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Best leggings for women: the ideal comfort, fit and style for everyday or occasion

Leggings can be a staple in many of our wardrobes but finding a pair that are soft, comfortable and long-lasting can be tricky. So here’s our guide of the best ones to look out for.

By Kat Romero | Last updated Dec 20, 2023

Best leggings for women

Leggings can be a staple in many of our wardrobes but finding a pair that are soft, comfortable and long-lasting can be tricky. So here’s our guide of the best ones to look out for.

Every wardrobe needs those key leisurewear pieces that can be thrown on for lounging around the house, yet still look stylish enough to wear out and about. Leggings are the ultimate in versatile styling as they're perfect for wearing with trainers and an oversized t-shirt and can easily be dressed up with the right accessories.

But buying a disappointing pair can feel like money down the drain. Whether it's a sheer fabric that fades over time or a tight waistband that makes you feel uncomfortably restricted.

Here at Mumsnet, we're lucky to have a community of users who can offer us their unbiased opinion. Our Talk boards are the ultimate space for sharing reviews and recommendations of products that have been fully assessed, evaluated and analysed. So, we've consulted our forums and rounded up our users favourite leggings to help you land the perfect pair in your wardrobe.

In need of other wardrobe essentials? Don’t miss our guides to the best shapewear and best swimsuits to help you in your search. We’ve also got a roundup of the best tights that Mumsnetters swear by, too.

Best leggings 2024: at a glance

1. Best overall leggings: M&S COLLECTION High Waisted Leggings

M&S COLLECTION High Waisted Leggings

Price on writing £12.50 | Buy now from M&S

Key specs

Size range: 6 - 24 | Material: Navy, grape and black - 94% viscose, 6% elastane (exclusive of trimmings), Charcoal - 47% viscose, 47% polyester and 6% elastane

What we like

  • Flattering high-waist fit

  • Good price point

  • Quality fabric

  • Great choice for petite and tall

What we don't like

  • Sizing runs small

What Mumsnet users say

“M&S are great. They do a wide waist band legging that are very comfy and flattering” - as recommended by Mumsnet user bubbles2023

Our verdict

M&S is one of those trusted British retailers who strive to bring great quality at a good price point, so it's no surprise that so many mums on our Talk boards love their leggings.

They come in a high-waisted design, which is so flattering on a range of body types and also offers some tummy control. Plus, the waistband is thick and snug so it won't slide down throughout the day or go baggy in the wash.

Loads of the customer reviews said the leggings were so perfect, they'd even snapped up multiple pairs. And they come in petite, regular and tall so cater for a range of body types.

One complaint is that the sizing can run small in the waist so it might be worth sizing up when you purchase.

2. Best budget leggings: SINOPHANT High Waisted Leggings

SINOPHANT High Waisted Leggings

Price on writing: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size range: S - XXL | Material: 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane

What we like

  • Great price

  • Highly rated

  • Good colour range

  • Soft on skin

What we don't like

  • Sizing runs small

What Mumsnet users say

“I’ve recently got these following a recommendation and they are super soft and comfy, really pleased with them.” - as recommended by Mumsnet user DinoMamasaurus 

“I like Sinophant from Amazon. They are very soft and don't seem to be see through. Not shiny either, which I prefer.” - tried and tested by ParisJeTAime

Our verdict

Amazon is fast becoming one of the go-to spots for affordable and stylish fashion and a lot of our users sang the praises of the brand’s range of leggings, in particular the design from Sinophant.

For less than £10, these stylish leggings come in a good choice of colours and are super-stretchy to accommodate a wide range of body types.

They’re buttery soft to the touch and reviews say they feel like a second skin. In fact, they’re so popular they’ve received over 36,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.

One downside is customers say the sizing is a little off so you may need to order a size, or two, smaller.

3. Best black leggings: Tu Black Luxurious Soft Touch Leggings

Price on writing: £10 | Buy now from Tu

Key specs

Size range: 8 - 22 | Material: 46% Cotton, 46% Modal, 8% Elastane

What we like

  • Good price

  • Choice of regular, short or long leg

  • Opaque design

What we don't like

  • Tight waistband

What Mumsnet users say

“The best ones I've found are Sainsburys luxury leggings. Thick waistband, nice and soft and not see through!” - as recommended by VioletCharlotte

“Sainsbury ones for me too. Very soft and comfortable and last for ages.” - loved by Mumsnet user CampervanKween

Our verdict

We feel like Tu at Sainsbury’s has really elevated its fashion game as of late. From statement trend pieces to wardrobes staples, our Talk boards are full of positive comments about the retailer’s choice on offer.

And so many of our Mumsnet users rated the brand’s luxurious leggings design. Available in regular, tall and short, the leggings also run between a size 8 and 22 - catering to a broad range of shapes.

The cotton blend has been crafted for the ultimate comfort and the premium fabric is an opaque design that won’t go see-through over time.

