We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
After a couple of years spent in comfy loungewear, many of us are more mindful about the clothing we wear to bed. And although they never truly go out of style (we’ve been rocking them since the 16th century), nightgowns are currently one of the most popular sleepwear styles—especially those made of soft cotton. With that in mind, we set out to source the best options across over a dozen categories, carefully considering quality, durability, comfort (including softness), and more.
Meet the Expert
Tanya Tamburin is a celebrity stylist who has worked with stars like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Michael J. Fox. Her work can be seen in Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, and Saturday Night Live, among others.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a breathable dress you can sleep in during the summer or a warm and cozy nightgown for winter, we’ve got all your nighttime dress wear covered with our top picks for the best cotton nightgowns ahead.
Best Overall: Eileen West Cotton Dobby Stripe Sleeveless Nightgown
This cotton nightgown from Eileen West is our best overall pick for its universally flattering fit, perfect length, and chic lace and button detailing. We also love the peplum ruffle hem, which gives the classic silhouette a little something extra. The cotton material makes it an excellent choice for lightweight spring or summer sleepwear.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: XS–XL | Length: 50 inches
Best Splurge: DÔEN Solaris Nightgown
For a splurge-worthy nightgown, look no further than one of our favorite places to shop for whimsical dresses. The DÔEN Solaris Nightgown is made in a carbon-neutral facility from 100 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton. The bohemian silhouette features a ruffled hem, sleeves, as well as an eye-catching ruffle-trimmed neckline, giving it a feminine feel. And while most nightgowns take a more minimalistic approach, this one is detailed with wildflower embroidery.
Material: 100% organic cotton voile | Size Range: XXS–XXL | Length: 48.5 inches
Best Budget: Hanes Essential Wear Around Nightshirt
It doesn’t get more budget-friendly than this nightshirt from Hanes. But, despite the low price tag, the nightgown meets some high standards—and has 4.3 stars from over 14,600 Amazon customers for its quality, value, and size. We also love it for its fabric, straight cut, and variety of color options. It’s a great shirt dress for sleeping in, as well as lounging around the house.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: One Size (fits up to 3X)
Best Mini: LAKE Pima Ruffle Nightgown in Tulip Gingham
This is the perfect mini dress for hot summer sleeps. Made from 100 percent Pima cotton (which is known as the “cashmere of cotton”), the Pima Ruffle Nightgown features a fun and fresh gingham print in tulip pink and is available in a range of sizes, including XXS. The nightgown is also highly durable yet ultra-soft, making it an item you’ll own (and wear) for a long time.
Material: 100% Pima cotton | Size Range: XXS–XXL
Best Slip: Cosabella Dolce Cotton Cup Babydoll
Cosabella is one of our favorite places to shop for sexy yet comfortable undies, but the brand also makes some pretty amazing sleepwear—including this babydoll slip dress. The thigh-length nightgown is constructed from soft cotton material and features a stunning chevron lace trip, giving it a little bit of sex appeal without sacrificing the comfortability factor. In addition to the way it looks and feels, we love this sleep dress because it has adjustable straps, which is a must for finding a more perfect fit.
Material: 75% cotton, 14% polyamide, 11% elastane | Size Range: S–L
Best Midi: DÔEN Poem Nightgown
This elegant nightgown features a classic silhouette with a touch of modern femininity. The midi-length dress is around 50.5 inches long and is made from ultra-soft GOTS-certified cotton in a carbon-neutral facility, making it a great sustainable choice. Our favorite thing about this nightgown is all the detailing—it has elegant embroidered floral embroidery, beautiful eyelet trim, and flattering butterfly sleeves with a neckline drawstring that is not just fashionable but functional, too.
Material: 100% organic cotton voile | Size Range: XS–XL | Length: 50.5 inches
Best Maxi: Cacique Maxi Chemise
Sometimes minimal is better and that is certainly true with this sleek and simple maxi dress from Cacique. The sage green spaghetti strap nightgown is designed with a built-in shelf bra and has adjustable shoulder straps, which allow for a perfect and snug fit. It’s also made from a blend of cotton, modal, and spandex, which gives it a nice stretch and adds to the comfort factor.
Material: 38% modal, 5% spandex, 57% cotton | Size Range: 12–36 | Length: 54.75 inches
Best on Amazon: AmeriMark Embroidered Knit Night Gown
If you need a nightgown ASAP, Amazon Prime is a great place to look—and there are a lot of great choices. After sifting through some stellar and top recommended nightgowns, we landed on this 100 percent cotton cap sleeve dress from AmeriMark. The ballerina-length gown is designed with a classic shirttail hem with ruffle trim and features beautifully pleated and embroidered detailing on the bust and button-front placket. On top of that, it has a great size range, which includes plus-size options, too.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: S–5XL
Best Sustainable: Mate The Label Tencel Sleep Tee Dress
For a nightgown that has an eco-friendly origin, look no further than this sleep shirt dress from Mate The Label. Compared to other brands that use non-organize materials, this nightgown is made with 85.1 percent less water, 36.6 percent less carbon, and no pesticides or plastic. It’s also one of the softest dresses on our list, thanks to its blend of TENCEL Lyocell and organic cotton fabrication. And it comes in tons of fun colors, so there’s something for everyone.
