Aug 26, 2023

The 10 Best Yoga Leggings, According to Yoga Instructors

Find your flow with our editor-tested leggings for yoga.

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Shape / David Hattan

Whether it's Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, or Bikram, every yoga session calls for supportive leggings to excel in your practice. With breathing, meditation, and movement at yoga’s core, the last thing you need is ill-fitting leggings hindering your rhythm. In fact, the secret to leveling up your yoga flow may lie in flawless-fitting yoga leggings.

What you wear can affect your practice, or at least your enjoyment. Think about how distracting itchy material or a band digging into your waist is, says Kate Ingram, MPH, RD, RYT-500, owner of The Vitality Dietitians.

Good-fitting yoga leggings allow for unrestricted movement and comfort during a variety of yoga poses, explains Ingram. “Yoga leggings are typically made from softer materials or fabrics with higher elastane content for stretch. Plus, the waistband is often wider and more gentle to ensure a secure fit without discomfort."

Below, we've curated a collection of the best yoga leggings for a seamless, elevated practice.


Why We Like It: They’re 100% opaque and squat-proof, plus they remain pristine over time.

It’s Worth Noting: Must wash only on cold to maintain the material.

For yoga leggings that fit like a second skin, look no further than the Lululemon Align™ High-Rise Pant. Like any legging worthy of our crowning title, they must be squat-proof. Without a shadow of a doubt, they pass the test. Completely opaque, you can bend, twist, squat, and roll without concern of unwanted skin showing.

We found them to fit true to size while living up to their barely-there feel (they slip on like a glove). Plus its four-way stretch and smooth texture meant no pinching, bunching, or sagging ruined our wearing experience! The high waist gives your body a hug where it needs it during workouts whilst also feeling supportive for leisurely wear. Fun fact, the waistband conceals a pocket to tuck away your card or key.

“I credit Lululemon Align leggings with inventing the phrase ‘buttery soft,’” says Kristen Geil, Shape commerce editor. “They’re honestly the leggings I reach for most in my massive collection, whether I’m unrolling my yoga mat or just looking to be as cozy as possible. I’m addicted to the second-skin feeling."

While arguably on the more expensive side, these leggings are an investment that will last you for years. Plus, their versatility knows no bounds! Although their extra soft feel is designed for yoga movements, we tested these leggings (and highly rated their performance) for other workouts including strength training, jogging, and Pilates. The material also holds up perfectly over time with a fresh-out-of-the-packet feel each wash.Price at time of publish: $98

Sizes: 0-20 | Colors: 19 choices | Length: 23”, 25”, 28” and 31” | Materials: 81% Nylon and 19% Lycra® elastane | Pockets: Hidden waistband pocket


Why We Like It: These super lightweight leggings offer the sleekest of fits.

It’s Worth Noting: Washing instructions are quite involved if followed to a tee.

If your wardrobe is missing that indulgent pair of leggings, consider the Alo ⅞ High-Waist Airlifts. First and foremost, the fabric is opulent. Breathable double-knit gives that smooth, sculpting compression look. Plus, it’s moisture-wicking (goodbye sweat) with a four-way stretch that allows for effortless movement in all directions. Yup, this legging ticks the boxes on the material front. Plus, they have a subtle shine for a dash of pizazz.

The majority of reviews confirm the leggings fit true to size. However, from personal experience with the Alo brand, I often size down for a snugger fit. A high-rise waist offers the precise support you need as you glide from pose to pose, without any pinching.

Although these silky-smooth leggings are a go-to for yoga practice, the fabric holds up for more intense activities, your favorite HIIT class included. Not to mention, they pair excellently with a crop top and denim jacket for a polished on-the-go streetwear look.

Price at time of publish: $128

Sizes: XXS - XL | Colors: 3 core and 19 limited | Length: Full, 7/8 | Materials: Double-knit Airlift fabric | Pockets: No


What We Like: A super-soft, bang for your buck legging that’s both comfortable and support for low-impact workouts.

It’s Worth Noting: You may want to size down as many reviews suggest they run large.

For a low-impact, gentle yoga flow, the Quince Ultra-Soft Performance Leggings are an affordable buy that is highly reviewed. Available in a myriad of colors, these incredibly soft yoga leggings are made from a blend of recycled polyester and spandex that’s both quick-drying and moisture-wicking. In fact, each pair of leggings is made from seven recycled two-liter water bottles.

