Leggings are a staple item for almost every pregger’s wardrobe as they are hands-down the best option for comfort. They not only offer coziness but are also super-stretchy and feel so soft to the ever-expanding belly. Even better, they can be worn anytime anywhere (from the gym to the office), so long as they are styled with the right top. If you are looking for some maternity fashion inspiration, here are our picks of the best 7 maternity leggings to get you started. They vary in price but offer quality, style, and satisfaction to mothers across all trimesters and beyond the postnatal period.
Comparison Table the Best Maternity Leggings
|Item||Fabric||Length||Belly panel||Machine washable|
|1. Mothers Essentials||92% polyamide and 8% elastane||Full length||Yes||No|
|2. Foucome Capri Leggings||87% nylon and 13% spandex||Three-quarter length||Full belly coverage||Yes|
|3. Preggo Faux Leather Maternity Leggings||Faux/vegan leather and cotton||Ankle length||Over the belly||Handwash and line dry|
|4. Franato New Lady
|95% nylon and 5% elastane||Above ankle length||Yes||Yes- warm, gentle machine|
|5. Foucome Under the belly Maternity leggings||95% cotton and 5% elastane||Capri length||Under the belly||Machine wash- cold water cycle|
|6. PattyBoutik Maternity Crop Leggings||87% nylon and 13% spandex||Capri length||Over the belly||Yes|
|7. Uniform Goods Maternity Leggings||Cotton and spandex||Full length||Over the belly||Machine wash- cold water cycle|
Table of Contents
- Our Top Picks of the Best Maternity Leggings on Amazon in 2018
- Why Maternity Leggings?
- When to Start Wearing Maternity Leggings
- Factors to Consider before Making the Buying Decision
- How to Style Maternity Leggings
- How to Maintain Your Leggings
- Our Favorite Maternity Legging
Our Top Picks of the Best Maternity Leggings on Amazon in 2018
Mothers essentials, as the name suggests, are an indispensable item for all pregnant women. They are made of a mix of 92% polyamide and 8% elastane, making them super comfy and stretchy. These leggings actually remind us of the one-size-fits-all types of clothes. They have a panel that snugly covers the entire belly to provide posture, tummy and back support. Another good thing about the snug fit is that they give an excellent compression around the legs, which supports movement and reduces swelling by aiding flow of blood.
They are seamless, have moisture-wicking features and are quite breathable. They therefore keep you dry at all times and do not give that sticky and itchy feeling when you sweat. Above all, they are not only meant for pregnant moms but also postnatal mums, due to their ability to adjust to body changes.
- Great for improving posture and movement
- Price is pocket-friendly
- Provide maximum coverage from the bottom of the ribcage to the arch of the foot
- Choice of two colors; black and grey
- Very comfortable and soft
- The legs have a long fit, and so, some material may be left bulking over the ankles
- Thin fabric
These black maternity leggings feature a 3D full-panel cutting that supports the belly uniformly, without applying pressure on specific points. In addition to the belly panel support, there is a maternity belly band that is aimed at combating round ligament and back pains by taking off pressure off the spine. They are made of 87% nylon and 13% spandex, which allows stretch in the four directions and are non-see through. The fabric is also absorbent and features a breathable mesh that allows free circulation of air, making them suitable for warmer weather. The fact that they are also Capri length makes them even more suitable to enjoy the summer weather or a yoga class.
When compared to other maternity leggings on this list, Foucome Capri leggings are not seamless. However, the seams are specially designed to be chafe-resistant, so you do not have to worry about friction and itchiness. They have convenient side pockets which you can use to store small essentials like energy snacks, keys, identity documents or a phone.
- Stylish with a figure-flattering silhouette
- A non-constricting waistband that can be rolled under the belly
- Perfect for summer
- Chaf-free seams that allow free range of movement
- The fabric is quite stretchy and adapts to the growing belly
- Convenient pockets
- Visible seams
If you are into heavy metal fashion, then these maternity leather leggings are an exceptional must-have item. They do not just make a style statement; they are super comfy with a gentle stretch that gives a beautiful fit. They feature a four-way stretch vegan leather fabric and a cotton bump panel that sits comfortably on the entire belly. On the inside, they are fully lined to make you stay warm especially in the cold season, making them one of the most appropriate choices for winter maternity leggings.
The great thing about leather is that it can never be see-through, and it has a slimming effect especially on the hips and thighs. That means that they give a slim fit that can be comfortably paired with heels to give an edge on the maternity look. The crotch area has reinforced stitching, to lower the risk of accidental tears.
- Adorable and stylish
- Discreet and comfortable fit
- Suitable for the cold season
- Easy to fit with a satisfactory “fit as expected” feedback
- They may not hold up well
- Since it is leather, the leggings are not as breathable as the ones made with natural fabric
The blend of 95% nylon and 5% elastane gives Franato leggings a good compression fit that adjusts nicely around the abdomen while providing sufficient support underneath the belly. Nylon is the most useful synthetic material, just like cotton is the most versatile natural fabric. Although it is not as thick as cotton, it is easy to maintain, and highly resistant to natural destructors like molds and fungi. Moreover, nylon is tough and durable; it is reasonably wear-proof, resists sunlight and weathering. You will therefore wear these leggings much longer, without noticing a change in color or stretch.
