What Fabric Is Best for Pajamas? Our Top 4 Picks

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What Fabric Is Best for Pajamas? Our Top 4 Picks

It’s no secret that comfortable pajamas are key to a good night’s sleep. And the coziness of any PJ set comes down to what it’s made of. But your personal best fabric for pajamas might differ for someone with a different sleep style and texture preference. 

Read on for our top choices when it comes to what fabric is best for pajamas (and the pros and cons of each).


Cotton is the world’s most popular natural fiber. Since 5,000 BC, farmers around the world have harvested the fluffy fibers surrounding cotton seeds to be spun into that familiar comforting fabric.

More of your wardrobe than you might think is derived from cotton (from anything denim to jersey to corduroy). Types of cotton popular for PJs include:

  • Flannel – This tightly-woven, brushed cotton fabric is used for thicker, warmer pajamas.
  • Poplin – This plain-weave cotton is crisp and durable, but still soft to the touch.
  • Muslin – Loosely woven, muslin is extremely light and breathable (picture the texture of a quilt’s backing).

Most pajamas on today’s market are derived from some type of cotton, and for good reason. Cotton is the best fabric for sleepwear—and if not the best, at least a top 3 contender.

Read more: What to Wear to Bed for a Better Snooze

Benefits of Cotton

There are types of cotton to fit every bill and time of year, and all cotton-derived clothing shares certain perks. Cotton is:

  • Natural – Since it’s plant-based and doesn’t include synthetic fibers, cotton itself is organic.
  • Durable – Cotton doesn’t stretch much, and extra-long cotton in particular is built to last.
  • Breathable – Lighter cotton-based fabrics (like jersey and muslin) are designed to breathe and absorb sweat while repelling odor.
  • Skin-sensitive – Fabrics containing at least 60% cotton are less likely to be itchy, irritating, stiff or clingy.

You can count on cotton for a cozy night’s sleep (and many more to come).

Cotton’s Drawbacks

While it remains a classic, cotton has its cons, including:

  • Sustainability – While strides have been made, cotton is still less than eco-friendly, mostly because of the sheer amount of water required to produce it. For example, 97% of the Indus River’s water is used for crops like cotton.
  • Maintenance – Cotton does shrink in the wash and wrinkles easily. Be sure to size up and choose a cotton fabric with longer fibers to help lock in color and repel lint.
  • Absorption of Moisture: Cotton can absorb a significant amount of moisture and does not wick it away from the body. So if you sweat during the night, the fabric will stay wet, which can feel cold and uncomfortable.

Choosing durable, responsibly-farmed cotton will help keep your sleep peaceful and your PJs in good shape.

Who Should Choose Cotton?

If you have sensitive skin, don’t sweat profusely or are looking for pajamas to suit a specific climate (i.e. flannel for cold, muslin for heat), cotton PJs are the way to go.

Moisture-Wicking Fabric

“Moisture-wicking” is an all-encompassing term for a variety of natural and synthetic fabric types. This includes fabrics you might choose to wear for a sweaty workout (i.e. spandex, polyester, nylon) as well as textiles that naturally absorb moisture (i.e. wool, bamboo).

Wool, for instance, retains about 16% of water when it’s wet (compared to just 8.5% for cotton), meaning it won’t feel “soaked” and is less likely to chafe on skin.

Several pajama fabrics are designed to wick moisture, from particularly absorbent merino wool to polyester and spandex blends.

Benefits of Moisture-Wicking Fabric

Moisture-wicking fabrics are primarily famous for their absorbency, but offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • Temperature regulation – One study found that participants wearing a moisture-wicking polyester-based shirt in a hot room (as opposed to a 100%-cotton shirt) showed significantly lower body temperature. This was proof of the moisture-wicking fabric’s ability to evaporate a higher percentage of sweat and keep wearers cooler.
  • Stretchiness – Most moisture-wicking fabrics are knit as opposed to woven, meaning they’re light and stretchy (but will bounce back).
  • Maintenance – Most moisture-wicking fabrics are easy to clean and even repel dirt and odor.

Moisture-wicking fabrics are the definition of a breeze—they’ll keep you cool with minimal care required.