You can choose between 25” and 28” inseam and a myriad of colors. Both feature a hidden internal waistband pocket.

Whilst these may lack the same level of compression as other brands (for this they appear more suitable for gentler movements), the four-way stretch allows for flowing movement in all directions. Most reviews confirm their soft texture and comfy fit. However, you may want to size down as quite a few reviews suggest the sizing is a little off.

Overall for the price, color options, and recyclable aspect, these are a winning pair of budget leggings for your fitness wardrobe repertoire.

Price at time of publish: $40

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 11 options | Length: 25” and 28” | Materials: Recycled polyester and spandex | Pockets: Hidden waistband pocket

Sweaty Betty

What We Like: A thoughtfully-engineered yoga legging that lifts and shapes for a body-confidence boost in the studio.

It’s Worth Noting: The super high waist may not fit everyone’s style.

Super high-waisted with bum-sculpting details, these yoga leggings are a wardrobe must-have for every yogi and more. Let’s talk about the waistband. Ultra-high and with a drawcord for adjusting to your exact fit, these compression leggings cinch you comfortably. No irritating roll-downs interrupting your flow.

The ‘fit-like-a-glove’ compression is coupled with a super comfy and ‘buttery-soft’ feel And most people rate them as fitting true to size.

Aside from the confidence boost that often results from bum-sculpting leggings, they're available in playful prints. Never one to shy away from brightness, trust Sweaty Betty to add a pop of color to your sportswear collection. And (a crucial feature for many) they contain a built-in side slip pocket.

Keep in mind that the brand tends to use materials on the thicker side. While the fabric is breathable and comfortable for studio yoga workouts, you may want to skip them for hot yoga sessions.Price at time of publish: $100

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: 6 options (including prints) | Length: Capri, ⅞ and full | Materials: Polyamide and elastane | Pockets: Side slip pocket


What We Like: The brand’s BreatheInterlock™ fabric that is designed to withstand dynamic movement.

It’s Worth Noting: Only two color options.

As one of the most intense yoga forms, Ashtanga requires dynamic movement in all directions. Vuori’s Studio Pocket Leggings deliver on this front. Featuring the brand’s BreatheInterlock™ fabric, the material is designed to move and stretch in all directions (it has a four-way stretch) for any sequence. Plus, it’s moisture-wicking to keep sweat at bay and non-slip for a confidence boost during more risky asanas.

The leggings are high rise for a supportive fit, while the coverage is described as ‘peachy to the touch’, smoothing and with an airbrushed finish. As the name suggests, the yoga leggings are fashioned with pockets galore—one on each side and an internal waistband option—to store your goods on the go.

The majority of reviews confirm the leggings fit true to size. However, keep in mind that reviews are divided on their squat-proof level.Price at time of publish: $98

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: Two options | Length: 7⁄8 in short, standard and long | Materials: Polyester and elastane | Pockets: Side and waistband pockets


What We Like: A comfy, athletic-feeling legging that transitions from the mat to the market.

It’s Worth Noting: There are limited color choices.

If you prefer to leave the gym bag at home, yoga leggings with a sole pocket won't cut it. Enter the Athleta Salutation Legging. Featuring two roomy bonded side stash pockets, there’s plenty of space to store your necessities. Performance-wise, they're supreme. These leggings can handle the most intense of yoga workouts.

We wore them during challenging Ashtanga yoga sessions, Barre class, and on our daily strolls (the pockets came in extra handy here). The compression waistband was supportive (without constriction) during more advanced sessions, yet was balanced by a soft material that allowed us to move fluidly. I.e nothing felt squeezed. Plus, we found the seams on the sides of the legs, the crotch, and the lower waist enhanced a flattering contour.

While the material was thick enough to offer support, it wasn’t hot—they are designed to breathe with ample airflow, are moisture-wicking, and (bonus) are UPF 50+ for sun protection.

On the squat-proof test, they’re almost there. The only caveat is patterned underwear may peek through during a deep squat.

All in all, these are definitely wardrobe staple-worthy. Especially as dual-use leggings for workouts and running errands.

