Actually, You Sleep Better in Real Pajamas—Here Are 5 of Our Favorites

I’m a notoriously terrible sleeper, with insomnia through the roof. I’ve tried red light and candles in the evenings (no “big light,”) soothing meditations, and more, and supplements that frankly did give me nightmares, but nothing quite broke through my literal fog like establishing core pillars of my nightly routine to anchor my brain firmly in sleep mode.

One of them? Actual pajamas.

We’re the first to champion loungewear, but we have to admit the lines between cozy and sleepy blur a little during those morning work-from-home calls in which, fine, sure, we’ll stay in the slippers—even though studies show that throwing on “real” shoes can boost your productivity thanks to cue-dependent memory. (Translation: dressing up tricks your brain into getting into work mode.)

Similarly, having a firm delineation between daytime and nighttime—like specific clothes you only wear past a certain time—can help cue your brain into doze mode. Plus, like your favorite sheets or the cool side of the pillow, the right fabric has thermoregulating and comforting properties that can help you catch some much-needed REM moments too.

As a recovered bad sleeper and professional shopping writer, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite pajamas—stylish, comfortable, cooling, you name it—from slips to sets to get you in the mood to snooze. Scroll on for my top five.

COZY EARTH BAMBOO PJS | Bamboo is naturally very thermoregulating, making it a cooling pick for sleepers who run hot. I personally find the supersoft fabric immensely appealing when I need an extra burst of comfort. Sizing ranges from XS to XXXL, and the pick even comes in eight attractive colorways.

PETIT PLUME LUXE PIMA COTTON | You might as well go full-on into the pajama set with this luxuriously comfortable long-sleeve top and pant set, befitting all types of weather. These soften with wash, so they—like your sleep routine—get even better with time and consistent use. Warning: this one may actually tempt you to linger longer in its coziness before you get dressed. You can even get it monogrammed if that’s your vibe.

COSABELLA DOLCE BABYDOLL | Lacey lingerie isn’t just for those with partners (although it sure comes in handy), and the wireless, non-padded cups of this chic slip offer just enough coverage if you do wear it around the house too. A lightweight slip can be an appealing pick for barely-there sleep wear, especially for those used to sleeping wearing nothing, and can also add a small element of romanticization and self-care to your ritual.

LAKE HAMPTONS NIGHTGOWN | For a more polished, cottagecore feel, consider Lake Pajamas. The brand was developed considering the sticky summer months of the South, so you know it’ll feel good no matter the heat or lack thereof. The button-front details and smocking have a certain modest charm to them too. The printed patterns add a certain pizzazz, and most Lake styles even come in smaller sizes for coordinating with any little ones. 

DEMPSEY & DEMPSEY LONG PYJAMA SET | We just established that the ratty t-shirt you wear to run errands or complete your workout ain’t gonna cut it when you’re classically conditioning yourself to fall a sleep quickly. So why not go full-on fashionista with a luxury pick made to make your nighttime ritual decadent? This striking, tailored (but soft) long pajama set from Dempsey & Dempsey might as well have its own outfit-of-the-day dedication: it’s a look, one so distinctive that it makes you want to stop everything else you’re doing to relish in its comfort. In other words? Grab a paperback, make a steaming cup of tea, and get ready to relax. Your day is now over. PS. It comes in 21 patterns and colorways too.

From our friends