The Best Yoga Pants Endorsed by Three Fitness Experts

Whether you're advanced, a flow newbie, or want something easy to throw on for the gym, these several qualities are deal-breakers when it comes to workout wear.

woman wearing green yoga pants
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Yoga enthusiasts know that mobility is critical to a successful stretching session— and that investing in proper yoga pants from a reputable activewear brand will, in turn, help improve your practice. The wrong pair of bottoms can make achieving a reverse warrior pose or a cat-cow position much harder.

"The best yoga pants [will] let you focus on your yoga instead of what you're wearing," says Lisa Jhung, a renowned outdoor sports journalist, runner, and dedicated yoga practitioner. Jhung should know, given her extensive experience with the sport. She emphasizes that the ultimate goal is to avoid any design elements that cause discomfort, like flimsy fabrics that don't provide enough compression or low-rise waistbands that slip below your hips.

"The yoga pants I consistently use are high-waisted and made from thicker materials," shares Dana Giordano, a former professional track athlete who wears her yoga pants for stretching and jogging. Erin Bailey, a runner and founder of the management agency Momentum Management, also agrees that high-waisted pants are more comfortable for yoga and won't slip or dig into your waist as long as they have the right amount of compression.

Marie Claire spoke with Jhung, Giordano, and Bailey, who have all spent countless hours stretching, running, and lounging in yoga pants. They share their favorite brands, valuable tips for choosing a silhouette, the best materials, and other details you might not have thought about.

The Best Yoga Pants

More Yoga Pants We Love

Key Features of the Best Yoga Pants

  • Comfort

Yoga pants, along with other sportswear pieces, are often crafted with fabrics that fit tightly around the skin to boost circulation and provide muscular support. "Extra compression can feel nice and also flattering," says Bailey. But remember there's a fine line between a snug fit and one that's overly tight. 'The right fit allows you to assess your form,' advises Jhung.

  • Silhouette

A mid-high or high waistline is better than a lower waist style, especially in materials that contain stretchy fabrics like lycra, elastane, or spandex. This will help your pants stay in place and avoid any discomfort. There's nothing more distracting than having to adjust your pants constantly.

Fitted yoga pants are also better than loose or super-wide-leg styles. Too much material can interfere with your practice.

  • Material

"Many companies that manufacture yoga apparel use in-house fabric blends. Most of these blends contain a percentage of lycra, spandex, and elastane to provide stretch and recovery properties," says Jhung. Nylon is also a good option for yoga pants because it's soft to the touch and breathable.

Bailey suggests avoiding cotton that won't wick, sweat, or dry quickly. Other sweat-wicking fabrics evaporate moisture more efficiently, keeping you comfortable for longer.

How to Style Yoga Pants

woman wearing white T-shirt, yoga pants, and sneakers

Heading to the grocery store after your yoga class? Slip a white T-shirt over your sports bra and complete the look by throwing a sweatshirt over your shoulders.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I love the Princess Diana classic look of an oversized sweatshirt, sunnies, and high socks to round out a yoga pant outfit," says Giordano. Since temperatures are rising, consider wearing a white T-shirt instead of a sweatshirt. And if you get chilly, you can always wrap an extra layer around your shoulders. This look is perfect for those days when you have errands to run after a yoga session.

woman wearing sports bra, yoga pants, and sneakers

A matching activewear set has the power to pull together any look.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I love a full-length high-waisted legging with a cute sneaker, like a pair of New Balance 550s styled with crew socks," says Bailey. Team your yoga pants with a matching sports bra to look extra put together.

woman wearing oversized T-shirt, yoga pants, and jacket

In need of an easy, breezy outfit? An oversized T-shirt will do.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For an effortless look that will get you out the door quickly, Jhung recommends pairing your yoga pants with an oversized T-shirt. "I'll also wear simple sneakers with no-show socks or flip-flops, as I'm a California girl at heart," she adds.

Meet the Experts

Lisa Jhung
Lisa Jhung

As an outdoor sports journalist, Lisa thrives on bringing the sports she loves to life through her writing. She has also written two books: Running That Doesn't Suck: How To Love Running (Even If You Think You Hate It) and Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running,

Erin Bailey
Erin Bailey

Erin Bailey is a runner and the founder of Momentum Management, a management agency that empowers influencers, creators, and athletes to use their platform beyond traditional brand deals.

Dana Giordano
Dana Giordano

Dana Giordano is a former professional track athlete and a current MBA candidate at Columbia Business School pursuing a strategy and management consulting career.

Lauren Tappan
Fashion Editor

Lauren is the Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, where she writes trend reports, shopping pieces, and celebrity news stories. Prior to Marie Claire, Lauren worked for Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE as a freelance editor with a specific focus on seasonal styles and coveted products. She also worked for Town & Country, where she developed a robust portfolio of fashion roundups and designer profiles.

Lauren graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in journalism. While attending Penn, Lauren contributed to the university's fashion magazine, The Walk, while also interning for Philadelphia Style Magazine and EveryStylishGirl.

When she’s not exploring the world of fashion, you can find Lauren sharpening her skills as DJ, discovering new restaurants in New York City (she’s a foodie), and spending quality time with friends and family. Follow her along at @laurenktappan.