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Best pyjamas 2020: The best PJ sets, separates and onesies for men and women

Jane Hoskyn
15 Dec 2020
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Wish you could live in your jim-jams? Let us tempt you with our pick of the best pyjamas for warmth and comfort all year round

That moment you swap work clothes for pyjamas ranks among the best bits of any day. Many of us would wear our jammies 24/7 given the choice. They're even cool. For every horrified teacher banning PJ-clad parents from the school run, there's a fashion designer sending jim-jams down the catwalk.

But even if you have no intention of wearing your pyjamas anywhere other than bed, they're among the most-worn garments you own. So it's worth shopping around for a set that makes you feel confident as well as comfy.

For this roundup, we tested a wide range of men's and women's pyjamas, from snuggly onesies to swish satin sleep-sets, and in a moment we'll reveal our top six. First, here's how to pick your perfect PJs.

READ NEXT: Best dressing gowns

How to choose the best pyjamas for you

What type of pyjamas are best for...

Sleeping in summer: Short separates give you comfort without sacrificing dignity when the weather warms up. Light, loose-fitting cotton lets air circulate, while viscose and polyester are less breathable but more stretchy, and better at absorbing moisture when you sweat. The best jersey pyjamas in our line-up use a winning combination of cotton and viscose.

Sleeping in winter: Pyjamas for wearing in bed need to be soft (no sharp seams that'll dig into inconvenient places) and able to absorb sweat. In winter, go for long sleeves and legs in a jersey or brushed fabric, made from a cotton-synthetic mix. Gently elasticated cuffs will help keep your jim-jams in place.

Comfort the moment you get home: A zip-up onesie takes a nanosecond to put on. It'll keep you warm and comfy with not even a waistband to pinch after dinner. But it's not exactly convenient when you need the loo, and it'll feel restricting and clammy in bed.

Wearing in bed and out of bed: Button-through separates are the best of both worlds. They're almost as easy to wear as a onesie (and much easier in the bathroom), and roomy enough to provide comfort in bed. They also look classier than a onesie and will keep their shape for longer.

Loungewear for warmer days: Light cotton PJs look the business as you sashay around the house. You could also opt for bottoms-only or just a shirt; many pyjama sets can be bought as separates.

What are the pros and cons of different pyjama materials?

Smooth cotton feels lovely against your skin when you're dry, but it doesn't absorb moisture very well unless there's a little bit of synthetic fibre in the mix. Other tricks for making cotton more absorbent are to weave it in a waffle or towelling structure, like bathrobes, and to brush it for added softness.

Brushed cotton is the classic pyjama fabric. It's light enough to let the air circulate, warm enough to keep out the chill, soft enough to be cosy, and a bit better than smooth cotton at absorbing moisture. It's also durable, and retains shape much better than jersey or fleece.

Flannel is double-brushed cotton or viscose (aka rayon, a semi-synthetic fibre derived from cellulose). Supremely warm and luxurious, it holds its shape well for years on end.

Jersey is thick T-shirt material, usually made from absorbent synthetic fibres or a cotton-polyester mix. It's extremely soft, so ideal for wearing in bed, and it's also affordable, comfy and machine-washable. However it doesn't hold its shape (saggy bottoms ahoy) so it's not particularly durable.

Satin is a way of weaving natural or synthetic fibres to create a glossy, smooth surface. Pricey satin (made from silk, for example) tends to be dry clean-only, while the cheap stuff (usually polyester) isn't very durable, so shop with care.

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The best pyjamas you can buy

1. Cyberjammies Belle Red Check Top & Pant Set: Best women's pyjamas

Price: £19 | Buy now from Figleaves

New in for the cocooning season, these classic red-check cotton jim-jams are potentially the only indoor wear you'll need until spring arrives. And they're so well-made they may last a few more winters too.

The beautifully-cut shirt has a rounded revere collar with a classy grey trim that lies neatly against your shoulders, and neat little grey buttons. The pull-on bottoms have the all-important pockets, and they're flat at the front with a drawcord for a flattering look - but elasticated at the back for a snug fit.

The Cyberjammies set is 100% cotton for warmth and comfort, but you can wash it in the machine. A fine balance of looks, comfort and practicality.

Key specs – Material: 100% cotton (machine-washable); Colours available: 1; Sizes available: 5 (8-16)

Buy now from Figleaves


2. Brushed Cotton Checked Pyjama Set: Best men's pyjamas

Price: £30 | Buy now from Marks & Spencer

No one does men's PJs better than M&S. This breathable cotton set looks the business, with a timeless check pattern, flattering cut, well-made seams and a breast pocket – a detail all too commonly missing from pyjamas.

