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How To Sleep Comfortably In The Backseat Of A Car: 13 Tips

Last Updated on: July 9, 2024

Sleeping in a car is a nightmare. From the limited space to poor ventilation, it can be an uncomfortable experience!


Such is not always the case, especially if you come prepared. With the right knowledge and tools, you can have a good sleep in your car’s back seat. 

In this guide, we’ll let you know how to sleep comfortably in the backseat of your car. Whether you are trying to save money or you want to try car camping, read on and learn from the tips we’ll share. 

Sleep Comfortably in the Backseat With These Tips and Tricks 

1. Find A Good Parking Spot 

The right parking space is one of the most important if you want to fall asleep easily in the backseat. 

Find a quiet place, so there will be minimal distractions when you are in slumber. 

It should be away from the early morning sun so that it won’t be too hot during the day. Also, avoid those with risks of falling objects, such as tree branches. 

If possible, research beforehand since there are lots of places that may not allow overnight parking. Also, ask about the fees, so you won’t be surprised that there is a need to pay the morning after. 

2. Invest In A Sleeping Mattress 

Instantly convert the backseat into a make-shift bedroom with a car mattress. Find one that is designed to fit in the backseat and maximize the available space. An air mattress is more comfortable than sleeping pads since it is thicker while also being more portable and space-efficient. 

FBSPORT Bed Car Mattress Camping Mattress for Car Sleeping Bed Travel Inflatable Mattress Air Bed for Car Universal SUV Extended Air Couch with Two Air Pillows

FBSPORT Sleeping Mattress is one of the top products that should be on your list. It even comes with two inflatable travel pillows. Plus, this air mattress has an inflator and deflator pump for easy set-up and takedown. Even in a moving car, the passengers at the back can sleep soundly with this mattress. 


3. Bring A Neck Pillow 

If a backseat mattress or sleeping pad is too bulky for you, then you should at least bring a neck pillow. The right design will provide a contoured shape, which will help prevent neck pain. 

BCOZZY Neck Pillow for Travel Provides Double Support to The Head, Neck, and Chin in Any Sleeping Position on Flights, Car, and at Home, Comfortable Airplane Travel Pillow, Large, Navy

The options abound, but if there is one that we can recommend, it would be BCOZZY Neck Pillow. It has dual support for the head, chin, and neck. You can adjust it in three positions, depending on what you are most comfortable with. Plus, the surface is made of microfleece on one side and suede on the other, which will not scratch your face.  


4. Cover The Car Windows 

Whether it is day or night, covering the car window is a must. It is not only for your safety and privacy but also for comfort. Especially during a hot day, a simple cover will help deflect the heat of the sun. This will help in controlling the temperature inside the car. 

If you do not have a sunshade for your car windows, then consider using a towel or cloth instead. Regardless, the most important thing is that it is thick enough, which will help block the sun effectively. 

5. Put A Sleep Mask On 

Blocking distractions is one of the most important when it comes to how to sleep comfortably in the backseat of a car. Even with a window shade on, light can still get inside the car, so it is a good idea to wear a sleep mask as well. 

MZOO Sleep Eye Mask for Men Women, 3D Contoured Cup Sleeping Mask & Blindfold, Concave Molded Night Sleep Mask, Block Out Light, Soft Comfort Eye Shade Cover for Travel Yoga Nap, Black

Among others, one of the top products that should be on your radar is the MZOO Sleep Eye Mask. It is made of low-rebound memory foam for utmost comfort. Plus, it has a unique heat-bonded technology, which contributes to its durability.  


6. Block Out Noise 

Aside from light, noise is one more thing that you should block to fall asleep comfortably. 

Especially if you get annoyed even with the slightest sounds, you need to wear earplugs. They are cheap but can do a lot in improving the quality of your sleep. 

Magicteam Sound Machines White Noise Machine with 20 Non Looping Natural Soothing Sounds and Memory Function 32 Levels of Volume Powered by AC or USB and Sleep Sound Timer Therapy for Baby Kids Adults

A portable noise machine is also a good investment. Magicteam White Noise Machine is one product that should be on your radar. It has adaptive sound technologies, 32-volume level, and 20 non-looping natural sounds for a soothing rest. 


7. Turn Off the Engine and Climate Control 

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning when sleeping in your car by turning off the engine, as well as the climate control systems. 

Having the air-conditioning or heater on may seem comfortable, but it can do more harm than good. 

More common in a stationary than a moving car, carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly. Aside from turning off the car engine, proper ventilation is a must. You can do so by slightly opening the car windows while you sleep in the backseat. 

8. Take Sleeping Supplements 

Whether it is in a parked or moving car, sleeping in the backseat can be a struggle. Make things easier by taking a sleeping supplement. 

Natural supplements are the best, especially those that contain melatonin. Peppermint and chamomile are also great ingredients as they help you relax.  

Luna | #1 Bedtime Supplement | Naturally Sourced Ingredients for Easier Bedtime | 60 Non-Habit Forming Vegan Capsules | Herbal Supplement, Valerian Root, Chamomile Non-GMO (Melatonin Free)

Luna Gentle Sleep Supplement is our top pick. It is non-habit forming, so no need to worry about its potential long-term effects on your sleeping patterns. It uses natural, safe, and science-backed ingredients, so you can be confident of its effectiveness without side effects.  


