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How Do I Choose the Best Warm Pajamas?

Flannel pajamas are popular in winter months.
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  • Written By: S. McNesby
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 02 August 2014
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The warmest pajamas are made with fabric that absorbs and holds in the wearer's body heat. Warm pajamas also offer full coverage; long sleeves are warmer than short ones, and pants are warmer than shorts or capri models. Look for pajamas made from a fabric that is naturally warm, like wool, or from a fabric engineered to be warm, like fleece, thermal silk, or cotton. Cotton flannel is also commonly used to make warm pajamas; some flannels are warmer than others when worn.

Wool is a natural fiber that helps keep the wearer warm even when wet. The warmth factor of wool, combined with its natural resistance to flame, makes it an ideal choice for baby pajamas and sleep sacks. Wool pajamas are available for any age group and can be made from woven wool flannel or from knitted wool fabric. Wool pajamas are usually more expensive than their synthetic or cotton counterparts, but will last a lifetime when cared for properly.

Flannel is a woven cloth made from cotton; it is often used to produce warm pajamas for every member of the family. Flannel is available in different densities; the more tightly the cloth is woven, the warmer it will be. Very dense, heavy flannel is warmer than flimsy, tissue-weight flannel fabric. Flannel sleepwear is available throughout the year, but is particularly easy to find during the holiday season, when many retailers stock warm pajamas in seasonal patterns and colors.

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Silk and cotton can be woven into a waffle-shaped thermal pattern and then used to make warm pajamas. Silk is very lightweight and warm when used for thermal-knit fabric, but may be costly. Cotton is almost as warm as silk and is an affordable option. Pajama sets that feature a silk or cotton thermal fabric top and a pair of flannel pants can be both warm and comfortable.

Synthetic polar fleece is used to make warm pajamas for kids and adults, and wicks moisture from the skin as it retains body heat. Footie-style fleece pajamas are useful for babies and toddlers, since they are not easy to remove and the child can sleep without an additional blanket. Big kids and adults can wear warm pajamas made from fleece as well; some pajama sets have printed fleece bottoms and tops, while others feature fleece bottoms with knit or woven tops.

No matter what material pajamas are made from, the more body parts they cover, the warmer the wearer will be. Pajama sets with long pants or attached feet will be warmer than sets that have shorts, while long-sleeved, button-down tops or pullovers will be warmer than their sleeveless counterparts. While looks play an important part in any clothing purchase, pajamas are often purchased for their ability to keep the wearer warm, not for the cut or printed design they feature.

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Discuss this Article

anon945038
Post 4

My 8 year old son was too sensitive. He broke out terribly and 2 years later his skin has become very rough. We are heart sick.

pastanaga
Post 3

@Mor - Footed pajamas look cute but I always wonder how comfortable they really are. I don't remember wearing them as a kid, but I know as an adult they would make me feel very claustrophobic. I'm sure they'd be very warm, but I like being able to regulate my temperature once I'm in bed. If I couldn't stick my bare feet out into the air when I got too hot, I think it would really bother me.

I might just be a bit too fussy though and it's true that I live in an area where it doesn't get that cold at night, so generally feeling warm isn't that much of a problem.

Mor
Post 2

@MrsPramm - I think it depends on the child. I know my sister only ever dresses her son in one piece, wool pajamas and they don't seem to bother him. He looks absolutely adorable as well, wandering around in those. It's the classic picture of a kid who is ready for bed.

MrsPramm
Post 1

If you decide to go with wool for children or babies you need to make sure that you use the very softest, finest wool available. I've found that kids will almost always fuss when they are put in wool, just because it's a little bit too rough on sensitive skin.

I'm sure they'd get used to it if it was the only thing they were ever given to wear, but since we have so many synthetic fabrics, they probably won't get enough exposure to really get used to it.

And the last thing you want, when looking for warm baby pajamas, is something that will make them itch and feel prickly all night.

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