Best Yoga Pants for Women in 2021
It used to be that every girl needed the perfect little black dress, but now every girl needs the best yoga pants.
Yoga combined with healthy eating can be a helpful tool for weight loss, and many people find that the practice helps reduce stress. To get these benefits, you need to right workout gear for the job — starting with the perfect pair of yoga pants.
There are thousands of options for yoga pants out there, so choosing can be difficult. That’s why we’ve created this guide.
Here are the BEST YOGA PANTS — and how to find a pair that suits your needs.
Athleta Chaturanga Capri Pants
Looking for a great pair of yoga pants for hot yoga? Check out these Chaturanga Capri Pants from Athleta. Mid-rise and fitted throughout the legs, they feature a Breathable CoolMax® crotch gusset for increased breathability. Features include:
- Breathable to provide maximum airflow
- Capri style keeps you cool
- Two inseam options (20″ and 22″)
Starter Cotton Performance Yoga Pants
Looking for a loose-fitting pair of soft yoga pants? Check out these Starter Cotton Yoga Pants. They’re an Amazon exclusive! Features include:
- Affordable yoga pants
- Comfortable material is 92% cotton and 8% spandex
- Stylish pants are perfect for the gym or an athleisure look
Old Navy High Rise Yoga Leggings
Looking for top-quality yoga pants that set you back too much? Check out Old Navy’s High Rise Yoga Leggings. There’s a reason these high-waisted, super-soft yoga pants are a bestseller!
- Affordable price
- High-waisted and fitted throughout the thighs and ankles
- Soft, moisture-wicking jersey fabric
Editors' Choice: Lululemon Align Pant II
If you haven’t properly been introduced to Lululemon, you’ll thank us later. This brand will change your life (or at least leave you never wanting to wear anything besides yoga clothes).
Lululemon’s Align Pants are the company’s bestselling workout pants. They’re lightweight, high-rise, and made of “buttery-soft” Nulu fabric. They’re perfect for any yoga practice (and can even double as running tights):
Lululemon Align Pant II Pros
- Color options: These yoga pants come in 14 different colors.
- High-quality material: Nulu fabric is oh-so-soft, breathable, and “sweat-wicking.”
- High-rise fit: These yoga pants won’t ride down and will leave you feeling covered and secure.
Lululemon Align Pant II Cons
- High price: Lululemon is expensive, and these pants reflect that.
- High maintenance: The Align pants must be washed separately in cold water and should always be dried flat. Customers report that these pants pilled more easily than other yoga pants, but this is most likely due to improper care.
Best Value: Old Navy High-Rise Yoga Leggings
If you’re looking for quality yoga pants that won’t break the bank, head to Old Navy. The store has a variety of affordable and attractive fitness attire that includes yoga-wear.
Old Navy’s High-Rise Elevate Built-In Sculpt 7/8-Length Compression Leggings are our top pick for value. They’re high-waisted, are made of soft, moisture-wicking jersey fabric, and even feature moisture-wicking technology.
Old Navy High-Rise Yoga Leggings Pros
- Affordable price: These pants are within an affordable price range, and with Old Navy’s constant sales, there’s always an extra discount to be found.
- Color variety: These leggings come in a variety of colors; not just your basic black! You can pick lots of colors to make cute outfits with your workout tops and sports bras.
- Supportive fit: These pants are high-waisted, fitted through the thighs, and fitted around the ankles. You’ll feel well-supported, no matter what yoga practice you choose.
Old Navy High-Rise Yoga Leggings Cons
- High waist: If you’ve never worn high-waisted leggings before, they may feel odd at first. But give them a chance. They’re worth it!
Best for Hot Yoga: Athleta Chaturanga Capri
If Bikram yoga is your jam, you’ll want to wear as little clothing as possible, or you’ll want your pants to be as breathable as possible in the 105 degree studio with 40 percent thumidity.
Athleta’s Chaturanga Capri pants are the pants to buy if you love hot yoga.
They’re mid-rise, fitted in the legs, and feature a Breathable CoolMax® crotch gusset for extra breathability.
Athleta Chaturanga Capri Pros
- Affordable price: While these are not the cheapest yoga pants on our list, the price won’t set you back too far.
- Breathable material: These pants allow as much airflow as possible, which is key for hot yoga classes.
- Capri style: Exposed ankles will help keep you cool even in the hottest of rooms.
- Two inseam options: The regular inseam is 20″, or you can get the tall 22″ inch inseam. This helps these pants fit more body types.
Athleta Chaturanga Capri Cons
- Color options: These pants are only available in black.
Best Capri-Style: PrAna Pilla Capri
If you’re not familiar with PrAna, it’s one of our favorite yoga brands. PrAna makes sustainable clothing, meaning their clothes are made from organic cotton, are fair trade certified, and aren’t test on animals.
PrAna’s Pillar Capri pants are one of our favorite pairs of capri pants. These pants have a jersey-stretch fabric, and they are soft, mid-rise, and have no side seams.
