The Best Yoga Pants
Yoga is a holistic health system that first appeared in India more than 5000 years ago. However, yoga is just one part of the holistic system which is related with the physical culture. It is interesting to know that more people are practicing yoga in the Western world than in India where this whole culture begun. This is not at all surprising since the ultimate goal of the yoga practice is to calm the spirit and soul and this is something that we require, considering our lifestyle. Because of this spreading of the yoga culture in the western world, the choice of yoga clothing is wide. Making a good choice of which yoga pants to purchase is getting harder as the market grows. For this reason, we have made a buying guide that will help you choose the right fit for you.
The choice of yoga pants depends on many features such as the intensity of your training as well as the temperature in the room where you are practicing yoga. Leggings are the best choice for women although some prefer wearing thicker pants. Even though the personal preferences have a great role in choosing the best options available for this exercise, the freedom of movement is the most important factor. By choosing stretchy materials you would be able to make unrestricted movements in every direction and focus only on your practice. If you choose high quality yoga pants you would also be able to wear them at your gym practice and maybe even go for a walk with them.
Our Top 3 Picks
4 Best Yoga Pants
1. CompressionZ Leggings
They are also suitable for yoga beginners as well as professionals who have intensive physical activities. They will also improve your performance and they have a small role in preventing injuries. They do so, by improving the blood circulation in your lower body. Thanks to their compression properties, if you had a hard and exhausting session, your muscle soreness will be reduced, as well as the feeling of stiffness afterward. This makes them suitable for during the training as well as afterward.
However, we all know how yoga training are good for eliminating the toxins from your body which is why every pair of yoga pants should have a good moisture management system. This means that its material should be non-absorbing and it should be highly breathable. These pants have all these properties with the addition of being chafing free and made from non-irritable material. They have a great way of dealing with sweat by also being antibacterial which makes them anti-odor. However, their biggest advantage is their moisture wicking ability. When you are sweating excessively, these yoga pans are wicking the sweat from the surface of your skin and they are transporting it to the outer layers of the material where the moisture is able to escape. For this reason, you don’t feel that you are sweaty and you are able to perform better at your training, therefore get better results.
The material they are made of is 73% polyester which provides them their moisture wicking properties and 27% spandex which is responsible for their compression properties. This particular percentage blend combination is providing their properties and comfort. The thikness of the material however, is thick enough so that you exercise in them and feel comfortable while doing so. They are also thin enough and tight enough so that you can wear them under pants.
As far as compression goes, it all depends on your construction. Even though some compression pants are specific to the waist, knee or hip, these pair has an even compression. This means that they are equally compressing your whole lower body. However, if you happen to have a small tummy, keep in mind that they will be extra compressive to that part. If you don’t like this feature, you might want to look through our other suggestions.
If you are planning on ordering a pair of this yoga pants make sure you order a size up, especially if you don’t want them to be too tight.
- Ideal for intensive activities
- Great build quality
- Fantastic moisture management
- A bit tight-fitting for some
2. Pro Fit Capri Pants
The material they are made of is a combination of nylon and spandex. However, there is only a small percentage of spandex so they are not too tight to your body. This makes them the ideal choice for people who are a bit self-conscious. The nylon part gives them a great moisture management system. However, it is not too breathable so you might feel sweaty if you are sweating excessively.
Since they don’t have an elastic band on the waist, they are even more comfortable for wearing. However, this same feature is making them slip down at certain poses. nevertheless, this depends on the body structure of the person since they might fit perfectly if you have a little tummy. It is not recommended that you take a bigger size, particularly because of this reason. The tighter they are, the more comfortable they are.
Even though they are not too stretchy, they provide you the freedom of movement in every direction and pose. However, we mostly recommend these pants for the gym, rather than for your yoga practice.
As for the thickness of the material, it is safe to assume that these are summer pants. Since the nylon material is less breathable than polyester, for instance, the manufacturer has increased this feature by making them one layer pants only. Although this improves their breathability, this also means that you would be too cold wearing them when the temperatures drop.
