Are Jeans Warmer Than Sweatpants?

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When the cold season hits, comfort and warmth are the biggest priority. Warm pants such as sweatpants and jeans come in handy if you spend most of the time running errands outdoors or meeting friends and colleagues. So, are jeans warmer than sweatpants?

Are Jeans Warmer Than Sweatpants?

Sweatpants are warmer than jeans because they are made of cotton, fleece, or a cotton-polyester mix. The inner side of a sweatpant is made of a polyester fiber that retains heat more than denim. Additionally, sweatpants are designed with several layers that help to trap air and minimize heat loss.

Graphic illustration of jeans and sweatpants that explains that cotton-polyester mixed sweatpants are warmer than jeans

On the other hand, jeans are made of denim, a tough and durable twill fabric woven with gray, indigo, or mottled white yarn. The twill fabric comes in varying materials such as polyester, wool, or cotton. It features a unique pattern of diagonal lines designed with raised ridges of thread.

Although jeans are more windproof, denim only has a single layer limiting its ability to retain heat. Keeping in mind that jeans don’t trap air to prevent heat loss like sweatpants, yet they can protect you from the wind, you can use the following tips to determine which one to wear based on the season and weather conditions.


When it comes to the cold winter season, nothing is more frustrating than going outside only to realize you have not dressed warmly to handle the low temperatures. This is dangerous to your health as the cold weather increases the risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

That means you might need to protect yourself from head to toe during winter. Although both sweatpants and jeans are good choices, the following breakdown reveals which one can handle the winter cold better.


Keeping in mind that sweatpants are made from cotton or fleece, they can maintain the heat that the body produces. The layers of the materials in sweatpants also help to trap air and retain heat, making them an ideal option during dry winters.

However, if the winter is associated with wind, drizzles, and snow, your sweatpants may make you feel uncomfortable. Mainly, it’s because cotton gets wet quickly, conducting heat away from your body to the outside environment, making you feel colder.

Gray sweatpants with pockets and strings placed on a pink background


Jeans are not the best for winter as denim loses its thermal qualities, easily making you feel cold. However, keeping in mind that cotton offers almost no protection from wind, jeans perform better than sweatpants during windy winters. You can also improve the warmth of jeans using the following tips

  • Wearing tights underneath
  • Wearing tighter, elastic jeans
  • Wearing compression leggings
  • Wearing flannel-lined jeans
  • Wearing thermals underneath your jeans

Hot Summer

Summer is a season that requires you to wear light and breathable clothes that allow you to lose heat. Although both jeans and sweatpants are not the best attires for hot summers, the following breakdown can help you determine which one is better for hot weather.


The synthetics that make denim vary in weight and might not ensure sufficient airflow as cotton fibers do, making jeans susceptible to trapping hot air against your skin. Denim jeans usually use a fabric that weighs about 12 to 16 ounces per yard.

Generally, anything above 12 ounces is heavier and less breathable. Also, the elastane material in jeans does not get along with sweat, retaining the wetness for long. However, if you can find a lighter and more breathable twill fabric variation, you will have higher chances of remaining cool all along.

A blue denim tattered jeans placed on a blue background


Hot weather results in high temperatures, which lead to sweating. In most cases, this happens when you are working outdoors on a hot sunny day, and putting on clothes that can absorb moisture is not the right decision.

Keeping in mind that the inner part of sweatpants has multiple layers and probably an added fleece to help retain heat, they are not the best for hot summers. They are mainly made from cotton and include a cuff at the ankles to ensure your body heat remains trapped inside the sweatpant, even on the legs.

With the outside temperatures going up to 75 Fahrenheit and the cotton material failing to support your body’s cooling system, you might end up with sweat marks that take a long to dry. Generally, this makes jeans a better choice for wearing in summer and hot weather.

Related Questions

Should I Wear Sweatpants or Jeans When Hiking?

Both sweatpants and jeans are not ideal for hiking as they absorb moisture from sweat, snow, or rain and take too long to dry. Although sweatpants may protect you from injuries such as insect bites or scratches, they are less durable and may get torn easily.

Why Are Sweatpants Better to Wear at Home Than Jeans?

Sweatpants have a soft inner lining that makes them warm and comfortable to wear indoors. Typically, sweatpants feature a flexible and adjustable waistband as opposed to jean’s more restrictive and less stretchy button fastening and zip, making them more comfortable.

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Final Thoughts

Although sweatpants are warmer than jeans, they both perform well in cold weather. Jeans are a better choice during windy winters as denim can protect you from wind, while sweatpants are better during wet and dry winters as cotton is warmer and dries faster when wet.


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.