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Sleeper vs Semi-Sleeper vs Seater? Decoding Indian passengers' preference.

India is home to one of the largest bus networks in the entire world. From rickety, old, overloaded, rural buses to super luxurious coaches like Mercedes Benz Super High Deck & Volvo multi-axle buses, our roads are familiar with buses of all shapes, sizes, and seating layouts.

In the recent decade, after their inception in the 2000s, sleeper buses have started to enjoy super preference in India. Especially when it comes to longer routes (500+), sleeper buses have almost become the norm.

But what about journeys in the range of around 300 kms, which are very common throughout India? What type of buses does the Indian passenger prefer for such routes?

In order to get a proper understanding, we conducted a poll on our social media handles. While the engagement was high as expected, the results of the poll were very surprising.

The results of this poll are going to be especially helpful to new bus operators to decide the seating layout of their next buses.

It also will be handy for overseas tourists to get a better understanding of what kind of buses to book during their stay in India.


 Key Findings of the Poll

About 60% of respondents vouched for Sleeper buses agreeing that they are especially drawn by the comfort and privacy that sleeper buses in India offer.

But a strong preference was seen for seater and semi-sleeper buses as well. 

To be honest, the poll revealed that there is a slew of deciding factors that passengers take into account while opting for a specific seating arrangement.

The major ones are listed below:  

Sleeper buses are preferred for overnight journeys.

Seems natural. Most passengers would want a good night's sleep and what can be more comfortable than sleeper buses.


Distance matters.

A sizable chunk of passengers commented they are more comfortable with semi-sleeper or seater buses when it comes to journeys of bout 300 kms.

For journeys more than 400 kms, sleeper buses are the majority's first preference.

Passengers' preference is also skewed towards seater/semi sleeper buses when it comes to hilly routes.


So the thumb rule is for 250-300 kms journeys, opt for a seater / semi-sleeper bus. For longer journeys, sleeper buses are the best bet in India


Taller individuals prefer seater buses.


Passengers taller than 5’10 inches find it difficult to travel in sleeper buses and are more likely to prefer semi-sleeper seats, the poll revealed. 


This is because, on average, the length of a sleeper bus in India is around 5’9" and can get pretty uncomfortable for taller people.

The same goes for people with obesity. The 
width of a single berth in a sleeper bus ranges from 24 inches to 26 inches and overweight people generally find it difficult to adjust in a single berth.  


So for tall or overweight individuals, the safest option is to either book a double berth or opt for seater buses. 



Best seats to book in a sleeper bus


It was also clear from that poll that the best seats in a sleeper bus in India are the upper berths. If traveling alone, you should opt for a single upper berth and have the best in comfort & privacy.

To sum it up, if it's a day journey of around 300 kms, Indian passengers prefer seater or semi sleeper buses. For everything else, sleeper buses are the way to go. 


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


Did you like this article? 

Do you think our poll was informative & useful? 

Would you want us to do any similar polls?

Let us know in the comments. 

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