There are a lot of really good reasons for giving pajamas as a gift. After all, pajamas are a practical present — sooner or later, everyone in the family needs a pair. They’re fun to shop for because they come in so many bright colors and funky prints. They’re also a gift that shows a lot of care, as they’re meant to be used during relaxed, laid-back times at home. Women's pajamas make terrific gifts to use in a larger basket when paired with other loungewear, such as slippers or sleep-inducing items, like herbal teas or spa gift certificates.
But if you’re looking to get someone the best possible pajamas for a gift, consider these questions. Your answers will help you to find just the right present for everyone on your list.
Let’s start with a word of caution: Yes, PJs are a beloved present, but they’re also a personal gift. So, if you don’t know the person you’re shopping for well — say it’s a new in-law, a coworker, or someone you have a professional relationship with—pajamas are probably not an appropriate gift idea.
Once you know you’re buying for the right person, you might ask if you should get a pajama gift just for them, or for their whole family. Matching pajamas make a really fun gift option for young couples, families, and newlyweds.
Just think: If you choose the right matching set for a family with kids, your gift might even make the cover of next year’s holiday card!
If you only think of sleeping when you think of pajamas, you might be missing out on one of their key functions: Pajamas are also super cozy and comfortable for hanging out. That’s why so many people spend huge chunks of their weekends in their pajama sets around the house, even when they’re wide awake.
If the pajamas you’re gifting will be worn during binge-watching sessions or lazy all-day hangouts, look for options like flannel robes that offer enough coverage to allow the wearer to answer the door for a delivery, or to make a quick run to the mailbox in the afternoon.
If, on the other hand, you want to give a gift that guarantees someone you love a good night’s rest, you might choose totally different PJs, seeking out sleepwear that’s loose-fitting and comfortable for stretching out in bed instead.
You might look for simple loose-fitting options that won’t constrict the wearer while they sleep. A woman might prefer a sleeping gown; men might choose to sleep in the bottoms of a pajama set, or wear a pair of comfy sleeping shorts.
When you’re choosing pajamas, the forecast — or at least the temperature in the house — really matters. Consider the fabric of your pajama options before you choose your gift. If the person you’re buying for lives somewhere warm, look for lighter weight materials, like cotton. If you’re shopping for someone who lives somewhere colder (or whose family keeps the thermostat set low!), look for pajamas in a material that can keep them cozy, like flannel or fleece, as they lounge.
A set of flannel pajamas is a terrific option if you think the gift’s recipient will face a mix of cold and warm temperatures. Because the material is comfortable and breathable, it helps the wearer keep a comfortable and regular body temperature. There are flannel pajama options for men, boys, and girls as well.
Little things can have a big impact on how comfortable a pair of pajamas feel, so it’s a smart idea to look at the details of any pajamas you choose and ask how they’ll impact the way it’ll feel to wear them.
Before you pick a pair, and even if they’re the cutest Christmas pajamas you’ve ever seen, do a doublecheck: Look at pockets — do they have them if you need them? Are they located in a place that won’t bunch up when you’re sleeping or lounging? Check out the waistband, if there is one: Is it adjustable so that it won’t feel constricting after an especially hearty bedtime snack? See the buttons — are they in a spot that’ll rub or dig in while the wearer is getting comfortable for sleep? And check out the leg bottoms — loose ankles are comfortable, but they can be a tripping hazard, particularly for children.
By reviewing these elements, you’ll ensure that the pajamas you choose don’t have any little niggling comfort issues when they’re worn.
When you’ve found the jammies that are a good fit for your friend’s life, lifestyle, and personality, it’s time to rest easy — you’ve picked a wonderful gift that they’ll enjoy using again and again.