Best Sweat Pants

UPDATED DECEMBER 2018

No matter what you like doing, you can feel comfortable doing it in a pair of sweatpants. Our shopping guide will help you find the ultimate sweatpants for you.    

BEST SWEAT
PANTS 2018

Champion Closed Bottom Jersey Sweatpants

BOTTOM LINE

As one of the best sellers on Amazon, these Champion pants are perfect for exercising and hanging out around your home. You can pick the color and fit that is best for you.

PROS

Available in multiple colors and sizes, these sweatpants will help you feel comfortable and look your best. The elastic waistband expands and features a drawstring for a better fit.

CONS

Some shoppers had quality issues with the pairs that they bought. A few reviews also claimed that the pants fell apart after a few washes.

CYZ Women’s Stretch Cotton Knit Pajama Pants

BOTTOM LINE

CYZ makes these pants for women who want to feel comfortable both at home and on the go. The drawstring waistband makes it easy for you to get the perfect fit that you need.

PROS

Comfortable enough for wearing around the house, these pants are perfect for wearing around town too when you add an extra layer. The pants have an extra-large waistband with a drawstring inside too.

CONS

The fit on these pants runs a little large. Some shoppers wished the fabric was a little darker because they could see through the pants.

Weintee Capri Joggers Sweatpants

BOTTOM LINE

Designed for women who like running and exercising, these jogger pants have a Capri design that stops just below the knee. Weintee added two pockets to help you store your belongings when outside.

PROS

Made from both spandex and cotton, these pants have a tight fit that won’t move as you exercise. The pants have a wider waistband for added comfort and two pockets for storage on the go.

CONS

Depending on your height, you might find that the pants are a little longer than you would like. Weintee only offers this pair in three sizes.

Southpole Active Jogger Fleece Pants

BOTTOM LINE

Southpole offers these pants in both standard and big and tall options to fit men of all sizes. Made from 100% polyester, the pants are easy to wash and maintain.

PROS

With pockets on both the front and rear, these pants are great for guys who carry more than just a wallet. You can pop these right in the washer for fast and easy cleaning.

CONS

Some reviewers had problems with the quality of the pants. A few also stated that the fleece developed pills after just one washing.

Elite Fan Shop NCAA Sweatpants

BOTTOM LINE

Whether you tailgate at the stadium or watch the game at home, you can feel comfortable in these sweatpants. Authorized by the NCAA, each pair features the logo of a different team prominently on display.

PROS

You can show your support for a collegiate team with these sweatpants, which have the team’s NCAA logo running down one leg. The pants have a drawstring waist and two large pockets.

CONS

You may not find your favorite NCAA team represented on these pants. Some customers received the wrong size or the wrong team.

Shopping Guide for the Best Sweatpants

No matter how much you love your favorite pair of jeans, you probably don’t want to wear those pants when lounging around your house or working outside. The best sweatpants for 2018 are suitable for a range of different activities. You can wear a pair when doing yard work or cleaning your house, while you pick up groceries for dinner, as you play a pickup game with friends and when you watch television and relax at home. The best sweatpants may include a pair with an elastic waist that also has a drawstring or a pair with a tighter fit that won’t get in your way.

Many people who lead active lifestyles shop for the top sweatpants of 2018 because they want pants that they can wear when exercising and doing activities such as rock climbing and jogging. The waistband keeps the pants from sliding down on your hips as you move. You’ll find standard pairs that come down to your ankles and pairs for women that stop at or around the knee. We’ll go over sizes and fit as well as other features in this shopping guide to help you buy sweatpants suitable for everything you do on a regular basis.

Shopping Guide for the Best Sweatpants

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Selection Criteria

When it comes to sweatpants, you might not think twice about buying a pair without putting any thought into your purchase. If you buy a pair without doing your research though, you risk buying a pair that you trip over as you walk and a pair that keeps sliding down as you move.

We know that there are literally hundreds of different pairs of sweatpants up for sale. If you search for a pair on Amazon, you’ll find dozens of pages of results. Instead of clicking on every product and trying to see which pair is right for you, you can use our shopping guide.

The top five pairs of sweatpants shown in the chart above and in the product descriptions below include pairs that are right for both men and women. We consulted with fashion experts to see what they thought and then let our team of fashion specialists track down the top pairs. They read hundreds of reviews and poured over the descriptions of more than 40 pairs to narrow down their search to the top five. Each of the sweatpants that you’ll learn about in this shopping guide are perfect for wearing as you relax at home and enjoy life outside.

