What do Amish wear to bed? (Amish sleepwear)

While in theology school, I had always been fascinated by researching and learning more about other religions, especially the Amish. During my studies, I had the opportunity to visit the Amish country, which enabled me to have a holistic view of their culture. During one of my Bible group meetings, one of my members asked an interesting question about how the Amish dress after he came across a reality show that highlights their experiences. Based on my research and even the visit I made, I could answer his question and put all the questions to rest. So, what do the Amish wear to bed?

Amish sleepwear is simple and plain, which is quite similar to what they wear during the day. The men usually wear plain and simple pants and shirts. Some may even wear long and loose-fitting shirts, otherwise known as nightshirts, without undergarments. The women wear long-sleeved, ankle-length nightgowns with a high neckline. The children are dressed in long, loose-fitting nightgowns.

In this article, I discovered what Amish men, women, and children wear to bed and why they prefer to dress this way. Do expect to get your question of why Amish sleepwear is handmade as well.

Do Amish Wear Pajamas?

No, they do not. One of the Amish’s core principles is simplicity and modesty. They apply these principles in every area of their lives, clothing included. Just like their day clothes, the Amish keep their sleepwear simple and plain, without any patterns or decorations, which most pajamas have.

The Amish have an inherent belief that pajamas are immodest and worldly, and they prefer to alienate themselves from worldly things, therefore, keep their sleepwear plain, simple and modest.

What do Amish women wear to bed?

What do Amish wear to bed?
What do Amish women wear to bed? Image source: Pixabay

Amish women wear long-sleeved, ankle-length nightgowns, with a high neckline, to bed. Governed by their core principles of modesty and simplicity, Amish women wear loose-fitting gowns to bed that cover them from their necks to ankles. Pajamas and lingerie of any kind are strictly forbidden, as such clothing is considered immodest. In addition to the nightgown, they usually put on a cotton cap, similar to the one they wear during the day, to keep their hair in place while they sleep.

What do Amish children wear to bed?

Amish children wear long, loose, and long-sleeved nightgowns to bed. When in the infant stage, Amish children are usually dressed in long, loose, and long-sleeved nightgowns, regardless of their gender. This style of clothing is preferred not only because it is in line with their principles and values but also because it ensures ease when changing their diapers.

As they continue to grow, Amish girls keep wearing nightgowns, just like Amish women do. On the other hand, Amish boys may stop wearing nightgowns and start wearing nightshirts or plain shirts and trousers to bed, just like Amish men.

Children may also wear nightcaps while they sleep to keep them warm during the night or to keep their hair in place, for Amish girls.

What do Amish men wear to bed?

Amish men may wear loose-fitting nightshirts or a plain shirt and a pair of trousers to bed. Just like the women, Amish men are governed by the principles of simplicity, even in their sleepwear. They usually wear plain nightshirts that are loose-fitting and cover the entire body. They wear this with no undergarments to be comfortable while sleeping.

Some men may even prefer to wear the same clothing they wore during the day to bed, as they believe that getting separate clothing just for sleeping goes against their values of simple living.

During cold seasons, Amish men may wear thermal shirts and trousers, as well as a nightcap and woolen socks to keep their heads and feet warm.

Why are Amish sleepwear handmade?

Amish sleepwear
Why are Amish sleepwear handmade? Image source: Pinterest

Amish prefer to make their sleepwear as it is practical, affordable, and for the sake of uniformity in their community. As earlier mentioned, the Amish are governed by the principles of modesty and simplicity. Thus they prefer to make their sleepwear because it is more affordable, thus in line with the principle of modesty.

Making their sleepwear also ensures that there is uniformity within the community. Similar to their day clothes, Amish sleepwear is plain and simple, usually single-colored, and lacks any form of decoration like lace or frills. They prefer that everyone dress similarly so that they may stand out from everyone else in the outside world, foster togetherness and community within themselves, and preserve their values significantly different from the rest of the world.

In addition, since childhood, Amish women and girls are taught how to sew, thus becoming excellent seamstresses. For this skill to be utilized effectively, and in the spirit of service to the community at large, they are tasked to make their clothes and for their families too. This saves them money that could have been used to purchase clothing from stores and can even be an avenue for them to start their own business.

What material does Amish use to make sleepwear?

The Amish use cotton, flannel, or silk to make their sleepwear. As mentioned earlier, Amish women are often tasked to make clothes, including sleepwear, for themselves and their families. The most common fabric used is cotton, as it is breathable, thus ensuring comfort even during hot nights, strong thus long-lasting, and retains heat, thus keeping them warm during cold nights.

They usually source their fabric from local stores, often owned by an Amish woman in the local community. These shops are often known as Mom and Pop stores.

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