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Wearing yoga pants may make working out more comfortable and help prevent overheating. However, some types of yoga pants may carry some health risks.

This article describes some possible benefits and risks associated with wearing yoga pants. It also explores what to look for when shopping, some of the best options available online, and other gym clothes to consider.

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We refer to “women,” “men,” or both to align with how companies market their products, but there is no need to stick to one type or the other. A person should choose the product that best suits their needs.

“Yoga pants” may be form-fitting leggings or looser trousers, but nearly all yoga pants have some stretch to them.

Many contain materials that wick moisture from the body and promote airflow. The moisture-wicking technology can help prevent overheating by keeping the body’s temperature stable during exercise, while ventilating fabrics increase airflow.

A 2014 study that looked at T-shirt fabrics found that synthetic polyester was more breathable and better at wicking moisture than 100% cotton.

This may mean that yoga pants made from certain synthetic materials, such as polyester and elastane, may prevent overheating and promote airflow to make workouts more comfortable, especially in warmer environments.

There are many options, but a person should check that the fabric is:

  • Non-restrictive: A person should be able to move freely and perform yoga poses correctly.
  • Breathable: Some fabrics retain heat, which can make working out uncomfortable.
  • Moisture-wicking: These fabrics dry quickly, preventing sweat from clinging to the body.

A person might also consider:

  • the available colors
  • thickness
  • length
  • whether there are pockets
  • customer reviews

Below, we present some of the top yoga pants on the market.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and was correct at the time of publication.

Leonisa ActiveLife Mid-Rise Shaper Legging

Best mesh cutout feature

Price$65
Colorblack

These leggings contain moderate-compression fabric that flattens the stomach and shapes the waist and legs. This does not have fitness benefits. But the fabric also wicks moisture to help prevent overheating.

The leggings also have mesh cutouts around the knees to promote airflow.

The company recommends these leggings for people doing high-impact exercise, such as agility, strength, and resistance training.

The leggings are available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes.

KÜHL FREEFLEX Pant

Best for pockets

Price$89
Colorsmetal, koal, and dark storm

These pants are lightweight, moisture wicking, and quick drying. They do not contain spandex, but the patented fabric does not sag, according to the makers.

The pants have a wide pull-on waistband, four pockets, and a gusseted crotch to support freedom of movement. Also, they have a water-repellent finish.

The company recommends these pants for people who work out in the gym and outdoors.

They are available in small, medium, large, extra-large, and double extra-large sizes, with a variety of inseam options.

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Love the Bump Capri Maternity Legging

Best maternity option

Price$99
Colorsdarkest night, black charcoal, and black white

These polyester and lycra leggings have a capri length and an over-the-belly waistband that a person can wear up or fold down.

They also have four-way stretch and UV protection, and they absorb moisture.

The company recommends these for workouts and general use and says that they are suitable throughout pregnancy.

The leggings come in the following sizes: extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large.

prAna Men’s Vaha Pant

Best range of sizes

Price$79
Colorsblack, gravel, grey blue, russet, and linen

These yoga pants have a wide leg and contain sustainable hemp and recycled polyester. Their natural, quick-dry, and odor-reducing fabric is called UPG 50+.

The pants also have a knit elastic waistband, draw cord, and pockets.

The company recommends them for working out and as leisurewear.

These yoga pants come in extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, and double extra-large sizes, with a variety of inseams.

Baleaf Women’s Tapered Pants

Best tapered option

Price$29.99
Colorsblue, black, and dark grey

These pants are ankle length with tapered legs.

They are made from a nylon and spandex fabric that is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking. They also have an elastic waistband with a drawstring, two rear pockets, and two side pockets.

The company suggests that people allow for a variation of a few centimeters in sizes, due to manual measurements.

The pants come in extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, and double extra-large sizes.

lululemon Align High-Rise Pant

Best variety of colors

Price$98–118
Colorsblack, pink savannah, white, cassis, blue nile, dark red, violet verbena, red merlot, chambray, black granite, dark olive, graphite grey, true navy, and various patterns

These yoga pants sit just above the ankle and have a hidden waistband pocket.

