In the ebb and flow of fashion, certain staples transcend seasons adding comfort and style to any outfit. Fleece-lined leggings stand out as a year-round treasure, with a promise to wrap you in warmth while effortlessly elevating your style. It’s not just about staying cozy — it’s about embracing a new level of comfort and confidence.
Say yes to warmth, yes to style and indulge in a wardrobe upgrade that will make you feel snug without compromising on fashion.
On our cozy mission we tapped fashion experts to get the 411 on the top fabrics and brands for fleece-lined leggings. Thanks to their expertise, we've rounded up the leggings that will not only keep you warm, but also stand the test of time due to their high quality. From casual outings to more formal affairs, we’ve curated a selection that effortlessly fuses functionality with fashion.
What to look for when shopping for fleece-lined leggings
One word. Seven letters. Comfort.
It's the number one thing shoppers should be looking for in a fleece-lined legging.
Textile expert Kelly Reddy-Best says shoppers should pay attention to the fiber content of their fabrics if warmth is what they're looking for.
"If the consumer wants to prioritize comfort and warmth, I suggest paying close attention to the fiber content of the fabric(s)," Reddy-Best says.
Combining a fabric that will insulate heat with one that has a bit of stretch will wrap your legs in warmth all day. Run cold? No worries. Look for a thicker fleece-lined legging that is sure to keep you cozy.
What are the best materials for fleece-lined leggings?
Our experts say the fleece fabric in leggings is typically made of a synthetic fiber such as polyester.
"For centuries, humans have used wool for warmth, but manufacturers were looking for an alternative fiber to utilize for the same needs," Reddy-Best explains.
Ideally, this new alternative would be easier to wash while still keeping a person just as warm.
"In the late 1970s, one manufacturer found a solution by creating a fleece fabric made from polyester. The fleece fabric is typically knit and brushed; brushing creates a nap (the fuzzy part). The characteristics in polyester contribute to the product being moisture-resistant, fast drying and insulating," she says.
Personal style therapist and image consultant Christina Stein says fleece combined with some type of spandex is another great combo to look for.
"This helps the legging keep you warm without overheating and there is a stretch which is more comfortable," Stein says.
Our experts suggest avoiding leggings with fleece made of cotton. While cotton is a soft and comfortable fabric, it is also very moisture-absorbent.
"If the fleece lining was made of mostly cotton, I would avoid those for sure as it would be soft, but if you start sweating, the cotton will absorb the moisture and be uncomfortable next to your skin," Reddy-Best says. "Think about if you sweat in your underarms while wearing a T-shirt. You will likely feel sort of clammy and uncomfortable and it would take a while to dry."
Decoding the perfect legging thickness for your lifestyle
The biggest complaint that many shoppers have is that fleece-lined leggings are too thick, but their fabric structure is to thank for that.
Most retailers won't provide a thickness measurement but will use descriptions such as ultra-lightweight, lightweight, mid-weight or heavy.
The best way to tell the type of thickness is honestly understanding what you’re buying for, according to Stein.
"If you’re buying because you’re a runner, typically the weight of that legging is going to be lighter than say a legging you would hike in," she explains. "Ultra-light is usually for summer or walking in cold weather and lightweight is for more temperate weather. Mid-weight is an outer layer for everyday wear and heavyweight is for things like being out in extreme temperatures during the winter months."
If you plan to work out in your fleece-lined leggings, our experts say there's a bit more to consider when shopping.
"Leggings worn for athletic activities would be much more likely to have [thickness] specifications listed as the consumer will likely be shopping with that in mind. The retailer may give you an actual measurement in this case," Reddy-Best explains.
If measurements aren't provided, our experts say it's best to head to the store and feel the leggings for yourself.
The thickness and weight of leggings are often determined by the fabric weave type. Brands measure this thickness in what's called denier.
Denier is a unit of measurement that indicates the mass density of fibers used in the fabric. If you have a tighter weave, your fibers are more densely packed and produces a thicker and heavier fabric.
Best fleece-lined leggings, according to experts
Material: Fleece | Size: XS-XL | Colors: 5
Feeling cold all the time? The Cozy Crew's fleece leggings are here to make the days a little more bearable. The brand is one Stein loves and always recommends to her clients.
Reviewers said they wish they had found these leggings sooner.
"We keep the house quite cold in the winter and I used to hate getting out from under the blanket on the couch to go to the kitchen," one reviewer said. "But now with these lined yoga pants, I can move about the house and not feel the cold on my legs. I also wear them to take the dog for walks and they really improve my experience by keeping my legs warm."
The brand says the thickest weight option easily keeps you warm for up to 5°F weather.
Materials: Polartec Power Grid recycled polyester, spandex | Size: XXS-XL | Colors: 2
When shopping for specific pieces like fleece-lined leggings, Reddy-Best says she always looks to see if the brand has a research and development department.
"For fleece-lined leggings, I would want them to be warm for sure, so companies such as Patagonia that specialize in making warm clothes is where I would look first," she says.
Reviewers said the Capilene thermal leggings are perfect for hiking or other adventures because they keep your legs warm while being lightweight.
