Cuddle vs Snuggle: What is the Difference?


People, who are well known to each other, may enter into each other’s personal space to make physical contact. These can be indicators of affection, trust and love towards each other. The manner in which people display affection is generally different in a public context to a private one.

In private, people in an intimate relationship or who are familiar with each other may be at ease with physical conduct and displays of affection, which may involve:

  • Cuddling/snuggling
  • Caressing (head, hands, arms, back and waist)
  • Tickling (e.g back and waist)
  • Massage (e.g neck, shoulder, back, thighs)
  • Touching heads.

Bonding through intimate, non-sexual contact between close friends and family members includes but not limited to holding hands, hugging, cuddling and kissing on the cheeks.

In regard to the main difference between Cuddle and Snuggle, well, both terms describe showing affection, love, and warmth through physical contact. Although, the two words mean the same thing, there is a little distinction between the two. Snuggle is specifically used in the context of romantic and sexual engagements whereas cuddle can be used in any specific situation, be it between friends and family members or between animals and human beings etc. Both of these actions express love, warmth and affection and are done only by loved ones.


Cuddle involves two people where one is embracing the other person by wrapping his or her arms around the other person. Cuddle is often done while sitting or lying down on bed or grass. Cuddling according to studies is a form of endearment and it causes the body to release oxytocin, which is commonly referred to as feel good hormone, which increases overall happiness.

Cuddling is usually a sign of warm and affection. During the entire period of cuddling, the involved individuals come in close contact with one another in a manner depicting them as locked together.  Cuddling is an act that is romantic and even sexual in nature as it is an act mostly engaged in by lovers and spouses.

However, cuddling doesn’t have to be between you and your romantic partner. It can also be between you and your baby or with another person. You can as well rub your own shoulders, hug a friend or play with your pets. A mother and child holding each other in comfortable position can be described as cuddling.

Depending on culture, context and relationship, cuddling can indicate familiarity, love, affection, friendship, brotherhood or sympathy. It can also indicate support, comfort and consolation particularly where words are insufficient.

Well, if you don’t want to be social or you don’t have a furry friend, it not over between you and cuddling. You can take a warm bath or get a massage. Feeling warm and connected by some sort of touch is enough to release oxytocin into your system and get you feeling good.


Snuggle is an English word commonly used in the United States and it describes a situation whereby one person lies in close contact with another person in attempt to draw comfort, give warmth or show affection. Snuggling can also be shared between two persons sitting somewhere in an intimate manner.  Snuggle is often associated with romantic, passionate and sexual connotations.

Unlike some other types of physical contact such as hug, snuggle is normally done privately and for a longer period of time (usually lasting for a few minutes to several hours).

The most obvious benefit of snuggling is getting close to your partner in the physical sense. Snuggling can lead to fun sexy time or relaxing and loving time post sexual intercourse. Also, according to studies, snuggling enhances the release of dopamine which is an excitatory hormone that increases sexual desire.

Reasons Why Cuddling/Snuggling is Important

  • Physical contact releases the feel good hormones in the brain that promotes happiness and lowers stress hormones, putting you in a better mood.
  • Cuddling promotes bonding between mother and child. It is also an excellent way of connecting more strongly with a romantic partner.
  • In romantic partners, it boosts sexual and relational satisfaction.
  • Cuddling is a peaceful activity and therefore, the physical touch reduces anxiety.
  • Cuddling improves quality and amount of sleep as well as improving cardio-respiratory homeostasis.
  • Cuddling lowers inflammation and chronic body pain.
  • It strengthens digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems.

Snuggle vs Cuddle: Key Takeaways

Physical Intimacy Intensity

  • Cuddling involves a more prolonged and tighter embrace, with both individuals holding each other closely.
  • Snuggling is often a gentler form of physical affection, involving leaning or resting against each other without necessarily holding on tightly.


  • Cuddling sessions tend to last longer, as they often involve extended periods of close contact and intimacy.
  • Snuggling moments might be shorter and more spontaneous, often occurring in passing or during brief moments of connection.

Intent and Emotion

  • Cuddling often signifies a deeper emotional connection and a desire for comfort, security, and emotional closeness.
  • Snuggling can be a lighter form of physical affection, conveying feelings of affection and warmth without necessarily carrying the same depth of emotional meaning as cuddling.

Posture and Position

  • Cuddling usually involves a specific body posture, such as lying down together with intertwined limbs or holding each other while sitting.
  • Snuggling can encompass a broader range of postures, including sitting side by side, lying next to each other, or resting heads on shoulders.

Intensity of Touch

  • Cuddling often involves more sustained and consistent physical touch, with hands placed on various parts of the body.
  • Snuggling might involve lighter touches, such as fingers tracing patterns on the arm or simply being physically close without constant touch.


  • Cuddling is often associated with seeking comfort, emotional support, and a sense of security from a partner or loved one.
  • Snuggling can be seen as a way to express fondness, closeness, and care, without necessarily implying the same level of emotional depth as cuddling.

Body Movement

  • Cuddling may involve more movement as individuals shift to find the most comfortable and snug positions while embracing.
  • Snuggling might involve less movement and more stillness, as the focus is on being physically close rather than actively adjusting positions.

Social Context

  • Cuddling might be more likely to occur in private or intimate settings, such as in bed or during quiet moments alone.
  • Snuggling can occur in a broader range of social contexts, including casual settings like watching a movie or sharing a comfortable space.

Also Read: Difference Between Spent And Spend


  1. hello!,I really like your writing so a lot! share we keep up a correspondence extra approximately your post on AOL? I need an expert in this house to unravel my problem. May be that is you! Taking a look ahead to see you.

Comments are closed.