Athleta's line of cooling sleepwear made me feel like a 'Bridgerton' protagonist
We reviewed Athleta's Calm Cool Collection—here's what we thought.
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Activewear and loungewear are some of the biggest trends for 2022, echoing the rise of sweatpants sales over the course of the pandemic. Athleta is well-known for its high-quality, enviable activewear, which we've tried out before. Recently, Athleta released a sleepwear collection designed to regulate body temperature during sleep, called the Calm Cool collection.
Testing these pajamas has turned me into a convert. Woe to all who would dare suggest that I sleep in anything less than luxury. I have been reborn as a woman who wears matching sets to bed, and I refuse to go back.
What can you get in the Calm Cool collection?
The Calm Cool collection features shorts, pants, camis, rompers, and pillowcases. You can get all of the products (excluding the romper) in black, blue, or rose. The romper is only available in blue and black. The shorts, top, and pants are all available in sizes XXS to 3X, while the romper is only available in sizes XXS to XL.
Each piece is made with the same Cupro Rayon fabric, which is designed, according to Athleta, to have a "cooling and luxurious handfeel" and be "cool to the touch and...release body heat to keep you comfortable all night long." Cupro Rayon is rayon made with cupro, a byproduct of cotton production that undergoes a chemical process to produce a silky material. Ultimately, all of the products in the collection lived up to that description. Sleeping in the pajamas and using the pillowcase was a highly enjoyable, comfortable experience.
How did we test the Calm Cool collection?
To test the Calm Cool collection, I wore all four pieces for two nights each. I tested the top, shorts, and romper in the black shade, the pants in blue, and the pillowcase in pink. I used the pillowcase for each night that I tested the sleepwear and alternated it with my normal pillowcases for one night in between just to see if I could tell the difference (I absolutely could, and so could my hair).
I also washed all the pieces according to the care instructions—they held up well and feel and look the same after washing, which is sometimes a concern with silkier fabrics.
What did we like about the Calm Cool collection?
All the pieces in the collection (barring one) were incredibly comfortable to sleep in, and had the added effect of making me feel like someone who has, does, or could own an Italian villa. The material was smooth and breathable, and I had almost universally restful nights while wearing the top and shorts, and while using the pillowcase. While I wouldn't normally opt for a romper to sleep in, I ended up not minding my experience with it; it also felt the most 'luxurious' of all the items in the lineup, though, again, I would not ordinarily have invested in it.
One thing that I noticed (that took me entirely by surprise) was the way that wearing these pajamas made me want to take the time out to complete a nightly skincare routine. As someone who is typically pretty lazy about nightly skincare, I found that every time I wore the pajamas (and especially when I wore the jumpsuit) I was suddenly unable to forgo it. Maybe that has to do with the intention inherent in wearing clothes specifically designated to provide a nice sleeping experience; the rest of my night naturally flowed with that line of thought, as though I couldn't possibly fathom being careless with the rest of my evening.
Below, I've broken down some more specifics about what I liked from the collection.
The cool, breathable material: Initially, I was a bit leery of testing 'cooling' sleepwear products in the winter. My apartment is decidedly cold, and the prospect of sleeping in a material that was designed to cool me down, rather than preserve body heat, seemed counterintuitive. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the material (and quickly became obsessed with it). It's lightweight without feeling threadbare, and keeps you warm and comfortable without allowing you to overheat, as advertised. The feel of the fabric is dreamy; I was so excited about it that I showed it to several of my friends, and everyone that touched the fabric let out an "ooh!" of delight. If you're a fan of sleeping on the cool side of the pillow, the pillowcase may impress you. I also noticed that the sleek fabric was kinder to my hair than my typical pillowcase.
The cami and romper: I'm definitely biased in terms of my general wardrobe preferences, but the black shorts and top were my absolute favorite. I want to sleep in them forever. The camisole was loose and lightweight and fit perfectly based on the size recommendations on Athleta's website. The waistband on the shorts was extremely comfortable. Because the black material was a bit shinier and more luxurious looking than the blue or rose, I found myself more eager to wear the items I'd chosen in black.
What didn't we like about the Calm Cool collection?
I was ultimately impressed with the Calm Cool collection, but there were a few items and options that I could have gone without.
The pants are a little unwieldy: Part of this is due to preference, and perhaps just the way that I sleep. The pants, because of their wide-leg shape, ended up rolling up in the middle of the night, which was slightly uncomfortable. I also noticed that the waistband of the pants was a little stiff based on what I had expected, since the shorts have a very similar construction but weren't stiff at all. I wasn't alone; several reviewers for the pants in the collection mentioned that the waistband lacked flexibility. They were also too long on me, brushing against the floor when I walked (another surprise, based on the fit of the romper and the sizing details). In the photos on Athleta's website, the pants do come down over the heel of the model in the back, so keep sizing in mind if you plan on ordering.
The blue and rose fabric: The blue and rose fabrics were more matte in appearance, and lacked some of the fluidity that the black fabric had. In general, the lighter-hued fabric wrinkles pretty heavily, too, which wasn't as noticeable in the black fabric but was stark in the blue and pink, which somewhat took away from the visual experience of wearing them.
Would I recommend the Calm Cool collection?
Ultimately, my answer to this is a firm yes. While I wouldn't purchase any of the pieces in the blue or rose fabric, I would absolutely buy nearly anything in the black fabric. The pants were not for me, and I wouldn't ordinarily go for the romper as sleepwear, but the rest of the items I would (and have) recommended to my friends and family.
If you're looking to treat yourself to something that will infuse your nightly routine with a bit of glamour, or to give someone a luxurious gift, the Calm Cool collection may have what you're looking for.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.