Can You Sleep In A Toyota 4Runner?

By Derrick •  Updated: 09/08/23 •  14 min read

Often, when on a road trip, it can be beneficial to sleep in your car. This will save you time and money that can be spent on other things. If sleeping in a 4Runner is something that you are interested in, there are a few things to consider before leaping.

So, can you sleep in a 4Runner? Yes, you can sleep in a 4Runner. Most average-sized men under 6 feet tall can comfortably sleep in the back of a 4Runner with the rear seats folded down.

How Wide Is The Cargo Area Of The 4Runner With The Rear Seats Folded?

The cargo area of the 4Runner with folded rear seats is approximately 74 inches long by 41 inches wide.

This is generally enough room for one average-sized adult to sleep comfortably, and in a pinch, a second smaller adult or child would be able to sleep in the vehicle and be moderately comfortable.

Can You Put a Twin Mattress In a 4Runner to Sleep On?

Yes, the standard twin mattress is 74 inches long by 38 inches wide. This makes it a perfect fit for sleeping in the back of your 4Runner.

However, you will need to measure your 4Runner (and the mattress) to make sure that it will fit before purchasing a mattress.

What Other Options Are Available To Sleep In The 4Runner?

Sleeping on a twin mattress may be one option, but it may not be the best option for everyone. Having someplace to store the mattress when not in use can be a pain so many people search for other more favorable options.

Another negative of a twin mattress is it is hard to make it more compact when you aren’t sleeping and need to store gear. Often sleeping in the 4Runner involves doing what many call overlanding (or car camping), which requires you to have a decent amount of gear and supplies with you.

Air Mattress

They make twin air mattresses that fit nearly perfectly in the 4Runner. I recommend the ones that aren’t double height so you have some room to move around and/or sit up. Again, measure your air mattress and the 4Runner to make sure it will fit before you buy.

Sleeping Pad

One other popular sleeping option is to utilize a sleeping pad (similar to what you would take backpacking). You can use the cheap blue foam ones that you can find at Walmart or more traditional inflatable pads that are a little more costly but likewise more comfortable.

Personally, I combine both sleeping pad options by having a foam sleeping pad on the bottom and then an inflatable sleeping pad on top for added comfort. This has worked quite well for me, but everybody is different, so experiment to find what sleeping arrangement works best for you.

Memory Foam Mattress

I haven’t tried this, but you see people online who have used a memory foam mattress in the back of the 4Runner. Looking at this approach, it seems like you would need to cut the foam mattress in half, but this should be possible.

What About a Roof Top Tent?

Another option if you don’t want to sleep in your 4Runner but on your 4Runner is purchasing a rooftop tent and sleeping on top of your 4Runner. This option is viable, and a lot of people prefer this to sleeping inside the 4Runner. The benefits of a rooftop tent are you can set it up and take it down quickly, you don’t have to worry about sleeping on the ground, and often, it is convenient in the fact that you have more room in your 4Runner to store gear since you don’t need to account for sleeping room.

Another benefit is you could have two people sleep in the 4Runner and two on top of the 4Runner, so the addition of a rooftop tent would essentially double your sleeping space if that is of concern.

Safety Considerations When Sleeping In A 4Runner

Site Selection/Location

Where you park is an important consideration. You should park on level ground and if you can, in an area that is sheltered from the wind.

Avoid sleeping in your 4Runner in areas that don’t seem overly safe. This can vary depending on where you are. For example, if you are in a densely populated area, certain areas of the city likely are safer than others. While if you are in a remote area you may not want to park near a road and keep yourself and your 4Runner concealed.

Other Considerations

When sleeping in your 4Runner, it is crucial to keep the windows mainly rolled up, but leave a small opening for airflow. I like to leave the rear window down slightly, because the rear spoiler keeps the opening sheltered from the rain and makes it hard for someone to tell the window is open.

You should also keep your doors locked. This will ensure that if someone does try to break in, it will be much harder for them and make more noise, which will likely wake you up.

Additionally, I like to sleep with a headlamp or flashlight within reach. I always wake up while it is dark, and searching around a dark vehicle is a pain. Having a light within reach makes things easier.

