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Public Sleeping Pods That Showcase Modern Design

The idea of sleeping in public might seem strange, but as our lives get busier and busier, sleeping pods (also called nap pods) are becoming a way of life. There’s nothing like resting and rejuvenating in the middle of an eventful day. In fact, napping can boost productivity, which is why so many offices are installing nap pods and incorporating them into the design of the workplace. Yet for some, it’s not just about napping. It’s about finding an affordable, convenient place to sleep for the night. Whether the sleeping pods are in the student library at a local university or at pod hotels that cater to travelers, you won’t believe the modern design of these cozy cocoons…

The Convenience of Sleeping Pods

Why would you stay in a pod when you can just get a hotel room? For one thing, pods are typically more affordable since they offer far less space. Plus, there is often the option of just renting the pod for a nap, or using the pod “grounds/common area” for showering. You can pay for these services individually, again saving money. Yet some pods aren’t actual rooms. They’re stations for resting, as shown below. [from Miami New Times]

MetroNaps sleeping pods

MetroNaps manufactures the EnergyPod, which is increasingly being installed in college libraries (and is typically free for students to use, as the university pays for the pod). With features such as reclined seating and an adjustable visor for privacy, it’s no wonder this sleeping station is gaining popularity! [photo from The University of Sydney]

Napping pod at the University of Sydney

Most of the sleeping pods in today’s post are NOT free, appearing in public spaces where people are often waiting. Waiting for the next train. Waiting for the next flight. Waiting for a chance to take a nap! Or perhaps an unexpected layover throws off a traveler’s schedule. What’s a tired, cranky passenger to do? Find a quiet haven in the middle of the airport, of course!

Public sleeping pods

Above and below, we see Arch Group’s SLEEPBOX, which is designed for use in spaces such as airports, railroad stations, shopping centers and exhibition centers. SLEEPBOX can be rented for as little as 30 minutes of time. Perfect for situations such as airport layovers, SLEEPBOX offers comfort and convenience.

The convenience of SLEEPBOX sleeping pods

LED lamps with changing light colors provide mood lighting. This perk is accompanied by others, such as a built-in media block with a television and touch-screen monitor, a Wi-Fi router, an alarm, a safe deposit box and more. If you’re stuck at an airport or other public space and just need to get away from it all while you wait, SLEEPBOX is the solution!

A SLEEPBOX sanctuary

Next we focus on two growing pod trends: pod hotels and pods in airports.

Sleeping Pod Hotels

Pod hotels provide a place to crash on a budget. Sleeping quarters range from minimalist capsule-style pods to smaller-than-average rooms that maintain the look and feel of a typical hotel room.

Nine Hours Sleeping Pods

Below we see pods from the 9h (Nine Hours) hotel in Kyoto, Japan. After paying, guests receive a locker key and pod number. Belongings can be stashed in the locker, and guests will also find towels, lounge wear and a toothbrush inside. Each pod features a “Sleep Ambient Control System” to help achieve a good night’s sleep!

Sleeping pods at Kyoto’s Nine Hours pod hotel

Toiletries and hairdryers are provided in the male and female shower areas. The bathroom facilities sure do look pristine in the photo below:

Shared bathroom facilities at Nine Hours in Kyoto

Nine Hours offers guests an overnight stay experience, but guests can also pay to solely to nap or shower. Convenient, beautifully designed and carefully maintained, pod hotels are becoming an increasingly popular source for life’s essentials: sleep and shelter!

9h in Kyoto, Japan

Tubo Hotel

Next we get a glimpse of Tepoztlan, Mexico’s Tubo Hotel, which features a series of rooms located in recycled drainage pipes…

Sleeping pods in Mexico’s Tubo Hotel

In each cylindrical sleeping space, you will find a queen-sized bed and other comforts (such as free Wi-Fi). You can even go for a swim at the pool, which is located on the grounds! Definitely worth checking out for the experience alone. Learn more by watching this video.

Sleeping pods stacked on top of each other at Tubo Hotel in Tepoztlan, Mexico

Airport Sleeping Pods

Many pod hotels are located in airports. After all, the airport is filled with people in transit, waiting for the time to pass while dealing with unexpected surprises such as delays and layovers.

Nine Hours

Nine Hours also offers a capsule hotel at the Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture. In fact, the protocol for Japan’s Nine Hours Narita Airport is the same as Nine Hours in Kyoto (featured above). Guests can stay overnight, or they can pay to nap and/or shower. Convenience is the name of the game.

Nine Hours at the Narita Airport

Here we see the sleeping pods, illuminated and sleek. Numbers label each capsule, and guests can customize their sleeping experience to maximize comfort:

Nine Hours sleeping pods at the Narita Airport

Pod life is anything but luxurious, yet somehow Nine Hours makes the experience gleaming and fabulous, thanks to common areas such as sparkling showers equipped with shampoo and conditioner:

Nine Hours shower facilities


Yotel prides itself on “clever hotels designed around you.” Offering multiple airport locations, as well as one New York location (in midtown Manhattan), Yotel takes the pod hotel concept to a luxury level.  In fact, Yotel is committed to “taking the essential elements of luxury hotels in smaller, smart spaces.” Below we see Yotel London Heathrow Airport, located inside Heathrow Terminal 4:

Yotel offers sleeping and showering areas

Three room sizes are available, from the standard cabin shown above to the premium (2-sleeper) and premium bunk (sleeps 4) cabins shown below:

Yotel premium cabin

Special features include a flat screen TV and free Wi-Fi, as well as an en-suite bathroom with a monsoon shower and a toiletries. The look is clean-lined and modern, which creates an urban vibe that’s somehow serene at the same time.

Yotel bunks

Each room also includes a workstation. After all, productivity is key when it comes to capsule hotels. When you’re traveling, you may as well get something done while you wait!

Yotel in-room work area

Would you stay at a pod hotel, or do you prefer the guest suite experience? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below…

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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