Snuggle vs Cuddle: Are They the Thing Same Thing or Different?

    Snuggle vs Cuddle

    Human touch is a potent medium for building affection and spreading happiness. But knowing the appropriate place and way of displaying physical affection is important. For instance, most people assume snuggling and cuddling are the same, but they aren’t. So, snuggle vs cuddle: how do these two vary? Let’s find out!

    What is cuddling?

    When two people embrace by wrapping their arms around each other, we call it cuddling. It is a way of showing affection and we cuddle people who are close to us. People can cuddle in various positions like lying down on a bed or couch or sitting comfortably.

    During cuddles, two people come close together in a way that’s similar to being locked together. It is a kind of endearment that makes the human body release a special hormone named oxytocin. The other name for oxytocin is feel good hormone and it makes us feel happy.

    You can cuddle your baby to stop it from crying or make it feel the warmth of your bosom. You can cuddle your partner to make them feel loved. Also, you can cuddle your pet to get rid of stress and cheer yourself up.

    When you neither have a companion nor a furry friend, you can book a relaxing massage or take a warm bath. Getting some sort of human touch or feeling warm is enough to motivate your brain to release oxytocin.

    What does cuddling signify?

    Depending on context, relationship, and culture, cuddling can communicate love, familiarity, brotherhood, sympathy, and friendship. It also indicates consolation and support in situations where words aren’t sufficient.

    For example, when you visit someone who has lost a family member, wrapping your arms around them is the best way to share your condolences.

    What is snuggling?

    According to the dictionary, snuggling is a situation where two individuals lie close to each other. It can be an attempt to give warmth, show affection, or draw comfort.

    Snuggling can happen when two persons are sitting in intimate positions. Snuggling can have sexual, passionate, or amorous connotations when the two persons snuggling are married or dating.

    The biggest snuggling benefit is that it allows you to be physically close to the special person. It helps you de-stress yourself and spend some fun time with your mate.

    If you feel aroused after snuggling for a while, it is the most normal reaction. Doctors have confirmed that snuggling spikes the dopamine levels in our bodies. It is a hormone that excites us triggers sexual desire.

    Why are cuddles and snuggles necessary?

    Now that you know the cuddle vs snuggle meaning, let’s discuss the significance of snuggle and cuddle:

    1. Physical contact, when done after obtaining someone’s consent, instantly lifts a person’s mood. That’s because our brain ends up releasing feel good hormones when we are in a happy place. Studies have revealed that it also reduces stress.
    2. Doctors encourage new parents to cuddle their baby frequently as it promotes bonding. It is the best way to make a baby feel loved and protected.
    3. Physical intimacy is a sign of a healthy relationship between two people who share a romantic relationship. It also helps you sort out differences with your romantic partner after an argument or misunderstanding.
    4. Snuggling your spouse daily for at least a few minutes is essential. It improves sexual satisfaction even when you are not engaged in coitus.
    5. Cuddling is therapeutic and it has a healing effect. This peaceful activity is among the best anodynes for anxiety without any side effects.
    6. Cuddling does not just improve our mental health but can also have positive effects on our physical well-being. It reduces inflammation and provides relief from intense body pain.
    7. Need more reasons to snuggle and cuddle? Believe it or not, these activities will strengthen your circulatory, gastrointestinal, and digestive health.

    Snuggle vs cuddle: which is more like a hug?

    A snuggle or cuddle is not like other kinds of physical contact. Hugging generally takes place for a shorter period of time. Hugs are so brief that they last for a few seconds. Snuggling, on the other hand, can last for minutes, even hours. Moreover, you can hug someone in public places like parties, airports, hospitals, etc. But when it comes to a snuggle/ cuddle, people prefer to do it in privacy.

    Snuggle vs cuddle: which one’s sexual?

    Cuddling and snuggling are acts that can be both affectionate and sensual in nature. It depending on whom you are snuggling or cuddling. For instance, cuddling your pet will make you feel good without triggering any carnal feelings. Likewise, snuggling your sibling and drifting off to sleep is normal and healthy.

    Now imagine cuddling your lover when you are watching TV together at the end of a tiring day. It is a romantic gesture and can arouse you in no time. So, snuggling/ cuddling can evoke sexual feelings only when you are doing it with your spouse/ lover.

    Should you ask before snuggling/ cuddling?

    Both snuggling and cuddling can be inappropriate when you don’t share a certain level of intimacy with a person. They are unnecessary and can be even considered offensive when done in a formal setting. So, when you don’t know someone on a personal level, taking their permission is mandatory. Before engaging in any kind of intimacy, you must find out if the other person is okay with it.

    However, snuggling or cuddling is a natural way of expressing love between two people in a relationship. Similarly, you don’t need to wait for permission before cuddling your parent or close friend. Therefore, the desirability of physical affection depends on the nature of the relationship you have with someone.

