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15 best yoga pants and leggings: Squat-proof, stretchy and supportive pants for your next class

From warrior poses to handstands, you need a pair you can rely on

Alice Barraclough
Friday 14 January 2022 12:38
<p>Yoga leggings should be fuss-free with no bulky pockets or annoying zips digging into your lower back</p>

Yoga leggings should be fuss-free with no bulky pockets or annoying zips digging into your lower back

Whether you’re looking for a new pair of yoga leggings to practise your sun salutations in or simply to wear while cocooning on the sofa, the best yoga leggings are – in our experience – high waisted, soft and stay put without squeezing, pinching or indenting your stomach.

Some people may think any old pair of gym leggings will do for yoga – but they’re wrong. Yoga leggings should be breathable, stretchy and feel like a second skin – free from distractions.

So, as tempting as it may be to just throw on your favourite pair of running leggings while you contort your body into various inversions, remember that not all leggings are created equally. Gym-and-run-specific kit is designed to be weather-resistant and more compressive – often made from special sweat-wicking and quick-drying material – which will only disrupt your zen.

Yoga leggings should be fuss-free with no bulky pockets or annoying zips digging into your lower back – after all, you don’t need your house keys glued to your thighs when you’re on the mat. But the most important thing is that you should step onto your mat – whether you’re practising in a boujee studio or at home – feeling confident that your yoga gear will support you from your first downward dog to the last.

How we tested

Over the past year, we’ve tested the best of the best yoga-specific leggings, searching for buttery soft, lightweight leggings that tick all our requirements, including; material that keeps us dry and cool, a breathable yet snug fit and made from smooth, supportive fabrics.

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We’ve tested the following yoga leggings in every type of class – from vinyasa flow to yin – at boutique yoga studios across London, on yoga retreats both abroad and in the UK and from our mats set up in our own living rooms.

The best yoga leggings for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Sweaty Betty super soft 7/8 yoga leggings: £85, Sweatybetty.com
  • Best “second-skin” yoga leggings – Lululemon align high-rise pant 28”: £88, Lululemon.co.uk
  • Best supportive yoga leggings – Lululemon instill high-rise tight 25”: £108, Lululemon.co.uk
  • Best yoga leggings if you’re tall – Alo 7/8 high-waist airlift leggings: £115, Aloyoga.com
  • Best yoga leggings for yin – Lorna Jane hi-fold lotus no chafe ankle biter leggings: £58.50, Lornajane.co.uk
  • Best yoga leggings for vinyasa – Peloton cadent colorblock leggings: £86, Apparel.onepeloton.co.uk
  • Best sustainable yoga leggings – Bam balance bamboo leggings: £24.50 Bambooclothing.co.uk
  • Best eco-conscious yoga leggings – Girlfriend Collective compressive high-rise stretch-recycled polyester leggings: £70, Selfridges.com
  • Best maternity yoga leggings – Natal Active luxe maternity and postnatal crop leggings: £37.50, Natalactive.com
  • Best celebrity-designed yoga leggings – Pocket Sport plein air legging: £65, Pocket-sport.com
  • Best affordable yoga leggings – Myprotein composure leggings: £18.99, Mp.com
  • Best patterned yoga leggings – Hush atalanta printed leggings: £35, Hush-uk.com
  • Best animal print yoga leggings – Varley let’s move high-rise stretch recycled-polyester leggings: £78, Selfridges.com
  • Best female-owned yoga leggings – Studio Éhr high waist legging: £130, Studioehr.com
  • Best yoga leggings for hot yoga – Nimble Activewear high waisted long legging II: £75, Thesportsedit.com

Sweaty Betty super soft 7/8 yoga leggings

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

New for 2022, these flattering leggings from Sweaty Betty are super soft (the clue is in the name!). Thicker than both the brand’s power workout leggings and zero gravity running leggings, they are incredibly high-waisted and make you feel immediately supported and sucked in. The ultra high waist also means you won’t need to stop mid-crow pose to yank your leggings up, while the soft, stretchy fabric really allows full freedom of movement, supporting you through every transition. They’re arguably our favourite Sweaty Betty leggings ever – which is quite the statement.

