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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.
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 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.

Luggage Closet
Luggage Closet
The Numbers of Bunks in A Compartment
The Numbers of Bunks in A Compartment
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

Soft Sleeper
Deluxe 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. In the other side of the deluxe 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. Facilities such as thermos, tray for litter, rubbish bin, LCD TV, headphone, temperature control, reading lamp, and slippers are available.
 It is currently only available on the overnight high speed trains D311 and D312 between Beijing and Shanghai. It is totally different from the traditional sleepers. Two-deck sleepers are set up on both sides of each carriage according to the train’s travel direction, with the aisle in the middle. Each sleeper is equipped with independent desk, socket, coat rack and lamp. A curtain is also provided to protect passenger’s privacy. To make passengers feel more comfortable, the new sleeper increases the height between the upper berth and the ceiling, so upper-berth passenger can sit up. An adjustable backrest on the wall also helps passengers sit comfortably. Under the lower berth, passengers can store their luggage.


1. The compartments in soft sleeper or deluxe 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 deluxe soft sleeper rather than hard sleeper. The compartment provides more room for you to move around and also gives some privacy.

3. The sleeper carriages in international trains running between China and neighbouring countries may be different.
- Last modified on Dec. 03, 2018 -
  • Customer Reviews
  • Questions & Answers
    4.929 Reviews
    Mr. Emilia
    New Zealand
    Posted on Jul. 04, 2019
    I rate the service from TCG as excellent. The very best!.

    I made 3 overnight train trips while in China. All arranged by TCG.
    Each trip was in a 4 berth sleeper and all were great.
    I was traveling alone and do not speak Chinese, and the other people in the cabin did not speak English. But I had a Chinese phrase book and we were all able to understand each other using the phrase book.

    Each train trip was wonderful and all of the people I shared the cabin with were also great people. China is a very nice and safe country and I will visit again soon.

    Thank you TCG for all of your help.
    Posted on Jun. 30, 2019
    I am satisfied for your service.

    I will suggest that soft sleepers is the best choice especially you have four persons. It provided a privacy area for you in cabin. Moreover, you will not awake during night time. If your budget is tight, then can choose hard sleepers but remember choose the bottom or middle. You cannot sit at your bed if you booked middle or top hard sleepers.
    Posted on Jun. 23, 2019
    Travel China Guide was most helpful and polite with our booking. It would be better for the booking center to give more information about how to travel by rail- such as to take your own toilet paper and meals.

    We had 2 journeys, one hard sleeper from Chengdu to Guilin (27 hours), the other is a soft sleeper from Guilin to Beijing (23 hours). We had no idea what to expect. We found the first trip extremely difficult as no-one spoke English to be able to help us. The second trip was so much better. We had prepared ourselves for a similar experience, however we had managed to get a soft sleeper; (a room with 4 bunks, 2 pillows each and a closing door). There is a very comfortable waiting room provided at the station before you board if you are in this class. We had learned from the previous trip to take our own food, but there was a regular food trolley. Still no toilet paper, but the toilets were cleaned regularly and therefore bearable (just). Still no English announcements and the stations are still signed in Chinese. You have to do your homework before you go.

    Having said all this, we must remember that we are foreigners in a different country and things are not the same as at home. Train travel is cheap (we paid about $50 AUD each for the first trip, and $100 AUD each for the second trip). Flying was a bit more than double this. We did a couple of legs by plane, and they were brilliant - much better than domestic air travel at home in Australia - however we are glad of the experience of traveling China by rail.
    Matthew Smith
    Posted on Jun. 20, 2019
    The booking was carried out with success. I will use this service again. All trains were clean, comfortable and east boarding and exiting. One train was a sleeper car. Best thing we ever did. Saved a night in a hotel and was a new experience sleeping in a private soft sleeper. This tour service has great communication and very reliable. I always knew the status of my bookings. Matthew - USA
    Posted on Jun. 03, 2019
    Booking through TCG is a flawless booking experience: very well explained, step by step.

    Very good impression on this train journey, and it is much better than expected. The bed was very comfortable, with a nice clean blanket and pillow. I could have slept all night, but my neighbour in the comparment was SNOARING all the time! hahaha. We had to wait for several hours at Datong train station: staff was friendly and helpful but there is not much in the station: not even cafeteria, vending machines or internet connection. If you have to wait for several hours, take a taxi to the center of the city and wait there! Boarding was easy thanks to train staff who helped us find our wagon and our compartment. The compartment was great. The bathroom in the train was dirty and smelly but could be used (this was the worse in my opinion). Other bad thing: I tried to buy some water because I was very thirsty. I went to the restaurant-wagon and they didn't sell any water to me! I have to say it was maybe 6am, but I was really really thirsty and I thought they should have water!...More
    Mr. Coison
    Posted on May. 28, 2019
    Oh it was fantastic. It helped a lot, thank you so much for making my trip easier.
    Posted on May. 25, 2019
    I always use the bottom bunk of the hard sleeper as it is not much different to the soft sleeper. In the soft sleeper, you are in a room with three loud snoring strangers. So actually there's no real difference in my experience except that the people don't grunt in suprise when they see you, the foreigner, on a train every time they walk past - the door is closed, which it won't often be because your cabin mates will keep opening it.

    Hard Sleeper bottom bunk is my choice, going for the soft sleeper if there are no bottom hard sleeper bunks. There's not much difference really.

    You could buy four tickets to have the cabin to yourself, but as soon as the staff realise there are three beds empty, they'll resell the tickets. So don't do that! Lol
    Susan Khokher
    Posted on May. 21, 2019
    Posted on May. 02, 2019
    I was very happy with your level of service and found the process to be very easy. Having the tickets waiting for us at the hotel on arrival in Beijing was great. Everything about the process was extremely easy. I would be more than happy to recommend your website.
    Mr.John W
    Posted on Apr. 25, 2019
    Took a luxury soft sleeper (2 berth + ensuite) from Beijing to Xi'an overnight. Pretty nice cabin, clean, comfortable. But didn't get much sleep - track is a bit lumpy and suspect rolling stock is a bit old, plus a bit noisy from the rattling over the tracks. Would still recommend for the experience though, especially if you take some sleeping tablets! Travel China Guide EXCELLENT. Very quick, efficient and helpful service. 2 trains and a flight taken without a hitch. No hesitation in recommending them.
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