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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
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It wasn’t until I was 31 that I discovered the joy and positive psychological effects of the matching pajama set. It’s like making your bed, but for your body. Once they are on your body, you feel more pulled together, more cohesive, more grown-up in a good way. I’m typically VERY bummed when I can’t find a set in my drawers, and recently I realized I only own two sets and one was at the mountain house. This would not do so I shopped and read reviews and today I have for you eight sets that I love for a variety of reasons.

But first, what makes a good pajama set? I have narrowed it down to three things:

  1. Comfort: They better not be super tight at the waist and cut in. That infuriates me. A pajama maker’s first priority should be comfort and when it’s not, it makes me so mad.
  2. Cuteness: I want to be able to wear these on weekends and on holidays around family and not feel like I’m wearing a sack. I personally like when they are cute and drape in a way that isn’t unflattering.
  3. Affordability: I have been sent luxury pajamas before and I’m not opposed to them and frankly LOVE them as gifts, but it’s not where I want to splurge on in life. They don’t have to be expensive (as you can see below) but for a gift, it’s nice to give/receive one that I wouldn’t buy myself.

Split-Neck Modal Henley, $32 + Modal Joggers, $45

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I haven’t shopped at the Gap in a while but Arlyn said these got great reviews so I tried them and they are a hell YES.

Comfort: They are so thin and drape so so so so well. No cutting in, no clinging to places it shouldn’t. Just EXTREME comfort and breathability. I’m literally wearing them right now as I opted for them to sleep in last night. I had a late dinner with a friend and came home and rummaged around JUST for these if that tells you anything. Brian woke up and was like “what are you doing?” and I replied “sorry! pajama hunting!” These are super lightweight so great if you run hot at night but still want pants and long sleeves.

Cuteness: I feel super cute in these. I have room around the waist and it doesn’t cling to my bra strap. They are just GOOD.

Affordability: $77 for the set and worth every penny. I just got them so I don’t know how they wear over time, so if anyone else has more long-term experience with these, please leave in the comments.

Next up, my team’s favorite (and now mine, too):

Soft Notch Collar Pajama Set, $22

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PJs are not where I splurge in life so I’ve been wearing Target’s matching sets for years. I actually usually buy two of the same so in case I misplace a top or bottom, I’m covered.

Comfort: 10/10. Feels like you are wearing nothing, in a good way.

Cuteness: YEP. I feel cute, and because the shorts are pretty short, Brian really likes these, too. The shorts are boxy which is good, they don’t cling and are really loose. They drape really nicely, are roomy but not too boxy and come in so many colors.

Affordability: At $22 for the set, you honestly can’t regret it in any way. The two sets I bought two years ago from Target are just now starting to pill, but I still opt for them in the summer. This model is better.

(That wreath with the faux candle is from Target, too and making me so happy).

Henley PJ Top, $34 + Long John Pant, $34

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Two years ago, I bought this version in green and white for the family and it’s my FAVORITE. It’s from Hanna Andersson who specializes in pajamas so you’d expect them to do it right and they do.

Comfort: Another 10/10. They are comfy and lightweight but still warm. It think it’s hard to find a thicker fabric that is also very comfortable and breathable but these are it. Even though they’re more fitted, they don’t cling to places they shouldn’t.

Cuteness: The henley and long John styles are more playful and whimsical than a boxier model. It does NOT feel tight in at the waist and THIS IS KEY. Pajamas that cut in at the waist and give you an uncomfortable muffin top while you sleep are doing the opposite job it should. I’ve discovered that you want a light elastic waist, with a drawstring to go tighter if you desire.

Affordability: $68 for the set. These are more expensive than many below, true. I just love them and have found that myself (and Brian and the kids) opt to wear them ALL THE TIME. They just make us happy. The first pair that I had years ago was gifted from the company or else I might not have splurged initially, not realizing why they are worth it, but over the years they are the pair that I splurge on for myself. I still wear the green set, and two years later, they absolutely hold up.

PJ Set in Tennanbaum, $69

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I bought this other version from Hanna Andersson that I also love, although the red/white stripe might make a better family set.

Comfort: I took it for a test sleep and that Supima cotton is so soft, breathable and the drape is good. I’m only calling out the type of cotton so we all remember what makes a good breathable yet soft cotton: “Supima.”

Cuteness: The arms are slim, while the shape is more flowy so it doesn’t feel like you are wearing a big paper bag. No clinging. No cutting in.

Affordability: $69 for the set. Again, splurge-y but super high quality. No pilling or rips in two years of wearing.

