11 best kids’ pyjamas for keeping cosy and looking cool

·14-min read
We paid special attention to comfort, fabric softness, how  well they washed and the design  (iStock/The Independent)
We paid special attention to comfort, fabric softness, how well they washed and the design (iStock/The Independent)

If bedtime is a battle, an excellent pair of PJs may well be the answer to getting your kids excited for bed. Whether it’s a cool print, glow-in-the-dark touches or simply a soft and snuggly fabric, the perfect children’s pyjamas need to have a decent amount of kid appeal, whether it’s for sleeping or lazy Saturday mornings at home.

PJs are an essential buy for every family and there are certain things worth paying attention to if you want to find a pair that lasts. Fabric quality is hugely important – you want pyjamas your child will feel comfy in all night long, so 100 per cent cotton is always a winner. Every pair of PJs in our round-up has received the thumbs up from our little testers for comfort – it’s guaranteed, itch-free fabric only from here on in!

When there are kids involved, you need to pick pyjamas that are easy to pop into the machine and ones that wash well, with minimal to no shrinkage or bobbling of the fabric.

Often, it’s worth spending a little more to get great quality pyjamas that can be passed down from sibling to sibling – with this in mind, unisex designs are always a safe bet. To get the most wear out of each pair of PJs, look for stretchy fabric, drawstring waists or foldable cuffs, that can grow with your child.

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How we tested

Our two-and-a-half-year-old and five-year-old testers tried many different pairs of pyjamas over the course of a month, to help us create this round-up of the very best kids’ PJs out there. Paying special attention to comfort, fabric softness, how easily and well they washed, the pattern or design and, most importantly, which pairs our testers picked out for themselves most nights, these are the pyjamas we think are really worth buying.

The best kids’ pyjamas for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Polarn O. Pyret heart print kids pyjamas: £26, Polarnopyret.co.uk

  • Best personalised pyjamas – My 1st Years personalised red check pyjamas: £32, Myfirstyears.com

  • Best traditional pyjamas – Annafie horse carousel pyjamas: £45, Annafie.com

  • Best for softness – Mori snoozy pyjamas: £32.50, Babymori.com

  • Best value pyjamas – Next snuggle pyjamas, 3 pack: £23, Next.co.uk

  • Best glow in the dark pyjamas – JoJo Maman Bebe spacedog glow-in-the-dark pyjamas: £17, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk

  • Best gender-neutral pyjamas – MarMar Copenhagen sleepwear set: £31, Smallsmart.co.uk

  • Best for younger children – Kidly organic pyjamas: £20, Kidly.co.uk

  • Best pyjamas for a good cause – Scamp & Dude x Young Lives vs Cancer pyjamas: £28, Scampanddude.com

  • Best stylish pyjamas – Lola & Blake floral disco classic pyjamas: £39.95, Lolaandblake.co.uk

  • Best for fun prints – Frugi polperro pyjamas: £26, Welovefrugi.com

Polarn O. Pyret heart print kids pyjamas

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Made from GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) cotton, with a hint of elastane for a bit of stretch, these super-soft pyjamas won our five-year-old tester over. In fact, it was a struggle to convince him to wear normal clothes rather than hang out playing Lego in these PJs all day, they were that comfy. Often prone to overheating in the night, these pyjamas kept our tester cosy without the need to kick the duvet off mid-sleep, thanks to the excellent quality fabric. There’s also no scratchy label at the back of the neck to contend with, which was a welcome touch.

Coming in sizes that span two years in age (from one to 12-years-old), we really rated the foldable cuffs around the wrists and ankles, which meant our tester (a little tall for his age) could wear the 6-8 years size comfortably, but with plenty of extra growing room. A little detail like this adds a serious amount of longevity, aligning with Polarn O.Pyret’s dedication to sustainability and to creating clothes with a long lifespan, designed to be passed down. It also makes them great value for money.

Available in a choice of six prints, we loved the cute heart pattern, especially as you can buy a matching pair in adult sizes (which we can confirm are a dream to wear) – perfect for a bit of family outfit twinning.

Buy now £26.00, Polarnopyret.co.uk

My 1st Years personalised red check pyjamas

Best: Personalised pyjamas

Rating: 8.5/10

The traditional red tartan design of these pyjamas really appealed to us (serious nostalgic, festive vibes), but our toddler tester was most impressed by the fact they had her name on them. You can choose to have up to 12 characters embroidered in white onto the pyjama top, for free, making these an excellent, personalised Christmas present, from 6-month-olds and up.

