The 16 Best High-Waisted Underwear Styles for Maximum Comfort
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The Girlfriend Raven High-Rise Brief is our top pick
If high-rise jeans are your go-to ’fit, high-waisted underwear will change your life. They’re designed to shield your belly from your clothing’s fabric—e.g., the rough denim of a tight-fitting pair of jeans—and provide a second-skin feeling.
With that said, there’s no shortage of underwear on the market, but not all high-waisted styles are created equal. This can present a challenge in finding high-waisted styles that are great quality and comfortable enough to fully serve their purpose.
The Girlfriend Raven High-Rise Brief is so light and stretchy that it molds to your body like a second skin. These features and others factored into our decision to give this pair our top spot. Although, you can’t go wrong with Hanes’ Women's Breathable Cotton Hi-Cut Panty, which is a great bang for your buck.
To make the shopping process a little less stressful, we tapped Jenny Alaimo, designer and creative director at Richer Poorer, and Kyrstin Polin, a Bra Fit Expert at Bare Necessities, for their expert insights on the undergarment and help us determine the best picks. See and shop them, here.
Girlfriend Raven High-Rise Brief
The Girlfriend Raven High-Rise Brief is our top pick because it checks nearly every single one of our boxes. For one, it’s designed to be lightweight and stretchy, to mold to your body and feel like a second skin. Like most of the brand’s offerings, it’s made, at least in part, from a synthetic material derived from recycled plastic water bottles. The brand promises breathability, so it’s a good option if you’re particularly active or if you plan to wear these on warm days when you’re likely to sweat. On top of all of that, the color options are plentiful, as are the sizes available.
Price at time of publish: $18
Material: 80% recycled plastic water bottles, 20% spandex | Size Range: XXS–6XL | Colors: Black, Shell, Copper, Lavender, Toast, Cinnamon +more
Hanes Women's Breathable Cotton Hi-Cut Panty
If you’re not looking to drop nearly $20 for a pair of skivvies, Hanes offers an alternative option for a much lower price. The brand’s Hi-Cut Panty style sells on Amazon in a pack of 10 for $17 (which comes out to less than $2 per pair). It’s made with comfy cotton and features a high-cut leg for a leg-lengthening look that eschews a true granny panty vibe.
Price at time of publish: $17
Material: Cotton, polyester | Size Range: 6–12 | Colors: Black, Multi
Balenciaga Logo Waist Rib Briefs
Lacy lingerie is always classic and, in that sense, can be justified in its splurge-worthiness. But with the exposed underwear trend taking hold, we felt that it was necessary to find you an option that offers more robust coverage under high- and low-rise jeans and sweatpants. Enter: Balenciaga’s Logo Waist Rib Brief. It’s made from a rib-knitted, synthetic blend with plenty of stretchy and topped off with a smooth, branded band to cinch the waist. If not with jeans, you can show it off under a pair of low-slung trousers and a cropped top as spring rolls in.
Price at time of publish: $68 on sale
Material: 96% polyamide, 4% elastane | Size Range: S–L | Colors: White, Brown, Camel, and Shell
wirarpa Women's High Waisted Cotton Underwear
Best Variety Pack
If you prefer to buy your undies in bulk, wirarpa from Amazon has a pack of four for under $35 that tens of thousands of reviewers have said they love, namely for their support post-Cesarean section. “I had a c section in 2019 with my son and I ordered these for that time. The pairs from that pack are still going strong almost 4 years later. They are SO comfortable and supportive without being like a compression fit,” wrote one reviewer. Another likes it for its relative affordability: “I was looking for good underwear that I could wear post C-section that would be comfortable given the healing area. These worked great for me. For some reason it was hard to find the right thing - and some other places they were like $40 for a single pair. This is a nice affordable option.” Choose from an assortment of colors, including green/orange/pink/purple and pink/blue/nude/black, or classic neutrals.
Price at time of publish: $31
Material: Cotton, spandex | Size Range: XS–5XL | Colors: Heather Gray, White, Black/Beige, Soothing Sea/Orange/Slate Rose/Lilac +more
Huha Mineral Brief
Huha’s underwear line focuses on products made with sustainable and antimicrobial TENCEL™ textiles, like modal and Lyocell, and a touch of spandex for structure. To take things a step further, the undies also feature a zinc oxide-infused lining to combat moisture that can cause skin irritation. So, essentially, this high-waisted brief is great for sensitive skin types and those most concerned with staying cool, dry, and, for lack of a better phrase, infection-free down there. Of course, those with an allergy or sensitivity to zinc should steer clear of this product.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: TENCEL™ modal, TENCEL™ lyocell, spandex | Size Range: XXS–3XL | Colors: Black, Beige, Gray +more
Amazon Essentials Women's Cotton High Leg Brief Underwear
Best Size Range
Tens of thousands of reviewers said they loved Amazon Essentials’ Women's Cotton High Leg Brief Underwear for reasons related to comfort, durability, and breathability. But the best part is, its wide size range allows virtually everyone to reap the benefits of these stretchy cotton knickers. Especially given the price point—$23 gets you a pack of 10—we couldn’t imagine a roundup without this pick.
