A Miss Elaine nightgown

Nightwear, also called "sleepwear", "sleeping suit", "nightclothes", or "nightdress", is clothing designed to be worn while sleeping. The style of nightwear worn may vary with the seasons, with eg. warmer styles being worn in colder conditions. Some styles or materials are selected to be visually appealing or erotic, sometimes in addition to their functional purpose of warmth.

Examples of types of items of nightwear include:

  • Babydoll - a short, sometimes sleeveless, loose-fitting nightgown or negligee for women, generally designed to resemble a young girl's nightgown.
  • Blanket sleeper - a warm sleeping garment for infants and young children.
  • Chemise - when used in reference to sleepwear, it is a delicate, usually provocative, loose-fitting, sleeveless, shirt-like lingerie, similar to babydoll, but tighter at the hips.
  • Funzee - an allinone sleepsuit worn by adults but similar to an infant onesie, usually made from cotton.
  • Negligee - loose, sensuous nightwear for women usually made of sheer or semi-translucent fabrics and trimmed with lace or other fine material, and bows.
  • Nightgown - loose hanging nightwear for women, typically made from cotton, silk, satin, or nylon.
  • Nightshirt - loose-fitting garment, longer than a regular shirt.
  • Nightcap - a warm cloth cap sometimes worn by women or men with pajamas or a nightgown.
  • Peignoir - a long outer garment for women usually sheer and made of chiffon. They are usually sold with a matching nightgown, negligee or panties but are often worn with no underwear.
  • Pajamas - loose fitting two-piece garments for women, men and children. They may be made from cotton, silk, satin or synthetic materials.

There are several other types of garment that are commonly worn for sleeping – especially clothing otherwise used for physical education, see next section – but these are usually not referred to as nightwear, because they may also be worn during the day and in public. Also, sleeping without any clothing at all is not uncommon.


According to a 2004 United States survey, 13% of men wear pajamas or nightgowns for sleeping, whereas 31% wear underwear and another 31% sleep nude. Among women, 55% wear pajamas or nightgowns, which were counted under the same option[1]:

What worn for sleeping Men (%) Women (%) All (%)
Nothing/nude 31 14 22
Underwear 31 2 16
Nightgown/Pajamas 13 55 34
Shorts/t-shirt 21 25 23
Sweatshirt/sweatpants 1 2 1
Something else 3 1 2
No opinion 1 1 1

A survey by the BBC The Clothes Show Magazine in 1996 revealed the following about sleepwear in the UK[2]

% Pyjamas Nothing Underwear Nightdress Other
Women 37 17 9 33 4†
Men 6 47 22 - 25†

†Most common response in 'Other' from women was outdoor clothes, from men shorts.


  1. ^ "American Sex Survey". abcnews. 2004. p. 26. Retrieved 2009-09-04.  Short Analysis here
  2. ^ The Clothes Show Magazine, May 1996, BBC Magazines

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • nightwear — [nīt′wer΄] n. NIGHTCLOTHES …   English World dictionary

  • nightwear — [[t]na͟ɪtweə(r)[/t]] N UNCOUNT Nightwear is clothing that you wear in bed …   English dictionary

  • nightwear — /nuyt wair /, n. night clothes. [NIGHT + WEAR] * * * …   Universalium

  • nightwear — noun Clothes worn at nighttime …   Wiktionary

  • nightwear — night|wear [ˈnaıtweə US wer] n [U] clothes that you wear in bed at night …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • nightwear — night|wear [ naıt,wer ] noun uncount clothes that you wear to sleep in …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • nightwear — n. clothes worn for sleeping, pajamas …   English contemporary dictionary

  • nightwear — noun clothing worn in bed …   English new terms dictionary

  • nightwear — noun (U) clothes that you wear in bed at night …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • nightwear — UK [ˈnaɪtˌweə(r)] / US [ˈnaɪtˌwer] noun [uncountable] British clothes that you wear to sleep in …   English dictionary

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