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The Best Compression Leggings for Plus Sizes, Tall and Petite

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Written by Jenna Cartusciello
Best Compression Leggings

The best pair of compression leggings looks a little different for everyone. Do you like a touch of compression or a very snug fit? Regardless of where your ideal lands on the scale, one thing should always be true: Your leggings should be relatively comfortable and allow you to do your favorite activities with ease. From yoga to CrossFit to lounging, there’s a pair of compression leggings that will work with your lifestyle. So, how do you know what to pick?

According to Us, a good pair of compression leggings won’t slip down, no matter how high the compression level. We also think they ought to be squat-proof (the fabric doesn’t become thin and translucent when you squat), chafe-proof and moveable, so you aren’t limited during your workout. Bonus features? They wick moisture and are easy to clean — no handwashing here! Below, find out which compression leggings we’ve decided to recommend based on testing, product reviews, features, fabric, washability and customer service.

The 15 Best Compression Leggings

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Finding the Best Compression Leggings

When people think of compression leggings, they often think of aesthetics. It’s true that leggings can help slim your midsection and lift up your booty, but they also have health benefits. Compression can help increase blood circulation to reduce swelling in your lower extremities. Better yet, that circulation brings more oxygen to your muscles, which can give you a performance boost during a workout or keep your blood moving on a long flight. (Though it’s important to note that compression socks are still the best choice on airplanes.) The bottom line: Even just a little compression is a good thing for your body.

Of course, it’s important not to overdo it. Extremely compressive leggings are uncomfortable and may cause heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues from the excessive pressure on your abdomen. To avoid these discomforts and other problems that often arise with compression leggings, we considered the following factors before making our recommendations.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Compression Leggings


While compression can help increase circulation, improve your recovery after a workout and boost your confidence, it can cause discomfort quickly. If comfort is important to you, look for products that advertise “four way stretch” (which means the leggings will be easier to pull on and off) and “buttery-soft feel.”


Compression leggings are made with one or more of the following fabrics: elastane (spandex or lycra), nylon, cotton and polyester. Elastane and polyester usually help create stretch while nylon creates compression, and cotton adds comfort.

Compression Level

There are three main compression levels: light, medium and heavy. Light compression leggings feel like a gentle “hug” and are great for workouts that require full mobility, such as yoga or pilates. Medium compression leggings fit more snugly and can cinch the waist and lift the booty — they’re great for most workouts but may be a little too restrictive for certain movements. Heavy compression leggings can help reduce your recovery time after a workout and create the most sculpted look, though they aren’t comfortable enough for all-day wear. Note that “sculpting” leggings offer contoured compression, so some areas of the legging will have more compression than others.

Care Instructions

The care routine for certain compression fabrics can make the difference between wearing a pair of leggings constantly or not at all. We chose to recommend leggings that are all machine washable, though most of them will last longer if they are air dried.


Unfortunately, leggings have become some of the priciest workout gear on the market, though you can still find a high-quality pair without having to break the bank. Leggings can cost anywhere between $10 and $200, and our recommendations range from $20 to $140.

What Are the Different Types of Compression Leggings?


Light compression leggings usually contain a blend of elastane, polyester and nylon. They are stretchy and easy to pull on and off but still create a gentle squeeze in the waistband, around the thighs and under the glutes. These leggings are great for casual wear or yoga classes.


Medium compression leggings also contain a blend of elastane, polyester and nylon, though they tend to have a greater percentage of nylon. These leggings have a contoured, shapely look that helps cinch the waist and lift the glutes, but they are breathable enough for all-day wear.


Leggings with heavy compression usually have a high percentage of nylon and little to no cotton. They also have a structured and contoured appearance and can help hug the waist and lift the booty. Generally, heavy-compression leggings are hard to pull on and off and aren’t comfortable enough to wear all day long.


Best Overall: Athleta Ultra High Rise Elation Tight


  • Petite, tall and plus sizing available
  • Waistband never slides or rolls down
  • Comfortable compression


  • Expensive
  • Waist isn’t always snug in the back
  • Not great for cold weather

Rise: High | Compression: Medium

What places the Athleta legging in the top spot? We love that it provides comfortable compression in all the right places (think glute lifting and waist cinching) and that the high waistband never slides down. The material is smooth and stretchy, and these leggings come in petite, tall and plus sizing.

