Compare 4 Brands of Sweat-Wicking Pajamas

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Perspiring, or sweating, is part of your body’s natural cooling system. Some symptoms, such as hot flashes or night sweats, can leave you tossing and turning at night, disrupting a good night’s sleep.

Comfortable woman sleeping in bed
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Night sweats can occur due to environmental conditions like keeping the room too warm or using too many blankets. Night sweats may also be caused by certain medical circumstances. For example, pregnancy, menopause, inflammatory bowel disease, HIV, tuberculosis, breast cancer treatment, and other health conditions can cause sweating, especially at night.

No matter the cause, night sweats can interrupt a restful sleep. You may wake up feeling damp, uncomfortable, and sleep deprived.

One way to manage night sweats is by wearing special sleepwear. Wicking pajamas are made with special fabrics, weaves, and finishes designed to move moisture away from your skin to keep you cool and dry.

This article compares different brands of sweat-wicking pajamas to help you have a good night’s sleep.

How Wicking Pajamas Work

Wicking sleepwear channels moisture away from the skin using specialized, high-performance fabrics. When your skin and clothing stay dry, they are less likely to stick together. Staying cool and dry can help to improve your sleep.

With the wrong sleepwear, fabrics can become soaked when they absorb sweat. Wet clothes can lead to lower body temperature and chills. Damp pajamas are often uncomfortable and may cause you to wake up or sleep poorly.

With the right sleepwear, the moisture will evaporate rather than soak into the pajama fabric. Moisture-wicking relies on capillary action where liquids like sweat are pulled into tiny spaces within the fabric or fibers.

The material of the pajamas helps spread out the moisture from the sweat so it can dry up. These special pajamas help keep your skin dry and your body temperature comfortable for sleeping.

Wicking is not simply about absorbency, since absorbent fibers like cotton can become saturated when exposed to moisture. Wicking fabrics actually move moisture from the skin to the outer surface of the fabric so that it can evaporate and prevent saturation.

Manufacturing comfortable sleepwear not only requires textile engineering, but also the careful selection of fibers with moisture-wicking properties.

Fiber Options

Several different kinds of fibers draw sweat away from the skin. Synthetic fabrics are created by humans from petroleum or oil in a manufacturing process. On the other hand, natural fabrics are sourced from plants and animals.

Synthetic Fibers

Clothing companies make high-tech fibers like polyester and viscose. These are ideal for wicking fabrics because they are hydrophobic, literally meaning “water hating.” These water-hating fibers are actually water resistant. 

When there is moisture on the skin, like sweat, the fibers move the liquid between the spaces in the weave of the fabric. This pulls the wetness out and away from the skin.

These fabrics absorb very little water and stay dry compared to other clothing. However, some people dislike the texture of these fabrics. Synthetic fabrics can sometimes feel slick and “synthetic-y.” 

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers like bamboo, linen, and wool are also good for wicking pajamas, but for different reasons. Rather than being resistant to water, the fibers have hollow cores that literally suction in liquid from the skin.

Absorbing the sweat not only fights moisture buildup near your skin but may also reduce bacterial growth and body odors. Bamboo and linen also have built-in antibacterial properties.

As appealing as natural fibers may be, they are often not as light or soft as synthetics. These materials can also become heavy or damp when they soak up liquids. Although it is a natural fabric, wool can retain heat and lead to more sweating.

Sleepwear manufacturers will sometimes combine natural and synthetic fibers to achieve the best of both worlds. The combination can make the finished fabric feel softer against the skin while retaining the breathable character of a natural-fiber textile. Special treatments and finishes can be applied to the finished fabric to enhance its wicking properties.

Comparing Top Brands

If you are searching for wicking pajamas to help overcome night sweats or hot flashes, four brands actively market themselves for such purposes:

  • Cool-jams
  • Yala (formerly Dreamsacks)
  • Fishers Finery
  • Sleepytime

Each has its benefits and drawbacks. Because there is no rating system for moisture-wicking properties, consider texture, fiber content, construction, style, and fit when making a purchase.

