The Boarding Education Alliance, the group of 180 schools that commissioned the survey, says its findings go some way to dispelling the myth that children are "sent away".
Nearly half of 1,000 boarders surveyed live within 50 miles of their home. More than one in four see their parents once a week and nearly one in three see them three or four times a term. Younger children see their parents more often.
Boarders' living conditions are a far cry from the bleak dormitories and gristly stews of yesteryear. More than half of the pupils said the food at their school was good or excellent.
More than a third of pupils have a room of their own, rising to 80 per cent by the time they are 17. Nine out of 10 have their own posters and pictures in their room, four out of five have their own duvet and three out of four have their own stereo. Only 22 per cent have their own computer - twice as many boys as girls.
And the advantages over day school? Four out of five felt the development of close friendships and independence was much stronger at boarding school. "Don't have to travel to school, don't have to deal with the stresses of home life," said one girl of 17.