- Great, true-to-size fit
- Unique design
- Not quite as flexible as other materials
3. Comfy Slimming Dry Fit
As mentioned before, these pants are mostly made for yoga practice. They are designed to keep up with the heat from every pose. Their material is quick dry which means that you won’t feel sweaty while wearing them. They are also 3 season leggings which means that they will keep you warm enough in spring and autumn, but they are not recommended for cold weather. If you plan on using them in winter, make sure you wear other pants on your way to the yoga studio.
Its main downside is that they come in only one universal size. This means that they fit best to small to medium sized women. However, if you decide to purchase them, make sure you check the waist dimensions which will let you know if they fit you or not. It is important to mention that if you are a larger size and still manage to fit in them, there is a great chance they will slip down every time you bend down which can be a bit irritating. The good news however, is that if you are not satisfied by the size or how they fit you, the company offers a money refund.
The material blend used for the production of these leggings is a combination of a polyester and spandex which is used by most yoga producing brands since it is the most suitable synthetic blend combination for such purposes.
The material has moisture wicking properties that keep your lower body dry and comfortable. The moisture wicking system is important when you are practicing yoga because it is making you more comfortable in a certain pose and position and it is letting you focus on you instead of the environment.
Since the design is made for women, from a woman, it is made sure that the mid waist design will create a smooth look on your waist line. This means that your tummy won’t show as much and they also allow you maximum flexibility in your movements. The design is also appealing because of its matte finish. This is making you look thinner comparing to the shiny look of some of the competitive models.
The fabric is medium thick which means that it provides the user several benefits. First they are not see through yoga pants which is very useful in that downward dog especially if you are practicing in a studio. And of course, the thickness is also preventing you feel chilly when the temperatures drop a bit.
These leggings are to be machine washed with cold water only. If you want the print to last you for a long time, or at least remain the same color as when you first bought them, make sure you turn them upside down every time you wash them. For this reason, it is recommended that you hand dry them only. A tumble dry could cause the same issues. But best of all is that they don’t need any ironing. They are stretchy enough so that even if you don’t iron them, no one could tell. In fact, it is recommended that you don’t iron them either.
- Durable materials
- Doesn't need to be ironed
- Flattering fit for many
- Only comes in one size
4. Chikool Mesh Leggings
The combination of materials which are being used in the production process is not unique but it is the most effective ones for yoga or gym clothing. With 87% nylon in its composition, they are quite tight and slipping is not an option. In fact, not even one user has had slipping complain and the nylon compression properties are responsible for the good rating of these pants. It is combined with 13% spandex which allows you some freedom of movement in four directions. Since they are recommended for yoga movements, it is safe to say that they are comfortable for the gym as well. Whether you are doing squats or lunges, they won’t hold you back and they will never slip.
Although they are not see through pants, and they are thick enough for this, there are lighter options which don’t contain this feature. The white, yellow and the rose alternatives are definitely see through pants, and if you mind this, you should definitely go for a darker option or the printed pants suggestion right above this one.
The most important feature these leggings possess is their ability to wick moisture. Although most yoga pants have such properties, the ones made with polyester are slightly less wick resistant, but more breathable. They are cozy to wear and you would definitely want to wear them all the time, instead of just for practice. They fit perfectly on your thighs and butt and they are not too short as well which means that they are also suitable for taller women. They also have a waist compression which could be too much for some people. For this reason, if you prefer them not to be too tight, make sure you get few sizes up. In fact, the sizes the manufacturer is offering are Asia sizes and much smaller than the actual size dimensions so make sure you double check them and order few sizes up. For instance if you are wearing size small, you should order large or if you prefer them not to be too tight, even an extra large will fit you perfectly.
These pants also have a hidden pocket on your left front side which is very convenient for small objects such as keys or money. It can even fit a credit card however, your phone is not an option.
It is important to mention that even though these pants are tight, they are not compression pants. Compression pants will provide benefits for the user. These are regular style pants with a stylish look. However, their biggest downside is that because of their tightness, you have a feeling that your movement is kind of restricted. Even though they are perfectly fine for some regular poses, anything above the salutation of the sun could make you second thoughts about the size. Nevertheless, this doesn’t go for small and extra small sizes. These pants are perfect for smaller size women.
