No matter whether you’re getting an early night to prepare for a big work meeting, or finally hitting the hay after a fun day in the sun, nothing beats a good night’s rest. Hotels pride themselves, and even sell themselves, on offering the perfect night's sleep.
To do this, we raked through the online reviews of city hotels to rank each destination by hotel sleep quality and night-time noise levels. This data was used to produce an overall sleep score for each city.
The best UK cities for hotel sleep quality
A good sleep comes with reams of benefits—better moods, clearer minds, and brighter smiles. There is very little that beats waking up feeling well-rested. But which UK city boasts the best hotel sleep quality? We’ve done the research so you know just where to go when you want a good rest.
Sunderland may not be the first place that comes to mind when you’re after a relaxing weekend away, but the numbers don’t lie. This industrious city scored 8.2 out of 10 for overall sleep quality.
Experts say access to green spaces improves sleep, and that’s very true in Sunderland, which features Mowbray and Herrington Country Parks. But it was the quality of sleep - with just 3.8% of reviews regarding sleep coming in as negative - and the low noise levels that have awarded Sunderland the top spot.
Edinburgh follows very closely behind Sunderland, with an overall sleep score of 8.1 out of 10. Hotels in this Scottish City can brag that they’re home to some of the best hotel mattresses in the country, with just 4.79% of reviews mentioning anything negative about them.
And it seems Edinburgh is even quieter than Sunderland, with only 6.4% of reviews complaining about the noise.
In third place is Belfast, a popular destination for history buffs, music fans, and art aficionados. Whatever their interest, visitors to the city have found it’s a great place for a night’s kip, giving it a score of 7.1 out of 10. This was down to only 4.3% of its sleep and bed reviews showing as negative, as well as a noise score that beats almost all others we looked at.
Only 5% of reviews complained about noise levels in Belfast, making it the perfect place if you like a quiet night.
Manchester scored a healthy 6.8 out of 10, landing it in fourth place. Thousands of people flock to the city every year, many of them attending football matches, and their reviews are clear. Manchester is a great place to get some shuteye. Only 6.9% of reviews pertained to noise in the city, and just 5.9% of reviews complained about the quality of sleep or the bed.
You might expect the capital city to score quite low when it comes to quality of sleep—it does seem to be ready for business 24/7. But London actually received some of the best reviews, landing it in fifth place on our list.
Scoring 6.7 out of 10, London falls only slightly short of Manchester. Similarly to Sunderland, London has some famous green spaces, such as Hyde Park and Richmond Park. But it scored so well because so few reviews in the city complained about sleep (6.39%) or noise (4.94%). In fact, nowhere else can boast of a quieter night.
In sixth place is Leeds, coming a point behind London with 5.9 out of 10. This northern city had one of the highest amounts of reviews complaining about the noise in our top ten, with 8.9%. But the good quality of sleep and comfy beds made up for it, as only 5.5% of the online reviews we scoured had issues with these aspects.
Whether you’re visiting to catch a match, check out the unis, or attend a business meeting, you’re sure to get a good kip in Leeds.
Just a hair behind Leeds comes the city of Liverpool, which scored 5.8 out of 10. This city is also home to footballing legends, as well as music superstars. Whether visitors are heading there for the sports, the history, or the sounds, they’re reporting great sleep.
While a relatively high 7.8% complained about noise in the city, just 4.3% had a bad word about their sleep quality or their beds for the night.
=8. Stoke on Trent
Eigth place belongs to Stoke on Trent, a city famous for a surprisingly wild variety of things. Whether it’s the city's title of World Capital of Ceramics or the historical importance of the Staffordshire hoard, there is plenty to reel in crowds.
Scoring 5.6 out of 10, visitors to this historic city found plenty of rest. Reviews indicated that while 7.2% of visitors had noise issues, just 6.2% had difficulty sleeping or an uncomfy bed.
Less than 0.1% behind Stoke on Trent is Sheffield, with 5.59 out of 10. Visitors to the city, whether they’re there for the ice hockey, snooker, or botanical gardens, have clearly left well-rested. This is apparent in their reviews—although 7.75% of reviewers experienced noise issues during their stay, only 6.79% found issues with their quality of sleep or the bed’s comfiness.
