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The 5 Best Yoga Pants for Women in 2019

Editor's Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#1 Lululemon Align Pant II

Lululemon’s Align Pants are Lululemon’s most popular yoga pants. They’re high-rise, lightweight, and made of “buttery-soft” Nulu fabric. They even come in 14 different colors!

  • Material: Nulu fabric is super-soft and breathable
  • High-rise: These yoga pants will make you feel secure
  • Color variety: 14 different color options
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating4.5/5 Rating

#2 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 – which is key in hot yoga. 

  • Breathable: These yoga pants provide max airflow
  • Capri style: Exposed ankles help keep you cool
  • Two inseam options: Regular: 20″ Tall: 22″
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating4.5/5 Rating

#3 Starter Cotton Performance Yoga Pants

Looking for a loose-fitting pair of soft, (almost) 100% yoga pants? Check out these Starter Cotton Yoga Pants. They’re an Amazon exclusive! 

  • Price: Not only are these the best cotton yoga pants, but they’re also among the more affordable yoga pants on our list
  • Material: Pants are 92% cotton, 8% spandex. They’re comfy while allowing for the perfect amount of stretch
  • Style: These yoga pants are perfect for the gym as well as an athleisure look
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating4.5/5 Rating

#4 PrAna Pillar Capri Pants

Is sustainable fashion important to you? Are you looking for the best capri yoga pants on the market? If so, you’ll love these PrAna Pillar Capri pants.

  • Material: Jersey-stretch fabric means these pants are super soft
  • Rise: Pants are mid-rise and supportive
  • Color options: Yoga pants come in five different colors
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Editor's Choice
Our Rating4/5 Rating

#5 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!

  • Price: Pants are very affordable
  • Fit: Yoga pants are high-waisted and fitted throughout the thighs and ankles. 
  • Material: Fabric is soft, moisture-wicking jersey fabric with “Go-Dry moisture-wicking technology.”
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It used to be that every girl needed the perfect little black dress. Nowadays? Every girl needs the perfect pair of yoga pants (or three or four). We love the unexpected health benefits of yoga and we love yoga pants almost as much. Why?

  1. They’re comfy AF.
  2. They make us feel as though we’ve worked out (even when we haven’t).
  3. They’re appropriate to wear almost everywhere! Just throw a cute sweater over them and a pair of booties on your feet, and BAM — you’ve got a cute, comfy outfit and people will think you’re healthy and enjoy working out (even if you secretly don’t)

There are literally thousands of options for yoga pants out there and, while our favorites are still the basic black ones (they go with everything!), we do occasionally like to branch out. Here are a few of our favorites:

Editor’s Choice: Lululemon Align Pant II

Lululemon's Align yoga pants are our editor's pickIf 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 yoga pants. They’re lightweight, high-rise, and made of “buttery-soft” Nulu fabric. Plus, they come in 14 different colors!

Pros

  • Material: Nulu fabric is oh-so-soft, breathable, and “sweat-wicking.”
  • High-rise: These yoga pants won’t ride down and will leave you feeling covered and secure.
  • Options: Yoga pants come in 14 different colors

Cons

  • 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 pants pilled more easily than other yoga pants, likely due to improper care.
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Best Value: Old Navy’s High Rise Yoga Leggings

Old Navy makes the most affordable yoga pants

If you’re looking for quality yoga pants that won’t break the bank, head to Old Navy. They have a variety of affordable and attractive fitness attire that includes yoga-wear.

Old Navy’s High Rise Yoga Leggings aren’t just our top pick for value, but they’re also Old Navy’s top-selling yoga pants. They’re high-waisted, are made of soft, moisture-wicking jersey fabric, and even feature “Go-Dry moisture-wicking technology.”

Pros

  • Price: These pants are incredibly affordable to start, and with Old Navy’s constant sales, there’s always an extra discount to be found.
  • Fit: Pants are high-waisted, fitted through the thighs, and fitted around the ankles. You’ll feel well-supported no matter what yoga practice you embark upon.

Cons

  • Options: If you like black and grey yoga pants, great. However, if you want a bit of color, you’re out of luck, as these yoga pants only come in two colors.
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Best for Hot Yoga: Athleta’s Chaturanga Capri Pants

Athleta makes the best yoga pants for hot yoga

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… After all, the studio heats up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and has 40 percent humidity!

Athleta’s Chaturanga Capri Pants are our top pick for hot yoga. They’re mid-rise, fitted in the legs, and feature a Breathable CoolMax® crotch gusset for extra breathability.

Pros

  • Breathable: 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
  • Price: While not the cheapest yoga pants on our list, the price won’t set you back too far
  • Two inseam options: Regular: 20″ Tall: 22″

Cons

  • Color options: Pants are only available in black
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Best Capri-Style: PrAna Pillar Capri

PrAna makes our favorite capri pants

If you’re not familiar with PrAna, check them out, as they’re one of our favorite yoga brands. PrAna makes sustainable clothing, meaning their clothes are made from organic cotton, are fair trade certified, and don’t test on animals.

PrAna’s Pillar Capri pants are our favorite capri pants: made of a jersey-stretch fabric, they’re soft, mid-rise, and have no side seams. They even come in five different colors.

Pros

  • Sustainable fashion: PrAna’s clothes are all sustainable, so you can feel good about wearing clothing from a brand that prioritizes protecting the environment.
  • Material: Material is a soft jersey stretch. You’ll never want to take these yoga pants off!
  • Color variety: Pants come in five different colors

Cons

  • Rise: 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
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Best Cotton Yoga Pants: Starter

Starter cotton yoga pants

Cotton yoga pants are hard to find. Nowadays, most are either nylon or other synthetic fabric. So 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.

