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Should You Sleep in Panties?

To sleep in panties or not to sleep in panties? If that question keeps you up at night, we’re here to put your worries to rest.

Chances are, you’ve heard the age-old debates about what to wear to bed. Is it OK to sleep in a bra? What about certain types of pajamas? Along these same lines, many women also wonder whether it’s better to sleep in panties or go commando. 

Contrary to anything you’ve been told, catching Z’s in your underwear is perfectly fine. In fact, it might even provide all sorts of benefits, from lightening the laundry load to preparing you for emergencies. 

Surprised? Keep reading to find out seven unexpected reasons why you should sleep in panties.

Is it OK to Sleep in Panties?

It turns out that sleeping in panties is more than OK! According to OB/GYN and clinical assistant professor Dr. Alyssa Dweck, it’s not medically necessary for most women to go commando at night. 

So, what’s with all the drama?

The reason there’s so much controversy over wearing underwear to bed has to do with the non-breathable materials lining some panties. Naturally, if you’re choosing uncomfortable drawers, your vaginal health might suffer. That’s why people prone to inflammation downstairs might want to avoid bedtime underwear.

However, overnight undies themselves aren’t the problem. As long as you opt for panties made of cool, soft, and light fabric, you can let your skin breathe all night long. 

7 Reasons to Sleep in Panties

Illustrations of a lock, soap bubbles, an alarm, feather, laundry machine, thermometer and a pad indicating the different reasons to sleep in panties

Before you opt for the birthday suit, you might want to consider the many benefits of wearing underwear to bed. Here are some reasons to sleep in panties: 

1. For Cleanliness

For starters, sleeping in panties can be cleaner than going to bed bare. In a survey, 30% of respondents report washing their sheets only once a year. Between washes, tiny bugs called dust mites feed off dead skin flakes on our bedding.

Still want to go commando? Sleeping in underwear gives you an extra layer of protection between you and any germs living between your sheets.

2. For Comfort

While your bedding might keep you warm at night, the fabric in some sheets can feel scratchy and coarse. In addition to general discomfort, dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner explains that the synthetic materials in certain bedding can cause irritation or worsen skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.

Unless you’re using silk or cotton sheets, you might prefer the comfort of sleeping in underwear. Especially if your panties are breathable and soft, you won’t mind the extra layer.

3. For Less Laundry

If you think going commando to bed will save you a load of laundry, think again. Without the extra layer of protection for your nether regions, your pajama bottoms and bedding might need a bit more attention from the washer. 

Instead of cleaning those bulkier items more often, you can learn how to wash underwear and save your quarters.

A young black female and male couple folding laundry and smiling because they’ve noticed that they have less clothes to wash due to sleeping in panties

4. For Period Protection  

There’s nothing worse than waking up to a period stain on your freshly washed bedding. Did you know that sleeping in underwear can help lower the chances of this unpleasant surprise?

Since panties provide an additional barrier between you and your bedding, you're much less likely to experience leakage. 

5. For Body Temperature

If you get night sweats, the last thing you might want is to wear an extra layer of clothing to bed. However, certain underwear can actually help keep you dry.

Instead of sporting regular fabrics, try cool cotton or other lightweight materials overnight. They’ll help regulate your temperature and soothe even the hottest sleepers. Plus, if you still end up breaking into a sweat, you’ll have a layer of protection between you and the sheets.

6. For Privacy

There’s a reason they’re called your private parts — you probably want to keep them private. If you have roommates or housemates, going commando to bed might result in some embarrassing encounters. For those with a tendency to sleepwalk, you might not even realize you’re wandering around your home in the buff.

To avoid the awkwardness, you might want to sleep in panties and throw on some comfy loungewear while you’re at it.

7. For Emergencies

If someone breaks into your place, you won’t want to worry about being decent. By sleeping in underwear, you’ll be ready in the case of an emergency break-in.

In addition, what happens if the fire alarm goes off? Sleeping in panties gives you one less layer to throw on before evacuating the building.

Best Styles for Sleeping Underwear

Blonde women smiling and hugging her pillow after a restful night of sleep

Sleeping in underwear offers all kinds of benefits, but does the style matter? When deciding between different types of panties for bed, it’s all about what makes you comfortable. 

If you prefer full coverage between the sheets, go for briefs or boyshorts. Those who want a little less material might gravitate toward cheeky styles.

How about thongs? Although certain myths insist that thongs cause discomfort, the truth is that many people simply aren’t choosing the right pair. If you’re most comfortable wearing a thong to bed, just be sure to pick out a breathable fabric and proper size.

Best Fabrics for Sleeping Underwear

Pink table showing the best and worst fabrics for sleeping in panties including cotton, micro modal, synthetic fibers and lace or silk

Once you’re set on a style, choosing the right fabric can provide you with optimal comfort.

Here are the best underwear fabrics for sleeping:

1. Cotton: Wearing a natural fiber like cotton is the best for your vagina, since it can absorb sweat more easily than other materials. Whatever fabric covers the rest of your panties, make sure the crotch has a cotton gusset.
2. Micro modal: Micro modal panties are known for their softness, making them an ideal second skin to wear to bed.
3. Nylon mesh: With quick-dry, nylon Air Mesh panties, you’ll have the breathability you need for overnight use.

On the flipside, those susceptible to inflammation might want to avoid sleeping in panties made from these materials:

1. Lace: It might make you feel sexy, but tossing and turning in tight lace underwear can lead to uncomfortable friction and ingrown hairs. If you can’t part with your lace panties, choose ones with a cotton crotch. Better yet, try our Second Skin Pajamas with lace trim for ultimate comfort while sleeping. Whether you’re a hot or cold sleeper, we have styles for both.
2. Silk: Silky panties might get you in the mood, but they don’t allow moisture to escape during the night. Micro modal can give you that same silky smooth feeling without suffocating you down there.
3. Synthetic fibers: Although rayon and polyester can make comfy bedtime choices for most people, wearing synthetic materials might increase the risk of vaginal irritation.

    By choosing better fabrics, you can rest assured that you’re doing right by your privates. 

    Best Sizes for Sleeping Underwear

    Whatever style and fabric you wear to bed, the most important thing to keep in mind is the size. Sporting panties that aren’t the right fit can be uncomfortable no matter what time of day it is. Even worse, wearing tight underwear to bed might make it harder to fall asleep.

    To help you pick a loose, breathable pair for bedtime, check out this underwear size chart. That way, you can make sure the only thing sleeping tight is you.

    Underwear FAQs

    Women who’s decided to sleep in panties stretching her arms above her head after a restful night of sleep

    In case you need a recap, here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about sleeping in panties:

    Is it Good to Sleep Without Underwear?

    For most people, hitting the hay with panties isn’t a problem. However, it’s OK to sleep without underwear if you’re prone to irritation. 

    What is the Best Underwear to Sleep in?

    The best underwear for bed is whichever style, fabric, and size provide you with comfort and breathability. 

    In terms of the underwear style, any amount of coverage works under the covers — as long as you choose the right fabric and size. Cotton, micro modal, and nylon mesh are some of the airiest fabric options. When picking a size, just make sure to give yourself room to breathe.

    Ultimately, what you wear to bed is completely up to you. However, before you strip down for the night, remember all the advantages of keeping on your drawers. By choosing underwear with the right fabric, style, and size, you can sleep in panties and enjoy all the benefits.

    Now that you’ve stopped worrying about your bedtime underwear choice, it’s time to hit the sack. 

    Still struggling to fall asleep? Try pairing your comfy night clothes with some calming sleep affirmations.