Home China Train Hard Sleeper VS Soft Sleeper

Hard Sleeper VS Soft Sleeper

Hard sleeper and soft sleeper are two classical types of seats on long-duration trains such as K, T, Z, some over-night D train. They are popular to traveler as with the reasonable ticket prices, can save a night's accommodation bill, also can save more daytime for sightseeing.

Class Hard Sleeper Soft Sleeper
Price Cheaper More expensive than hard sleeper((about 1.3 to 1.5 times)
Berth Size W:60cm (24 inches)
L:180cm(71 inches)
W:75cm (30 inches)
L:190cm(75 inches)
Space 6 Bunks in a compartment(3+3)
Vertical distance between bunks is about 70cm (28 inches)
4 Bunks in a compartment(2+2)
Vertical distance bunks is 95cm (38 inches)
Facility pillow, sheet, blanket
two or three sockets in each carriage
individual lamp on over-nigh D-train,
Chinese toilets
pillow, sheet, blanket
socket in each compartment and USB socket in each bunk on over-night D-train 
individual lamp
Both Chinese and western toilets
air conditioner controller
vacuum bottle, hat rack
Privacy the compartments  are open to the communal aisle which has no private space each compartment  has a lockable door which can make a private space
Luggage place luggage racks outside the compartment luggage closet inside the compartment
Lounge service public lounge
crowded and noisy
seats are hard chairs
Board on schedule in passenger flow
separate lounge
spacious and quiet
seats are soft sofas
board earlier with priority

You can read the differences between hard sleeper and soft sleeper below:

* the Lounge service for the soft sleeper class above is only for your reference because it will depend on the service availability of the departure station.

Which Class Is Better?

1. As the table shown above, the ticket price of hard sleepers is less than the soft sleepers. If you consider ticket price and can accept the condition of the hard sleeper, it is better to book the hard sleeper.

2. If you are interested in the Chinese's life, it is better to try the hard sleeper as you can see how they communicate with strangers, how they share food to each other. They may become friends after the long journey.

3. As the smaller space and bunk size on hard sleeper, if you are tall and big, surely it is better to consider the soft sleeper.

4. With the lockable door and inside luggage closet, it is securer and more private space in soft sleepers.

5. If you travel with family (elder or children), soft sleepers surely are your better choice.

But kindly note

1. You'd better keep values with you always no matter which class you take.

2. If you are a light sleeper,  we don't recommend to take an over-night sleeper as even in the soft sleeper class, the sound the track will still a problem for you.

3. If you hate smoke, we also don't recommend to the normal-speed trains such as K/T/Z trains as smoking is not forbidden on these trains.

You may want to know some popular travel routes

Beijing to Xian https://www.chinahighlights.com/china-trains/beijing-xian-train.htm

Beijing to Shanghai https://www.chinahighlights.com/china-trains/beijing-shanghai-train.htm