Yoga Pants vs Leggings: Which One is Better for You

Both yoga pants and leggings have become a recent fashion trend often referred to as athleisure. This means clothing that’s designed for comfort, exercise, flexibility, and daily wear. The idea is that tight-fitting clothes will bring a sense of comfort to those going to the gym, yoga class, or pilates. 

They make the perfect casual wear due to the comfort of the fabric and their durability. The comfort of the clothing has caused people to want to wear them all the time, including in places like work and school.

Although both yoga pants and leggings are referred to as athleisure and seen as comfort clothing, the debate of yoga pants vs leggings is still ongoing. Both are seen as comfortable but still differ in many ways.

yoga pants vs leggings

What are Yoga Pants?

Yoga pants, which are also known as yoga leggings to some people, are a type of pants that were created specifically for yoga classes and the gym. They were designed using spandex, lycra, wool, nylon, polyester, and/or cotton. 

These materials and fabric were used to create a skin-tight fitting pair of pants that would stay on your body when you moved. This is why yoga pants are also known as tights because they don’t move out of place when you are practicing yoga or doing a workout. 

Yoga pants were first made by the brand Lululemon. They were originally designed as tight-fitting going from the ankles all the way to the waist. Nowadays, there are many more styles. You can read more about the history of Lululemon and their yoga pants.

Different Types of Yoga Pants for Women
Source: threadcurve

Types of Yoga Pants

There are many different styles and different lengths of yoga tights. Many opt for the original slim-fitting ankle-to-the-waist leggings and layer other clothes onto that, but there are so many more options out there.

  • The first type of pants is the original ankle-to-waist tight-fitting pair.
original ankle-to-waist tight-fitting pair
Source: standard
  • The second is almost exactly the same as the first except the pants go all the way over the foot. Some people find the ‘over the-foot yoga pants’ to be more helpful for grip and warmth when practicing on the yoga mat. See the foot yoga pants here.
over the-foot yoga pants
Source: wellandgood
  • The third type of yoga pants is the over the knee and the above the knee yoga pants. These ones are also tight-fitting but only go just past the knee or stop just above the knee. These pants are for summertime or for those that get really hot in the yoga studio.
 above the knee yoga pants
Source: cosmopolitan
  • The fourth is known as the flare yoga pants or the wide-leg yoga pants. These pants have a tight waistband and are loosely fitted from there down. They most often flare slightly at the ankle or heel area.
flare yoga pants
Source: teenvogue
  • The last type of yoga pants is known as the harem yoga pants. These are loosely fitted pants as well. They also have a waistband by the waist and by the ankles, but the rest of the pants are completely loose. The pants move around easily and are perfect for lounging around. Many say they feel like they’re wearing nothing when they wear these pants.

The Pros and Cons of Yoga Pants

Yoga pants have grown in popularity in the past few decades and for good reasons. There are a whole host of reasons for this. However, some of the main reasons for this rise include:

  • Perfect for Exercise. As mentioned previously, Yoga pants are designed for exercise. They are flexible, durable, and breathable, making them ideal for challenging exercise. If you practice yoga, martial arts, hiking, or other intense forms of cardio, you should consider investing in a quality pair of Yoga pants.
  • Flexible. Yoga pants are flexible in two ways. Firstly, the material in these pants makes them easy to wear and move around in. However, they are also flexible in the sense that you can wear Yoga pants in many situations. If you are relaxing at home, exercising, or even going shopping, Yoga pants are a great option.
  • Affordable. Yoga pants are significantly less expensive when compared to jeans or other types of trousers. The average pants price has dropped quickly in recent years, with a decent pair of pants costing only a little over 20 dollars.
  • Durable. Good quality Yoga pants are also highly durable. Nylon and similar materials are perfect for exercise; they can handle the pressure from complex and explosive movements.

There are many more pros to yoga pants than there are cons. One of the only cons about yoga pants is that they are usually very expensive. Most yoga pants are branded, which makes them pricey.

Many say that the price of yoga pants is worth it because of how good the quality of the pants is. That’s another one of the pros of yoga pants, they are normally of excellent quality. There are very few places that deliver quality yoga pants.

