Our 10 Favorite Leggings to Work Out, Lounge, and Live In

Published on: Aug 12, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
best leggings to live and work out inDesign: theSkimm | Photo: Girlfriend Collective

Finding the right leggings can be tricky, especially when you buy ‘em online before trying them on. You want a pair that feels supportive as you work out, with a waistband that’s compressive but comfortable. Throw pockets into the mix and — chef’s kiss — you’ve got the trifecta. 

To provide you with the tried-and-true best options possible, we consulted Skimm HQ’rs. The result? Lots of legging recs with options for lounging, working out, and running errands in. We also made sure to ask about pilling and washing, because if a pair can’t make it through several laundry cycles, they’re not worth your hard-earned cash. Kiss your sweats goodbye in three...two...one...

This post was originally published in August 2021 and has since been updated.

girlfriend collective compressive leggingsGirlfriend Collective
Compressive leggings that are environmentally friendly…

Made from 25 recycled water bottles, these leggings are great for high-impact workouts like running, biking, or weightlifting. You’ll be able to squat in this pair without the fear of them being see-through. To make sure they live their best life, wash ‘em on cold with like colors. Once they’re really worn out, you can recycle them with the ReGirlfriend program. ($78, Girlfriend Collective)

Buy it

Girlfriend collective leggings
And a pair that’s ideal for lounging…

Need something ultra-soft to wear on your next flight? These fit the bill. They’re made from recycled plastic bottles and a heavyweight recycled jersey material that makes them ideal for those days when being comfy is a non-negotiable. Operation cozy, here you come. ($55, Girlfriend Collective)

Buy it

Amazon leggings with a compressive waist and inside pocketAmazon
A pair with pockets that are versatile and warm…

They're perfect for lounging, working out, and yoga. One Skimm HQ’r actually uses them as a base layer when skiing. They’ve got a good amount of stretch but still keep their shape. Plus, if you want something with sweat absorption, these leggings have you covered. They’re made of moisture-wicking fabric that’ll keep things breathable and comfy all the way through. Psst: Looking for bike shorts? These have their own version you’ll wanna add to cart too. ($19.98+, Amazon)

Buy it

lululemon align leggingsLululemon
A pair of Lululemon leggings that are incredibly popular for a reason…

Designed for low-impact workouts, the Align leggings are so buttery soft you may even forget you have ‘em on. Aka you won’t want to immediately take them off once you’re done working up a sweat. You can easily transition into errands with no squeezing. Psst...when we asked Skimm HQ, this pair won out as the crowd fave. Now it’s time for you to find out why. ($98+, Lululemon)

Buy it

lululemon align dupe leggingsAmazon
And a more affordable pair that’s equally soft, if you’re looking to save some cash…

Meant to be restriction-free, this lightweight pair is basically the less costly version of the Align. Customers rave about the fit and design, saying that they’re just as comfy. They’re high-waisted with an inner pocket for valuables and come in a whopping 42 colors. ($24+, Amazon)

Buy it

faux leather leggings for fallYummie
A faux-leather pair you can wear as pants during the colder months…

Because why wear jeans if you don’t have to? Pair these with an oversized sweater and you’ll have the perfect cold-weather outfit. One Skimm HQ’r swears by Yummie leggings, including their biker shorts and affordable ankle-length options. ($78, Nordstrom)

Buy it

capri-length leggingsAmazon
Capri leggings with full-sized pockets for a phone or wallet…

One Skimm HQ’r highly recommends this pair for its fabric, fit, and pocket size (obviously). Convenience is key when you’re heading out on a run and you don’t wanna carry your phone in your hand the entire time. Exercise = made easy, courtesy us. ($23.99+, Amazon)

Buy it

ankle-length leggings that don't attract pet hairBeyond Yoga
A pair that can resist pet hair and nails…

That may sound too good to be true, but trust us, it’s not. One Skimm HQ’r has worn these for a while and says hair rolls right off. These leggings are also wear-tested so you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck. They won’t stretch out or pill after a few washes. ($99, Beyond Yoga)

Buy it

Aerie flare leggings for loungingAerie
Flare leggings that’ll become your go-to when it comes to couch surfin’…

With a relaxed fit, you’ll never wanna take these off. You can throw them on while working from home, before heading out to brunch, or for a Friday night spent movie binging. With the flattering crossover top and buttery-soft feel, it’s no shocker why HQ’rs are obsessed with these. ($54.95, Aerie)

Buy it

compressive leggings for workouts and runsAthleta
A breathable pair with a ton of support for studio workouts…

They’ve got three pockets (side and waistband), are made with recycled material, and will pull moisture away from the body. So you can sweat (and sweat) without feeling damp. They’re also quick-drying, so if you’re heading somewhere after the gym, you won’t feel icky if you can’t change. ($39.99+, Athleta)

Buy it

If you buy anything from this email, theSkimm may get something in return. Oh, and if something’s out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate too) when we published. Thanks.

Subscribe to Skimm Your Life

We’re bringing you products, recs, and suggestions that’ll make your life just a liiittle easier. It all starts with adding us to your inbox.


Skimm'd by Alexandra Napoli & Emmy Favilla