Advertisement
Advertisement

Best maternity leggings 2022: Comfy and stylish leggings to wear during pregnancy and beyond

Maria Cruz
31 May 2022
Advertisement

A comfier alternative to pregnancy jeans, maternity leggings are ideal for working from home, keeping fit or just going about the day

Maternity wear is important during pregnancy, even in the first trimester, as your changing shape needs clothes that can adapt to it. With your rapidly expanding belly, the nausea, backache and swollen ankles, what you wear during pregnancy needs to support you properly given how much harder it is to move around and even simply get dressed in the morning.

Most mums-to-be agree that the one item of mat-wear they can’t live without is maternity leggings. They’re the most comfortable and practical piece of clothing you can wear during pregnancy and beyond. They’re easier to get on than a pair of jeans, and they can even look great, too.

The magic of maternity-style leggings is in that extra bit of fabric at the waistband that goes over the bump, or is folded down to sit comfortably underneath. A good pair of leggings is the perfect investment during pregnancy, and one that will be utilised many times over, but which of the many available options are the best?

We’ve reviewed and tested some of the best maternity leggings around and also provided a brief guide on what to look for when shopping for them.

READ NEXT: The best nursing bras you’ll want to wear all day


Best maternity leggings: At a glance


How to choose the best maternity leggings for you

While most major women’s clothing retailers offer a selection of maternity leggings, the quality can vary considerably from product to product. No-one wants see-through, uncomfortable leggings that can start to split at the seams at the very first wash; we need soft, moisture-wicking, eye-pleasing wear to make us look and feel wonderful (even though we might be a little achy, sore and breathless).

What type of maternity leggings are there?

In addition to being available in various lengths (full, cropped or shorts), maternity leggings usually come in two main styles: over- and under-the-bump.

Over-the-bump: This type of maternity legging incorporates a stretchy panel at the waistband that can be pulled over the entire bump with ease. Over-the-bump leggings can provide an extra bit of support for a growing bump and can keep you warmer during colder months, too. These types of leggings often have a supported waistband to keep you as comfortable as possible when on the move.

Under-the-bump: Designed without the additional bump panel, this style of maternity leggings has a waistband that sits just under the bump and is made to expand as your bump grows. These make a good option for the warmer months when clothing starts to feel too hot.

There are also many under-the-bump designs that can double up as over-the-bump ones: the waistband sits underneath but can be pulled up and stretched over the bump if needed.

What material should I choose?

Whether you’re looking for a pair of maternity leggings for everyday use, for working from home or for exercise, there are a couple of key factors to keep in mind when it comes to their material and make-up.

Fabric: Depending on the type of legging desired, choosing a material that allows more stretch and air flow is recommended. At least a little bit of elastine is usually a must for the stretch factor, and it’s advisable to avoid materials that tend to make you feel sweaty or itchy after wearing them for a long time. While there may be many budget leggings available, it’s worth paying a little bit extra for a well-constructed pair; the point of maternity leggings is to buy them once and not to have to replace them a few months down the line.

Support: Maternity leggings should feel 100% comfortable and supportive with enough stretch. Some leggings are available with extra belly support, ideal for bumps that feel particularly heavy and back-straining. Since your bump will be growing each week (though sometimes it will feel like it’s growing by the minute), buying a size up from what you would usually wear might be a good idea. Though these leggings are typically designed to be bought in your own size, a slightly larger pair could add to the comfort.

READ NEXT: The best pregnancy pillows to buy from £8

The best maternity leggings you can buy in 2022

1. H&M MAMA Seamless Leggings: Best maternity leggings for daily comfort

Price: £18 | Buy now from H&M

These H&M maternity leggings from the MAMA range are a popular item for many mums-to-be. The minimal seams on these microfibre leggings provide a more comfortable fit and increased mobility, while the elasticated, ribbed, high-waist belly panel fits comfortably over the tummy. They have a soft feel and plenty of stretch, without being see-through, to last you through pregnancy and well into motherhood.

We love that you can style these pretty leggings with anything and, no matter how many times you machine-wash and tumble-dry them, they retain that new feel. They have a timeless style and come in three colours – black, dark grey and dark greige – that go with just about anything. They can also be worn for anything from exercising to just lounging about.

Key specs – Material: Polyamide 91%, elastane 9%; Sizes available: XS-XXL; Machine washable: Yes

Buy now from H&M


2. New Look Leather-Look Maternity Leggings: Best maternity leggings for date night

Price: £20 | Buy now from New Look

“Clothes that fit” are usually the only criteria on the list for most mothers looking for maternity clothes. But just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style. Pregnancy clothes can be flattering, too, as evidenced by these comfy and cool leather-look maternity leggings from New Look. Perfect for jazzing up a day outfit or wearing out on date night, these skinny-fit leggings have an elasticated waist that ensures optimal comfort.

Being a mother means you sacrifice so much of yourself for your family, which is why it’s nice – and really important – to have something that makes you feel good about yourself, even if it is just a piece of clothing. These stylish leggings fit the bill. They have elegant seams running down the front and back of the legs, are super shiny and look realistically leathery. They’re conveniently machine-washable and reasonably priced, too.

Key specs – Material: Polyurethane, polyester, cotton and elastane; Sizes available: 8–26; Machine washable: Yes

Buy now from New Look


3. Seraphine Bump and Back Support Maternity Leggings: Best maternity leggings for support

Price: £52 | Buy now from Seraphine

Among the most high-quality leggings we’ve come across, this pair from Seraphine is durable enough for daily wear and built to last, as long as you wash them at 30°C and keep them out of the tumble dryer. As a mother, you’ll be on the hunt for clever and practical solutions to make life easier, and these leggings will not only leave you feeling fabulous but also provide that sought-after practicality thanks to a handy side pocket for your phone, keys or a small purse.

