There’s nothing quite like slipping into a really comfortable pair of leggings. More elevated and sculpting than sweatpants, and far more welcoming than a pair of skinny jeans, leggings are versatile, too — dress them up with booties and an oversized sweater, or pair them with flip flops or sneakers for a more casual everyday look. And then there’s the fact that you can wear them 24/7, 12 months a year.
Nowadays, while many of us are practicing social distancing and staying home more than ever, leggings are pretty much our collective uniform. But let’s face it, they’re not all created equal.
Some pinch or create uncomfortable waist bulges, while others have rolling waist bands or are so sheer that if you wear them to take out the garbage, the whole neighborhood will know the exact type of underwear you prefer.
Finding the perfect pair of leggings is not easy, especially when you consider the infinite number of options online. Deciphering which ones are actually soft and cozy can be a mystery, so we’ve rounded up our favorites below, all of which we’ve tried and love ourselves.
We Over Me Inversion Legging ($105; bandier.com)
If you’re looking for an ultrasoft ankle-skimming legging, this is it. The wide, double layer waistband hits mid-rib cage, providing an extra amount of tummy coverage. They’re available in six colors, and the contrasting panel is perfectly on trend.
Zella Live in High Waist Leggings ($59; nordstrom.com)
Nordstrom shoppers are obsessed with these leggings. With more than 6,000 positive reviews, the high-waisted leggings are available in sizes 00 to 20 and are also moisture-wicking, which means they keep you cool during a workout.
High-Waisted Elevate Compression Leggings For Women ($25, originally $29.99; oldnavy.com)
Made of a super soft fabric with four-way stretch and moisture-wicking technology, consider these your new go-to workout leggings, or just leggings you like to wear around the house. You really can’t beat the price, either.
Lululemon Align Pant 25-Inch ($98; lululemon.com)
Let us count the ways we love these Lululemon leggings. Soft as can be, the “naked sensation” leggings are so lightweight that they feel like they’re skimming your curves. They’re also sweat-wicking, with four-way stretch and a high waist providing a whole lot of torso coverage. Shop the entire fabric collection here.
Athleta Elation Camo 7/8 Tight ($89; athleta.gap.com)
Perfect for yoga — or doing absolutely nothing — these dark camo leggings are made of Athleta’s Powervita fabric, which has a buttery soft feel. With a 4.8-star rating and more than 400 positive reviews on the Athleta site, they’re a bestseller for the brand.
Spanx Look At Me Now Seamless Leggings ($68; nordstrom.com)
Available in a black camo, navy leopard or opaque black, the stretch knit leggings have no seams at all but are packed with sculpting tummy control. We love the cute ribbing that runs down the side of the legs.
CRZ Yoga Women’s Naked Feeling High Waist Tight Yoga Pants 25” (starting at $24; amazon.com)
Similar in design to Lululemon’s Align — but with a silkier composition, rather than soft — these Amazon leggings have more than 2,500 5-star reviews because of their high-waist design that never pinches or slips. Oh, and because they cost less than 25 bucks and come in more than 20 colors and patterns.
Outdoor Voices 7/8 Springs Leggings ($85; outdoorvoices.com)
Meet the brand that made color blocking cool. Outdoor Voices’$2 7/8 leggings, with their color-contrasting panels, are what made the brand famous — but we’re here to say the leggings are built for performance, too. Engineered to sculpt your curves, the 7/8 Springs suck you in and have moisture-wicking for your toughest workouts. They’re available in six colors, from pastels to bolds, and we’ve officially decided you need every pair.
Sweaty Betty Power 7/8 Workout Leggings ($100; sweatybetty.com)
Sweaty Betty fans flock to the brand’s Power 7/8 Workout Leggings for a reason — sweat-wicking and full of compression, they also sculpt your bum like no other and have not one but two pockets for storing all the things. Who doesn’t love that? More to know: The leggings come in 10 patterns and colors and have more than 1,100 positive reviews and a 4.7-star rating on the site.
