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Picture this: It’s a Monday morning and you’re running late (because, of course). Luckily you already have your outfit picked out—your favorite power blazer, a skirt and a pair of tights. You stick your first foot in one of the legs of the tights and…you instantly tear them. Yep, consider your morning day officially ruined. And as the colder weather approaches, a good pair of tights can become an absolute necessity. But we’re here to make sure you never experience that disastrous morning again. 

So, we tested 13 pairs of tights, with prices ranging from $5 to $40(!). Here’s how the best tights ranked, from “too itchy” to “so comfy we almost forgot we were wearing stockings at all.”

tights testing

THE CRITERIA (6)

We evaluated each pair of tights on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (great) based on the following:

Comfortability. (How did the tights feel?)

The Pull Up Factor. (Did the waistband stay in place or did you have to make frequent adjustments?) 

The Run Factor. (Did they run or snag easily/often/at all?)

Breathability. (Did the weight of the tights make you feel overheated or not?)

Shape. (Did they have shaping properties to reduce size of waist/stomach/thighs? Did they smooth out any bumps?)

THE METHODOLOGY  

We began by reaching out to a handful of reputable tights brands, including some of our personal favorites and a few labels that were new to us. We landed on 13 brands, making sure to include styles designed to fit any body type, plus a design that was specifically created to keep you extra warm, a pair that promised to lift your booty and one whose main focus was to keep you feeling comfortable. Yup, we tried to cover all our bases. 

We distributed them to our editorial team and gave the 16 testers a two-week window, during which they were expected to wear and evaluate their two, randomly assigned pairs of tights. Some wore them to the office, others out for date night, one for a weekend outing and so on. 

The score for each pair reflects how the stockings performed, and the overall number was calculated by averaging across all five categories. We also considered the comments and final thoughts from our editors. Et voilà: Our official ranking was compiled.

THE RESULTS (FROM WORST TO BEST)

m s tights

13. M&S 15 Denier Magicwear Shine Body Shaper Tights

With chafe-resistant seams, these are designed to define you all over—so you can slim and sculpt your figure without sacrificing comfort.

Overall Score: 2.5/5

Comfortability: 2
The Pull Up Factor: 3
The Run Factor: 1.5
Breathability: 4
Shape: 2

This pair of tights from Marks & Spencer, a British retailer, promised to shape your “tum, bum and thighs.” And while our editors commended them with high scores for breathability, they both ended up with a run or a hole (and saw no major improvements in the booty region). One tester noted, “I had to be pretty careful when putting on the tights. I got a hole shortly after I put them on, but they didn’t stretch out, which was a small victory.”

Buy It ($7)

hanes tights

12. Hanes Leg Boost Cellulite Smoothing Hosiery

Featuring innovative yarns and microbeads, this pair was created to help reduce the appearance of cellulite (leaving your legs looking firmer), with “glide on technology” that makes dressing easier.

Overall Score: 2.9/5

Comfortability: 2.3
The Pull Up Factor: 2.6
The Run Factor: 3
Breathability: 3.6
Shape: 2.6

Perhaps one of the more widely recognized American brands on this list, the Hanes earned high marks for keeping our editors cool (even on a hot subway car). But when it came to form, these guys just didn’t follow through on their promises. “They claim to smooth cellulite, but I didn't notice anything crazy in terms of smoothing. They looked just like your normal tights,” said one individual. For another, the pair started showing wear and tear before they even left the house. “They tore as I was putting them on!” We can all conclude, that’s truly the worst.

Buy It ($12)

rachel

11. Rachel Black Opaque Tights 50D

Made of cotton, polyamide and elastane, these black opaque tights were created to look (and feel) elegant without an extreme price tag.

Overall Score: 3.1/5

Comfortability: 4
The Pull Up Factor: 4
The Run Factor: 2
Breathability: 4
Shape: 2.5

Created in 2014, this Canadian brand came to fruition when two friends had the desire to bring a breath of fresh air to the tights industry. And the one thing we loved most about their creaction? They didn’t pinch our waists or itch our legs. One tester noted, “While they didn't do anything for my shape, for tights with a small waistband, they were pretty comfortable.” As far as function goes, however, these came up short. While headed into the office one editor noticed a tiny snag in the knee after her hourlong commute. Luckily, no further damage was incurred throughout the day.

