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11 best women's yoga tops for every type of yogi

From super-soft cropped options to comfy tanks, elevate your practice with stylish gear

Whether you’re heading to Soul Circus for a summer weekend of wellness or love nothing better than a gentle YouTube class on a lazy Sunday morning, you'll find a top that suits you ( The Independent/iStock )

In a world where there’s a yoga brand on every high street, a guru in every office and a mat in every living room, it’s not surprising that trying to choose what to wear to classes can disrupt your inner peace.

There are long tops, short tops, cropped tops, tight tops and loose tops – and that’s before you’ve even considered the type of fabric. So, to help you maintain your zen while you navigate the rails, we’ve used our third eye – along with hours of testing – to give you some insight into the market.

The first thing to consider when setting out to buy a yoga top is what kind of yogi you are. It’s far more important to find a top that suits your class than it is to stick with one brand.

If you prefer hot yoga, you’ll want a top with good ventilation. Those who like a gentler class should be looking for a loose, long top that gives them room to move.

Make sure you use any brand’s size guide when buying a top for yoga, as the level of support you need often depends on body shape. Depending on how rigorous your practice, you might also want to look for tops with sweat-wicking and odour-resistant properties. 

We tested all of the below tops during dynamic ashtanga and vinyasa classes, as well as in the comfort of our living room. Our checklist included whether the tops allowed us to move freely, how breathable they were and, most importantly, whether they were comfortable.

We’ve whittled the options down to our 11 favourite pieces – so whether you’re heading to Soul Circus for a summer weekend of wellness, prefer a rigorous studio session after work or love nothing better than a gentle YouTube class on a lazy Sunday morning, we can guarantee you'll find a top that suits you. 

Adidas wanderlust yoga crop top: £34.95, Adidas

We were slightly apprehensive that this crop top would be more suitable for a high-intensity cardio class than the tranquillity of the yoga studio (and don’t even get us started about getting our stomachs out), but we couldn’t have been more wrong. Unlike many others on the market, the fit is snug but not tight, making sure you can easily move through every pose while still getting a bit of crucial support.

What’s more, the stretchy material and long hem mean you feel less exposed than some of the other crop tops and there’s a mesh panel on the back for ventilation. It’s not just a great fit, however. We went to tonnes of yoga classes in the blue and black version of this top and received compliments in all of them about how great it looked. It is also one of the cheapest tops we tried, so punches well above its price point.

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Evveervital isle knot vest top: £58, Evveervital

Evveervital is relatively new to the market, but don’t let that put you off. The premium activewear brand prides itself on its sustainability, offering luxurious, quality products made of a high percentage of recycled and bio-based materials. This dusty pink knot vest top – predominantly made from the knit fabric jersey – definitely does not disappoint.

Soft to the touch, and even comfier on, it’s a great addition to any yoga kit – and is particularly good if you’re in need of a little self-love. The relaxed fit gave us full freedom of movement, while the length ensures it doesn’t ride up, even in downward-facing dog. While it’s quite similar in style to the Lululemon tank top we tested, we found it easier to get on as the split in the back isn’t so prominent.

We had no issues with the knotted material rubbing, even when rocking and rolling, although we would recommend wearing a sports bra underneath this top for maximum support, particularly if you prefer a faster flow. Available in two colours, it is easy to care for with simple washing instructions. While a little more expensive than some of the others on the market, we think any top this comfortable is worth saving the pennies for. 

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Saucony freedom tank: £21, Saucony

This good-value Saucony top isn’t specifically marketed for yoga but it is well-loved by runners so we thought we’d put it through its paces in the studio. We’re glad we did, so don't be put off by the running-specific marketing.

It is a little longer than some other specialist yoga brands, making it ideal for dynamic classes as it doesn’t ride up and is long enough to tuck into your Lycra if you’re doing lots of inversions.

The fabric wicks away sweat, while the mesh back provides additional ventilation. We would recommend it for any yoga class, from the tropical climes of Bikram, to a dynamic vinyasa session. Our only tip is that you make sure you team this piece with a sports bra as you need a bit more support due to its loose fit. 

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Sweaty Betty namaska bamboo yoga vest: £50, Sweaty Betty

Put this top on and you’ll immediately realise why this brand is so popular with ladies who want to go seamlessly from yoga to the school run or a coffee date – not least because the pieces are so comfortable. This one is made from super-soft bamboo fabric and the seamless design helps keeps things smooth so nothing will distract you in shavasana.

It’s ideal for a relaxing practice and it provided as much support as it did comfort during floorwork. Our size 8 tester went for a small and found the fit flattering, although you might want to go up a size if you prefer something a little looser. There is just one warning: the straps are quite long (and non-adjustable), so get ready to show off your cleavage during cobra – and don’t be tempted to wear it to a high-intensity class!

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Comfort-T: £40, On

This is a top that really does do what it says on the tin. On's comfort-T is designed to make you feel good, with the soft fabric (a mix of cotton and elastane) making it less like other high-tech exercise gear and far more like something you'd like to snuggle up in on the sofa. While it's marketed for runners, we think the moisture-wicking qualities and super stretchy fit make it perfect for the studio.