Another pro is that they are comfortable and flexible for the person wearing them. They are durable pants that come in many different styles. The difference in style is great for those who like to change things up or aren’t into the typical yoga leggings.

What are Leggings?

Leggings are a type of pants also known as tights. They often look like they are tight-fitting but are more loose and lightweight on the body. They are made of a thin fabric, which is what makes them so loose-fitting.

Leggings have become trendy in today’s fashion because they are comfortable for wearing around. They aren’t super tight or restricting on your body and can be worn almost anywhere. They’re usually high waist pants and have a waistband that keeps them in place.

They’re known to be warm as well as stylish. Some people even use them to wear under their jeans or other pants during the winter because of how warm and comfortable they are.

Even though leggings are a popular type of pants that many women enjoy wearing daily, some workplaces and schools have disagreed with the wearing of them outside of the home. This is due to some thinking the pants are too casual and can often be a distraction to others in the workplace.

Different Types of Leggings for Women
Source: threadcurve

Types of Leggings

One of the advantages leggings have over yoga pants is the incredible variety of available leggings today. Leggings are available in many different kinds of materials, colors, and styles. Due to this fact, there are leggings suitable for all occasions. Just some of the most popular kinds of leggings include:

  • The first type of leggings is cotton leggings. These are probably the most popular kind of leggings you can find. These are usually the leggings that will be seen in most mainstream shops. They are the most loose-fitting and can oftentimes be slightly see-through.
cotton leggings
Source: decathlon
  • The second type of leggings is spandex leggings. These are very similar to cotton leggings except the quality is slightly higher. The polyester leggings are known to be associated with working out because they are sweat-wicking.
spandex leggings
Source: leggic
  • The third type of leggings, which is similar to the second, is faux leather leggings. These look like real leather and are similar to spandex, but are known to be more restrictive to the body. Many would say that this kind of leggings is mainly worn for style and not so much for comfort.
faux leather leggings.
Source: seventeen
  • The fourth type is polyester leggings. These are also moisture-wicking pants that have the ability to stretch. They can stretch more than cotton but can hold strong smells for a long time.
polyester leggings
Source: aliexpress
  • The last kind of leggings is nylon leggings. These are quickly becoming one of the most popular styles of leggings because of their affordability. They’re not only cheap but also incredibly durable.

The Pros and Cons of Leggings

Yoga leggings have a variety of benefits that you should know before you decide whether to purchase them. Just a few of these benefits include:

One of the biggest pros of leggings is that they’re all stylish pants. They can be worn around the house for comfort and also to the office because of their versatility in style. They’re a staple in the wardrobe because they can be paired with almost anything.

That’s another pro about leggings, they can be layered. They can be worn under a skirt or t-shirt for extra warmth or style. One of the cons of leggings is that they are often see-through so they cannot be worn by themselves and have to be layered. When you bend over in leggings the underwear can often be seen.

Since leggings are tight-fitting on the body, they are often deemed inappropriate by the public. This is one of the biggest cons of wearing leggings. People may bring it up with you that it’s inappropriate if you’re wearing leggings. This is more of a societal problem with leggings and not a problem with the actual pants.

However, there are a few disadvantages that come with wearing Yoga leggings:

  • Chaffing. If you wear leggings frequently, especially while performing explosive exercises, you may start to notice chaffing. Chaffing is particularly annoying around the thighs. To avoid this, make sure to buy leggings that fit your body and wash them frequently.

What’s the Difference Between Leggings and Yoga Pants?

The biggest difference between leggings and yoga pants is that one was specifically designed for sports and the other was designed for fashion. Yoga pants were designed with the intention of a yoga class and even for dancers. Leggings were designed for fashion. Here are some of the other differences by category.

  1. Style

    Leggings were designed with one style in mind. Even though they are often made from different fabrics, they all look the same. They run from the waist to the ankle whereas yoga pants come in many different styles.

    Yoga pants come in tight-fitting style, baggy style, wide-leg style, and many more. There are even short yoga pants designed for the summer. Therefore, there is a greater range of styles for yoga pants.
  2. Type of Material

    Yoga pants are made with a more durable material because they are designed for sport. Leggings on the other hand are made with soft fabrics for comfort. This is because leggings are made specifically for everyday wear and yoga pants are made specifically for yoga classes and other sports.
  3. Durability

    Yoga pants are known to be a lot more durable than leggings because of the way they were designed. Most yoga pants were designed to ensure that the person wearing them could stretch and move around in them freely.

