My five favorite first class beds in the sky

Back in February I wrote a post sharing what I consider to be the five best first class hard products out there. Recently someone emailed me asking what I consider to be the five best first class beds, which, believe it or not, is substantially different than my list of five best overall hard products.

With that in mind, here are my top five first class beds, mostly in order:

5. Japan Airlines First Class Suite

Japan Airlines has Tempur-Pedic mattresses in first class, so they offer among the best padding in the sky. While there are other aspects of the Japan Airlines experience I don’t love (including how small the pillows are), their beds are phenomenal.

4. Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay Pacific may not have the newest or fanciest first class hard product out there nowadays, but their seats are damn comfortable for sleeping. Both the mattress, pillows, and bedding are top notch, and I find there aren’t many airlines on which I get a better night of sleep than on Cathay Pacific.

3. Lufthansa First Class

On the 747-8s, A380s, many A330s, and some A340s, Lufthansa has a new first class product which is basically just a modernized version of the old seat. Much like Cathay Pacific, while it’s not a cutting edge product, the padding and bedding are phenomenal. As long as the cabin isn’t too hot, it’s tough to beat the comfort of this seat in the bed position.

2. Qantas First Class

I’ve said the above products have comfortable duvets and mattress pads. And while that’s true, none of them are as comfortable as those offered by Qantas, in my opinion. The Qantas A380 bed might as well be in a hotel, because it’s phenomenally comfortable. The bedding couldn’t be softer, and the seat is private without being claustrophobic.

1. Singapore Airlines Suites Class

I think number one on the list isn’t any surprise. Who wants one bed when you can have two? I actually don’t find the bedding to be that comfortable, or for that matter find the bed to be that well padded. But if I can do the chicken dance while trying to sleep, I think it deserves the number one spot.

Products that (perhaps) surprisingly didn’t make the list:

Emirates First Class

I love Emirates first class, from the onboard shower, to the bar, to the phone from which you can order “room service.” But the bed simply isn’t the most comfortable in the sky. It’s certainly fine, but it’s a bit claustrophobic and I don’t find the bedding to be amazing.

Lufthansa 747-400 First Class

Lufthansa has a different style of first class on the 747-400 than the rest of their fleet. Instead of a seat that converts into a flat bed, they have a separate seat and bed. The novelty of having both a seat and a bed on a plane is pretty cool, though there’s something I don’t totally love about the bed. For one it’s fully flat, while the aircraft nose is always pitched up a bit. I always prefer reclining my seat the whole way and then pushing the “upright seat” button for a couple of seconds, so the bed is at a slight upwards angle. You really can’t do that in this first class product.

Singapore Airlines First Class

I love almost everything about the Singapore Airlines first class experience, including the food and especially the service, but the bed comfort on the 777-300ERs leaves a bit to be desired. The bed isn’t especially long, and the seat is a bit firm. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t lose sleep because of the bed comfort, but there are better ones out there, in my opinion.

Those are my top five — what are your favorite first class hard products?

Filed Under: Advice, Travel
  1. Hey lucky,
    When you do these compilations (which are great, btw), can you add a date (or even just a rough mm/yy) to the photos? Just a thought – you’ve now flown a lot of these products over the years, so it might be nice to see along what timeline you’re comparing these!

  2. I actually though the Singapore Air 777 bed to be more comfortable than the A380 Suite. I don’t know why, but on the A380 I barely slept at all because the bed was so hard. I wish I had asked for an extra duvet to put under me to pad it a bit. I didn’t sleep in the middle with the double fold outs, just the regular single was roomier than the 777, but I didn’t sleep as well.
    I have to put a plug in for the US Airways Envoy suite. I always manage to sleep well on those flights. My wish for that product would be a duvet topper instead of the blanket that they supply.

  3. @lucky

    Suprised to find Etihad left out of the list – since you claimed it to be amongst the best seats in the industry.

