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Many readers wonder why I never include pajamas in the packing lists. The answer is that they are not part of the essential capsule wardrobe items. I count them as extra pieces of clothing. Ideally the pieces you choose can also be worn for other activities not just sleeping. Find out how to choose and why we think these are the best travel pajamas for women!
What to Pack for Sleepwear for Travel
Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:
What do you all pack for sleepwear when traveling? On first thought, pajamas seem like a trivial item. But I fly for a living and I’m exposed to dirty hotel sheets, midnight fire alarms, and more on a regular basis. My coworkers and I constantly worry about getting things like scabies, bed bugs, or mosquito bites at night. It’s always a struggle between wanting comfy PJs, needing protection from the dirtiness, and looking appropriate if I have to leave the room in the middle of the night. So far I’ve been wearing yoga pants, a sports bra, and a long sleeve tunic on trips. But I’m curious if there are any new and innovative ideas out there!
To be honest, throughout almost nine years of traveling full-time (staying in many, many, many hotels from dirt cheap to expensive options), I’ve only seen bed bugs a handful of times.
One was the first week of my round-the-world backpacking trip when I stayed in a CHEAP backpacker hostel in Fiji (I put all my clean laundry on the bed then brought the bugs with me on the flight to New Zealand.) OUCH. I washed my clothes as soon as I got there, and cleaned my bag, and no more issues. I learned to never put my clothes or luggage on a bed.
Learn how to prevent bed bugs while traveling with these eight helpful tips!
The next time was in a small guest house in Phuket, Thailand, where I woke up to see them on the fabric headboard. Gross. They moved me to another room and, luckily, I didn’t see them.
Beyond that, I can’t really remember any other times apart from those. I’ve never slept with specific clothing to avoid being bitten by them, but I have ALWAYS slept in a sleeping liner (either silk or synthetic) to keep mosquitoes from biting me, which has worked extremely well. Sometimes it was a bit hot, but well worth not being bitten!
The liner was also the ONLY thing that kept sand flies from biting me in Utila, Honduras as they don’t even respond to bug spray. I looked like I had the chicken pox with so many bites. The sleeping liner was a savior!
I also use the Sea to Summit Silk liner now, you can check out more recommendations here.
Beyond liners, what about pajamas? PJs are an easily forgotten about item when packing for a trip. However, they’re the item you’ll be wearing most often on your trip, so it makes sense to make sure you pack something you feel comfortable wearing.
This is a summary of what our readers said they pack for sleepwear when traveling (more info below):
This is a quick look at the best travel pajamas for women featured:
|BRAND / MODEL||READERS SAY||RATING||PRICE|
|Sleepy Time Bamboo Pajamas||“I bring a nightshirt from one of the wicking brands of PJs for women with hot flashes. They rinse out and dry overnight if you wash it in the sink every few nights. Lightweight, but they cover up a bit more than a T-shirt.”||Check Price|
|Heavy-Knit Jersey Leggings||“I typically wear Old Navy leggings, as the band is super soft and they aren't tight at all.”||NO REVIEW||Check Price|
|Gilligan O'Malley Pajama Shorts||“I wear a pair of black cotton sleep shorts (Gilligan O'malley from Target) and a cotton t-shirt. It's comfy for lounging and and appropriate if I have to open the door.”||NO REVIEW||Check Price|
|Viscose Sleeveless V Neck Nightgown||“I normally bring a nightgown (nothing sexy - more like an oversized t shirt) that is a super comfy material and a back up pair of yoga pants."||Check Price|
Here’s what our readers said they pack for sleepwear when traveling and are the best travel pajamas for women:
A Sleep Shirt
An oversized night shirt is a go-to sleepwear option. It’s loose and cozy, while also being lightweight and easy to pack. As one reader shares, “PJs are not even close to trivial to me! I usually bring a nightdress, same as home (like an oversized shirt). Tank for warm destinations, sleeves for cold.”
If you’re visiting a hot destination, another reader had a great recommendation, sharing “I bring a nightshirt from one of the wicking brands of PJs for women with hot flashes. They rinse out and dry overnight if you wash it in the sink every few nights. Lightweight, but they cover up a bit more than a T-shirt.”
Find out how to choose and why we think these are the best travel pajamas for women!
A standard pair of leggings you’d wear to the gym is usually too tight for sleeping. They can be uncomfortable and too hot. Instead, opt for a looser pair of leggings that have a straighter leg. They’ll be comfortable enough to sleep in without looking sloppy in case of late night emergencies.
