The 13 Best Cotton Leggings You’ll Want To Live In Forever

Written by Priyam Gupta
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Ask any woman what the essence of comfy casualwear is, and the response is resounding — leggings. From the colorful stirrup contenders of the bold, bright ’80s to modern-day tuck-everything-in fabrics, leggings have been a staple dress to effortlessly impress for generations. It’s safe to say that remaining cooped up inside the house through this endless work-from-home epoch (not that we mind that part) has filled us with a new appreciation for breathable, cozy-chic bottoms epitomized by the best cotton leggings invented by humanity.

Known for its delicious softness and breathability, cotton is a natural fiber that guarantees hours and hours of pinch-free wear. If you’d also like a bite of the bliss, scroll through our list of the 13 greatest cotton leggings our fashion editors swear by. You can finally ditch the denim and settle into something infinitely more breathable for every activity, from runs and workouts to casual occasions and dressing up for date nights.

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Leggings Depot Ultra Soft Solid Leggings
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No Nonsense Women’s Cotton Leggings
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Adidas Originals 3-Stripes Leggings
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Amazon Essentials Skinny Jegging
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HUE Women’s Ultra Leggings
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Stretch Is Comfort Plus Size Leggings
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EttelLut Basic Workout Leggings
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Conceited Premium Soft Cotton Leggings
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American Apparel Jersey Leggings
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90 Degree By Reflex Cotton Compression Leggings
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13 Best Cotton Leggings That Are Comfortable And Timeless

1. Leggings Depot Ultra Soft Solid Leggings

When they say ultra-soft, they sure do mean it. Made in the USA with a breathable blend of premium cotton and spandex, these Leggings Depot bottoms will cushion your tush with the most luxurious comfort. Available in a range of bold shades and pretty pastels, the leggings have an ankle-length style and a nifty cotton waistband that snugly tucks in your muffin top and gives you a smooth, streamlined silhouette. Additionally, the fabric has a 4-way stretch that provides much-needed flexibility during all moderate-impact activities. From impromptu lounge yoga sessions to when you need a casual OOTD for finishing up chores, these lush cotton leggings will keep you relaxed all day long.

Pros

  • High-quality cotton leggings
  • Ideal for loungewear and the gym
  • Available in 30 assorted colors
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Does not accommodate plus sizes

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2. No Nonsense Women’s Cotton Leggings

If you’re looking for loungewear at a bargain, these beautiful No Nonsense leggings are right up your alley. Crafted with a durable blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex, they come with a squat-proof fabric that stretches and feels shockingly comfy. The ankle-length coverage and high waistband offer support for a quick tummy tuck, while the 29-inch inseam provides a slim fit that flatters your figure to your best advantage. Available in a range of electric shades, including everyday nudes and essential greys, these versatile leggings will cater to all your moods.

Pros

  • Cooling fabric
  • Retains shape and color after wash
  • Available in 8 shades
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Might not be high-waisted leggings

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3. Adidas Originals 3-Stripes Leggings

A serendipitous marriage of sporty aesthetic with 90’s street-chic, these Adidas leggings are wildly popular among influencers for their effortless and buttery-soft glam. Made with a high-quality fabric blend of cotton and elastane, the pants are breathable, flexible, and reassuringly durable. The tight fit hugs your curves like a second skin and provides a flattering silhouette without cutting off airflow, while the iconic logo and striped design on the sides ensure you look fashion-forward round the clock. Available in a range of neon delights and pleasing pastels, there’s a wide selection to pick from, though we have a soft spot for the classic black.

Pros

  • Stylish linear stripes
  • Sporty and retro style
  • Available in 24 colors
  • Thick enough to hide cellulite

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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4. Amazon Essentials Skinny Jegging

Done with poorly fitting leggings that leave you with baggy knees and a misshapen derriere? It’s time to invest in these figure-hugging bottoms from Amazon Essentials. Made with a blend of polyester, cotton, and elastane, these pull-on jeggings strike a balance between skin-tight knit and comfy stretch. The ankle-length jeggings also have a secret tummy panel that smoothly tucks in any muffin tops and supports your waist. The wide range of exciting prints and solid colors will make it easier for you to pair your favorite one with most items in your wardrobe.

