A Simplified Guide To Choosing The Right Sleepwear For Seniors

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

If you or a senior you love are looking to get better sleep each night, take a closer look at the sleepwear. Here are the top tips on how to choose great sleepwear for seniors, considerations to make when choosing sleepwear, with some examples of my top recommendations.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from links in this guide. Learn More.

Ideally, older adults should get around 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If you (or a senior you love) aren’t sleeping well, you’ve probably looked at your bedding, pillows, blankets and bed linens, right? But have you looked at your sleepwear choices

How Does Sleepwear Influence Sleep?

Sleepwear is basically any item of clothing that is worn when a person is going to sleep such as pajamas, nightgown, tee shirt, boxers and other types of inner wear, and, socks.

Sleep is meant to be a time when the mind and body can rest and become invigorated in readiness for a new day. For this to happen, your body must be fitted in something that is comfortable and relaxing. For seniors, getting a perfect night’s sleep can be a mirage especially if they are wearing something uncomfortable.

The sleepwear worn by a senior can greatly impact their sleep patterns. For example, if they are wearing lightweight clothing, they might get too cold at night meaning that sleep won’t come easy. If they sweat excessively at night, the wrong sleepwear can be stuffy and stick to the body which means finding sleep will be virtually impossible.

Additionally, if they wearing bed clothes that are hard to fasten and unfasten, they might spend too much time in the bathroom by which time they will be too awake to fall back to sleep quickly.

So, yes, your choice of sleepwear is important.

senior sweaty sleeper
Often, seniors with menopause prefer lightweight, cooling sleepwear along with bedding that pulls heat from the skin.

Tips for Selecting Great Sleepwear for the Elderly

Following are some tips to help you buy the best sleepwear for older adults.

1. Understand What Your Loved One Likes

Before going on a shopping spree, first check out your loved ones wardrobe to identify their favorite sleepwear. Though you may shakeup things when buying sleepwear, the majority of the clothes that you buy should items that your loved one prefers to wear to bed. Further, the items should be in their favorite colors.

2. Buy Items That Are Comfortable

If your elderly loved one wears items they find uncomfortable to bed, quality sleep will be hard to come by. Ensure that you select loose-fitting items that are comfortable and fit well.

3. Consider Your Loved One’s Ailments and Condition

If your loved one has any ailments, they can influence the most ideal sleepwear to wear to bed. For example, if they are allergic to nylon and plastics you cannot purchase sleepwear made of nylon fabric.

Before buying sleepwear, you should also consider your loved one’s medical condition. For example, if they have problems with excessive sweating and passing incontinence at night, you should focus on buying highly absorbent yet comfortable sleepwear.

By understanding your elderly loved one’s condition, you will be able to select sleepwear that is designed to afford them a comfortable and quality night’s sleep.

RELATED: Best Sleep Bra for Seniors & Elderly

Top Factors to Consider When Choosing Sleepwear for Seniors

1. What Type of Fabric Is The Sleepwear Made From?

Fabric can help regulate temperature levels when your loved one is sleeping and in the process help promote help better sleep. Here are some of the most common types of fabrics used in making sleepwear and their benefits …

  • Silk – This incredibly soft material has thermoregulation capabilities meaning that it can help cool your body when temperatures are high and warm your body when it is cold
  • Cotton – This material is soft to the touch, breathable and relatively lightweight which means it can be worn comfortably. Though it absorbs little levels of moisture it is not a good absorbent material meaning it is not ideal for people who experience night sweats or incontinence. However, it is great for people looking for comfortable sleepwear that can warm the body
  • Bamboo – Sleepwear made from bamboo fibers usually has a natural, soft and silky feel on the skin. Bamboo sleepwear is also absorbent meaning it can be used by people who experience night sweats
  • Flannel – This is a soft breathable material that has the ability to keep the body warm in cold conditions
  • Wool – This soft material is usually used in the production of sleepwear designed to warm the user at night. However, it is worth noting that wool is not breathable thus it can get stuffy and uncomfortable not to mention that it can sometimes cause itchiness

2. Is The Sleepwear Easy To Wear?

As people age, mobility and flexibility issues tend to arise. It is therefore best to find your loved one sleepwear that they can easily put on and take off without requiring a lot of assistance. This means you should avoid sleepwear with too many buttons or complicated latching/fastening mechanisms.