"These are a perfect fit, high-waisted, full-stretch and incredibly warm. When paired over a thin base layer I stay warm under my shell snow pants skiing in the resort. I wear these to bed on chilly nights, that's how comfortable they are," one reviewer said.
Material: Nylon, spandex, polyester | Size: XS-XL | Colors: 1
Spanx is one of the first brands that comes to Reddy-Best's mind for tights and leggings.
"While I don’t necessarily agree with their marketing that women need to change the shape of their bodies through shapewear, they do specialize in body-hugging, stretchy garments," she says.
Spanx also is the gold-star standard for making shapewear look fashionable. The Moto fleece-lined leggings have an edgier look and are on trend with the faux leather wave.
Reviewers say these slimming leggings are perfect for a night out.
More bestselling fleece-lined leggings to shop
Materials: Polyester, spandex | Size: One-size fits all regular and plus | Colors: 7
Want fleece-lined leggings that don't break the bank? These bargain fleece-lined leggings trap warmth and are perfect for any type of workout or everyday wear.
Couver's leggings come in regular and plus sizes but be mindful that they have a one-size fits all sizing structure.
Materials: Cotton, polyester, spandex | Size: XS-4X | Colors: 3
Layer away with Old Navy's high-waisted fleece-lined leggings!
This pair comes in regular, tall and petite sizing to fit everyone in the family.
Reviewers say these are one of the warmest pair of fleece-lined tights on the market but be aware, that they tend to run short in the inseam.
Materials: Polyester, recycled polyester, spandex | Size: XS-XL | Colors: 10
Cuddl Duds are editorial assistant Sierra Hoeger’s everyday fleece-lined leggings.
“In college when temperatures would dip below freezing and I had to walk across campus to get to class these were my go-to pair. I would wear them under jeans and sweats to make the bitter weather more bearable,” she says.
The brand’s colorful prints make this a go-to for reviewers hiking, running or spending time outside.
Materials: Cotton, polyester, spandex | Size: S-XL | Colors: 7
How do you say goodbye to cozy? Short answer, you don't.
Land's End has created the ultimate year-round legging that will last for washes to come.
One reviewer said these are the "best tight-leg sweats ever."
"Winter is so much more bearable when wearing these fleece-lined leggings," one reviewer said. "I have a pair for every day of the week! They are comfortable, wash well and even have a pocket for your phone. My only wish is that another pocket would be added on the left side too."
Save a buck or two when you order by using the promo code FLURRIES to get up to 70% off.
Materials: Cotton, polyester, spandex | Size: S-2X | Colors: 6
Step into cloud nine. A New Day's high-waisted fleece-lined leggings are some of the most flattering in the market.
These lightweight leggings are warm and "tall-girl friendly," reviewers said.
"I love these! They feel like I’m wearing a warm huggable cloud. They are incredibly soft, not too hot for all-day (and all-season) wear," one reviewer added. "They look cute and dressier than they should be. I bought 3 pairs last year and I bought 3 more pairs this year. Cannot say enough good things about these!"
Materials: Cotton, polyester, spandex | Size: M-XXL | Colors: 4
These wide-leg leggings are certified work-from-home pants.
The high-waisted design pairs perfectly with the wide-leg cut to take your running errands outfit from chaotic to chic.
"The pants are super soft, great for weekends lounging around, quick errands, or dog walks," one reviewer said. "I’m 5’1” and 123 lbs and small petite fits perfectly, no hemming!"
Materials: Modal, cotton, spandex | Size: 10-30 | Colors: 6
Torrid's high-rise fleece-lined leggings are a shopper favorite because of their versatility and soft knit fabric.
Reviewers say this buy is a "no-brainer" due to their warmth and ability to be dressed up or down.
One reviewer said, "I am THRILLED Torrid brought back the fleece leggings with the 2-inch waist band and ADDED POCKETS!! They stay up better and have the perfect cut. I am so happy."
Materials: Polyester, spandex | Size: XS-3XL | Colors: 11
These are the internet's favorite fleece-lined leggings. With over 360 million videos on TikTok, Baleaf's leggings are known for their fabric quality.
One reviewer even wore these leggings in 15-degree weather and stayed warm for hours during a hike.
"As the weather gets colder I tried another warmth test with these leggings. I paired the leggings in 15 fahrenheit degree weather with a pair of jeans while running morning errands," said a reviewer. "Worked perfectly keeping my legs warm while pumping gas and dashing in and out of stores. These leggings just keep getting better for me."
Materials: Polyester, spandex | Size: 0-14 | Colors: 3
Commerce Editor & Producer Julie Ricevuto raves about these faux leather fleece-lined pants from Topshop.
“They’re so warm! I’m cold all the time so these are a game changer for me during the winter,” she says.
But Ricevuto is not alone. Reviewers say this is a “must-have” for any wardrobe.
“These are the best faux leather trousers! They are quite thick and have a fleece lining so they are cozy in the colder months. They look like genuine leather but are super comfy with lots of stretch so they fit just right,” one reviewer said. “They are a great way to make casual more exciting. You can easily wear with a nice top for a going out look or with a basic shirt for a causal but stylish look.”