Plus, it has a secret pocket in the lining of the top, which is handy for stray bank cards, cash or a key if you want to dash out for a quick fix without a bag. Available in eight colours, it's super easy to care for and is a great addition to any sport-lover's wardrobe. 

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Manduka darted bra: £41, Yoga Studio

This is one for the confident ladies out there. Manduka's darted bra is stylish and hugely comfortable. We highly rated its ability to mould to our body, finding it moved with us no matter what pose we were attempting (this is down to the material's “four-way stretch”, according to the brand). The crossed back and fitted silhouette meant we gained a lot of compliments when we wore it to the studio, while the thicker waistband ensured it (almost) came down to the top of our Lycra.

But we'd be lying if we said we didn't find ourselves slightly nervous every time an inversion came up. While there are removable pads in each cup, which add a little extra coverage, there was a fair amount of side boob on show (and we were faced with a lot of cleavage every time we went into downward-facing dog). A good top – but one for the braver amongst us. 

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Lululemon hold and let flow tank: £48, Lululemon

Our inner tranquility was most definitely broken the first time we tried to put on this Lululemon top. Cue thrashing around in a changing room for 10 minutes as we tried to work out which bit to put our arms through and how to tie it to make sure it didn’t ride up over our head every time we attempted downward-facing dog. However, once you’ve mastered how to put this top on (tip: lay it out on the floor first to make sure your arms are going into the right place), we promise you won’t want to take it off.

The loose fit makes it easy to move around throughout practice and means you don’t need to worry about sizing up. It also has effective anti-odour technology to stop it from smelling when you discover it at the bottom of your gym bag three weeks after a session. Plus, as with all of Lululemon’s designs, it’s effortlessly stylish and looks even better with a patterned sports bra underneath.

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Runderwear women’s low-impact crop top: £25, Runderwear

As yogis who also love pounding the pavements, we’re always looking for tops that will take us from the street to the studio. That’s why we love this low-impact crop top from Runderwear, a specialist running brand known for its chafe-free products. The lightweight fabric is seam-free, so there’s no need to worry about any rubbing, while the top includes mesh panels, which increase breathability and help wick sweat away from the skin. Made predominantly from polyamide, it’s so soft that you’ll forget you’re wearing it.

The brand recommends this top for women with A or B cup sizes (their women’s support bra for £40 is a great choice if you’re in need of some more support). While we wouldn’t choose this sports bra for our most rigorous runs, we found it a great option if we wanted to jog to the studio. Alternatively, you can wear it on its own for a quick yoga blast – or team it with a longer top if you’re wanting a little more coverage. For just £25, you can’t go wrong.

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Beachbody zone mesh ombre women's tank top: £50, Activinstinct

Beachbody is a Californian brand, which offers gym-goers high-level performance apparel to help smash personal bests. Certainly, this top will please tech lovers. It is made from engineered mesh fabric woven from Nilt yarn – a material the brand claims converts the naturally occurring thermo energy from the human body and reflects it back to the skin tissues causing a deep, gentle heating.

This allegedly helps invigorate the body and promotes wellbeing. Lost? Us too. But this is a good top, performing well in hot yoga classes and sessions with a faster flow. We also liked its eye-catching ombre-style and cross-back, which makes it stand out of the crowd. It's not quite as soft as some of the other tops, but we found it dried quickly after fast sessions and maintained its shape well. Overall, a good buy. 

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Prana filament tank: £41.25, Yogamatters

Prana markets itself as a sustainable brand, so this top should be a natural winner for any yogis hoping to do their bit for the planet. This one has been bluesign certified, meaning the textile supply chain is checked to minimise impact on the environment at every stage in the production process. It comes with a bra liner to make sure you stay covered as well as removable pads that fit in the front of the bra to make doubly sure there are no slips.

We liked the adjustable lace back so you can make it as loose or as tight as you like. We found this top performs particularly well in gentle yoga or pilates classes that don’t include too many inversions as it has a tendency to ride up and show a bit of cleavage. The US site has the whole range and can work out cheaper, even with shipping added, though you will have to wait longer for your item.

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Manduka adorn long sleeve cross back top: £39, Yogamatters

With more than 20 years of experience, Manduka promises it is a “company built by and for yoga teachers and their students” and this long-sleeved top doesn’t disappoint. While it wasn’t the best one we tried for a dynamic practice, as we found it kept riding up and felt awkward with the open back, it was ideal for an at-home Yoga with Adriene session.

Alternatively, we think this top would be great for a meditation session or extended shavasana, as the soft cotton texture is guaranteed to help you settle into your peaceful place. The fitted sleeves also keep you warm when you’re not practising in a studio or perhaps doing a less intense workout, while the relaxed and loose fit in the chest and body means you are free to move and there’s plenty of room to layer with a more supportive sports bra.

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The verdict: Yoga tops for women

Try as we might, we couldn’t get away from how much we loved the bright, bold and supportive crop top by Adidas and that’s why it is our best buy. If you’re not keen on a crop top, however, there are still plenty of great ones to choose from.

The luxury, uber soft Evveervital top was our favourite long top we tried, while Sweaty Betty’s fitted top provides hours of comfort. If you’re happy going for something less supportive, the looser-fitting Runderwear top is a winner, while the long sleeves of the Manduka top make it perfect for any living room yoga fans. Namaste.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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