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The surprisingly hygge-appropriate reason airport gate areas are carpeted

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Photo: Stocksy/B Harvey

If you’ve ever wondered why airport-gate waiting areas have carpet instead of hard, smooth-surfaced floors that are optimal for wheeling luggage, it’s not just because the aesthetic looks better (in a nostalgic retro way!). Rather, the decor choice actually has a lot to do with the well-being of travelers.

Airports are designed with the intent of making people feel more relaxed and at home before takeoff—and carpet plays a big role in making the terminal feel like your living room.

Because traveling is so stressful, airports are designed with the intent of making people feel more relaxed and at home before takeoff—and, according to Mental Floss, carpet plays a big role in making the terminal feel like your living room. The waiting areas carpeted so you’re more likely to sprawl out and kick off your self-care DIY masking routine during that unforeseen weather delay. And if, let’s say, said delay messes up your connection in another city, the hope is you’ll be so Zen, you’ll just go with it. (Nice try, airports.)

Sure, that grounding and relaxing intent isn’t only reason airports want the vibe to be hygge-approved: Mental Floss reported that you’re more likely to spend money while you’re waiting for your flight to board when you’re stress-free. Hmmm…maybe that’s also why one airport just opened its own yoga studio.

Theoretically, it’s a win-win for both parties: After you swaddle yourself in a cozy throw at the gate, airports cash in when you buy overpriced snacks and kombucha. But don’t make yourself totally at home: There’s no word on how often the carpets are cleaned.

Get your hygge on (cheaply!) with these Black Friday deals. And while you’re at it, pick up these cozy $1 socks from Old Navy.