Materials: Polyester, spandex | Size: XS-XXL | Colors: 5
Love to run? Eddie Bauer has the right leggings for you.
With odor control, moisture-wicking and a pocket for your phone, these Crossover high-rise leggings are ready for whatever workout you throw at them.
"These fit great, are warm and don’t bag out after wearing," one reviewer said. "I wore these on a hike where I slipped down a rocky slope and fell on a sharp rock. The impact tore my underwear but miraculously, the leggings remained intact with no visible damage. I’ll keep buying these as long as they’re offered."
Materials: Polyester, elastane | Size: XS-XXL | Colors: 3
Forget the sweat! Under Armour has got you covered.
Lined with thin fleece, the ColdGear Authentic sweat-wicking technology is made for an active lifestyle.
The mid-rise and compression fit smooth your muscles as you take on your next physical challenge.
"I actually really like how these are lower on the waist because it doesn’t feel like it’s digging into me like some of the others. This is also because of the thicker waistband which I also love," one reviewer said.
Materials: Nylon, elastane | Size: XXS-L | Colors: 1
Love it or hate it, Alo's airbrush winter warm leggings are made to compress and smooth.
Reviewers said they are a must-have for cold weather. Not only do they keep you warm, they also have a sweetheart back that sculpts and lifts your butt.
"I love them. The fit is superb without the feeling of being stuffed into sausage skin! Movement is easy and these beauties give a warmth that is just right," one reviewer said.
Materials: Nylon, polyester, spandex | Size: XXS-XL | Colors: 3
Snag Athleta’s Altitude Stash leggings made with Polartec Power Stretch to provide warmth in even the coldest temperatures.
Skiing, hiking or climbing a mountain? No problem. Stay cozy and dry with what reviewers call the “warmest legging around.”
One reviewer put the Altitude leggings to the ultimate test by wearing them in the Arctic.
“You dont have to save these tights to wear north of the Arctic Circle …but they’ll keep you warm if you do,” the reviewer said. “I bought them for a trip to see the Northern Lights. The weather was cold and windy. But I was warm. They really are amazing.”
Materials: Lycra, nylon, polyester | Size: XXS-XXXL | Colors: 6
Details, details, details! Outdoor Voices thought of everything when making the FrostKnit leggings for those who like to push themselves to the limit.
Whether you’re running around with your kids or running a half marathon, the sweat-wicking technology in these leggings has your back.
These leggings are also perfect for those who like to work out at night or early in the morning. Outdoor Voices included reflectors in the legging design to make sure anyone and everyone will see how stylish you are — even in the dark.
“Decided to purchase another pair of this great, comfortable, warm tights. I love the look and style,” one reviewer said. “The pair will be for ‘coffee’ with friends and running errands. They even look great with my TX Tecovas boots!”
Best fleece-lined legging alternatives, according to shoppers
Our experts say fleece isn’t the only way to stay warm. Reddy-Best suggests shoppers look for wool leggings as an alternative to fleece-lined leggings.
Material: Not provided | Size: S-2XL | Colors: 1
This Black-owned brand adds inclusivity to the trendy style of tights in the winter.
The nude 04 fleece-lined tights are designed to match darker skin tones and hug your legs comfortably.
The brand recently introduced a thicker fleece, weighing 300 grams, so you can wear these tights in even the coldest conditions.
One reviewer said they needed to order more for their closet.
"I was a bit skeptical at the color match at first cause of my experiences in the past trying to find fleece tights for my skin tone but these are AMAZING," the reviewer said. "The fleece is so so soft, the stitching is comfortable against my skin and the color match is crazy good. These feel like quality. As someone who loves skirts, this is definitely worth it."
Material: Merino wool | Size: XS-XL | Colors: 10
Reviewers say Meriwool's wool thermal pants are the best budget-friendly wool pant on the market.
Meriwool's leggings are moisture-regulating making you feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Skip the dry cleaning! Reviewers say the best bonus is that these leggings are machine washer and dryer safe.
Materials: Nylon, virgin wool, elastane | Size: XS-XL | Colors: 3
If you're not a fan of fleece, expert Reddy-Best suggests shoppers look for an alternative at a long-standing hosiery company like Wolford.
She says this brand brings warmth to fashion and is a worthy investment for anyone looking to buy wool.
The wool blend tights add a touch of elegance to your cold-weather outfits.
How we chose the best fleece-lined tights
In choosing the best fleece-lined leggings, we made sure to dive deep into customer reviews and ratings to get the inside scoop on what shoppers really loved.
We talked to experts to find the best of the best fabrics and styles.
While choosing, we prioritized tights that struck the perfect balance between insulation, quality and affordability to make sure there’s something for every budget without skimping on quality.
Brands mattered, too — we leaned toward the ones with a reputation for crafting products that stands the test of time.
Meet our experts
- Kelly Reddy-Best is an apparel, merchandising and design professor at Iowa State University. She is also the chief curator and director of ISU’s Textiles and Clothing Museum.
- Christina Stein is a personal stylist and image consultant based out of Pittsburgh. Her specialties are capsule wardrobes, closet audits, and editorial photoshoots.