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Leggings vs Yoga Pants: Is There a Difference?

Although the terms "yoga pants" and "leggings" have become indistinguishable over time, they are not the same thing. Not only do they have a distinct appearance, but they also fit and feel differently—as intended. 

There are so many different styles now for women including funky patterned leggings, athleisure leggings, casual leggings, the list goes on! Many retailers, especially in the UK, will use the term ‘yoga leggings’ instead of ‘yoga pants’, but confusingly they are the same thing!

You (and your yoga practice) would be far better off with the yoga pants (and yoga leggings!) if you're on the fence about whether to spend the extra money on high-quality ones or just go with the less expensive regular leggings. 

However, the line becomes a little hazy when deciding whether to wear yoga pants (or yoga leggings as they are often coined now!) instead of regular leggings to a bottomless brunch—especially because athleisure and casual wear is so popular right now!

Let's take a look at why they are so different!

What are yoga pants?

Many people's go-to loungewear is yoga pants, but they weren’t originally designed for lounging around the house or running errands.

Yoga pants were created by manufacturers to be the ideal workout attire. Designers must carefully select the materials they work with in order to achieve this. Inappropriate materials could lead to physical problems for athletes and yogis.


To allow for workout movements, yoga pants tend to be flexible. They must also have strong moisture-wicking fabric. By doing this, sweat would not soak through the pants and cause discomfort for those who exercise.

Additionally, yoga pants are typically made of thicker material. Nobody wants see-through pants when they’re exercising! With the thicker material the pants are often a lot more durable and comfortable than a regular legging would be.

Moreover, the front seam of many yoga pants is absent. This shouldn't be there because front seams can lead to the appearance of camel toe. Furthermore, seams could rip and reveal everything.


Blends of thicker fabric are used by manufacturers to create yoga pants. Fabrics like spandex, lycra, nylon, and polyester are included in these blends. However, the precise composition of fabrics varies throughout yoga pants.

What are leggings?

Regular leggings were not designed by manufacturers to be used as athletic wear. These leggings were originally intended to keep their wearers warm. Leggings were meant to be worn under trousers to provide an additional layer of warmth.

And when leggings initially came into fashion, this is how people wore them. But these days, a lot of people just wear leggings as everyday wear.

You may occasionally hear the phrases 'yoga leggings' or 'activewear leggings' which can be confusing as leggings were never meant to be used for yoga, but that’s the phrase most of us use now when referring to our exercise gear!


Unlike yoga pants, leggings normally don't get short or baggy. However, the tightest yoga pants will most likely be looser than the tightest leggings.

However, that does not imply that they will slide off your legs easily. A thicker waistband on leggings are common to help them stay in place.

There should be some material to the leggings. They may, however, be thinner than conventional yoga pants.

It's also important to remember that leggings lack the stretch and durability of yoga pants. Wearing them during intense physical activity is not advised.


Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, spandex, and nylon are used to make leggings. You'll find that these are more elastic and robust.

Some more fashionable leggings materials now include wool, cotton blends and faux leather.

Yoga pants vs leggings

Although yoga pants and leggings are now quite interchangeable, here are the main differences between yoga pants and regular casual leggings when it comes to style, durability and comfort.


Leggings should, by definition, hug your leg and finish just below your knee or towards your ankle. Conversely, yoga pants might or might not feature the renowned footless tight style or loose boot cuts. Not for your casual day out or lounging around the house, but specifically for simple bodily movement during yoga and light exercise.

These days, leggings come in a plethora of styles. High waisted leggings are a popular option because of how flattering they can be. They are available in any kind of design you can think of, whether it is for the embellishments like buckles, bows, and lace appliqués, or the various patterns and colours. 

These pants emphasise not just movement but also the aesthetic side of fashion.


Yoga pants are far more durable than your average pair of leggings. However, the kind and calibre of fabric or material utilised to make that article of apparel has a significant impact on how durable it is. Cotton leggings are great for working out, but they become baggy after a while.

Since yoga pants are composed of high-performance sports materials, this is not the case. Moreover, yoga pants have greater elasticity than leggings for extended periods of time.


There are a few things to consider when comparing the comfort of yoga pants vs leggings. Generally speaking, leggings are more comfy than yoga pants. Both yoga pants and leggings can be made of soft, lightweight cotton knits. But compared to leggings, yoga pants often have a much thicker and more flexible fabric. 

Though the thicker material makes them less soft than your leggings, these pants nonetheless hold up really well during your yoga class.

Looking for unique and high-quality yoga pants?

Leggings as pants? There are now a tonne of ways that leggings and yoga pants can be combined for everyday wear, all thanks to athleisure fashion and its enormous popularity. 

There are already leggings on the market that are the same as yoga pants but go by different names: sports leggings and yoga leggings. Loony Legs yoga leggings are exactly what you need, whether you’re a yoga fanatic or you want to wow your friends on your next meet-up!

Finding the perfect yoga leggings that just ooze your personality might be exactly what you need this year!

At Loony Legs, our buttery soft and sweat wicking patterned leggings come in a variety of styles, prints and fabrics - all perfect for any occasion. Just make sure you also choose the right size.

So, why wait? Treat yourself to a new pair of leggings today and stand out from the crowd!

Leggings vs yoga pants FAQs

Are leggings the same as yoga pants?

Yoga pants feature a wide waistband that is frequently folded over, whereas leggings have a thin waistband. Compared to leggings, yoga pants are composed of more comfy, thicker, and opaque materials. Leggings do not flare at the bottom like yoga pants used to.

Should yoga pants be tight or loose?

For support and flexibility during yoga practice, yoga leggings are usually made to be tight and form-fitting. A wide range of motion is possible while still retaining comfort and covering because the fabric is frequently compressive and elastic.

Why are all yoga pants high waisted?

The fabric of yoga pants varies in thickness and fit, as does the height at which they sit on the waist. Both form and function will be impacted by these design elements. When you run or perform a downward dog, compression, high-rise leggings will help you maintain your sleek appearance and prevent them from rolling down.


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