Lululemon align high-rise pant 28”

Best: “Second-skin” yoga leggings

Rating: 10/10

When it comes to yoga wear, there are only a few super-soft yoga leggings you’ll want to live in 24/7 – but this list definitely includes Lululemon’s world-famous align pant. Made from their buttery-soft nulu fabric, you’ll honestly forget you’re even wearing leggings, they’re that lightweight – offering a true “naked” sensation while still managing to preserve your dignity. If you’re off to a hot yoga or a power yoga class, we advise choosing a darker colour, as while the align pant is sweat-wicking, they’re not designed for super strenuous workouts. We particularly love the fact that the waistband on these lies completely flat and doesn’t dig in.

Lululemon instill high-rise tight 25”

Best: Supportive yoga leggings

Rating: 9/10

Launched at the end of last summer, the instill tight is Lululemon’s newest yoga legging – and offers more of a hugged, held-in and supported feel to the beloved aligns. Made from smoothcover fabric (which took two years to develop) these leggings feel luxuriously soft, supportive and smooth. We loved the additional stitching and seams around the stomach – although they did feel a little snug at first. These dry faster than the aligns too, so they can withstand a little more fire in your flow.

Alo 7/8 high-waist airlift legging

Best: If you’re tall

Rating: 9/10

Hailing from LA, popular Alo Yoga Sportswear is slowly gaining traction on this side of the Atlantic – and we’ve been spotting more and more people wearing their leggings. Some of their styles run a little on the long side, which is great for those blessed with long limbs. Our favourite Alo leggings have to be the glossy, lightweight airlift leggings – they look a little bit like disco pants, so they’re perfect for doubling up and wearing to brunch, too. Plus, thanks to their high contouring waistband, they’re super flattering and offer that “second skin” feel.

Lorna Jane hi-fold lotus no-chafe ankle-biter leggings

Best: Yoga leggings for yin

Rating: 7/10

These leggings from Aussie brand Lorna Jane are all about offering a premium level of comfort. Made from its signature “nothing 2 see here’ fabric, they’re lightweight and soft while still offering maximum coverage – so you don’t need to worry about accidentally showing your knickers to the yogi on the mat next to you as you forward fold. Sitting just above the ankle, these leggings also benefit from chafe-free flatlock seams, a four-way stretch, and, importantly, the soft fabric stays soft even after multiple washes.

Peloton cadent colorblock legging

Best: Yoga leggings for vinyasa

Rating: 8/10

Those who own a Peloton bike will no doubt already know that Peloton recently launched its own private label apparel line, Peloton Apparel – which includes stylish, sweat-wicking pieces to wear both on and off the bike. But you don’t need a £1,350 stationary bike in order to wear the kit, thank god. For yoga, we recommend trying the cadent leggings – made from a polyester-spandex blend, they’re slightly thicker than some of the other options of this list, so you feel slightly more compressed. But the combination of the sculpting and lifting fabric – and classic design – means they’re very flattering.

Bam balance bamboo leggings

Best: Sustainable yoga leggings

Rating: 7/10

Who wants to wear plastic? That’s the question posed by natural activewear company Bam. Its entire collection is made from breathable bamboo fabric, which isn’t just super soft, but sustainable too. These seamless deep emerald green leggings, from its AW21 collection, were a standout item for us. Fuss-free, stretchy and thick (perfect for colder months), the comfortable, high-rise waistband provides extra coverage without digging in – and they look especially great when worn with the matching seamless bralette.

Girlfriend Collective compressive high-rise stretch-recycled polyester leggings

Best: Eco-conscious yoga leggings

Rating: 8/10

If you haven’t tried a pair of Girlfriend Collective leggings yet, where have you been? Available in pretty much every colour on the colour wheel (we adore the plum shade), each pair are made with 25 recycled plastic bottles. Flattering and breathable, the compressive high-rise stretch-recycled polyester leggings offer a more supportive fit – so if you are between sizes we recommend sizing up. You can’t go wrong with these.

