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Best Pajamas for Summer 2023, Tested by Me and My Hot-Sleeping Partner

The heat is real this summer. Cool down at night with the best pajamas for hot sleepers and warm weather.

McKenzie Dillon Writer
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest. Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
Expertise Certified Sleep Science Coach, Certified Stress Management Coach, Bachelor of English.
McKenzie Dillon
11 min read
$106 at Tommy John
A pair of pink Tommy John pajamas on a fluffy blanket and an eye mask
Tommy John Second Skin Luxe Rib set
Best cooling pajamas for women
$78.75 at Cozyearth
Cozy Earth Pajamas on a fluffy blanket and linen bag next to it
Cozy Earth Short Sleeve Bamboo set
Best bamboo pajamas for women
$100 at Fishers Finery
A pink nightgown from Fishers Finery on top of a fluffy blanket
Fishers Finery Mulberry Silk Chemise
Best silk pajamas for women
$69.9 at Quince
Quince blue pajamas on top of a fluffy white blanket
Quince Washable Silk Pajamas
Best (wallet-friendly) silk pajamas for women
$35 at Amazon
Grey pair of pajamas on top of a white fluffy blanket next to a sleep eye mask
Samring Pajama set
Best budget pajamas for women
$98 at Lusome
A woman wearing a Gabriela nightie on top of a bed.
Lusome set
Best pajamas for night sweats
$116 at Tommyjohn
A pajama shirt and boxer shorts on top of a fuzzy blanket.
Tommy John Second Skin set
Best cooling pajamas for men
$63 at Cozyearth
A pair of gray pajamas on top of a fuzzy white blanket
Cozy Earth Bamboo Short Sleeve Tee and Shorts
Best bamboo pajamas for men
$52 at Fishers Finery
A pair of silk boxer shorts on top of a fuzzy blanket.
Fishers Finery Silk Shorts
Best silk pajamas for men
$26 at Amazon
A pajama shirt against a white background
Amazon MoFiz pajama set
Best budget pajamas for men
A pair of pajamas with slippers and an eye mask on top
Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

Now that summer is here, we could all blast our air conditioners each night, cranking it at 67 degrees Fahrenheit. But money doesn't grow on trees, and energy prices aren't getting any lower. Instead, wearing the right breathable and lightweight pajamas to bed can help keep you cool and comfortable through the night. The best pajamas for hot weather will absorb and wick away moisture, boast quick-drying properties and allow air to easily pass through. 

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I recruited my partner, who radiates heat like an oven while they sleep, and personally tested 13 different pairs of pajamas to find the ones that kept us comfortable through a summer heat wave. Right as I began my two-and-a-half-week testing process, California saw high temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Below, you'll find a roundup of the best pajamas for women chosen by me, followed by what my partner chose as the best pajamas for men in the summer. 

See more: Best cooling mattress

What are the best pajamas for hot sleepers?

A pajama shirt and boxer shorts on top of a fuzzy blanket.

These pajamas from Tommy John are so light and airy, they're perfect for summer. 

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

The Tommy John Second Skin set is the best pajamas for hot sleepers, or women and men looking for cooling pajamas to help bring relief during the summertime. They are primarily made of micro modal and viscose, making them ultra thin, lightweight, flowy and quick-drying. During a heat wave, these pajamas kept my partner and I the coolest. 

Best cooling pajamas for women for 2023

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

The Second Skin Luxe Rib tank and boxer shorts are the softest, most lightweight pair of pajamas I have in my drawer. They are made from a thin, soft stretch-material that makes for a creamy, drapey feeling against my skin. The material is ultra absorbent and quick drying at the same time. I wore these during the hottest night of our California heat wave, and with some help from my AC, I slept through the night without sweating or overheating.

The tank top and boxer shorts are both flowy, roomy and breathable. The shorts have a thick waistband that doesn't annoyingly roll or bunch. One thing to note: you may want to size down if you're in between sizes. I like more of a snug fit with my bottoms, and since there is no drawstring, I can't make the shorts tighter around my waist. The tank is also plenty long, so you won't have to worry about it being too short if you go down a size.  