Pros

  • Fit runs true to size
  • Front pockets and belt loops
  • Machine washable
  • Available in 15 colors

Cons

  • Might shrink slightly due to repeated washing

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5. HUE Women’s Ultra Leggings

Supremely comfortable and a wardrobe staple for any hipster fashionista worth her salt, these HUE leggings check the 3 cardinal “S” boxes — snug, stylish, and super-soft. The fabric consists of a sturdy blend of cotton, rayon, and lycra spandex, which together give you a seductively skin-tight fit designed to elongate your legs. The wide and non-binding waistband is engineered to smoothen your silhouette and provide optimum abdominal support without restricting movement or pinching the skin. With a 29-inch inseam, these snazzy yet cozy cotton leggings are available in a range of attractive colors.

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Pull-on closure with ankle-length fit
  • Wide waistband for tummy control
  • Available in 7 colors

Cons

  • Fabric tends to run somewhat sheer

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6. Stretch Is Comfort Plus Size Leggings

Accommodating plus sizes up to 7XL, these thick leggings are supremely stretchy and scrumptiously soft. The solid color pants are made with high-grade cotton and spandex for unparalleled breathability and cooling, while their line of printed leggings comes in polyester. The sewn-in waistband provides a snug elastic closure that makes them easy to pull on and get out of, so you can bid adieu to awkward, one-legged hopping. Available in a whopping 40 colors and prints, we especially recommend the hot pink and metallic gold for those who’d love a pop of quirkiness in their closet.

Pros

  • Plus-size cotton leggings
  • Lightweight 4-way stretch fabric
  • Available in unique prints
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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7. EttelLut Basic Workout Leggings

It doesn’t get more versatile than these super-stretchy, slim-fit cotton-spandex leggings from EttelLut. They’re available in 2 styles: an ankle-length cut that works equally well for running errands and date nights and a capri length that’s ideal for the gym and home workouts. Constructed with a flexible knit, these leggings are skilled at giving the booty a boost while flattering the figure with a tummy-tucking waistband. Accommodating S to XXL sizes, you get to select from a range of 26 stunning shades and styles.

Pros

  • Capri and ankle-length options
  • Ideal for Zumba or Pilates
  • High-quality cotton fabric
  • Affordably priced
  • Available in 26 colors

Cons

  • Might not be entirely opaque

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8. Conceited Premium Soft Cotton Leggings

These comfortable leggings from Conceited are so soft, you’ll never want to take them off. A luxurious blend of cotton and spandex is combined with a jersey knit fabric with 4-way stretch to keep up with the sweatiest of Yoga classes. The cotton tights also have a durable thickness that ensures complete opacity so that you can squat away without any flashing-related accidents. The high-waisted pair also comes with a 3-inch tummy control panel for abdominal support and effortless slimming. Available in a range of different lengths from slip shorts and knee shorts to capri and full length, these are the best cotton tights for lounging as well as activewear.

Pros

  • Offers plus-size options
  • Comfortable stretch
  • Available in multiple lengths
  • Breathable and stretchable
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Limited color options

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9. American Apparel Jersey Leggings

When it comes to retail clothing, American Apparel is inarguably iconic, as are their jersey leggings. Crafted with a 4-way stretch fabric, they provide maximum comfort along with an unrestricted range of motion. Whether you like to walk around a lot or fall into impromptu splits, these flexible beauties will give your booty all-day support and comfort! The leggings are also perfectly opaque, which means they pass the ol’ squat test with flying colors. Available in an assortment of bold yet basic solids in addition to animal prints, the high-rise cotton leggings are a staple for every wardrobe.

Pros

  • Runs true to size
  • Super-stretchy and soft
  • High-rise style for tummy support
  • Thick and opaque
  • Available in 9 colors

Cons

  • The material is not lightweight.

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10. 90 Degree By Reflex Cotton Compression Leggings

Cotton leggings with pockets — need we say more? Ideal for the multitasking, always-on-the-go women, this flattering yet high-compression pair is just as comfortable as it’s convenient. The fabric is a blend of cotton knit and spandex that provides a generous stretch, keeps your skin cool, and wicks away moisture with shocking ease. Additionally, the high-rise elastic waistband is 4.5 inches thick and completely seamless, so it sculpts your curves into an hourglass form without digging into your sides or making you feel out-of-breath even after hours of wear.