Best for Men - Champion Closed Bottom Jersey Sweatpants
The best sweatpants for men are those that fit comfortably and accurately, which is why we picked this Champion pair. You can use the manufacturer’s size chart to make sure that you buy the right size based on your waist size. Many shoppers like the elastic waistband around the top of the pants, which also features a drawstring closure. The waistband expands slightly for those who run between two sizes. You can use the drawstring to make the pants fit tighter or looser based on the fit that you prefer. Champion also added closed bottoms to these pants. Each leg has an elastic opening that closes around your ankles without rubbing against your skin. Though designed for those who are active, these sweatpants are suitable for wearing anywhere you go. The pants have two top pockets that allow you to carry your wallet and keys. Champion choose a type of jersey cotton material for the pants. That material feels soft on your skin and can help you stay warm also. You can clean these pants in your washing machine and toss them in the dryer without worrying about shrinking. Champion offers the Closed Bottom Jersey Sweatpants in a wide range of smaller and larger sizes and in several colors.

What are Sweatpants?

Before we get into the all the different types of sweatpants that men and women can wear, we wanted to make sure that you understand what these pants are. A basic pair of sweatpants consists of a few different parts. The first is the waistband, which refers to the top part of the pants and the part that wraps around your waist. Though some prefer elastic bands, the elastic can wear out over time. A better option is a pair with a drawstring. Even if that string breaks or falls out of the pants, you can replace it with a new string.

Most pants will also have at least one pocket. Some pants designed for women lack any pockets. These manufacturers know that women often carry purses and that many women worry about adding bulk to their clothing with pockets. Though you can get by with just one pocket, you may want a pair with two pockets in the front or at least one pocket on the front and another on the back. You’ll also want to look at the cuffs on the pants. Sweatpants can come with open or closed cuffs. Closed cuffs have a tighter fit, while open cuffs are much looser.

What are Sweatpants

Types of Sweatpants

The very first pair of sweatpants ever sold arrived on the market in the 1920s. Original designs featured pants made from a type of knit jersey material that joggers and other athletes wore. This material had a lightweight design that kept them from overheating. The pants often had a looser fit that allowed athletes to enjoy complete freedom of movement. Most of the sweatpants sold today mimic this same design. These pairs now come in colors other than gray though. In addition to sweatpants, you should look at some of the other types of athletic pants.

Fashion Pants

Designers today know that many people like the look and fit of sweatpants but don’t necessarily need sweatpants. That is why they make an alternative called fashion pants. Fashion pants look quite similar to sweatpants but use more luxurious fabrics and materials, including satin and lace. Instead of having cuffs made from elastic, most have open cuffs. Fashion pants are suitable for wearing when you watch television or read a book at home. You can also wear a pair out in public. Fashion pants aren’t great for active people though because the materials cannot hold up to those activities.

Lounge Pants

The next time that you want to run to the store to grab some snacks while relaxing at home, you may want to wear a pair of lounge pants instead of a pair of sweatpants. While lounge pants are similar in terms of design, they often have a much more fashion-forward look. Lounge pants often come in more colors and feature softer materials than sweatpants do. Many designers offer sets that you can purchase together too. Instead of just buying a pair of pants, you can buy a tank top or tee shirt that matches the pants.

Wind Pants

Another option that you might find appealing is a pair of wind pants. Wind pants mimic sweatpants in that each pair has an elastic waistband. Though you may find some pairs with a drawstring, most have just an elastic band around the top. Wind pants feature both an interior lining and an exterior. The exterior typically uses nylon or polyester, while the lining usually features a softer layer of cotton. Most wind pants also have metal zippers located right above each cuff. You can slide that zipper up and down when pulling the pants on and off over shoes.

Pajama Pants

While pajama pants are a solid alternative to sweatpants, you should use caution when buying a pair. Pajama pants come in a number of colors and use many different materials. You can buy a pair made from flannel or fleece materials to stay warm in the winter. The problem with pajama pants is that they are often much lighter than sweatpants. You risk purchasing a pair that is so light and sheer that others can see right through the material. If you wear the pants outside, you may need to wear tights or leggings underneath.