The final place in our top ten goes to Glasgow, which scored an above-average 5.1 out of 10. Named a UNESCO City of Music, music lovers flock to the city to experience the live music scene or one of the many music festivals that take place there.
Despite the raucous instrument playing, Glasgow’s visitors only complained about the noise in 7.8% of reviews. Maybe because they were so well rested, with just 4.8% of reviews having an issue with sleep quality or their bed's comfort.
The worst UK cities for hotel sleep quality
We all know that not getting enough sleep, or a good enough quality of sleep, can lead to a host of health complaints — a lack of sleep can even affect your skin! And that’s not to mention the bad mood that poor quality of sleep can leave us in throughout the day.
Winning the undesirable award of “city with the worst hotel sleep quality” is the UK’s second city, Birmingham. While it may be nestled in the heart of the nation, visitors to the city aren’t in love with the night’s sleep they’re getting.
Scoring just 2.5 out of 10, reviewers found plenty to complain about when it came to their sleep. 9.2% of visitors to the city found that the level of noise they could hear in their hotel rooms was problematic, while a further 6.59% found cause to complain about their sleep quality and bed comfort.
There are many reasons why a visit to Nottingham seems like a good idea—whether it’s for a pot of luminously green mushy peas and mint sauce at Goose Fair, or to visit the historic caves that spiral beneath the city.
But those that previously visited the city have spoken, and the sleep quality in Nottingham is nothing to write home about. With a score of just 2.6 out of 10, visitors to Nottingham found unacceptable noise levels in their hotel rooms in 10.9% of reviews, as well as poor sleep quality and uncomfy beds in 6.9%.
Leaving the Midlands and heading over to the Welsh capital, in third place is Cardiff. Visitors head to this port city to take in the vast history, spend some time at Cardiff Bay, or even partake in a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey Dr Who Tour.
As much fun as there is to be had during the day, visitors will be wishing they had a time machine to claw some more sleep back at night. Cardiff scores just 2.7 out of 10. A hefty 10.54% of reviews pointed to noise as the problem, while a further 6.73% made mention of the poor sleep quality or bad beds.
Fourth place goes to the City of Guilds, Preston. This often overlooked city can be swamped by the nearby behemoths, Manchester and Liverpool, but has made a name for itself—if only for having worse hotel sleep quality than the other two.
Scoring a paltry 3.1 out of 10, visitors to the city found plenty to complain about. Some 9.6% of reviews took issue with how noisy the city was, while 6.1% found fault with their sleep and/or bed.
Swansea is just over 0.1 better than Preston, but still scores a rather tragic 3.2 out of 10. While it is a city famous for its stunning beaches, the Victorian Mumbles pier, and occasional Premier League football, it is apparently not a city for snoozers. Around 10.36% of reviews complained about the amount of noise, while a further 8.7% experienced bad sleep and uncomfortable beds.
Visitors to Bristol will have to make like Clifton Bridge and suspend their disbelief—despite the laid-back atmosphere of the city, it is not a great city to sleep in.
Scoring just 3.5 out of 10, this historic city has found major issues when it comes to the quality of sleep its tourists get. A surprising 10.25% of visitors found that their hotel rooms were noisy, while a further 6.8% discovered that their beds or sleep standards were lacking.
Returning to the Midlands, in seventh place is Coventry. Visitors may well feel they’ve been metaphorically sent to Coventry when they make the trip—the city scored a shameful 3.7 out of 10 and the reviews are clear.
While 6.52% had trouble with noise when they were trying to sleep, another 6.78% found they had difficulties with their sleep quality and bed comfort.
If there’s one thing Newport is most proud of, it would be its iconic Transporter Bridge. And after a night’s sleep in the city, visitors will be begging to be transported out of there.
Scoring just 4 out 10, the city at least has a lot to offer outside of sleep quality. While only 5.6% of visitors complained about noise, a further 9.6% experienced problems when it came to their beds and their sleep.
9. Kingston upon Hull
Visitors might regard Hull as a more aquatic city than you might expect—it’s home to famous aquarium the Deep, Hull Marina and its vibrant waterfront atmosphere, as well as a distinct appreciation for fish and chips (that must include scraps!).
