Did you know that the clothes you sleep in can play a role in how well you sleep? After all, you want pajamas that will keep you comfortable and cozy all year long. In summer, pajamas need to be lightweight and breathable. But in winter, you want them to keep you warm. So what is the best fabric for pajamas?
The best and most comfortable fabrics for pajamas are:
- Cotton, including Supima cotton
Silk is the best pajama fabric for year-round wear, but the other fabrics listed are good for certain seasons and styles of pajamas.
Whether you want to buy some pajamas or make your own, my guide to the best pajama fabrics can help you determine what to choose. I’ll share with you the best fabrics to wear to sleep in during spring, summer, fall, and winter, as well as some other factors to take into consideration.
What is the Best Fabric for Pajamas in Spring and Summer?
As the temperatures start to warm up in spring and summer, increased humidity and heat can make the air feel stuffy and stifling. When we’re trying to get a good night’s rest, the last thing we want is to be uncomfortable because we’re sweating or feel like our skin is suffocating in our pajamas.
With that being said, the best fabric for pajamas that you wear during the spring and summer needs to be lightweight and breathable for you to get your best night’s sleep. You’ll notice that many pajamas sold in stores during this time of the year are made from lightweight fabrics, including the ones below.
The following are the best lightweight and breathable fabrics to use for pajamas, including a description of why they are a good choice. Just for comparison, I’ll mention a few cons of each fabric type as well.
SilkSilk is one of the most popular fabric choices for pajamas due to its many amazing qualities. It not only feels soft against the skin, but it can also feel cool against the skin during the warmer months. It is also a natural fabric, so it is very breathable and will circulate air through it to help keep you cool.
Silk is also a very lightweight fabric. The fabric can feel almost weightless when you wear it. But, the only downsides to silk are that it is more absorbent of sweat and body oils, so it will need to be cleaned more often. Plus, silk pajamas are often more expensive than pajamas made from other fabrics.
CottonCotton is famous for its lightweight and breathable quality. This is a result of it also being a natural fabric. An added bonus of choosing cotton for your pajamas is that it is one of the softest fabrics. It will feel soft and smooth and against your skin and can provide a cooling sensation as well.
Cotton also has some stretch to it, which means that it is easy to move around in pajamas made from cotton. However, cotton doesn’t have the best moisture-wicking properties, so it may not be the best choice if you sweat while you sleep.
Supima cotton is a premium version of regular cotton pajamas. This type of cotton is one of the highest quality cotton fabrics you can buy, and it tends to be softer than regular cotton while still maintaining its breathability.
Supima cotton is also extra-lightweight and has some stretch so that you can move around easily without feeling like the fabric is holding you down. Especially when combined with cotton bedsheets, you may even feel as if you’re sleeping on a cloud. However, because it is higher-quality, it tends to be a more expensive fabric compared to some of the others that are mentioned.
Knit fabrics, specifically modal and jersey for spring and summer, are also a good lightweight and breathable fabric choice. Modal and jersey are usually made from cotton, but being knitted instead of woven gives them more breathability. These fabrics also tend to have a lot of stretch to them, meaning that you can get even more movement out of them, especially for people that have to assume different and sometimes strange positions to go to sleep.
Knit fabrics are also very versatile, and you can find a lot of different pajama styles made from them. Some knit fabrics can be a bit warm for summertime, so choosing a cooling fabric like a modal knit can help you get the most comfort out of your pajamas.
LinenHave you noticed that all of the fabrics that have been mentioned for spring and summer pajamas so far have been natural fabrics? It’s a fact that most natural fabrics are more breathable than synthetic ones, and linen is no exception. Plus, linen is one of the most lightweight and comfortable fabrics that there is.
But, there are a few downsides to linen that make it a less popular fabric choice for pajamas. For starters, linen wrinkles easily. If you’re okay with waking up with your pajamas wrinkled, then by all means, go for linen. But if you’re not okay with wrinkled pajamas, be prepared to iron them a lot. The other con to linen is that it tends to be more expensive than cotton and knit fabrics.
BambooLet’s get the downside out of the way first. Bamboo is still a relatively new fabric, so it isn’t as widely used for making pajamas. However, if you come across any bamboo fabric or pajamas made from bamboo fabric, it is worth considering them.
Bamboo has a very soft and silky texture, so it will feel great against the skin.