Pros

  • Body-sculpting effect
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Machine washable
  • Available in 3 colors

Cons

  • Only the black cotton leggings have pockets.

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11. RBX Active Plus Size Capri Leggings

RBX Active has become synonymous with high-quality athleisure, with the latest line of plus-size cotton leggings an excellent addition to the legacy. You can choose between the capris and the ankle-length options, both of which are breathable and cozier than your childhood blanket. Exceptionally lightweight with enough elastic recoil for a form-flattering fit, the fabric naturally molds to your shape and provides absolute freedom of movement. The band cinches in your waist and smoothens the lines of your silhouette to perfection. Wait, there’s more! The pants also come with side pockets for all your on-the-go essentials!

Pros

  • Ideal for plus-size women
  • Available in 2 styles
  • Four-way stretch fabric
  • High-quality cotton
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • No regular size options

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12. Jockey Cotton Stretch Leggings  

When it comes to intimates, Jockey is positively royalty, and this line of basic cotton stretch leggings is no exception. Crafted from a soft blend of cotton and spandex, the machine-washable bottoms are exceptionally durable and stretchy. The high proportion of cotton in the fabric ensures that you remain cool and dry while feeling supported and relaxed. Containing a wide waistband and a built-in crotch gusset, the leggings help you wick away moisture and prevent odor-forming in your nether regions. You also get 2 nifty side pockets with a strong flatlock seam to keep your belongings safe.

Pros

  • Doesn’t lose color with repeated washing
  • Wide waistband for abdominal support
  • Moisture-wicking material
  • 2 side pockets for convenience

Cons

  • Only available in 1 shade

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13. Lyssé Flattering Cotton High-Rise Leggings

None can deny that NYC-based Lyssė has transformed legging design into a veritable art form. The designers are known to custom-make the lush cotton fabric, which they use to craft wrinkle-resistant and sinfully comfortable ensembles that last for years. The 4-way stretch in these leggings creates a fabulous, figure-hugging fit that transitions from day to night effortlessly, while the concealed, 5-inch waistband and strategic anatomical stitching camouflage the seams, resulting in a smooth, versatile, and downright enviable pair of leggings.

Pros

  • Seamless cotton leggings
  • High-rise design
  • Sculpts your curves
  • Machine washable
  • Custom-made fabric

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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And that’s a wrap on our list of the 13 best cotton leggings that are so comfortable, you’ll want to live in them forever. Before you take your pick, take a peek at our handy buying guide that will ensure you find the right match for your needs.

How To Choose The Best Cotton Leggings

  • Stretch

We hate to break it to you but cotton isn’t exactly the stretchiest of fabrics out there. In fact, it offers little to no flexibility on its own. So, when studying the fabric blend of your leggings, 100% cotton isn’t a total win because it’s going to feel a tad constricting on the bottom. To ensure the best possible fit, go for a cotton blend with a fabric like lycra, spandex, or elastane. Just a humble percentage of 5 to 10 is sufficient to give your cotton leggings a boost of breathable flexibility.

  • Waistband

Some might argue this is the most important factor of them all. You don’t have to be packing extra weight around the waist to be on the hunt for tummy control panels. The best of physiques suffer from off days and would appreciate how forgiving a shaping waistband can be. Providing comfortable compression and snug support to your abdominals, a tummy control waistband can sneakily subtract a few inches from your silhouette without subjecting you to unbearable irritation or discomfort.

  • Opacity

Are your cotton leggings thick enough to keep your undies from peeking when subjected to stretch? Generally speaking, they should be. However, if the blend is combined with a higher percentage of other materials, it bears the risk of turning transparent when you bend or squat. The best way to avoid such mishaps is to ensure that the percentage of cotton is significantly higher than the other materials. Alternatively, you can opt for cotton fleece-lined leggings to side-step the risk of flashing altogether.

  • Breathability

 After opacity, this is the most important factor that makes or breaks your cotton leggings experience. The good news is that cotton has always been a supremely breathable fabric. It allows for optimum airflow, which prevents excessive sweating and the formation of unseemly sweat patches. That being said, there’s always room for more breathability in the form of different styles such as cutout patterns, capri lengths, and mesh detailing.