Scoring 4.6 out of 10, while it has a long way to go, Hull is far from the worst city on our list for sleep quality. Around 9.3% of visitors found their rooms to be noisy, while a further 9.6% found other issues with their sleep or bed.
Returning once more to the Midlands, in last place is Leicester with the questionable honour of being the best of a bad bunch. Leicester scores a bang on average 5 out of 10.
Whether visitors were in town for the football, to learn about Richard III, or to celebrate Diwali, 9.6% of reviews included mention of excess noise in the city. A further 6.2% complained about the quality of sleep they got or their bed.
The best UK cities for quiet nights
Some cities seem made for a peaceful night. Whether it’s due to their slower and quieter natures, or better planning on the hotels' part, these cities received the fewest complaints about noise pollution.
It might seem surprising, given that London is undeniably the largest and busiest city in the UK. but it’s true. London received the fewest, comparative, complaints about noise from tourists to the city. Only 4.94% of reviews mentioned noise as a problem—that’s 4,691 out of 94,997.
The luck of the Irish may be on their side, because visitors to Belfast have left very few negative reviews about noise in the city. Coming in second place, Belfast has earned its standing as a good city to visit if you need a rest. Of 45,600 reviews, only 2,281 mentioned noise at all. That’s just 5%.
It might not have a reputation for comfy beds or good sleep quality, but Newport is among the best when it comes to quiet nights. We scoured through 18,202 reviews of tourists’ stays in the city and found that only 1,025 of these included noise complaints. That’s just 5.63%.
Edinburgh is known for its nightlife, such as on its bustling Royal Mile, and entertainment like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Despite all these evening events, very few Edinburgh visitors complained about the noise. Only 2,872 out of 45,191 (or 6.36%) reviews mentioned it at all.
Similarly to Newport, Coventry hasn’t scored well when it comes to sleep quality. But visitors to this Midlands city have nothing but good things to say about its noise levels, it seems. Out of 23,425 reviews, just 1,527 (or 6.52%) mentioned noise levels.
The worst UK cities for quiet nights
Not all cities are created equal—where some scored low because the hotel rooms were shoddy or their beds were bad, others scored low because the cities were just too loud. Here are the top five worst places to go if you need a quiet night's sleep.
Robin Hood may have taken money from the rich to give to the poor, but it seems Nottingham itself is a sleep stealer. Out of 28,397 reviews about stays in the city, 3,096 complained about the noise. That’s a huge 10.9%.
Visitors to the Welsh capital will be begging for a sonic screwdriver to turn the volume down. Visitors to Cardiff left 41,360 reviews about their stay in the city, and 4,359 found issues with the amount of noise pollution in their hotel rooms. As many as 10.54% of tourists can’t be wrong.
Staying in Wales, Swansea also seems to have problems when it comes to a peaceful night's rest. Around 10.36% of reviewers found the city to be noisy—out of 18,757 reviews, a huge 1,943 used it as a chance to vent about how loud the place was.
The fourth worst city for noisy nights is Bristol. 33,540 visitors to Bristol felt compelled to review their stay in the city, and 3,437 of them found their hotel rooms to be noisy. That's 10.25% of people struggling to sleep thanks to noise from the outside.
Finally, fifth place goes to Preston. Slightly better than the others when it comes to a peaceful night, only 9.62% of people mentioned noise in their reviews—that's 1,101 out of 11,445 reviews.
The cities with the best sleep reviews
While some of these cities may be bustling, that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a bad night’s sleep. A comfortable bed in a nice hotel can do wonders, even if the streets outside are heaving. Here are the five cities with the best sleep reviews.
After coming first in our overall review, it’s no surprise that Sunderland should appear in first place here. Out of 1,785 reviews of a stay in the city, just 48 found fault with their sleep or their beds. That’s just 3.84%.
Belfast also came second for quiet nights, while it was third in our overall scores. Although visitors to the city have left a huge 11,239 reviews of their stay, just 4.3%, or 357 of them, found reason to complain about their sleep.
Joining Belfast in second place is Liverpool, which also scored well in the top ten. Liverpool has an endless stream of visitors, from music lovers to history scholars. Of the 15,695 reviews of the city, only 478 or 4.3%.
Fourth place, by a thin margin, belongs to Edinburgh. This surprisingly quiet, if bustling, city has scored well across the board. Out of the 11,980 reviews left for a stay in the city, just 406 had anything negative to say about sleep quality or uncomfy beds. That’s only 4.79%.