  Cool-jams Yala Fishers Finery Sleepytime
Fiber Content Polyester microfiber Bamboo Bamboo, organic cotton, and spandex; silk available Bamboo and spandex
Texture Cotton-like Washed cotton feel Cotton-like Smooth
Sizes  S to XXXL XS to XL XS to XXL XS to XXL
Colors Solids & prints Solids & prints Solids & prints Solids & prints
Styling Classic comfort Relaxed Relaxed Relaxed
Fits properly? Yes Tends to fit snugly Yes Some styles fit snugly
Menswear available? Yes Yes Yes No
Bed linens available? Yes Yes Yes No

If you live with chronic night sweats, especially if you are coping with menopause or breast cancer treatment, it may be worth buying an extra set of pajamas, so you always have a fresh pair on hand.

A 2015 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded half of all women with menopause experience symptoms for seven years or more.

Other Solutions

In addition to buying wicking pajamas, there are other things you can do to reduce the impact that night sweats and hot flashes have on your life:

  • Avoid triggers: Caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods can all trigger hot flashes. Cutting back on these may help reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms.
  • Keep the bedroom cool: If you don’t have an air conditioner, use a fan or keep a window open.
  • Change your bed linens: In addition to wicking pajamas, consider buying temperature-balancing bed linens to reduce heat buildup that promotes sweating.
  • Quit smoking: People who smoke tend to experience more frequent and severe hot flashes. Reducing or avoiding night sweats is yet another reason to quit cigarettes.
  • Lose weight: Women who are overweight tend to have worse hot flashes than those of average weight. While losing weight can be a challenge, the loss of even a few pounds can help.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise may help relieve night sweats by improving hormone regulation. Some studies have shown that yoga is especially useful in reducing vasomotor symptoms of menopause.
  • Improve your diet: Research suggests that dietary improvements can lead to a reduction in hot flashes during menopause. This includes eating “functional foods” rich in resveratrol (tomatoes), tryptophan (salmon, poultry, eggs, and spinach), glycine (fish, legumes, and dairy products), and vitamin E (sunflower seeds and almonds).
  • Eat plant-based estrogen: Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens that may help reduce hot flashes caused by the depletion of estrogen during menopause. Foods rich in phytoestrogen include chickpeas, grains, soybeans, apples, carrots, flaxseed, and lentils.
  • Try acupuncture: Some studies have shown that acupuncture may help relieve hot flashes caused by menopause and breast cancer treatment.

Summary

There are many potential causes of hot flashes and night sweats. Choosing sleepwear that wicks away sweat and helps to regulate body temperature may help you to manage. Staying dry and optimizing your body temperature can help improve your sleep.

A Word From Verywell

Hot flashes are common. However, true drenching night sweats—in which bedding and clothes become so soaked that they require changing—are not typical.

Unless you have an obvious environmental or health reason for night sweats, see your healthcare provider. Your night sweats may be a sign of a serious health condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I stop night sweats during chemo?

    Chemotherapy can cause night sweats in both women and men, and may reduce the quality of life. Talk to your doctor about how to manage night sweats, as some medications may help. Lifestyle modifications are frequently recommended as a non-invasive way to manage night sweats. Focus on ways to stay comfortable at night. Consider loose-fitting, sweat-wicking pajamas, and keep your bedroom cool.

  • Why does breast cancer treatment cause night sweats?

    Some cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can cause night sweats as a side effect. Hormone therapy, surgical removal of ovaries, and other treatment medications can also cause night sweats. Talk with your doctor about the expected side effects of your cancer treatments.

  • When should I be concerned with night sweats?

    The American Cancer Society recommends contacting your treatment team if you become dehydrated from night sweats, have a fever lasting more than one day, or have shaking/chills that do not resolve.

  • Are night sweats common during cancer treatment?

    Night sweats can be very common with cancer treatment. Nearly half (44%) of women undergoing breast cancer treatment have hot flashes or night sweats. Another study found that premenopausal women (44%) have night sweats more often than postmenopausal (32%) women.

Originally written by
Pam Stephan
Pam Stephan is a breast cancer survivor.
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