The only small downside is that some customers felt the waistband was too tight, especially on plus sized figures. So it may be worth sizing up.

4. Best workout leggings: Sweaty Betty Power Gym Leggings

Price on writing: £44 | Buy now from Sweaty Betty

Key specs

Size range: XXS- XXL | Material: 62% Polyamide, 38% Elastane

What we like

  • Good choice of colours and prints

  • Pockets

  • Seams to sculpt the bottom

  • Breathable and sweat-wicking fabric

What we don't like

  • Expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“The power leggings are fantastic”, as recommended by Mumsnet user TertiusLydgate

“I’ve never found better leggings”, Sweaty Betty leggings are loved by Kirstiesshirtdress 

Our verdict

The power leggings by Sweaty Betty may be expensive but some things are worth splashing out on. Our Talk boards are packed full of compliments and in-depth recommendations for these workout leggings.

The fabric is super stretchy, yet breathable and is moisture-wicking. They're ideal for any workout, from gentle yoga to high-impact cardio.

Plus, the design is slimming on the legs and tummy and the intricate seam detailing around the bottom is designed to sculpt.

Our Mumsnet users have tried and tested these leggings and say they also wash really well without sagging or going sheer. As one mum even noted, they are fully squat proof and won't fade.

5. Best leather look leggings: PU Seamed Leggings by Ann Summers

Price on writing: £22 | Buy now from Ann Summers

Key specs

Size range: XS- XXL | Material: 93% Polyester, 7% Elastane

What we like

  • Really comfortable

  • Wide waistband for sculpting

What we don't like

  • Can be baggy on the knee

Our verdict

When it comes to a seductive leather look, where else but Ann Summers? These PU seamed leggings have a ton of glowing reviews.

The quality is great, with customers saying that despite the tight fit they’re super comfortable.

They also have great sculpting abilities, as reviews say the high-waisted design offers tummy control and slims the thighs.

The only downside is some customers said they can be a bit baggy on the knee, so it may be worth trying a smaller size to see if that fit is more appealing.

6. Best jeggings: M&S High Waist Jeggings

M&S High Waist Jeggings

Price on writing: £17 | Buy now from M&S

Key specs

Size range: 6- 24 | Material: 69% Cotton, 28% polyester and 3% elastane

What we like

  • Good choice of colours

  • Available in extra short, short, regular, tall and extra tall fits

  • High waisted for comfort and flattering fit

What we don't like

  • Can run small

What Mumsnet users say

“They hold everything in, come in different lengths and loads of colours”, as recommended by Mumsnet user Hopeislost

“M&S are my go to for jeggings”, tried and tested by fedupofthesamest 

Our verdict

Once again, M&S dominated our Talk boards with praise for their jeggings range. With a choice of 16 colours, you can snap up multiple pairs. The high-waisted design is flattering on the waist, although some customers say it’s a tight fit and worth going for the size up.

The design is ideal for when you want the stylish look of jeans with the comfortable feel of leggings.

7. Best shapewear leggings: SPANX EcoCare Seamless Leggings

Price on writing: £58 | Buy now from Luxury Legs

Key specs

Size range: XS-XL | Material: 94% Nylon, 6% Elastane

What we like

  • Double layer waistband for sculpting

  • Centre seam conceals camel toe

What we don't like

  • Sizing can differ depending on design

Our verdict

When you think of shapewear, you think of SPANX. And the brand’s shapewear leggings are a great choice for anyone looking for a little sculpt and lift.

The design has a double waistband which provides excellent tummy control and also creates the illusion of a smaller waist. Plus, if you have ever fallen victim to camel toe in leggings, you’ll be pleased to hear that the central seam on this design does a great job at concealing.

One issue customers have faced is different sizing depending on material or pattern, so it’s worth trying a few sizes.

8. Best maternity leggings: New Look Maternity Jersey Leggings

New Look Maternity Jersey Leggings

Price on writing: £18 | Buy now from New Look

Key specs

Size range: 8-20 | Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane

What we like

  • Great price for a two-pack

  • Comfortable and breathable

What we don't like

  • Can feel baggy

What Mumsnet users say

“New Look! Over the bump ones. Thick and comfy.” Brand recommended by Mumsnet user Wolfgirrl

“I'll second the New Look over the bump [ones]! I live in them and am wondering if I can get away with wearing them even way after baby is born.” Vetted by Mumsnet user auroracase

Our verdict

New Look is always a great shout when it comes to affordable but fashionable clothing. Their maternity leggings come in a pack of two and are great value for money.

They are a stretchy and comfortable material that’s breathable for the warmer weather. They’ll grow with your bump, although some customers say the fit can feel baggy in those earlier weeks.