These leggings are pricey, though they sometimes go on sale. We also think the material is too thin for cold weather though it’s great for all kinds of exercise, and the waistband isn’t heavily tapered, so there may be some extra fabric in the back depending on your measurements.


Best Budget: Fabletics Boost Powerhold High-Waisted 7/8 Legging


  • Sizing up to 4X
  • Waistband doesn’t roll or fall
  • Great compression


  • Need a membership to get low prices
  • No petite or long sizes
  • Powerhold fabric changed

Rise: High | Compression: Heavy

Fabletics Powerhold leggings are a tried and true favorite for several reasons: Sizing goes up to 4X, the waistband doesn’t fall or roll and the material offers ample compression. We love the fun colors and patterns, and though there is no petite sizing, the 7/8 length can work as full-size length for women under 5’4”.

However, these leggings will look more like capris if you usually buy tall leggings. You also need a membership to get the low prices that Fabletics offers. While you can skip the membership fee every month, it can get cumbersome. We’ve also noticed that the most recent Powerhold material feels different, and some buyers may dislike the change.


Best Splurge: Splits59 Sprint High Waist Rigor 7/8


  • Easy to pull on
  • Tapered, elastic-free waistband
  • Comfortable, sculpting compression


  • Strong off-gassing smell when products are new
  • Expensive
  • Best to air dry

Rise: High | Compression: Medium

Before you balk at the price, hear us out: Splits59 Leggings are the best compression leggings we tried. The Sprint High Waist Rigor 7/8 legging is made of thin fabric, so at first, it doesn’t seem like it will do much. However, these leggings are easy to pull on and they offer excellent, comfortable compression that lifts glutes, cinches the waist and smooths cellulite. The waistband is tapered to create a perfect fit and the material is squat proof. Overall, it’s a fabulous pair of leggings.

A few downsides: When brand new, these leggings have a strong off-gassing smell. It’s also best to machine wash cold and air dry, which you may find inconvenient.


Best on Amazon: 90 Degree by Reflex High Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings


  • Affordable
  • Slightly thicker fabric than comparable leggings
  • Great for pilates, yoga or running


  • Best to air dry
  • Elastic in waistband may feel uncomfortable
  • Sizing only up to XL

Rise: High | Compression: Medium

Looking for an affordable pair of leggings that still offer decent compression? Consider the 90 Degree by Reflex Power Flex Leggings. We like that the fabric is on the thicker side (compared to the very thin fabrics that make up a lot of inexpensive leggings) and that the waistband cinches the waist without causing discomfort.

However, buyers may find the cleaning instructions — machine wash cold, air dry — inconvenient. The elastic inside the waistband can also feel uncomfortable or cinch the waist in the wrong spot, though we appreciate that it prevents the leggings from sliding down.


Best Plus Sizing: Fabletics Oasis PureLuxe High-Waisted Legging


  • Sizing up to 4X
  • Moisture wicking and pilling resistant
  • Regular, short and tall inseams available


  • Need a membership to get low prices
  • Run small
  • Fabric changed in recent years

Rise: High | Compression: Light/Medium

While the world of leggings has a long way to go in terms of inclusivity, we appreciate that the Fabletics Oasis PureLux Leggings are available in sizes up to 4X. The fabric is also chafe resistant, moisture wicking, pilling resistant, soft and smooth, and the light to medium compression allows you to move freely. These make a great pair of leggings for yoga and other mobility workouts.

On the other hand, some buyers have noticed that the fabric has changed in recent years and feels thinner. Others note that these run small, and the waistband can roll down if the fit is tight.


Best Petite Sizing: Abercrombie & Fitch YPB sculptLUX 7/8-Length Legging


  • Double layered waistband
  • Supportive, comfortable compression
  • Soft fabric


  • Design change in recent years
  • Run small
  • Fabric may wear down

Rise: High | Compression: Medium

What we love about the Abercrombie YPB sculptLUX Leggings: They offer supportive compression in the right areas while still feeling comfortable, and the fabric is soft. The waistband also has a double layer which adds structure and prevents the material from rolling. We like that these come in a short inseam so you can achieve a true 7/8-length fit if you wish.

