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Jul 11, 2022

How to Sleep in the Car Comfortably

So, you’re hitting the open road this summer and want to save money on lodging by sleeping in your car. That’s great! Besides saving some green, sleeping in your vehicle can open the door for new experiences, friendships and unforgettable memories you wouldn’t otherwise get from staying in a fancy hotel. Still, there are a few downsides to sleeping in your car — namely, how hard it can be to get a good night’s rest. A cramped sleeping space, bright lights and rowdy campsite neighbors are just a few challenges you may encounter when sleeping on wheels. 

a woman asleep in her car

The good news? Sleeping in your car doesn’t have to be a lesson in discomfort. Indeed, something as simple as packing a travel weighted blanket and portable air conditioner can make a massive difference in the quality of your slumber. Check out our tips below on how to sleep in the car comfortably and wake up feeling refreshed the next day.  

Get Your Travel Weighted Blanket

Sleeping in the Car: Safety and Legal Considerations

Before you toss your bags in the car and head out on the open road, consider mapping out your rest stops in advance. That way, you can familiarize yourself with the city or the state’s laws regarding car sleeping and choose a safe sleeping location that won’t get you into trouble with local law enforcement.

Additionally, you’ll want to keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Tell your friends and family where you’re planning to spend each night.
  • Be aware of the weather and keep a car emergency kit in your vehicle.
  • Never park on the main side of a road. Always try to find a designated rest stop.
  • Make sure you’re parked in a legal location. Superstore parking lots, 24-hour gyms, truck stops and campsites are generally reliable waypoints.
  • Lock your doors once you’ve settled in for the night.

How to Sleep in the Car Comfortably: 4 Tips for a Better Night’s Rest

Now that we have the safety and legal considerations out of the way, let’s share a few tips on how to get a better night’s sleep in your car.

1. Block out light and sound

It’s virtually impossible to get a fulfilling night’s rest with the sound of cars whizzing past you all night and annoying headlights flashing in your face. To get more shut-eye in your vehicle, consider investing in simple and affordable tools that reduce the amount of noise and light traveling into your sleeping space. Car sunshades and car curtains are both great options for long-term car campers because they help block light, reduce noise pollution and keep your car warm in the winter and cool in the summertime. If car curtains don’t do the trick, you can always fall back on a high-quality sleep mask and a set of earplugs.

a weighted eye mask on a night stand with a clock and flowers

2. Invest in a rooftop cargo carrier

This one is a no-brainer — the more stuff you keep on the outside of the car, the more room you’ll have on the inside. That’s why a roof cargo carrier is a must-have for anyone planning to sleep in their car on the regular. Cargo carriers typically have a rounded, aerodynamic design that allows you to store extra stuff while causing minimal impact on your fuel economy. For extra peace of mind, look for a cargo carrier with a built-in locking mechanism to keep your belongings safe from thieves.

3. Pack the Right Bedding

Never underestimate the power of high-quality bedding! Here are the bedding essentials you need for a great night’s sleep in your vehicle:

  • Inflatable car mattress. Car mattresses are specifically designed to fit the interior of your vehicle, making it a worthwhile investment for any car camping enthusiast. Don’t forget to buy an air pump!
  • Sleeping bags. On cooler nights, a cold-weather sleeping bag will keep you nice and warm. In warm months, you can sleep on top of it and take advantage of the extra padding it provides.
  • Blankets. Lastly, don’t forget to pack your favorite blanket. If you’re anxious about sleeping in your car or simply need a little extra help falling asleep, try snuggling up to a Gravity blanket. Backed by science, our best-selling Gravity Weighted Blanket delivers calming pressure that helps you fall into a deeper, more restful sleep, so you can wake up feeling more refreshed the next day. For ease of washing, we recommend using a weighted blanket cover to keep it in tip-top shape while you’re on the road.

Are you a hot sleeper? You’ll love our special cooling weighted blanket, made from breathable fabrics to help keep you sweat-free and comfortable all night long.

Get Your Cooling Weighted Blanket

a blue weighted blanket

4. Make Storage Double as a Sleeping Platform

This is a popular hack for car campers. If you’re sleeping in a compact car, you can maximize storage without sacrificing your comfort by using storage bins to create a sleeping platform in the back of your vehicle. Just push the front seats forward and fold the rear seats down to create as much space as possible before placing two large storage bins in the gaps between the front and rear seats. Place your bedding on top and voila! 

Prioritize Your Comfort

Sleeping in a car will likely never be as comfortable as sleeping on a high-quality mattress in the comfort of your own home. But with a few preparations and precautions, you can make it a relatively comfortable experience. No matter where you rest your head at night, Gravity Blankets is here to help you get a solid night’s sleep!


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