How to Sleep in a Bathtub

Three Parts:Preparing the BathtubMaking a Bed Inside the TubGoing to Bed

If you have house guests or if you are staying in a hotel room with more people than there are beds, one option might be to sleep in the bathtub. With a little planning and the right supplies, it might not be too uncomfortable.

Part 1
Preparing the Bathtub

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    Measure the tub. You won’t be comfortable if you have to sleep with your body contorted into a pretzel, so lay down in the bathtub and see how well you fit.
    • In order to be comfortable for an entire night of sleep, the bathtub must be long enough for you to stretch out in and wide enough that your shoulders won’t be cramped and you can keep your spine in alignment so your back won’t hurt in the morning.[1]
    • If the tub isn’t big enough, the floor may be a better option after all. Sleeping on the floor actually has some health benefits and can be good for an achy back! [2]
    • Make sure you have room to sleep on your back but can also roll over onto your side so you won’t be uncomfortable staying in one position all night.[3]
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    Make it dry and clean. Since people will also be using the bathtub for showers, you will need to make sure it is thoroughly dry before making your bed inside it.
    • Avoid using the bathtub for several hours before bedtime if possible.
    • If the tub is still wet from someone’s shower, dry it with a towel. You can also use a hairdryer to completely dry the tub.
    • Clean the tub so you won’t get any soap residue or hair on your blankets and pillows.[4]
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    Clear away clutter. You don’t want to knock a bottle of shampoo onto the floor or have a bar of soap fall on your face during the night.
    • Remove toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, lotion, etc.) that are in the way or that you might accidentally knock onto the floor while you sleep.
    • Be courteous with other people’s belongings and make sure you replace everything in the morning.

Part 2
Making a Bed Inside the Tub

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    Gather sleeping supplies. You will need to lay down several layers of padding in order to be comfortable enough to sleep on the tub’s hard surface.
    • Find as many comforters, blankets and pillows as you can.
    • A sleeping bag as the top layer is also a great option.
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    Build a nest-like bed inside the tub. With a little effort you can make yourself cozy.
    • Fold several blankets or comforters and place them along the bottom of the bathtub. This will create a mattress for you to sleep on.
    • Make sure your padding reaches up the sides of the tub as well if possible to cushion all parts of your body that will be in contact with the tub’s surface.
    • Place a pillow at the end of the tub where you will have your head. You may want to use one pillow under your head for proper support and spine alignment and place one standing up between the top of your head and the end of the tub so you don’t bump your head in your sleep.[5]
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    Cover yourself. Save a blanket or two for putting over the top of you.
    • Since you don’t know whether the bathroom will be warmer or colder than you are accustomed to during the night, have several layers handy just in case.[6]
    • A sleeping bag can do double duty as a pad underneath you and a cover on top of you.[7]

Part 3
Going to Bed

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    Bring your personal items into the bathroom. You will want to make sure you have what you need for the night and morning close at hand.
    • Gather your clothes and toiletries for the next day and place them on a shelf or somewhere where they will stay dry.
    • Find an outlet for your phone. Make sure you will be able to reach your phone from the tub so you can see what time it is and use it as an alarm in the morning.
    • Bring in anything you will use to entertain yourself, like a tablet, laptop, or a book to read.
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    Touch base with your guests or roommates. If there is only one bathroom available, it’s best to be on the same page so everyone can agree on how to deal with the situation. You don’t want someone turning on the shower on you in the morning!
    • Decide what you will do if someone else needs to use the bathroom during the night.
    • Agree on what time will be reasonable for you to wake up and get out of the bathtub so others can use it for showers in the morning.[8]
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    Go to sleep! It’s time to get in the tub and start snoozing, so get comfy.
    • Position yourself with your head on the opposite side of the tub from the tap. That way if you forget where you are and sit up you won’t bump your head or face on the faucet.
    • Use the fan for white noise if you need to block out background noise to sleep better.[9]
    • Turn out the lights. If you think you might wake up and be disoriented, use a nightlight. That will also help your roommates in case they forget you’re in there and you startle them.


  • If possible, you can turn off the water supply for the night and turn it back on early in the morning.


  • It is not safe to sleep in a bathtub filled with water.

Things You'll Need

  • Several comforters or blankets
  • Two pillows
  • Sleeping bag (optional)
  • Your phone and charger (optional)
  • Entertainment items such as a tablet, laptop, or book (optional)
  • Nightlight (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Better Sleeping