas with comfortable benches, making it challenging to find an ideal sleeping spot.
  2. Bright Lighting and Music: Some areas, particularly the food court near Terminal C, are brightly lit and have music playing throughout the night, which can disrupt sleep.
  3. Activity Starts Early: High-traffic areas like the food court start getting busy around 5 AM, reducing the window for undisturbed sleep.
  4. No Sleeping Pods: Unlike some other major airports, CLE does not have sleeping pods, which would provide additional privacy and comfort for travelers looking to rest.
  5. Security Checkpoints Close Overnight: TSA security checkpoints close around 10:00 PM and reopen at approximately 4:00 AM, meaning travelers cannot access the airside areas during these hours​.

Key takeaways from reviews:

While Cleveland Hopkins International Airport offers some favorable conditions for sleeping, such as 24-hour operation, safe and helpful security, and some comfortable seating options, it also has several drawbacks.

These include limited quiet areas, disruptive lighting and noise, early morning activity, the lack of sleeping pods, and the closure of security checkpoints overnight. Travelers should plan accordingly and bring necessary items to make their overnight stay more comfortable.

Is There a Hotel Inside CLE Airport?

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) does not have a traditional hotel within its grounds or an in-terminal hotel for passengers. Additionally, the airport lacks sleep pods, such as Minute Suites, which are available at other major airports.

Travelers looking for accommodation will need to stay at nearby hotels, many of which offer free shuttle services to and from the airport. For those with long layovers or overnight stays, options like the Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Airport or the Hampton Inn North Olmsted Cleveland Airport provide convenient and comfortable alternatives just a short drive away from the terminal.

8 Alternatives to CLE Nap Pods: Cleveland Airport Hotels with Shuttle:

For layover or early-departing passengers at Cleveland Airport (CLE) looking for convenient and comfortable accommodation, several nearby hotels offer excellent alternatives to paid sleep pods. These hotels provide free shuttle services, making it easy to seamlessly transfer between the terminals and your hotel. Here are the top four closest hotels to CLE:

Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Airport

  • Distance from Airport: 1.3 miles
  • Amenities: Business center, meeting rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, fitness center, on-site restaurant, and bar.
  • Review Highlights: Highly praised for its proximity to the airport, clean and comfortable rooms, and friendly staff. Guests appreciate the quick Uber ride to the airport for early or late flights, as well as the reliable shuttle service.
  • Booking Link: Check Rates

The Orbit Hotel

  • Distance from Airport: 0.9 miles
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, fitness center, free parking, complimentary breakfast.
  • Review Highlights: Guests commend the hotel’s convenient location near the airport, making it perfect for short stays. The staff is noted for their helpfulness, and the hotel’s proximity to the airport is ideal for travelers with tight schedules.
  • Booking Link: Check Rates

Best Western Airport Inn & Suites Cleveland

  • Distance from Airport: 2.0 miles
  • Amenities: Free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, indoor pool, fitness center, free parking, and airport shuttle.
  • Review Highlights: Guests appreciate the friendly staff and the close proximity to the airport, which is convenient for early flights. The hotel offers good breakfast options and clean, comfortable rooms.
  • Booking Link: Check Rates

Hampton Inn North Olmsted Cleveland Airport

  • Distance from Airport: 2.3 miles
  • Amenities: Free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, fitness center, business center, free parking, and airport shuttle.
  • Review Highlights: The hotel is highly rated for its great location and amenities. Guests highlight the excellent breakfast, comfortable rooms, and the convenience of the free shuttle service to and from the airport.
  • Booking Link: Check Rates

Cheapest Hotels Closest to CLE Airport

For budget-conscious travelers needing accommodation near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE), here are the four most affordable options that offer convenience and essential amenities.

Travelodge by Wyndham Cleveland Airport

  • Price: $53 per night
  • Distance from Airport: 3.2 miles
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, breakfast included, airport shuttle.
  • Review Highlights: Guests appreciate its proximity to the airport and bus station. It’s noted for its value and convenience, making it a suitable option for short stays.
  • Booking Link: Check Rates

Red Roof Inn Cleveland Airport – Middleburg Heights

  • Price: $63 per night
  • Distance from Airport: 3.0 miles
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, pet-friendly, flat-screen TVs.
  • Review Highlights: Known for friendly staff and good customer service. The hotel offers basic amenities and clean rooms, making it a great budget option close to the airport.
  • Booking Link: Check Rates

Motel 6 North Olmsted, OH – Cleveland

  • Price: $60 per night
  • Distance from Airport: 2.4 miles
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, pet-friendly, cable TV.
  • Review Highlights: Offers basic accommodations with essential amenities. Guests note its affordability and convenient location near the airport.
  • Booking Link: Check Rates

Best Western Airport Inn & Suites Cleveland

  • Price: $85 per night
  • Distance from Airport: 2.0 miles
  • Amenities: Free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, indoor pool, fitness center, airport shuttle.
  • Review Highlights: Highly rated for its friendly staff and close proximity to the airport. The hotel offers good breakfast options and clean, comfortable rooms, making it a great value.
  • Booking Link: Check Rates

Final Word on CLE Airport Sleep:

Despite the lack of sleep pods at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE), travelers have several options for resting. Fliers can choose to sleep in-terminal, utilizing quiet areas and comfortable seating, or opt for nearby hotels offering convenient shuttle services to the airport. Each option provides varying levels of comfort and amenities, ensuring that passengers can find suitable accommodations for overnight stays or long layovers.

For in-airport sleep, the best spots include Terminal C, where travelers can find comfortable seating and relatively quiet areas, particularly near gates C1 to C5 and the food court area.

The general waiting areas outside the security zone also offer ample space and safety, with kind and attentive security personnel ensuring a secure environment. While these areas might have some limitations like bright lighting and music, they provide a viable option for passengers needing to rest within the terminal.

Travelers seeking nearby hotel accommodations with free shuttle services have several excellent options. The Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Airport offers a business center and clean, comfortable rooms. The Hampton Inn North Olmsted Cleveland Airport is known for its excellent breakfast and convenient shuttle service. Other notable hotels include the Best Western Airport Inn & Suites Cleveland and Hampton Inn & Suites Cleveland-Airport/Middleburg Heights, both offering great amenities and reliable shuttles. These hotels ensure a comfortable stay with easy access to the airport, making them ideal for travelers needing rest before or after a flight.

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.