Full Time Sleeping In a 4Runner?

Yes, you can sleep full-time in a 4Runner if you so choose. Personally, I would not, While the space is excellent for a night or two, long term, I don’t think it would be enough space, and it would grow old relatively fast.

I would likely get a small trailer or overland trailer that would give me a little more room and additional storage space for extra gear to make life much easier.

If I am traveling a lot, sleeping in the 4Runner can save a lot of money on hotels, which can be significant if you are traveling for an extended period or to multiple places. This option is great to rotate between a hotel room and sleeping in the 4Runner, so you save money but also can use the hotel to relax a little. Having more space and easy access to the bathroom and shower to freshen up is another benefit when rotating in a hotel stay.

Wrapping Up

I hope you have found this article helpful. I’ve spent many nights in my 4Runner and have slept comfortably most nights and wouldn’t hesitate to do it more often. With the proper preparation, you almost won’t be able to tell you aren’t in your bed at home!

Sleeping Comfortably: Can You Sleep In A Toyota 4Runner?

Many wonder if it’s possible to catch a good night’s sleep in the confined quarters of a Toyota 4Runner. This popular midsized SUV, although not designed as a sleeping solution, has been modified by many outdoor enthusiasts for comfortable camping experiences.

In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of sleeping in this compact vehicle, offer useful tips to optimize space and suggest alternative sleeping options for enhanced comfort.

Dive into our guide so you too can discover how to turn your 4Runner into an on-the-go bed!

Key Takeaways

  • Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner offers comfort, convenience, and privacy.
  • Folding down the rear seats can maximize sleeping space in a Toyota 4Runner.
  • Utilizing storage compartments can help organize camping gear and create more room for sleeping.
  • Using a sleeping platform or mattress can greatly enhance comfort while sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner.

Pros and Cons of Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner

Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner offers pros such as comfort, convenience, and privacy, but there are also cons like limited space and potential discomfort.

Pros: Comfort, convenience, privacy

Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner definitely has its advantages. For one, the vehicle’s spacious interior ensures comfort while sleeping. The backseat can fold down to provide more space and there’s even enough room for a compact mattress if you prefer it over car seats or if you need extra cushioning.

You’ll also enjoy the added convenience of not needing to set up tents or search out other lodging options when you’re on the road—we all know how cumbersome that can be! Moreover, with tinted windows and curtained areas available as add-ons, your privacy is assured within these vehicles.

Being settled inside a locked car provides an additional layer of safety by keeping any unwanted intrusions at bay while you sleep peacefully after a long day of driving or exploring.

Cons: Limited space, potential discomfort

Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner does have its drawbacks. One of the main cons is the limited space available for sleeping. The backseat area may not provide enough room to stretch out fully, especially if you are tall or prefer a lot of space while sleeping.

Additionally, there might be potential discomfort due to the firmness of the seats and lack of padding. However, with some creative solutions like using a sleeping platform or mattress, you can make your sleep experience more comfortable in this compact SUV.

Tips for Maximizing Sleeping Space in a Toyota 4Runner

To maximize sleeping space in a Toyota 4Runner, you can fold down the rear seats, utilize storage compartments, and consider using a sleeping platform or mattress.

Folding down rear seats

To maximize sleeping space in a Toyota 4Runner, one option is to fold down the rear seats. By folding the seats flat, you can create a larger area for sleeping and ensure more comfort during overnight stays.

This simple adjustment transforms the back of your SUV into a spacious sleep space, providing you with room to stretch out and relax. Folding down the rear seats also allows for better utilization of the cargo area, giving you ample space to store your camping gear or any other items you may need during your trip.

Utilizing storage compartments

Utilize the storage compartments in your Toyota 4Runner to maximize sleeping space during camping trips. The SUV offers various compartments, such as the glove compartment and center console, where you can store small items like keys, phones, and wallets for easy access.

Additionally, take advantage of the cargo area by organizing your camping gear efficiently with bins or storage containers. This way, you can keep larger items secure and create more room for sleeping comfortably in the back of your vehicle.

Sleeping bags and other essentials can be neatly stored in these compartments, making them easily accessible when resting.

