Both of them mean bed and they target the same wiki page.

I mostly see ベッド, so I guess it is the common word for bed. In which case should I use 寝台 ?

  • 1
    Did you try an image search?
    – Earthliŋ
    Oct 27 '14 at 23:25
  • I saw that earlier but it confuses me. Why one word points toward the other one (not only on wiki, but also on most dictionaries I looked into) when it is not the same thing ? According to that image search 寝台 is to be used as beds found in 寝台車 only, is it ?
    – Kalzem
    Oct 27 '14 at 23:35
  • Well, the definition must use other words to define it. In all cases it's a "bed" of some kind after all. It's not only used for trains: tokaikotsu.co.jp/taxi/taxi-sindaisya.html As far as I know, it's usually not a synonym for ベッド (the kind you have in your bedroom).
    – Earthliŋ
    Oct 27 '14 at 23:42
  • Great explanations. You gave me the answer I wanted !
    – Kalzem
    Oct 27 '14 at 23:51

(Note that 寝る doesn't necessarily imply sleeping, but can mean "to lie down".)

寝台 is just what it says: an elevated platform (台) for lying down / sleeping (寝) and usually refers to the "bed"s in couchette/sleeping cars in trains (or buses, ships, etc.).

  • 1
    Thank you for the upvote. Just so you know, you could wait a couple of hours/days before accepting it to see if anyone can improve on this answer. (We have a number of native speakers active on this site, which often post great answers to all sorts of questions.)
    – Earthliŋ
    Oct 28 '14 at 0:14

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