Best Sweatpants for Men

Updated November 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best sweatpants for men

At one point, sweatpants were strictly for gym class. Nowadays, these comfy bottoms have evolved into stylish apparel that can be worn for working out, lounging, or as everyday clothing. For this reason, at least one pair of sweatpants belongs in every man’s wardrobe.

It goes without saying that sweatpants offer second-to-none comfort. They’re generously cut to allow for a full range of motion, making them an ideal choice for most activities. The majority are made with cotton blends that are ultra-soft and hold up well to frequent wash and wear. These blends offer a moderate amount of stretch, maintaining a flexibility that keeps you comfortable as you sit, stretch, and bend.

There’s no shortage of sweatpants on the market, so it can be challenging to narrow down your choices. We put together this buying guide covering popular styles and materials to help you find the right pair in no time. 

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If you’d like to stay cool while wearing sweatpants, consider a pair made with wick-away material. Another option is to choose pants with mesh panels or pockets, which boost airflow.

Key considerations

Popular styles

Classic sweatpants have elastic waistbands and hems. While most cuts are relaxed and spacious, there are some slim-fit sweatpants. Jogger sweatpants have elastic waistbands as well, though they have tapered legs and ribbed ankle cuffs for a fitted look. Wide-leg sweatpants, unlike classic and jogger styles, have open hems similar to trousers.

Waistband

Sweatbands have elastic waistbands, drawstring waistbands, or both. Some are more conducive to certain activities than others, but at the end of the day, it boils down to personal preference.

Elastic-only waistbands offer a no-fuss fit. However, they can be somewhat uncomfortable and ill-fitting for men who are in between sizes. Drawstring waistbands, which are common on jogger styles, allow you to customize the fit. Notably, drawstrings can slip through holes or get tangled in the wash. Combination waistbands offer the best of both worlds, though they tend to have a bulky appearance.

Pockets

Pockets are a hot-button issue when it comes to sweatpants. The most common pockets are located at the side seams, though some are in the front or rear, and some sweatpants lack pockets altogether.

Sweatpant pockets aren’t always functional or necessary. In fact, given the lighter weight of the pant material, placing a phone, set of keys, or wallet inside a pocket could weigh down the sweatpants too much. Some wearers say sweatpant pockets are totally unusable, citing them as wasted material that just gets in the way.

Sizing and inseam

Depending on the brand, men’s sweatpants may be available in sizes small through XXXL. There is not usually an option to select an inseam measurement, which can prove problematic for some. Taller men, namely those who stand over 6 feet, 4 inches, often find that the hems of their sweatpants sit above their ankles. A few brands offer tall sizing, but you may have to shop around a bit to find them.

Logos

Many wearers gravitate toward sweatpants made by their favorite athletic apparel companies. Some pairs have noticeable logos that are embroidered or printed. While they give the sweatpants a touch of style, wearers should pay special attention to caring for the logos. Embroidered logos may become damaged if something tangles with the embroidery thread, such as Velcro or a zipper. Printed logos can deteriorate quickly when placed in the dryer.
 

Classic and jogger sweatpants may have hems that are uncomfortably tight for some wearers. Instead of trying to stretch them out, opt for wide-leg sweatpants, the hems of which have a much larger circumference to accommodate virtually every wearer.

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Comparing sweatpant materials

Cotton

Classic sweatpants are made of 100% cotton. They become progressively softer with repeated washing, and they hold up well through years of use. Unfortunately, cotton is prone to shrinking, especially when washed in warm water and dried on high heat. Some wearers recommend washing cotton sweatpants in cold water and letting them air dry. However, this often leaves sweatpants with a coarse texture.

Cotton blend

Sweatpants made of a cotton blend are appealing because, unlike cotton, they won’t shrink in the wash. The fibers, which may include any combination of cotton and spandex, rayon, or polyester, are colorfast. Because the colors don’t fade or run, these sweatpants retain their brand-new look much longer. Notably, some cotton blends aren’t very breathable.

Polyester

Polyester sweatpants encompass woven polyester knits as well as polar fleece. Polyester knits are lightweight and wash well, but they aren’t as breathable as cotton. Polar fleece is ultra-warm and excels at holding in body heat. It may cause some people to feel too warm, which is why polar fleece sweatpants are usually reserved for lounging and cold-weather wear.

