dupes week

These PJs Replicate the Feel — If Not the Cute Prints — of Hanna Andersson’s

Photo: Courtesy of Primary

My son Ben’s first pair of Hanna Andersson pajamas was a hand-me-down from his older cousin. And it had been passed down to said cousin as well. Despite Ben’s being the third kid to own the PJs, they were still in near-perfect shape: They were soft, the colors remained vibrant, and there was no sign of stretching, fraying, or threadbare patches. When we moved them along to the donation pile after almost a year of frequent wear and regular washing, they were still in excellent shape.

So, if I may be unequivocal, Hanna Andersson offers great kids’ pajamas and a lot of other great clothing, too. We have bought several pairs of Hannas for Ben and have received several more as gifts, and now, as a 5-and-a-half-year-old, he wears a pair almost every night of the week.

But sometimes, with kids who outgrow clothing at a rapid pace — all the more so in the case of our toddler daughter, Scarlett — you’re less interested in the top-quality stuff that will last for years. You’re fine to get a season at best out of a garment, as long as it’s for the right price.

Which Primary pajamas are. For comparison, a 12-to-18-month one-piece zippered sleep romper from Hanna Andersson costs $25 on Amazon. A 12-to-18-month zip-up sleeper from Primary costs $14.50. Now, Primary isn’t made with the same quality of organic cotton that the Hannas are. (It’s made from something called OEKO-TEX Standard cotton; I had certainly never heard the term before, although Primary’s FAQ section makes a convincing case for the rigorously tested skin-friendliness of it.) But after a couple of washes, Primary cotton PJs are just as soft as Hannas. In fact, if I were going just by the feel, I might not be able to tell the difference. (Though my son did say the big-kid pair we got for him was a bit too tight the first time he wore it.)

Of course, the biggest difference is that Primary does not have the charming array of prints Andersson does, which include Paper Airplanes, Moon and Back, and the Pumpkin. And some might say that if you’re going to sacrifice the prints for the price, why not just go with Carter’s and get a two-pack of its Simple Joys sleepers for $16.50? The main reason is the feel of the Primary fabric, which truly is exceptional given the price. With my eyes closed, I could almost certainly tell Carter’s from Hanna or Primary but likely couldn’t distinguish between the latter two.

For the most part, we stick with Hanna for our older kid, as he is growing more slowly and wears his clothes for at least a year, sometimes more. For our youngest, though, it’s Primary all the way.

<