- Great for taller women
- Convenient front pocket
- Fairly restricted movement
You could either choose yoga pants from 500$ or you could spend only 20$. Nevertheless, it is important that they are chosen according to the yoga type you are practicing. Each type of yoga pants is unique and it provides a specific effect on your body, just like every pose has a different effect on your body.
Criteria for Evaluation
Like any other bit of gear, the material they are made of suggests their quality. It is the same way with yoga pants. When it comes to yoga pants’ materials, the choice is limited and most brands are using the same types of materials but in different percentages. For this reason, besides looking for the material type, you should also see the percentage it is present inside.
Cotton is a natural material that is usually avoided in sports apparel production. The reason for this is because it is highly absorbing material. Even though it feels very soft and nice to the skin, it is soaking the sweat from the surface of your skin and the elimination part is happening extremely slow. However, as mentioned before, there are some cases where you can use this type of material and feel comfortable. For Hatha yoga you will make gentle movements that will allow you focus on your breathing and the present feelings. In this case, cotton yoga pants might make your practice even more enjoyable and more comfortable. Here, there is not much sweating involved which is why these type of pants are the ideal choice!
- Synthetic materials
Synthetic materials are mostly being used in the production process of these particular products. However, there are many synthetic choices as well and each and every one of them is creating their own features and comfort level. The ones that are most commonly used are spandex, often used in small percentages, polyester as a main material and nylon as the main material combined with the spandex. Lycra is another type which is being used. However, that is also a spandex from a slightly lower quality. There is also a Supplex material which is basically nylon material with better breathability properties.
What is common for all synthetic materials is that they have excellent moisture wicking properties, and they are retaining their shape even after years of usage. However, they are not as pleasant to the skin as the naturals materials and if they are not anti-odor treated, they could create an unpleasant smell when combined with sweat.
If you have practiced any other sport before, you will notice that all the sports clothing is mainly made from synthetic materials. Although there are those who wish to stick to the naturals ways, synthetic has often proved as the better choice. In our suggestions, we have only included synthetic blends and bellow we are proving to you why synthetic is the best choice.
- The moisture management system that the synthetic materials have to offer is much better than the cotton one. They are made with one or multiple layers material which has the ability to wick the moisture from your skin and transport it to the upper layers of your pants. This way, the elimination of the moisture will occur faster and you will be and feel dryer and more comfortable. This will also save you from sweat marks which are completely normal, yet somehow we all find them embarrassing.
- The shape of synthetic materials remains the same for years. After every use, cotton seems to stretch and deform. However, every synthetic yoga pants have in them a spandex percentage which is allowing them to stretch as much as you want them to while also retaining their shape once you get back to your previous position.
- However, the main disadvantage they have is the smell they are producing in combination with sweat. It is scientifically proved that there is a type of bacteria that lives in side the synthetic fibers. When the sweat enters inside the structure of these synthetic fibers, the bacteria inside are creating a strong and extremely unpleasant smell that is sticking to the clothes until the next wash. However, scientist are addressing this issue and they have been trying to solve it for years by using anti odor treatment. The anti odor treatment is using silver chloride, which is a well known bacterial deterrent and it is helping in elimination of the odors. However, after dozens of washes, and in some brands even after few washes, this property fades and the unpleasant smell comes back. Nevertheless, this is a bigger issue for the sports shirts rather than the yoga pants because as you already know, we tend to sweat less on the legs.
- Pilling is another issue which is common in yoga pants or any other type of clothing. Unlike the cotton material which is pretty resistant to pilling, the synthetic materials are starting to pill over time and washings. This happens because of the abrasion from the material with any other object, no matter how gentle its structure is and it is inevitable. For this reason, you should keep in mind that no matter which yoga pants you are going to choose, in time they will start to change. They will either start to pill or to change their form. Which is why, investing in 500$ yoga pants might not be such a good idea. Keeping your budget to the minimum is also a bad idea because the durability of the product you will purchase will significantly drop as well as the comfort they are providing. All in all, a budget between 20 to 100$ is enough for you to buy high quality yoga pants that will last you for seasons.
