The way we sleep affects our whole persona, and you can instantly tell who the well rested among us are (the bundles of energy and noticeable absence of under-eye bags are a clear giveaway).
Getting your body temperature just right can be a factor in whether or not you’re met with a good sleep too, which is why silk pyjamas are a luxe, yet smart choice for the serious sleeper.
Not only does silk feel great against your skin, it has anti-ageing properties as well. This is because silk contains a natural protein as well as amino acids that help trick the nervous system into relaxing, therefore smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.
Silk is also anti-irritating, making it beneficial to those with skincare woes like eczema, and it allows your body to retain moisture which can prevent you from overheating at night (so you can pull in that one leg you always stick out the side).
While regular silk is made from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm, in recent years vegan options have popped up on the market too, namely in the form of bamboo “silk”. This plant-based silk is made from the pulp of bamboo grass and is naturally hypoallergenic (ideal for those with sensitive skin) meaning vegans don’t need to miss out on these luxuries either.
The bamboo silk also has an antibacterial rate of 99.8 per cent and can reduce the presence of harmful bacteria on your skin.
Additionally, bamboo silk tends to be more budget-friendly than regular silk, which is known to be on the more expensive side. Organic and ethically-sourced silk tends to have a higher price point too, but it all depends on where it’s sourced and the silk momme – a unit of measurement of silk fabric weight which determines the price and quality.
While some brands blend silk with a polyester fabric to lower prices, it’s best to opt for 100 per cent silk when you want the real deal.
One thing we did find during our research is that there’s an inclusivity issue when it comes to silk pyjamas. Besides a select few brands catering to those who wear size 18+ (hello, Karen Mabon), most brands don’t cater to bodies above a size 16 or even a size 12 in some cases, which shows a need for fashion brands to improve across the board.
With all this in mind, we’ve rigorously tested – i.e spent many nights snoozing – in some of the best silk sleepwear on the market (both the real thing and the bamboo version), and we chart the best of the best below.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Ghost Alice silk PJ set
Launched in January this year, Ghost’s sleepwear range is the newest kid on the silk wear block. With slips, robes, longline pyjamas and slouchy short sets to choose from, each is made from 100 per cent silk but can be washed in a regular, delicate wash when turned inside out (win!). Available in sizes XS (UK8) to XL (UK16), we tried one of the Alice silk PJ sets in a lush charcoal hue (more green than grey) and found that the oversized shirt should fit a couple of sizes above what is advertised, the shorts are more true to size however. The material is lovely and soft, perfect for when the summer heatwaves inevitably hit.
Buy now £195.00, Ghost.co.uk
Karen Mabon’s midnight tiger silk pyjama set
It’s safe to say that, after extensive research, silk pyjamas have an size inclusivity issue – but that’s not the case with Karen Mabon. The London-based designer’s hand drawn pyjama sets come in sizes XS (UK6-8) to 5XL (UK24-26) and, unlike so many of its contemporaries where colours are muted or various shades of navy blue, Mabon’s designs are fun, fresh and vibrant.
The current collection offers bright pink and yellow-hued pyjamas alongside the black tiger set, and there’s also a set that pays homage to Agatha Christie. The pyjamas are made from 97 per cent silk and fit like a dream, the only downside being that they are dry clean only. Almost a bit too fancy for bedware.
Buy now £295.00, Karenmabon.com
Charlotte Dunn ‘silk’ cami short set character edition
Handmade in London using sustainable bamboo “silk”, Charlotte Dunn’s new character edition of her cami short set brings the female figure print trend to our PJs. An ideal set for summer, we won’t blame you if you want to wear the flattering cowl neck cami top as a regular top too, it’s that pretty (sizes are available in UK6 to UK14).
What’s more is you can feel good about your purchase, too. Each of Charlotte Dunn’s designs are made with fabrics that come with a Global Organic Textiles Standard certificate, which means that the way the fabric is sourced – right from the growing and harvesting stage – is environmentally and socially responsible. It’s a win-win.