Natal Active luxe maternity and postnatal crop leggings

Best: Maternity yoga leggings

Rating: 8/10

Comfy, stylish and supportive, the waistband on these maternity leggings from Natal Active can sit either under or over and above the bump, so you can wear this pair from month one of pregnancy to baby and beyond. Perfect for active mums-to-be who want to safely exercise throughout pregnancy. If you are usually between sizes and pregnant, we suggest sizing up.

Pocket Sport plein air legging

Best: Celebrity-designed yoga leggings

Rating: 7/10

After dividing her time between the television programme Made in Chelsea, writing a book and running a fitness website, Louise Thompson dreamt up Pocket Sport when she saw a space emerge in the health and wellness sector. What makes Pocket Sport leggings different to others on the market is the fact that they each have a waistband grip on the inside of the waist, so they do not budge. Our current favourites are these plein air leggings in fig – one to team with the matching bra (£45, Pocket-sport.com) before rolling out the mat.

Myprotein composure leggings

Best: Affordable yoga leggings

Rating: 6/10

Turns out Myprotein don’t just make, well, protein. Last year, the brand launched the third installment of its yoga and Pilates-dedicated apparel, composure. Crafted from supportive, soft-touch recycled fabric, they’re topped with a hip-hugging high-rise waistband that’s deeper at the front than at the back – promising to keep you comfortable throughout your zen yoga class.

Hush atalanta printed leggings

Best: Patterned yoga leggings

Rating: 7/10

Say hello to your new favourite colourful yoga pants. From balancing to backbends, master your moves in Hush’s sustainably sourced, super fun, atalanta printed leggings in blue tiger print. Boasting a second-skin streamlined fit, wide waist and ankle-length, we found these leggings true to size when on and built to flex, bend and twist.

Varley let’s move high-rise stretch recycled-polyester leggings

Best: Animal print yoga leggings

Rating: 8/10

If there’s one thing better than a decent pair of yoga leggings, it’s animal print yoga leggings – and nothing will get you more in the mood to move than Varley’s let’s move leggings. Made with moisture-wicking, recycled polyester fabric – so they feel cool and comfortable – they have four-way stretch and a slight compression fit for added support during power yoga flows. Wear them as a set with the matching leopard-print sports bra (£54, Selfridges.com).

Studio Éhr high waist legging

Best: Female-owned yoga leggings

Rating: 8/10

Studio Éhr (pronounced air), is a small, female-founded, boutique London-based company – and its leggings aren’t cheap. This is because they’re made from Italian econyl – which it describes as “rescued, regenerated and remade nylon waste turned into a techno fabric”, and they’re made to last. The charcoal leggings have a wide, high-rise waistband that supports your core, and flattering seams that slim and sculpt your figure.

Nimble Activewear high waisted long legging II

Best: Yoga leggings for hot yoga

Rating: 7/10

Functional, beautiful and feminine – Nimble Activewear, from Bondi Beach, is known for using fabrics made from used and recycled plastics. In fact, six recycled plastic bottles go into making Nimble’s high rise long legging II. We love the emerald “shadow moss” high-shine colour of these leggings – they have a slightly iridescent finish that reflects light and movement. Fits true to size, take your normal size.

The verdict: Yoga leggings

Designed to fit like a second skin, Sweaty Betty’s brand new super soft yoga leggings take the crown here. But if you’re more team Lulu than team SB (and you’re bored of your classic aligns), then we really rate the Lululemon instill leggings, too – especially as the hugged sensation ensures they won’t ride up while you’re attempting a tree pose. For those looking for versatility, Alo’s airbrush leggings are high up on our list – perfect for both your vinyasa class and brunch afterwards.

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Now all you need is the best yoga mat to complete your zen set-up

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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