Tanning Tips: What to Wear to Bed After a Spray Tan

After getting a sun-kissed glow from a spray tan treatment, it’s important to take the proper aftercare steps to ensure your tan lasts as long as possible. One key consideration is what to wear to bed that first night after your appointment. The goal is to avoid having your fresh spray tan rub off onto your sheets or pajamas.

Loose, soft fabrics like cotton, silk, and satin are recommended for sleepwear. Flowy shirts, pants, or nightgowns allow your skin to breathe while minimizing friction against the tan. Darker colors are ideal to conceal any bronzing solution that might rub off. And sinceTight seams, waistbands, and snug fabrics like leggings should be avoided, as they can cause uneven fading. Go for a loose fitting t-shirt and pajama pants set or a maxi dress instead.

It’s also smart to give your spray tan 8 full hours to dry and set before retiring for the night. Jumping into bed too soon risks transferring color onto your sheets. During that drying time, stay away from water, tight clothes, and activities causing sweat. Once you’re ready for bed, protect pillowcases with a towel and opt for loose socks if ankles were tanned. With the right after-tanning nighttime routine, you’ll wake to flawless, even color.

The Importance of Proper After-Tan Sleepwear

The goal when picking post-spray tan sleepwear is avoiding rub off of color onto your sheets, pillowcases, or pajamas. That bronzed look can easily fade if the wrong fabrics and clothes are worn to bed.

Here’s why it’s so crucial to choose an appropriate after-tanning bedtime outfit:

Prevents Uneven Fading

Snug-fitting clothes, rough fabrics, and restrictive waistbands or seams can all cause your spray tan to fade unevenly as you sleep. This leads to unsightly splotches and patchiness the next morning.

Minimizes Color Transfer

If spray tanning solution hasn’t fully dried yet, it can leave stains on bed linens and pajamas. Darker loose-fitting clothing prevents this issue.

Allows Tan to Develop

Giving your bronzer time to set without disruption allows it to fully develop into an even glow. The wrong after-tan routine can hinder this process.

Maximizes Longevity

Harsh friction and contact between skin and fabrics wears down your spray tan over time. Making smart fabric choices extends the lifespan of your glow.

Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of bedtime after a treatment, let’s explore some top recommendations for fabrics, outfits, and protection.

Recommended Fabrics for After-Tan Sleepwear

When it comes to fabrics to avoid rub off and fading, softer and looser is better. Here are the best options to choose from:

Soft Cotton

Cotton is a breathable natural fabric that allows your skin to air out overnight. Choose loose cotton shirts, pants, and nightgowns.

Silky Satin

Satin’s silky texture prevents friction against your bronzed skin. It’s also stain-resistant to any excess tanning solution.

Luxurious Silk

Like satin, silk minimizes irritation to freshly tanned skin. It feels light and airy for maximum comfort.

Other Breathable Fabrics

Look for other soft, breathable natural fabrics like bamboo, linen, rayon, or modal. Avoid rougher synthetics.

Ideal After-Spray Tan Outfits for Bed

Here are some recommended pieces and outfits for bedtime:

Flowy Shirts or Nightgowns

Silky chemises, oversized tees, and gowns in soft fabrics allow tons of airflow while preventing stickiness.

Drawstring Pants

Loose cotton or linen pants with a drawstring waist are comfy without tightness.

Maxi Dresses

Slip into a breezy cotton or silk maxi dress – extra nice in warm weather.

Pajama Sets

A roomy button-down top with loose bottoms is perfectly cozy after tanning.

Darker Colors

While light pastels are pretty, darker hues like black, navy, gray, brown and jewel tones hide bronzer stains.