The length of your pants is very important and it is the first feature you need to start with when looking for the best pair for you. For your yoga practice you can choose wearing shorts, especially for the summer periods when the heat is taking over. However, for those of you who are not comfortable with the shorts length, capris are a great length as well. They are covering your thighs and this is something that will make you more comfortable if you are a shy person. However, when the temperatures drop, they are not at all useful.
The full length yoga pants or the leggings will allow you to wear them when it is colder outside and you will also be able to go on walks with them and even go around town with them. This is why we believe they are the perfect choice for yoga and we highly recommend them.
Style of yoga you are practicing
If you are a beginner that is still practicing the basic types of yoga, you won’t doing some extensive stretching or challenging poses so any yoga pants will do as long as you feel comfortable in them. Level 1 yoga is not too difficult and you shouldn’t be sweating too much. For this reason, either cotton or synthetic pants will do.
For the Hatha or Yin yoga, however, that is more focused on your inner peace and tranquility you should focus on the comfort as your most important feature. This means your yoga pants should be pleasant to the skin and of course, full length. In this case, cotton yoga pants will be the best choice for you. When you are standing in a pose such as the Pigeon for few minutes you will appreciate a product that won’t constrict you in any part of your body.
If you are practicing power yoga styles such as vinyasa or ashtanga then you need to thoroughly read this article in order to choose the best yoga pants for you. Power yoga styles require that your pants are extremely stretchy, they must not by any chance restrict your thighs and they should be highly breathable. They also require a good moisture management system which is most often found in synthetic materials. Synthetic materials have a property of nonabsorbents and as such, they are the ideal choice for these yoga styles.
- Hot yoga
Hot yoga as the name suggests will make you extra sweaty and if you practice hot yoga you should mainly focus on the breathability of the yoga pants. Since you are going to sweat a lot, you also should avoid one color pants which will give you a wet “stain” which might make you a bit uncomfortable. For this reason, printed yoga pants are the more logical choice. They will provide the same comfort and breathability, but they will also hide the extra sweat that the material is unable to eliminate as fast as you are sweating. For hot yoga you should also choose lightweight pants and ones that are very thin. Although by choosing so, there might be a risk that they are see through, the printed design might solve this issue.
Gussets are seemingly little detail in the design that do wonders, comfort wise. They are small parts of materials which are sewn to the crotch area in order to prevent the pants from causing pressure and discomfort to that area. It is important for yoga pants to have gussets because this makes them more durable. Yoga pants without this feature are making the stretching part of the practice much more restricting and much less comfortable. They are also more subjected to damage from a simple stretch or a simple pose. That said, gussets can be diamond shaped or triangular and they could either be made from the same material as the rest of the yoga pants or they could be sewn to the inside of the pants for those yogis who prefer going without underwear. Most manufacturers don’t state this feature in the specifications, so make sure you ask whether they have one. Also, the universal sized yoga pants usually don’t have this feature which is why they are always cheaper than other yoga pants. Nevertheless, all of our other suggestions have this feature which we are positive that every woman will find very comfortable!
In order to allow you to make a clearer choice, we are offering some answers to the most common doubts about yoga pants. Now you have your every concern about yoga pants gathered in one place.
Q: Who invented yoga pants?
A: Everyone who has ever worn yoga pants has wondered about the genius that invented them. Even though Ryan McLatchy is considered as the inventor, there are more people responsible for this product. Ryan McLatchy was the designer of the yoga pants which weren’t tight and stretchy as we all know them today.
They used to fit looser before. However, there are more factors that influenced the invention of the yoga pants. Most important of them being the invention of the spandex material which is the core of yoga pants. We have to thank Joseph Shivers for the elasticity of the yoga pants and that they fit so well. He was a chemist who worked with textile and he invented spandex by looking for a rubber material alternative.
Q: Which yoga pants are see through?
