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As your bump grows larger (and feels heavier), you’ll probably find yourself on the lookout for some decent wardrobe hacks to help keep you feeling secure and supported when out and about.
Almost all pregnant women will, at some stage, consider buying a pair of maternity tights or leggings. They’re the simplest, and usually the thriftiest, way of supporting your bump and tend to come in an extensive range of sizes, keeping everything neatly tucked in.
We’ve scoured the Mumsnet forums and online reviews to help narrow down your search for the perfect pair.
Here’s our pick of the best maternity tights for 2021.
1. Best overall maternity tights: Mamalicious 50 Denier Maternity Tights
Price: £18 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners
If you’re looking for a great pair of everyday tights with a mid-range denier so they work for almost any outfit or occasion, then you have to go for Mamalicious. These 50 denier black tights are made from ultra-soft stretchy fabric to glide smoothly over your skin, while the ‘over-bump’ style will stay comfortably in place as you go about your day.
You’ll get two pairs of tights for £18, which is pretty good value for money when you consider the quality of the fabric and that they’ll pretty much work with any outfit. Providing you take good care of them, they should be all you require for your pregnancy hosiery needs.
They are machine-washable, so you can happily pop them in with the rest of your laundry. For convenience, quality and versatility, these tights are our favourite overall pick at Mumsnet HQ.
- Size range: S-XL
- Material: 92% polyamide, 8% elastane
2. Best budget maternity tights: Maternity Caramel Nude 20 Denier Tights
Price: £4 | Buy now from Argos
At just £4, these 20 denier tights by TU are really excellent value. The caramel nude hue is handy if you need a pair to slip on under a dress or a skirt and they can provide additional support under a pair of maternity jeans, helping to keep everything held in and secure.
An added front panel provides extra comfort for your growing bump so this pair of maternity tights should be your go-to pair for quite a few months before needing to wear a bigger size.
- Size range: S-XL
- Material: 88% nylon, 12% elastane
3. Best opaque maternity tights: H&M MAMA 2-Pack Tights
Price: £15 | Buy now from H&M
"Love the H&M maternity tights - really thick, reasonably priced and stay up well" - HollyGoLoudly1
The H&M maternity range is a bit hit with Mumsnetters. There's so much choice and the designs are really well thought out when it comes to pregnancy comfort and nurturing your growing bump.
This pack of two pairs provides you with a charcoal grey and a black option, but you can also opt for two black pairs as well.
The strong acrylic means you’ll be able to machine wash these tights at 40 degrees, which is really convenient if you like to wear maternity tights every day, as hand washing delicate fabrics can become a bit of a laborious routine after a while.
At £15 for two pairs, this is pretty good value. Being luxuriously thick, they’re unlikely to snag so they should last you throughout your pregnancy, unless you happen to outgrow them - however they are also designed to provide extra space around the tummy area, so hopefully they’ll keep up with your growing bump too.
- Size range: XS-XL
- Material: 75% acrylic, 22% polyamide, 3% elastane
4. Best patterned maternity tights: Calzitaly Maternity Tights
Price: From £10 | Buy now from Amazon
These funky tights are really comfy. Made predominantly from luxuriously soft cotton, they’ll feel cosy against your skin all day long.
Being 300 denier, they’re a really good option if you want tights that feel really substantial and supportive under maternity clothes and flat seams provide a flattering silhouette. The extra stretchy tummy panel is designed to grow as your bump does so you shouldn’t need to buy extra pairs as you expand during pregnancy. Although you might want to invest in a couple of different pairs simply because they come in a great range of versatile colours.
The only downside is that the little holes can snag and catch on things, so watch out for that, however they’re made from thick quality cotton so they should be able to withstand the odd pull here and there without laddering beyond repair.
At around £10 to 12, depending on size, these are priced pretty fairly. They’re designed to last throughout your pregnancy and they’re versatile enough to be the only maternity tights you need to buy as they’ll pretty much match with every outfit.
- Size range: S-XL
- Material: 40% cotton, 33% acrylic, 23% polyamide, 4% elastane
5. Best adjustable maternity tights: Lovelybobo Two-Pack Opaque Maternity Tights
Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon
Lovelybobo has created a great pair of tights that you can adjust around your tummy as you grow during pregnancy. For this reason they have bravely decided that ‘one-size-fits-all’, and you only need to adjust the waistband as you expand. They’re also suitable for postpartum wear, providing support to your waist and legs after the baby has arrived.
At 320 denier, they’re kind of between a pair of leggings and tights. They’re super smooth and you shouldn’t feel in danger of snagging or laddering them due to the thick structure of the fabric. To give further protection, there’s reinforcement in the toe area and the flat seams provide a flattering silhouette. A cotton gusset panel sewn in between the leg area will give you a fresh breathable feeling throughout the day.
They come in packs of two, and you can choose from combinations of black, nude and grey. At just over £8 per pair, they're certainly worth a try.
- Size range: One size fits all - but take a look at the online advice to ensure that your body shape meets with the maximum and minimum measurements
- Material: 79% polyamide, 19% elastane, 2% cotton
6. Best maternity tights for support: Lindex Maternity 20 Denier Semi Shine Tights
Price: £6 | Buy now from ASOS
These tights by Lindex are great if you want a really snug cocoon for your tummy. Not only does this pair have a lovely soft, wide elasticated waistband, they’re designed to provide a super high-rise fit to comfortably envelop your entire baby bump without feeling claustrophobic.
