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The 8 Best Cotton Leggings

Cotton is a natural fiber that is famously soft, strong, breathable, easy to care for, and relatively cheap — which makes it a great choice for everyday clothes, and especially loungewear. However, cotton alone doesn’t stand up to the stretching required of most leggings (it can lose its shape). That's where synthetic fibers come in. A small dose of spandex or polyester blended in can make a big improvement in the overall feel of your leggings. This is why for most activities, the best cotton leggings aren’t actually pure cotton, but are instead made from a minimum of a 50% cotton blend. The exact percentage of cotton will come down to what activity you plan on wearing the leggings for.

Lounge Leggings

Leggings for lounging can have a higher cotton content because they don’t need to defy sweat and gravity like a pair of performance leggings would. If you want some cotton leggings mostly for Netflix and chilling, look for ones with just a small percentage of spandex included. (Note: For those who demand all-natural fibers, don't worry, there's one pick below that still boasts 100% cotton.)

Workout Leggings

For true athletic leggings know that since cotton holds onto moisture, it’s not the best fabric for working out. The best moisture-wicking leggings are made with entirely synthetic fabrics. That said, if you love some cotton in the mix for softness and breathability, look for a blend with a higher percentage of synthetic fibers to help you stay dryer and more comfortable through yoga class.

Leggings That Look Like Pants

Leggings that can pass for jeans or work pants will also need a bit more synthetic fibers in order to hold their faux-structured shape. Look for pairs with belt loops, buttons, and pockets that sell the illusion of a more tailored pair. Belt loops also let you accessorize a bit more, and go a long way towards creating a dressier outfit. (Even if your pants secretly feel like pajamas.)

Wherever you're wearing them, these cotton leggings can rise to the occasion.

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1. These Soft Cotton Jersey Leggings You'll Wear Constantly

  • Cotton content: 92%

These basic cotton leggings have a dose of spandex (8%), so they’re soft and super-breathable but still fit snugly and hold their shape. A three-inch yoga waistband stays put without digging in, and the soft cotton jersey is perfect for lounging around. Plus, they come in four different lengths: slip shorts, bike shorts, capris, and full-length. "The material is cotton, so it can breath, but it isn’t see through and most importantly the waist band is wide and hits just below the belly button which is very comfortable," one shopper was pleased to report.

  • Available colors: multiple colors, including charcoal gray and solid black
  • Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large

2. Some 100% Cotton Leggings For Maximum Breathability

  • Cotton content: 100%

For people who crave all-natural fibers, these pure cotton leggings give you a streamlined fit without the synthetic materials. "I am truly impressed," one reviewer declared, noting, "The fit is great. It's not as form fitting, or tight as spandex yoga pants, but they're still soft and comfortable. They wear like a tighter pair of sweatpants, but they are ridiculously comfortable without the bagginess of sweatpants." They're tag-free, so they're extra comfortable on sensitive skin — and people with spandex allergies were big fans. The one caveat? Some shoppers cautioned that the natural fabric did tend to shrink in a hot dryer.

  • Available colors: 11, including turquoise, yellow, and red
  • Available sizes: X-Small - X-Large

3. These Black Cotton Leggings That Aren’t See Through

Cotton content: 88%

These high-waisted cotton leggings have 12% elastane (i.e. spandex) and are woven in a thick knit that’s almost as thick as ponte. Shoppers rave about these leggings being completely opaque and holding their shape comfortably through all-day wear. "I absolutely love these leggings. I always struggle to find ones that aren't see through. The material is thick and soft, and it is 100% opaque. They fit great and have the perfect amount of stretch," one shopper commented. Another fan declared, "These are literally the sleep leggings you take off to put on your work out leggings (which are the same damn pair) and then put on your office leggings (which, SURPRISE - the same pair)."

  • Available colors: 4, including charcoal gray space dye
  • Available sizes: X-Small - XX-Large

4. Some Performance Leggings With Anti-Odor Tech

  • Cotton content: 58%

These cotton athletic leggings feature a hefty dose of moisture-wicking polyester and stretchy spandex, making for a lightweight, four-way stretch performance fabric. A thinner elastic waistband sits flat against the hip, and built-in fabric technology inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. "These leggings are so comfortable & moisture wicking feature is so awesome," one reviewer declared. Some shoppers thought the cotton fabric felt thin compared to synthetic workout leggings, but many appreciated how breathable and comfortable they were.

  • Available colors: 4, including graphite
  • Available sizes: X-Small - XX-Large

5. These Classic Gym Leggings That You Can Wear To Brunch

  • Cotton content: 55 percent

These cotton workout leggings look like your favorite comfy pair but are built for the gym, since they contain 37% polyester and 8% spandex. There's a wicking gusseted crotch for comfort, and their low-profile style is just as easy to wear for brunch. They have a wide waistband and an approximate 26-inch inseam that doesn't bunch at the ankles (there is also a subtle logo on the hip). "I've worn them during all sorts of exercise, including running, pilates, yoga, cardio, and weightlifting, and they never slide or show unmentionables. They are durable, comfortable, and opaque. They're also excellent as regular old non-exercise pants," one fan shared.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available sizes: X-Small - 3X

6. Some Plain Denim Leggings

  • Cotton content: 61%

Classic leggings in a denim fabric are a nice alternative to have for comfortable outfits on casual days. This pick has faux front pockets as well as a faux fly, with a flat elastic waistband free of buttons and belt loops to maintain their streamlined fit. (Those back pockets are real, however.) "I was a jeans girl, and then I became a leggings girl," explained one shopper (who could be speaking for all of us). Another fan noted that these leggings can definitely pass for real denim, "I wear them to work every week and no one can tell."

  • Available colors: 3, including a dark denim wash
  • Available sizes: Small - XX-Large

7. Plus, Another Pair That Totally Passes For Jeans

  • Cotton content: 81%

Cotton denim leggings with belt loops, a faux-button fly, and functional back pockets look like a standard pair of skinny jeans — but pull on like leggings and have imitation front pockets. They dress up easily, and come in a few extra colors that are a nice alternative for work. One reviewer commented, "these are incredibly comfortable, and don't get a saggy crotch like most. They don't stretch out during the day and are flatteringly fitted without being inappropriate for work. They look like jeans, and not cheap, but you feel like you're in athletic pants." Speaking of which, the brand offers these in different inseams (28, 30, and 32 inches) something not found on most pairs of leggings.

  • Available colors: 11, including sandbar and thunder
  • Available sizes: X-Small - 3X

8. These Leggings That Look Professional

  • Cotton content: 52%

Comfortable cotton leggings skew office-worthy when they include tailored details like belt loops and a faux fly that resembles the flat closure you find on dress pants, plus real back pockets. A built-in panel adds support without sacrificing comfort, and three inseams (26, 28, and 30 inches) ensure a custom tailored-looking fit. You can score them in several classic solid hues and a few denim rinses. One shopper who claimed to dread 'work pants' called them "just perfect," adding, "They are comfortable like leggings but look a lot like nice "pencil" style work pants. I got several compliments." They're durable, too, as another reviewer reported. "They are up to any challenge, from packing to move, hiking, crawling on the floor playing 'monster" with toddlers,' or dressed up for a date or a work meeting."

  • Available colors: 11, including animal print and olive heather
  • Available sizes: X-Small - XX-Large