The Best Compression Leggings
You know you’re wearing the right pair of compression leggings when they apply gentle pressure on your legs and abdomen without causing any discomfort while you walk, work out or practise yoga.
Leggings as a piece of clothing are about as ubiquitous as running shoes and tank tops, with women and men wearing them everywhere from the gym and grocery store to yoga class, the office and out for a casual lunch date. Compression leggings, however, are a different story. Although they may look like regular leggings, these are designed to apply gentle pressure to the muscles in your legs, and in some cases, your abdomen as well.
Some people wear compression leggings because doing so may improve the blood circulation in their legs if they sit or stand for extended periods of time during the day. Athletes also wear them to maximize their performance during a workout or a game, since compression leggings may support and stabilize muscles by absorbing some of the strain. Another difference between regular leggings and compression leggings is that the latter, design-wise, will usually have a thicker waistband that often sits high above the hips to the belly button.
Aside from the functionality of compression leggings for men and women, they can also be fashionable, come in a selection of colors and different lengths, including capri. Finding the right compression leggings for your needs is not difficult, and to help you along, we’ve curated a list of the different types of compression leggings you can purchase online. Read on to find the ones that best suit your style.
What to look for when choosing compression leggings
Compression leggings are a great clothing option for any workout you choose to do and, they are also a good fashion choice when you are looking for something comfortable and casual that will give you a slimmed-down look. But, like most clothing, not all compression leggings are created equal and there are a few factors to consider before choosing a pair that best suits your needs.
Use: Always think about how and where you will wear compression leggings. If they are for an outdoor workout, then make sure the fabric is thick enough to protect you from the cold. However, if you want them as a base lining under pants for a winter run, then they should be thin enough, almost like a second skin, to not feel bulky or constrict your movement. If you will be doing a lot of aerobic activity or long distance running, make sure the leggings have a wide waistband, so they don’t roll or fall down. And if you want compression leggings to help contain a flabby tummy, opt for ones that are high waisted and sit comfortably above your belly button.
Fabric: Because compression leggings fit so snugly, you’ll want to make sure the fabric blend includes enough spandex or elastane to give a good four-way stretch so your movements are not constricted or worse, your circulation cut off. Proper venting is essential for breathability, and a seamless design will reduce or eliminate irritating chafing and scratching.
Transparency versus opaqueness: Many years ago, a very popular and upscale brand of leggings came into the spotlight when users complained that the fabric, when stretched as a person was doing squats, bending over, or holding certain yoga poses, became transparent, creating potentially embarrassing situations. If this concerns you, look for compression tights that are non-transparent, regardless of the activity you are doing. However, if there is a pair you just must have, then you can wear them under a pair of shorts.
Size: Compression leggings are made to fit snugly, which means some people may have difficulty putting them on, or even getting them up past their thighs. Before choosing a pair, read the size chart and read the reviews to see what other people say about sizing. Often, you may have to size up to get the best fit.
Top 5 Best Compression Leggings
Editor’s Choice – Homma Premium High Waist Compression Leggings
88% Nylon, 12% Spandex
Top Pick for Men – Under Armour Men's HeatGear Leggings
84% Polyester, 16% Elastane
Best Capri Style for Women – CompressionZ Compression Capri Leggings
73% Polyester, 27% Elastane
Best Postpartum – RUNNING GIRL High Waist Seamless Compression Workout Leggings
90% Nylon, 10% Spandex
Best Budget for Men – Yuerlian Men's 3/4 Compression Leggings
85% Polyester, 15% Spandex
1. Editor’s Choice – Homma Premium High Waist Compression Leggings
These comfy compression leggings are high-waisted to give you a good measure of tummy control. Let’s face it, a good pair of compression leggings is designed to make you look and feel great. That means giving you a slimmer overall silhouette, from your tummy to your ankles, with leg-hugging comfort and support.
That’s why we chose these compression leggings from Homma as our number one choice for women, because they are top performers when it comes to providing good support around your legs, but also on your tummy for the kind of control that will make you feel good.
Of course, to make the top choice, the leggings have to go over and above what you find in other compression leggings, and these do. Firstly, they are affordable, making them in the reach of most people’s budget. They also come in a nice selection of colors — 10 — so you can collect a few and mix and match with clothing from your closet.