Vuori Daily Legging ($84; vuori.com)
Designed like a jogger, but with a fit like a legging, these could quickly become your “daily” pick. We love the drawstring tie and cuffed ankle, the lightweight but compressive fabric and the super serene “dusk” colorway.
Ultracor Ultra High Lux Knockout Print Leggings ($198; bandier.com)
If there were to be a cult-favorite legging on our list, it would be these from Ultracor. At one point they had a 1,000-person wait list on Bandier, despite costing nearly $200. What makes them so great? Well, for one, there’s the deep colors and bold prints. And then there’s the high-tech fabric that is designed with built-in shapewear to sculpt your curves. Lastly, the elastic, high-rise waistband is ultracomfortable.
Colorfulkoala High Waisted Pattern Leggings ($29.99; amazon.com)
These high-waisted leggings from Colorfulkoala are another Amazon favorite. The name is apt, because the brand’s leggings are just that — very colorful. With more than 7,300 positive reviews and a 4.8-star rating, the soft compression leggings feel like a gentle hug when worn, which sounds quite nice right about now.
Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging ($68; girlfriend.com)
Want to feel good about your leggings? Then turn to Girlfriend Collective, an ethical workout brand that creates its products from recyclables. Boasting more than 5,200 positive reviews on its site, these leggings are extra high-waisted and have a four-way stretch that moves with you throughout the day. The best part? Knowing that each pair sold results in 25 water bottles diverted from landfills.
Alo High-Waist Vapor Leopard Legging ($128; aloyoga.com)
Get your leopard fix with these supersoft leggings from Alo. Made from a fabric dubbed Vapor that delivers a second-skin feel, the leggings compress and lift your body simultaneously. You’re officially a yogi if you own a pair.
Everlane The Perform Legging ($58; everlane.com)
Everlane’s first activewear launch came in the form of this superthin legging made from 58% recycled nylon. Sweat-wicking and high-waisted, they are perfect for just about, well, everything. From yoga to running to napping, you’ll be snug as a bug in these leggings, which come in four earthy hues and an ankle length.
Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket II Supernova Capri ($89; athleta.gap.com)
Tie-dye is everywhere in fashion right now, and that includes leggings! These supersoft capris from Athleta come in black or a purple/pink pattern and include side pockets for stashing essentials like your phone or lip balm.
Spanx Faux Leather Leggings ($98; nordstrom.com)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Spanx’s famous faux leather leggings (with more than 2,000 positive Nordstrom reviews) on our list. The slick finish gives these leggings a dressier look, while the control top allows them to help sculpt and enhance your curves, and their nylon/spandex composition ensures they’re extremely comfortable.
Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise Tight 28-Inch Luxtreme ($98; lululemon.com)
A bit thicker than the Align leggings, Lululemon’s Wunder Under is the brand’s longtime yoga option beloved by many. We’re currently obsessed with the fun prints the old-school style comes in. From the nearly-white camo to the black and white stripe, you can’t go wrong.
All Access Vinyl Record Capri ($105; bandier.com)
Preppy and classic in design, these capris from Bandier’s in-house brand All Access are 50% nylon and 50% spandex, creating a smooth, crisp silhouette. We’re smitten with the navy version with the white trim, which is perfect for summer.
Zella Live In High Waist Pocket Ankle Performance Leggings ($65; nordstrom.com)
The cult-favorite Nordstrom leggings, loved by many, come in a slew of cute patterns this season, including this navy and purple snake print that we’re more than a little obsessed with. The best part? They come in plus sizes as well.
Outdoor Voices 3/4 Two-Tone Leggings ($85; outdoorvoices.com)
Light-hued leggings are having a moment, and we love this color-blocked gray pair from Outdoor Voices. Available in a darker black/purple version too, the capris are made from compression fabric that is guaranteed to provide a premium amount of tummy control.
Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity High Waisted Running Leggings ($135; sweatybetty.com)
Ultrathin, Sweaty Betty’s Zero Gravity leggings are also bum-enhancing, thanks to seams designed specifically to enhance your rear. We love the five punchy patterns these leggings come in, too.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.