Although these are button-down PJs, you don’t have to worry about faffing about with doing these up when getting your youngest dressed – we found the top easy to slip over our tester’s head with just the top button undone, thanks to the loose-fitting cut. The elasticated waist of the trousers gives a comfortable fit, and the 100 per cent cotton fabric is delightfully soft.

We were pleased that these didn’t lose any of their initial softness after washing (you can machine wash at 40 degrees), in fact, the only downside is that these stop at size 5-6 years.

Buy now £32.00, Myfirstyears.com

Annafie horse carousel pyjamas

Best: Traditional pyjamas

Rating: 9/10

These Annafie children’s pyjamas really are a thing of beauty. From the classic cut and 100 per cent fine cotton fabric, down to the exquisite hand-embroidered carousel design, these are pyjamas you’ll want the kids to show off.

We really love Annafie’s approach to sustainability, making everything in small batches, with the smocking and embroidery all done by hand by Madagascan craftswomen, and – in their own words – “with longevity at the core of the designs and materials”. There’s no doubt that these are pyjamas made to last and to be passed down. The quality is undeniable and the care that’s gone into every little detail, like the fabric covered buttons and piped edges, is clear.

The loose-fitting style and light fabric made these PJs super-comfy to wear. Our little testers loved the cute carousel detail, but it was the fact these pyjamas have pockets that really gave them hero status – every toddler needs pockets to carry random objects around in, even at bedtime.

Buy now £45.00, Annafie.com

Mori snoozy pyjamas

Best: For softness

Rating: 8.5/10

Quite possibly the softest pyjamas in the world, this snuggly pair from Mori are exactly the kind of thing you want next to your baby or toddler’s sensitive skin. The fabric is the brand’s signature mix of organic cotton and bamboo, which is naturally breathable and helps to regulate your child’s temperature as they sleep, making them a great choice whatever the time of year.

With sizes going from newborn up to six years, these are really designed with babies and toddlers in mind and include poppers around the neck in designs up to two years. Oddly we did find it a little tricky to pop our two-and-a-half-year-old tester’s head through the normal 3-4 years size, which we felt was a little small, but apart from that the fit was perfect, with plenty of growing room.

Our little tester thought the design on the PJ top was very cute and she loved wearing these to bed each night – there was a lot of stroking of pyjamas and “sooo soft” from our toddler, so they definitely get the thumbs up when it comes to comfort.

Mori also offers a sleep club subscription service, where you can receive new sleepwear each month, tailored to your kid’s age and size. A great gift idea for new parents who have enough to think about!

Buy now £32.50, Babymori.com

Next snuggle pyjamas, 3 pack

Best: Value pyjamas

Rating: 9/10

What’s better than a pair of dinosaur pyjamas? A pack of three, that’s what. Next’s multi-pack snuggle pyjamas have gained cult status among parents for offering excellent quality at a really good price.

With a thick cuff around the waist, ankles and wrists, these snuggle-fit PJs are easy for children to get on and off themselves, and they don’t lose their shape or softness no matter how many times they end up in the washing machine and tumble dryer.

Available in sizes that run from nine months up to 12 years, these pyjamas come in a huge choice of patterns, with this dinosaur trio declared as “very cool” by our five-year-old tester. The bold, monochrome dinos mixed with the bright colours of the pyjamas make these kid-friendly, and we appreciated the more unusual colour scheme of ochre, burnt orange and teal, which made a nice change from the usual primary colours you’d expect.

Starting at just £23 for a set of three pyjamas, you really can’t go wrong.

Buy now £23.00, Next.co.uk

JoJo Maman Bebe spacedog glow-in-the-dark pyjamas

Best: Glow in the dark pyjamas

Rating: 8.5/10

Pyjamas that actually glow in the dark? Yes, you heard that right! When we received these pyjamas our five-year-old was hopping around desperate for bedtime so he could put them to the test. After previous fails with supposedly glow-in-the-dark clothing, we had relatively low expectations, but after holding these pyjamas up to the light for a few seconds we were so impressed with how “glowy” they actually were when the lights went out.

The glow-in-the-dark element works perfectly with the space dog print and the kid appeal is very strong with this pair of pyjamas. Thankfully, as well as ticking all the boxes for our young testers, these PJs ticked ours too. The natural cotton fabric offered plenty of stretch and our tester thought they felt really comfy as he bombed around the house. Machine washable and suitable for tumble drying, they wash well and hold their size – we didn’t notice any shrinkage at all.

Buy now £17.00, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk

MarMar Copenhagen sleepwear set

Best: Gender-neutral pyjamas

Rating: 8.5/10

The perfect antidote to the many heavily-gendered kids’ pyjamas on sale, this offering from cool Danish label, MarMar Copenhagen are a fantastic bedtime staple.