Using a sleeping platform or mattress

A sleeping platform or mattress can greatly enhance your comfort in a Toyota 4Runner. By providing a level and cushioned surface, it allows for better support and reduces the risk of waking up with a sore back.

Whether you purchase a specific sleeping platform designed for the vehicle or a portable camping mattress, both options will help maximize your sleeping space and ensure a restful night’s sleep while on the road.

With the added benefit of being able to adjust the firmness to your liking, using a sleeping platform or mattress in your 4Runner is an excellent way to make car camping more comfortable.

Other Sleeping Options for Camping in a 4Runner

Roof top tents, ground tents, and hammocks are alternative options for sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner while camping.

Roof top tents

Roof top tents are a popular option for camping in a Toyota 4Runner. These tents attach to the roof rack of your vehicle and provide a comfortable sleeping space above ground level.

They come in various sizes and styles, accommodating different numbers of people. Roof top tents offer several advantages, including easy setup and teardown, protection from the elements, and improved views from an elevated position.

With their durable construction and convenience, roof top tents are an excellent choice for those seeking a unique camping experience in their 4Runner.

Ground tents

Ground tents are a popular alternative for camping in a Toyota 4Runner. They provide additional space and can be set up outside of the vehicle, allowing you to utilize the cargo area for storage or other purposes fully.

Ground tents come in different sizes and styles, offering various features such as multiple rooms, ventilation windows, and rainflys for added protection against the elements. Setting up a ground tent is relatively easy and can be done in just a few minutes with some practice.

It provides flexibility when it comes to choosing your sleeping arrangements and allows you to enjoy the outdoors while still having access to your vehicle if needed.


Hammocks are a popular sleeping option for camping in a Toyota 4Runner. They offer a unique and comfortable alternative to traditional sleeping arrangements. Hammocks can be easily set up between trees or attached to the roof rack of your 4Runner, providing you with an elevated and cozy place to sleep.

With hammocks, you can enjoy the gentle swaying motion as you relax and drift off to sleep. They also provide excellent ventilation and airflow, ideal for hot summer nights.

Hammocks are lightweight and easy to pack, saving valuable space in your vehicle for other camping gear.

For added comfort while sleeping in a hammock, consider investing in accessories such as bug netting or rain flies that protect you from insects or inclement weather conditions.

Safety Considerations for Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner

Ensure proper ventilation and airflow to prevent condensation and maintain a comfortable sleeping environment. Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk when running the engine or using heaters.

Take necessary security measures to ensure your safety while sleeping in your Toyota 4Runner. Find out more on how to sleep comfortably and safely in a vehicle.

Ventilation and airflow

Proper ventilation and airflow are essential when sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. Keeping the windows cracked open allows fresh air to circulate inside the vehicle, preventing condensation buildup and maintaining a cool temperature.

Additionally, using window shades or covers can help block out excess sunlight while still allowing for proper airflow. It’s important to prioritize your safety by ensuring enough oxygen flow throughout the night.

Carbon monoxide risk

Carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that is odorless and colorless, poses a potential risk when sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner or any vehicle. This gas can quickly build up inside the car with poor ventilation or exhaust leaks.

Breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide can lead to dizziness, headaches, nausea, and even death. It’s crucial to ensure proper airflow by cracking windows open slightly or using rooftop vents to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping in your vehicle.

Additionally, regularly checking for any exhaust leaks and addressing them promptly is essential for your safety.

Security measures

To ensure your safety while sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner, there are several important security measures to consider. First and foremost, always lock the doors and windows of your vehicle before settling down for the night.

This will help prevent unwanted intrusions. Additionally, it’s a good idea to park in well-lit areas or campgrounds that have security personnel on-site. If you’re concerned about privacy, you can invest in window shades or curtains to keep prying eyes out.

Finally, be cautious about where you sleep – opt for safe and legal parking areas whenever possible.

Conclusion: Determining if Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner is Right for You

Whether sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner suits you depends on your preferences and needs. Consider the advantages of comfort, convenience, and privacy, as well as the limitations of limited space and potential discomfort.

With proper planning and adjustments, you can optimize your sleeping experience in a 4Runner to ensure a comfortable night’s rest.


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