Difference Between Yoga Pants and Leggings (2022 Guide)

Yoga pants are just leggings, right? Not exactly.

They may be similar in name and function, but yoga pants have a few differences which make them preferable for many people.

They both serve as a replacement for tight-fitting jeans or shorts and allow one to move around without revealing too much skin, but what is the difference between them? Are there any reasons why you should prefer one over the other?

Let us take a look at what will make these two items stand apart from each other.

The main difference between yoga pants and leggings

The way you use it

The main difference between leggings and yoga pants is how they’re used. Yoga pants are worn for exercising, while leggings are often worn as everyday wear.


Yoga pants come with a lower rise than leggings and sit on the hips rather than above them on the waist. They can either be full-length or Capri yoga pants and can be worn in any season, unlike leggings.

Yoga pants are designed to be tight-fitting while also being breathable so they can accommodate any form of exercise or activity. This is because the person wearing the yoga pant is more likely to sweat heavily than someone wearing leggings.

Leggings, on the other hand, are made with either cotton or spandex/lycra blends that allow for some degree of stretchability while not providing much extra coverage as yoga pants do.

The price

The other major difference between these two garments is the price point: yoga pants tend to sell at a higher cost due to their tight fit and breathability factor compared to leggings, which are more cheaply manufactured.

Yoga pants are preferred by many because they offer maximum coverage while still allowing the wearer to be flexible. This is very important for yoga practitioners who do jumps or other activities that require a lot of movement in different directions. Leggings, on the other hand, typically offer less coverage and usually do not have the same level of stretchability.


Finally, yoga pants are generally more expensive than leggings due to their tight fit and breathable fabric. However, some people feel as though they may be worth the higher price tag is given that many types of yoga require plenty of movement.

Unlike yoga pants leggings do not have an inner lining, nor do they contain any fastenings for easy removal. They are often made of thicker materials, which means they are good for the colder seasons and might be uncomfortable to wear during warmer seasons.


One of the things that make yoga pants different from leggings is a tightly fitted waistband. A good pair of yoga pants allow you to choose between a loose, or a more tightly fitting waistband, which means it can be worn with tighter fitting tops as well. This is one of the reasons these pants can be worn by themselves and not with a long shirt that would cover the waistband, like traditional leggings.

Crotch coverage

Another difference between the two is that yoga pants are made to provide more support than leggings because of their built-in panties which act as a gusset for easy stretching and bending whereas, leggings do not contain this feature.

Leggings can be worn with built-in panties too, but these panties are not built in the same way as they are in yoga pants. Yoga pants offer more coverage in the crotch region and come in various styles to keep you comfortable, depending on your workout activities – booty shorts for cycling, boy cut for running, etc.

Leggings vs Yoga Pants: Pros & Cons

Benefits of Yoga Pants:

  • Stylish when put together correctly with other bottoms (sweats, skirts)
  • Keeps legs warm when windy or cold outside.
  • Can be worn to work out in or just for casual wear.
  • Can be layered underneath boots/rain/winter coats in cold weather.
  • Can be layered underneath shorts when wearing them in the summer.

Benefits of leggings:

  • One size usually fits all (plus size) women because it is stretchy (and sometimes has these “stretch recovery” or whatever it’s called).
  • More casual and less expensive than yoga pants.
  • Comes in different lengths (shorter length leggings, capri-length leggings, and longer length).

Drawback of Yoga Pants:

  • Can show camel toe or “VPL” when worn too tightly.
  • Some say they “ride up” while doing physical activities such as running.
  • Can be too warm to wear in hot weather.
  • Can be a little expensive because of the brands available and style combos.

Drawbacks of leggings:

  • Bad if you do physical activity in them, especially those with no pockets (cell phone).
  • Not as fashionable as yoga pants.
  • Longer-length leggings can get caught under your foot while running.
  • Some brands are see-through (white ones).
  • Not very flattering if you have curves, especially if worn too tightly.

Yoga pants vs leggings: Who are they suited for?

Who are yoga pants suited for?