Staying in Scotland, last place has truly been earned by Glasgow. Though it was just pipped to the post by Edinburgh, we reviewed 12,183 reviews left by visitors to Glasgow. Of these, just 4.83% (or 421) had any complaints about their quality of sleep.
The cities with the worst sleep reviews
A good night’s sleep isn’t just about noise—a comfy bed in a nice hotel room can make all the difference. Here are the five cities with the worst rooms, the worst beds, and the worst quality of sleep.
While Newport may be quiet, visitors to the city found grave issues when it came to their quality of sleep and the comfiness of their bed. Of 4,075 reviews for a stay in the city, 248 included negative sentiments about their sleep. That’s 9.57%.
2. Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull has also had issues with visitors' sleep quality and comes less than a per cent behind Newport. Out of 4,035 reviews, 9.56% or 259 found their sleep quality to be lacking.
Swansea really can’t win it seems—despite a plethora of attractions to draw visitors in, they just can’t seem to sleep well once they’re there. As well as noisy nights, 8.7% of reviews complained about sleep quality or bad beds. That’s 305 out of 5,271 reviews.
Similarly to Swansea, Nottingham also seems to be in a lose/lose scenario. Deemed the worst city to visit if you’re not after a noisy night, Nottingham also scores badly for those in search of good sleep or a comfy bed. Around 6.89% of reviews complained about these aspects. That's 417 negative reviews out of 8,899 total.
After coming fourth in regards to quiet nights, sadly Bristol also comes fifth in terms of sleep quality. This south west city has experienced 6.84% of reviewers complaining about their quality of sleep, or 500 out of 10,645 reviews. If you’re on your way to Bristol, it might be wise to have a nap before you get there.
- Mattress Online sought to find the UK’s best and worst cities for hotel sleep quality.
- To do this, the experts at Mattress Online utilised Worldpopulationreview.com to gather a seed list of the top 20 cities with the largest population in the UK.
- To represent cities across all countries in the UK within the data set, the 20th largest city by population was replaced by Belfast, the 22nd largest city by population during the time of collection (May 4th 2023).
- Subsequently, reviews for the top 20 best hotels in each city were obtained, where a total of 651,094 reviews from 2002 to present* were analysed.
- Note, the best hotels were defined as those with the best reviews and value for money.
- *The majority of the reviews analysed come from the past few years.
- The reviews were then processed and cleaned using a language processing tool, where each review was parsed for mentions of ‘noise’ and variations of this word to find which cities have the most mentions of ‘noise’.
- This was calculated as a percentage of the number of reviews in that city.
- Then, each sentence per review was separated and parsed for mentions of the word ‘sleep’ or ‘bed’ and their variations. Once detected, a sentiment analysis tool was applied to these sentences only, to calculate a score from -10 (very negative) to 10 (very positive).
- Only the sentences mentioning the words ‘sleep’ or ‘bed’ were analysed, focusing on the relevant parts of the review to improve data quality.
- Once the sentiment scores had been applied, they could be labelled as either positive, negative or neutral, with the % of negative reviews mentioning ‘sleep’ or ‘bed’ calculated. Reviews containing multiple sentences with instances of the keywords and their variations were combined as an average.
- Additionally, the data was filtered to the reviews labelled only as negative in regards to ‘sleep’ or ‘bed’ to calculate the average sentiment of these negative reviews, revealing the cities with the most negative sentiment for sleep overall.
- The same was done for sentences referring to ‘noise’ to calculate the average sentiment of negative ‘noise-related’ reviews, determining a score for the worst city noise.
- Finally, a percent rank average score was calculated using the noise and sleep attributes to determine which city has the worst nights' sleep in hotels overall.
- The sentiment scores had its percent rank inversed as a lower score is more negative.
- A final score out of 10 was then awarded across each city, determining a final ranking where a lower score denotes a worse night of sleep, outlining the cities that acquired the most negative hotel sentiment/reviews on average. Whilst higher scores indicate a better night of sleep, revealing the cities that acquire the lowest hotel negative hotel sentiment/reviews on average.
- Data was collected between May 4th - 11th 2023 and is correct as of then but subject to change.