What Is the Difference Between Yoga Pants and Leggings?

Leggings and yoga pants have become must-have outfits for most women. These two are our first choice whenever we head to the gym or run casual errands.

Despite both being so popular these days, do you really know what is the difference between yoga pants and leggings? They may look the same, but they serve different purposes.

Differentiating the two will help you know what to wear depending on what you intend to do. And that’s what this article is all about.

Are Yoga Pants and Leggings the Same?

what are yoga pants and leggings

Not exactly. Surprisingly, most people think yoga pants are the same as leggings. But, for two attires that look the same, this is quite understandable.

Leggings are simply fashionable attire. It’s the kind of pants that’s perfect for lazing around or keeping you warm during winter. As the name suggests, yoga pants are designed for fitness purposes.

Let’s dig deeper into what leggings and yoga pants are so that you can best understand their differences.

1. Features of yoga pants

From the name, one would think that yoga pants are made strictly for yogis. But these days, you can find people wearing yoga pants when running errands or even going to school and work.

Yoga pants often feature a thick covering on the waistband. It’s designed to be flexible so that the wearer doesn’t feel much pressure. The purpose of this waistband is to hold the plants in place as you engage in various fitness exercises.

Another critical feature of yoga pants is that they are tight around the hips, but they loosen up as they stretch towards the feet. This feature aims at giving you the freedom of movement when doing yoga.

In terms of comfort, yoga pants tend to perform exceptionally well. They are available in various lengths, such as cropped and ankle.

2. What are yoga pants best for?

Yoga pants were made exclusively for yoga practice. If you look at its features, they aren’t restrictive and allow the bottom part of the body to move freely.

Besides yoga, these pants are the perfect workout attire. When you head to the gym, a pair of yoga pants can ensure you work out comfortably.

3. Features of leggings

Leggings can best be described as skin-hugging pants. They are thicker than tights but are way thinner than yoga pants.

Leggings these days are more of a fashionable outfit. Initially, they were mostly worn to keep the body warm when it was cold. But today, you can wear leggings with pretty much anything.

Many features distinguish leggings other than being tight and thin. They are comfortable running errands. Most leggings in the market are stretchy. It’s this feature that confuses them with yoga pants.

Leggings are available in various patterns, fabrics, and styles. They are also quite warm, and are some are not very opaque.

They don’t have a strong waistband. Expect them not to stay in place when you engage in rigorous activity.

4. What are Leggings best for?

Leggings are best for lounging. If you want the most comfortable and stylish pair of pants to run errands or laze around, leggings are a perfect choice.

You can wear them practically anywhere, at home, school, when getting coffee.

Also read: Do Yoga Pants Make Your Butt Look Big?

What Is the Difference Between Yoga Pants and Leggings?

yoga pants vs leggings

1. They are different in type.

The first difference between these two is regarding types. Yoga pants and leggings are available in different types.

In this difference, you will realize that the yoga pants’ varying types lean to offer you more comfort when doing yoga or working out. For leggings, the various types have to do more with style and trends.

Different yoga pants include maternity yoga pants, yoga leggings, yoga capris pants, yoga shorts, tight yoga pants, high waist yoga pants, wide waistband yoga pants, and loose yoga pants.

Moving on to leggings, we have leather leggings, pattern leggings, disco leggings, ankle-length, knee-length leggings, colored leggings, stirrup leggings, and jeggings.

This wide variety makes it easy for you to find something that meets your taste when shopping for leggings or yoga pants.

2. They are different in materials.

The other key difference is in regards to materials used. Considering they are made for workouts, Yoga pants must have a stretchy and elastic fabric.

On the other hand, leggings are best for lounging and may not always be made using a flexible material. Most leggings are made using denim, fleece, cotton, and polyester. These materials can only provide a minimal level of stretch.

While we are still on materials, yoga pants feature a double waistband that will hold its position. Leggings have a single-fold waistband that never seems to stay put.

3. They serve different purposes.

This is a pretty straightforward difference. Leggings are the perfect lounging attire. It’s comfortable to sit, stand, and relax in.

Nowadays, leggings come in varying patterns and types, making them stylish. Yoga pants are for workouts and yoga practice.

4. They are different in length and designs.

They may look the same, but the design is different.

Yoga pants are designed to allow freedom of movement while still holding the pants in place. With some legging designs, the poses assumed in most yoga positions can over-stretch the material.

There are some styles of yoga pants that can’t be worn as leggings. Examples include wide-leg yoga pants. Also, yoga pants are available in different lengths, such as cropped and ankle.

Also read: Are Yoga Pants Modest?

Yoga Pants vs. Compression Leggings, How to Choose?

1. When should you buy yoga pants?

You should buy yoga pants if you are planning on doing yoga. A lot of people misuse the primary purpose these pants were created for. Yoga pants can allow you to stretch comfortably during various yoga poses. It can also double as a workout pant because of its flexibility.

Yoga pants have become the go-to alternative to pants. And many ladies wearing them have never even tried yoga. Who can blame them? Considering the amount of comfort you get from wearing these pants, they deserve to be trending.

2. When should you buy leggings?

Leggings are a great choice if you want a pair of skin-hugging pants that are breathable, stylish, and can be worn on any casual occasion. If you are mainly interested in fashion and looks, go for leggings instead of yoga pants.


Being able to distinguish between yoga pants and leggings is crucial. This ensures you get the proper attire depending on what you intend to use it for. The key takeaway here is that leggings do well for everyday casual wear.

But yoga pants are built for high-performance sports. Substituting yoga pants for leggings can lead to an incredibly uncomfortable yoga session.