Updated: Aug 7, 2022
Anytime you start a new workout, there is equipment available that can help make your workouts easier and more effective. Maybe this is a good pair of tennis shoes? Maybe it’s grip tape? Or, maybe it’s a set of weights? These items can be super helpful, increase safety and can even make working out more fun.
For Pilates, there are few required pieces of equipment. Really, you only need a mat, maybe a magic circle, and everything else you can get around the house. (Though, if you’re in love with Pilates like me, there are plenty of incredible accessories out there.) But, one overlooked item that is definitely a Pilates necessity is leggings. Good leggings, at that!
Why are leggings so important? The tight fitting and comfortable nature of leggings have a few key benefits. First, they allow you to better concentrate since you won’t be messing with loose clothes or other sensory bothers. Second, you’ll increase your body awareness because your alignment and form can be better determined with clothes that hug your body.
Additionally, our favorite leggings are comfortable and flexible, which means you can seamlessly move from one exercise to the other without interference from your clothes. And, finally, and perhaps most importantly, a flattering, well-fitting pair of leggings that suits your style is empowering. Pilates is good for your mind and body, and feeling fierce and fabulous will help you achieve the total benefit of your workout—the physical gains and the mental gains.
So, today, I’m sharing a list of the 20 best Pilates leggings out there. Our top picks are high quality, allow for extensive range of motion and are a super flattering fit for many body types. Here’s my list:
The 20 Best Pilates Leggings
The Vuori leggings are one of our favorite leggings. They have a ⅞ inseam, which means they’re longer than capris, but shorter than full-length leggings. These are the preferred workout leggings by Pilates instructors, because full-length leggings can bunch if you’re not tall like a model and capri leggings can be unflattering on somebody types. (Not to mention cold.)
These leggings also stretch in all directions and wick away sweat. The high waist makes for a flattering fit and you can use the drawstring to further define the waist. You’ll feel beautiful and comfortable in these smooth performance leggings from Vuori!
These leggings are made with Alo’s signature velvety soft fabric, which makes them so cozy for any workout or daily activity. These flattering leggings have a special flat seam too, that keeps them from riding up during your routines. And, if you frequently have chafing issues near your lady parts, this pair of leggings has a smoothing panel to prevent irritation. These leggings are crazy comfy all around and definitely one of our top picks!
I’ve already discussed how ⅞ is the preferred length for Pilates leggings, so this Carbon38 pair already has that going for them. Beyond that, I can’t get enough of this “Takara Shine” liquid metal look. It’s gorgeous and edgy. This sleek look will make you feel fierce and empowered by nature. They’re just too cool! And, if you really like this look, there’s a matching sports bra.
These leggings are full-length. So if you prefer full coverage, these are a great fit for you. They’re made of Alo’s signature double-knit fabric that shapes your body, highlighting all your best features. The high waistband further sculpts your figure while creating a comfortable and flattering fit.
Like everything in the Alo yoga and workout line, these leggings are moisture-wicking and have that amazing smoothing feature around the crotch. If you want confidence when strutting into the Pilates studio, these leggings will get you there. Plus, these leggings promise stellar performance and long-lasting quality and have a matching sports bra.
Here’s a pair of great leggings that come at a great price and have a flattering fit. They’re moisture-wicking with a waistband made to stay up! That’s right, no slipping when you curl forward for the boomerang. They’re stretchy, sculpting and full-length. It’s a bummer they only come in two colors, but both shades are definitely on our list of favorite leggings.
Beyond Yoga’s leggings are a perfect pair for Pilates too. These are capri style for those of you who prefer as little restrictive fabric as possible while still reaping the benefits of leggings (sometimes when doing workouts in the heat, I’ve got to have capris!). These leggings have no outside seam, so they’re totally smooth and feel like a second skin. I really love the neon colors they have this season plus they have matching sports bras.
Style-wise, these are one of our top picks. The soft, textured knit fabric with the accent ribbing is slimming and modern. Performance-wise, I love them even more. They are full-length and high-waisted with a thick band. They’re made of mostly nylon, so they’re not ideal for high-intensity workouts. But, they’ll do great for low-impact workouts like yoga and Pilates!
Here’s another pair of high rise leggings with a flattering fit! I think every pair on this list is high-waisted. It just works best when you’re twisting and curling in your routines. Anyway, I love all the colors and prints these Lululemon Align pants come in. Also, I love that you can choose your length! When finding the right fit for leggings, your height matters. So, this added customization is nice.
The fabric is buttery soft and totally keeps its shape overtime. Though they're soft, they’re breathable too, so you won’t find yourself sweating through. Plus, it’s moisture-wicking to help with that as well! And, if you’re going for a light color, don’t worry about opacity. You won’t be able to see through their thick fabric.