You may be tempted to think that because the fabric is nylon, it will have some sheer. That is not the case. The material is much thicker than what is used in stockings and socks, so there is no sheerness, so long as you pick the right size. The soft belly band in addition to providing belly support also relieves pressure from the back. It stretches as the fetus grows, and even goes back to a flat shape once the bundle of joy is out.
- Highly durable
- Elastic and flexible for the entire maternity and postpartum period
- Very easy to maintain
- High-density knit with no sheerness and sliding down
- Ideal for summer weather
- Stylish fit and colors
- Have visible support seams on the crotch area though they can be covered with a long tunic, shirt or top
Foucome Under the belly is the product of choice if you do not like leggings that pull over your belly. The major highlight is that they are made of 95% cotton and 5% elastane. Cotton is unbeatable when it comes to the ability to control moisture, provide insulation and comfort, durability, and weather resistance. Moreover, cotton rarely causes allergic reactions, and therefore recommended if you are sensitive to any other fabric. A little bit of elastane is used to add some stretch and flatter the figure.
They fit great just under the belly and are super lightweight. The waistband is wide enough with an elastic band that is V-shaped, designed to stay nicely under the bump without causing excessive pressure. The back side is further reinforced to give additional back and movement support. The underbelly design also makes it possible for these leggings to be worn throughout pregnancy and postnatally. The downside is that they can be see-through when wearing bright underwear.
- The fabric is mostly natural and eco-friendly
- Has minimal pressure on the belly
- Suitable for use before, during and after pregnancy
- Weather resistant and can be worn in spring, fall and winter with thermals
- Variety of colors to choose from
- Not limited in length. One can select long, ankle or maternity Capri lengths
- Runs small and one may have to order 2 to 3 sizes larger than their standard size
PattyBoutik, Shaping Series leggings, feature a unique and stylish V-shaped back and single-layered design that gives it a pulling effect to support the belly and minimize back pressure. The fabric is 87% nylon and 13% spandex, is moderately thick, soft to touch, breathable and quite stretchy. Instead of the usual simple and stretchy belly panel that most other maternity leggings have, these have a 3D panel with no extra fabric. The panel provides full belly coverage with the upper part extending all the way to the bra line. It applies equal pressure on all areas of the abdomen, so you do not have to worry about mechanical stress on a specific point. It has visible seams, but that is just a minor issue as they are meant to reduce wear and tear. Furthermore, the seams can be hidden with your top or shirt of choice.
- Super stretchy and not see through
- The belly panel has plenty of room for growth
- Stylish front panel and low-cut back panel
- Designed to reduce lower back pressure
- Available in three other different colors other than black
- Tend to run a little big, thus ordering a size smaller than normal is okay
- Visible seams
These cozy black and gray leggings are knit with cotton and elastic spandex. They are super soft, stretch as the baby grows and are equally durable. They have a slim fit, so perfect to be paired with something that will give an edgy casual look. The supportive built-in waist belt for extra support to the abdomen is another brilliant feature that caught our attention. Even better, the fabric is made of soft cotton, and as you know, comfort is an inherent characteristic of cotton-made clothing. Moreover, if you have itching and sweat issues especially during the third trimester, then cotton fabric will eliminate moisture buildup and resist varying types of temperature.
- Can easily transition from an official to a casual look
- Quality and durable fabric that can withstand regular washings without fading
- Excellent stitching
- Reasonable pricing
- Adjustable waistband
- Fabric is thick enough and not see through
- Waistband button may dig into the belly as pregnancy progresses
Why Maternity Leggings?
Wearing maternity leggings comes with a whole lot of benefits. First, as you have read from the reviews above, maternity leggings are super comfortable. They are made of quite soft and stretchy fabric that hugs the body frame lightly. Additionally, a good number of leggings extend to the bra line, covering the whole belly. Regular leggings, on the other hand, make the belly spill out, and their elastic bands dig deep into the flesh of the lower abdomen. In pregnancy, the tummy area should stay as comfortable as possible with no stress or pressure exerted on it.
Secondly, maternity leggings are specially designed to accommodate the growing little human being. They keep on stretching as the baby grows. Last but not least, maternity leggings make pregnancy look stunning as they fit snuggly and outline one’s body shape. In case of any unwanted flesh folds, they can always be covered with a long shirt, tunic or dress.
When to Start Wearing Maternity Leggings
There are no hard and fast rules on the stage that you should start wearing maternity clothes. It all depends on when you begin to feel uncomfortable or when unbuttoning your shirt does not only happen after meals but constantly. However, there are some few things that you need to have in mind. For some women, fat deposit may start early in the first trimester while for others, much change is noticed from the second trimester. Short women may show earlier while overweight women may not show early but tend to gain more weight throughout pregnancy. If expecting twins, then the bump will definitely protrude much earlier.
