How to sleep in a small car

Sleeping inside a car is not something people want to do every day which means that most people don’t know how to do it anyway. Sleeping in a large family SUV, a minivan, or a large estate is not really an issue as you can just lower don’t the second/third or of seats and get relatively comfortable, even without a mattress.

However, doing so in a compact car is a lot tricker as it requires you to prepare in advance if you want to get the most out of it. You can either lower don’t the second row of seats, but if you can’t do that, you will have to sleep in the front. So, how to sleep in a small car?

First of all, you need to check what are your options. This means maximizing the available space with either a perfectly sized mattress or by lowering the seats down. The key here is clever space management, so be sure to investigate various options such as mattresses, special cushions, or even frames.

If you want to know more about how to get comfortable while sleeping in a small car, be sure to read this article and find out.

Sleeping inside a small car with a mattress

If you are able to lower the 2nd row of seats down, it’s time to measure the available space and go ahead and buy yourself an adequately sized mattress. Before you actually buy it, try need to make sure that the mattress will fully fit, no matter if the rear trunk/hatch doors are completely opened or not.

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After you get yourself a good mattress, now it’s time to position it well enough so the mattress can lay completely flat. This sometimes means supporting the mattress from underneath in order to level out the mattress. When you do manage to make it flat, it’s time to test it one final time.

With the main objective done, now you have to increase the overall levels of comfort and privacy by covering the windows with a piece of fabric. You can either open the window a little bit or fully if you can shade it completely.

It can get incredibly hot inside a car during the summer which also attracts lots of bugs. So be sure to counter both of these with some clever brainstorming.

Sleeping inside a small car on the seats

Some people simply just want to get a few hours of sleep and continue whatever they were doing which means that they simply can’t be bothered with buying a mattress. As such, these types of people are usually completely fine with just sitting on the seat, pushing it as far back as possible, and reclining it until it reaches an optimal sleeping position.

However, if you own a car with spacious rear seats, it may be more reasonable to use them as a place to sleep. If two people want to sleep inside a car, then it only makes sense to do so in the front two seats. Sleeping in the front without moving the seats back is not comfortable at all.

If this is something you do relatively often, you can always invest in more comfortable seat covers, pillows, or special in-car warmers or coolers. Either way, you also need to make sure you always get enough air while sleeping inside the car so keep the windows opened at least a little bit.

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What must I do if I want to sleep inside a car?

The first and most obvious thing you need to do if you want to sleep inside a car is to prepare yourself in advance. This means going through the entire process to find the best places and methods of sleeping in a car of any kind.

Also, if you don’t want to sleep inside a car, but you have to, don’t drive if you are really tired as that can cause deadly accidents. Bring enough food and water that can easily support you throughout the night. Also be sure to pack in all the necessary gadgets such as a flashlight, power banks, replacement clothes, jackets, pillows, blankets, and so on.

You must not park in a place where it is illegal to sleep inside a car. You also need to find a quiet area away from traffic, but somewhere where you could get robbed. Do your homework and prepare yourself in advance and you should be just fine.

FAQ Section

Is it worth it to sleep inside a small car?

It depends on the type of person which means that some people have absolutely no trouble with sleeping inside a car of any sort while others would likely experience issues in even the largest and most comfortable cars in existence. Therefore, the sole appeal behind sleeping in a car falls down on the person wanting to do it.

Whatever you do, and whoever you are, if you don’t prepare well enough, it won’t be worth it, even if you thought you’d love it.

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Which cars are best to sleep inside?

If you want a car that is comfortable enough to sleep in, you should go for a more luxurious full-size sedan or SUV. You should also focus your attention on minivans and estate cars as these four are by far the most comfortable cars to sleep in.

You should pay attention to how quiet the car is, especially if you have trouble sleeping. Either way, it makes more sense to just go to a hotel as opposed to buying an expensive car only because of its superior sleeping capabilities.

Is it legal to sleep inside a car?

Federal law does allow you to sleep inside a car, but not if intoxicated or while driving. However, some states and cities do prevent people from sleeping inside cars in order to protect themselves and the rest of the community. As such, be sure to check if you are able to sleep in the state you reside in and if the city allows it as well.

Some shopping center parking lots allow overnight parking such as Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Cracker Barrel, and Camping World.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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