A good pair of leggings is the ultimate wardrobe staple, so finding maternity leggings that can grow with you throughout pregnancy is key. Whether you’re looking for stylish black leggings, performance workout leggings or cozy loungewear leggings, there are options for every preference that can stay in place without feeling constricting.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab reviews maternity clothing of all kinds — from maternity jeans to maternity activewear and everything in between — to help expecting moms find the best options to wear throughout their pregnancies. Our analysts also thoroughly test leggings by evaluating them in our Lab with specialized equipment and sending them home with consumer testers for firsthand feedback. To find the best maternity leggings, we vetted styles in our Lab and had pregnant moms try them out in real life. We also considered maternity versions of top performing styles from our non-pregnancy leggings tests.
Our top picks:
You can read more about how we test leggings for pregnancy and what to consider as you shop at the end of this article, but first, here are the best maternity leggings you can buy.
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Best Overall Maternity Leggings
|Colors||Over 20 options|
Best Value Maternity Leggings
Essential Stretch Full Length Secret Fit Belly Leggings
|Colors||Black, navy or gray|
Best Maternity Leggings for Back Pain
Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings
Best Maternity Leggings on Amazon
High Elasticity Maternity Leggings
Best Maternity Leggings for Work
|Material||Cotton, spandex, polyester|
Best Maternity Leggings for Working Out
Spacedye Love the Bump Midi Maternity Legging
Best Maternity Leggings for Lounging
Best Basic Maternity Leggings
Comfy Maternity Leggings
|Colors||Black, navy or dark gray|
Best Plus-Size Maternity Leggings
|Material||Recycled nylon, spandex|
Best Wide Leg Maternity Leggings
Maternity Full Panel Flare Leggings
Best Low-Rise Maternity Leggings
Maternity Recycled Under Belly 7/8 Power Leggings
|Material||Recycled polyester, spandex|
How we test the best maternity leggings
The analysts in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab evaluate leggings using lab equipment to review performance and durability, then add the help of consumer testers to get real-world feedback on comfort and fit. When it comes to maternity leggings, we also have pregnant testers try them out to get additional feedback through each trimester. Here’s what we consider when testing maternity leggings:
- Construction: Analysts inspect the leggings, playing close attention to the feel of the fabric, the type of waistband, whether the seams are raised or flat and whether there’s a gusset at the crotch. These features let our experts know which activities they’re best suited for.
- Stretch recovery: To ensure the leggings can maintain their elasticity after use, we perform standardized tests on fabric to see how well they return to their original shape after being stretched out.
- Pilling resistance: Our Martindale abrasion tester rubs swatches of fabric together 1,000 times to see if the fabric will stay smooth or develop unsightly pills.
- Washability: We launder the leggings five times according to their care instructions, checking for shrinkage and change in appearance after the first and fifth wash cycles.
- Moisture management and breathability: Our pros check whether the fabric helps a drop of water spread out quickly to ensure it’ll wick away sweat. We also ask consumer testers to weigh in on how well the leggings managed their sweat and whether they felt breathable.
- Opacity: We check the opacity in the Textiles Lab using standardized lighting, then consumer testers weigh in on perceived opacity during their at-home tests.
- Comfort: Our reviewers give a comfort score based on their experience. They also have the opportunity to answer open-ended questions to provide more insight about how the leggings felt.
- Fit: Testers give ratings for overall fit, whether the leggings seemed true to size and whether the waistband stayed in place.
- Appearance: Our testers also weigh in on whether they thought the leggings were flattering and looked good while worn.
How to choose the best maternity leggings
Besides choosing the type of maternity leggings based on bump coverage, here are other important factors you should keep in mind as you shop:
- Fabric: If you prefer activewear leggings that are stretchy, opaque and moisture-wicking, opt for a synthetic performance fabric. Most workout leggings are made of nylon or polyester. If you prefer a lightweight legging for lounging or layering, opt for a cotton or type of rayon (i.e., viscose, lyocell or modal). These won’t be as opaque, but they feel luxurious. Regardless of the main fiber, you can expect to see spandex in the blend for stretch.
- Construction: A quality pair of leggings will have flat seams and a gusset. If the seams are raised instead of flat, the fabric can irritate you during movement, especially with exercise. If the leggings don’t have a gusset — i.e., an extra piece of fabric at the crotch — they may ride up and cause wedgies.
- Size and length: Like most maternity clothing, you can shop for leggings based on your pre-pregnancy size. Maternity leggings will account for your growing bump in the design. Also check the inseam if you’re worried about the leggings being too long or too short. Most full-length leggings have about a 28″ inseam.
- Pockets: Like regular leggings, some maternity leggings have no pockets, some have small pockets at the waist that can fit a key or credit card and others have deep pockets at the sides that are spacious enough to hold a phone. It’s a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind that leggings with side pockets tend to cost more.
- Price: A quality pair of maternity leggings can cost close to $100, but you can still find a good pair for under $30. Consider whether a pair is worth the investment based on how frequently you’ll wear it, whether you plan to wear it over multiple pregnancies and whether you can wear it after you give birth.
Can I wear regular leggings during pregnancy?
At first, yes. Most leggings are stretchy, so you can get away with wearing them as your bump starts to grow. However, as your pregnancy progresses, the waistband of the leggings may feel too tight or slide down as you move. Every body is different, but for most expecting moms, you can expect to start wearing maternity leggings by your second or third trimester. While there are some non-maternity leggings that you can wear throughout your pregnancy (like the Lululemon Align Pant), it’s also worth investing in maternity leggings that are designed specifically for pregnant bodies.
Types of maternity leggings
Maternity leggings are different from regular leggings because they incorporate a bump-friendly design. Here are the main types of leggings for pregnancy:
- Over-the-bump panels: Many maternity leggings have fabrics that go all the way over your belly. They’re stretchy so they shouldn’t feel constricting, and sometimes even offer support to ease lower back pain.
- Low-rise fits: For moms that prefer to leave their bumps uncovered, these leggings sit below the bump, yet are stretchy enough to accommodate pregnant bodies.
- Foldable bands: Some styles are versatile so you can choose whether to wear the panel over the belly or roll it down for less coverage.
Why trust Good Housekeeping
Lexie Sachs is the Executive Director of the Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Lexie has not only performed extensive testing on dozens of leggings styles both in the Lab and with consumer testers, but she also oversees maternity gear to find the best products for parents in the expecting and postpartum stages. A mom to two young kids, Lexie has personally tried out many of the leggings featured in this article.
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