    Cuddling/ Snuggling Etiquette at Workplace

    Cuddling comes naturally when a friend or a family member shares happy news or they are sad. Cuddling a long-term friend is one thing, but cuddling a colleague is a different ball game. So, being mindful of cuddling etiquette at your workplace will stop you from stepping into someone’s private space.

    Here are some do’s and don’ts that you must not forget:

    1. When you are not sure how your colleague will respond to your tight hug, don’t take any chances. Refrain from hugging them to avoid uncomfortable situations. Instead, you can give a high-five or shake hands.
    2. You may have a permanent client whom you see often. Over time, you may develop some sort of kinship with the person. However, hugging your clients will still not be wise.
    3. Embracing a subordinate is again a big no. No matter how nice you are to your employees, you are their boss. So, your friendly cuddle can be misconstrued as you are higher in position.
    4. Have you started bonding with a co-worker? Observe how your work buddy greets you. If they prefer shaking hands, you can reciprocate accordingly.

    Snuggle vs Cuddle: Major Dissimilarities

    How is snuggling different from cuddling in terms of duration, posture, symbolism, intent, and body movement? This cuddle vs snuggle disparities list will make it easy for you to understand how they differ.


    • Cuddling moments can be brief and spontaneous. You can cuddle a baby for a few minutes and rock it to sleep. You cuddle your dog for a while as soon as you step into your house. So, cuddling can take place in the passing.
    • Snuggling sessions have a tendency to last longer. They ideally involve extended timeframes of intimacy and close contact.

    Emotion and Intent

    • If you are looking for a deeper connection on an emotional level, cuddling is recommended. It signifies emotional closeness, comfort, and security.
    • Snuggling is a lighter form of affection that provides warmth but lacks the depth that cuddling possesses. It makes us feel loved and conveys affection without carrying any emotional meaning.

    Intensity of Physical Intimacy

    • Cuddling always involves a tight embrace in which both individuals participate actively. When two people cuddle, they hold each other dearly and closely.
    • As opposed to cuddling, snuggling is a gentler version of physical affection. It involves resting or leaning against each other. It is a relaxed state in which you can lie down with your partner or watch a movie. You can even sleep in a snuggling position as it does not need you to hold tightly.

    Position and Posture

    • When you cuddle, finding a specific posture is crucial to make the most of the cuddle. It can be lying down with intertwined legs and arms. It can also mean holding a person close to your chest in a sitting posture.
    • Snuggling gives you the freedom to experiment with various postures. You don’t have to wrap your arms around a person but can simply sit side by side. It is called snuggling as your arms will touch and your shoulders will brush. Even when you rest your head on someone’s lap – it qualifies as snuggling.

    Frequency of Touch

    • It isn’t cuddling if there is no consistent and sustained physical touch. If you observe two people cuddling, you’ll notice that their hands are exploring various body parts of the other person. This intensity of touch separates cuddling from snuggling.
    • Snuggling involves lighter touches like fingers drawing alphabets on the other person’s arm. Being just close to your special person without feeling the need to touch constantly is also snuggling.

    Body Movement

    • Another striking difference between a cuddle and a snuggle is the body movement. Cuddling can involve movements and change of positions. Individuals often shift as they try to find the most relaxing position to cuddle. Rubbing each other shoulders or massaging the neck is common while cuddling.
    • Snuggling is all about more relaxation and less movement. There is no compulsion to find a perfect position in which you can hold someone. It primarily focuses on having someone close and bodies touching.

    Social Context

    • Cuddling can occur in casual settings and a broader variety of social contexts. You can cuddle when you are having fun with friends in an indoor space.
    • Snuggling takes place on a personal level and in a quiet place where two people are spending quality time. It can be in bed or your balcony with some soft music and soothing lights. It is something that couples do when they are alone.


    • Cuddling is a way of seeking and providing comfort and emotional support. It can give a sense of security to a child or someone who feels lost and hopeless. Your cuddles can let someone know that you are always there for them.
    • Snuggling is an impressive way of expressing closeness and care. It may not imply the emotional depth that cuddling signifies. You can snuggle with your partner only because you crave some togetherness. It does not have to mean anything other than your fondness for that person.

    Final thoughts

    In conclusion, both cuddling and snuggling express warmth and love. However, we must always remember that one touch has the potential to make someone feel uncomfortable or at ease. Now that we have delineated the difference between snuggle and cuddle, you won’t end up entering into someone’s personal space.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Which is better snuggle or cuddle?

    A cuddle is a type of physical affection that does not have a sexual or romantic connotation. So, you can cuddle a friend, your pet, or any person important in your life. A snuggle is an embrace between people in love and therefore, hints of romance and passion.

    2. Can you snuggle with a friend?

    Snuggling is a safe way of expressing comfort and closeness between lovers. So, if you want to comfort a friend, cuddling is a better option. Platonic cuddling is popular with family members and friends.

    3. Do you snuggle or cuddle a baby?

    When you hold a baby close to your chest, it is called cuddling. To cuddle a baby, place its head close to the left half of your chest. This way, the baby can hear your heartbeat, and this skin-on-skin contact is essential to build trust and familiarity.