Buy now £110.00, Charlottedunndesign.com
Victoria’s Secret silk long PJ set
Victoria’s Secret may have paved the way for sexy sleepwear but its full coverage, 100 per cent silk, long PJ set may just be our favourite item from the brand yet. With four designs available – the signature Angel pink, black, polka dot and leopard – there’s something to suit every snoozer. Because it’s made with 100 per cent silk, the fabric feels luxuriously smooth – and it’s machine washable too. Though the trousers are high waisted, they tend to run long so opt for the “short” version if you’re of a smaller stature. The pockets on the shirt feel unnecessary, and the size range could be improved as these only goes up to a UK size 16-18, but it’s hard to fault these pyjamas otherwise.
Buy now £132.08, Victoriassecret.com
Fox & Taylor eco vegan silk serenity pyjama set
While the top in the set is made from ultra-soft organic cotton, the toffee and treacle animal print pyjama bottoms are made from 100 per cent cupro – recycled vegan silk. Accredited by the European Vegan Union, the vegan silk used is made from the part of a cotton plant that is generally thrown away as waste. True to its promise, the material is silky soft and it’s machine washable too. While the sizing states that it goes from XS (UK6-8) to an XL (UK14-16), the fabric is non-stretch and we found it ran quite small. For those who want to complete the look, however, there’s an eco-friendly vegan silk headscarf (£22, Foxandtaylor.co) available as well.
Buy now £55.00, Foxandtaylor.co
Karen Millen silk lounge top
By far the best budget silk buy we came across, Karen Millen’s lounge top and the matching shorts (£18, Karenmillen.com) are made with 100 per cent silk. Despite the fabric being a little see through, we love these as a smart summer option – it’s also best to hand wash this set instead of machine wash as the fabric is delicate. Sizes range from UK6 to UK16 and the set fits true to size. For an option that can double as a work-appropriate shirt, the silk oversized tee (£27, Karenmillen.com) is a high neck, cap sleeve version of the lounge top – but opt for the black hue if you can.
Buy now £18.00, Karenmillen.com
Ethical Kind organic peace silk camisole and shorts set
Sleepwear with a social conscience, Ethical Kind was created in 2019 by Lily Chong and is a collection of 100 per cent organic peace silk pyjamas, camisoles, kimono gowns and pillowcases. Peace silk is made using a cruelty-free process (where no silkworms are harmed) and the feel-good factor here is furthered by knowing that five per cent of profits is set aside to support social and rural uplift for women and children in Jharkhand, India. The pyjamas themselves are available in a full coverage set or the camisole set – we opted for the camisole in black, which was lovely and roomy despite there only being two small and medium sizes available. The top is perhaps a bit too nice for bed wear only, we’d recommend it paired with jeans come summer.
Buy now £380.00, Ethicalkind.com
The White Company silk piped pyjama set
There’s a reason why The White Company’s silk pyjamas are so favoured by the style set. Made from luxurious 100 per cent 19 momme silk, these PJs wrap around you like a warm hug – and look incredibly chic while doing so. The piped set is available in ivory – which we think would make perfect treat-yourself wedding PJs – and there’s also a stitch detail silk set available in pale blue or pink, ideal for those who prefer a pastel hue come bedtime. Available in sizes extra small (UK4-6) to extra large (UK18), while the long sleeves are ideal for the cooler months, these sets are made to feel breathable, so will be cool against your skin during the height of summer as well.
Buy now £189.00, Thewhitecompany.com
The verdict: Silk pyjamas
Ghost’s Alice silk PJ set is our top pick thanks to its midpoint price range, relatively good size range (shout out to its oversized tee) and pure comfort for when you do hit the hay – it could definitely do with extending its size offerings, however. While we love Karen Mabon’s truly inclusive and ultra-fun range, the fact that it’s dry clean only just isn’t accessible to the everyday pyjama wearer. Ethically, we’re drawn to Charlotte Dunn’s bamboo silk range for its eco-credentials, lower price point and versatility too.
Drift off into the land of nod with the products the IndyBest team can’t sleep without