Buy It ($13)

uniqlo tights

10. Uniqlo Women Heattech Tights

Made with cold weather comfort in mind, each pair incorporates argan oil to help retain moisture and keep legs warm, in even the coolest weather.

Overall Score: 3.2/5

Comfortability: 2.5
The Pull Up Factor: 2
The Run Factor: 5
Breathability: 3.5
Shape: 3

No runs here! Uniqlo’s famous Heattech Tights feature bio-warming, insulating and moisture-wicking technology that will keep wearers warm and cozy. For the most part, our testers were happy with the results, but one individual had some trouble with sizing. “These tights were too short for me,” she stated. “They're Uniqlo’s biggest size, and the package says they fit up to 5'9. I'm around 6'1, so it wasn't a match.”

Buy It ($15)

dkny tights

9. DKNY Women's Comfort Luxe Belly Band Tight

Composed of both nylon and spandex, DKNY’s tights offer a “comfort wide” waistband, specifically designed to evenly smooth your waist.  

Overall Score: 3.4/5

Comfortability: 2.5
The Pull Up Factor: 5
The Run Factor: 3.5
Breathability: 4
Shape: 2

While our testers had no problem keeping these DKNYs in place (peep that perfect score for the pull up factor), they found that these weren’t conducive to wearing from nine to five—one editor noted that a slight pull turned into major run, all while she was seated at her desk. Another tester wore them to an outdoor fall festival and regretted her choice. “The waistband on these is supposed to be a control top situation, but it was awkwardly narrow, and seemed to have the opposite effect than intended. They were super itchy.”

$12 on Amazon

memoi tights

8. MeMoi

Mid-thigh shaping with a formfitting top helps to minimize trouble areas while still providing maximum stretch.

Overall Score: 3.5/5

Comfortability: 3.5
The Pull Up Factor: 3
The Run Factor: 4.5
Breathability: 4
Shape: 2.5

This family-owned business has been providing women’s wear for over 60 (!) years and believes that total comfort, total style and total versatility are key. For those looking for a pair of tights that are barely noticeable, these did the trick—with no chafing, to boot. One tester stated, “They were particularly comfortable around my thighs.” And while these babies scored top points for breathability, one person mentioned they may have been a bit too thin—i.e., they’d never hold up on a day when the temps dip below freezing. “I was actually still a bit cold in an air-conditioned building,” the tester noted.

Buy It ($18)

h m tights

7. H&M Support Tights 40 Denier

Semi-shiny with an elasticized waistband, these shape tummy, thighs and calves while promoting the blood circulation in your legs.

Overall Score: 3.9/5

Comfortability: 3.5
The Pull Up Factor: 4.5
The Run Factor: 5
Breathability: 4
Shape: 2.5

When it came to H&M’s take on tights, our editors were fairly pleased. “Zero holes and I didn't rip my big toe through them, so a win,” one editor reported. Yep, we’d say so. The only negative feedback we received? A major lack of smoothing. “No real shaping properties here and the waistband cut into my waist in an unflattering way.” That’s a bummer.

Buy It ($13)

heist tights

6. Heist The Fifty

The ideal combo of lightweight and opaque, Heist created this pair of tights to eliminate digging, sagging and rolling, all thanks to its seamless design and adaptive waistband.

Overall Score: 4/5

Comfortability: 4
The Pull Up Factor: 4.3
The Run Factor: 4.3
Breathability: 4.3
Shape: 4

Heist Studios is an online bodywear brand that manufactures tights for women in hopes to “build the underwear brand of the future,” starting by reinventing the humble pair of tights. Our testers gave The Fifty pretty steady marks across the board, but definitely made sure to make note of the feel of the fabric in their comments. “The waistband is literally the most cozy thing ever. I forgot I was wearing tights,” one reviewer noted. “I loved the seamless design and thick, waistband,” said another. But for one tester, they just didn’t fit right. “They bunched at the backs of the knees a little bit, which bugged me. Next time I’ll probably go down a size,” they noted. 

