Although many of us will probably wear maternity leggings frequently during pregnancy, tights can be a better choice under dresses or skirts, especially for work or more formal occasions. You’ll probably find that you need to start wearing maternity tights when your regular ones no longer feel comfortable or start to roll down. Different to regular tights, maternity tights are designed to accommodate your growing bump with either extra stretchy fabric or a panel at the front, and they come in a range of lovely colours and styles.
If you wear dresses or skirts and the weather isn’t warm enough for bare legs (or you don’t fancy getting your legs out!) then tights are a great option. You can get opaque, sheer, or patterned maternity tights, and there really is a pair for every person and occasion, and to suit a range of budgets and sizes.
Some maternity tights have extra features that can help support your baby bump, or provide relief from swollen legs. There are also medical-weight maternity compression tights available, for serious varicose veins and leg pain.
What to look for when buying maternity tights?
Denier range – This is essentially the fabric thickness and density of the tights, although it’s technically a measure of the weight of the yarn used. In general the higher the number the thicker, darker, and more durable the tights will be. You can find tights in various denier ranges starting from as sheer as 5 denier and going up to around 300. Anything over 50 denier is classified as opaque.
Fabric – Maternity tights are generally made from a blend of different fabrics, providing the necessary softness and comfort needed. The fabrics include cotton, nylon, elastane, and polyamide.
Colour – There are loads of colour options with maternity tights, although the most common colour you’ll find is black. You can find tights that are almost any colour including nude / skin tone colours for a range of complexions.
Size range – Due to the elastane element in most tights fabrics, they can accommodate lots of different body sizes and shapes. Maternity tights in our list start from a size 4 and go up to size 36.
Extra support – Some maternity tights have support panels on the front that expand with your growing bump, others have special elasticised bands to stretch and hold over the bump, and others have compression technology to prevent varicose veins. You can also have tights with reinforced toes to prevent snagging where your toenails are.
Seam position – This may seem irrelevant, but it makes all the difference when wearing your tights – especially all day in the office! Flat seams are best as they won’t be bulky and are unlikely to irritate your skin upon close contact. A thick seam right over your bump may show through a thin or tight item of clothing, so consider this when choosing your tights: you may prefer a seamless style.
Care – Tights are generally quite easy to keep clean: you can usually wash them in the washing machine at 30-40 degrees, with similar colours. If it’s a brand new pair, always check the label before washing for the first time. You can place them in a mesh laundry bag whilst in the washing machine to protect them from ladders or pulls.
How much do maternity tights cost?
You can find maternity tights as cheap as £9.99 for a multi-pack, and even as affordable as £6 for one pair. Those on the pricier side may be upwards of £25 for one pair.
When looking at budget options, you may find that they perform just as well as the pricier ones, but sometimes you can find issues such as laddering or rolling down, perhaps due to more economic fabric choices. Higher priced maternity tights also might have extra features to benefit from such as a support panel and compression technology.
How did we choose our 10 of the Best?
Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.
When testing maternity tights, we considered denier range, fabric, colour, size range, extra support, seam position, comfort and wash care.
Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.
Here are our top picks…
1. John Lewis Maternity Tights, £9
– Best for a matte finish
Size: S-XL | Colour: Black | Denier: 60 | Fabric: 89% Nylon, 10% Elastane, 1% Cotton
To accommodate your growing bump, these John Lewis maternity tights have a round panel on the front that expands as you grow, providing extra room and comfort. Alongside this, these maternity tights have reinforced toes to keep your toes nice and snug and prolong the lifespan. With the cotton element in the fabric, you can expect that your skin will be able to breathe, making it less likely to be irritated. The tights have a nice matte finish, perfect if you prefer this over a shiny look.
MFM home tester Rebecca commented, “They are very stretchy, great for a 6 foot tall person if you get extra large. They didn’t snag and looked like new even after many many weeks of wearing and washing. They didn’t come up too tight round the ribs as many others did around a twin bump.”
John Lewis does recommend hand washing them, but testers felt they were fine going in a standard wash.
Pros: Durable after multiple washes, reinforced toes feature
Cons: Limited size range, bump panel may be uncomfortable for some
Available from: John Lewis
2. H&M MAMA Support Tights, £9.99
– Best for a higher denier
Size: XS – XL | Colour: Black | Denier: 100 | Fabric: Polyamide 94% (recycled polyamide 90%), Elastane 6%
With any pair of maternity tights you purchase, you want to ensure that you have good support, not just for your thighs and legs but also for your bump. These H&M tights go right up under your bust with an elasticated waistband so you have good support without feeling too restricted. With a ‘spot on’ fit as stated on the website, you won’t need to go a size up or down as your usual size should suffice. They also have a bit of shine to them which adds that neat and polished feel to your overall outfit.