Material: 49% Viscose, 43% Micro Modal, 8% Spandex

Pros

  • Ultra thin and stretchy
  • Size inclusive (XS-XXL)

Cons

  • Size down if you're in between sizes
  • Expensive 
  • No pockets or drawstring
McKenzie Dillon/CNET

Being featured on Oprah's favorite things list multiple years in a row, I had high hopes for these Cozy Earth bamboo pajamas, and they were even comfier than I thought they'd be. The stretch-knit bamboo set is buttery soft -- the material feels rich and creamy against the skin without making you overly warm. I also appreciate the pockets and a drawstring in the shorts.  

The beauty of bamboo is its temperature regulating abilities. Fabric made from bamboo is breathable and wicks moisture away so you don't wake up feeling damp or hot. They're flowy, stretchy, soft -- everything about this Cozy Earth set screams comfort and luxury. Even the packaging. 

I see this set being in the drawers of people like Michelle Obama, Kris Jenner and, of course, Oprah. Right now you can get a really good deal on a set, especially the gray pair, which is under $80 for the entire set.  To care for these pajamas machine wash in cold water and dry. 

Material: 95% Bamboo viscose, 5% Spandex

Pros

  • True to size
  • Size inclusive (XS-3XL)
  • Drawstring and pockets
  • Mix and match sizes and patterns

Cons

  • Expensive for a pair of pajamas 
McKenzie Dillon/CNET

I like to wear oversize T-shirts to bed, and this Chemise from Fishers Finery recreates that feeling in a much more luxurious, feminine way. The smooth 100% Mulberry silk feels light and gentle against the skin, and it doesn't cling in weird areas. 

This nightgown is taken in around the waist and flared in the skirt, making it fit better and feel more comfortable than other slip dresses I've tried in the past. The straps are adjustable and around an inch thick, a detail I appreciate since spaghetti strapped-slips tend to fall off my shoulders. It also came with a mesh laundry bag to protect the organic silk material while it's in the wash. The brand recommends you hand wash with warm water or machine wash on a delicate cycle. 

Material: 100% Organic Mulberry silk

Pros

  • True to size
  • Thick, adjustable straps 
  • Machine washable silk

Cons

  • Pricey for a nightgown
  • They wrinkle easily after wear 
McKenzie Dillon/CNET

Made with 100% Mulberry silk, this pajama set is light, airy and a lot more affordable than you'd expect. I've tried other Mulberry silk pajamas, but these feel a little different. The outer shell of the tee and shorts almost feel like a lightweight suede material that's matte, soft and drapey. 

There isn't any stretch, as you'd expect from silk, but they are nice and flowy. They're great for summer as I found they helped me feel dry and temp-neutral during the night. My one caveat is that I'd go up a size in the tee If you're larger in the chest or in between sizes, since there's no give in the material. The shorts, on the other hand, have a stretchy elastic waistband that I believe fits true to size. To care for these pajamas, hand or machine-wash with cold water inside a garment bag.  

Material: 100% Mulberry silk

Pros

  • Machine washable silk 
  • High quality but affordable 

Cons

  • Chesty, broad-shouldered individuals should size up
  • They wrinkle easily after wear
  • No drawstring
McKenzie Dillon/CNET

With a price of a little over $15 a piece, I didn't have the highest expectations for this pajama set from Amazon, but I was pleasantly surprised. They're everything I want in a comfy pair of cooling pajamas; soft, stretchy, lightweight and quick-drying. I'd compare the feel to the Tommy John set, minus the luxe rib texture. 

Like the Cozy Earth set, these PJ's have a high-end look, and function like sleep-to-loungewear because of their side pockets and drawstring. If you want a fancy pajama dupe without having to pay the high price tag, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this choice. As an added plus -- they're available on Amazon Prime and come in a large variety of colors. 