Price at time of publish: 10 for $23
Material: 95% cotton, 5% spandex | Size Range: XXS–6X | Colors: Black, White, Dots and Stripes/Flowers +more
Everlane The Cotton High-Rise Bikini
Everlane’s The Cotton High-Rise Bikini undies are made for wearing every day. They’re inspired by the simple and sexy high-waisted styles from the ’90s, with its Supima cotton blend offering soft and luxe-feeling comfort. The high cut allows for easy movement, and you can likely rest assured that this pair will last you a long while, as Supima cotton is twice as strong as regular cotton, according to Supima’s website.
Price at time of publish: $11 on sale
Material: 92% cotton, 8% elastane | Size Range: XXS–XXL | Colors: Dark Sage
EBY Seamless High Waisted
EBY’s Highwaisted style is billed to have all of the key features of a perfect pair of seamless high-waisted underwear. It offers full coverage but with a no-slip design so they stay in place (that means no chafing) and unseen. As of now, they come in 10 colors and prints. And should you become a loyalist, the brand offers a subscription service that allows you to add three new pairs to your collection every three months at a discounted price.
Price at time of publish: $18
Material: Nylon, spandex, cotton | Size Range: XS–4X | Colors: Black, Grey, Nude, Ocean Depths +more
Alo Icon High-Cut Thong
If you’re looking for a pair of high-waisted underwear you can exercise in, Alo has you covered—literally—with the Icon High-Cut Thong. Made from jersey-like modal fabric that’s so easy to move in, whether you wear them to yoga or spin. Get the full effect with the matching Icon Cami Bra.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: 95% modal, 5% spandex | Size Range: XS–L | Colors: Athletic Heather Grey, White, Candy Pink, Smoky Quartz, Powder Pink +more
Spanx Everyday Shaping Panties Brief
The Everyday Shaping Panties Brief offers the seamless comfort and support for which Spanx is known. Its seamless waistband cinches the waist, and the high cut is designed to allow you to move with ease—an element you certainly don’t get with the brand’s signature mid-thigh shorts.
Price at time of publish: $22
Material: 89% nylon, 10% elastane, 1% cotton | Size Range: XS–3X | Colors: Soft Nude, Vintage Rose, Naked 3.0, Naked 4.0 +more
CUUP The Highwaist
CUUP’s The Highwaist underwear is so clean and classic. Like any great pair of high-cut, high-waisted underwear, it’s designed to cinch the waist, highlight the hips, and elongate the legs. In terms of function, it should offer easy movement, and its bamboo lining should wick moisture and keep you comfortable. Snatch it up in several cheery colors—we love Carmine (red) and Celadon (light green)—and benefit from the brand’s three-for-$16 offer.
Price at time of publish: $20 or 3 for $16
Material: 88% modal, 12% elastane | Size Range: XS–3XL | Colors: Black, Leopard, Taupe, Espresso, Carmine, Fuschia +more
SKIMS Fits Everybody High Waisted Thong
Skims combined the waist-cinching benefits of a high rise, the no-wedgie objective of a thong, and the shaping element of a high spandex content to make the Fits Everybody High-Waisted Thong. Despite its compressive nature, the brand promises that this style won’t dig. And, it comes in the brand’s signature wide color range, including seasonal hues like Fuschia and Sugar Plum in addition to its series of skin tones.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: 76% polyamide, 24% elastane | Size Range: XXS–4X | Colors: Marble, Sugar Plum, Fuschia, Sand, Mica, Clay +more
wirarpa Women's Boxer Briefs
When it comes to high-waisted underwear, the king of comfort is probably the boxer, wirarpa’s Boxer Briefs for women to be exact, which reviewers said they love for their versatility and light body contouring. “They are a little difficult to get into a pair of jeans,” one reviewer wrote candidly. “The cotton material doesn’t slide very easily. I even wear just them with a T-shirt when I’m exercising at home. I feel as though I’m covered.” We recommend wearing the tight-fitting design under baggy jeans (to help keep your thighs insulated in brisk weather), as loungewear, or even as lightweight biker shorts.
Price at time of publish: $36
Material: 95% combed cotton, 5% spandex | Size Range: S–3XL | Colors: Black, White, multicolored
Parade Seamless Sculpt High Rise Boyshort
To get the most coverage without venturing into full brief territory, go for a pair of high-rise boyshorts. This offer from Parade is lightweight and features minimal side seams for a smoothing effect. Wear it under mini dresses and skirts, to bed with a T-shirt, or under a pair of joggers when you want to max out on comfort around the house.