3. Is The Sleepwear Easy To Wash?

Remember that are the one who will be cleaning your loved one’s sleepwear each day. Given that your loved one may soil their sleepwear frequently especially if they cannot regulate bowel movements when sleeping, find clothing items that are easy to wash.

4. Does The Sleepwear Come In The Right Size?

The best way to ensure that your loved one enjoys a comfortable sleep is to buy sleepwear that is just the right size. This means finding clothes that are neither too small nor too big. Check your loved one’s size before making a purchase.

Top Sleepwear Items to Consider Buying For Your Loved One

Nautica’s Cotton Pajama Pants

These lightweight pajama pants are made of 100% cotton making the ideal comfortable wear for seniors looking for fitting, easy to wear and wash sleeping pants. These pants have an elastic waistband and adjustable drawstring that can be conveniently used by your elderly loved one. The best part is that these pajama pants come in various colors and designs at an affordable price.


Women’s 7pc Polyester Pajama Set by Sheln

Who says that your loved one cannot stay stylish yet comfortable when going to bed? This women’s 7pc pajama set is an ideal acquisition since your loved one gets a lot of options on what to wear when going to bed. In the set, you will find a pair of shorts, a pair of pants, a shirt, a cami, a hair tie and band as well as an eye mask.


Adaptive Sleepwear Collection By Ovidis

ovidis adaptive clothing

This specialty clothing label focuses primarily on developing adaptive sleepwear that can be used by people with mobility issues, reduced finger dexterity and declining cognitive abilities such as the elderly and seniors with dementia. The sleepwear collection by Ovidis features different sleepwear designs for both men and women that are all made of different high quality easy-to-maintain materials such as silk, cotton and polyester.


Keyocean Nightgown

This traditional nightgown design is ideal if you are looking to get your loved one comfortable sleepwear. The long sleeves make it ideal for chilly nights not to mention that it is easy to wash and maintain.


Thermal Breathable Wool Socks By Alvada

For the cold nights, consider acquiring these thermal socks for your loved one. These soft socks are made of 80% wool meaning that they will quickly warm your loved one’s feet. They are also breathable and have moisture-wicking capability meaning that they have the capability to regulate your loved one’s temperature and absorb sweat if it gets too warm at night.

General Sleep Tips for Older Adults

Sleep issues that can be directly attributed to lifestyle choices can easily be rectified by encouraging your loved one to take up healthier habits that make sleeping soundly at night easier. Some of the sleep-friendly lifestyle changes you can encourage include:

  • Avoiding the use of electronic gadgets at night
  • Using the bed solely for sleeping
  • Exercising in the evenings
  • Taking part in activities that encourage the mind to wind down such as light reading
  • Setting and sticking to a particular sleep routine

To avoid sleeping problems that can be attributed to a bad sleeping environment, you should take steps to ensure that your elderly loved has a great sleeping environment. This can include:

  • Providing a better mattress and more comfortable pillows
  • Choose the right blankets based on your personal temperature preferences
  • Removing bright lights from the bedroom
  • Ensuring that there are no noisy distracting sounds filtering into the bedroom
  • Ensuring that your loved one wears the right sleepwear when going to bed

RELATED: Best Sleep Shirts for the Elderly

Final Word

The clothes that your elderly loved one adorns to bed can have a huge influence on their sleep patterns. The best way to ensure that your loved one enjoys quality slumber? Create the right bedroom environment, choose the right beddings, encourage your loved one to start sleep-friendly lifestyle habits and lastly, ensure that they are wearing the right sleepwear to bed.

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