There are different styles of yoga pants that will suit almost anyone. They are mainly used by yoga practitioners to improve their ability to contort their bodies during different poses. For instance, they can allow someone with a very flexible body to twist into shapes that might typically be painful or difficult, but only if the leggings are tight enough.

Who are leggings suited for?

Leggings are suited for many activities, from yoga to biking to lounging. There is no right or wrong answer.

Different people will have different answers depending on their needs and lifestyle. If you’re trying to decide whether leggings are the right choice for you, ask yourself what activity you plan on engaging in them while also considering your personal style preferences.

Yoga Pants vs Leggings: Which one is more comfortable?

Leggings make you feel like you’re wearing nothing at all. They typically fit very tight against your skin and can be worn anywhere.

Yoga pants are very similar to leggings, but they typically fit a bit looser around your skin. This allows you to breathe better throughout the day and makes them ideal for yoga classes or running errands.

Our Favorite Brands Of Yoga Pants

The Gym People: Our Top Pick

Yoga can be a sweaty process, but these leggings will keep you dry and comfortable. They also feature the best quality of thickness for those who like to work up a sweat in their practice!

Lululemon – Also Good

Lululemon’s yoga pants are perfect for any occasion because they can handle anything you throw at them. They’re durable, comfortable, and long-lasting which makes the price tag worth it!

Lulu also offers styles for every occasion – from sexy leggings as part of their activewear line all way up through sweatpants made from recycled materials so they don’t disrupt our environment when we take those long walks outside.

Heathyoga: Budget Pick

The Heathyoga Yoga Leggings are designed for comfort, style, and durability. The perfect combination of form and function in one pair of yoga pants! These leggings will keep you comfortable during your exercise routine without compromising on the look.

Some questions you may have

Are yoga pants and leggings the same thing?

No, yoga pants are typically thicker and heavier whereas leggings are thinner and lighter.
There is a specific differentiation between these two pieces of fabric–though they are often worn interchangeably.

Yoga pants tend to be more heavy-duty in material to withstand the constant squatting involved in wearing them during practice, while leggings are made out of thinner materials that allow the wearer freedom of movement without restriction.

Is it OK to wear yoga pants in public?

Yes, it is okay to wear yoga pants in public. In fact, fitness gear, in general, has become a gateway to comfort and acceptance of the body. 

Wearing yoga pants in public leads to a feeling of empowerment and improved self-esteem. Some women even report that having something on their body they can easily move and stretch and simply be comfortable and free in is enough.

Should yoga pants be tight or loose?

Most people prefer them to be tight.

Yoga pants are typically worn with little or no other clothing on the lower half of the body, and should therefore fit comfortably and securely around the hips and thighs.

They’re designed to provide a base layer for other exercise clothes that may subsequently be layered over top, such as bicycle shorts or leggings.

Can I run in yoga pants?

It’s typically not recommended to wear yoga pants for running because they’re too form-fitting. This can restrict the movement of your legs, especially around the thighs and pelvis, which could be dangerous or uncomfortable during exercise.

That said, if you find the type of yoga pants with plenty of extra fabric around the leg opening are more comfortable when exercising than tights or sweatpants, then feel free to go ahead and wear them!


Yoga pants and leggings both have good qualities. It is really up to you whether you prefer yoga pants or leggings. The choice is really reliant on what fits your body type best and where do you plan to wear them.

If you have a curvy body type, then yoga pants probably would be better for you because they smooth your curves out underneath them whereas leggings may accentuate it.

Leggings may be better for those who are smaller up top and have thin legs. Leggings may also be good for those with larger thighs who fear seeing “chub rub.”

Whether you end up wearing yoga pants or leggings, just make sure that they fit well and look good on you, and most importantly you feel well wearing them.

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Written by

Amanda Deep

Hi there! I am Amanda Deep, an avid yoga practitioner, and fan. My love for the practice began more than 7 years ago when I was in college studying abroad in India. I found that at the end of a long day of sightseeing, learning about ancient culture, or exploring new places on my own, practicing yoga helped me to wind down and find peace both inside and out.

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