Tearaway Pants

If you are old enough to remember the late 1990s and early 2000s, you probably remember tearaway pants. Many celebrities wore these pants in music videos and in films and television shows. These pants usually feature a line running down each leg in a color that contrasts the main part of the pants. This line also uses a series of snaps that keep the pants together. You can grab each side of the leg and actually tear the pants right off your body. Tearaway pants are a top choice for athletes who need to get ready in an instant.

Jogging Tights

Men and women who enjoy running and jogging often invest in jogging tights or jogging shorts. Both types of pants use spandex or another material that fits tightly against your skin. Jogging tights can run all the way down to your ankle or stop right above or below the knee. Shorts generally stop right at the top of the knee. These pants are good for cyclists and anyone who spends time outside in extra temperatures too. The material can keep you from overheating on a hot day and act as insulation on a cold day. You can even layer jogging tights and shorts under other clothing.

Leggings

If you like the look of jogging tights but don’t like the tight fit of those pants, you might try leggings instead. Leggings actually come in a few different styles. You’ll find some that are similar to tights. These leggings are quite sheer and best for wearing underneath other clothing. If you prefer more coverage or want a pair that you can wear without other clothing, you should look for thicker leggings. Some companies even make lined leggings that have a tight fit but a layer of insulating material inside. You can pick from different lengths too.

Yoga Pants

Yoga pants became quite popular in recent years, especially among women. Though designed for wearing while practicing yoga, the pants are also suitable for wearing outside and around town. Most have a thick waistband that holds your stomach in and a tighter fit around your stomach and upper legs. Some designs have legs that flare out from the knee or ankle. You may want to look for yoga pants with reinforced stitching around the crotch or things. Though yoga pants typically do not have any pockets, some have a hidden pocket tucked inside the waistband.

Athletic Shorts

Athletic shorts are another alternative to sweatpants that are suitable for men and women. Some designers actually call these basketball shorts because players typically wear them on the basketball court. While the shorts were once quite short, they now hang down to the knee or below the knee. A thick waistband on the top keeps the shorts from slipping down. Some companies may refer to compression shorts as athletic shorts. Instead of having a baggy fit, compression shorts hug your body as tightly as possible. You’ll find pairs with extra padding around the butt for cyclists too.

Types of Sweatpants

Did You Know?

Other names for sweatpants include joggers, jogging bottoms, tracksuit bottoms and track pants.

CYZ makes the best pair of sweatpants for women. Though the manufacturer calls this a pajama pant, it’s perfect for wearing inside as you sleep and lounge as well as outside as you play and run errands. As the fabric is a little lighter, you may want to add a layer underneath though. That extra layer will keep others from seeing through the pants. CYZ designed a larger and wider waistband for these pants. It features a drawstring tie that lets you adjust the fit. This drawstring sits at the top of the waistband and won’t bunch up the way that others can. Many women like the way these pants fit. The pair has a low waist design that drops the top of the band to right below the belly button. Each leg expands out to create a large opening around the base of each foot. You can wear these pants with your favorite sneakers, slippers or even boots. Made from cotton with a few extra materials, these pants have a loose fit and feel soft and luxurious. CYZ gives you a few great color options to choose from too. Many shoppers like the Women’s Stretch Cotton Knit Pajama Pants so much that they purchase a pair in every color.
Best for Women - CYZ Women_s Stretch Cotton Knit Pajama Pants

Choosing the Right Fabric

Before you decide on any pair of sweatpants, you should consider the material used and how it both looks and feels. Most pairs will use either fleece or cotton. Fleece is the best choice for those who need a pair of pants they can wear when it’s cold. This material does a good job of keeping you warm but won’t leave you feeling overheated when you wear those pants on a warmer day. When you want to stay as cool as possible, you should opt for cotton pants. Another thing to consider is whether the manufacturer layered two or more materials together. We saw a large number of pants made from cotton or another fabric with a fleece lining.

You’ll also want to consider the weight of the material. Cotton is quite popular because it’s so lightweight. Sweatpants made from cotton will feel like a second skin. You should think about jersey and knit materials too. These materials are slightly thicker and a little heavier but are a traditional choice. Some materials are easier to clean than others too. When you buy pants made from the wrong material, they might shrink the first time that you wash them. Cotton can shrink when washed in hot water and dried at a high temperature.