Price at time of publish: $109

Sizes: XXS-3XL | Colors: 3 options | Length: Capris, ⅞ and full | Materials: Nylon and Lycra | Pockets: 2 bonded side stash pockets


What We Like: Made from feather-light (partly sustainable) materials for a smooth slip-on legging

It’s Worth Noting: No side pockets

If yoga is your daily rise and shine, yoga leggings like the Nike Zenvy are a wardrobe staple. Featuring InfinaSoft fabric that’s lightweight (but squat-proof, according to the brand), these yoga leggings are soft but with enough give to perform time and time again.

Made from nylon (at least 50% from recycled nylon fibers) and spandex, they’re designed to ward off rolling and annoying digging with an extra-wide waistband that gives you the ultimate support during movement. Even if your session is extra sweaty, the brand’s Dri-FIT technology should speed up evaporation.

A drop-in pocket at the center back (large enough to hold your phone) is intentional to not detract from the overall sleekness. Moreover, the 25" inseam hits around your ankle (height dependent) without excessive bunching.

Most reviews claim they’re true to size and ‘very comfortable’ on Nike’s comfortable scale. They’re available in every color under the sun, so why stop at just one pair?

Price at time of publish: $100

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Colors: 16 options | Length: ⅞ | Materials: Nylon and spandex| Pockets: One drop-in pocket


What We Like: The quality organically-grown bamboo material is both soft but stretchy

It’s Worth Noting: Only available in black. The brand mentions using an eco-friendly laundry detergent for washing.

We know you know. But here’s your reminder. The flare leggings makeover is all the rage. It's out with the old roll-down waistband and in with a new streamlined, flattering silhouette. The Boody High Waist Flare Pant might be your new ride-or-die flare for a low impact yoga session. Designed with a high waist for additional support and available in full length, they’re perfect for styling with a denim jacket for running errands, too. There's also a little pocket inside the waistband for safekeeping of your card.

The soft fabric has a special twist. Blending two organic sustainable yarns (bamboo viscose and cotton), the material is breathable and stretchy to allow for flexibility with movement.

These pants are super eco-friendly. Over a thousand hours of LED bulb energy and 659.5 liters of water were saved due to the brand's sustainable manufacturing practices.

One thing to note is that the waistband may feel smaller for those who prefer super high-rises. But overall, most reviews attest to their comfort and true-to-size fit.Price at time of publish: $85

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: One | Length: Full-length | Materials: Bamboo viscose, organic cotton and spandex| Pockets: No

Beyond Yoga

What We Like: The overlap waistband is a stylish twist on classic yoga-wear.

It’s Worth Noting: Only available in midi length and a bootcut version.

An overlap waist is an ideal option if you experience digging with traditional waistbands during certain movements. A modern cut and ultra-soft Spacedye performance fabric, Beyond Yoga’s At Your Leisure High Waisted Midi Legging may see you strutting to and from class. Available in core and seasonal colors, the form-fitting material (with no outseam) is both flattering and confidence-boosting, according to a slew of reviews.

During practice, a four-way stretch will help you transition between poses. They’re moisture-wicking too. This, alongside UV protection, comes in handy if a sunny (and sweaty) outdoor practice is on the schedule.

Proceed with caution if you plan to deep squat. Some reviewers claim they’re on the sheerer end of the scale.

They’re available in midi length with a 25” inseam. This sits somewhere between your calf and ankle, depending on your height.

Price at time of publish: $99

Sizes: XS-XL | Colors: 3 core, 5 seasonal | Length: Midi (25”) and bootcut | Materials: Polyester and elastane | Pockets: No


What We Like: Made from sustainable recycled materials that provide a UPF 50+ protection.

It’s Worth Noting: You should follow the washing guidelines to a tee to maintain their new feel.

PrAna, meaning ‘breath’ in Sanskrit, is rooted in sustainable activewear style. Ethical manufacturing is at the core of the brand's ethos. In fact, they’re a bluesign® product (produced under strict safety and environmental requirements) and made in a Fair Trade Certified™ Factory. Designed with ribbed compression fabric, Becksa™ 7/8 Leggings are super soft and comfortable. Comfy during workouts and on the go. A four-way stretch gives you freedom of movement, too. The leggings feature a high-rise waist for ultimate support and offer UV protection (50+) if you prefer outdoor workouts.