Moisture Wicking Fabric’s Drawbacks

Moisture-wicking fabric comes with its cons, including:

  • Less skin-sensitive – Many wearers find wool itchy. Some even develop rashes and hives if allergic to moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester.
  • Expensive – Some of the most effective moisture-wicking fabrics, tend to be more expensive than their synthetic counterparts.

Since moisture-wicking is an umbrella term, additional drawbacks of each fabric may vary.

Who Should Choose Moisture-Wicking Fabric?

Moisture-wicking fabric is ideal for sweaty sleepers who don’t want to sacrifice feeling cozy and warm.

Read more: The Best Pajamas for Night Sweats

Did you know: Softies’ PJs are made of buttery-soft moisture-wicking fabric that regulates your body temperature without irritating your skin?


Produced by silkworms as nesting material, silk is notoriously light, soft and luxurious.

Benefits of Silk

There’s no greater simple pleasure than a soft silk PJ set. Benefits of silk include:

  • Texture – Silk is incredibly lightweight and soft while still remaining strong, durable, and flexible.
  • Breathability – Silk is both insulated and breathable, meaning it will absorb sweat without leaving you too cold during the night. It’s often used in surgical masks, since it’s more breathable than cotton, repels water, and is naturally antimicrobial.
  • Sustainability – Silk is a renewable, biodegradable resource that calls for less use of water and chemicals than other fabrics.

Silk is associated with pajamas for good reason: its light yet insulated quality means it can be worn year-round.

Silk’s Drawbacks

Despite the luxury it evokes, silk is not without its drawbacks, including:

  • Stains easily – While it’s absorbent, silk does hang onto stains, especially from water.
  • Maintenance – Silk is dry-clean-only, wrinkles and wears when rubbed against sheets, and can fade from UV and heat exposure.
  • Cost – Silk is one of the more expensive fabrics due to the labor-intensive production processes, making silk pajamas a luxury item that may not be affordable for everyone.

Ultimately, silk is a commitment, but one that might be worth it for a lavish night’s sleep.

Who Should Choose Silk?

Choose silk if you’re willing to invest in taking care of a fabric that’s feather-light, breathable and remarkably soft on skin.


Fabrics like bamboo viscose and bamboo rayon are woven from the wood pulp of a bamboo plant. They’re just as soft as cotton, but often lighter and stretchier—ideal for PJs and bed sheets.

Benefits of Bamboo

Bamboo fabric has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, thanks to benefits like:

  • Breathability – Bamboo falls under the “moisture-wicking” umbrella. It’s lightweight yet strong, mirroring the hollow nature of the plant.
  • Skin-sensitive, soft texture – Soft and stretchy to the touch, bamboo fends off static electricity. It’s also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial.
  • Colorfast – Bamboo holds color well without fading, even after machine washing.

Bamboo is the best of both worlds: a natural, hypoallergenic fabric with the bright colors and wicking capabilities of a synthetic one.

Bamboo’s Drawbacks

Bamboo might seem like a win-win, but there are drawbacks to consider, like:

  • Not always sustainable – Bamboo is plant-based and sustainable in theory. The quick-growing, renewable grass even improves soil quality and kills weeds. However, the process of turning bamboo into fabric is chemically intensive and requires large amounts of water and energy.
  • Not always durable – Bamboo has a tendency to wrinkle and pill over time and may need to be frequently ironed.

When possible, opt for more sustainable and durable bamboo blends (i.e. bamboo linen).

Who Should Choose Bamboo?

Bamboo fabric suits those seeking a lightweight, skin-friendly fabric that won’t stretch out or fade, but who don’t mind ironing.

Read more: Discover the 6 Best Fabrics for Sensitive Skin 

Choose Softies PJs for the Best Nights Sleep

From the breathability of cotton to the gentle caress of silk, each fabric offers its unique blend of comfort and luxury to ensure your nights are as restful as they should be. But, when it comes to blending comfort, style, and sustainability, Softies stands out with its sleepwear collection. 

Softies PJs combine advanced moisture-wicking technology with eco-friendly fabrics, designed to provide unparalleled comfort all night long.

Shop at Softies and feel the difference that premium materials and thoughtful design can make to your nights.