Choosing the Right Fabric

When choosing fleece sweatpants, you should keep in mind that fleece can pill up when washed. You can use a sweater razor to remove those pills from the fabric.

Leg Length and Your Height

When buying new pants, you always need to factor in your height. If you are on the shorter side, the legs on those pants might be so long that the fabric collects around your ankles and feet. Experts recommend that you look at the sizing information shared by the designer when buying these pants. You can use the sizing chart listed below to figure out what size pants you need based on your height and the size that you usually wear. Big and tall sizes are suitable for men who wear sizes outside of the average range. You can usually buy sweatpants in sizes for men that start at small and reach up to 5XL or even 6XL.

Women’s pants often come in small, medium and large sizes. Companies now offer sweatpants for plus size women that fit standard sizes of 24 or higher. You’ll also find petite sizes available for smaller women. These pants have a smaller waist and a shorter leg. This helps you find the right size and length for you. If you read the designer’s sizing chart and still have a hard time picking out a size, make sure that the seller has a good return policy. You can exchange the sweatpants for a different size later.

Leg Length and Your Height

Women's Sweatpants Size Chart

Size S

Size M

Size L

Size XL

Waist

26

28

30

32

Low Hip

38

40

42

44

Rise

11 3/4

12

12

12 1/2

Inseam

19 1/2

19 1/2

19

19 1/2

Leg Opening

10 1/2

11

11

12

When the temperature rises, you may not want to wear long pants that trap in the heat. We think that Weintee makes the best Capri sweatpants for women who don’t want to overheat while outside. The manufacturer designed these pants to stop right below your knee. Depending on your height, you may find that the pants are longer or shorter than you wanted. Though Weintee only offers this pair in three sizes and one color, those sizes run true to size. If you usually wear a size small, you’ll find that a size small in this pant will fit you perfectly. Many women like that the manufacturer made these pants from both cotton and spandex. While the cotton will help you stay cool, the spandex has the elasticity that ensures the pants stay up on your body. The larger waistband on the top features a drawstring cord that allows you to change the fit of the pants too. You’ll also find a reinforced area added to the crotch to ensure that the pants don’t rip or fray. With a single pocket located on each side, the Weintee Capri Joggers Sweatpants are great for wearing inside or out. You can use those pockets to carry everything you need.
Best Capri Pants - Weintee Capri Joggers Sweatpants

Sweatpants Lengths

When most people think of sweatpants, they think of traditional sweats that stop right at the ankle. This is only one of the lengths that you can choose from though. Even those designed to stop at the ankle may come down a little lower or rise a little higher. You might get a pair that completely covers your ankle and the top of your foot or a pair that stops an inch above your ankle bone. Designers typically use the following terms to describe pant lengths.

  • Cropped: Cropped pants are those with legs that stop an inch or more above your ankle. Some shoppers refer to this design as floodwater or high water pants.
  • Capris: Both capris and Capri refer to the same type of pants. Traditional Capri pants stop at the calf and halfway between the knee and ankle. Many companies now refer to pedal pushers that stop much higher as capri pants.
  • Pedal pushers: Pedal pushers were quite popular during the 1940s and through the 1960s. Sweatpants of this type typically stop right at the knee, though you’ll find pairs that stop slightly above the knee and pairs that sit below the knee.
  • Shorts: Companies use the term shorts to describe any sweatpants that have shorter legs. Depending on your height, a pair might stop anywhere along your thighs or knees.
Sweatpants Lengths

How Long Should You Go?

Now that you know the lengths available, you can decide which of those lengths is right for you. The best length depends on how you will wear those sweatpants and what you’ll do while wearing a pair. If you love exercising and want pants that you can wear while working out, you might prefer a shorter length. Sweatpants that stop at the knee or calf can keep you from overheating stop you from sweating. If you like exercising outside during the cooler months, feel free to buy a longer pair. Those that stop at or near your ankle will work with your running shoes and any other athletic gear or apparel that you want to wear and use.

As you shop for sweatpants that you can wear when running errands or hanging out with friends, you should think about the weather outside. You wouldn’t want to wear shorts or Capri sweatpants in the middle of winter, but you also want to skip long pants in the middle of summer. It’s important that you keep in mind layering too. Lightweight pants and those with shorter legs will fit under any other clothing that you need to wear to stay warm.