  •  Flat-locked seams

There’s nothing more irksome than a seam that doesn’t sit flat. Not only will it destroy the streamlined silhouette of your cotton leggings, but it will also pinch and irritate the skin, making every move uncomfortable. To avoid this, turn your cotton leggings inside-out prior to purchase and examine the inseam to ensure that it lies flat.

  • Crotch Gusset

A crotch gusset is that intriguing diamond-shaped piece of fabric that is stitched into the crotch region of your cotton leggings. It produces a more comfortable and irritation-free fit by keeping the leggings from riding up cameltoe-style and offers extra support to the posterior. Some brands consciously choose not to include a crotch gusset in their leggings as their goal is to provide a stretchier fit. However, if you don’t share these priorities and would prefer a wedgie-less experience, always check the insides for a gusset.

What To Wear With Cotton Leggings

  • Classic tees and denim jackets

Catch any A-list fashionistas at the airport and you’ll see it — a contrasting tee (with or without cool graphics) held in place by a denim jacket tied around the waist. No matter which year it is, this combination will never stop looking cool. Bonus points for being completely effortless and so, so comfy.

  • Tanks and shrugs

A less obvious but equally timeless outfit is the simple, slightly flowy tank top topped off with a sheer or opaque shrug or duster. This is another eye-catching airport look that feels more put together, especially if you wear it with chunky sneakers or, if you’re braver than us, a pair of platform heels.

  • Snug sweatshirts

If you want to keep it casual the old-school way, you can style your leggings with lightweight sweatshirts in pastel hues or block prints. To complete the look, throw on those aviators and some high-top sneakers and you’re good to go basically anywhere. You won’t even have to wait for winter to end before trying this on — just pick the thickest sweatshirts and leggings you can get your hands on and head out the door!

  • Oversized tees

In the ballpark of effortless chic lies the legging-and-oversized-tee combo, except you can make this look slightly more badass by choosing a concert t-shirt to go with a mean pair of sneakers. If you can get your hands on form-hugging and ultra-stretchy leggings that give off a hint of sheen, nothing can stop you from conquering the world.

  • Cute, flowy tops

Keep it loose and comfy in the summers by wearing a long, flowy top in bright colors and breathable fabrics. This is the perfect outfit for occasions like brunches, picnics, or even daytime dates. For extra oomph, throw on a pretty scarf and some shades to get as far away from frumpy as possible.

With the introduction of the “comfort chic” street style made famous by millennial influencers and Instagram beauty gurus, no one can deny we’ve entered the golden age of leggings. Now, unlike their meticulously coiffed predecessors from the 50s and 60s, more and more fashionistas today are prioritizing comfort over sophistication or style. However, nothing feels as comfortable as the cozy cuddle that a pair of cotton leggings can offer. Thanks to our list of the 13 best cotton leggings (along with a handy buying guide), you are all set to stay comfortable and gloriously chic all day long.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Are cotton leggings see-through?

Cotton leggings usually aren’t see-through if they’re made with good-quality cotton and have a higher percentage of the fabric than other materials.

Do cotton leggings stretch?

Cotton by itself doesn’t offer too much stretch. However, most cotton leggings are made with a blend of fabrics like elastane, polyester, lycra, or spandex that add some flexibility. How you wash and care for your cotton leggings can also determine the stretch. Repeated use over time can cause leggings to stretch out, while hot or warm water can counteract this by causing the cotton to shrink.

Are cotton leggings good?

It depends on the intended activity. If you’re looking for loungewear to laze around in, cotton leggings are the best candidate. Since the fabric is supremely soft and breathable, they are comfortable to wear for hours on end.

Are cotton leggings good for working out?

While there’s no harm in wearing cotton leggings for low-impact workouts, they aren’t the best choice for more rigorous movements. This is because they aren’t as stretchy, durable, or moisture-wicking as synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon that are explicitly designed for athletic performance.

How do you know if the cotton leggings are too small?

One way to determine whether your leggings are a size too small is by checking the skin around the waistband. If it has wrinkled after wear or looks uncomfortably red or pinched, it means your cotton leggings are most likely too tight.

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