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.
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.
|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
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.