How Long Should You Go

Expert Tip

If you are on the shorter side, you might consider buying capris or cropped sweatpants. While those pants offer less leg coverage on taller people, a pair might offer all the coverage that you need.

You can purchase the Active Jogger Fleece Pants from Southpole without spending nearly as much as you expected. We think this is the best pair for those on a budget because you can pick the exact size that you need and choose from a range of colors. Not only does Southpole make standard sizes such as small and medium, but the company also makes these pants in big and tall sizes. The polyester used is soft and supple on the inside and might make you feel more comfortable than other sweatpants do. We like that the manufacturer added a few pockets to this pair. You can use a front pocket to store your phone or anything else that you need to reach quickly. The back pocket will accommodate your phone or other heavy objects without weighing down and stretching out the fabric. It features a wide waistband that sits right on your belly button and a drawstring to adjust the pant’s fit. You’ll also notice ribbing around the ankles that make the pants easy to get on and off. Southpole offers this pair in multiple colors and in some designs that use two different colors. You can wear the sweatpants at home and while you’re on the go.
Best Budget Sweatpants- Southpole Active Jogger Fleece Pant

Drawstring vs. Elastic Waistband

When you put on a pair of jeans, you might find yourself fighting with the zipper and the button just to get those pants closed. Traditional pants will only fit a specific size range. If you gain or lose a few pounds, those pants will fit too tightly or too loosely. Sweatpants have an adjustable fit that lets you share a pair with your partner or spouse or with your kids. The biggest decision that you need to make is between sweatpants with an elastic waistband or a drawstring.

Those that feature a drawstring have an opening right in the center of the waistband that allows both ends of the string to hang out. You can clinch or loosen that string and tie it in a knot to keep the pants in place on your body. Those that come with an elastic waistband may fit perfectly for a few months until you stretch out that band. Most shoppers will benefit from sweatpants that have both features. The elastic waistband provides the tummy control that you need and keeps the pants at the perfect spot on your stomach. You can use the included string with that elastic to get the fit that you need.

Drawstring vs Elastic Waistband

High Rise vs. Low Rise

  • Low rise: Low rise refers to sweatpants that come up to just below your natural waistline. This type of pant will usually stop below the bottom of your shirt and let part of your stomach stick out.
  • Ultra low rise: A small number of companies make ultra low rise pants that stop several inches below your belly button. These pants are not suitable for wearing while working out.
  • High rise: If you want as much coverage as possible, you might opt for sweatpants with a high rise. These pants are long enough that you can completely cover your lower belly and belly button.
  • Standard rise: Sweatpants with a standard or average rise are those designed to work with the natural waistline of an individual. The pants will come up to your belly button.

Are All Waistbands the Same?

The simple answer to this question is no, the waistbands used on sweatpants are not exactly the same. You can clearly see how different each type is when you look at pants for women. We recommend that you look at a few things as you compare those bands.

  • Size: If you want to get more coverage and hide your stomach while working out, you should choose sweatpants with a thicker or larger waistband. In general, the wider that band is, the more control it will offer. A wider waistband actually acts as a tummy control feature. It will hold in your stomach and make it appear smaller.
  • Rolled or folded: Sweatpants that use an elastic waistband sometimes have a rolled or folded band on the top. You can either fold or roll the band down to change the way the pants fit or to pull up the legs of the pants.
  • Drawstring location: You should also pay close attention to the location of the drawstring because companies can place this at the top, bottom or in the middle of the waistband. If the string is too close to the bottom edge of the band, it can cause the band to roll over.
Are All Waistbands the Same

How to Replace a Missing or Damaged Drawstring

To replace a drawstring that fell out or is too damaged to use, you just need a new piece of string and a safety pin. You’ll start by inserting one end of the drawstring into one of the openings on the pants. Once you push the string as far into the pants as you can, insert the pointed end of the pin into the waistband until you can get a grip on the string. You can then wiggle the pin to push the string further through this opening. Though it may take some time and effort, you can use that pin to carefully pull the string all the way through the pants until the end comes out of the opening.