The tights are intended to fit during all stages of pregnancy and have a sheer finish, so you’ll be able to wear them to any event, from a day at the office to a family wedding.
The nicest thing about this Scandinavian brand is that it’s very eco-conscious with all products made from organic and recycled materials.
- Size range: S-XL
- Material: 80% polyamide, 20% elastane
7. Best alternative to maternity tights: Foucome Maternity Leggings
Price: £17.99 - £28.79 | Buy now from Amazon
Sometimes tights aren’t the most appealing choice when you’re pregnant. It’s easy to feel hot and claustrophobic when wearing snug-fitting items of clothing. But leggings can be a good option as they don’t cover your feet, leaving them free to breathe. This pair has a built-in maternity support belt, controlled by buttons that you can adjust as your bump grows, but in contrast to an elasticated waist, it’ll feel a bit more secure.
At just under £30 for two pairs (depending on size), they’re more expensive than other options on the market, but the design offers a lot in terms of support and comfort. If you have the funds to spare they’re definitely worth trying out.
- Size range: S-XL
- Material: 95% cotton, 5% elastane
8. Best sheer maternity tights: Nude Gloss Sheer Maternity Tights
Price: £6 | Buy now from Next
If you need an option with a bit of shine and pazazz then go for these sheer maternity tights from Next. They’ll add that little pop of glamour to an outfit and the quality of this pair is great.
For £6 they’re well priced and the ‘over-bump’ fit will support your tummy nicely underneath any outfit you choose to wear. A perfect option for a special occasion.
- Size range: S-XL
- Material: 92% nylon, 8% elastane
9. Best luxury maternity tights: Seraphine 20 Denier Cocoa Brown Maternity Tights
Price: £10 | Buy now from Seraphine
These tights don’t come cheap at £10 a pair, but Seraphine has a great reputation for quality maternity wear. The elasticated panelling around the waistband is really supportive, giving you a really strong hold. You can feel confident that these tights will stay in place all day long without needing to constantly pull them back into place as you walk around.
The cocoa brown shade is really smart and a great alternative to black and nude shades. You can also wash these tights at 30 degrees along with your other delicates, making them really easy to maintain. As an added bonus, these tights feature aloe vera extract for a fresh feel.
- Size range: S-XL
- Material: 85% Nylon, 15% Elastane
10. Best short maternity tights: Be Mammy Short Maternity Tights
Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon
When it’s warm outside but you still want support around your belly, cropped tights or leggings are a good option. And they can be worn under a floaty summer dress or skirt for full support underneath.
These shorts from Be Mammy are great because they are made from natural cotton, so they are breathable and smooth against the skin – exactly what you want in warm weather.
They are available in a wide range of colours and are designed to stretch as your bump grows. At just over £10, they’re worth the money as these shorts should take you through your entire pregnancy, and may even be useful postpartum too.
- Size range: S-4XL
- Material: 94% Cotton, 6% Elastane (but this ratio differs slightly depending on fabric colour)
Are tights safe to wear during pregnancy?
Straight forward answer: Yes (unless you have underlying health concerns and have been advised otherwise by your doctor).
How to buy the best maternity tights
Choosing maternity tights is very much a personal decision. It’s worth making a mental note of any special requirements - perhaps you need compression tights or full support around your belly, or maybe you’re feeling the heat and want a lightweight pair. After that it’s about researching the different fabrics available, then physically trying a few pairs on to see which are the most comfortable.
Some tights feature a variety of fabrics across different parts of the tights, such as cotton in the gusset area for breathability and hygiene. You’ll also notice that some styles are designed to grow with your bump, while other options require you to choose the size according to your stage of pregnancy. Again, you’ll need to decide for yourself which works best for you.
Look out for detailing like prominent seams and consider what you will be wearing over the top of your tights. Make sure to ask yourself whether seamless tights would be better under a fitted dress for a special occasion.
Whatever you go for, just be sure to do your research, and if you’re buying online be sure to check out the reviews (and the Mumsnet forums!) – sometimes a product can look great in the description but customers may flag that they’re not true to size or that they don’t provide much tummy support.
Luckily most maternity tights don’t cost the earth, so the best thing to do is give one or two pairs a go and see how you feel in them.
What’s the best material for maternity tights?
Natural materials like cotton are the most hygienic as they allow skin to breathe, and better air circulation means you will sweat less and avoid developing infections like thrush. It’s a good idea to look for tights with a cotton gusset if you are prone to overheating.
What are the best maternity tights?
We like the Mamalicious 50 Denier Maternity Tights from John Lewis & Partners. A great everyday option made from soft stretchy fabric, these tights will work with any outfit for any occasion, offering comfort and decent support for your baby bump at a reasonable price.
How we chose our recommendations
We first headed to the Mumsnet forums for tried-and-tested recommendations. We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which maternity tights had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customer reviews said about them.
We also consulted independent review sites, as well as scouring the internet for honest reviews from the public, to ensure we were bringing you an honest summary.
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.
We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.
Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront 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.
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