Comparison Table of Recommended After-spray Tan Outfits

Outfit Pros Cons
Loose T-Shirt & Pajama Pants – Breathable cotton fabric
– Loose fit prevents rub off
– Comfortable; easy to lounge in
– May ride or bunch up while sleeping
– Dark shirts could stain pillowcases
Flowy Nightgown – Silky fabric prevents friction
– Full coverage
– Elegant for warmer weather
– Can be clingy if damp from humid weather
– Not as warm in cold temperatures
Drawstring Pants & Tank Top – Lightweight; great for hot weather
– Drawstring waist provides adjustable fit
– Doesn’t provide full coverage
– Tank can be clingy and ride up
Maxi Dress – Soft, flowing fabric
– Loose fit
– Feminine style
– Keeps you fully covered
– Can tangle around legs
– Thinner fabric may not be warm enough
Pajama Shorts & Camisole – Allows more skin to air out
– Comfortable in warm weather
– Lightweight
– Less coverage means more rub off risk
– May ride up as you sleep

In summary, the top recommended outfits are loose cotton t-shirt and pants, flowy nightgowns, and maxi dresses. Key factors are breathable, loose-fitting fabrics that provide full coverage of the spray tan.

Now let’s go over wait times, protection, and other bedtime best practices.

Wait Times Before Jumping Into Bed

It’s crucial to give your spray tan adequate drying time before slipping under the covers. Here are some guidelines:

8-Hour Minimum

Wait a bare minimum of 8 hours before getting into bed with a fresh tan. Longer is better.

12+ Hours Optimal

Ideally, try to wait 12 hours or longer before bed to ensure the bronzer is truly set.

Avoid Disruption Before Bedtime

Until bedtime comes, avoid moisture, activities causing sweat, or anything that can shift the spray tan solution and hinder even drying.

Check for Dryness

Look for visible dryness, then do a touch test on a small area before laying down to see if any color transfers to your fingers.

Helpful Protection to Prevent Rub Off

You can take extra precautions to keep spray tanner from getting on your sheets:

Old Towels Under You

Place an old towel or blanket on top of sheets underneath you when sleeping.

Socks for Ankles

If legs and ankles were spray tanned, wear loose socks to bed to protect your sheets.

Tanning Sheet Covers

Use professional tanning sheet covers designed not to absorb or stain from bronzers.

Head Wraps or Bandanas

If you got a facial spray tan, wrap your hair in a scarf or head wrap before bed.

Morning After a Spray Tan: Showering and Clothing

Once you make it through the first night, a few morning steps will ensure your glow remains flawless:

First Shower Tips

Shower gently with cool water, avoiding hot temps or harsh soaps that strip color. Use a sulfate-free body wash and gently pat skin dry.

Apply Daily Moisturizer

Keep skin hydrated with a daily moisturizer designed to work with spray tans. This maintains an even color.

Evaluate Your Glow

Check your tan in good lighting for any spots that need touch up applications. Call your technician.

Repeat Bedtime Routine

Stick with loose dark fabrics to bed for another night or two as your tan continues to develop fully.

Common Mistakes to Avoid After Spray Tanning

To get the most from your investment, be sure to steer clear of these pitfalls:

Showering Too Soon

Showering before the tanning solution fully sets can cause uneven washing off of color. Wait 12 hours minimum, 24 is better.


Don’t scrub or exfoliate for several days after your treatment or it will slough off color prematurely.

Tight Clothes

Tight-fitting or constrictive clothes hinder tan development and cause blotchy fading and streaking.

Rough Dry Towels

Vigorously rubbing wet skin after showering wears down color faster. Gently pat dry.

Hot Showers

Letting super hot water run over freshly tanned skin washes away bronzer quickly and unevenly.

Frequently Asked Questions About After-Tan Sleepwear

Here are answers to some common questions about what to wear to bed:

Can I sleep naked after spray tanning?

It’s best not to. Something loose like shorts and a camisole is a better choice.

What if my sheets get stained?

Use a protective cover, but if stains occur, wash in cold water and spot clean gently with hydrogen peroxide.

Should I wear tight clothes the next day?

No – continue with loose dark fabrics for another day or two as your tan fully develops.

How many nights should I take precautions?

Aim for 2-3 nights of loose pajamas and protection before transitioning back to normal bedtime wear and routines.

Will my tan look uneven no matter what?

If you follow all the proper aftercare routines, your tan should develop beautifully and evenly with minimal fading and rub off.


Getting a spray tan before a big event can give you a gorgeous glow, but maintaining that just-bronzed look depends on being careful about what happens after your appointment. Follow these tips on wearing loose soft fabrics to bed, allowing tan to dry fully before laying down, and protecting sheets to wake up with flawless lasting color.

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