Having too many times been lured by the siren song of a cheap phone charger or a strangely affordable sports bra only to have it stop working within a week or disintegrate in the dryer, this year I decided to focus on buying more expensive things that are designed to last. This is to say, I was skeptical but intrigued when minutes after congratulating me on my pregnancy, my friend texted me a link to maternity leggings on Amazon that were under $20. “Buy these,” the text said.
I hesitated. There was no way these cheap leggings could rival the comfortable Pact stretchy joggers I already owned, or the maternity leggings I’d been eyeing that were more than quadruple the price, I thought, but even with my newfound dedication to a less-is-more mentality I can’t deny who I am at my core: a lover of deals, a bargain hunter, some may say a Maxxinista. So, a few months into my pregnancy, into the proverbial cart the leggings went, and spoiler alert: they did not disappoint.
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- Price: $16.00 (varies by color)
- Sizes: S-3X
- Styles: Solids and prints available
- Who it’s for: Maternity
- Options: Available in full or cropped lengths
- Fabric: 92% Polyester, 8% Spandex
What I Tried: Leggings Depot Women’s Stretch Buttery Soft Casual Maternity Pants
Like most things purchased on Amazon Prime, these arrived quickly and with little fanfare. I keep it pretty basic when it comes to leggings, so I ordered these in black in my pre-pregnancy size, medium. At the time, I was five months pregnant, or about 23 weeks, and was definitely visibly pregnant though not yet huge.
The first thing that struck me as I unwrapped these from their plastic packaging was how soft they really were. They’re made of a poly spandex blend that somehow doesn’t feel like legging material; it’s more like a velvety jersey but with a ton of stretch. I hate to use the term “buttery soft” because it gives me flashbacks to the LulaRoe documentary (these are, to be clear, not LulaRoe leggings) but they really are the softest leggings I own, maternity or otherwise.
I pulled them on and it felt like getting into fresh sheets with shaved legs, decadently comfortable, almost slippery. I was surprised by how high the belly band went, easily up to my ribcage. My pre-pregnancy size fit great, and the leggings weren’t overly tight in the legs as I’d feared they may be.
How they look & how they hold up:
Beyond the comfy material, the Amazon leggings have a cinched waist band on the sides that didn’t roll down or leave an indent in my stomach. I have other maternity leggings with a belly band made of an itchy stocking material and I found these to be a lot more comfortable and less itchy. The band part is made with two panels of fabric sewn together at the top (think of pulling the two sides of a closed Ziploc bag). I liked the added support this provided but it was a little hot at times, especially being pregnant in summer.
These are not especially see-through at all; to test this I just pulled the leggings taut over my hand and held them up to the light and I couldn’t see my skin through the fabric at all. However, I will say as I grow, I notice they are more sheer when I bend (OK fine my husband told me he could see my butt) but this was no longer an issue when I sized up — yes I bought more than one pair, but more on that later.
The washing instructions say to machine wash in cold water with like colors and tumble dry low, and I haven’t heeded that especially closely, especially when it comes to drying. Even with my haphazard washing, these show no signs of pilling and did not shrink. Some reviewers noted that the dye transferred onto their hands when pulling these on and off, but this isn’t something I have personally noticed.
Are maternity leggings really helpful?
Aside from the fact that none of my clothes fit and I simply needed pants, maternity leggings do have some scientifically backed benefits; they offer gentle support and I found them much more comfortable and intuitive to wear than a separate belly band. One 2019 study found that compression shorts help reduce prenatal pelvic and back pain. While these leggings are not specifically designed to be compression leggings, they do have some belly support.
Are these Amazon maternity leggings worth it?
I like to consider cost per wear when deciding if something is worth it (it helps to justify the aforementioned purchases of expensive things that are designed to last). Given their price-point hovers right around $15 (it varies by color), these maternity leggings are definitely worth it even if you only plan to wear them a handful of times, but I suspect that won’t be the case.
I’ve worn mine to barre and yoga classes, to sleep, on walks with the dog, out to dinner paired with a longer shirt, on an ill-advised camping trip where the comfiest part was the leggings, and on a cross country flight at 32 weeks pregnant (my doctor recommend I wear leggings paired with compression socks). I plan to continue wearing them in the postpartum period and beyond, and I may show up to the hospital in them.
Pros & Cons:
- Under $20
- Very soft and stretchy
- Doesn’t leave indents in belly
- A lot of color/pattern choices
- Some reviewers noted dye transferring
- May be slightly sheer; I solved this by sizing up
The Final Verdict
I’ll leave you with this: after wearing these out on a walk with a friend for the first time, I came home and immediately ordered two more pairs — one identical to the first (black, medium) and one in navy in a size large which I’ve worn constantly in the last weeks of my pregnancy. I just noticed they have a brown pair which I plan to order for fall, because when it comes to the softest, most affordable leggings I’ve ever owned, less is not more.
Worth every penny.
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