If you love rooting for your favorite team either in person or at home, you’ll love these sweatpants from the Elite Fan Shop. The company received permission from the NCAA to make pants that feature the logo of popular teams. You can search for the team that you support and then select a size that works for you. Though the NCAA Sweatpants only come in a soft gray color, each one has the logo of the team running down one of the legs. You’ll also notice the name of that collegiate team on the pants. We like that these are standard sweatpants that have a drawstring and elastic waist. That waistband expands slightly to fit you when you put on or lose a few pounds. It also has a drawstring cord that you can tighten in seconds to ensure that the pants stay on. Many shoppers like that the waist sits right on their natural waists too. The manufacturer added two front pockets that are a little bigger and deeper than other pockets are to give you more storage space. We also like that the openings on the legs are slightly larger than the legs because this makes it easier to slip the pants on over shoes or slippers.
Best for Sports Fans - Elite Fan Shop NCAA Sweatpants

Open vs. Closed Bottoms

People today fall into one of two categories. There are those who put their pants on and then grab their shoes and those who put on their shoes before reaching for their pants. The type of person you are will help you decide whether to choose sweatpants with open or closed bottoms. Open bottoms are, as the name implies, sweatpants with wider leg openings. You shouldn’t have any problems pulling the pants on over your shoes. These pants also allow you to wear a pair of boots when skiing or spending time outside. You may want to look at just how wide those leg openings are though. Those with a wider and flared opening can trip you up and get in your way.

If you spend a lot of time on your feet or workout in a gym, you might prefer sweatpants with a closed opening. These pants have a cuff that often features an elastic band. That band keeps the pants tightly closed around your legs. Elastic cuffs also allow you to tuck your socks and shoes into the pants. You’ll also find sweatpants that feature ribbed cuffs. These cuffs will protect your feet and legs from damage while letting you move more freely.

Expert Tip

If you use exercise equipment, you should avoid sweatpants with open legs. The extra material on the openings can catch on those machines. Sweatpants with closed legs are also the best choice for cyclists.

Open vs Closed Bottoms
  • Comfort: A common reason why men and women wear sweatpants is because of their comfortable fit. Whether you need to spend hours running around town or you just want to relax at home, you can feel completely comfortable when wearing sweatpants.
  • Affordable: Jeans can cost hundreds of dollars and wear out within a few months. When you buy sweatpants, you can get a pair for much less and get just as much wear out of them. Sweatpants are so cheap that you might not even remind replacing that pair later. A basic pair of sweats might cost you just $10 and last for more than a few months.
  • Easy to wear: Many people also love just how easily they can wear a pair of sweatpants. Instead of fumbling with buttons and zippers, you can slide a pair on and head out the door in just a few minutes.
  • Range of designs: Though many people think of sweatpants as the clothing they should only wear while playing sports, you’ll find a range of designs that are suitable for wearing as you shop and hang out with friends. Tailored sweatpants have such a fashionable look that you can even wear a pair to work.
Benefits of Sweatpants

What to Look for in Tailored Sweatpants

  • Fit: Tailored sweatpants should fit loosely around your thighs and along your crotch. You should avoid pants that are so tight you have a problem breathing.
  • Fitted legs: The legs on the pants should have a much tighter fit that is similar to the fit of skinny jeans. If the pants are too loose, you might look messy or sloppy.
  • Length: Tailored sweatpants typically have a shorter length. You might want a pair that stops at the calf or the ankle.

Who Can Wear Sweatpants?

One of the best things about sweatpants is that absolutely everyone can wear a pair. You’ll find designs suitable for you and your spouse as well as your kids. Though some think that only men and women who exercise and workout should wear sweats, you can get more use out of a pair when you look for ways to wear them in and out of your home. You can wear sweatpants at home as you do cleaning and other activities, including:

  • Mowing your lawn and doing some gardening
  • Washing your cars and cleaning out those vehicles
  • Relaxing at home with a good book or a favorite film or show
  • Playing with your kids outside

Sweatpants are also great for those who travel frequently for work or pleasure. You can wear a pair while waiting at the airport and after you get on your flight. The pants will help you feel more comfortable during delays and whenever you find yourself waiting for service. We also recommend wearing sweatpants in situations where you would usually reach for jeans. You might wear a pair when shopping with your friends or when you want to swing by the gym on your way home from work.

Are Sweatpants Suitable for All Types of Sports?

Sweatpants really are suitable for all types of sports.

You can feel comfortable and move freely when wearing sweatpants as you ski, snowboard or play any sport, including:

Basketball
Baseball
Hockey
Soccer

Do You Need Pockets?

