The Best Pajamas for Men of 2020
We granted three different Editors' Choice winners, and we differentiate among these winners by their warmth. Each sleeper and climate will demand varying degrees of insulation. The PajamaGram Classic is right in the middle. If you aren't sure about how much warmth you want, this is a good place to start. If you haven't thought much about your sleeping temperature, you'll probably do just right with this all-cotton, slightly stretchy set of pajamas. They're available in a whole host of colors, and you can't go wrong.
Our primary issue with the set we tested is the printed stripes. We could peel these white stripes off with our fingernails. In our testing, none of them came off on their own, but our experience with this sort of printing in other contexts suggests that it could happen.
The Alexander Del Rossa Lightweight Button Down pajama set is the best "summer weight" sleepwear in our review. The fabric is relatively light and airy. The fit is almost just right, and the pant's pockets are nice for various uses when you're up and around the house. They also come in many different prints or colors, which are sure to suit most needs.
Our primary complaint is with the fit. The sleeves are very short, relatively speaking. When sleeping, you likely won't notice it, but once you're up and at it, you will. The stitching and construction are robust, but the light fabric will go threadbare sooner than thicker options.
Noble Mount's flannel Twin Boat pajama set is well made, nice looking, and ridiculously warm and cozy. For cold climates and "cold" sleepers, you can't do better than this Editors' Choice winner. The 100% cotton construction is very comfortable against your skin, and the hand pockets are nice for standing around or carrying your phone from one room to another. The "wine" colored version we tested was a crowd favorite and served as a good contrast to the blue-dominated pajama landscape.
The only real drawback to these pajamas is also their primary advantage. They are really, really warm. It is a rare man that wants or needs pajamas this insulating. When you do, you can't do better than these. If you don't need a high level of warmth, the Twin Boat will be too much.
Our Best Buy winner is a set of basic pjs. The Fruit of the Loom Jersey Knit Set is comprised of a short-sleeve, henley style blended shirt and stretchy all-cotton pants. The pants have both elastic and a drawstring in the waist, a button fly, and the deepest pockets in our test. It is a small thing, but we really appreciated the handwarmer pockets found on this set.
Sleeping in the set really reinforced the value of full-cotton construction. The mismatched fiber content is noticeable in these. Our most discerning tester felt sweatier in the shirt (even though it is short sleeved) than he did in the pants. Cotton really is miraculous for lounging and sleeping comfort. The blended shirt construction, though, is likely the reason this set is available for such a low price. It is worth the price of admission for the pants alone.
You're pretty sure you know why you want satin pajamas. It's a bold move. You had better be sure you're right about the choice. When you want satin pjs, you want the Yimanie Satin. This kit is nicely made, with tight, straight seams and a mostly true-to-size fit. The biggest advantage of these, as compared to other satin offerings on the market is the machine washability. You don't choose these for the practicality of wear, but you might as well get some practicality of care.
For the most part, the seams are clean and finished. Our test set, though, had just a few stray threads along the button up front. Give yourself a little time to clip some threads before the reveal. Further, since they're washable, run 'em through the laundry to push out the creases from transit and packing. Finally, the sleeves are wide (like other pajama tops) and on the verge of too long (rarer).
The Hanes Men's Plain-Weave pajama set is an average, classic set of pajamas. When you picture "mens pajamas", you picture these. Plain pants, button-front shirt, one chest pocket. The pants waist is elasticized, with basic button adjustment topping a button-closed fly. There's nothing to catch, nothing to tangle, and nothing to impede.
The shirt has sleeves that are too short. This is a "long sleeve" design, but on our pretty typical size medium lead tester, they come up well short of the wrist. Engage in any sort of movement, and they creep up even further.
This is an interesting combination of pieces. The Essentials by Seven Apparel is a set of pajama top and bottom, both made entirely of polyester. The top is a close-fitting, waffle-knit henley style, and it has a sort of lumberjack look. The pants are loose, drawstring fleece; the look "works", but it isn't what you'd expect.
Across the board, our testers preferred 100% cotton for sleeping in. If it has to be a blend, more cotton is better. Polyester is less expensive but far less comfortable. We noticed this, especially with the 100% polyester construction of the Seven Apparel set. In almost any sleeping temperature, the user feels sweaty and clammy through the night.
Again, you know when and why you might want a satin pajama set. The short Tony and Candice Classic pajama set is nice looking and simple. A short satin set is a different sort of boldness than a long version; maybe it is just the look you are going for. Our testers found these pieces to be sewn nicely and tailored appropriately. The hidden button fly is a subtle touch that makes more of a difference than you'd think.
Our primary complaint with these is the need to hand wash. With polyester satin options available that do not require hand washing, it is tough to justify the maintenance demands of this version.
We get the distinct impression that many men out there have worn, one after the other, dozens of sets of Fruit of the Loom Broadcloth pj sets over long lives of blue-collar rest. It's not a bad nightly ritual to look forward to. These are light, simple pajamas. The fabric nor the cut is sophisticated, but it does the job.
