The summer sleepwear edit: the best pyjamas for sleeping in the heat

Zoe Gunn

1 July 2021

Slumber peacefully with these cooling lightweight cotton, silk and linen pyjamas

1 July 2021 | Zoe Gunn

Step away from your boyfriend’s baggy old T-shirts. When it comes to sleeping in the heat there are far chicer pyjama options that will keep you cool and comfortable. The key is to choose natural, breathable materials, such as cotton, linen and silk, that feel utterly luxurious while regulating body temperature. From elegant matching sets to sensuous slips, here’s our guide to the best pyjamas and sleepwear for summer.

WNU x Hamilton & Hare

Described as being suitable for everything from bed to beach, a new collaboration between British indie brands WNU (With Nothing Underneath) and Hamilton & Hare has resulted in a pair of lightweight, organic cotton women’s boxer shorts so comfortable you might never want to take them off. We recommend pairing them with WNU’s Boyfriend linen shirt – it’s not technically nightwear but it’s so soft we guarantee you’ll sleep like a baby.

The Boyfriend linen shirt, £95, withnothingunderneath.com
Women’s boxer shorts, £40, hamiltonandhare.com

Skin

If there’s one thing your summer sleepwear doesn’t need, it’s long sleeves. Ditch your usual trousers and shirt combo for roomy shorts and a shirt crafted from a naturally light and breathable fabric, such as the organic cotton-jersey used on Skin’s flattering Celina pyjamas. Intricate detailing, like contrast piping, provides a sartorial touch.

Skin Celina organic cotton-jersey pyjamas, £115, net-a-porter.com

Olivia von Halle

Queen of chic loungewear Olivia von Halle does a fine line in sleepwear and, when the mercury is rising, there’s nothing better than her silk camisole sets. The shorts are cut with a high flat-front waist for supreme comfort and style while each is finished with a bold, beautiful print. The star signs on this elegant Indya set are ideal for bedtime.

Indya Ludo silk camisole set, £340, oliviavonhalle.com

Desmond & Dempsey

Desmond & Dempsey has long been the cool girl’s go-to for luxe pyjamas and its offering is extensive. Truthfully, any of its camisole or short sets would be ideal for a warm weather slumber but it’s the Cuban pyjama sets that get our vote. In particular, the Marginata print offers an Hawaiian shirt vibe that’s *almost* as good as actually going on holiday.

Marginata print Cuban pyjama set, £120, desmondanddempsey.com

La Perla

More of a nightdress person? You’ll be well acquainted with La Perla then. The Italian lingerie and nightwear brand has been outfitting discerning sleepers with slips since 1954 and is famed for its attention to detail and high-end touches. This floral-print silk-satin slip is a case in point. Cut high on the leg and low in the back for a cooling effect, it also features adjustable straps to help you achieve the perfect fit.

Scoop-back floral silk-satin slip dress, £230, matchesfashion.com

Sleeper

Founded in 2014 by former fashion editors Kate Zubarieva and Asya Varetsa, Sleeper specialises in luxurious nightwear that places equal attention on both design and comfort. It’s feather-trimmed pyjama sets were a runaway hit with those looking for a little glamour during lockdown but, this summer, it's ruffles that are proving popular. Created in an understated navy hue with a Mandarin collar and ruffled hems on both sleeves and shorts, this linen set is so chic you might just be tempted to add it to your daywear wardrobe.

Sleeper navy ruffle-trimmed linen pyjama set, £210, harveynichols.com

Pour Les Femmes

It may look like the kind of dress you’d happily pop over a swimsuit for a day on a Mediterranean beach but this feminine organic cotton dress by Pour Les Femmes has been designed expressly with sleep in mind. A collaboration between actor Robin Wright and designer Karen Fowler, the entire ethos of the brand is about creating light-as-a-feather sleepwear that elevates the sacred time we spend asleep.

Pour Les Femmes organic cotton nightdress, £190, harrods.com

Rails

If you like to cosy up in classic flannel check pyjamas during the winter, you needn’t ditch your favourite design for summer – a few design tweaks are all that’s necessary. Rails has incorporated a classic check into its short set, simply swapping flannel for cotton and a long-sleeved shirt for an adjustable strappy top to make it the ideal outfit for a peaceful sleep on balmy nights.

Rails Charlotte check pyjama set, £125, farfetch.com

Read more: The best tailors for women in London