Made from Oeko-Tex certified material (so you know they’re free from any nasties and produced sustainably), these modal and cotton pyjamas are incredibly soft to touch, as well as managing to feel lightweight and cosy at the same time.

We loved the simple, pared-back ribbed design, which would work well for kids of all ages. Our five-year-old loved the feel of these and even used them as thermal layers under his clothes on a snow day. In all honesty, these could quite easily work as daytime basics too, as they don’t look overly like pyjamas, making them a handy multi-use addition to your child’s wardrobe. We wouldn’t mind a pair ourselves.

Buy now £31.00, Smallsmart.co.uk

Kidly organic pyjamas

Best: For younger children

Score: 8.5/10

These cool pyjamas are a great choice for bedtime, as well as snuggling on the sofa watching a film or playing with toys on a slow Sunday morning. Made from 100% GOTS-certified cotton, they’re cut in a closer-fit style, meaning your child can be comfy and cosy, without any restrictions.

They come in sizes six months up to five years and are available in nine different patterns, designed to be mixed and matched together. This is such a clever idea, especially when you’ve got a child who’s prone to covering their PJ top in breakfast and ends up wearing the strangest combination of pyjamas on a regular basis.

We tested the stripy set, which our two-and-a-half-year-old tester thoroughly approved of. We found these fitted true to size, with plenty of stretch and managed to keep our little tester warm on the coldest night of the year so far.

Buy now £20.00, Kidly.co.uk

Scamp & Dude x Young Lives vs Cancer pyjamas

Best: Pyjamas for a good cause

Score: 10/10

British brand Scamp & Dude is known for its colourful, lightning bolt-print clothes and accessories, as well as its dedication to supporting children’s charities. These special edition kids’ pyjamas are made from soft, organic cotton and feature the signature lightning bolt as part of a fun, smiley face print.

Available in either pink or electric blue, each with a neon pink print, they run from age one to 13 years, and there are also matching adult pairs if you want to get in on the action. Our five-year-old tester adored the smiley face print and said the lightning bolts made him feel like a “superhero”, and you can’t get higher praise than that!

While they, without a doubt, look amazing, feel soft and are fantastic quality, what we love most about these is that for every pair sold, Scamp & Dude will donate £5 to Young Lives vs Cancer, helping children and their families dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Buy now £28.00, Scampanddude.com

Lola & Blake floral disco classic pyjamas

Best: Stylish pyjamas

Score: 10/10

Have you ever seen a cooler pair of kids’ pyjamas? Lola & Blake is all about designing colourful and creative gender-neutral nightwear for children (and adults), that are to be worn, loved and passed down – and we are obsessed!

The hand-illustrated print on these floral disco pyjamas is something else; packed full of intricate detail, it manages to seamlessly combine all kinds of flowers, in a riot of colour, with butterflies, bugs and sparkly disco balls. Our two-and-a-half-year-old had a great time pointing out all the things she could find each time she wore these. We can also confirm that, crucially, they did not restrict our toddler’s moves during a kitchen disco.

Made from pure cotton, these lightweight pyjamas have pearlized buttons down the front, electric blue piping and a pocket on the PJ top (hooray). The cut is relaxed, with a drawstring waist to make sure you get the perfect fit.

You can buy matching adult pyjamas, as well as some gorgeous quilts if you want to go all out with your coordination at bedtime. There’s also the option of getting your pyjamas personalised with embroidery.

Buy now £39.95, Lolaandblake.co.uk

Frugi polperro pyjamas

Best: For fun prints

Score: 9/10

Our tractor-mad toddler tester did a dance of joy when she spotted these colourful pyjamas from Frugi. Featuring tractors, rainbows, ducks and a smiley sun, the print pretty much features all of our little tester’s favourite things, so there were no battles when it came to bedtime.

The GOTS-certified, organic cotton is so soft to touch, and the cuffs and neckband added an extra level of comfort. In place of an annoying back label, all the info is printed on the PJ top (an excellent kid-friendly touch), and you’ll find popper fastenings on the top, up to size four years. We found the cut was nice and roomy, leaving plenty of room to grow, and they washed really well.

Running from newborn right up to 10 years, it’s rare to find a pair of pyjamas that covers such a wide age range, so these are the perfect choice if you have children of various ages and love the idea of matching PJs.

Buy now £26.00, Welovefrugi.com

The Verdict: Kids’ pyjamas

Polarn O.Pyret impressed us the most, with its fun prints, foldable cuffs offering room to grow, incredibly soft fabric and fantastic hand-me-down-ability. For super-cool patterns and luxury touches, we really rate British label Lola & Blake, with its exquisite hand-illustrated designs.

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