A: The biggest concern when wearing yoga pants is whether they are see through, especially if you are walking to the yoga studio and back in them. For this reason, we are revealing what you should focus on in order to avoid this issue. The thickness of the material has a lot to do with the see through downside. If your yoga pants are made with extremely thin material, they will be see through once you put them on, or once you bend to make a pose. For this reason, if a material is thinner, make sure you go with a darker color variant.
Another thing that has an influence over the transparency of the material is the stretching possibility. Once a spandex or a stretchy alternative of spandex is present in an increased amount, you could fit in a smaller size as well. Even though this sounds very good, the transparency is inevitable in this case. So, our recommendation is that if you see that a pair has a significant percentage of spandex, make sure you don’t get a size down, even though they will fit you better!
Q: What materials are yoga pants made of?
A: Regarding the materials of the yoga pants, you have various options on the market that will also deliver different features. However, there aren’t yoga pants, at least not quality ones, that are made from one material only. They are all made from a blend of synthetic materials, such as lycra, spandex, polyester, nylon, or natural materials. From natural materials, you have a choice between wool and cotton. The percentage of the materials present in the blend is responsible for the quality of the yoga pants.
Q: What to wear under yoga pants?
A: It is not surprising that you are having doubts about what to wear under your yoga pants. Even though you manage to find ones that are not see through, the truth is, they show everything. The material is stretchy and thin and it always shows what kind of underwear you are wearing under your pants.
For this reason, it is important to wear the right underwear that will not “cut-in” your skin. So, the best underwear to wear with your yoga pants is lace edges underwear that will stretch to accommodate your size. The material shouldn’t be cotton since there is a risk of wet areas being seen where you don’t want them to. A nice example for the perfect yoga pants underwear is the Lacie Thong Panty from the Victoria’s Secret.
Q: What are lululemon yoga pants?
A: Lululemon is a brand that produces high-quality yoga pants that are in the high price range. The Lululemon brand is the most popular manufacturer of yoga clothing. The design of the yoga pants they are producing is loose towards the feet and they fit perfectly to almost every body shape.
However, the material lululemons are made of is no different than some of the other yoga brands out there. For instance, the Lululemon yoga pants made of lycra and nylon are under $100 a pair and there are many other alternatives from different brands that offer the same blend combination. This leaves the design. Apparently, lululemons are as popular as they are because of their marketing abilities as well as the design of their yoga pants.
Q: What is the difference between yoga pants, leggings and tights?
A: When it comes to fashion, we all use some terms that we don’t fully understand. In this case, the terms yoga pants, leggings and tights are easily confused. Tights cannot be worn without pants over them. Yoga pants don’t fit the shape of your body. They are also thicker and they can be worn in any casual occasion. Leggings on the other side are thinner and they are meant to be worn with dresses or something else over. They are also shorter comparing to yoga pants.
Q: Will yoga pants shrink in the drier?
A: Maintaining the yoga pants requires some minimal knowledge about the material that will extend the life of your yoga pants. The most important part of maintaining them is avoid washing them with warm water. Almost all yoga pants contain elastane which is responsible for the elasticity of the pants. However, if you combine elastane and hot water, you might end us damaging your yoga pants.
Once we have washed them it is time to put them in the drier. The important thing to know when you come to this step is that you should only put them in the drier if you want to shrink them. The reason for this is similar to the high temperature washing. The drier works the same way, except it uses hot air for the drying process instead of hot water. For this reason, it is best if you avoid both hot water washing and putting them in a dryer machine.
Every body shape is different which is why you should always look for yoga pants that will make you feel comfortable in your own body. If you are not comfortable wearing tight pants, go for the loose ones. If you are not comfortable with bright color yoga pants, ignore the fashion aspect and go with your own preferences. Even though the popularity of the yoga subject is making us prefer some choices better than others, it is important to remember that ultimately, practicing yoga is about experiencing yourself instead of focusing on the environment. For this reason, we suggest you choose that bold yoga pants that you have always wanted to wear and feel amazing while wearing them!
Which brand of yoga pants do you find most comfortable and restriction-free? Share with us your best yoga pants in the comment section bellow and help fellow yogis find their path to greater comfort and relaxation!