Though the days of pajama pants on Zoom are hopefully over, many people still strive to integrate comfortable loungewear into their wardrobe. Silk pajamas are one example of a sleepwear-loungewear hybrid that’s gained popularity over the last few years. Many are drawn to the luxurious look and feel of the fabric, and that you can wear silk pajamas to bed, as well as while working from home or for casual outings.
Compared to pajamas made with materials like cotton and polyester, silk is usually pricier and thought of as a splurge. But it doesn’t have to be. You can still enjoy sleeping or lounging around in the luxurious-feeling fabric for an affordable price point. Below, we rounded up silk pajamas you may want to consider and talked to experts about why sleeping in silk can be beneficial to regulating your body temperature at night.
Best affordable silk pajamas to shop now
Below, we gathered silk pajamas we think you should know about. Per expert advice, all the pajamas on this list are made from 100% silk. We chose silk pajamas under $200 and included a variety of styles for men and women.
While shopping, you may see different materials listed in product descriptions. Two common ones you’ll see below are mulberry silk, which is made by silkworms fed from the mulberry tree, and charmeuse, which is a fabric made by weaving silk threads into a specific pattern to make it smooth and shiny on one side but dull on the other.
Best affordable silk pajamas for women
Lunya says this silk set is the brand’s “all-time” No.1 bestseller. It’s made with 100% machine-washable mulberry silk. The set comes with a tank top that has a low open back and shorts designed with side slits, which the brand says makes them easier to move around in. You can purchase the set in sizes XS to 2XL and it comes in various colors like Immersed Black, Tranquil White, Otium Tan, Meditative Grey and Deep Blue.
Papinelle’s machine-washable pajama set comes with a top and shorts. The cropped short-sleeve shirt has a front button closure, spread collar and a chest patch pocket. The shorts are designed with an elastic waistband and drawstring you can tie to tighten. You can purchase the pajama set in colors Sage or Ivory from sizes from S to XXL.
Nordstrom’s machine-washable silk pajama set comes with a long sleeve top and long pants, unlike the short sets listed above. The top has a notched collar and the pants have an elastic waistband. You can purchase the set in colors like Black, Blue Surf, Brown Coconut, Red Lollipop, Purple Dark and Green Ultra, and in sizes XXXS to XL.
Quince’s machine-washable mulberry silk pajama top has short sleeves, a button-up closure and a spread collar. The shirt is available and in Black and Ivory colors. You can purchase it in sizes XS to XL and pair it with the matching silk pajama shorts (sold separately).
This top from Cozy Earth is made from 100% mulberry silk. The brand says it has a relaxed fit and is designed with short sleeves, a chest pocket and side slits. You can purchase the top in Ivory, Black, Champagne, Navy and Merlot colors, and it’s available in sizes from XS to XL.
Cuyana’s wide leg, high-waisted pants are designed with 100% machine-washable charmeuse silk. The pants have an elastic waistband and front pockets, and it’s available in Passion Fruit, Black, Sage and Blue Jade colors. You can purchase the pants in sizes from XS to XL.
Contrary to their name, these machine-washable shorts are for lounging or sleeping. They’re designed to fit mid-waist and have a 3-inch inseam, an elasticized drawstring waistband, two side pockets and one back pocket. The shorts come in Cloudburst, a neutral shade, and you can choose from sizes XXS to XL.
This silk slip can be worn as a nightgown or a dress, whether you style it on its own or put it underneath other garments. It has adjustable straps and a V-neck. You can order the dress in Black, Talc White or Silk Pink and choose from sizes XS to L.
Best affordable silk pajamas for men
Made with 100% mulberry silk, this men’s pajama set has a glossy and soft look and feel, Lilysilk says. The short-sleeve shirt has a button-up closure and spread collar, and the shorts have an elastic waistband with a tie. Both pieces are designed to have a relaxed fit, according to the brand. You can purchase the set in Navy Blue, Black, Dark Grey and Natural White Colors. It’s available in sizes from XS to XXXL. Additionally, you can add a custom monogram for an additional $25.
SilkSilky’s pajama set comes with a long sleeve shirt and long pants, both of which have piping trim. The shirt is designed with a lapel neck and a front pocket, and the pants have an elastic waistband. The set is available in sizes S to XL, and it’s offered in Dark Blue, Coffee, Wine, Tan and Gray colors.
