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Soft Sleeper

In China, K, T, Z, L and some overnight D trains have soft sleeper class.

Soft Sleeper, as the name suggests, is softer than hard sleeper. But more importantly, the compartment is more spacious with only four berths inside, two upper and two lower; the berth is wider and longer, about 30 inches (75cm) and 75 inches (190cm) respectively; the compartment has a door, which separates it from the aisle and provides a quiet and private room for the passengers inside.

Soft sleeper ticket price is about 1.5 times of that of hard sleeper, and a lower berth costs more than an upper berth.

Soft sleeper China train carriage has a luggage closet above the door in each compartment. The luggage rack inside the compartment is about 16 inches (40cm) high and 20 inches (50cm) wide, just big enough for a 20-inch suitcase. The larger luggage can be put under the lower berth or the table between the two lower berths.
Quality quilt, pillow, and sheet are provided. Each bunk has a reading lamp. Some trains also have an LCD TV screen and a headphone for each soft sleeper bunk. Radio and temperature controls are alongside the door.

What’s more, on a small table between the two lower bunks, there is a tray for litter and a thermos. On some routes, you may also find a plug under the table for your laptop and mobile phone. Disposable slippers are also provided for passengers.   Foldable seats are also available by the windows in the aisle.

A soft sleeper train carriage in China has 9 compartments. With four bunks inside each, soft sleeper beds inside a carriage are numbered from 1 to 36. The even numbers are the upper bunks while the odd numbers are the lower bunks. If you travel with friends, remember to tell the conductor that you wish to stay in the same compartment.  As in other carriage types, the dustbin, toilet, smoking area, wash-basins, mirror, drinkable water heater and fire extinguisher are at the end of the carriage. However, a D train (bullet type) does not have a smoking area, as it is not allowed to smoke on it, not even in toilet. Some trains (like D ones) has the seat type toilet and also provides toilet paper, but this is not universal and soft sleeper carriages in most trains still use the squat type toilet without toilet paper.

Passengers in a Soft Sleeper Compartment
Passengers in a Soft
Sleeper Compartment
Door of Soft Sleeper Compartment
Each compartment has a door
 to seperate berths with aisle.
Soft Sleeper
Soft Sleeper Hard Sleeper
Private compartments with lockable doors; recommended for passengers  who have difficulty in sleeping Open compartments without doors; less privacy
4 berths in a compartment; the beds are wider, longer, and more comfortable, suitable for larger passengers 6 berths in each compartment; the beds are short and narrow
All passengers can sit up on their berths Passengers in the middle or upper berths cannot sit straight
Luggage closet above the door inside the compartment Luggage rack above the aisle outside the compartment
Both western style and squat toilets Squat type toilets 
More facilities, including reading lights, coat hangers, and controller for air-conditioner, broadcasting volume, and light Only basic facilities like bedding, a tray for litter and a thermos
One socket in each compartment A few sockets in each carriage
50% more expensive than a hard sleeper berth Cheapest among all sleepers

 See detailed introduction on Hard Sleeper


Luxury Soft Sleeper

Soft Sleeper
Luxury soft sleepers also appear on K, T, Z, L and some overnight D trains. Each carriage has 8 – 10 lockable compartments. Each compartment has an upper and a lower bed in one side, with quality beddings. The bed is 31 inches (80cm) wide and 75 inches (190cm) long. In the other side of the luxury soft sleeper carriage, there is a comfortable sofa, a closet, and a private toilet equipped with wash-basin, seat-type toilet, and toilet paper. Some even have showers in the toilet.

There is also luggage rack inside some compartments, but is only 16 inches (40cm) high. The bigger suitcases can be put under the lower berth or inside the closet. Facilities such as thermos, tray for litter, rubbish bin, LCD TV, headphone, temperature control, reading lamp, and slippers are available.

Each bed in luxury soft sleeper carriage is numbered. The odd number is upper bunk and the even number is lower bunk. Some luxury soft sleeper carriages have four-bed compartments at each end, so bunks No.1 – 4 and No. 21 – 24 are soft sleeper beds, and luxury soft sleeper beds count from No. 5 to No. 20.

Facilities in luxury soft sleeper carriages are the same as those of the soft sleeper carriages. 



1. The compartments in soft sleeper or luxury soft sleeper carriages are lockable, so passengers actually share a small room with others. If you feel uncomfortable to be in a room with passengers of the opposite sex, especially during an overnight trip, you can try to ask the conductor arrange an all-female or all-male compartment for you when you buy the ticket at the railway station or ticket window (bunks can not be chosen when booking online or through telephone).

2. For foreign passengers wishing to have a good rest during the trip, we recommend soft sleeper or luxury soft sleeper rather than hard sleeper. The compartment provides more room for you to move around and also gives some privacy.
Luggage Closet
Luggage Closet
The Numbers of Bunks in A Compartment
The Numbers of Bunks in A Compartment
3. Some trains that have luxury soft sleeper bunks:
(Last update in October, 2016)
Train No. Route Train No. Route
T109/110 Beijing ↔ Shanghai Z43/Z44, Z19/Z20 Beijing West ↔ Xian
Beijing West ↔ Guangzhou Z157/Z158, Z15/Z16 Beijing ↔ Harbin
Z97/Z98 Beijing West ↔ Hung Hom T31/T32 Beijing ↔ Hangzhou
K53/K54, T47/T48, Z157/Z158 Beijing ↔ Shenyang North Z29/Z30 Beijing ↔ Yangzhou
Z35/Z36, Z97/Z98, Z201/Z202, Z37/Z38, T289/T290 Beijing West ↔ Wuchang Z55/Z56, Z277/Z278, K601/K602 Beijing ↔ Taiyuan
T47/T48 Beijing ↔ Qiqihar Z55/Z56 Beijing West ↔ Lanzhou
T63/T64, Z225/Z227 Beijing ↔ Hefei Z157/Z158, Z63/Z64, Z61/Z62 Beijing ↔ Changchun
Z201/Z202 Beijing West ↔ Sanya Z133/Z134, Z65/Z66, Z67/Z68 Beijing West ↔ Nanchang
T289/T290 Beijing West ↔ Nanning Z133/Z134 Beijing West ↔ Jinggangshan
D931*/D933*, D935*/D937*, D941*/D943* Shanghai Hongqiao ↔ Guangzhou South T77/T78 Shanghai South ↔ Guilin North
Z99/Z100 Shanghai ↔ Hung Hom Z196/Z198 Shanghai ↔ Taiyuan
Z92/Z94 Xian ↔ Shanghai D306/D308 Xian North ↔ Shanghai
Z86/Z88 Xian ↔ Hangzhou Z157/Z158 Harbin ↔ Taizhou
Z192/Z194 Shenyang North ↔ Taiyuan T47/T48, T311/T312 Shenyang North ↔ Qiqihar
T6601/T6602, Y667/Y668, Z6205/Z6206 Lanzhou ↔ Jiayuguan

Note: "*" only available on every Friday to next Monday.