Ditto everything above plus pockets! There aren’t many pairs of leggings out there with pockets. If you go to the Pilates studio frequently or wear your leggings on the regular, you might need pockets for valuables like your wallet or phone. These also come in a variety of lengths, but you have to search the website for them rather than having the handy option to select like the other pairs. It’s still nice to have options, though!
Looking for more ⅞ legging options? Here they are! These Years of Ours leggings are ribbed nylon, which we’ve already discussed is super comfy and flattering. They’re stretchy too though, with some spandex in the fabric blend. These leggings have a unique V-waist that adds visual interest to the basic high waist. And, bonus: the V-waist is perfect for any of you pregnant Pilates champions!
The other Lululemon selections on this list were designed for yoga. That’s not bad, since Pilates and yoga have similar qualities. But, there is a lot of movement needed in Pilates. These Fast and Free leggings are designed for running, so they allow for even more flexibility and free movement. They also have cool, slick fabric that is quick-drying and moisture-wicking. If you run hot when doing Pilates, these are a much better choice than some of the knit options on this list.
These vibrant leggings are pretty famous and for good reason. They have built in underwear and shapewear, which is great for giving you that added boost of comfort and confidence. These can also be used for any level performance workout, whether low, medium or high. This is great for Pilates, since it requires so much movement and flexibility. And, if you do other workouts, these leggings will hold up. No crotch rips or movement restrictions!
Looking for more maternity leggings with a flattering fit? Spanx has their famous Seamless Leggings in a maternity option! Instead of the V-waist, it includes a tummy panel that keeps that baby belly covered. And, the best part? The panel is made to stretch and grow with you, so when you’re no longer expecting, you can still rock these leggings!
These leggings are seamless too, with no annoying crotch seam to cause discomfort or that dreaded camel toe. The fabric smooths and shapes (of course!) while providing all the necessary support for your Pilates workout. These Spanx Look at Me Now leggings come in a large range of sizes, so everyone can feel empowered with these classic and affordable black leggings.
Most leggings on this list have a sports bra or top you can buy to match, but few come with it! This set comes at a great price considering it includes both the crop top and the leggings. That’s the main reason why it made it on the list today. The crop top has padded cups and the leggings have tummy control. This means you’ll have support all over!
These leggings are beautiful and one of our top picks. They come in a ton of colors and have gorgeous detailing on the back of the leg that doubles as ventilation. They have soft, ribbed fabric that helps define your shape and hold everything in place. It also has SPF 30 UV protection for those of you that enjoy Pilates in the park or other outdoor venues.
I know this post is about leggings, but maybe you like to do your Pilates workouts in something a little looser. These Pilates Forever Joggers are perfect! They’re not too tight nor too loose. They’re not constricting like leggings, but they’re not so baggy you lose your body awareness. The only downside to these leggings is the limited sizing. Let me know in the comments if you want more jogger options!
Compression is great for you when working out! It lessens muscle soreness and strain. Plus, it improves flexibility, performance and recovery. So, if you don’t mind the feeling of compression, these leggings are a great choice!
Additionally, the Girlfriend Collective leggings come in multiple lengths and sizes from XXS - 6XL, which is incredible! Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough: 79% of the materials used in these leggings come from recycled plastic bottles. Wow!
These high-waisted leggings provide gentle compression while still remaining lightweight. You’ll have full range of motion with these stretchy, breathable leggings. They have an inner waist pocket to store your ID and/or some cash while you workout. And, these leggings can hold up to medium-impact workouts, so these are appropriate for everyday use, and, of course, Pilates!
Here is another legging option that comes in a variety of sizes. These Athleta Ultra High Rise Elation leggings have a range of sizes for regular, tall and petite women. So, finding the perfect fit should be a breeze! They’re the classic high waist style that includes a three-layer supportive waistband. These Athleta leggings are a workout wear staple!
These Sweaty Betty leggings were designed with any and every sport and workout in mind! They’re super stretchy and sculpting while providing full coverage and full range of motion. They dry fast and wick away any sweat. As an added bonus, they have a zipper pocket at the back for a few necessities. The zipper is a nice touch, since you’ll be twisting and stretching a lot in your Pilates workouts!
A good pair of leggings should provide support and mobility while making you feel fierce and empowered!
Pilates is about the health and control of your mind and body. As you develop strength and body awareness, you’ll also develop a positive mindset. Leggings can help you achieve your goals in all categories and get you one step closer to being a better you.
Don’t limit yourself with poor performing workout clothes that make you feel drab and insecure. Grab yourself one of these ultra-flattering leggings and experience what the support and comfort of a good pair of bottoms can do for you and your workouts!
Once you’ve chosen your favorite leggings, don’t forget to also schedule your daily workouts! At Empowerhouse Pilates, we have dozens of workouts for you to try in the comfort of your home. Additionally, we have content on our Instagram and blog that you can use to further your health and exercise journey. Let’s do this together at Empowerhouse Pilates!