Combine that with being breathable and naturally moisture-wicking, and you have the perfect pajamas, especially for someone who tends to get hot in their sleep.
Best Pajama Fabric for Autumn and Winter?
As the air starts to get cooler in autumn and winter, you start to have a desire to feel warm and cozy, even if the heat is on in your house. There’s nothing better than putting on a warm pair of pajamas on a cold winter night, especially if you spent a lot of the day outside.
The best fabric choices for pajamas you wear in the wintertime are thicker fabrics that have more insulating properties. These will retain more heat to keep you warm while you sleep. Here are the best fabrics to look for when it comes to winter pajamas.
WoolWool is one of the warmest fabrics there is, but it can be too stuffy when worn inside where you can control the heat. It does make a great fabric for pajamas that you might wear while camping during the winter, though. You can’t control the outside air temperature, but you can wear a fabric that retains more body heat to help keep you warm.
Wool isn’t the most common fabric used for pajama sets anyway. You are more likely to find pajama pants made from wool than shirts, but if you need warm pajama fabric for an outdoor adventure, then wool should be a top choice. Wool is more expensive than other fabrics, though, and often requires more special care when cleaning it than other fabrics do.
FleeceFleece fabric is essentially a synthetic version of wool. It’s more suitable to wear indoors because it isn’t as warm as wool, but it can still cause you to get too hot, especially if you’re prone to sweating while you sleep anyway.
But, the fabric is extremely soft and comes in many different textures and styles. Fleece is most often used to make pajama pants.
It isn’t often used to make shirts simply because of how hot it can get.
But if you’re a cold-natured person, then fleece is a good fabric choice for winter pajamas.
FlannelFlannel is usually a polyester knit fabric that has a soft and sometimes fuzzy texture. It’s a much better alternative to fleece and wool because it will keep you warm without causing overheating or discomfort. Flannel also doesn’t wrinkle easily and has a good bit of stretch to it.
Flannel is typically used to make pajama pants but can also be used to make button-up pajama shirts. With any other type of shirt that is more tight-fitting, flannel can feel a bit uncomfortable as far as retaining heat goes.
Button-up flannel pajama shirts tend to fit more loosely, so it allows air to circulate better. If a flannel shirt makes you too hot, you can wear a cotton or polyester thermal shirt with flannel pants.
BroadclothBroadcloth is a heavier version of cotton fabric that is more suitable for winter pajamas. It will keep you warmer than traditional cotton and is usually used to make matching pajama sets, typically those with a button-up shirt with a pocket on the front.
Broadcloth is also more cooling against the skin than traditional cotton fabric, but it is a woven fabric, so it doesn’t have much stretch.
It’s better for pajamas that fit more loosely to make movement easier.
Broadcloth also isn’t as soft as fleece or flannel.
If you get hot while you sleep, even in winter, then you may want to consider knit fabrics for autumn and winter pajamas as well. This is because knit fabric, in general, tends to be warmer while still having enough breathability to keep you from overheating.
Silk is another great option for autumn and winter pajamas if you tend to get hot while you sleep. This is due to the cooling effect that it has against the skin. But as mentioned earlier, silk is one of the more absorbent fabrics, so you may want to choose a different fabric if you sweat while you sleep. You will have to clean it more often.
Is Cotton or Polyester Better for Pajamas?
Between cotton and polyester, it’s hard to say which one is better for pajamas. It just depends on what you prefer when you sleep. For example, cotton feels a bit softer against the skin than polyester does, and because it is a natural fabric, it tends to be more lightweight and breathable.
However, polyester is also breathable, and it has better moisture-wicking abilities than cotton does. It’s better for wicking away sweat that may happen while you sleep. Polyester is a synthetic fabric, so it is wrinkle-resistant and more durable overall. Pajamas made from it will generally last a very long time.
What Is the Warmest Material for Pajamas?
The warmest material for pajamas will either be wool or fleece. But as I mentioned, some people tend to overheat or find these fabrics suffocating when they wear them. With that being said, flannel is the next warmest fabric. It is a knit fabric, so it has more breathability. It doesn’t tend to cause overheating and is more comfortable to wear.
What Fabric Is Safest for Sleepwear?
Polyester is the safest fabric for sleepwear because it doesn’t tend to catch on fire easily. The fabric can melt when exposed to heat, but it isn’t necessarily flammable. Often, polyester is treated with a fire-resistant chemical, especially when it comes to sleepwear. It is the primary material used for children’s sleepwear, in particular, because of this.
