Sleeping with Socks On: Why You Should Consider It

What is your bedtime routine? You probably hit the bathroom, wash up, brush your teeth, and perhaps some other self-care routine. Then you probably head over to your bed and get ready to read, check your phone, talk to your partner, or just hit the hay. At some point, though, you also probably strip off all your clothes from the day and put on whatever you sleep in (even if that is nothing at all).

As you get ready to jump between the sheets decked in your sleep costume of choice, one of the last steps is most likely taking off your socks. The majority of people sleep in their bare feet. While not sleeping with your socks on is an understandable situation, is this the best option for your sleep or your feet?

If you haven’t already pondered this question, you may want to consider sleeping while wearing socks. There are several benefits that come with wearing your socks to bed. Weighing them just may change how you think about sleep and view your sock collection. Here are a few of the best reasons for sleeping with socks firmly encasing your feet.

They Keep You Warm

Let’s start with the most obvious reason for sleeping with socks on–that is to keep your feet warm. This is the most obvious reason on the list but it still warrants mentioning. If you are not getting the quality of sleep you want, it could just be because you are too cold. Wearing socks to bed can help with this.

When you sleep, your body temperature drops. A lower body temperature helps you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer while also getting a better quality of sleep. At least, this is how it is supposed to work. For some people, there is such a thing as “too cold” to sleep. Our outer extremities, meaning the body parts furthest from the blood flow center of the heart, get the coldest the quickest. Many people’s feet may turn to icicles around bedtime which can be uncomfortable.

The obvious remedy for this is to wear socks to bed. Even though your overall body temperature will still drop, you can keep your feet at a comfortable temperature so they don’t bother you. To do this, you want to be thoughtful about what kind of socks you wear. You can wear almost any type of socks – with a few exceptions we’ll discuss further down – and they will help you stay warm. There are some types of socks that will be warmer than others, though. Some of the warmest types of socks are:

  • Wool – This is a textile fabric made from animal hair, most commonly, sheep. There are other types of wool that come from specific breeds of sheep or other animals but traditional sheep’s wool socks will keep your feet incredibly warm at bedtime.
  • Merino Wool – This is a special kind of sheep’s wool taken from Merino sheep which are commonly found in Spain. This wool is fine and soft and possesses moisture-wicking properties that are helpful if your feet tend to sweat when you sleep with socks on.
  • Cashmere – This type of wool that does not come from sheep but from cashmere goats or Pashmina goats. This material, and therefore the socks, will be finer, stronger, lighter, softer and around 3x more insulating than traditional sheep’s wool.
  • Cotton – Another common material for socks is cotton. Although this fabric is not as naturally warm as wool, cotton socks can be very soft in their own right and are more breathable than wool. It is also a very absorbent material so if your feet do sweat, these socks may get a little uncomfortable.
  • Synthetic materials – Today, you can find socks that are made from a wide variety of synthetic materials, usually in some combination–either with other synthetics or with a natural fabric such as wool or cotton. These materials include nylon, lycra spandex, polyester, and more. The benefit of these materials is that they can be processed to create whatever effect you want in socks be it warm, breathable, moisture-wicking, or anything else you want when sleeping in socks.

No matter what type of material you choose, sleeping in socks will do their number one job better than sleeping with bare feet: they will keep your feet warm throughout the night.

They Can Help Your Sex Life

When you think about your sex life, you surely think about taking clothing off, not putting it on. However, putting socks on before getting intimate may actually improve your sex life! While it may seem counterintuitive, a recent scientific study has illustrated the benefits of sex with your socks on.

Researchers at the University of Groningen in Groningen, Netherlands did a study in 2005 that looked at both male and female orgasms. The study was led by Professor Gert Holstege and studied the sexual stimulation of 13 heterosexual couples that ranged in age from 19 to 49. The study came to a number of interesting conclusions about male vs. female orgasms in general, but there was one finding regarding footwear that was slightly shocking.