Pros

  • Price: Not only are these the best cotton yoga pants, but they’re also among the more affordable yoga pants on our list
  • Material: Pants are 92% cotton, 8% spandex. They’re comfy while allowing for the perfect amount of stretch

Cons

  • Cut: These pants are bootcut, so are not as tight around the ankles as other yoga pants. Some people like this, others don’t, so it’s worth calling out.
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Yoga Pants Buyer’s Guide

Woman doing yoga on beach

If you’re in the market for new 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 (although we do love a good pair of black yoga pants).

When looking to purchase a new pair (or two) of yoga pants, here’s what you need to think about:

Length and Style

When you think about yoga pants, think about your favorite pair of jeans: are they long, short, or capris? What about rise… 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?

In a way, yoga pants are not dissimilar to your favorite denim, while at the same time being completely different altogether. While you wouldn’t want to do yoga in jeans, if you like the support of high-waisted jeans, you’ll likely like the support of high-rise yoga pants too.

When looking at yoga pants, you should check out the following:

  • Leggings: 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.
  • Capri: Simply put, capri leggings are short yoga pants. They typically hit the calves.  If you tend to get hot during your workouts, you may prefer capris, as 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. There really isn’t a profound difference between leggings, yoga pants, and capris; it’s all about what you find most comfortable.
  • Pants: 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 They can actually double as real pants! Celeb yogi like Hilaria Baldwin wear yoga pants both on and off the yoga mat. “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. I put them on every day.”
  • High Waist: Yoga pants, capris, and leggings can be either low rise, “regular” rise, or high waisted. High waisted yoga pants are a popular choice as they provide extra support for your middle and won’t slip down during your workout.

Type of Yoga

woman doing outdoor yoga

There are many different types of yoga, including some alternative types of yoga, which you may consider to be bizarre. Some, such as Hatha, have a slow pace and focus more on breathing and stretching, while others such as power yoga are faster and cause you to break a sweat. And then there’s Bikram, whose goal is to make you sweat. Bikram yoga takes place in a special studio set to 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity!

While the truth is 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 definitely not the best fit for Bikram, where you need to stay as cool as possible.

Thus, when trying to find the best yoga pants for you, you should start by deciding what type of class you’ll be wearing them to, and then taking a look at the following factors:

Materials

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:

  • Cotton: 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.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo pulp creates a natural fabric that is soft, breathable, lightweight, and even moisture-wicking (ie, it repels odor). It’s perfect for yoga.
  • Synthetics: Yoga pants made of synthetic materials such as Nylon are common and a great choice. They’re silky soft, dry quickly, and are even resistant to mildew.

Characteristics of the Ideal Yoga Pants

two women doing yoga

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 the best yoga pants tend to share:

Comfort and Fit

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, it’s imperative that your yoga pants be comfortable! 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. Make sure you try on a pair of high rise yoga pants as well as a pair of normal fitting pants. Which is more comfortable? What works for you won’t work for everyone, so go with what your body tells you. In addition to the waist, see how the yoga pants fit your derrière. Are they too tight, or perhaps falling down and making you feel a little too exposed? If so, try another pair until you’ve found the best yoga pants for your body type.

Ease of Movement

Yoga pants need to be comfortable not only for you to feel good, but also for you to be able to move. Yoga pants need to 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 also impair your practice. If they’re too loose overall they could be at risk for falling down or making you constantly stop to pull them up. And if they’re too saggy in the crotch, they can cause chafing!

Breathability

Yoga is all about breathing, and the best yoga pants are ones that can breathe just as well as you can. If not, then you’ll get overheated, possibly stinky, and won’t be enjoying 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.

Durability

If you find the perfect pair of yoga pants but they shrink, rip, or become unwearable after just one wear and washing, they really weren’t the perfect yoga pants. This goes for any clothing, really.

Yoga pants need to be able to keep up with you, but in order for that to happen, you need to take good care of them. Taking care of your yoga pants will help ensure  “I didn’t have anything to wear!” is never an excuse to prevent you from going to your favorite yoga studio. So, how can you take care of your yoga pants? We’ll tell you.

How to Care for your Yoga Pants

woman doing yoga

Yoga pants aren’t made of silk and they aren’t dry clean only. However, you shouldn’t throw them in the wash with your towels and you certainly shouldn’t throw them in the dryer. Here are few simple tips to keep your yoga pants in tip-top shape so they keep up with you as you progress in your yoga practice:

Tip 1: Be Gentle

Yoga pants should be washed on the gentle cycle with a limited amount of detergent. You should never use fabric softener, either (your pants should be naturally soft).  Too much detergent can leave your pants stiff. Your yoga pants can also end up holding detergent (or fabric softener) if you use too much, which can irritate your skin.

Tip 2: Skip The Heat

Yoga pants should stay as far away from heat as possible when being cleaned. This includes hot water, hot air, and even sun. Wash your yoga pants in cold water. Never put them in the dryer, but instead hang dry or lay flat. Avoid putting them in direct sunlight as well.

Tip 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 throw your yoga pants in with anything aside from fitness clothes.”

Different fabrics require different heat settings, so you really don’t want to wash your towels on a low setting and in cold water with your yoga pants. However, you don’t want towels 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, and they can cause them to become prematurely worn looking. Thus, wash your yoga pants and all fitness clothing by itself.

If you’re in the marketing for a new pair of yoga pants, we hope this was helpful and you’ll check out a few of our recommendations. And if you love yoga, check out our ultimate yoga guide!

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