Silk Leisure Pant, $80 + Silk Long-Sleeve Leisure Shirt, $85

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I wanted to try some silk sets (or silk feeling sets) and so I reached out to ban.do to test theirs. This is a set I would absolutely bring on a girls’ weekend because it’s so cute and fun. It’s also a great gift as it is on the splurgier side.

Comfort: The top is super comfy but I had to size up on the bottom. I originally ordered a small but it cut in and the elastic is too tight (yes I hope the company reads this and adjusts its sizing). The medium bottom was much better, (the top is still a small) so I’d say size up at least for the bottoms.

Cuteness: These are great for a girls weekend and with converse and a long coat or sweatshirt I know that it might even look cool going to the grocery store or grabbing coffee on Saturday morning.

Affordability: The most splurgey of the bunch at $165. They’re a great gift, especially for a college-aged girl who wants to look cute/cool but can’t spend the dough.

Silk Leisure Shirt, $75 + Silk Leisure Shorts, $65

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This is another set from ban.do in the silky material that I know people love.

Comfort: I wanted to try the silk feel being a supreme cotton lover lady and now I know I prefer cotton (for sleeping that is) because the silk or satin doesn’t have the same give. They sort of pull when you move around which isn’t very comfortable.

Cuteness: SO CUTE. While I won’t go for these most nights, opting for something stretchier instead, I will be keeping these for those weekends away either with Brian or my girlfriends. I felt really cute and ready to put on a face mask.

Affordability: $140. I would absolutely buy these for my nieces that are just starting college.

Short Sleeve Pajama Set, $29

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This set had strangely great reviews on Amazon and I am here to say the reviews were right.

Comfort: They are great and almost identical to Target’s in the comfortability region.

Cuteness: The little dots are very cute and for a summer set, I’d opt for these for sure. Soft fabric, doesn’t cut in at the waist, breathable and drapey.

Affordability: At $29 they are cheap, and who can resist that one click to buy and one-day shipping?

Striped Perfectly Cozy Flannel Pajama Set, $30

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While living in LA, I rarely need a flannel number, but I wanted to try a pair for you guys.

Comfort: It’s comfortable, breathable and all-around good.

Cuteness: This one is soooooo cute because of the stripe on stripe. The set looks “designer-y” but they’re affordable. Due to the flannel nature, the fit is boxier and they don’t drape as well, but they don’t cling or cut in either. They’re just thicker. I’m bringing this set up to the mountain house, for sure.

Affordability: At $30, the set is absolutely worth the warmth and comfort (I love that little hem).

In a perfect world I would have tried on every pair in the entire world, but who’s got that time? I did reject like 9 pairs at The Americana, mostly due to cutting in at the waist (I MEAN, YOUR ONE JOB IS COMFORT, PLEASE GET THAT RIGHT, PAJAMA MAKERS) so know that there are some definite “no’s” out there.

Here are some more that we’d love to try:

Emily Henderson Review Pajama Sets

1. Star-t Over Satin Pajama Set | 2. Satin Pyjama Shirt | Satin Pyjama Short | 3. Woven Pj Pant Set | 4. Pastel Zebra Crop Pants | 5. Stretch Flannel Long-Sleeve Pajamas | 6. Henley & JoggerPJ Set | 7. Ultra Soft Buffalo PJ Set | 8. Satin Pajamas | 9. Girlfriend Pajamas | 10. Polka Dot Long Sleeve Pajamas | 11. Matching Women’s Tree-Print Pajamas Set | 12. Save Me A Spot Polka Dot Pajamas | 13. Super Span Dots PJ Set | 14. Slouchy Pajama Set | 15. Notch Collar PJ Set | 16. Kiss Me Goodnight Flannel PJ Set | 17. Stars Above Thermal Pajama Set | 18. Butter Knit PJ Set | 19. Luxe Short Pajama Set | 20. Whisperluxe Waffle PJ Set | 21. Thermal Pajamas

I would LOVE your recommendations or if you’ve tried any of the above, let me know your thoughts. We are about to purchase our family set for the holidays and I’m likely going to go with a super cute elf or Santa one from Target for the day-of and the red/white one from Hanna Andersson for the rest of the time. I swear even Brian gets into this. Pajama sets for everyone!

**photography by Veronica Crawford

  1. thanks that very good. ypu can also visti this ( mitrehled.com )

    1. I’ve been wearing the Gap modal cotton pajamas for several years now, and I love them. They hold up fantastically as long as you don’t dry them.

  2. Wow, I didn’t expect to like all of these but actually I do. And I love that you’ve posed in so many of the pictures with a mug of something, because there’s nothing more lazy-weekend-morning than that.