It was indeed the first warm night in a while, but the Fruit of the Loom Broadcloth set didn't make it through its first night of testing. The blended fabric was just too sweaty in this particular situation. We found the same thing with other blended and polyester sets. Further, and we really wonder why it is this way, but this pajama top has very short sleeves. They barely reach the wrist of down-hung arms. In action, the average elbow nearly comes out.
Why You Should Trust Us
We sleep, test, write, and sleep again. All of this, through the pajama test period, went into our pajama review. We have a deep and broad testing protocol that, with specific adaptations, can be applied to nearly any product. In the case of pajama sets, we enlisted long time GearLab lead test editor Jed Porter.
Jed developed a testing regimen that mainly meant lounging and sleeping in all the tested products. We also laundered each and wore them all for basic house and kitchen tasks. We organized our findings into separate judgments for comfort, style and care/laundering.
Analysis and Test Results
It's crucial that you find a pajama set that meets your needs, wants, and budget. We discuss comparative findings and summaries of how various pajama sets stack up, relative to the closest competition among a field of excellent options.
You wear pajamas to be comfortable. It is their primary job. Behind the scenes, when we scored each set of pjs, we considered comfort to be 50% of what is important. You wouldn't be wrong to rank it higher in some cases. What contributes to comfort? In our testing, we found that the bulk of comfort comes almost equally from materials and cut. For lounging and, especially, sleeping, 100% cotton is the most comfortable. You want the tailoring of your pajamas to be generous and allow full freedom of motion without excess fabric to tangle. Beyond cut and materials, we like pockets, button flies, and clean interior seams.
The 100% cotton pajamas we tested are, not coincidentally, also the highest scoring and every product that is made of all cotton also won an award. All three Editors' Choice winners are made of 100% cotton. The PajamaGram Classic, Alexander Del Rossa Lightweight, and Noble Mount Twin Boat are the most comfortable sleeping garments in our test. Good sleeping comfort is also good lounging comfort. For immediate next-to-skin comfort and for extended at-rest moisture management nothing beats cotton. We can't say enough about the comfort of cotton against one's skin.
Good choice of materials is supported by great tailoring. Mainly, you want the freedom of motion. Next, you want no prominent seams or hard materials. Few strings and such to tangle helps. Sleeves and legs that are long enough are surprisingly rare; for some reason, pajamas are often made with shortened sleeves. All three Editors' Choice winners have good to great tailoring. The Top Pick Yimanie Satin Set achieves comfort with good tailoring and the easy draping nature of its polyester satin fabric. The Tony and Candice Short Satin Set is also quite comfortable and gets there with its minimal amount of fabric. The pants included with the Best Buy Fruit of the Loom Jersey Knit Set are all cotton, very stretchy, generous in fit, with very deep pockets. We love these pants and find the whole set to be worth it for just the comfort of the pants.
Style is entirely subjective. Style matters in your pajamas if it matters to you. You can wear your pajamas alone in your bedroom only and have the style matter; if you look good you feel good. If you cohabitate, consider the goal of your pajama choice. If it is to set a certain mood, choose that mood carefully. Satin pj sets are the obvious, bold mood choice. When they do what you want them to do, nothing does it better. But if your partner isn't into the satin pj look, you'll look pretty ridiculous. Among satin options, short sets are even more bold than longer versions. The Top Pick Yimanie Satin Set is as classic as a satin set can look, at a reasonable price with easy care.
On the other hand, the most comfortable and classic pjs can be bland and take something away from your appearance. In assessing appearance, the colors, drape, and cut matter. The stretchy, robust fabric and careful tailoring of the Editors' Choice PajamaGram Classic yields a look that most appreciated. The more basic choices made of lighter fabrics drape in a way that made them appear, in the words of our primary style tester, "shapeless" or "boxy". The Editors' Choice Alexander Del Rossa Lightweight is lightweight and classic but is cut in such a way as to be more flattering than average.
You will want your pajamas to be easy to care for. You're likely on the fence about owning or wearing pajamas in the first place. If they require special care, you will definitely leave them in the hamper.
Thankfully, most of the pajamas we tested can be machine washed. Only the Tony and Candice Classic Satin require handwashing and line drying. All the rest can be machine dried. Remember that anything that can be machine washed in warm water can also be machine washed in cold water, but the opposite is not true. Most of the tested pajamas specify cold water machine wash. The Editors' Choice Alexander Del Rossa and both Fruit of the Loom sets are robust enough to be washed in warm water.
Selecting pajamas isn't a complicated process, but so few of us can make extensive trials while shopping. We've made those extensive trials and compare them directly for your benefit. Like with many wearables, comfort is king. After comfort, weigh for yourself how much style matters. Beyond that, your main choice is in terms of ease of care. We've assessed each of these products to a professional level and are confident in what we've recommended from our fleet.
— Jediah Porter