Women often carry purses and handbags with plenty of room for all their belongings. If you’re a woman heading off for a jog or a walk around the block though, you may not want to carry a purse. Not only will that bag weigh you down, but it might make you a target for muggers. Anytime that you need sweatpants that you can wear when exercising or wearing away from home, you should look for pairs that have pockets. Many of the pants designed for women lack pockets though. Some designers even add false pockets, which are stitches that look like pockets but do not open. You might find pairs with half pockets too.

Many sweatpants for women have a hidden pocket in the waistband. This pocket is usually just big enough to carry your credit card or ID. It can accommodate your house key or some money too.

Sweatpants for men often feature larger pockets and have two pockets on the front to mimic the design of other guys’ pants. You’ll also find pants that have one pocket on the front and a second pocket on the back or a back pocket with two front pockets. If you need to carry anything with you, sweatpants with pockets are a must-have.

Do You Need Pockets

Expert Tip

Most athletic shorts do not have pockets. If you want more freedom of movement and still have room for cash and other items, look for sweatpants with a shorter length.

What to Avoid When Buying Sweatpants

  • Wrong size: You should never buy or wear sweatpants that are too large for your body. While you might want to hide your body until you lose some more weight, those oversize pants can make you look significantly larger than you are. You’ll also want to avoid sweats that fit too tightly, which can make you look like a stuffed sausage.
  • Wrong length: We talked about length in a previous section, but you may think that length really isn’t that important. You’ll change your mind after buying sweatpants that are so short you look like you’re in your older bother’s or father’s sweats. Sweatpants that are too long can make you look messy and cause you to stumble and trip as you walk.
  • Cheap materials: Though you can get affordable sweatpants, you should use caution when buying cheaper pairs because of the materials used. Cotton and spandex combos are popular with men and women because they get the fit and the comfort that they need. Sweatpants made from cheaper materials can rub you the wrong way and even chafe your skin if you’re more active.

Expert Tip

If you wear sweatpants while exercising and find that the pants don’t fit as well after you lose some weight, you can take them to a tailor. Tailors can take in the waist and cuffs to ensure that the pants fit you perfectly.

What to Avoid When Buying Sweatpants

Things to Consider When Buying Sweatpants Online

  • Shipping estimate: You’ll always want to see if the website offers a shipping estimate. While delays can still happen, the estimate gives you an idea of how soon those pants will arrive.
  • Return policy: We recommend checking the return policy to ensure that you can return those sweatpants in the future. Even if you bought a pair from the same designer in the past, you might find that it sizes changed recently and that you now need another size. You should look at how long you have to return those pants and how long it will take to get a new pair or a refund. Online shoppers should also look at whether they need to pay to ship the pants back.
  • Size chart: Though we included an example of a size chart for sweatpants in our shopping guide, companies can use different sizes. Each of the products on this page has links to Amazon. You can follow those links to view the size charts offered by each manufacturer.
  • Customer reviews: You should always take a few minutes to read customer reviews online too. Instead of focusing only on the negative or positive reviews, read as many as you can to get a good idea of the pros and cons of those sweatpants.
Things to Consider When Buying Sweatpants Online

Top Features Shoppers Look for in Sweatpants

Comfort
Leg length
Cost
Material
Size
Fit
Leg openings
Waistband type

Ideas for Wearing Sweatpants

If you still think that you can only wear sweatpants with tee shirts and running shoes, you’ll want to check out some of the fun new ways to wear sweats.

  • For the office: A good pair of fitted sweatpants can take you from the court to the office almost instantly. You can wear those pants with the same button-down shirt that you usually wear and some simple slip-on shoes. Women can pair tailored sweatpants with sandals or heels.
  • Date night: With the right accessories, you can make sweatpants work for date night too. A good look for women includes sweatpants that stop slightly above the ankle and a simple tank top. You can add a few pieces of jewelry and a killer pair of heels. Guys can pair fitted sweatpants with a plain white tee and running shoes in a bright color. If you choose sweats that stop above the ankle, those shoes will become the focal point of your whole outfit.
  • Choose one bright color: The key to making sweatpants work outside of your home is with a basic tip that all fashionistas can follow, which is: keep things simple. Choose one bright color or item that you want to highlight and build your outfit around that item. Sweatpants in a neutral color can take the place of your favorite khaki pants.
Ideas for Wearing Sweatpants

Tips for Layering Sweatpants

Choose lightweight fabrics: When layering your sweats, you want to choose lightweight materials and fabrics that work together. You might pair running tights under your pants and add a tee shirt with a hooded sweatshirt on top.