Which Sleepwear Fabric is Best for Certain Styles?
The style of pajamas that you wear can vary based on the season, as does the fabric used to make them. Summertime pajamas tend to be short-sleeved with either long pants or shorts. Most pajama shorts tend to be made from cotton or knit fabrics, especially if you live in a warmer climate in which you need more breathability.
Silk pajamas are also popular for summer and are usually sold as a set. Silk pajama sets usually come with either shorts or pants and a button-up, short-sleeved shirt. But silk can also be used for winter pajamas. Silk winter pajamas usually have pants and a button-up, long-sleeved shirt.
Other pajamas for winter are usually made from flannel or fleece. There aren’t very many fleece pajama sets, but it is common to see fleece pajama pants. Flannel can be used to make pajama pants as well, but sometimes you’ll find fleece pajama sets, as well as robes made from fleece. These sets usually consist of long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
Which Pajamas Fabric is Best for My Skin?
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing fabric for pajamas is your skin. Some people may find certain fabrics to be itchy or uncomfortable, or they may have skin sensitivities or allergies, so choosing the right fabric is important to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.
With that being said, silk is always a good year-round pajama fabric choice. It is hypoallergenic, soft, and smooth against the skin. But, you shouldn’t choose it if you have oily skin and don’t want to wash it more often. If you’re willing to wash it more frequently, then silk is probably the best choice for you.
You’ll want to avoid wool, fleece, and flannel if those fabrics make you itch or if you are prone to sweating even in winter. Instead, opt for cotton or knit for a breathable but warm fabric if you sweat while you sleep. If you can find it, bamboo is also a good hypoallergenic, breathable and cooling fabric that is good for your skin. It is thought to have antimicrobial properties as well.
What Else Should I Consider for Pajamas?
There are a couple of other things you’ll want to consider for pajamas, especially if making your own. The first is the fit. You’ll want a looser-fitting fabric during spring and summer to help circulate cool air better. For winter pajamas, you may want a tighter fit to help retain heat closer to your body unless tight fabrics make you uncomfortable.
You’ll also want to consider whether you want your pajamas to have buttons or snaps. Pajama pants typically have an elastic waist or drawstrings, but tops can either button or pull over your head. Buttons can be uncomfortable for some people, so you should choose the style of top that makes you the most comfortable.
If you sweat, you’ll want to choose a fabric that is more moisture-wicking. After all, you don’t want to wake up soaked. Silk and bamboo are more moisture-wicking than cotton. Cotton tends to absorb water instead of wicking it away, and it takes longer to dry. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester are also more moisture-wicking than cotton.
How Much Fabric Do I Need for Pajamas?
If you want to make your own pajamas, the exact amount of fabric you need depends on the specific pattern you are making. You will need fabric for both the top and pants, but if you want them to match, you will need to make sure that you buy enough of the same fabric.
If you want a different style or fabric type for the top, you may be buying two different materials. But again, the pattern will tell you how much fabric you need for each piece. You’ll also want to keep in mind that pajama pants usually have an elastic waist or drawstrings, so you will need those materials as well.
If you are just making pajama pants you won’t need as much fabric as if you were making a whole set. Usually, three yards of 44” fabric should be enough to make any size pajama pants that you would need. But for smaller adult sizes or larger children’s sizes, two yards of fabric is usually more than enough. One yard of fabric may be enough to make pajama pants for smaller children.
Pajama Fabric by the Yard
The exact price and width of pajama fabric will vary based on the type of fabric and whether or not it is printed or solid. Plain cotton and polyester fabrics tend to be cheaper than silk, flannel, and fleece, especially considering that many flannel and fleece fabrics are patterned. Fabrics with more details on them also tend to cost more.
You can reasonably expect to pay between $4 and $7 per yard for pajama fabric, in widths that range from 45 to 65 inches. But again, it just depends on the type of fabric and where you purchase the fabric from.
The best fabric for pajamas just depends on what season it is and your sleeping habits and what you’re comfortable with. Pajamas made from silk and knit fabrics tend to work year-round. Lightweight fabrics such as cotton are best for summer, and warmer fabrics such as flannel and fleece are popular for winter. If you found this article helpful, share it with others and leave a comment. Thanks for reading!