  4. @ Ed — Really struggled with Etihad, they would have been number six on my list, though could have just as easily been number four or five.

  5. @ Stefan — BA’s first class is little more than a good business class seat with comfy bedding. I don’t think there’s enough personal space for it to be a “top” product.

    As far as the new American first class goes, the bedding still isn’t on par with what’s offered by other carriers.

  6. Where does the new LX F bed fall on your list? I didn’t find it that much less comfortable than the F bed on the LH 748i. In fact I found the LX seat to feel more private for sleeping. Also I love the aesthetics of the space surrounding the LX seat. It felt more calming. I loved the little lamp shade on LX! 🙂

  7. @ Ben — It’s definitely in the top 10 as well. I find the Lufthansa first class seat to be better padded, though agree there’s not a huge difference.

  8. Great post but reminds me that some have such great differences between their best and worst.

    Take Japan Airlines. Their business class seat YVR-NRT is the worst! It is not much better then a domestic US Airways seat. But as you say, their First is one of the best.

    Lufthansa. I agree their new F seat is excellent. The bedding, pillow great. I recently enjoyed it on my YVR-MUC. However on the return I flew FRA-YVR and had their old F seat. Couldn’t get the darn thing to go flat. Horrible sleep.

    The big surprise was Emirates. I would have assumed it would have been a top contender. Oh well will test it out on the 777 and a380 in a couple of weeks myself.

    It would also be interesting to do a post on the top Business class beds (and possibly specific routes/planes) that fly them. Also the worst Business class seats (planes/routes) to avoid.

  9. So…shouldn’t # 1 read as

    “1. Singapore Airlines Suites Class, But Only If You Are Able To Get The Two Center Suites”?

  10. Could you also please add how many times you’ve tried each to give a proper perspective?

  11. I just did LHR-SIN-HKG on SQ in F on the 77W and then HKG-LHR on CX in F on the 77W this past week. I concur – I’m 5’10” and my feet hit the end of the footwell in 2A – a lot. I had to sleep with my knees a little bended to make it work. Also – there’s not enough privacy in SQ in F. I spent the waking points of the flight looking over into the middle seats in F at a guy’s bear feet. That’s not something you can easily see on CX.

    On CX the length of the seat was fine – and it was quite comfortable. The footwell could be a hare’s breath wider – but it definately was the better hard seat product.

    And for what it’s worth the SQ crews weren’t great – while this particular CX crew was wonderful.

  12. just flew the Asiana Suites and those have to be in the top 5, can’t really ask for more from a bed- long, wide, private, great bedding…

  13. Did ANA square the other day. Didn’t think it was better than SQ 777 or new LH bed-wise

    Also, Lucky, can you not sleep head towards the cockpit on the LH 747. Would that not solve the problem? This is one of the reasons I prefer the backwards UA C seats.

  14. Any idea as to how to snag two SQ first awards at the saver level so myself and the wife could experience the best?

  15. I really enjoy JAL, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and a couple others.

  16. I also give the “upright” a few taps … help me mimic the angle of sleeping with 2 pillows (which I do at home) with just a single airline pillow.

    Just came back from a trip with new Lufthansa, Thai 380 and Cathay… I thought Cathay was by far the most comfortable with Lufthansa and Thai too close to call.

  17. @ De — Well two first class seats are quite easy to snag, it’s two suites seats that are tough. Singapore doesn’t release two suites seats on the same flight out of the US, though they do in other markets, like between Asia and Europe/Australia.

  18. Surprised to see that British Airways is not mentioned in the list of seats that did not make it despite your review downgrading them to Business Plus.

  19. Now I feel so guilty, I flew SQ Suites class PVG-SIN, and since it wasn’t a night flight I didn’t bother for turn down service.

  20. Lucky,

    Would it be possible to get an update on this 5 year old list? Specifically best airline hard products ranked. Including beds, amenity kits and pajamas?

    Would be very grateful if you can!

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