    One other comment – I know when you’re doing a lot of fashion shots like this it’s difficult to come up with a wide variety of poses, but when you pose with one arm across your body clutching onto your other arm for dear life, it makes you look terrified rather than comfortable. A lot of your other arm-across-the-body poses do look relaxed, and of course the arms-doing-other-things poses also look relaxed. Maybe you could lean on them a bit more for future fashion posts.

    1. I think not looks adorable. And makes me want to look like her

  3. Yesssss to the gap PJs. Anything GAP in that modal material is super comfy. Their maternity tees are made out of that and i lived in those when pregnant. I’ll have to try Hannah Andersen for adults. I’ve only bought for the kids. Thanks!

  4. Love this! Love matching pjs! You should add a set from Lake to your list. I am fully obsessed with mine!

    1. Same. Lake all the way. Put them in the wrong drawer after a trip and had a full panic that I had left them at the hotel. It was traumatic. The cotton is insane.

      They’re so cute, I literally saw a woman wearing a nightdress to work. With a cute denim jacket. But still pajamas.

  5. I have two pairs of the Gap modal sleep joggers and they are my absolute favorite! Two years and no pilling. I also have two pairs of the Hanna A pj pants and for me they bagged out after about a season of wear. I can only wear them for one night and I have to wash them (maybe it’s just me but I like to get 2-3 wears out of my jammies!)

  6. You NEED to try Jijamas! Softest Pita cotton.

  7. Very cute!
    Can anyone source the big pillow with the ‘dash’ design on Emily’s couch?

  8. Victoria Secret’s pajama sets are great for tall ladies, their pants come in three lengths and they hold up! I have several pairs in both thin summer weight and flannel that I’ve had for years.

  9. I love the Asian Wrap Organic Cotton Pajamas from Garnet Hill. I love the pretty patterns, 3/4 sleeve, pull-over, no button top and that the pants aren’t fitted at the ankle. At $79, they are way out of my price range so I stalk their end of season sales and save them for travel. If I win the lottery, I’ll wear them all the time! They also come in a short sleeve version @ $74.

    1. I just went over to the Garnet Hill site, thinking I might splurge on another pair during their 25% off sale. Dang! I see a bunch of recent reviews complaining about a change to the design and tight waistband on these Asian Wrap PJs. Too bad, they were so good!

    2. I am obsessed with those pjs. They are the BEST.

    3. The Garnet Hill Asian Wrap Organic Pajamas are really the best. I love the semi-annual release of fresh patterns and the never ending comfort! Like you, I wait for sales or end of season markdowns to make the price a little more reasonable.

  10. My pjs. Must. Have. Pockets.
    Any tips?

    1. I have several pair with pocket, but it’s not standard on any brand I have. I usually look for things labeled “lounge” for pockets. GAP has pockets in a lot of their pieces.

    2. Men’s PJ pants tend to have them

    3. LLBeans flannel pajamas have pockets. Their cotton poplin pants that are sold separately also often do…but the ones in the matching sets do not.

      1. Thanks team

  11. Lake Pajamas and Nordstrom Moonlight Pajamas forever and ever!

  12. The Ann Taylor Loft button down top/shorts combo is incredibly soft and has a nice weight to it. Was gifted a pair and I’ll never look back. Check them out!

  13. My pet peeve is the collars and pockets that completely lose shape and require ironing after washing. I’m not gonna iron my PJ’s. Do any of these collared versions address that problem?

  14. J crew makes great pjs – stylish & comfortable!

    1. Yes!

      JCrew factory’s knit pajamas are awesome. SO comfy, wash & wear well. I have 2 long sets & a short set (and found out my daughter does too, the last time she came home).

  15. Beadhead Pajamas. I hit up the Sale section pjs regularly to find deals cause they’re pricy but soooo good.

  16. “because the shorts are pretty short, Brian really likes these, too.”

    I threaten to stop wearing shorts to sleep all the time because my husband likes them too much. I’m just trying to sleep in comfort!

  17. I only wear Nautica pajamas. I’m 5’2″ and they’re the only ones that aren’t too long on me. For me, pj’s have to be cotton. Super comfy. Highly recommend.

    1. Fellow shorty over here 🙋🏻‍♀️ Searching for Nautica’s now!

    2. I used to always buy Nautica because I found their cotton -whether regular or flannel — was always sooooo soft and good quality. I don’t live in the States any more so they are not an option but it makes me happy to hear them get a shout-out!

  18. Matching pajama sets were my discovery when I turned 30 and you are spot-on! Unfortunately I only have a couple pairs because I’m short (5’1”) and it is SO hard to find petite ones. I am very opposed to PJ pants bunching on the ground or curling under my feet when I walk. So far Victoria’s Secret is the only place I’ve found them at a reasonable price point. If anyone else has suggestions please chime in! Also I’m in the Northwest so short sets are aren’t ideal this time of year.
    And these are all SO cute on you, Emily!