Our home tester Melissa said, “These were good ones as they didn’t fall down or slide over the bump like ones before. I work in an office, so I wear tights almost everyday and these were most comfortable for me throughout my pregnancy. They were also the only ones that weren’t too tight fighting around the top of the bump, meaning it didn’t feel like I was squashing my bump in them.”
Pros: Elasticated waist band for support, recycled material
Cons: Limited colour range
Available from: H&M
3. Boots Maternity Tights, £6
– Best for affordability
Size: S-M, M-L | Colour: Black | Denier: 30
These Boots tights are comfortable and practical, and the affordable price makes them a steal, meaning you can probably buy more than one pair to wear on a daily basis. The flat seams guarantees you won’t have any stitching irritating your skin, enabling you to have that gentle and comfortable feeling when worn. We’ve chosen the 30 denier semi-sheer option, but you can also get a higher denier if you prefer something more on the opaque side.
Home tester Rebecca commented, “I liked the fit as they were very supportive but comfortable around my stomach. Being a tall lady also I usually have to size up for the length but a large was a perfect fit and didn’t make the waist too big. The tights had a nice soft sheen finish which made them look more expensive than what they cost in my opinion. I didn’t buy many tights towards the end of my pregnancy and these proved to be a good quality as they were washed many times without going bobbly.”
Pros: Affordable price, 30 denier option is quite rare
Cons: Limiting size options
Available from: Boots
4. M&S Maternity Body Sensor Tights, £6
– Best for keeping cool
Size: S – XL | Colour: Black | Denier: 40 | Fabric: 79% polyamide, 20% elastane and 1% cotton
These lovely M&S tights are not just at a great affordable price, but they also have Body Sensor technology that M&S claims to adapt to your body temperature, keeping you cool when warm and warm when cold, which is great if you find your body temperature changes in pregnancy. There’s also a panel on the front offering support to your bump and grows with you as your tummy gets bigger. These tights are true to size so do make sure to choose your original size prior to pregnancy.
Our MFM tester Hayley said, “I initially thought I could get away with my normal tights and just began wearing them under my bump. However I pretty quickly realised this was a silly idea and I invested in a pair of maternity tights from M&S. I immediately felt more comfortable and supported in these tights and they lasted right through until I was at my largest. Ladder resistant and provided a good level of opaqueness without being too thick and warm.”
Pros: Body sensor technology, bump support panel
Cons: Limited size range
Available from: M&S
5. ASOS Design Maternity Tights, £8
– Best for a high waist
Size: S-M, M-L | Colour: Black | Denier: 80 | Fabric: 94% Nylon, 6% Elastane
Throw on these soft ASOS tights the next time you’re heading outside in the cold wearing a maternity dress. The high-rise waist means your baby bump will be covered and comfortable as you go about your day. These maternity tights are 80 denier which is fully opaque, suiting all skin tones. You can also find 13 different styles ranging from 8 denier to 180 denier, and prices from £8 a pair, meaning ASOS is a one-stop shop for those who want to stock up on maternity tights.
Our MFM home tester Stephanie said, “I loved them because they had a thick but soft band at the top and was structured so you had extra material sculpted round the bump…the band doesn’t dig into you at all and it was thick enough to stay put at the top of your bump. I never saw them through clothing, I would wear dresses and not see them which was great to show off the bump. I wore these in the 2nd and third trimester, and at 38 weeks they were still as comfortable as 20 weeks. They were comfy on my thighs and bum too, they were just designed well.”
Pros: Thick but soft band
Cons: Some testers said they were prone to laddering
Available from: ASOS
6. Nubian Skin Semi-Matt Tights, £12
– Best for brown skin tones
Size: S/M, M/L, L/XL | Colour: Berry, Cinnamon, Caramel, Cafe-au-lait | Denier: 15 | Fabric: Polyamide and Elastane
Not only do these tights have yummy product names, but they fill a much needed gap in the market as they’re made specifically for deeper skin tones. Designed for and by women of colour, you can find various shades of brown nude tights in the range. Though the brand doesn’t currently make a specific maternity range, these tights can still be enjoyed before your bump gets big or if you prefer wearing tights under your bump. You can also size up for a fit that’ll grow with your bump, as these have a good amount of stretch.
With a choice of 12 different styles ranging from matt and glossy textures, they come in denier from 10 to 15 – great for warmer weather. We love that the tights have a huge size range, from size 6 to size 34 (via the Curve range) and heights 4’11 to 6’1, so you are sure to find a size to fit your bump.
Pros: Perfect skin match for women of colour
Cons: Not made specifically for pregnancy
Available from: Nubian Skin
7. Jojo Maman Bebe 2 Pack Maternity Tights, £10
– Best for a sheer appearance
Size: S – XL | Colour: Black | Denier: 200 | Fabric: 98% Nylon, 2% Lycra Elastane
Whether you wear your tights to work or bring them out for special occasions, having more than one pair is always handy especially when one is in the wash. These Jojo Maman Bebe tights come in a pack of 2 and are super affordable for what you get. They have a lower denier, offering a sheer look whilst still having coverage, something many people look for in work tights.