The researchers found that one of the biggest and most surprising factors in being able to achieve orgasm was cold feet, literally. With no socks on and cold feet, about half of the participants were able to achieve orgasms during the initial experiment. When participants were given socks to wear when trying to reach satisfaction, that number jumped to an incredible 80%. Simply giving people socks allowed for a 30% increase in orgasms in this study.

Biologically, it is amazing that having warmer feet can possibly lead to a better, more fulfilling sex life. If this sounds like something you and your partner are interested in, wearing socks to bed is something you should definitely try.

Additionally, on a more anecdotal level, your sex life can usually be improved by the confidence you get when you are looking good. When hopping into bed with a partner, the better you look, the better you will feel, and the better the sex will be for both of you. That is why you should consider a great looking pair of socks to compliment your pajama outfit. You can throw on some fun green socks which, like green M&M’s, are said to put people in the mood or a pair of passion-inducing purple socks to really spice things up.

They Can Help with Dry, Cracked Feet

If you are someone who suffers from dry cracked skin on your feet you know what an awful problem this can be. Not only is it unsightly but it is also a very common issue that many people face. One way to help deal with this uncomfortable problem is sleeping with socks on on your feet.

Especially during the colder, dryer winter months, many people have an issue with dry cracked feet. When humidity in the air is exceptionally low, your skin can start leaching moisture from the outer layers which can lead to the drying out and eventual cracking of your skin. This is a condition that can be anywhere from a little uncomfortable to downright painful. It does not look good when your feet get into this condition.

The reason sleeping with socks on helps is because it helps your feet retain their natural moisture throughout the night. When your feet are exposed to the natural dry air, that is when your skin is most likely to dry out. By wearing socks to bed, you can limit the amount of moisture that leaves your body and preserve the health of the skin on your feet.

If the natural moisture retention that wearing socks helps to instill is not enough, there is another step to take. Right before you put your socks on for bedtime, you can massage a moisturizing lotion on your feet. The socks will help lock the lotion in and further prevent drying and cracking.

Are There Socks I Shouldn’t Sleep In?

Although your partner might have a thing or two to say about whether you should ever sleep in argyle socks or striped socks because of the way they look with your pajamas, there is no real reason not to sleep with a specific color or pattern of socks as long as you are OK with the look. There are two categories of socks, though, that you should stay away from sleeping in. One category is more for personal reasons while the other is an actual medical recommendation.

The first category of socks that you should not sleep in are socks that are special or have sentimental value to you. If you want to make a pair of socks last for a long time because they have special meaning in your life, you probably do not want to wear them to bed.

The more you wear a special pair of socks, the more you have to wash them. Washing socks is what breaks down the material and eventually leads to them becoming threadbare, developing holes, or losing the elasticity at the top and becoming droopy. Also, when you sleep you do not have control over how your feet are moving so sleep socks can be exposed to more friction and wear and tear than socks on feet in shoes.

So, if you have a sentimental pair of socks, such as ones you got as a groomsman gift from a friend or family member’s wedding, those are not the best socks to sleep in. Save those solely for special occasions.

The other type of socks you should not sleep in, unless expressly directed by a doctor, is compression socks. These socks are specifically designed to put pressure on your feet, ankles, and calves. They are made to help treat or prevent venous disorders which cause damage to the veins in your feet and legs. Some common examples of these disorders include the following:

  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Edema
  • Lipodermatosclerosis
  • Lymphedema
  • Phlebitis
  • Varicose veins

If you have or are prone to having one of these disorders, as women who are pregnant are, your doctor may tell you to sleep in compression socks. If you do not suffer from any of these or some other venous disorder, sleeping in compression socks is not wise. They can restrict blood flow in your feet and legs, causing more problems than they prevent.


It may not be what you learned growing up or what you are used to now, but sleeping with socks on is something you should consider. In addition to the main benefits above, sleeping with socks on can also help prevent night sweats, hot flashes, Raynaud’s attacks, and in some cultures, it is even believed that wearing socks helps promote positive energy flow. No matter why you do it, sleeping in socks is something that is worth giving a try.

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