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Sleeper Bus in India: Everything You Need to Know Before Booking a Ticket

Sleeper Bus Coaches are a great option for long distance travel in India. However, for foreigners and tourists, it could prove to be a overwhelming experience if you fail to choose the right bus. The internet is full of such experiences! 

In this article, we take a look at the different types of sleeper buses in India along with size & dimensions of sleeper berths, as well as everything you need to know, to have a happy journey. 

Buses are the most efficient and common form of intercity travel in India. Well, trains could be more comfortable in some cases, but getting a conformed train ticket in India is a bight fight. Train tickets are mostly sold out weeks in advance. 

Unlike trains, buses in India can be booked online even at the last minute. Frequency of buses are impressive in most routes and bus ticket prices in India are cheap as well. 

Long distance buses in India can be categorized into three main types of seating configuration - Sleeper Bus, Semi-Sleeper Bus Bus and Seater bus. By long distance we are talking about 8 - 10 hours of travel time. 

Bus operators across the country offer all these three configurations in both AC and No-AC variants. You need to keep in mind that prices of AC buses are about 15%-20% higher than non-AC buses in India. 

What are Sleeper Buses in India? 

According to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Sleeper Coach refers to “vehicles designed and constructed specially with berths to accommodate sleeping passengers.” 

So sleeper buses are buses that feature berths (or bunks) for sleeping instead of seats. 

SM Kannappa Prakash Capella Sleeper Bus AC
A luxury AC Sleeper bus built by India's premiere bus body Builders S.M. Kannappa Automobiles, Bengaluru. 

Sleeper coaches come in two layout options 2x2 and 2x1. A 2x1 layout refers to two berths on the right and one on the left. While 2x2 sleeper buses aren’t allowed in most states of India anymore, such buses still ply on rural and sub-urban routes. 

Number of Berths in Sleeper Bus & Berth Dimension

Generally, a 2x1 Indian sleeper coach features anywhere between 30-36 berths. For multi-axle coaches the number of berths are anywhere between 36-40. 

In terms of dimension, each berth measures around 6 feet in length and 2.6 feet in breadth

Recently most Indian state governments have issued strict mandates on the number of berths permitted in a sleeper bus. According to new mandates,  that have already been implemented in states like Maharastra, only 30 berths are allowed in twin-axle buses. This included sleeper buses with both with Tourist Permit and All India Permits. 

MG Volvo Starz Sleeper bus Interior
Interior of a luxury Volvo sleeper made by MG Bus and Coach, Belgaum, Karnataka. You can view more images of this coach here.

Are Indian Sleeper Buses Comfortable?

Absolutely! Most inter-city or interstate journeys in India could be long, ranging anywhere from 300 kms - 1,000 kms and sleeper buses can prove to be much more comfortable than buses with seats. I mean, who would you want to travel 16 hours sitting in a bus with just around 2 feet distance between seats when you can have enough space to lay down and enjoy the journey? 

Moreover, most operators offer a slew of amenities in their buses right from personal infotainment systems, reading lamps, back rests, pillows, blankets, etc.

Suggested Read | Sleeper, Semi-Sleeper or Seat? What do you need to book?

Do Sleeper Buses in India Have Toilets?

Well, it varies from operator to operator. Toilets aren't a staple feature in buses in India, the trend is only catching up now. So while many modern buses in India feature integrated toilets most do not, so remember to confirm with your travel operator before booking a ticket. 

How To Book a Sleeper Bus Online in India? 

Buses are readily available and can be booked easily in India. By far, redBus is the most popular and convenient bus ticketing platform followed by IntrCity SmartBus by RailYatri.in.

In the red bus website (shown below), or the app, you can check out a slew of details including pictures of the bus, seating layout, as well as user ratings before deciding to book a ticket.  

redbus.in booking interface
The redbus.in booking interface. You can easily check out amenities, layout type, user rating and bus pictures before booking. Click on picture to get a clear view


To cut it short, sleeper buses are a great way of traveling throughout India. They are exceptionally comfortable, the route network is pretty extensive, ticket prices are pocket friendly and the best of all you can book them at late notice (trains are sold out for weeks in advance). 

But all these holds only if you choose the right bus! And choosing the right bus is not tricky at all - just remember to check out the sleeper bus pics and reviews thoroughly before booking your ticket. 

Our advise would be to stick to 2x1 AC Sleeper Bus, whenever you are traveling by bus in India. 

Sleeper Bus India
Interiors like this are not uncommon in economy class sleeper buses in India. Hence, it is highly advisable to check out the sleeper bus pics and reviews before booking your ticket. 

I hope we have been successful in answering all you queries related to sleeper buses in India

Let us know in the comments if there is anything else we can cover to help you out. 

Also, if you have any experience of travelling by Indian sleeper buses, do let us know, we would love to hear about it. 

Post a Comment


  1. Can 3 person accomodomate in double sleepee berth?

    1. They can, but it won't be comfortable. Plus it is not safe.

  2. I got good knowledge and most wanted information about these buses as i am 6.3 ht so i was looking f9r some information on this thank u

    1. Glad that you liked the article. Do let s know if you would want to cover any other topic. Thanks.

  3. We have 11 person how many sleepers should book

  4. How does a couple book a sleeper bus from Pune to mumbai?