Are Jeans or Leggings Warmer?

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Leggings and jeans are one of the most versatile attires you can wear when going out for dinner, meeting friends, walking in the park, or running errands. However, it can be confusing which one can keep you warm during cold evenings or winter. So, are jeans or leggings warmer?

Are Jeans or Leggings Warmer?

Leggings are generally warmer than jeans when comparing classic leggings vs classic jeans or leggings with linings vs jeans with linings. However, jeans and leggings come in a wide range of styles and fabrics that might affect how warm they can be. That means you can find warmer jeans than leggings depending on the material and style.

Graphic image of leggings and jeans that explains how classic leggings are generally warmer than classic jeans

For instance, leggings made of spandex and polyester blend are light and might not keep you warm during winter. However, if the leggings have a lining of fleece or wool, they can help trap some air and improve your body’s insulation from the outside cold environment.

On the other hand, ordinary jeans made of denim might not sufficiently protect you from the winter cold, especially if the jeans are loose and not in good contact with your body to hold the warmth against your skin. Some of the material and design factors that affect the heat insulation properties of jeans and leggings include:


Almost all leggings are elastic, which allows them to stretch and conform to your body shape and size. The elastic properties of leggings make them flexible to stretch and get into contact without your skin, allowing them to hold warmth and prevent heat loss.

On the other hand, ordinary jeans are somehow loose and allow air movements between the fabric and the skin. Even if you go for tight jeans that might contain some elastic materials, the denim is still not flexible enough to allow the fabric to get into good contact with your skin.

For instance, even the tight and elastic jeans might not fit and conform to your crotch like the leggings. That means as you move or change positions, the warm air between you and the fabric will move and take away the accumulated body heat and the created space filled by cold air.

Dark blue faded denim jeans with pockets placed on a pink background


Both leggings and jeans are made from a wide range of material variations. For instance, some leggings are made of cotton, others polyester spandex blend, and other fleece. Although almost all the jeans are made of denim as the main material, some still have additions of elastic materials such as spandex.

Typically, this wide variation in materials makes it challenging to determine whether a jeans or leggings are warmer. However, for ordinary leggings made of cotton vs ordinary jeans made of denim, leggings are warmer when indoors as the fabric has the most air pockets for insulation.

On the other hand, considering that denim is made from tightly woven cotton, the fabric offers better wind resistance. That means jeans will be warmer than leggings when wearing in windy winter as the draft can’t easily penetrate.


The design of the attire makes all the difference, as some leggings and jeans are specifically designed to keep you warm. In most cases, these leggings and jeans come with linings that help to prevent heat loss. Some of the lining materials used to improve the insulation properties in leggings and jeans include:

  • Wool
  • Merino wool
  • Flannel
  • Velvet
  • Fleece
A gray long sleeves top and black leggings are worn by a woman seated on a brown couch

Leggings and Jeans Styles for Winter

Although leggings and jeans are not primarily designed to keep you warm during winter, the following styles and tips can help you choose leggings and jeans with better heat insulation properties suitable for the cold winter.

  • Go for jeans made of thicker fabric, which is usually from 16 ounces and above.
  • Wear skinny jeans that will be in contact with the larger part of your body’s skin.
  • Keeping in mind that jeggings look like skinny jeans, only that they are designed as leggings to make them more versatile, you can wear jeggings instead of ordinary leggings.
  • Go for leggings and jeans that have fleece or wool layers or linings. Usually, these materials keep you warm without exhausting you with heavy fabrics or bulk layers.

Related Questions

Are Leggings Warmer Than Jeans in Wet Weather?

Generally, both leggings and jeans don’t perform well in wet weather, as none of them is waterproof. However, leggings can be considered warmer than jeans in wet weather simply because they dry faster and start insulating your body.

Should I Wear Leggings or Jeans During a Windy Winter?

It’s advisable to wear jeans instead of leggings during a windy winter as denim has better wind-resistance properties than standard-woven cotton. Usually, this difference is more noticeable when wearing skinny jeans made from heavy denim fabrics that weigh around 12 to 16 ounces.

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Final Thoughts

Jeans and leggings are versatile attires you can wear when running errands in town, meeting friends, or casually at home during winter or cold evenings. Although leggings are warmer than jeans, jeans can equally keep you warm if you choose those with wool or fleece linings and layers.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.