9. Best wet look leggings: Ann Summers Wet Look Leggings

Price on writing: £15 | Buy now from Ann Summers

Key specs

Size range: XS-XXL | Material: 100% PU

What we like

  • Seductive appeal

  • Perfect for evenings out

  • Figure hugging design

What we don’t like

  • Some buyers report they’re quite thin

  • You may need to size up

Our verdict

Stylish leggings that you can wear on a night out are the ideal versatile piece. And this pair from Ann Summers are such an incredible find.

They’re so comfy and feel like a second skin. And the wet-look design can easily be dressed up with a pair of statement heels and tight bodysuit.

Not only do they fit like a glove but they’re great quality and even better value for money.

10. Best petite leggings: Sweaty Betty All Day Gym Leggings

Price on writing: £42 | Buy now from Sweaty Betty

Key specs

Size range: XXS-XXL | Material: 80.2% Polyester, 19.8% Elastane

What we like

  • Great for everyday and workouts

  • Good leg length for petite

What we don't like

  • Expensive

What Mumsnet users say

Little pricey but the Sweaty Betty all day leggings are by far the best! Choose the 7/8 length, which is supposed to be cropped, but are ankle length on me” - Brand recommended by Mumsnet user NotAnotherTaco

Our verdict

Once again, we know Sweaty Betty is expensive but the reviews speak for themselves. Plus, you can often bag a bargain in the sale so it’s worth keeping an eye on their website.

The all-day leggings are the ultimate in versatility as the sweat-wicking fabric makes them perfect for the gym but the relaxed design means they work for everyday too.

Savvy Mumsnet users recommend going for the cropped design if you’re petite as they’ll fall perfectly on your ankle.

What to look for in leggings

Leggings are such a versatile piece for your wardrobe and can be dressed up for evening or worn down for lounging around the house. But there are some important things to consider before you purchase:

Occasion: Are you looking for a multitasking pair of leggings that you can wear both casually and for nights out; a pair for mostly lounging; or leggings that you can wear at the gym as well as out of it.

Length: The optimum legging length is for them to sit just above the ankle. If you’re under 5 ft 4, then look for leggings in a 7/8 length to come up full length.

Budget: When it comes to more expensive leggings, it’s worth thinking about how much wear you’re going to get out of them. A pair that you can dress down or up would significantly reduce their price-per-wear. If you’re just looking for a pair of leggings to lounge around in, it’s not worth spending as much as there are plenty of good-quality budget options out there.

Fabric: Do you like to feel like you’re being held in? If so, look for leggings with added support, such as Lycra and elastane. If you tend to feel hot, then cotton leggings will keep you cooler than other materials. If you want super soft leggings to lounge in, look for stretch jersey or brushed cotton.

Style: High-waisted styles provide a secure fit, especially if you like to keep your midsection covered. They also flatter pear shapes and longer torsos. If you’re shorter, you might find they go up too high and become uncomfortable. In which case, go for a mid-rise waist.

Colour: You can’t beat the versatility of black leggings, but if you want to make a statement, go for a snappy print. Just keep your accessories neutral.

What is the best material for leggings?

Cotton is soft and breathable, so it’s ideal for warmer temperatures. However, it doesn’t stretch as well as other fabrics, meaning you’re more likely to fall foul of the dreaded baggy knees. Look out for sustainably produced cotton if you want to put the environment first.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylons should last longer than cotton and are great for working out, walking and hanging around the house as they’ll move with you and keep their shape. They’re also moisture wicking, making them ideal for when you want to work up a sweat or for warmer days.

Stretch jersey and other materials such as thermal and viscose are soft and cosy and make perfect leggings for lounging around.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

Mumsnetters have certainly put a range of leggings through their paces with every kind of outfit, with many Mumsnet users sharing experiences (both good and bad) of the leggings they’ve personally tried and tested.

First up, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users to get their feedback on their favourite leggings, as well as the brands that they have tried, rated, and would recommend to their friends.

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, ineffective, don’t fit correctly or are uncomfortable.

Expert opinions

We then cross-checked our recommendations with the leggings praised by fashion experts to ensure we were bringing you the best products that are rated across the board.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best leggings and jeggings, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as John Lewis, M&S, Ann Summers, and independent sites to get broader consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist.

Why you should trust us

Transparency is crucial to us, and that's why we're always honest about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

About the author

Kat Romero is a writer and journalist with over a decade’s experience in the industry. Hailing from London, she has become experienced in scouring the market to find the latest and best products that are worth your purchase.

As a working mum of a toddler, she knows all too well the struggle to balance everything and the emotional and financial strain parenthood can have on families. That’s why her guides are always written with every budget in mind.

Away from her desk, Kat can be found consuming far too much coffee and spending her weekends with her toddler and partner - soaking up the sights of London and sampling anything new and exciting that has opened up within walking distance. Her favourite activity to do with her son is to visit London’s incredible museums and immerse themselves in new exhibits or installations.