PrAna Pillar Capri Pros
- Color variety: These pants come in five colors: agave, charcoal heather, granite, nautical, and black.
- Comfortable material: The material is a soft jersey stretch. You’ll never want to take these cotton yoga pants off!
- Sustainable fashion: PrAna’s clothes are all sustainable, so you can feel good about wearing clothing from a brand that prioritizes protecting the environment.
PrAna Pillar Capri Cons
- Mid rise: These pants are mid-rise, not high-rise. If you’re looking for extra support around your abdominal area, you may want to find a pair of high-rise yoga pants
Best Cotton Yoga Pants: Starter
Cotton yoga pants are hard to find. Nowadays, most are either nylon or other synthetic fabric. If you’re looking for pants that are nearly 100% cotton, check out these Starter Cotton Performance Yoga Pants.
These yoga pants are super comfy, affordable, and look nice both inside and outside the yoga studio. They make great gift ideas, too!
- Comfortable material: These pants are 92% cotton and 8% spandex. They’re comfy while allowing for the perfect amount of stretch.
- Low price: Not only are these the best cotton yoga pants, but they’re also among the more affordable yoga pants on our list
- Bootcut yoga pants: These pants are bootcut, so they are not as tight around the ankles as other yoga pants. Some people like this while others don’t, so it’s worth calling out.
Yoga Pants Buyer’s Guide
We love the health benefits of yoga and we love yoga pants almost as much because they’re comfortable, make us feel athletic, and are appropriate to wear almost anywhere. Just throw a cute sweater over them and a pair of booties on your feet, and BAM — you’ve got a cute, comfy outfit to wear around the house or to the studio.
If you’re in the market for a pair yoga pants, there are a lot of things to consider.
Like any fitness attire, you shouldn’t grab just any pair off the rack, and you shouldn’t base your purchase on color alone.
Consider the length of style, type of yoga you will do, and materials while you shop.
Length and Style
Think about what you like in your favorite pair of jeans:
- Do you like them to be long, short, or capris?
- Do you like your jeans to be high-waisted or low-rise?
- Do you like stylish or breathable holes in them, or prefer them to be solid?
- Do you like straight leg pants or tighter fits?
In a way, yoga pants are not dissimilar to your favorite denim. While they are different products, identifying what you like in jeans can help you determine what you’ll like in yoga pants. You wouldn’t want to do yoga in jeans, but if you like the support of high-waisted jeans, you’ll likely like the support of high-rise yoga pants too.
Yoga pants come in several lengths and styles.
Simply put, capri leggings are short yoga pants that typically hit the calves.
If you tend to get hot during your workouts, you may prefer capris because they leave the ankles and calves exposed. However, if you’re okay breaking a sweat and don’t get too hot, you may prefer full-length leggings.
Yoga pants, capris, and leggings can be either low rise, regular rise, or high waisted.
High waisted yoga pants are a popular choice because they provide extra support for your middle and won’t slip down during your workout.
Leggings are like stretchy, skintight pants that allow you to move and bend in every direction your body can handle.
They can be long (full-length) or short (mid-calf, referred to as capri). They typically hug the skin and are relatively tight.
Leggings are perfect for vinyasa yoga, where you don’t want loose clothing to get in the way of your movements.
Warmup leggings are also commonly used in other sports.
Yoga pants (full-length leggings) are the most popular type of leggings. They’re typically tight, ankle length, and perfect for all types of yoga.
Another perk of yoga pants is that they can double as real pants! Celeb yogi like Hilaria Baldwin wear yoga pants both on and off the yoga mat. She says,”I wear them when I am on the yoga mat, with a pair of Prada boots, to dinner, on the red carpet—I have a lot of [yoga pants] in my closet.”
There isn’t a profound difference between leggings, yoga pants, and capris — it’s all about what you find most comfortable that makes the perfect fit for you.
Type of Yoga
There are many different types of yoga, including:
- Alternative types of yoga that may surprise you
- Slow paced yoga, such as Hatha, that focus more on breathing and stretching.
- Power yoga that is faster to make you break a sweat while others such as power yoga are faster and cause you to break a sweat.
- Bikram, where the goal is to make you sweat. Bikram yoga takes place in a special studio set to 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity!
While you can wear the same type of yoga pants to the various types of yoga classes, you may not want to.
Yoga pants are great for Vinyasa, where you flow from one position to the next, but they’re not the best fit for Bikram, where you need to stay as cool as possible.
Thus, when trying to find a great pair of yoga pants, start by deciding what type of class you’ll be wearing them to.
Fabric is one of the most important aspects of yoga pants.
You want to find a fabric that is soft, supportive, breathable, and won’t split while you’re stretching or become see-through after a few wash cycles. Fitness junkies are sure to remember Lululemon’s infamous “see-through scandal” of 2013 and would hate to fall victim to a repeat.