The company claims that its Nulu fabric feels weightless, has a four-way stretch, and is sweat-wicking and breathable. It also has added Lycra fiber to help with stretch and shape.

The company recommends these pants for low-impact workouts, such as yoga.

Sizes range from 0–14, and a person can choose between three lengths.

Onzie Gypsy Pant

Best range of patterns

Price$44.40-$74
Colorsblack and four patterns: dark romance, flora bella, leopard, and palm paradise

These loose pants have a free-flow fabric to keep people cool during exercise. Their material is 95% polyester and 5% spandex.

The sizes are small/medium, medium/large, large, and extra-large.

Ripple Yogawear Slouchy Unisex Yoga Pants

Best unisex design

Price$92
Colorssage, gray, navy, black, and eggplant

These yoga pants have a wide waistband and large side pockets. The material is 95% modal and 5% elastin.

The sizes are extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, and double extra-large.

Zella Barely Flare Live in High Waist Pants

Best flared design

Price$65
Colorsnavy peacoat, gray kitten, and black

These flare-bottomed pants are made from 88% polyester and 12% spandex. The company says that the material is moisture-wicking and has a four-way stretch.

The pants have a wide waistband and hidden pockets.

They come in women’s sizes 2–14.

Rhone Reign Midweight Jogger

Best UV protection factor

Price$98
Colorscharcoal heather, light gray heather, navy heather, granite heather, outer space camo, and captain’s blue

These pants have a drawstring, adjustable waistband and various pockets.

The fabric is a blend of nylon, polyester, and spandex. The company says it is anti-odor and moisture-wicking, and it has a UV protection factor of 50+.

The sizes are small, medium, large, extra-large, and double extra-large.

Baleaf Flyleaf Compression Tights

Best for lower budgets

Price$26.99
Colorsanthracite, eclipse, and storm front

These compression tights are part of the company’s men’s yoga collection.

They are made from a combination of nylon and spandex that the company says is breathable and moisture-wicking. The pants have slight compression, which may increase blood flow during workouts.

The waistband is elastic with a drawstring, and there are two thigh pockets.

The sizes are small, medium, large, extra-large, double extra-large, and triple extra-large.

The stretchy material can be too tight and limit movement, which can have negative health effects.

For example, a 2016 study found that males wearing tight pants have a greater risk of musculoskeletal disorders, because the tightness can lead to unhealthy movement and posture.

Wearing tight yoga pants may also lead to other health issues:

Yeast infection

A vaginal yeast infection may stem from wearing clothes that are too tight or made from synthetic materials. These factors can cause the naturally occurring yeast in the vagina to over-multiply, leading to inflammation.

Learn more about yeast infections here.

Tinea cruris

This is another name for jock itch, and risk factors include sweating, wearing restrictive clothing, and not showering effectively right after exercise.

People wearing tight yoga pants that are not breathable and do not wick away moisture may have a higher risk.

Learn more about jock itch risk factors and prevention here.

Intertrigo

People wearing yoga pants may also develop intertrigo, which causes inflammations in skin folds. Risk factors include warm temperatures, sweating, friction, and poor ventilation.

Wearing yoga pants that are not breathable and moisture-wicking may contribute to this condition.

Learn more about intertrigo here.

Various types of activewear are available. Shorts and sweatpants are the main alternatives to yoga pants, and 100% cotton varieties may be better for people prone to yeast infections.

Others may prefer compression pants or shorts. Compression wear may help reduce muscle damage, boost performance recovery, and limit delayed-onset muscle soreness.

Yoga pants that are breathable and moisture-wicking can be suitable for many types of exercise. But wearing restrictive, non-breathable yoga pants may increase the risk of yeast infections, jock itch, and intertrigo.

When choosing the best type of activewear, it can help to compare fabrics and read reviews before making a purchase.