With reinforced toes, you’ll surely feel comfortable and rest assured your tights won’t snag in that area and will last longer.
Pros: Good value for money
Cons: Lower deniers tend to ladder quickly
Available from: Jojo Maman Bebe
8. Snag Black Tights, £6.99
– Best for a wide size range
Size: 4-36 | Colour: Black | Denier: 80 | Fabric: 88% Polyamide, 10% Elastane and 2% Cotton
Snag tights are not specifically made for pregnant women, but the website offers a (slightly confusing) size guide for choosing tights that will work with a growing bump, and they are a worthy choice due to the fantastic size range of 4-36. You’re bound to find a comfortable pair of tights in your size that go over your baby bump or sit under your bump if that’s what you prefer. They’re a brilliant choice for plus size mums looking for something super comfortable and inclusive, and the tights come in a whole host of unusual colours and prints, not just boring black and beige.
Our home tester Lowri praised these tights highly, saying, “Snag tights were a really practical item throughout my pregnancy. As a plus size mama I needed something which was comfortable and fit well without sagging or ripping. These stretched with my bump and lasted ages. I ended up with several colours to brighten up my pregnancy outfits!”
Pros: Wide size range, inclusive of plus size women
Cons: Not specifically made for pregnancy, confusing size guide
Available from: Snag
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9. CompressionSockShop Maternity Compression Tights, £23
– Best for compression
Size: S – XXL | Colour: Soleil, Beige, Black | Denier: 140 | Fabric: 75% polyamide, 25% elastane | Compression grade: Class 1, 18-22 mmHg
If you’re in need of compression tights then these ones from Compression Sock Shop are a great choice. Common pregnancy issues such as varicose veins, swelling in the feet/ankles and sore leg pain can all be helped with high quality compression tights. These maternity tights have a compression grade of 18-22 mmHg which is classed as moderate. The compression technology works by increasing the pressure on your muscles to promote an increase in blood flow to your heart, helping to prevent swelling from occurring. It’s tightest around the ankles and decreases up the leg, with a breathable panel on the tummy so your bump is not compressed in any way.
You can find your perfect size by taking your ankle circumference and height measurement, these are then used to determine the best size to go for.
Pros: Good for preventing swelling
Available from: Compression Sock Shop
10. Calzedonia Polka Dot Maternity Tights, £15.99
– Best for patterns
Size: XS/S, M, L | Colour: Black | Denier: 30 | Fabric: 90 % Polyamide, 10 % Elastane
Why not try something new and express your style with patterned tights during pregnancy? These are great for someone looking for statement look and something fun! These would work well with a dress or skirt and can be worn with a casual, smart or special occasion outfit.
With flat seams, these Calzedonia tights will prevent your skin becoming irritated upon contact. These maternity tights are not just stylish, but still guarantee you’re not having to worry about them rolling down. The micro-mesh waistband comes up high, giving you and your baby bump the support you need – all whilst looking good.
Pros: Fun design, secure waistband
Cons: Prints may not be everyone’s preference
Available from: Calzedonia
11. Seraphine Maternity Tights, £25 for 3 pairs
– Best for thigh and bum support
Size: S-XXL | Colour: Black | Denier: 40 | Fabric: 85% Nylon, 15% Elastane
A good pair of maternity tights will fit well, hold up and provide you and your baby bump with the support you need. Growing a human being is already hard work, you shouldn’t have to add falling tights to your worries! These Seraphine tights aim to be soft and silky, with an aloe vera treatment for a soothing feel. The high-rise waistband comes up under your bust and stays put, without you feeling too restricted. These maternity tights are 40 denier, perfect for anyone who likes the near-opaque look without overheating, and there are also more higher denier options to choose from.
MFM home tester Jane said, “What I loved most was the gusset and waistband which was super stretchy but still snug without being restrictive. I trust Seraphine more than any other high street brand that has a maternity range as Seraphine is exclusively maternity and nursing so I know I cannot go wrong. On top of that their customer service is exceptional, especially in store.”
Pros: Stretchy waistband, good thigh support
Cons: Limited size range
Available from: Seraphine
We’ve got more maternity clothes and pregnancy products for your shopping list here…
- The best maternity jeans
- The best pregnancy, support and nursing pillows
- The best maternity bras
- See all our award-winning products from buggies and car seats to nappies and footwear
About the author
Janet Mtima lives in Essex with her husband and 2 young children: Jesse & Milana. As well as being a new Digital Journalist here at MadeForMums, she’s also a Content Creator on Instagram at @JourneyWithJanet_ where she shares her life journey, fashion and beauty looks and encouragement for young mums.