I’ll never forget how uncomfortably heavy my legs felt while I was pregnant, especially when I traveled. My mom suggested I wear compression leggings or tights to see if that helped since she wore them throughout her pregnancy while working as an ER nurse. Since I already wore compression leggings to go on long runs, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try them out. And because moms always know best, wearing compression leggings really did work wonders for my discomfort.
To find out why compression leggings are so beneficial to pregnant people, I spoke to OB-GYN Dr. Greg Marchand. He tells Best Products that while there isn’t much science that supports their benefits, “Anecdotally, many women feel that they do help with varicose veins, and feel that belly bands and tights help support their abdomens, making walking easier.”
What to Consider
Compression leggings are pretty simple. They don’t differ from regular leggings other than the fact that they’re a bit more snug, and the physical weave of the leggings is different. The main things you want to consider are the level of compression the leggings provide, style, and if they’re maternity or postpartum leggings.
- Level of Compression: Some of these leggings really give you firm support all throughout. These are great for exercising or any time when you’ll be on your feet for long periods. Leggings with less compression are your go-to everyday style.
- Maternity vs. Postpartum: The compression for maternity leggings is through the leg, under the belly, and around the back. Postpartum compression leggings give you comforting pressure against your changing belly. And it feels so good. Think: “Spanx you want to wear.”
- Style: There are myriad lengths you can choose from, but there are also active maternity compression leggings made of moisture-wicking material designed to keep you cool. It’s a matter of when you’ll wear them and to what function.
I spent a month talking to tons of new and pregnant parents, finding the most-popular compression leggings. I asked nurses, lawyers, personal trainers, and even one very cool street busker. These are the best, most comfortable compression leggings you can buy.