Material: Not listed | Size Range: XS–3XL | Colors: Breeze, Poseidon, Antoinette, Hula Hoop, Dirty Martini +more
Price at time of publish: $13 or 5 for $45
Thinx Super Hi-Waist
Best for Periods
The carefree feeling you have when you have an assurance that you won’t leak through a pair of underwear is almost indescribable, but if you’re reading this, chances are you know it. Or at least, if you still haven’t found that perfect pair, you can imagine what it would feel like. Either way, we raise this option in the high-waisted category. Thinx’s Hi-Waist is designed to gently hug the stomach and absorb up to five tampons worth of menses. Although we haven’t tested this pair specifically, we feel confident in it because Byrdie editors have tried and approved several other styles from Thinx, having rated them for comfort, durability, efficacy, and pricing.
However, it is worth noting that Thinx settled a lawsuit (Dickens, et al. v. Thinx Inc. Settlement) in 2022 regarding the presence of PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” in several of their styles, found by an independently conducted test. The suit argues that the presence of these chemicals is harmful to users and is contrary to the brand’s advertising as free of harmful chemicals.
Price at time of publish: $35
Material: Polyamide, elastane, cotton, polyester, polyurethane | Size Range: XS–4X | Colors: Black, Dusk, Spicy
Savage x Fenty Savage Not Sorry High-Leg Lace Brazilian
Leave it to Rihanna to perfect a pair of pinup girl-inspired panties. This entirely sheer style sits high on the hips and has a Brazilian back, which is perfect for those who like a little less coverage around the butt. Satisfied customers said they love the flattering fit. One reviewer said the style feels “like comfortable ‘granny panties’ but look and make me feel sooo great.”
Price at time of publish: $25
Material: Nylon, elastane, cotton | Size Range: XS–3X | Colors: Black Caviar and Purple Lavender
Jenny Alaimo is the designer and creative director at the basics brand Richer Poorer.
Krystin Polin is a Bra Fit Expert at Bare Necessities, an online lingerie retailer that carries brands such as Calvin Klein, Cosabella, Simone Perele, and more.
Overall, we love Girlfriend's Raven High-Rise Brief because it's so light and stretchy that it molds to your body like a second skin. Like most of the brand’s offerings, it’s made, at least in part, from a synthetic material derived from recycled plastic water bottles. So, it's an all-around thoughtful choice. However, if you're looking for the best bang for your buck, Hanes’ Women's Breathable Cotton Hi-Cut Panty will keep you comfortable for less (roughly $16 less per pair).
What to Look for in High-Waisted Underwear
First and foremost, you want to look at the underwear fabric to ensure maximum comfort. “I never want any stiff or restrictive materials for my underwear, so I opt for super soft and lightweight, yet durable, high-waisted underwear,” says Alaimo. “Cotton is always a great option because it’s super breathable and natural.” In addition to cotton, she recommends looking for styles in bamboo or modal because they have “just the right amount of slink and stretch without bagging out.”
In addition to fabric, Alaimo says to look for simple designs that still feel sexy. She recommends something that boasts “a sleek front with a high-cut leg” or a touch of mesh “for a peak of skin.”
Design can also play into the function you seek, as high-waisted underwear comes in a variety of cuts, such as briefs and thongs, with varying levels of control and coverage, Polin points out, so it’s best to consider with which garments you would wear high-waisted underwear before purchasing a specific style. “If you are looking for something to smooth you out underneath formalwear or a particular dress, you may want to purchase a high-waist panty that offers [extensive and firm shaping], which comes up closer to the bra line. This will give you more coverage and control in the tummy area [than the average pair],” she says. However, if you’re looking for a style to buy in bulk and wear daily, you would want to look for something that can be worn comfortably under most clothing and offers light to no control. “This will provide you with more comfort and flexibility to move throughout your day,” she adds.
Underwear sizing can vary from brand to brand, Polin points out, so it’s best to reference a size chart before purchasing any product. Similar to bras, you want to wear the right size panty to avoid underwear lines showing through your clothing. Doing so will also help you avoid digging (from a pair that’s too small) or bunching (in a pair that’s too large).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the point of high-waisted underwear?
<p>Comfort is a key focus when it comes to high-waisted underwear, “so that woven or harsh fabrics don’t have to sit directly against the skin,” Alaimo says.</p>
Is high-waisted underwear comfortable?
<p>According to Alaimo, high-waisted underwear is usually very comfortable “as long as it is underwear and not shapewear,” which is, by nature, more restrictive. To be comfortable in high-waisted underwear, you should ensure that a style fits well and doesn’t dig into your body or slide around too much. It should feel supportive, breathable, and barely there.</p>
Why Trust Byrdie
Jessie Quinn has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University. When researching the best high-waisted underwear for Byrdie, she researched items that seemed well-constructed, stylish, and above all else, comfortable.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough high-waisted underwear from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.