    1. Yes! Same problem. Hoping someone chime with answers chimes in…

      1. I have the same problem (5’0″) and have a version of the Gap modal joggers- the band around the bottom prevents them from being too long. Would be great if they came in petite but it works. And the modal is so soft.

        Years ago I had petite PJ pants from Eddie Bauer- I just checked and looks like they still make petite in PJ pants.

    2. My recommendation would be to get them tailor. I’m 5’1″ and hate the bunching on the ground or curling under my feet when I walk too. I have all my pants tailor including my pj pants. I personally think it’s worth it.

  19. I’ve had a pajama problem for years – I probably have more pajamas than pants ( I know I do). My favorites are anything from Natori or her cheaper line Josie. She has both knit and woven sets that are well made and have interesting fabric choices. Well made, comfortable and cute. She also makes a great caftan for the summer (another weakness). I think that GAP makes great sets and nightgowns. And, their sister store Old Navy is good for simple sets. I actually just bought a cute lemon printed set from Amazon/Sleepyhead which was much higher quality than I expected. I could go on, but I’ll spare you! 🙂

  20. I’ve had the GAP pjs for two years now, and while they are sooo comfy I felt like the fabric wore thin (read: see-through) pretty quickly for the price. I probably won’t be buying them again.

  21. I bought the Target shorts set for postpartum, and they’re great! Very functional for night nursing and made me feel cute at bedtime. Win win.
    I’m now trying to get my husband on board for Hanna’s family pajamas – I love the Snoopy pair!

  22. I am a pajama person too, and I think the BEST places to buy them are Target and Nordstrom Rack. Always like $20-$30, so cute, and v. comfortable.

  23. My teenage daughter loves Hanna Andersson PJs. I tend to wear yoga shorts and a tank. But for lounging, I like something nicer. I discovered Hernest, a small female run Canadian company, through the The Garment. They make their products in Canada and have a sustainable business model. They make amazing lounge clothes and PJs. The fit is super flattering of the Aldae jogger and tee, and the pants have pockets, which I love! I was just working on placing an order for more. Like Emily, I needed another set on my favorites. They are more expensive than something similar, like the Gap set, but I like supporting small makers trying to change the fashion industry.

  24. This is a public service announcement: Lol, please , NO, don’t wear your pj’s in public. They may be nice and silky but they are still pajamas.

    Thank You.

  25. Soma makes the BEST pajamas, especially if you have night sweats or hot flashes. Bonus they have pockets.

    1. I agree 100%! I have worn them for years as lounge wear. Long lasting and lovely patterns. If you go to soma.com they are doing a 12 days of Christmas promo.

    2. I agree … Soma pajamas are the best.

    3. Agreed! Soma cool nights are everything! JCrew has cotton but the tags drive me insane and are very hard to cut off. I have a chronic illness and am a professional pajama-er. I do prefer a more lounge look for all day. I wash/wear one set a day. I will try the gap ones.

      Sweet dreams to us all……

  26. These were so good! I now have a very sudden pajama craving 🙂 just jumping in to say: the set with the christmas trees (so cute) should be labeled Tannenbaum instead of Tennanbaum – literally meaning fir tree, or, you guessed it, christmas tree in German – no criticism just thought it might make them easier to find on the hanna anderson site 🙂

    1. The link to those is also wrong. It goes to the ban.do site.

  27. Wait, what? You wear a bra to bed? How is that comfortable?

  28. I love pyjamas. I must have 10 sets for every season. I live in Canada and here we have 4 distinct seasons. I also have many bathrobes. I have to tell myself to calm down whenever I see pj’s on sale. I guess I have a pyjama fetish. I feel I sleep better when II’m wearing cosy cute pj’s. Your pyjamas are adorable Emily, I love them all!

  29. PJ Salvage classic cut flannel pajamas are awesome. They have pockets, are flowy and comfortable, and are great quality.

  30. Yes! Thank you for writing the blog post I didn’t know I needed! I don’t have a link, but I stopped in TJ Maxx a week ago (in Chicago) and bought THE comfiest Laura Ashley winter-themed, long-sleeved and pants set. Highly recommend and only cost $15! I’ll be purchasing the flannel set you recommended because in Chicago, we do need those!!

  31. There is really NO BETTER cotton PJ set than the Nordstrom Moonlight set. It’s a die hard only-one-you’ll-ever-need set. I have like 5 of them.

