What is the real difference between Yoga Pants and Leggings?

Leggings used to be worn more like underwear than actual pants. People would wear them under their pants as an additional layer of protection from the cold. In recent years, however, leggings have broken out of the under-layer category and become a major fashion statement.

While this has led to many comfortable and cute outfits, it has also created some confusion about yoga pants vs leggings. Are they the same thing?

Not quite, but don't worry. This guide will help you learn how they're different so you don't accidentally wear the wrong type of pants in any situation.

Let's get started!

Yoga Pants vs Leggings: Is there a difference?


Many people mistakenly use these two terms interchangeably. However, while yoga pants and leggings might look the same to the untrained eye, there are a few important differences.

Trying to wear leggings when you should, in fact, sport a pair of yoga pants, could leave you uncomfortable and, in some cases, embarrassed. Here's a closer look at how these two types of pants contrast each other.

The Waist

The biggest and most important difference between yoga pants and leggings is the waistband.

Yoga pants tend to have much higher waists than other leggings. You can recognize yoga pants because the waistband is often a separate piece of material attached to the top of the pants with a clean seam. This higher and thicker waistband helps provide support during sports, such as yoga.

If you wear normal leggings to a yoga class, you might notice them sliding down your bottom as you get into complicated positions, even if they're also high-waisted. Without the strength yoga pants provide, you might end up revealing things to the world you would rather keep hidden.

The Material

Often, yoga pants and leggings are made of the same material. (Our team prides itself in making both our yoga pants and leggings out of the same, comfortable, four-way stretch fabric.)

So how can the material help you tell these pant types apart?

In some cases, yoga pants are thicker than leggings. Since leggings are designed for comfort and not exercise, they can also be made of cotton or other similar products. Yoga pants, on the other hand, tend to have moisture-wicking properties that help you stay dry during physical activity.

Again, this isn't always true. But if you find a pair of thin, cotton pants in the store, those are leggings, no yoga pants.


Yoga pants are usually stretchier than leggings, which makes them easier to move in while exercising.

Even though leggings are form-fitting and comfortable, they may be too tight for yoga poses. This can cause the leggings to feel uncomfortable during movement or, as mentioned above, slide out of place.

Since yoga pants don't constrict your range of motion, they are the best choice for practicing yoga or doing other similar activities.

Should You Buy Yoga Pants or Mid-Waist Leggings?

The answer to this question depends on your needs. Before you start shopping for yoga pants or leggings, spend some time thinking about how you plan to use them. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

When/Where Will You Wear Them?

Do you want to wear your pants while doing household chores or while taking a workout class at the gym?

Leggings are designed for everyday use. You can wear these while you're lounging around the house, grocery shopping, or walking the dogs around the neighborhood. As a general rule, you shouldn't do anything strenuous in these pants since they don't give you the same support as yoga pants.

If you're looking for something to wear while you're working out, you should buy yoga pants.

The only time you can get away with wearing leggings during a workout is if the exercise doesn't require a lot of fast or complicated movement. For example, if you're taking a cycling class and sitting on a machine the entire time, you won't have to worry about your leggings falling down while you're peddling.

What Makes You the Most Comfortable?

Do you feel more comfortable in yoga pants even when you aren't exercising?

Then buy several pairs and wear them as you make your way through your normal daily responsibilities. Just because yoga pants are fitting for workouts, that doesn't mean they aren't just as comfortable in other circumstances.

There's nothing wrong with wearing yoga pants outside the gym.

Do You Prefer One Fashion Over the Other?

The added waistband and support yoga pants give you can help hold in your stomach and create a smoother, skinnier body shape. If this is something you're looking for in a pair of leggings, stick with yoga pants.

However, the high waistband does mean extra fabric. You might not like the thickness if you just want to slip into something comfortable at the end of the day. In this case, leggings might be the better choice for you.

Ordering your new Leggings or Yoga Pants Today

Now that you know the difference between yoga pants vs leggings, you're ready to start shopping.

But don't just buy the first leggings or yoga pants you find at your local Walmart. If you want leggings or yoga pants that will last a long time (and won't show off your panty lines), you should invest in quality products.

Make sure you take a look at our 100% squat-proof leggings and yoga pants collections. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team at support@seemyleggings.com 

We will help you clear up any concerns about sizing or styles.

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