PJs in this fabric will help you sleep better

Can your nightwear really have that much impact on sleep quality? New research says yes

person lying on bed while covering face with pillow and holding eyeglasses
(Image credit: Isabella and Louisa Fischer on Unsplash)

The importance of a good night's sleep is well documented, with sleep deprivation effects wide-ranging and scary. If you've invested in the best mattress, duvet and pillow you can afford, and basically done everything you can think of to turn your room into a calm and comfortable haven, what else can you do to improve your chances of getting an excellent bit of shut-eye? 

New research suggests the PJs you wear could have a big impact on how well you're sleeping. It makes sense that something that's soft against your skin will help you sleep better at night, however, new research commissioned by nightwear brand Our Girl goes even deeper by exploring the specific fabrics and nightwear styles that deliver an improvement in sleep quality. And the fabric to wear for the best night's sleep is apparently ... velvet. 

To gather the data, 150 volunteers were sent a range of nightwear and asked to wear a sleep tracker to bed. The 'sleep score' is based on sleep duration, restoration, heart rate data, blood oxygen and time spent awake, and compared to a previous average from the week preceding the experiment. All other factors – bedtime, location, room temperature, sounds etc – were kept the same.

Velvet nightwear delivered in the highest scores in tests, with the velvet sleeveless nightdress showing the biggest sleep improvement (14%) followed by short velvet pajamas (13%). 

The nightwear to avoid is the onesie. All the onesies in the trial saw a decrease in sleep quality compared to the testers' average, with the silk onesie resulting in an average decrease in sleep score of -9%.

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Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is a lifestyle journalist specialising in sleep and wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to certified experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. She's currently Sleep Editor on Tom's Guide and TechRadar, and prior to that ran the Outdoors and Wellness channels on T3 (now covered by Matt Kollat and Beth Girdler-Maslen respectively).