They’re great for workouts, with plenty of support for your belly as well as a panel for extra back support. They’re also breathable and super comfy, perfect for daily wear, as well as being totally opaque so you won’t have to worry about your underwear showing through. They extend to the full leg length and come in a practical black, plus two cute additional colours: sage and azure. Did we mention it has a pocket?

Key specs – Material: Nylon 77%, elastane 23%; Sizes available: XS-XL; Machine washable: Yes, at 30°C; do not tumble dry

Buy now from Seraphine


4. Jojo Maman Bébé Cotton-Rich Cropped Maternity Leggings: Best cropped maternity leggings

Price: £19 | Buy now from Jojo Maman Bébé

These trusty cropped leggings from Jojo Maman Bébé are comfortable and versatile. If you’re feeling too warm to wear full-on leggings but don’t want to wear shorts, a cropped style can help boost your confidence while keeping you comfortable. They’re practical when on the move and can also be styled-up for a cuter look.

The material of these leggings is breathable yet thick, meaning they’re not see-through and they don’t get baggy with daily wear, either. They fit true to size, are flattering, and support the bump well. Their cropped style makes them ideal for all months (except maybe deep winter), and they feel less restrictive than a full-length pair of trousers. Whether going out in them or wearing them for your prenatal Pilates class, this is one item that’s sure to become a staple in your maternity wardrobe.

Key specs – Material: Cotton 95%, elastane 5%; Sizes available: Extra small, small, medium, large; Machine washable: Yes, at 40°C

Buy now from Jojo Maman Bébé


5. Adidas Maternity Badge of Sport Leggings: Best active maternity leggings

Price: £30 | Buy now from JD Sports

If you’re sticking to your resolution of staying active and keeping fit during your pregnancy (go, you!), you’ll need accommodating activewear. This high-rise, cotton-rich pair of maternity leggings from Adidas is perfect for active mamas-to-be, providing both comfort and support when exercising. These leggings incorporate a high-rise band to cradle the bump, but they can also double up as postnatal wear since this band can be folded down when not needed.

With their soft, stretchy material, these leggings offer back support through the waistband and can simply be thrown in the washing machine when it’s time to clean them. Their snug fit lasts all day without becoming baggy and, although they’re designed as an item of athletic wear, they don’t have the typical sporty design or a massive logo sprawled all over them, so they can easily double up as going-out leggings.

Key specs – Material: Cotton 93%, elastane 7%; Sizes available: XS, S; Machine washable: Yes

Buy now from JD Sports


6. Gap Recycled Under-Belly Power Leggings: Best moisture-wicking maternity leggings

Price: From £50 | Buy now from Gap

Keeping cool and regulating body temperature in those hotter months during pregnancy can be a mean feat but a good pair of moisture-wicking leggings, like these ones from Gap, can help keep you comfortable and dry. You may understandably prefer your maternity leggings not to go over the bump during the summer, and this pair has a waistband that’s been designed to sit comfortably underneath it and out of the way. That said, there’s an option to pull it up if you so wish.

Sporting a wide waistband and a curve-hugging structure, these leggings are both comfy and supportive – yet non-restrictive – and are made from 79% recycled material. We loved the soft fabric that feels top quality as well as the choice of cool colours, especially the Moonless Night and Rich Eggplant options. Though usually a little pricier than some other similar leggings (although they are currently much reduced on the Gap website), the fact that sweat patches will no longer be a concern makes them totally worth it.

Key specs – Material: Recycled polyester 79%, elastane 21%; Sizes available: XS-XL; Machine washable: Yes

Buy now from GAP


7. M&S Goodmove Maternity Go Balance Yoga Leggings: Best soft maternity leggings

Price: £25 | Buy now from M&S

Yet another good pair of moisture-wicking leggings (at a reasonable price), these Go Balance yoga leggings from the M&S Goodmove collection are comfortable and breathable. They’re able to dry quickly, whether they’re subjected to sweat, showers or if you just want to wear them soon after washing. These leggings also keep their shape through daily wear thanks to the “Flexifit” technology that’s designed to stay put.

The material is stretchy yet supportive and fully opaque so there’s no seeing through them even if you have to bend over. These leggings reach ankle length and are made from a beautifully soft recycled polyester material. The bump-covering section is a lightweight breathable mesh that supports the bump without feeling restrictive. Their moisture-wicking ability also makes them a great fit for working out, but they don’t look so sporty that you can’t wear them out to dinner, too.

Key specs – Material: Recycled polyester 78%, elastane 22%; Sizes available: 6–24; Machine washable: Yes

Buy now from M&S


8. ASOS DESIGN Over-the-Bump Cotton Legging Shorts: Best budget maternity leggings

Price: £8 | Buy now from ASOS

Designed to fit you from bump to baby, these stretchy maternity legging shorts from ASOS are a comfortable and versatile wardrobe piece that are great for exercising and running errands as well as lounging around. Their high-rise, bodycon fit and grey colour that goes with just about everything means you can even pair them with a nice top or short dress and wear them on a day out too. That said, grey does tend to emphasise sweat patches so you might want to wear a longer top with them on warmer days.

Even though they’re extremely affordable, these legging shorts are super cosy and the quality doesn’t feel cheap either. The elasticated waist section allows plenty of room for you and baby to grow and they come in a range of sizes and styles to suit different body shapes, pregnant or not. The maternity leggings featured here are a perfect wardrobe addition for pregnancy and beyond, and a real bargain at just £8.

Key specs - Material: cotton 90%, elastane 5%, viscose 5%; Sizes available: 8–20; Machine washable: yes

Buy now from ASOS