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Sleepbox: Is This the Future of Airport Napping?

After seeing a post we recently published on a ridiculously tiny airplane seat design, one of our Twitter followers pointed out a different scaled down design, this one for the weary traveler: the Sleepbox.

Designed by Arch Group, a Russian architect firm, the Sleepbox takes the Japanese capsule hotel concept—which, quite frankly, gives me claustrophobic panic attacks just thinking about—mixes in some serious Fifth Element–reminiscent design, and gives you a (tiny) space that could actually be tolerable (and affordable) in a pinch, though definitely for short stays only.

The automated mini units would be accessible via key cards purchased from a kiosk. Inside is a twin-size mattress (some even have a bunk with a second mattress on top), flat-panel TV, fold-down table, outlets, under-bed luggage storage, and Wi-Fi. A thin sheet covers the mattress and is automatically “rotated” upon check-out. (Think: the paper covering an examination table at a doctor’s office.)

As of now, the plan is to install them throughout airport lobbies for tired travelers wanting to rest their eyes or, more likely, in the event of a flight cancellation. The designers suggest that people be able to book anywhere from 15 minutes to a full night's stay. (The former, however, does muster up cringe-worthy scenarios, which may be part of why this has not yet taken off.)

If stranded overnight at an airport, would I hit one of these bad boys up for the chance at getting an okay night’s sleep, versus sleeping on a chair in the lobby? You bet I would. Would you?

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Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor and resident tech guru at Travel + Leisure.

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