Accessories
 

Men’s hoodie: Hanes Ecosmart Hooded Sweatshirt
Pair sweatpants with a hoodie, like this classic style from Hanes. Its cotton and polyester blend is known for its softness and durability.

Sweat socks: Under Armour 2.0 Charged Crew Socks
Next time you hit the gym in sweatpants, make sure you’re wearing the right socks, like these from Under Armour. They’re incredibly durable with reinforced stitching.

Men’s T-Shirt: Champion Classic Jersey Script T-Shirt
Whether you’re hitting the gym or hanging out, this Champion T-shirt looks great with any pair of sweatpants. It’s made from ring-spun cotton for extra softness.

Athletic shoes: New Balance Men’s 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer
These cross-training athletic shoes are ideal for indoor or outdoor training. The outsoles are flexible and ergonomically shaped to deliver a comfortable, cushioned fit.

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Did You Know?
It’s common for wearers to roll the waistband of their sweatpants. This raises the hem and is considered a stylish way to wear the pants.
Staff
BestReviews

Sweatpants for men: prices

Sweatpants for men range in price from $10 to $125, which mostly depends on materials and construction.

Inexpensive: Usually made of cotton or a cotton blend, budget-friendly sweatpants cost between $10 and $25. Quality is hit-or-miss in this price bracket, especially with some lesser-known brands. Conversely, some classic sweatpants from well-known brands offer impressive quality and durability.

Mid-range: Mid-range sweatpants cost $30 to $60. Pairs in this range are sometimes manufactured by premium athletic brands. Quality is noticeably better than lower-priced options, particularly when it comes to the material and stitching detail.

Expensive: Sweatpants that cost $75 to $125 include mostly designer pairs intended for fashionable wear. They’re more stylish than anything, especially those with embellishments. These sweatpants, as expected, aren’t recommended to wear to the gym.
 

If possible, refrain from carrying keys inside the pockets of your sweatpants. The constant friction of the keys being jostled around could result in holes in the fabric.

Staff
BestReviews

Tips
 

  • Invest in an armband. Because a phone can weigh down your sweatpants, store it in an armband stead. There are plenty of styles with Velcro closures that allow an adjustable fit to keep the phone secure while you exercise.
  • Order a few pairs at once. If you wear sweatpants often, consider buying a few pairs at once. It’s quite common for consumers to select multiple pairs in the same style.
  • There’s more than one type of gray. Gray is one of those colors that varies considerably when it comes to apparel. Darker grays include charcoal and slate, while lighter grays are closer to white. Heather grays are in a category of their own, given their unique speckled appearance.
  • Remove the tags. If you have sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to remove the tags from your sweatpants. In fact, some brands manufacture tagless sweatpants for this reason.
  • Consider the lifespan. On average, sweatpants last through two to three years of heavy wash and wear. If they’re worn less often, they could last as long as five or six years. If you’re thinking of spending big bucks on sweatpants, you may reconsider your purchase if you don’t think you’ll get your money’s worth out of them.
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To preserve the color of cotton sweatpants, use color-safe detergent. These soaps are specially formulated to prevent colors from fading or bleeding in the wash.

FAQ

Q. Does it matter which type of sweatpants I wear to the gym?

A. The best sweatpants for the gym are the ones that make you most comfortable. Notably, it is recommended that you wear well-fitting sweatpants for exercise. Styles that are too baggy can pose a safety hazard because they can catch on equipment. Sweatpants that are too snug may be uncomfortable and inhibit your movement.

Q. The drawcord slipped out of my sweatpants. How can I fix it?

A. Attach a safety pin to one end of the drawcord and insert it into one of the holes. Pull the safety pin through the channel until it comes out the other side. To prevent the drawcord from slipping out in the future, double knot the ends, or sew a button onto each one.

Q. What is the difference between a covered elastic waistband and an exposed elastic waistband?

A. An exposed waistband will rub against skin, which may be irritating or uncomfortable to those with sensitive skin. Lower-quality sweatpants commonly have exposed waistbands. Covered waistbands are considered more comfortable because they’re covered with the same soft material as the sweatpants.
 

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