9. Stay Warm 

If it is cold outside, then you need to find a way to stay warm so you can fall asleep in the backseat comfortably. 

It is a good idea to bring a blanket with you. If you do not have a blanket, a beach or bath towel can do the trick, if it can cover your body. 

Aside from a blanket or towel, consider wearing a jacket and pants as well while you sleep. This way, you can stay warm and cozy during cold weather. If you opt for a blanket, choose a weighted blanket. The added weight can do a lot to improve your sleep. 

10. Make Space 

If you want to fall asleep and relax comfortably in the backseat of your car, then you must make space. The more crowded it is, the more uncomfortable it will be. On the other hand, if it has generous space for you to move around, you will be more comfortable. This is especially true if the backseats are bare.  

To create more space, push the driver’s seat forward. Get rid of the unnecessary stuff in your car, including bags or anything else with you. Put them in the trunk or front seat instead. 

11. Freshen Up Before You Sleep 

Even if you are tired from a long drive, take the time to freshen up before you hit the sack. This will make you more relaxed. 

It is good to have a set of extra clothes, so you can change into clean ones. If possible, you should also wash your face and brush your teeth. Do not use sleeping in the car as an excuse to forget about your hygiene. 

Looking for a place where you can have a shower before sleeping? Scout the area and look for gyms or campgrounds with bathrooms. 

If there is none, then you can at least wash your face in the nearest restaurant or even with bottled water. 

12. Assume the Right Position 

The right sleeping position will depend on how you are sleeping. Will you do it while you are sitting in the backseat? If that is the case, you can lean on the window and extend your legs in the front. The front seat, meanwhile, should be pushed all the way in to create more space at the back. 

On the other hand, if you are sleeping lying down in the backseat, assume the same position as you would in bed. The challenge, however, is that you are in a cramped position. Use a travel pillow to cradle your head instead of having your arm up your head. 

13. Stay Safe 

Those who are concerned about how to sleep comfortably in the backseat of a car should also take note of their safety. 

Falling asleep is hard when you are anxious. So, prepare accordingly and you have one less thing to worry about. 

To stay safe and sound while you sleep, make sure to keep the car keys in a safe spot. Your mobile phone, wallet, and other valuables should also be in a secure location. Plus, as earlier mentioned, you should pick the right parking spot for your peace of mind. Do not forget to lock the doors as well. Meanwhile, if the car is moving, wearing a seat belt is a must. 

Reasons To Sleep In The Backseat Of Your Car 

The idea of sleeping in a backseat may sound silly, or even stupid to some people. Why not just look for a cheap hotel? Well, individual circumstances vary. Below are some of the most common reasons why you might want to try converting your backseat into your sleeping space.

1. Save Money 

If you are on a budget, then sleeping in your car is a sound idea. No need to pay for a campground, motel, or any other accommodation. Especially if you just need a place to crash for the night and immediately resume driving after a few hours, it may not make sense to spend if you can sleep in the backseat instead. 

2. No Accommodations Available 

Are you in the middle of nowhere with no lodging options? Or maybe, have you planned a last-minute trip and hotels in the area are fully booked? Whatever the reason, you can sleep in your car comfortably when you are prepared and knowledgeable of what to do. 

3. Have A Break From A Long Trip 

Avoid drowsy driving by resting or sleeping in the backseat. Prevent falling asleep on the steering wheel. Instead, pull over and go to the backseat to get a decent sleep. This will help you recharge and rejuvenate, ready for another long drive ahead.   

4. Experience New Things 

Bring out the adventurous spirit in you and try new things, including sleeping in the back seat. Go on a road trip, and instead of splurging your money on hotels, try sleeping in your car instead. Do it with your partner or friends and it will be a more meaningful experience. 

Pro Auto Thought: Sleeping in your car is great if you’re always on the road! However, having a breakdown while traveling is a big issue especially if your car is automatic. Learn some tips here — Can You Push Start An Automatic.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Do you need to open the window when sleeping in the backseat? 

Yes, it is best to open the window when you are sleeping in the car. This will make it easier to breathe, especially when you are sleeping with a companion. It also improves ventilation, making your sleep more comfortable. You do not need to fully open the window. A slight opening would do, especially if you are concerned about your safety. 

Is it safe to sleep in the backseat of a car overnight? 

Yes, it is safe to sleep overnight in your car’s backseat. This will depend on certain conditions, however. For instance, you must park in a safe spot. Make sure that the engine is turned off as well. Do not turn on the A/C while you sleep to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning


Sleeping in the back seat can be a headache and uncomfortable if you do not know how to do it right! Instead of doing so in the front seat, the back seat is the best place.

For a more relaxing experience, consider the tips mentioned above, such as parking in a good spot, bringing a mattress, covering the windows, using a sleep eye mask, and blocking noise. 

Are there other tips that you would like to share? Feel free to leave a comment below. 

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