The material is smooth but soft and comfy, made from responsibly sourced cotton grown through the Better Cotton Initiative. The elasticated waist and button-through fly give you just the right balance of security and breathability, and happy customers report there's plenty of room around the thighs, which is something many PJ manufacturers skimp on.

The smallest size has a 32-34in chest and 28-30in elasticated waist, which wouldn't be particularly baggy on many women, although the arms and legs may come up rather long. The set also comes in red/black and blue/green check.

Key specs – Material: 100% cotton (machine-washable at 40°C); Colours available: 3; Sizes available: 5 (S-XL)

Buy now from Marks & Spencer


3. Topshop Llama Embroidered Notch Pyjama Set: Best short pyjamas

Price: £26 | Buy now from Topshop

We love the sporty look and cool blue-grey tone of this pyjama set, which you'd feel very happy padding around the gym changing rooms in – as long as you don't find the embroidered llama too twee. The 100% cotton fabric is beautifully soft and will provide an extra layer of snugness in bed for those who prefer to let their limbs roam free under the covers

Key specs – Material: 100% cotton (machine-washable); Colours available: 1; Sizes available: 4 (XS, S, L, XL)

Buy now from Top Shop


4. Topshop Blue Floral Spot Pyjama Set: Best lightweight long pyjamas

Price: £33 | Buy now from Topshop

New for autumn/winter 2020, Topshop's satin pyjama set has a cool, ethereal look that suits year-round wear. We love the relaxed, boxy fit of the shirt, whose elbow-length sleeves are long enough to make you feel clothed, but short and roomy enough to keep you cool on warmer days or when the heating is turned up. The tailoring details are fab, with a flat waistband plus drawstring for comfort, and white piping to edge the breast pocket and flat lapels. The polyester jacquard fabric has a smooth, satiny feel that doesn't absorb sweat terribly well, but it does feel marvellous against your skin.

Key specs – Material: 100% polyester (machine-washable); Colours available: 1; Sizes available: 4 (XS-L)

Buy now from Top Shop


5. Polo Ralph Lauren Signature Pony Jersey Sleep Joggers: Best men's pyjama bottoms

Price: £55 | Buy now from John Lewis

Soft, snug jersey pants that actually fit where they're meant to fit, and don't bag and sag after a week of wear? Yes, please! You'll need to cough up a hefty £55 for these Polo bottoms, but you do tend to get what you pay for with jersey wear. Unlike cheap joggers, these bottoms aren't cobbled together from synthetic material but made from stretch cotton jersey that's finished with cuffed ankles, pockets and a drawstring waistband.

Key specs – Material: 100% cotton (machine-washable 30°C); Colours available: 1; Sizes available: 4 (S-XL) 

Buy now from John Lewis


6. Be Mammy Women's Long Sleeve Pyjamas with Nursing Function: Best maternity pyjamas for new mums

Price: £32 | Buy now from Amazon


Be Mammy specialises in maternity wear for mothers-to-be and nursing mums, and these soft cotton pyjamas - which have some of the best Amazon user reviews we've seen for clothes - shows it really understands what its target market needs.

The top's poppers open fast to let you nurse your baby without tears, and there's also a breast pocket for keeping bottle lids, dummies and other bits and bobs within easy reach while your hands are full. The top is designed to be roomy enough to cradle the baby as well as being comfy for your changing shape, and its high-quality breathable cotton washes well and dries fast. The bottoms are great, too: the touch of elastane makes them stretchy without losing the snugness of cotton. Good thing you don't have to be a mum to wear these lovely PJs!

Key specs – Material: top: 100% cotton; bottoms: 95% cotton 5% elastane (machine-washable); Colours available: 10; Sizes available: 5 (S-XXL)

7. ASOS Design botanical cheetah: Best insulating pyjamas for women

Price: £28 | Buy now from ASOS

Sleeping in full-length pyjamas can get clammy and uncomfortable, but this soft cotton top and shorts set will save your blushes while also helping to keep the chill out on cold nights. And when summer gets fierce, this set may be all you can stand to wear while padding around the house. 

This ASOS Design set is new at the time of writing, but it's already selling fast. Made from 100% machine-washable silky modal, the airy top and elasticated drawstring shorts are light and breathable, and we love the jungle cat print. The set is also available in an impressive range of sizes, although the mid sizes are likely to sell out pretty fast.

Key specs – Material: 100% modal (machine-washable); Colours available: 1; Sizes available: 8 (UK 4-18)

Buy now from ASOS


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