  32. I’ve never wanted several matching pajama sets more. They all look so cozy!

  33. Jcrew vintage pjs are the best!

  34. You should definitely check out Mimi Island pajamas! SO so soft and cute. Run by the sweetest mother-daughter team in Toronto, ON! Here is their website 🙂 https://mimiisland.ca/

  35. I’ll say after 5 years my target ones just started to break down and I am getting a new set! And I wore the heck out of them!

  36. I like the J. Crew dreamy cotton pajamas (shorts version), although I will say that the buttons start oddly low. I got my set on sale for $20. I find the pants version a bit too tight in the bum but maybe that’s just me. I really want to try some of the Target sets. I saw that the flannel ones will be $20 for Black Friday.

    1. I second J. Crew’s dreamy cotton (with elastane) pjs. I like to buy a few of them on sale as my dog likes to eat pjs so I’m always in short supply. They are so comfortable, cool, but also thick so are substantial in California winters too. I may need to check out the Target ones though, as it can start to add up ($$) with aforementioned dog problem.

  37. We do matching family PJ sets for Christmas every year. The set we got form Burts Bees (so random) was one of my favorites, they have soft elasticity, stretch out and is a great light weight material. We live in LA, don’t need flannels, but these are light for being a long sleeve set.

    See their styles here:
    https://www.burtsbeesbaby.com/family-jammies-holiday-matching-pajamas

    1. I got each of my kids Burt’s bees knit pajamas last year but one set came with already made hole at the crotch seam. The fabric has held up but that was a negative. (Didn’t return bc it was Christmas Eve jammies!)

  38. Can we please talk about bras with PJ’s? This is my biggest PJ dilemma. I don’t *want* to put a bra on under my PJ’s for evening/morning hang out time, but also like a little modesty. Everyone I see in their cute PJ photos looks like they must be wearing bras, unless I’m missing some great PJ life hack?

    Going to check out the a Gap set —thank you! Also a big fan of Target’s shorts set, but find I need to replace after a year or two due to pilling/stretching out.

    1. I’m the same. I make sure I buy patterned designs so they camouflage my ‘ladies’ a bit after I ended up in a long stay situation in hospital and realized that plain fabric us more see through…uh-oh!
      I’m sitting bere in my mid season leopard print matching set now. No bra required. 😉

    2. I wear flannel pajamas or a hoodie over regular pj’s for those kinds of events – a little thicker and more coverage. I also have some stretchy bralettes in case I feel like a bit more support (I’m a 32FF). The PJ Salvage pj’s are great, by the way.

  39. The Moonlight Pajamas from Nordstrom are the softest things you will ever put on your body! My husband bought them for me as a gift and I practically live in them.

  40. I love target pjs! Cute, comfy and affordable! My kids have the Hanna Anderson pjs and I love them but haven’t splurged one a pair for myself yet!

  41. This post is adorable, and I love it!

  42. Not affordable BUUUUT Eberjey sets (long and short versions) are my absolute fave, and they last forever.

  43. Please please please tell me what bra you sleep in
    Always look g for something comfortable , but with enough support to keep them up so that I’m comfor ….you know what I mean?

  44. Glad to see you didn’t mention SheIn – they have super cute sets, but they’re so extremely cheaply made that they shrink each time they’re washed (the piping on the placket ripples because the body shrinks upward, and the sleeves and legs tighten). After the first wash, I noticed a problem; after the third wash, they were no longer wearable. While they’re less expensive up front, you’ll go through them so quickly that the per-wear cost ends up being higher than more expensive, higher-quality sets from other stores.

  45. Lake pajamas are all I wear anymore! They are the best in comfort and quality!

  46. I was hoping I would see some Hannas in this post. A great Portland company. My kids lived in Hannas 30+ years ago. Such quality. Now I’m buying them for my grandkids.

  47. It makes me happy to know that you wear Hanna Andersson PJs too. I have had mine for close to five years and they are still perfect, no shrinking, pilling, etc. I have two pairs and in the colder months I wear them every week. My previous favorites that I am still wearing for close to eight years are by Coyuchi. The organic cotton by Coyuchi is fabulous! They do go on sale so that brings them to around the same price as the Hanna’s. Here’s a cute jogger with pockets I just found and will be adding to my Christmas list: https://www.coyuchi.com/womens-solstice-organic-jogger-sale.html

  48. OMG! Emily! You have to try Little Sleepies, both for yourself and for your kids. They are bamboo and so comfy that I can’t wear anything else now. My kids won’t either!!! littlesleepies.com is their site.

  49. Anyone have any good recommendations for petites?

  50. I’ve bought the GAP ones and the Amazons shorties and they’re both great!! Good recs 🙂

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