Your Guide to the Best Fabrics for Sleeping

Shopping for your next pajama set? What you wear to bed can influence how well you sleep.

By Nicole Gleichmann

May 14th, 2021

By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Advisor may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.

Many of us have trouble with sleep. To set yourself up for nighttime success, you must pay attention to many factors. One of them is your sleep environment.

Your sleep environment is multifaceted. It includes things like setting your thermostat to the right temperature, turning on white noise, and buying the best mattress for your needs.

Another factor that few people consider when optimizing their sleep environment is what fabric they wear to bed. The right fabrics can keep you warm, wick away excess moisture, or feel so comfy that your brain releases feel-good chemicals that set you up for a great night’s rest.

In this guide, you will find the best pajama fabrics for different circumstances. You may want a fabric that feels good against your skin, one that keeps you warm, or one that doesn’t trap heat. Read on to learn what to look for when shopping for nighttime attire.

The Best Fabrics for Sleeping

Silk: Best for Luxury

For some, there is nothing better than the light and smooth feel of silk draping the body. This all-natural fabric has unique thermal regulation properties. Silk keeps you cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cool.

There are, however, downsides to silk. 100% authentic silk is expensive, and it usually needs dry cleaning. And while this slippery fabric is the bee’s knees for some, others can find its unique feel off-putting.

Cotton: Best Budget-Friendly, All-Natural Fabric

100% cotton is the go-to fabric for sheets and pajamas. High-quality cotton (such as that with a high thread count) is soft, smooth, and lightweight. And for those who prefer natural fabrics to synthetic ones, cotton is a budget-friendly option.

Cotton does have its flaws. It excels at neither providing insulation nor wicking moisture, making it best for people who don’t struggle with body temperature during the night.

Bamboo: Best for Wicking Moisture

If you are someone who wakes up sweaty, bamboo sheets may be a good option. This 100% natural fabric excels at moisture wicking. Plus, it is silky smooth and soft to the touch. And once you’ve worn it out (which can take a while as bamboo fabric is resilient), you can throw it in the compost bin. It’s 100% biodegradable.

Related: Best cooling mattress

Flannel: Best for Warmth

As the seasons progress from summer to fall and fall to winter, your ideal nighttime garb is likely to change. Many people set their thermostats lower when it’s cold out to save money and energy. If you need some extra warmth at night, consider flannel pajamas.

Flannel is warm, soft, and incredibly comfortable. It insulates your body, allowing some of your body warmth to stay close to your skin. Plus, for a warm fabric, it is reasonably breathable, protecting you from overheating. Flannel is easy to launder and comes in lots of fun holiday patterns, great for waking up on Christmas morning with the family.

No Fabric: Best Budget Option

We would be doing you a disservice if we didn’t cover the benefits of sleeping naked. If you have the right bedding, sleeping sans clothing can offer you breathability, comfort, and good temperature regulation.

As long as your room isn’t overly chilly, sleeping naked can be one of the easiest ways to control your temperature as you sleep. When you need to regulate your temperature at night, adjusting blankets is much easier than changing PJs. Over time, you may find that you automatically readjust your blankets to keep yourself at the optimal temperature.


Changing pajamas is one of the simplest ways to boost your comfort during the night. If you find yourself waking up at night because you are too hot or too cold, the right set of PJs can help. Just be sure to find the right fabric for your needs. And don’t forget—your best option might be sleeping nude.