Having seen that, it is clear that baby bumps come in all sizes and shapes, just like they do pre-pregnancy. Some bellies may protrude faster than others, but by 16-20 weeks, most women feel the need to transition to looser and more comfortable clothes. That being said, you do not have to buy maternity leggings at exactly 16 weeks. It is a good idea to buy as soon as you can, to avoid making purchases in a hurry then end up buying something ugly, expensive or both.
Factors to Consider before Making the Buying Decision
Choose fabric that will give you comfort, good coverage and the kind of appearance that you would like to achieve. Each type of fabric has its pros and cons. Cotton is super comfortable, well absorbent, is hypoallergenic and has excellent moisture control. However, it takes longer to dry and may become see-through if overstretched. Nylon-lycra can be a bit costly and may have a little bit of sheen if not thick enough, but it is tough, durable and can hold its shape and color for a long time. Polyester also keeps its shape longer and gives better color performance results, but then it may not stretch throughout pregnancy.
This goes without saying- weight gain is a must in pregnancy. Anything that is stretchable is definitely going to give you better flexibility.
- Full-coverage belly panel vs. under-the-belly waistband style
Maternity leggings either give full coverage to the belly, go midwaist or just stay under the belly, at the waist level. Whichever style suits you depends on the progress of the pregnancy and what is more comfortable for you. Over-the-belly leggings are preferred by many as they offer extra coverage, support, and warmth. In early in pregnancy when the belly is too small, you may choose one with a roll-down panel, which will work both when the tummy expands and during postpartum days.
Something to have in mind is that near the end of pregnancy, the belly gets a bit itchy due to the stretching of the skin. Contact between the abdomen and tight clothes even makes it worse. This may prompt you to switch to under-belly maternity leggings but if you insist on the belly panel support, avoid leggings made with synthetic materials and instead go for natural materials like cotton.
Maternity leggings can either be full-length or three quarter (Capri length). If you have problems with varicose veins or unwanted marks, then ankle-length leggings are the way to go. Also, during colder weather days, you will need to cover up your legs for warmth. If it’s in summer, then your legs will enjoy the sun when you dorn Capri leggings.
It is critical to choose a pair that fits well, to ensure that it does not become see-through when overstretched. Also have in mind that as the pregnancy progresses, not only does your belly get bigger and bigger but also your thighs. It is thus apparent that you may not wear the same leggings right from conception to delivery (though some are designed to be worn throughout pregnancy to the postpartum period). It is therefore essential to allow room for expansion.
To determine your right size, measure the size of your hips and waist, then compare it with each brand’s sizing chart. Most products have different sizing variations, so it is important to figure out which of their sizes is suitable for you.
Maternity leggings provide not only coverage but also warmth. If the weather is a bit cool, you will need to get leggings that are thick enough or even lined with fleece. If you live in a hot and humid area, then you’ll want to skip the thick leggings and go for lightweight ones.
There are seamless leggings and those with seams. If seams are present, they need to stretch too and should not be rough as they will be tight against the skin, causing discomfort and chaffing.
How to Style Maternity Leggings
We love maternity leggings because they can easily be dressed up for an office meeting, lunch date and then back to a laidback look for a walk to the stores. You will need maternity tops that are long- generally tunics, sweaters, or dress tops. Wrap a belt above or below the belly to give the top some shape and wrap it off with a pair of comfortable sandals, boots or heels depending on the occasion.
How to Maintain Your Leggings
Maternity leggings are a necessary layering garment for every expectant woman, and the last thing you will want is for them to shrink or get torn just because you did not take proper care of them. The first thing to do once you purchase the leggings is to check manufacturer’s instructions on how to take care of the leggings, depending on the fabric used.
- For spandex fabric, do not iron not unless the settings are on the lowest heat possible. They should also be hand washed with soft detergents that do not have chlorine or fabric conditioner. That will ensure they do not excessively get stretched by destroying their structure or lose their color. Also, remember to use lukewarm water, and avoid wringing them.
- For nylon, handwashing and air drying will extend their life. If machine washing, choose the gentle cycle and warm water. You may use regular laundry detergent, but not those with chlorine bleach.
- Cotton leggings can absorb body smells and stains permanently if not well taken care of. Use cold water and color safe stain removers for the problematic areas. Avoid drying the leggings on a washing line as the hanging can inevitably stretch out the fabric. If using the tumble dryer, take them out while still damp. For ironing, cotton can withstand higher temperatures.
- Polyester fabric can be safely machine washed, not unless the manufacturer states otherwise. Use warm water cycle and detergent if necessary.
Our Favorite Maternity Legging
Our top pick is the Mothers Essentials maternity leggings. They are simple yet ultra-comfy. Their design gives a gentle compression fit that supports not only the belly but also the lower back and blood flow to the lower limbs. They are seamless, meaning that you do not have to worry about friction or wear and tear. Furthermore, the fabric has moisture-wicking ability and so, sweating and scratching from sweat-build up is something that you will not have to deal with. In few words, these leggings are ultimately made for comfort throughout pregnancy.