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Fursuits, Kigurumis & Animegao; What’s the Difference?

Posted by Kigu McOnesie on

When we first opened our kigurumi shop a lot of our friends and family had the same question; What the hell are kigurumis

Even after explaining it to them we still got questions like;

  • Are kigurumis what those Cosplay people wear? Not really.
  • Is this a sex thing? Maybe.
  • Are they cozy to sleep in? Definitely.

They, like a lot of people, were confused by all of the terms floating around out there that describe similar styles of clothing. So, in order to clear all of this up, let’s take a closer look at some of these terms to find out what they mean.

What Exactly are Kigurumis?

The word kigurumi is a combination of two different Japanese words;

  • Kigu - which means “to wear”.
  • Nuigurumi - which means “stuffed toy”.

Originally the term kigurumi referred to actors who wore costumes during a play. The word has since evolved to also mean the costume itself. So, kigurumis are basically cozy costumes that double as pajamas.

unicorn kigurumis

How do you pronounce kigurumi?

Kigurumi is pretty much pronounced as it looks. Phonetically it would be pronounced; Key-guru-me, with the accent on the second “u”. 

If it’s easier to hear a native Japanese speaker say the word, check out this quick video.

What other words are synonymous with kigurumi?

There are quite a few words that are used interchangeably with kigurumi. A few of them are;

  • Kigu - while this directly translates to “to wear”, some people also use it to describe kigurumi pajamas.
  • Onesie Pajamas - This is a term used to describe any pajama where the tops and bottoms are connected. The pajamas could be for children or adults, footed or un-footed, costumed or not. Kigurumis are a kind of onesie pajama.
  • Japanese Pajamas - Kigurumis fall under the category of Japanese pajamas since this is where the kigurumi craze began. Japanese pajamas also describes more traditional pajamas like kimonos & silk two-piece pajamas.
  • Animal Onesie - An animal onesie is a kigurumi that depicts, well, an animal.
  • Anime Onesie - Anime onesies depict creatures that were initially created for anime comics or cartoons.

No matter which of the above phrases you use, they all pretty much describe the kigurumi pajamas that can be found in our kigurumi shop.

What are the most commonly confused terms with regards to kigurumis?

We get a lot of questions about other kinds of clothing that people often confuse with kigurumis. Let’s take a look at some terms that are incorrectly associated with kigurumis.

Are Onesies® the Same as Kigurumis or Onesie Pajamas?

In short, no. Onesies® are a  trademark of the Gerber company. They relate specifically to short sleeved onesie underwear that babies wear that fastens over the diaper.

gerber onesies

Are Adult Footed Pajamas the Same as Kigurumi Pajamas?

Not really. Adult footed pajamas are similar as they’re one-piece pajamas for adults. That’s about where the similarities end though. Footed pajamas are different than kigurumis in the following way;

  • Feet - Footed pajamas cover the feet while kigurumis generally end between the mid-calf and ankle.
  • Hoods - Kigurumis always have an attached hood that represents an animal or character. Footed pajamas, for the most part, don't have hoods.
  • Material - Most footed pajamas are made of cotton while kigurumis are made of a warmer fleece or flannel material.
  • Designs - Kigurumis normally represent animals, mythical creatures, or anime characters. Footed pajamas are basically just printed like normal two-piece pajamas are.

If you're looking for both cute and cozy, we feel that kigurumis are by far the better choice. We are a bit biased though ;-).

adult footed pajamas

Are Fursuits Another Name for Kigurumi Pajamas?

Nope. Fursuits are much more elaborate than your traditional kigurumi pajamas. While kigurumis are mass produced and depict known animals or characters, fursuits are generally one of a kind designs created by the wearer of the fursuit.

Fursuits also tend to be quite a bit more expensive. To have a fursuit made will cost someone a minimum of $1000, with prices going as high as $5000 for quality fursuits. 


Are Cosplay Costumes the Same as Kigurumi Costumes?

Not really. While you can find many kigurumi costumes at a cosplay convention, cosplay costumes are infinitely more elaborate. Cosplay costumes often depict some of the same animals and characters that kigurumi costumes do, but cosplay costumes tend to be hand-made by the people wearing them with great attention to detail.

Cosplay costumes also don't pull double duty as pajamas or lounge-wear like kigurumi costumes do.

cosplay costumes

What in the World are Animegao Kigurumi?

Even though Animegao are called Kigus or Kigurumis, they have little to do with kigurumi onesie pajamas. Animegao, which literally translates to "anime face", are full-body costumes, complete with a sculpted head-piece. 

Animegao kigurumis almost always depicts a female character from print or film anime, unlike kigurumi pajamas which rarely features the likeness of a human. The wearers of animegao kigurumis take their costumes very seriously. They don't allow any part of themselves to be seen or heard while they are in their costumes.

Animegao kigurumis are definitely not made for chilling around the house like kigurumi pajamas are.

animegao costumes

Now you Know Everything There is to Know about Kigurumis.

Hard to believe you went your whole life without that valuable information huh ;-). So, have we left anything out? Is there anything else you think we need to add about kigurumis? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

Still, don't own a pair of kigurumi pajamas? What are you waiting for? Pop on over to our online kigurumi shop and get your self a pair today. After wearing them once you'll wonder how you ever made it through nap-time without them.


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