The most common types of yoga pant fabrics include cotton, bamboo, and synthetics.
- Bamboo pulp creates a natural fabric that is soft, breathable, lightweight, and even moisture-wicking (in other words, it repels odor). It’s perfect for yoga.
- Cotton is a great choice of fabric for yoga pants because it’s soft, breathable, and durable. However, it does absorb moisture, so you may wind up with a few sweat marks if you wear cotton yoga pants to a cardio yoga class. Cotton yoga pants will work for your zen yoga classes but should not be used for Bikram.
- Synthetics like nylon are often found in yoga pants. These materials are silky soft, dry quickly, and are even resistant to mildew.
If you’re not sure which you’d prefer, go to a store and feel the material to see if that helps you decide.
Characteristics of Ideal Yoga Pants
Now that we’ve told you about the different types of yoga pants and most common materials, let’s look at a few more characteristics that good yoga pants tend to share.
Yoga is all about breathing, and our favorite yoga pants are ones that can breathe as well as you can.
If your pants don’t have good breathability, then you’ll get overheated and possibly stinky. Most importantantly, you won’t enjoy yourself as much.
The breathability of your yoga pants depends on fabric, which is why we mentioned material as an important deciding factor in your search for the perfect yoga pants.
If you find the perfect pair of yoga pants but they shrink, rip, or become unwearable after one wear and washing, they weren’t the perfect yoga pants.
Yoga pants need to be able to keep up with you. You should take care of them to help them last, but you also need to look for a quality option.
Ease of Movement
Yoga pants need to allow you to move.
They must be able to stretch with you so they don’t impair your practice. They should fit like a second skin but not be too tight that they’re uncomfortable or leave deep, visible marks when you take them off .
Yoga pants shouldn’t be too tight, but they shouldn’t be too loose either.
If your yoga pants are too loose, it can impair your practice. If they’re too loose, they could be at risk of falling down or making you stop to pull them up. If they’re too saggy in the crotch, they can cause chafing!
When you try on yoga pants, do a few poses, try a few squats, or walk around a little to see if you can move the way you need to.
If you get a yoga pant with pockets, make sure you can still move comfortably with a few things inside the pockets.
Fit and Comfort
Yoga is all about flow. It’s about finding your inner zen, getting in touch with your body, and being comfortable while doing so.
As such, your yoga pants must have an ideal balance of fit and comfort!
We referenced denim before. Can you imagine trying to relax in a pair of too-tight skinny jeans? That wouldn’t fly.
When looking at yoga pants, we recommend trying on a few different types, whether that means trying them on in-store or ordering a handful online and returning the ones you don’t like.
Some tips for finding comfortable ones include:
- Try different levels of tightness. Some people love the support of compression yoga pants or tummy control options while other people want something looser.
- Try on a pair of high-rise yoga pants and a pair of normal fitting pants. What works for you won’t work for everyone, so go with what your body tells you is most comfortable. You might love a high-rise pair with a wide waistband while your friend wants something completely different.
- See how the yoga pants fit your derrière. Are they too tight, or perhaps falling down and making you feel a little too exposed?
Keep trying options until you’ve found the ideal yoga pants for your body type.
How to Care for Your Yoga Pants
Yoga pants aren’t made of silk, and they aren’t dry clean only. However, that doesn’t mean you can throw them in with your towels or put them in the dryer.
Just like with a quality yoga mat and other workout gear, you should take care of your pants to ensure they last a long time.
Here are few simple tips to keep your yoga pants in tip-top shape.
1.) Be Gentle
Yoga pants should be treated gently:
- Wash them on a gentle cycle.
- Never use fabric softner. Your pants should be naturally soft, and the ingredients in fabric softner can ruin the material’s moisture wicking abilities.
- Use a small amount of detergent. Too much can make your pants stiff.
Note that your yoga pants can also end up holding detergent or fabric softener in the material if you use too much, which can irritate your skin. People with sensitive skin should be particularly cautious.
2.) Skip the Heat
Keep your yoga pants as far away from heat as possible.
This includes hot water, hot air, and even sun.
Wash your yoga pants in cold water. Never put them in the dryer. Instead, hang them or lay them flat to dry out of direct sunlight.
3.) Go Solo
As we said at the beginning: don’t throw your yoga pants in with your towels. However, we’ll take this a step further and say don’t wash your yoga pants with anything but other fitness clothes.
Different fabrics require different heat settings, so you don’t want to wash your towels on a low setting and in cold water with your yoga pants.
However, you don’t want and other items in with your yoga pants for a variety of other reasons:
- They can leave lint.
- They can cause your yoga pant fabric to pill.
- They can cause your pants to become prematurely worn looking.
Thus, wash your yoga pants and all fitness clothing by itself.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of yoga pants, use our top picks and buying guide to help you find the perfect workout accessory.
If you love yoga, also check out our ultimate yoga guide!Read More