So you've enrolled in a yoga class or signed up for a yoga streaming service. You have your mat and your props ready, but what about the clothes? Perhaps you have tried practicing while wearing the souvenir T-shirt from your last vacation, only to find out that it might not be the best option. Sounds familiar? It's time to treat yourself to a quality yoga top!
The selection of yoga tops available is enormous, and you might feel like you need some guidance to find the best match. Don't worry, that's what we're here for. We did the research and decided our favorite is the Mippo Athletic Tank Top, because of its versatility and breathability. Check out our 10 favorite items and buying guide to learn more about yoga tops!
It is great to have appropriate clothes for every kind of activity, and yoga is no exception. Finding a good yoga top depends on what type of yoga you are doing, the room's temperature, and of course, your body type. In fewer words, the most important thing is that you are comfortable in it!
Yoga classes are a great way to make your body feel great. But, some poses require a lot of effort and concentration. This means that the first thing you have to look for in a yoga top is a style that's comfortable and will match your activity.
Do you want it to fit snugly or loosely? Does it let you move? Will it reveal anything that you don't want to be revealed? You want to make sure your top is snug, so it doesn't ride up, but at the same time, it should have room for you to get in plenty of movement. Your tops should also be supportive, especially if you have a larger bust.
If you're worried about the fit, you can probably exchange it for a different size if it doesn't fit right. Take a look at the return policy to be safe! Keep all of this info in mind to make sure that you will feel comfortable in your top.
Make sure to consider what types of top styles you're comfortable in before you buy! Thicker straps or sleeves may be helpful if you have a fuller bust, and spaghetti straps or sleeveless tops will help you stay cool.
Choose tops that are more form-fitting rather than loose so your instructor can see your alignment while you practice and you can check your alignment in poses when looking in the mirror.
If you're going to do yoga, you need to choose clothes that move with you. Freedom of movement and breathability are vital, and a big part of that is what fabric you choose. Here are some pointers on which one may be best for you.
Nylon (a.k.a polyamide) is one of the most common fabrics in yoga clothing. It is a synthetic polymer that is very flexible, which makes it a go-to for yoga fabrics. It's also great for moisture-wicking, but its breathability is pretty low.
Elastane is another synthetic blend. It's more commonly known as Spandex or Lycra and is heavily used in athletic wear because of its ability to stretch incredibly well yet snap back to its original shape. It is also extremely comfortable. The downside to this is the same as with other synthetic fibers; it's not that breathable, unfortunately.
Polyester is the other commonly used synthetic fiber. Just like the others, it's got great flexibility and moisture-wicking properties. Unlike the others, however, polyester holds on to smells easily, so this is not recommended as the main material for heavier workouts.
Lyocell, also known as Tencel, is a plant-based fabric made from wood pulp. It's often used in place of cotton or silk in garments because of how soft it is. It's extremely breathable and has high moisture-wicking capabilities, but its stretchability is quite low.
Cotton is one of the most commonly known and used fabrics in the world because of how breathable it is. It's great for athletic wear. Unfortunately, it soaks up sweat and moisture and can take a while to dry. So it's not a great option for sweatier sessions. But it's excellent for tops during slower and calmer sessions!
Modal is technically a semi-synthetic fiber, but it's widely lumped in with other natural fabrics because of how similar its behavior is to the others. It's an environmentally friendly option that's made from tree pulp that has lots of valuable properties, mainly that it is stretchy, soft, breathable, and durable. The one downside is it can be water absorbent, so if you're a heavy sweater, this might not be the fabric for you.
The material your yoga tops are made of is so important. I always choose a sweat-wicking material and go for materials that are more synthetic and specially made for sweaty yoga practices.
Lyocell, nylon, and elastane are keywords that I look for. Lycra should work as well if the feel of the material is slick.
Not all yoga is the same, and neither are yoga tops. One design can be excellent for one practice but not ideal for another. Make sure that your top fits the requirements for your preferred styles of practice!
Leaving your skin as clothing-free as possible is highly recommended for hot yoga. So, sports bras and crop tops are a must. The cropped midsection helps your body cool down by exposing your skin to some much-needed air.
Cropped tops are also generally form-fitting, keeping them from riding up or hanging over your head during complicated poses. You can also wear these for other types of yoga to celebrate your body. Remember, anyone can pull off a crop top!
A tank top gives the body just enough room to stretch while still fitting snugly enough to stay in place. These tops are ideal for highly active classes such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga. The lack of sleeves provides room for full arm mobility and usage, without any constricting fabric in the way. Go for one with a mesh back for extra cooling!
These are good options for medium-impact classes like Hatha or Iyengar or classes on hot days. The exposed back helps with extra airflow and breathability, and the extra airflow in turn helps cool your body down. Just remember to wear a sports bra underneath them because these tops can move in unexpected ways!
If you are taking a meditation-based class such as Kundalini or Jivamukti in which the emphasis is not on movement, short-sleeved shirts are best. They are especially great when the room temperature is on the cooler side or if the class is not very vigorous.
Some days are so cold that even if the heat is on, it's not enough for less active classes. That's when long-sleeve shirts come in handy! They are also great to wear as a layer under a tank top or a crop top. If the class is very active, you can always take it off at some point. You can also layer it on after a class if you want to warm up.
There are so many different necklines to choose from when looking for a good yoga top, and all the options can be overwhelming. But in general, there are three main categories: scoop, V-neck, and cut-out.
Scoop necklines are the most common necklines out there, not just for yoga tops, but most tops in general. They're generally very dependable, offering a decent amount of coverage and style. When it comes to yoga tops, you can wear almost any scoop neckline top depending on the activity!