Material: 95% Viscose, 5% spandex 

Pros

  • True to size
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good high-end pajama dupe
  • Pockets and a drawstring

Cons

  • No small or x-small size currently available
Amazon

The Gabriela Nightie from Lusome is hands down the best pajama for moisture control if you experience night sweats. Lusome uses Xirotex technology (exclusive to Lusome) in the fabrics of their pajamas, which absorbs perspiration and bacteria from the body while you sleep. The pajamas are soft, lightweight and breathable. Not to mention that the design is chic, with a flattering scoop neck and a stretchy mesh hem that lets you move comfortably through the night.

Since my partner is a hot sleeper, oftentimes I wake up drenched in sweat. However, I didn't experience any severe night sweats with the Gabriela Nightie. I didn't notice any active cooling while wearing the pajamas, but it's great for keeping sweat and moisture at bay. To care for these pajamas you should machine wash on cold and tumble dry.

Material: 38% Cotton, 34% Polyester, 25% Micromodal, 3% Spandex

Pros

  • Innovative technology for maximum moisture absorption
  • Chic design with stretchy material
  • Tagless for extra comfort

Cons

  • Runs a little large
  • Not the most affordable option on this list

Best cooling pajamas for men

McKenzie Dillon/CNET

Dubbed the most breathable and lightest pair, the Tommy John set takes the crown as the best cooling pajamas for men. Its moisture-wicking abilities combined with lightweight and airy fabric makes the set perfect for hot summer nights. 

The modal material makes them soft and smooth to the touch, while the spandex gives it plenty of stretch. It has a luxe feel similar to Cozy Earth, but with less weight. The shorts also function more like boxers, but with the added luxury of pockets. 

The Tommy John set comes in a variety of different patterns and colors. And unlike most sets on our list, you can easily mix and match sizes if you aren't the same size in tops as you are in bottoms. The care instructions are: machine wash; tumble dry. 

Material: 47% Modal, 43% Polyester, 10% Spandex

Pros

  • True to size
  • Boxer shorts come with pockets

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • No drawstring
McKenzie Dillon/CNET

My boyfriend has never owned a matching pajama set prior to helping me roundup the best pajamas, and now he wants a pair of Cozy Earth's Bamboo pajamas in every color.  A versatile pair of pajamas that can easily transition into loungewear, the stretch-knit bamboo tee and pajama shorts have the softness and comfort of your favorite old tee or crewneck. 

They have a slight weight to them compared with the Tommy Johns, but not in a bad way. You can tell they're made with a premium material, but they help you sleep cooler thanks to the adsorbent, quick-drying power of bamboo. 

My S.O., who's known to be hot to the touch during the night, stayed temp-neutral and comfortable. Lastly, he appreciated the drawstring and pocket details, which aren't always a guarantee when it comes to pajama shorts. To care for these pajamas you should machine wash cold and tumble dry. 

Each piece is sold separately. The tee and shorts retail for $90 each but are on sale for $63 each.

Material: 95% Bamboo viscose, 5% Spandex

Pros

  • True to size
  • Luxurious feel
  • Pockets and drawstring

Cons

  • On the pricey side for pajamas
McKenzie Dillon/CNET

Unfamiliar with this type of material at first, my significant other was a fan of how airy, luxurious and silky-smooth these shorts felt. He decided to sleep with boxer shorts underneath because he felt the bottoms were more like shorts, but it's pleasantly breezy and airy if you decide to go commando. 

While they aren't stretchy, there's an added panel around the groin area that makes them extra roomy and flowy and elastic waistband. The brand offers an "improved waistband" pajama set, but my partner felt the waistband on his didn't roll or bunch.

The thin and lightweight material makes for a comfortable, quick-drying pair of pajamas that almost have a relieving feel against the skin because of silk's good thermal conductivity. They don't have pockets or a drawstring, which makes them more ideal for cooling pajamas than loungewear. And while dry cleaning is recommended, the care instructions say you can machine wash with cold water on a delicate cycle and dry with low heat. 

