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These 'better than Lululemon' leggings are editor tested and approved

Updated

As a writer who spends most of her days slaving over a hot computer, I'm always looking for ways to be active outside of work, whether it's going on long, leg-stretching morning walks or logging some miles on my Peloton. And though I enjoy moving, I hate squeezing into super-tight workout clothes and feeling constricted. I'm also frugal (I'm a shopping deals writer, after all), so shelling out close to $100 for Lululemon leggings just isn't my bag. That's why I was intrigued when I heard about a brand called Colorfulkoala, available on Amazon. Its leggings are a fraction of the price of the name brands, but a slew of reviewers have said that they're just as comfy as their beloved Lulus, if not more so. Well, that was enough to pique my interest: I got a pair of them, pronto — keep scrolling for my review.

If life gives you Lululemons, take 'em — but if you don't want to splurge on them yourself, these affordable alternatives look and feel like the real thing.

Pros
  • Lightweight feel
  • Smooth fabric
  • Waistband stays put
  • Come in multiple lengths and colors
Cons
  • No phone pocket
  • Lighter colors not totally opaque
$34 at Amazon

Colorfulkoala leggings come in tons of styles that have collectively racked up tens of thousands of perfect ratings from Amazon shoppers. I decided to try their newer Dreamlux Leggings, which, according to the brand, feature a material that "has a special molecular structure [that makes] it comfortable to the skin and more durable and temperature-resistant than other fabrics."

Comfort is my top concern when it comes to workout clothes, and based on the pair of Lululemon leggings I've tried, I understand why some shoppers pay Lulu's prices — the fabric is so soft. Would these $34 leggings compare? (Note: Prices vary between colors.)

The first thing I noticed when my leggings arrived was how thin the fabric felt — not necessarily a bad thing, seeing as thicker leggings often make me heat up. But I did wonder how they'd stack up in the compression department. I tried them on and was pleased with how effortlessly they glided over my legs. There's that buttery-smooth feeling we're all after! They also felt secure without being too snug, and 5-foot-tall me was relieved to find they didn't bunch up at the bottom like most leggings do (I opted for the 25-inch inseam, but they also come in a 28-inch length).

In terms of looks, they did a good job of smoothing everything out and have a classic, clean style that'll pair well with any sports bra or workout top. I don't like the look or feel of leggings with a ton of seams, and I appreciate that the ones on these are minimal.

legs wearing the leggings in black, lavender and green on a purple background
So many cute colors — and you can buy three pairs for less than one pair of comparable Lulus. Um, maybe use those savings to get yourself some footwear? (Amazon) (Amazon)

I mostly stick to walking and cardio, but I figured I should perform the notorious squat test in the event that I wake up one day suddenly eager to strength train (yeah, right). The gray-blue hue I chose was opaque enough to keep my underwear from showing through, but I can't speak to the lighter colors. (There are 16 options.)

To start, I wore the leggings on a 3-mile walk. Since they're very lightweight, my legs felt nice and free while I strolled around — it was almost as if the leggings were a second skin. I never felt the waistband rolling down or digging in; it just stayed put the entire time.

After a successful walk, it was time to see how they fared during a Peloton ride, which involves pedaling while both seated and standing. I was impressed by how well they stayed in place, even during more intense sprints, and the thinner fabric didn't feel constricting. There was enough compression to ensure nothing spilled out, and the material also made good on its cooling promise. That said, I can't really speak to the moisture-wicking aspect since my legs don't tend to get sweaty.

All in all, if you're looking for leggings that are comparable to Lululemon, Colorfulkoala Dreamlux leggings are an affordable alternative (though they're supremely comfortable in their own right). You can stock up on several colors for less than half the price of many high-end brands, which I'd very much advise doing.

These workout pants checked off all the right boxes when it came to comfort, support, aesthetics and — for me, at least — fit. I will note that while there's a teeny pocket in the inner waistband for keys, these leggings do not have a cell phone pocket in case that's important to you. (But this version does! Plus, we have a whole roundup of the best leggings with pockets for you to check out.)

author's legs in the blue-gray leggings
Finally, leggings that fit my short legs like a glove! (Britt Ross/Yahoo Life) (Britt Ross/Yahoo)

"Better than Lululemon!" exclaimed one excited reviewer. "I can't say enough great things about these leggings! They don't roll down; they feel amazing on. I have all kinds of brands: Lululemon, Vuori, Athleta, etc., and these are my favorites and the ones I feel the best and most confident in!"

"Not only do they feel great, but they have stood the test of falling on concrete," shared this shopper. "I fell in the pouring rain on my knees and the side of my leg. I instantly thought these were ruined because I could feel my knees were busted. Once I was able to check my wounds, I was shocked that these leggings had not one tear, rip or snag! My knees were bloody, but the leggings survived another day."

"I love the color, they feel great, and they are the perfect length for me," wrote a final fan. "However, if you are looking for squat-proof leggings, I would recommend getting a darker color because they are more squat-proof than the lighter colors." The more you know!

These leggings are so comfy that this just might be the year you look forward to working out.

$34 at Amazon

Need a top to go with your new favorite leggings? One Yahoo Life editor swears by this one:

"The moment I tried it on, I was intrigued," wrote Yahoo Life deputy editor Izabella Zaydenberg. "The Lemedy Sports Bra not only holds you in and supports you like a hug, but it actually makes the girls look good too. It's lightly padded, so even if you're not packing too much, it'll give you a bit of a lift (and you can remove the pads if you like). It's soft and breathable. And about those straps? I was thrilled to discover they don't dig into the shoulders or leave red marks. After working out in it, I immediately bought another color. One note: Consider going up a size, especially if you have a larger bust."

Check out her full Lemedy Padded Sports Bra review for more.

$20 at Amazon

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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.