What could be improved: Abercrombie & Fitch recently updated the design of these leggings and some customers dislike the changes. A few have noticed that these run small, and the fabric may wear down if you don’t follow the care instructions closely (machine wash cold, tumble dry low).


Best Tall Sizing: lululemon Align Super-High-Rise Pant 28″


  • Sky-high waistband
  • Full range of motion
  • Easy to pull on


  • Expensive
  • Slow shipping
  • Could use a touch more compression

Rise: High | Compression: Light

Tired of all your “high rise” leggings looking more like “mid rise” because they aren’t designed for tall figures? Try the lululemon Align Super-High-Rise Pant with a 28-inch inseam. Not only do they have a truly sky-high waistband, but they are also buttery soft. The light compression gives you full range of motion, making these a great pair of leggings for yoga.

The downsides? lululemon is pricey (as we all know!) and the shipping can be slow. For a light-compression legging, a few customers think these are a little too light.


Best Light Compression: FIGS Women’s Salta Seamless Legging


  • Great for work and the gym
  • Easy to pull on
  • Antimicrobial


  • No tall sizing
  • Shipping is a little slow
  • Not available at other retailers

Rise: High | Compression: Light

Need a pair of leggings that can toe the line between work and gym? We recommend the FIGS Salta Seamless Legging. These classy leggings are easy to pull on and off and still offer well-structured, light to moderate compression. We like that the material is thick, squat proof and moisture wicking. Plus, it’s made with ionic+ nylon antimicrobial technology which reduces bacteria and odor.

What could be improved: These leggings don’t come in tall sizes and the shipping is on the slow side. They also aren’t available at other retailers. We recommend sizing up for less compression and sizing down for more.


Best Medium Compression: Spanx EcoCare Seamless Leggings


  • No center seam
  • Recycled nylon
  • Sizing up to 3X


  • Only 2 color options
  • Run small
  • Care requirements can get annoying

Rise: Mid | Compression: Medium

The Spanx EcoCare Seamless Leggings can work in a great deal of situations, from the gym to running errands to staying at home. We like that they have no center seam (no camel toe!) and are made with recycled nylon. Plus, sizing goes up to 3X.

However, there are only two color options available and one inseam length available (29 inches). The fit is on the smaller side, so you may need to size up, and some customers find the care requirements — machine wash cold inside out, no fabric softener — annoying.


Best Heavy Compression: Fanka Body Sculpt Leggings


  • Many color options
  • Reversible
  • Excellent booty and waist sculpting


  • Expensive
  • Run small
  • Not great for all-day wear

Rise: High | Compression: Heavy

A lot of heavy compression leggings are restrictive to the point of creating discomfort and heartburn, but thankfully, Fanka’s Body Sculpt Leggings do not. They are a little tough to pull on, but they offer excellent sculpting to lift the booty and cinch the waist. The waistband is well-structured so it doesn’t roll if you bend over. We love that these leggings are reversible and available in a wide variety of colors.

Since these leggings are quite compressive, they aren’t the most comfortable for all-day wear. They also don’t have a tremendous amount of stretch, so the company recommends sizing up if you are between sizes.


Best Postpartum: Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Postpartum Shapewear Leggings


  • Great core support
  • Don’t restrict breathing
  • Hold shape after each wash


  • Expensive
  • Not available at other retailers
  • May pill around inner thighs

Rise: High | Compression: Medium

Famously worn by Kylie Jenner after having baby Aire, the Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Leggings are an excellent pick if you’re postpartum. These super-high-waisted leggings provide ample core support without restricting breathing or cutting into the waist, and they hold their shape after each wash. We love that the material still feels breathable despite decent compression on the tummy, booty and thighs.

The downsides: Belly Bandit leggings are expensive and not available at other retailers. A few customers have also experienced pilling around the inner thighs.


Best for Running: Better Bodies Highbridge Leggings V2


  • Thick waistband keeps leggings up
  • Easy to pull on and off
  • Smartphone pocket


  • Expensive
  • Shipping may be slow
  • Run large

Rise: High | Compression: Light/Medium

Need a pair of leggings that won’t roll or fall down, no matter how fast you run or how high you jump? The Better Bodies Highbridge Leggings are for you. They have a thick but soft elastic waistband which ensures a snug fit at the waist, and the four-way stretch of the fabric means these are easy to pull on and off. We also like that they have a smartphone pocket with a flap on the leg.

