Medically Reviewed By: Kim Langdon M.D, OB/GYN
The great debate: should you wear underwear to bed? Read our expert advice…
Should I wear underwear to bed?
After a busy day, there is often no greater feeling than sinking into your comfortable bed. For some of us, this means putting on our coziest set of pajamas, and for others it may mean wearing as little as possible and letting our skin breathe.
Benefits of sleeping without underwear
In terms of vaginal health, there is no need to wear underwear to bed, according to Dr. Kim Langdon OB/GYN. In fact, it is good to let your vagina get some air after being confined to your underwear all day. Meaning, if you’re one of us who likes to go commando in bed, celebrate because you’re keeping your vagina healthy and happy – just remember to make sure your sheets are kept clean!
Benefits of sleeping in underwear
All is not lost, however, for those of us who prefer to sleep in our underwear. There are some benefits to slipping on a pair of underwear before you get into bed.
Wearing underwear to bed can be more comfortable, unless you happen to sleep in silk sheets - bedding can sometimes be itchy or scratchy on your skin and it doesn’t hurt to wear a comfortable pair of underwear to protect the delicate skin around your vagina.
Believe it or not, wearing underwear when you sleep can help lighten your washing load! If you choose to go commando, your pajamas and bed sheets will need washing more often to help keep things clean and bacteria free. Wearing underwear too means you can add a day or two to the length of time between washes – just make sure to wash your underwear, “in hot water and avoid fabric softeners,” added Dr. Langdon.
Sleeping in your underwear can also add a layer of protection during your period. Whether it means you can sleep with a pad in or the underwear themselves add a comforting sense of security during your time of the month, you can add period underwear to the list of the benefits of sleeping in your underwear.
Best underwear to sleep in
If you are one of those in the camp who prefer to wear underwear while sleeping, there are some things to consider. Not all underwear is created equally, and you may want to put away your favorite lacy underwear or your thongs.
Consider choosing a cotton pair of underwear for sleeping in. Cotton, unlike polyester, is a breathable fabric, meaning it’s the closest choice to being underwear free and having a happy, healthy vagina that can breathe. Other fabrics can hold onto moisture, making them easy breeding grounds for bacteria, which you don’t want anywhere near your vagina.
Once you’ve chosen your cotton underwear, you also want to make sure they are the best style for sleeping in. Thongs are not ideal because of the style, they create an easy path for rectal bacteria and flora to get to your vagina. Dr. Kim Langdon remarked, “Thongs can lead to Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and other types of vaginitis. Even though the vagina is not sterile and has its own microbiome, primarily consisting of Lactobacillus, the pH can be altered.” The best style of underwear to choose is anything that fits perfectly or is even on the looser fitting side. Perfectly fitting or loose underwear won’t hold onto as much warmth compared to underwear that are tight, meaning they will create a better environment for preventing yeast infections.
Whichever way you decide to dress when you sleep, you can now sleep soundly with the knowledge of how to be comfortable and create a healthy environment for your vagina. Sweet dreams!