Textile Experts Confirm Lululemon Leggings are Worth the Splurge

Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping Institute
·7 mins read
Photo credit: lululemon
Photo credit: lululemon

From Good Housekeeping

It's no secret that Lululemon leggings are the holy grail of workout pants, but it might surprise you just how many styles and materials there are to choose from. Each fabric feels unique and is designed specifically for certain activities, from soft, lightweight styles for yoga, to smooth, compressive tights to wear during high-intensity exercise. Whether you're a long-standing Lululemon fanatic or are trying out the brand for the first time, it's important to understand the options so you pick out your best pair of leggings.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests leggings of all kinds using our Lab equipment and real consumer testers. When it comes to workout tights like Lululemon, we look at construction, opacity, sweat-wicking capabilities, pilling resistance, washability, and more. Then we have testers wear the leggings during real workouts to give feedback on factors like fit, breathability, comfort, and appearance. We looked at our test history of Lululemon leggings, called in newer styles to review in person, and worked directly with the Lululemon team to break down the best styles to buy based on where you plan to wear them.

First off, are Lululemon leggings worth it?

Yes! The Lululemon brand has performed exceptionally well in our evaluations and are personal favorites of the Textiles and Wellness experts on our staff. That doesn't mean you absolutely must spend $100 to get a good pair of leggings, but if you know you'll get use out of them and are considering making the splurge, it's safe to say they're worth the investment. Each style has its own features that make it stand out from the rest, but overall, each pair of leggings are comfortable, flattering, and durable. Here are the best Lululemon leggings to buy based on your activity level and personal preferences:

Best Lululemon Leggings for Everyday Wear

Nulu

This unbelievably comfortable fabric is buttery soft and has a lightweight, barely-there feel. The stretchy material moves with you so you don't have to worry about it riding up or rolling down, and it has moisture-wicking properties so you won't miss out on the performance features.

The Align collection uses the Nulu fabric and is more minimal than other styles, meaning there are no unnecessary seams or panels throughout the leg. Each pair of leggings in this collection has a wide, flattering waistband that lies flat without any digging in whatsoever. Its comfort and basic design makes it versatile to wear as loungewear, travel gear, everyday clothing, or yoga pants.

  • Feels like: Buttery-soft and stretchy

  • Best for: Everyday wear, lounging, or yoga

Best Lululemon Leggings for Yoga

Luon

This is Lululemon's original yoga pant fabric and the one people commonly think of when they picture Lululemon leggings. You get the durability, moisture-wicking capabilities, and stretch properties of a performance material, but unlike shiny workout tights, it has a soft, matte feel that's both lightweight and breathable.

The most popular style made of Luon is the Wunder Under Tight, which was a winner in our review against dozens of other brands. Testers raved that it felt like second skin and said it “allowed for a good range of motion” and “didn’t give me wedgies and the band didn’t move at all" during use.

  • Feels like: Soft and matte, similar to cotton

  • Best for: Yoga, barre, or other low-impact studio workouts with lots of movement

Best Lululemon Leggings for Running

Luxtreme

If you're looking for a compressive tight while you run, the Luxtreme fabric is your best bet and is available in a wide variety of styles. The material feels smooth and wicks moisture, which is especially important for running: Friction from fast, repetitive movements mixed with sweat can cause chafing and irritation.

Luxtreme is available in more styles than any other materials, but the Speed Up Tight is most popular option for running. Its features include pockets that are big enough to hold your smart phone and a continuous drawstring that won't fall out in the wash. Other options include the All The Right Places Crop, which has supportive panels for training; the Pace Rival Crop, which has mesh panels for breathability; and the Wunder Under Tight, which is more minimal.

  • Feels like: Smooth and slightly compressive

  • Best for: Running or cross-training

Nulux

This material is also designed for running, but it's more lightweight than Luxtreme. While compression leggings support your muscles as you run, Nulux is better for those who prefer a less restrictive material for a better range of motion. It's also quick-drying, making these leggings ideal for hot weather.

The Fast and Free Tight is the top style using Nulux fabric and comes in plenty of variations, including the length, rise, and whether there are reflective details. Each style has deep pockets on the sides and interior drawcord to get the right fit.

  • Feels like: Sleek, smooth, and lightweight

  • Best for: Running

Best Lululemon Leggings for Training

Everlux

Everlux is ideal for for high-intensity exercise – whether it's weightlifting, spinning, taking a HIIT class, or doing CrossFit – thanks to its technical features. It's quick-drying so you don't have to worry about excess sweat; stretchy so you can easily move around; and smooth to avoid friction. Its one of the most unique fabrications because the inside is sleek and smooth against your skin, but the outside has a soft, brushed feel.

Your best options in the Everlux collection are the Invigorate and the Wunder Train Tights. The Invigorate style has deep pockets on the side, while the Wunder Train is more minimal with less seams. Both have continuous drawcords and the same performance material.

  • Feels like: Smooth and sleek on inside, buttery soft on the outside

  • Best for: Intense exercise like weightlifting, spinning, CrossFit, and HIIT workouts

More tips for shopping at Lululemon

Once you pick your preferred fabric and leggings style, Lululemon gives you more options to consider like the height of the waistband, the length of the legs, and whether you prefer basic colors or fun prints. Here are the additional specifications to keep in mind:

  • Fabric variations: You may notice some of the styles use "Full on" in the product name, like "Full on Luon" or "Full on Luxtreme." This means the fabric has a tighter knit, providing more coverage and compression.

  • Sizing: Lululemon sizes range from 0-14. If you're in between sizes, it's better to size up: If the pants fit too snug then they can restrict your movements. And if you're insure what size you get, you can schedule a free virtual consultation.

  • Waistband: Most Lululemon leggings are high waisted because it's a flattering rise that stays in place when you move. For an even higher band, you can find a super high rise in yoga-specific styles like the Align Pant or Wunder Under Tight. Alternatively, if you prefer a below-the-belly-button fit, opt for running tights that have a mid-rise, like the Speed Up Tight.

  • Inseam: Full-length leggings have a 28" inseam, but many options are available in 31" for those who need the extra length. If you have shorter legs or prefer an ankle-length, opt for the 25" inseam. Most styles are also available as crop leggings, which range from 17"-23" lengths.

  • Other features: Consider whether you'll need roomy pockets, reflective details, or a drawcord that lets you tighten the fit at the waist. You can also choose between a wide range of solid colors and prints, with more options available among the most popular styles.

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