However, these leggings are pricey and shipping can take some time depending on the destination. These tend to run large.


Best for Yoga: Splits59 Airweight High Waist Legging


  • Easy to pull on
  • Sculpting, gentle compression
  • Tapered waistband


  • Off-gassing smell
  • Expensive
  • Not available at other retailers

Rise: High | Compression: Medium

Looking for a compressive legging that still allows a full range of motion for yoga? We recommend the Splits59 Airweight High Waist Legging. These leggings appear simple at first, but they are smartly designed to create the perfect fit. We love that the waistband is tapered and the material lightweight, so that the compression is comfortable and hits in all the right places. The fabric is soft and stretchy, making the leggings great for all-day wear as well.

What could be improved: These leggings had a strong off-gassing smell right out of the package, and they’re expensive. They also aren’t available at other retailers.


Best Casual: Azur Fit Classic Fit Leggings


  • Sizing up to 3XL
  • Light, sculpting compression
  • Squat proof


  • No tall or short sizing
  • No pockets
  • Shipping may be slow

Rise: High | Compression: Light

Need a good knock-around pair of leggings that work for lounging, running errands and yoga? Check out Azur Fit’s Classic Fit Leggings. We like that the tapered waistband gently cinches the waist and the light compression lifts the booty. These are also squat proof, buttery soft and breathable, making them extremely comfortable for all-day wear.

However, Azur Fit leggings aren’t available in tall or short sizes. Some customers also wish that they had pockets and note that shipping can be a little slow.


Best for Cold Weather: 90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Fleece Lined Leggings with Side Pocket


  • Thick and comfortable
  • Waistband doesn’t fall or roll
  • Affordable


  • Some buyers dislike elastic band in waist
  • Smartphone in pocket can pull down pants
  • Waistband could use more compression

Rise: High | Compression: Light

A thick pair of leggings can mean the difference between a good and bad winter run, and the 90 Degree by Reflex Fleece Lined Leggings are the perfect pants for the job. The fleece is light enough that you can exercise without sweating, but thick enough to protect against harsh wind. We also like that the waist fits snugly and doesn’t fall or roll.

However, some buyers dislike the elastic inside the waistband. We found that a smartphone placed in the side pocket could pull down the pants slightly, and we think the waistband could use a little more compression.

People Also Ask

  • Q: How do I choose compression leggings?

    A:We recommend choosing your compression leggings based on the level of compression you want (light, medium or heavy), the rise (low rise, mid or high rise) and the care instructions. (If you don’t want to hand wash your leggings, make sure you check out the “care instructions” tag before buying!)

  • Q: What material is best for compression leggings?

    A:There is no one material that is necessarily best for compression leggings, but our favorite leggings are usually made with a blend of spandex, polyester and nylon.

  • Q: What is the difference between compression tights and compression leggings?

    A:The biggest difference between compression tights and leggings is material thickness. Compression tights tend to be thinner and lightweight, and offer an even amount of compression throughout the leg. In contrast, compression leggings are usually thicker and provide contoured compression — so they might be more compressive at the waist, at the upper hips and underneath the glutes.

  • Q: Is it okay to wear compression leggings all day?

    A:It depends on your comfort level and your medical history. If you like to wear light to medium compression leggings and don’t experience any discomfort, you shouldn’t have any problems. We don’t recommend wearing these leggings all day if you find them uncomfortable or experience heartburn. Talk to your doctor before wearing them if you have ischaemia, peripheral neuropathy, congestive heart failure or diabetes.

  • Q: How much do compression leggings cost?

    A:Most compression leggings cost between $10 and $200. Our recommendations cost between $20 and $140.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Author photo

By Jenna Cartusciello

Affiliate Commerce Writer Jenna loves recommending great products to her friends and family, so helping the rest of the internet on their quest to find the best stuff makes tremendous sense! Though she mainly writes in-depth buyer’s guides these days, Jenna still enjoys crafting the occasional health article. In her spare time, she loves immersing herself in creative writing. Her favorite authors (for anyone who is willing to geek out with her) include Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and Jennifer Egan.

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