One reader shares, “I typically wear Old Navy leggings, as the band is super soft and they aren’t tight at all.”
These are the best leggings for women who travel!
Cotton Shorts and Tee
What’s more classic than a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, and what better fabric than something breathable and lightweight like cotton? It’s a great option and one of the best travel pajamas for women when you’re visiting a warmer destination and don’t want to worry about sweating in the middle of the night.
A reader shares, “I wear a pair of black cotton sleep shorts (Gilligan O’Malley from Target) and a cotton t-shirt. It’s comfy for lounging and and appropriate if I have to open the door.”
These are the readers top picks for the best white t-shirt for travel!
Some people feel shorts and pants are too restrictive for sleep, so a popular alternative is a nightgown, making it one of the best travel pajamas for women. It’s comfy like a dress but stylish enough in case you have to run out of your hotel room.
As one reader says, “I always wear a knee-length t-shirt type nightgown, which is opaque and doesn’t need a dressing gown for decency. I go for a long-sleeved version in winter, and a short-sleeve option in summer. It has worked well for me over the last few decades.”
Another adds, “I normally bring a nightgown (nothing sexy – more like an oversized t shirt) that is a super comfy material and a back up pair of yoga pants. I have been in situations where the hotel has no ac or has the ac set so low I freeze to death. So I bring both and I am covered regardless of where I go!”
Here are some tips for the best black travel pants!
Other Sleepwear Tips
Our readers shared a few other tips regarding sleepwear when traveling and how to choose the best travel pajamas for women:
- “For cleanliness concerns and bugs, a silk sleep sheet is more helpful than PJs.”
- “I say, wear whatever is comfortable to bed, and additionally pack a sleeping bag liner/sleep sack to feel better protected. If the fire alarm goes off you can wrap it around you like a blanket for extra coverage.”
- “I never take anything that doesn’t multitask and having been in 2 hotel smoke evacuations in wee hours I sleep in something I can wear outside: t shirt dress that doubles as swim coverup or bike shorts/yoga pants with a tee.”
- “Always keep shoes and your purse near the bed, and car keys if you have one where you’re traveling. This is helpful if the fire alarm goes off in the hotel and you have to leave.”
How to Choose the Best Travel Pajamas
The pajamas you choose for your travels is variable and can be influenced by the following factors:
- What time of year are you traveling?
- What type of accommodation will you be using?
- Are you traveling alone, as a couple, with family, or friends?
- What type of pajamas do you usually sleep in?
Some people don’t even wear clothing to sleep so based on the above items; you have to decide what makes the most sense for you. Usually I recommend that your choice of pajamas double up as regular clothing if needed.
Ideas for Women’s Travel Pajamas
These are a few of the best travel pajamas for women along with different sleep scenarios to help you find the best option for you!
If you’re staying in a hostel, co-ed dorms in particular, you may want something you’ll feel comfortable walking around in around other people. Backpackers, especially, need to make sure they choose items they also wouldn’t mind wearing as regular clothing. Multi-use is absolutely essential when traveling for long periods and visiting various destinations!
Learn more backpacking tips here!
If you’re staying at hotels you can rejoice in the fact that you have privacy and can wear whatever you want (or don’t want). While my preference would be a multi-use set like the silk one shown above, you can also get away with wearing a dedicated set of travel pajamas for women because you’re more than likely traveling for a shorter period of time.
Choosing light fabrics is still a must for packing light! Learn more about the best travel fabrics!
Private Accommodation at a Residence
Above you’ll find more versatile pieces that can be worn in various scenarios. When you’re staying at an Airbnb or family’s house you can choose either of the hotel or hostel options, depending on if you’re sharing or have your own sleeping space.
I’ve also a few more ideas of versatile pieces in the above image. For cold weather, thermals may also be an option or fleece lined leggings. A silk sleeping liner is one of my top long term travel essentials but it can also add an extra level of warmth in the winter.
Read these tips on how to dress for cold weather travel!
The main thing to consider when choosing sleepwear for travel is that it’s essential to choose lightweight items that can be worn for other activities as well.
What do you think are the best travel pajamas for women? Comment below!
For more packing tips, please read these:
- Cleavage Cover Up
- Thermal Underwear for Women
- Best Travel Underwear for Women
- Warmest Long Underwear for Women
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