What are the benefits of silk pajamas?
In addition to the right mattress, pillow, sheets and pillowcases— and how dark your room is — temperature can play a big part in whether you’re getting a good night’s sleep. A hot, stuffy environment can make you restless and prevent you from falling and staying asleep, according to The Sleep Foundation. One way to help regulate your body temperature at night is by choosing a breathable material to sleep in, explained Logan Foley, the managing editor of SleepFoundation.org, which provides medically reviewed information about sleep and tests sleep products. And silk happens to be a very breathable material. This is due to the fineness of the fiber in the fabric, which ultimately helps it feel so supple on the body — even more so than other natural textiles like cotton, linen or wool, explained Ashlee Rzyczycki, the fashion merchandising program director and assistant professor at St. Thomas University.
Silk is also hypoallergenic, helping your skin breathe, Rzyczycki said. If what you’ve been wearing to bed is itchy or irritating, silk could be an upgrade. “Silk feels very smooth against the skin, reducing snags and scratchiness that may come from other materials,” Foley added. “People who struggle with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis may find silk especially great for sleeping as it won’t irritate their skin as much as other pajama materials like cotton and wool.”
How to shop for silk pajamas
Here are expert tips to keep in mind while shopping for silk pajamas, whether you’re buying them for yourself or as a cozy gift for loved ones.
Pay attention to the material
When shopping for silk sleepwear, you might come across pajamas that feel or look silky rather than actually being made of the material. Some, for example, could be produced with polyester. However, all the experts we talked to agreed that you should search for pajamas made with 100% silk instead. “There are options out there that mix silk and other materials like cotton or rayon, but these won’t be as comfortable and ‘silky’ as a higher priced, 100% silk option,” Foley explained.
Since silk is a much higher-priced fabric than others, you want to know that what you’re buying is really silk instead of an imitation. Preeti Arya, a textile development and marketing assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), advised looking at the label on garments that are marketed as made from silk to determine what they’re actually composed of. “Sometimes some brands can charge more money for a product in the name of their brand” rather than the actual quality of the fabric, Arya added.
Think about the type and style of pajamas you’re looking for
Pajamas come in a variety of different styles, from long pants to short nightgowns. When shopping for silk pajamas, your preferences can help you narrow down your options. If you tend to get hot when you sleep, perhaps shorts and a short-sleeved shirt or tank top is preferable. If you’re looking for silk pajamas to transition into loungewear you can run errands in, maybe long pants and a long-sleeved shirt is what you’re looking for. Silk pajamas also come in single pieces — like an individual top or bottom — or you can buy matching sets.
Many silk pajama sets come with tags that say “dry clean only.” But you can wash some sets at home — it just requires a bit more thought and attention since silk pajamas can’t be thrown in the washing machine on any cycle with any type of laundry detergent.
To clean silk in the washing machine, opt for a gentle cycle, cold to warm water and a mild detergent, like Woolite or those designed specifically for baby clothes, Arya said. When you’re ready to dry silk pajamas, Arya recommends line or flat drying in the shade. Silk can fade in the sunlight, possibly dulling a once brighter color.
Why do silk pajamas tend to be pricey?
Compared to other types of fabric, 100% silk tends to be pricer because of how it’s made. Silk is extracted from cocoons that silkworms spin, a process that can take time, making supply slow, Arya explained. Even between different silk pajamas, you can find a range of price points — some are just under $100 while others can go up much higher. The contrast in cost has to do with the yarn size and compactness of the weave when silk is being produced — the more raw material used, the more expensive it can be, Arya said.
To bring down the cost of silk pajamas and other garments made with the material, some manufacturers mix silk with other materials. But Arya noted that it’s hard to match the quality of silk. Polyester, for example, is a common swap for silk, but it’s “an extremely cheap substitute,” Arya said. Two common materials you’ll see when shopping for 100% silk pajamas are mulberry silk, which is made by silkworms fed from the mulberry tree, and charmeuse, which is a fabric made by weaving silk threads into a specific pattern to make it smooth and shiny on one side but dull on the other.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest
- Logan Foley is the managing editor of SleepFoundation.org.
- Ashlee Rzyczycki is the fashion merchandising program director at St. Thomas University and an assistant professor.
- Preeti Arya is a textile development and marketing assistant professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).