Made from a blend of 88 percent nylon and 12 percent spandex, the high-waisted leggings are constructed with a seamless knit and a four-way stretch for maximum movement and flexibility, and targeted venting for just the right amount of breathability and comfort.
2. Top Pick for Men – Under Armour Men's HeatGear Leggings
With an extra-tight yet comfy fit, these compression leggings for men give you the coverage you need without weighing you down. Whether you cycle, run a few miles a week, work out in the gym or just need something warm and lightweight to wear under ski pants, these compression leggings from Under Armour are versatile enough to meet all of those needs, and more. Ticking off a lot of boxes, these leggings give you the coverage you need, where you need it most, including the crotch area with an updated gusset and seamless design to reduce abrasion in those sensitive areas.
Made from 84 percent polyester and 16 percent elastane, the compression leggings fit super tight, with just the right ventilated areas for breathability and wicking away sweat. The wide elastic waistband keeps the leggings in place, regardless of how you are moving or what you are doing. Perfect to wear on their own or under a pair of shorts while cycling, running or in the gym, they even have a convenient side pocket to store your phone. Oh, they also come in a wide selection of sizes.
3. Best Capri Style for Women – CompressionZ Compression Capri Leggings
Capri-style compression leggings give you an added touch of style to your daily routine and workout. Capri-style pants for women were introduced as a new design in 1948 and since then, have certainly stood the test of time as a favourite fashion choice not only with pants, but with compression leggings. The leggings, which fall just below the knee, are an ideal compromise when you want something in between shorts and ankle-length leggings.
Made from 73 percent polyester and 27 percent spandex, these compression leggings from CompressionZ are what you’d want to wear while working out in the gym, out for a run or cycle, for weightlifting or even as a base layer for cold weather. The 27 percent spandex in the fabric gives the leggings a comfortable four-way stretch, and the polyester contributes to excellent moisture-wicking properties. Plus, the material blend offers up firm compression to support your leg muscles.
Available in a stunning array of 20 different colors and patterns and two styles (some have pockets), there is also a large selection of sizes. However, the best thing about these compression leggings? They are not see-through, so you can bend, squat and stretch with confidence.
4. Best Postpartum – RUNNING GIRL High Waist Seamless Compression Workout Leggings
You love your baby, but you don’t love the sagging belly that comes postpartum, so slip on these high-waisted compression leggings and feel good during your workout. When it comes to slimming compression leggings, you want it to do its job well, but not if you have to sacrifice comfort. This is especially true postpartum, when feeling comfortable in your own skin can be challenging. With these compression leggings from Running Girl, you’ll get the tummy control you desire with a five-inch high waistband that holds everything comfortably in place. And, if in your case a five-inch waist is too high, the leggings are also available in a three-inch-high waistband.
Made from 90 percent nylon and 10 percent spandex, the soft, four-way stretch and interlocking seamless design will feel good next to your skin, wicking away moisture with no chafing. The compression leggings have a gusset crotch to maximize movement and while they are not considered to be see-through (think of all those squats and bends), it’s best to size up to make sure. Oh, and did we mention the best part? The leggings are so well-priced, you can pick up more than one pair from the large color selection and not feel guilty.
5. Best Budget for Men – Yuerlian Men's 3/4 Compression Leggings
These budget-priced three-quarter length capri compression leggings will retain their shape even after repeat washes. When it gets hot in the summer and you still want to run or bike outside, you’ll want to be wearing a lightweight pair of compression leggings that won’t add to the heat factor and instead, will also help wick away any moisture from perspiration.
Compression leggings that are three-quarters in length will help you feel cooler just by the very nature of them not covering your legs down to your ankle. This model from Yuerlian goes one step further with its super lightweight, breathable fabric blend of 85 percent polyester and 15 percent spandex that absorbs sweat and is quick drying. Despite the thin fabric, the tight compression will still support your muscles to guard against fatigue.
The four-way stretch on these compression leggings for men make them suitable for most activities such yoga, jogging, running, hiking, cycling, marathon training and aerobics. The low price makes them within the reach of most budgets and they are sold in single pairs as well as in packages of three of different colors.