5 Benefits of Tight Fitting Pajamas

by Tara Saltzburg

I've said it before and I'll say it again, ICYMI. In 2017, over 50,000 baby and children's sleepwear garments (think: pajamas, robes, and rompers) were recalled in the US for failing to comply with federal flammability standards. That's a staggering statistic. I often get asked about the children's sleepwear regulations. What's the deal with the CPSC? Why is kids' sleepwear so highly regulated? And then the big question: What's so great about snug fit pajamas?


I know, all this talk about flame retardants and tight fitting pajamas is confusing. If you want the in-depth version, take a look at Snug Fit Pajamas: A Guide to Flame Retardants & the Children's Sleepwear Regulations. If you want the CliffsNotes, I've got ya. Here's a quick overview of the regs plus 5 reasons you should always buy snug fit pajamas for your little one(s).

Article Contents:

In A Nutshell 🥜: The Children's Sleepwear Regulations


Children's sleepwear is highly regulated by the Consumer Product and Safety Commission to protect children from burn injuries that could occur if they were to come in contact with small ignition sources like a candle, lighter, or space heater.

These strict regulations are the result of a tragedy involving flammable clothing. In the 1940s, sweaters and other children's apparel was made out of rayon fabric that ignited easily and flash burned, leading to many children's deaths. As a result, the Flammable Fabrics Act was put in place to regulate the manufacture of highly flammable clothing, including children's sleepwear. Basically the CPSC said "flame resistant sleepwear is the only way to keep our kids safe!" 


Children’s Pajamas & Flame Retardants Don’t Mix

So manufacturers began treating loose fitting toddler pajamas with flame retardant chemicals in order to comply with the new standards. Then in the 1970s, researchers discovered how detrimental these flame retardants could be to kids. Safer alternatives were introduced but it didn't take long to realize that these "safer" options were still causing major health concerns.


New Kids On The Block: Tight Fitting Pajamas

Then in 1996, the CPSC determined that children’s pajamas without flame retardant were actually okay IF the they were tight fittingMakes sense. Because they're tight, they certainly won't ignite easily and, even if they do, there will be no air between the garment and the child's skin to feed the fire. Kids' pajamas without flame retardant finally had their day. Victory!

So under today’s federal safety guidelines, children’s sleepwear fabric and sleep garments sold in sizes larger than 9 months must be either:

  • Flame resistant, and pass specific flammability testing OR
  • They must be tight fitting pajamas, which is defined by the CPSC and involves very specific clothing measurements.


    5 Benefits of Tight Fitting Sleepwear

    So that's the deal. Now, what are the main reasons for buying tight fitting pajamas for your little one(s)? You've probably guessed where I'm going with #1.

    1. They're NOT Treated With Flame Retardants

    Did I say this already? Well, just to hammer it home. Flame retardants are no good and have been linked to major health concerns for kids. Tight fitting pajamas DO NOT need to be treated with fire resistant chemicals. You can rest easy knowing that nasty flame retardant chemicals ain't welcome here.


    2. They Reduce Flammability

    Because tight fitting pajamas are made to fit closely against the body, this type of sleepwear will not ignite easily and, even if ignited, it will not burn readily because there is little air under the garment to feed a fire. If your little one wears PJs that are oversized or too loose, it increases the air between the clothes and the skin making it easier to catch fire.

    3. They're Comfier

    Traditional, loose fitting toddler pajamas are made of uncomfortable itchy fabric, like Polyester or another synthetic fiber. Snug fit pajamas are usually made of softer, less irritating materials like bamboo, organic cotton, or in our case, signature modal and lycra fabric. These types of materials are much better for delicate, sensitive skin.


    4. They're (Usually) Higher Quality

    This goes hand-in-hand with comfort. Children's snug fit pajamas are often made of higher quality fabrics that are built for wash after wash. When you unwrap a pair of WB PJs, you'll immediately feel the softness, but you'll also notice the quality.

    5. They Stretch

    Although tight fitting sleepwear tends to look small, it's made to stretch for your little one's comfort. Our modal and lycra blend provides unparalleled softness with a perfect balance of stretch



    To sum it up, pajamas designed for children over 9 months of age must be either flame resistant OR tight fitting. Tight fitting pajamas are SAFER than loose, flame resistant sleepwear because snug pajamas are NOT treated with flame retardants. Aside from that, they reduce flammability, they’re comfier, they’re higher quality, and they stretch for ultimate comfort. When buying kids PJs, always look for tags and verbiage like “ wear snug fitting ”. Tight fitting PJs will hug your little ones for a safe and cozy night's rest. 💤

    It's worth noting that these requirements are for children's PJs sized over the age of 9 months since children under this age are insufficiently mobile and unable to expose themselves to an open flame. For more on sleepwear standards for babies, visit Infant Sleepwear and the CPSC Standards. 

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    Tara Saltzburg

    About The Author

    Tara Saltzburg founded Westyn Baby when her son was an infant battling severe eczema. She was always on the lookout for products that would minimize the irritation and ease his discomfort, but safe, non-irritating pajamas proved difficult to find. Tara started Westyn Baby in 2016 with a mission to create better, safer sleepwear for kids - sleepwear that's exceptionally soft, flame-retardant free, sensitivity-friendly, and durable. Read more about WB sleepwear.

    Tara was born and raised at the NJ shore and attended Penn State University, where she played soccer and discovered her love of mountain life. She is a mom of one boy and hopes to eventually have enough kids to form some sort of athletic team. She and her family currently reside in Central Pennsylvania and spend the summers in Stone Harbor, NJ.