Material: 100% Organic Mulberry silk

Pros

  • True to size 
  • Airy and breezy feel

Cons

  • On the pricey side for pajamas
  • Dry clean and hand wash recommended
Amazon

These are a great choice for guys who want the best pajamas at the best price point. The MoFiz Men's sleep set from Amazon feels similar to the Tommy John set, but they're more soft than silky smooth. It's a comfortable, breathable fabric that drapes and flows over the body without uncomfortable clinging. They passed my breathability test with flying colors. After holding the PJ's up to the light, I could easily see my hand through the fabric. 

I also think they transition into loungewear better than the Tommy John set due to the elastic waistband. My partner was surprised to know the set costs less than $30 as quality really isn't lacking here. This brand is also very size inclusive, offering sizes from S-3XL. The one downside is that the brand recommends you hand-wash these pajamas. Though, I threw them in the washer/dryer before knowing this information, and they still feel just as soft. 

Material: 95% Modal, 5% Elastane

Pros

  • Budget-friendly options
  • True to size
  • Size inclusive (S-3XL)

Cons

  • Hand-washing is recommended

How we tested the best cooling pajamas

Materials

The most important metric we considered when testing for the best pajamas for summer was pajama material or fabric. Wearing breathable, lightweight pajamas to sleep makes a big difference in how warm you sleep. They absorb sweat but have a quick dry time, helping to keep you more cool. They also allow for better airflow so you aren't retaining a ton of heat under your clothes, like an insulator. We looked for fabrics that are:

  • Thin
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Flowy and loose 

Breathability  

When talking about materials, thermal conductivity is the measure of how breathable a fabric is. Fabrics with low conductivity will make you sleep warmer than those with high conductivity. While I can't measure thermal conductivity myself, I tested breathability by holding fabrics up to the light. The more light that shined through the more breathable the fabric. 

Temperature 

Sleeping hot or cold has a lot to do with the temperature of your home and regional climate. To keep temperature from interfering with test performance, I kept my home at 69 degrees Fahrenheit, about four degrees warmer than what experts recommend as the ideal sleep temp

The goal was to maintain a warmer environment to measure the efficiency of the pajamas, without making it too hot. The nighttime low during the heatwave I experienced during testing was 79 degrees Fahrenheit, so opening a window wasn't an option.   

If you don't have an air conditioner at your home, check out these tips for sleeping cooler without AC.

Other controls

Aside from your environment, the comforter, mattress and bedding you use also contribute to how warm you sleep. To keep controls consistent, I used the same long-staple cotton sheets and 100% Mulberry silk comforter. 

Fit

Generally speaking, the looser the fit the cooler a material is going to sleep. Loose clothing enables increased airflow and doesn't cling to your body, which can end up making you feel more sweaty. Loose-fit clothing can also make fabrics that aren't well-known for summer more breathable. 

Materials to consider when buying the best pajamas for summer 

Cotton 

Cotton is a reliable go-to for summer clothes and PJs. It's lightweight, breathable and affordable. It absorbs sweat while allowing your body heat to pass through.

Bamboo 

Bamboo fabric has "micro gaps" that make it breathable and well-ventilated, more so than cotton. It's also good at wicking away sweat. 

Silk

Silk is a lightweight and breathable fabric made from natural fibers. It also has moisture-wicking abilities that make it a good fabric for cooling pajamas. 

Viscose 

Viscose is like an artificial silk and a type of rayon. It's a smooth, highly absorbent fabric that's good for hot weather. 

Linen 

Linen can often be expensive, but it's a great summer fabric. It has a loose weave making it incredibly breathable. It's also quick-drying, which helps keep you cool as it absorbs sweat. 

Best pajamas for hot weather FAQ 

Hot sleepers or anyone during warm weather months should wear pajamas that are lightweight, thin, absorbent and flowy. Thinner materials tend to be more quick drying, while flowy pajamas will ensure you're getting proper airflow and your clothes don't stick to your warm body.   

The best fabric for pajamas include:

  • Cotton

  • Bamboo

  • Silk

  • Viscose

  • Linen

Satin has a tight weave making the fabric dense and unbreathable. Silk has a similar smooth-to-the-touch feel, but it allows for more airflow. 

According to the American Cleaning Institute, you can get three to four uses out of your PJ's before they need a wash.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.