V-necks, along with similar styles, can offer extra breathability for your chest. But for any type of yoga where you might bend over, you should avoid this style since it generally doesn't provide much support and can easily be revealing.
Cut-out necklines have a broad list of options that fall within this category. Depending on the shape of the cut-out, some of these might be too revealing for any poses that involve being upside down. But some that are supportive and form-fitting with square necklines can be great because of the extra breathability.
Choose a style that works for your practice! If you know you like inversions such as handstands, headstands, or forearm stands, consider making sure that the cut of the top adequately covers your chest area and that it's not so loose or billowy that it will drape over your face during downward-facing dog.
Some styles, such as backless and armless shirts, usually require a sports bra. However, some tank tops already include a built-in bra, so you don't have to bother with that extra layer anymore! They are typically also fitted, so you won't have to worry about your top lifting up while you're doing inversions.
However, people with larger chests may require more support. Check out the reviewer comments to see if others felt supported in the top!
I love an option for a yoga top with a built-in sports bra! You're saving money and laundry time by finding tops with built-in cups. A built-in bra will also help prevent material bunching during your practice, and sometimes there are removable cups that give you the option of more coverage or not!
Some people have one engagement after the other, and there's no time for changing after or before yoga. Or, maybe you're meeting up with friends after yoga class. In these cases, try picking a stylish yoga top that can pass off as a normal top.
This way you can walk around in your yoga clothes and not need to change before attending your yoga class. Tops with a scoop neck work best for this. You can also get away with wearing some mesh tops for more sweaty classes later in the day.
There are so many different brands and styles of yoga tops, so if you know you're headed somewhere immediately before or after your class, consider fuller-length tops that you can easily layer a jacket, sweater, or blazer over.
Cropped styles are also a great option if your work or activities allow a stylish outfit to be put together with a cropped top! Check colors, too: a neon yellow or bright pink might be fun for an after-yoga casual date or night out, but black, blue, and grey work better for work meetings or work-related functions.
Here are our 10 best picks for yoga tops for all practices. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Karin Loo.
Yoga Tank Top With Built-in Bra
Sheer Crop Top Workout Shirt
High Performance Sport Tank Top
Sexy Backless Yoga Shirt
Crop Top Workout Shirt
Seamless Short Sleeve Workout Shirt
Tank Tops 3 Pack
Women's Pima Cotton Short Sleeve Shirt
Long Sleeve Moisture-Wicking Athletic Shirt
Best for Demanding Classes
Best to Go From Yoga to Other Activities in Style
Best Moisture-Wicking Top for Hot Yoga
Best Top That Will Stay in Place
Best for Those Who Love Backless Tops
Best Crop Top With a Bit of Length
Best Lightweight T-Shirt for Slow Practices
Best for Light and Flowy Functionality
Best Cotton Top for Gentler Practices
Best for Colder Days
|Best for||Sweaty practices, complex poses||All yoga practices, daytime versatility||Sweaty practices||All practices, especially those with inversions||Sweaty practices||Sweaty practices with inversions||Slow practices||Sweaty practices that don't have inversions||Slower practices||Slower practices on colder days|
|Material||95% modal, 5% Spandex||85% polyester, 15% Spandex||95% modal, 5% Spandex||94.8% polyamide, 5.7% Spandex||70% modal, 30% polyester||95% modal, 5% Spandex||65% polyamide, 35% polyester||70% polyester, 30% rayon||92% cotton, 8% Spandex||100% polyester|
|Available colors||19||7||18||8||19||18||11||10 combinations||16||21|
|Best for||Sweaty practices, complex poses|
|Material||95% modal, 5% Spandex|
|Best for||All yoga practices, daytime versatility|
|Material||85% polyester, 15% Spandex|
|Best for||Sweaty practices|
|Material||95% modal, 5% Spandex|
|Best for||All practices, especially those with inversions|
|Material||94.8% polyamide, 5.7% Spandex|
|Best for||Sweaty practices|
|Material||70% modal, 30% polyester|
|Best for||Sweaty practices with inversions|
|Material||95% modal, 5% Spandex|
|Best for||Slow practices|
|Material||65% polyamide, 35% polyester|
|Best for||Sweaty practices that don't have inversions|
|Material||70% polyester, 30% rayon|
|Available colors||10 combinations|
|Best for||Slower practices|
|Material||92% cotton, 8% Spandex|
|Best for||Slower practices on colder days|
Karin says, "I would also consider checking the length of the top. Most form-fitting yoga tops will not have enough material to tie up if the top is a little too long, so make sure you read the fine print if you're not trying a top on in person first!
There are also materials that are anti-stink, which is always helpful - I'm a big fan of these materials. Have fun choosing a few different styles before settling on a favorite! Developing a small (or large!) yoga wardrobe helps motivate you to roll out your mat more."
To help you out even more with your quest for the perfect yoga top, we've answered another question on the mind of many.
More coverage is safest. High necklines will provide the most coverage, and keep your chest contained during practices. They work great for inversions too. High necklines provide a lot of support in the front, so even if the back is more open, you'll still be able to get through your practice with ease.
Scoop necklines are another great option for coverage. There are plenty of tops with scoop necklines, so you'll be able to easily pick and choose your favorite style. They also offer great support!
Square necklines can be more revealing styles that still offer support and coverage; just make sure they have wide straps. The wider the straps are, the more support the top will offer you.
Now that you know how to select a yoga top, you may be interested in finding clothing and accessories for your fitness classes. Here are some other articles that you may find useful!
If you're still feeling unsure about what to choose as a top, or you're interested in seeing more options, check out Amazon's best-selling list of women's yoga tops.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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