Avoid similar colors: While celebrities can get away with wearing outrageous outfits, you cannot do the same thing yourself. Instead of wearing a gray hoodie with matching gray sweatpants, try to add some more color to your outfit. You can choose a hoodie in a bright color with gray pants or change things up with colorful pants and a gray sweatshirt.

Don’t add too much: A common mistake that both men and women make when layering is that they wear too many pieces. You don’t need several shirts under a hoodie and multiple layers on the bottom. All you really need is a simple tee shirt or tank top with a jacket or sweatshirt on top and a pair of sweatpants.

Tips for Making Your Sweatpants Last Longer

  • Use cold water: While hot water will kill germs, it can also shrink most materials, including cotton and fleece. When you wash your sweatpants, always use cold water. You may want to avoid fabric softener. While it does leave the pants smelling nice, it can also make those pants feel rough.
  • Avoid the dryer: No matter what type of sweatpants you buy, you should avoid the dryer. Even if you use a low temperature, the heat can still wreak havoc on the pants. Not only can it shrink your sweats, but the high heat can also damage the fabric. You can hang the pants on a drying rack until completely dry.
  • Skip the inside out method: A common cleaning tip says that you should turn fleece articles inside out before washing those garments. This cleaning method causes pills to form on the pants, which are those tiny pieces of fluffy material that you see on the pants. When you toss the pants in the washer as-is, you can avoid those pills forming.
  • Wash separately: As tempted as you might feel to toss your sweats in the washer with your towels or sheets, you should only wash sweatpants separately or with other sweats. Any other clothing or items you place in the washer can weigh down the sweats and stretch out or damage those pants.

What is the Average Price for a Pair of Sweatpants?

When you played sports in high school or college, the school likely provided you with a pair of sweatpants or warm-up pants that you worse before and after games. You can get a brand new pair that looks just like those old pants for around $20 or less. The cost of a pair will depend on the size that you need and the manufacturer behind those pants. Champion, which makes affordable athletic gear, sells sweatpants for between $10 and $20. If you need a thicker pair with a lining inside, you might spend $30 or more.

Designers also base prices on the sizes available. Pants for women generally cost more than pants for men do. If you wear a plus size or a big and tall size, you’ll need to pay more for a pair. All the sweatpants that we added to our list of the best pairs retail for well under $100.

Big name fashion houses now make athletic pants and workout wear too. Those companies typically charge higher prices but do not include any added features. Unless you have a passion for a certain designer, you should avoid those pairs and spend your money on a basic pair of sweatpants.

Champion Closed Bottom Jersey Sweatpants
Champion Closed Bottom Jersey Sweatpants | $11.57 - $82.90
CYZ Women's Stretch Cotton Knit Pajama Pants
CYZ Women's Stretch Cotton Knit Pajama Pants | $4.99 - $29.99
Weintee Capri Joggers Sweatpants
Weintee Capri Joggers Sweatpants | $17.00 - $20.00
Southpole Active Jogger Fleece Pants
Southpole Active Jogger Fleece Pants | $8.01 - $39.99
Elite Fan Shop NCAA Sweatpants
Elite Fan Shop NCAA Sweatpants | $29.99 - $40.00

Frequently Asked Questions

A: Zip-off pants are another alternative to sweatpants and a good choice for people who run hot and cold during the day. These pants extend all the way down your leg but have a zipper located around the knee. You can pull on this zipper to remove the bottom portion of each leg and turn the pants into shorts.

A: Emile Camuset receives credit as the inventor of sweatpants. He founded Le Coq Sportif, which is one of the largest sport apparel manufacturers in Europe. Camuset took gray jersey material from his factory and designed a new type of lightweight pants suitable for runners.

A: While you can wear almost any type of sweatpants in warm weather, you may want a warmer pair when enjoying outdoor activities such as snowboarding and skiing. The best sweatpants for those activities are pairs that use polar fleece. Invented in the late 1970s, polar fleece is a more durable type of fleece. It is thinner and cheaper than wool but features some of the same properties as wool. You can purchase sweatpants with a removable or a permanent polar fleece lining.

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