Material: 70% TENCEL Lyocell, 30% organic cotton | Size Range: XS–XL | Length: 30–34 inches
Best Lightweight: Haven Well Within Organic True Cotton Floral Pintuck Chemise
One thing we love the most about sleeping in nightgowns is it can be a very breezy experience, making it a great sleep option for hot spring and summer evenings. For a more lightweight option, we love this cotton chemise from Haven Well Within. The dress is inspired by a French vintage nightdress and is made from organic cotton that is breathable and lightweight.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: XS–XXL
Best for Winter: Nap Loungewear Tiered Cotton Maxi Dress
If you love sleeping in nightgowns but need something a tad warmer for the winter, we found the best—we repeat, the best—winter nightgown from Nap Loungewear. This Tiered Cotton Maxi Dress is like an ultra-long and cozy sweatshirt with the sweetest ruffled hem detailing. It’s available in 30 colors and has a little bit of spandex added to the fabrication for some stretch. Perfect for lounging, napping, and sleeping during a blustery night, this is one of our favorite options on this list.
Material: 96.5% cotton, 3.5% polyester | Size Range: XS–XXL
Best Long Sleeve: La Ligne Bonne Nuit Shirt Dress
When we think of a long sleeve nightgown, we think of that classic silhouette that feels like an oversized and cozy shirt. This nightgown from La Ligne understood the assignment with its relaxed pop-over shirt design, contrasting piping detailing, and super soft-to-touch fabrication.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: XS–XL
Best Printed: Papinelle Love Letter Cotton & Silk Tiered Nightgown
Our top pick for a fun printed nightgown is this gorgeous tiered ruffle dress from Papinelle. The dress is made from a cotton and silk blend, giving it a level of softness that feels luxurious and divine. It’s also unlined, so it is a great lightweight option as well. The sophisticated floral pattern elevates the dress and, despite the bold print, adds to its timeless style.
Material: 70% cotton, 30% silk | Size Range: XS–XL | Length: 39 inches (based on size medium)
Best Gauzy: Petite Plume Provence Cotton Gauze Nightgown
Gauzy fabrics are one of the biggest trends in lounge and sleepwear right now. This dress from Petite Plum mixes that trend with a classic three-quarter length sleeve nightgown style for a dress that is airy, light, soft, and timeless. Made from 100 percent cotton, the scoop neck dress boasts optimal comfort and is one you’ll want to sleep and lounge around in.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: XS–XXL
Best Black: Hanro Juliet Pleat Neck Cotton Nightgown
Most nightgowns come in white or light color ranges. And, although they aren’t as prominent, black nightgowns are just as chic (and our personal go-to). We love this pleated spaghetti strap nightgown from Hanro because has a flattering fit, gorgeous pleated detailing, adjustable straps, and is made from 100 percent cotton, making it ultra-breathable. To add to its breathability, the dress is unlined and featured a straight yet flowy silhouette that keeps the body feeling refreshed while you sleep.
Material: 100% cotton | Size Range: S–L | Length: 43 inches (based on size medium)
What To Look For in Cotton Nightgowns
“By choosing sleepwear made from high-quality cotton, you will enjoy all the benefits cotton offers,” says Tamburin. Cotton is a popular material for sleepwear thanks to its breathability and durability.
Signs of higher-quality cotton can be found on the label. See if the material is specified as Pima or Egyptian cotton, which are known as "extra-long staple fibers"—meaning the actual cotton strands are long. The longer staple fibers result in a super soft and more durable product than standard Upland cotton, which has shorter staple fibers. The latter makes up about 90 percent of the global cotton production today, according to Science Daily.
Tamburin says it’s also important to consider the fit of your nightgown (or any pajamas for that matter). “You want them to hang loosely without falling off and still be flattering,” she explains. Plus, you don't want them too tight, which might make them feel less breathable, especially in the hotter months.
What is a nightgown?
“A nightgown is a comfy dress you wear to sleep in,” says Tamburin. Cotton nightgowns come in all sorts of different styles and lengths, from mini slip dresses to long sleeve maxi dresses.
What are the benefits of wearing cotton at night?
“Cotton is a natural fiber that’s extremely soft, comfy, and lightweight, making it an ideal choice for a good night’s sleep,” says Tamburin. “The fabric is great for all skin types because its natural fibers make it both hypoallergenic and extremely breathable,” noting how the breathable nature of the cotton allows air to circulate through the skin. “Cotton also enables your skin to breathe and is less likely to cause rashes or irritations, particularly if your cotton jammies are loose-fitting.”
Do cotton nightgowns shrink?
According to Tamburin, cotton shrinks by about 3 percent on the first wash. “I suggest washing in cold water and hanging dry,” she recommends. If you do prefer to use a dryer, Tamburn says to buy a size up. And although it shrinks, cotton can “withstand heat and can last forever if cared for properly.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor's degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON to writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches, and sources the best fashion finds. When researching and selecting the best cotton nightgowns, Jessie tuned into her background in fashion and love for comfy clothes to source options that are well-made, comfortable, breathable, chic, and durable.