Tips for choosing the most comfortable pajamas in hot, humid, dry, and cold weather
by Elizabeth Burton
For those fighting for a night of quality sleep, struggling to naturally moderate their body’s temperature (like those experiencing menopause and searching for the best pajamas for night sweats), or those simply leaning further into their shift towards fully remote work, take the guesswork out of pajama-picking by following below to learn the best fabrics to keep you cool in the heat and warm in the cold.
Eucalyptus tree, Image from @withlove_eorb on Instagram
Losing moisture through consistent sweating during the night can cause dehydration, making a cooling fabric that can wick away moisture and settle the body into a calmer, cooler state essential to quality sleep and a contributor to overall health. As such, the best pajamas to keep you cool are made from organic fibers that quickly respond to fluctuations in humidity. According to Melanie Aman in her article “7 Moisture-Wicking Pajamas That Will Keep You Cool All Night Long” for Woman’s World, the best pajamas “for those with overheating issues” are lightweight pajamas made of natural fibers like “linen, cotton, and wool...as they’re more breathable than other synthetic fabrics.”
Hot and Humid Weather
Stretch-knit Bamboo Classic Pajama Set, Image from Cozy Earth
Image from @amurelle_ on Instagram
While pajama fabric types include many different fibers, for hot, humid weather, the nasal strip maker recommends pajamas made of anything but “silk and polyester. They instead encourage “moisture-wicking” fabrics like cotton and other light, natural plant fibers. To avoid waking up with damp hair plastered to your head in the morning, consider including a cotton scrunchie or headband in your bedtime routine. According to Mizuno and Okamoto-Mizuno, exposure to humid heat does affect the stages of sleep as well as the body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature, making the right environment and the right pajamas absolutely crucial to quality sleep.
Avoid tight fabrics and stick to natural fibers that have more swing and give, making them less likely to cling to your body if you do get sweaty. Plant products like the bamboo-based viscose, which has been repeatedly lauded by Bustle, and eucalyptus-derived tencel, which has captured the attention of countless media including The Huffington Post, are the most consistently endorsed fibers for hot, humid weather.
Cold and Dry Weather
Flannel may be your best bet during cold, dry weather, as it is loosely woven, a characteristic that may seem counterintuitive to holding in heat, but which is actually a key. According to Bryan Horn in his article “Why Flannel Clothing is a Winter Wardrobe Staple” for Over Under Clothing, flannel’s “loose weave creates air pockets between fabric fibers…[and because] air is a great insulator... the many air pockets in flannel fabric are what helps it retain so much body heat in cold winter temperatures.” While flannel is made from linen, cotton, wool, and synthetic fibers, depending on the manufacturer, try to choose the naturally-sourced fabrics. They are longer lasting and often safer to wash, kinder to the planet, and better for your skin.
Wool skeins, Image from @maranghuset on Instagram
Sweet Dreams Sleep Set, Image from Up West
Cold and Humid Weather
Silk threads, Image from @nadija.prekrasna on Instagram
Silk pajamas, Image from @iconicexpressshop on Instagram
Instead of simply keeping you warm in cold months (but overheating you in the warm months as would flannel or fleece), silk keeps the body cool and moisture free in hot environments and keeps it comfortably warm in cold environments. This versatility is the reason that silk is frequently used in camisoles and other year-round undergarments. According to Angela Fritz in her article “How to dress to stay warm when it’s super cold” for The Washington Post, wearing silk is often recommended as the fabric worn closest to the body in cold, stormy weather.
Though each is slightly better suited to a certain season versus another, one can never really go wrong by choosing a natural, organic fabric like those derived from eucalyptus, cotton, flax, silk, and wool.