    There are some leggings that are durable, depending on how they were made. Most leggings are not as durable but have a little bit of elasticity. Overall, yoga pants are a lot more durable.
  4. Comfort

    Both leggings and yoga pants are said to be extremely comfortable. They have both been seen being worn outside of the home or the gym because of how comfortable some people find them.

    With that being said, leggings are known to be a lot more comfortable than yoga pants because of their soft fabric. Yoga pants are tighter on the body and not always comfortable to wear all of the time. Leggings are generally more comfortable because they are soft and loose on the body.
  5. Cost

    Yoga pants are more expensive than leggings because of how high quality the pants are. Yoga pants usually last longer and a lot more is put into them to ensure they can be used for their intended purpose.

    Leggings are made with less expensive material and don’t have a specific sport or activity that they’re intended for. You can also get no-name brand leggings, which are much cheaper but unlikely to get no-name brand yoga pants.
  6. Intended Use

    This is one of the places that yoga pants and leggings differ the most because yoga pants were created specifically for the yoga studio or the gym, and leggings were intended for everyday wear.

    Leggings were designed as normal clothing like an everyday pair of pants that can be worn. Yoga pants were designed with sport and sweat in mind. Therefore, leggings wouldn’t work as well as yoga pants do with sports.

Popular brands of yoga pants and leggings

There aren’t many popular brands of leggings because they can be found in almost any female clothing brand. Only one specific brand of leggings stands out because the style isn’t the same as all other brands and it’s Victoria’s Secret. This is because their style of leggings is more lingerie than everyday wear leggings.

With yoga pants because the styles are different so the brands stand apart from each other. One of the most popular brands is Lululemon, the founder of yoga pants. Another massive yoga pants brand is Alo Yoga, which is widely promoted on social media platforms.

Fashion Leggings VS Activewear Leggings VS Yoga Pants

Fashion Leggings, Activewear Leggings, and Yoga Pants are all popular options for people who want to exercise or just wear some comfortable clothing. There are several differences between these three pieces of clothing that we will discuss in this section.

Fashion leggings are lightweight and comfortable, making them excellent for everyday wear. Fashion leggings are popular due to these factors. However, these leggings are not designed for exercise. If you wear them when exercising, leggings are likely to break down quickly.

Activewear Leggings are just the opposite. These are leggings designed for exercise that can be worn outside the gym. Activewear leggings are long leggings made from tight-fitting materials that can handle the pressure that comes from working out.

Finally, Yoga Pants are similar to Activewear Leggings, though there are a few differences. Yoga pants are usually made from thicker materials that, like Activewear leggings, can endure strain. Yoga pants are also usually more expensive than both, though there are also many more options. If you like to wear it, please pay more attention to yoga pants camel toe.

Yoga Pants vs. Leggings: What's the difference?
Source: theyoganomads

What are the Best Leggings for the Gym?

If you are looking for leggings specifically for the gym, then Yoga Pants are your best option. This is for a number of reasons.

Yoga pants are considerably more durable than leggings. If you are in the gym frequently, Yoga leggings will be able to resist the strain caused by the leg exercises. Movements such as squats and lunges can stretch your leggings, meaning Yoga pants are a better investment than leggings.

The thin fabric of leggings comes with another disadvantage – leggings are partly see-through. This transparency is a key disadvantage and can lead to embarrassing situations. As such, you should purchase Yoga pants if you want to avoid these scenarios. Finally, Yoga pants are more resistant to sweat than leggings, making them ideal for exercise.


The differences between yoga pants and leggings are major. They differ in style, cost, material, and especially in the intended use. If you’re looking for some pants to lounge around in or go to the shops with then leggings are your go-to.

If you’re looking for activewear pants, then yoga pants are the way to go. If you’re unsure what to wear for your intended sports like dancing or the gym, stick to yoga pants. They were created specifically for sports in mind.

yoga pants vs leggings

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