Buy It ($38)

leggs tights

5. L'eggs Silken Mist Ultra Sheer with Run Resist Technology

Designed specifically to be run-resistant (hence, the name) the Ultra Sheer includes non-binding waistbands and a control-top panty to smooth any problem areas.

Overall Score: 4.1/5

Comfortability: 4.5
The Pull Up Factor: 4.5
The Run Factor: 3
Breathability: 5
Shape: 3.5

One of the least expensive pairs on the list, these drugstore staples still earned their place in the top ten. While our editors gave major points to L’eggs for being non-irritating and staying in place, they noted that quality wasn’t anything to brag about. “I pulled a tear just putting them on but luckily it was in the foot area and so easy to hide with the right shoes. I've bought and worn L'eggs in the past and know that they're not super expensive, so I don't expect them to last years and years.” Still, that’s pretty impressive.

Buy it ($5)

garnett hill tights

4. Hansel from Basel Flatknit Silk Tight

Made from Hansel’s soft-silk blend—a mix of silk, nylon and spandex—this style prides itself on being “smooth to the touch.”

Overall Score: 4.13/5

Comfortability: 4.6
The Pull Up Factor: 5
The Run Factor: 5
Breathability: 3.6
Shape: 2.3

There was unanimous love for this brand, which was created by Los Angeles-based artist-turned-designer Hannah Byun in 2007. “The knit on these felt soft and light on my skin, and didn't have that tight, squeezy feeling I usually associate with stockings,” said one individual. However, our testers did agree that these weren’t the most effective when it came to shaping the tummy or the thighs.

Buy it ($40)

falke tights

3. Falke Pure Matt 50 DEN Women Tights

Flat seams and wide waistbands are used to ensure a pressure-free fit in the toe and gut area. Not to mention these semi-opaque tights promise an elegant matte finish.

Overall Score: 4.3/5

Comfortability: 4.3
The Pull Up Factor: 4.6
The Run Factor: 5
Breathability: 3.6
Shape: 3.6

Falke was a top performer among our team, likely due to that ensured pressure-free fit mentioned above. After a full day in them, one user remarked, “In the past, I've always been afraid I'll rip or cut the tights if I pull too hard (my nail will catch on it or something) but these were amazing. They felt really sturdy and I didn't have to be too gentle with them.” The only downside? These $25 tights didn’t do much to smooth lumps or shape bumps.

Buy It ($25)

j.crew tights

2. J. Crew Control Top Opaque Tights

Specifically crafted to be long-lasting, these control tights also give you a sleek and streamlined silhouette (you know, for under all your pencil skirts and dresses).

Overall Score: 4.4/5

Comfortability: 4.6
The Pull Up Factor: 5
The Run Factor: 5
Breathability: 4
Shape: 3.3

J.Crew came in a very (and we mean very) close second. Earning perfect scores for the pull up factor and the run factor, these control tights were made at a century-old mill located in North Carolina. “I wore them to work on a chilly day and they kept me warm, they didn't droop at the crotch or slide down my hips,” one editor responded. She added: “I almost think these are the perfect pair of tights because I can tell that they'll hold up to a lot and won't run easily.”

Buy It ($23)

commando tights

1. COMMANDO ULTIMATE OPAQUE CONTROL TIGHTS

Made for wearers who are looking for a perfectly matte pair. Their raw-cut control waistband was created to keep you looking smooth, without the annoyance of digs and rolls.

Overall Score: 4.5/5

Comfortability: 5
The Pull Up Factor: 4.5
The Run Factor: 5
Breathability: 4
Shape: 4

And the winner is…Commando! Our editors’ favorite thing about these tights? The super-supportive waistband that features a control top, designed to conform to your body shape. “I felt like these were the first pair of tights I've worn that weren't uncomfortably constricting and itchy.” And that wasn’t just the opinion of one tester—each was pleased with her overall experience. “They were really high quality. They were truly opaque. And they were super easy to wear.” What more could we ask for? 

Buy it ($38)

Additional reporting by Chelsea Candelario

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