Made from recycled materials, a blend of recycled polyester and lycra elastane, the leggings are sold in two solid colors and a fun ‘dream dust’ print. The average customer rating is that they fit true to size and the no elastic waistband keeps them from digging. Plus, many reviews report no pilling after wear.

The leggings have a 25” inseam and are sold in a wide size range, categorized as standard (XS-XL) and plus size (1X-3X).

Price at time of publish: $99

Sizes: XS-3X | Colors: 3 color options | Length: 7/8 | Materials: Recycled polyester, lycra and elastane | Pockets: Two side pockets

We blended testing and research to filter the list of best yoga leggings. Tested products underwent a four-week wearing period of at least three times a week in classes. This was alongside tracking how the leggings held up fit and quality-wise following washings and additional lounging time. We also called upon Connecticut-based certified yoga instructor Kate Ingram to share her insight into why yoga leggings can enhance your practice and what specific materials to look for. This was considered in our wider research to whittle down the finalists. Only products with a high user rating based on comfort, functionality, quality, and inclusive sizing were considered.

Yoga leggings are a fixture on the fashion scene. And it’s no secret why. Comfy, versatile and with hundreds of styles for your choosing, workout leggings are no longer reserved for the gym alone. Below we share a few handy tips to help you find the most suitable pair of yoga leggings for you.

Too stretchy and you'll spend half the class yanking them up. Too snug and the constriction can hinder your movement. Just like the perfect fitting pair of jeans or work pants, comfort is key in leggings for yoga. Opt for the size that gives you freedom of movement between asanas. You’ll also want to consider a high-rise waist that fits like a second skin for a boost of support. The length depends on your height and the type of yoga (for example, flare vs. capri for gentle vs. hot yoga). If you’re looking for a full-length fit, choose a pair that fits around your ankles without leaving pressure marks post-workout.

Yoga leggings come in a variety of material blends. Lycra spandex, nylon and polyester are just a few, and each has its own advantages. “For yoga specifically, the spandex or elastane that adds stretch and flexibility is very important as it allows for a non-restrictive fit that moves with your body,” says Ingram. Soft and breathable fabrics (look for moisture-wicking in the description) are better options if your workouts are extra sweaty. For sustainable-conscious shoppers, eco-friendly options like bamboo or Tencel (a form of rayon) are great alternatives, adds Ingram.

“Every yogi has their own style preferences based on comfort, body confidence and the specific type of yoga they practice,” says Ingram. This is your opportunity to let your personal style run wild!

"Crop tops provide a balance of coverage and breathability that is perfect for heated practices. Sports bras are both functional and supportive during various poses." Larger-chested yogis will want a maximum support bra for optimum security during all sequences. “Tank tops are also popular for their comfort and unrestricted arm movement, but loose-fitting tops or baggy tees have their place too for a more casual vibe in gentle or restorative yoga sessions.”

Other tips from Ingram include layering—both practical and stylish. Plus, you can adjust your clothing based on the studio's temperature or intensity of your practice during colder seasons. “For instance, I generally start my practice with a t-shirt or sweatshirt (depending on the season) layered over my tank top, then discard the layers as I get further into my practice and warm up.”

The yoga leggings you choose are more of a preference for style than type. For example, if you practice Hatha yoga in an air-conditioned studio, you'll probably want a full-length or flare legging. “The flair style feels more flowy and less restrictive than a tighter legging, so it’s a preference for many,” explains Ingram.

On the other hand, a three-quarter length (and sweat-wicking) may come in handy for Bikram Yoga when the temperature climbs the other end of the scale, suggests Ingram. Leggings also come in a variety of seam options. Many yoga styles are available with a seam just along the inside of the leg. Minimal seaming decreases points of discomfort and chafing and allows for freer movement, Ingram says.

Every brand has a specific set of care instructions on the clothing label. However, a few general tips for how to wash your workout leggings include turning them inside out before washing them. In addition, opt for air drying versus a dryer.

Leoni Jesner is a contributing fitness, health, and lifestyle writer for Shape. As an ACE CPT and mat Pilates instructor, Leoni is knowledgeable about fitness and exercise. For this roundup, she conducted an interview with a certified yoga instructor and sought insight into how and why yoga leggings can amplify your practice. Leoni also knows a thing to two about the power of quality workout gear. She’s clocked up many yoga sessions and planked, lunged and burpeed her way through hundreds of workouts over the years.

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