Searching for the best maternity jeans can be a minefield, but there comes a time in every woman’s pregnancy when your favourite, most reliable pair just won’t quite reach across your growing bump.
No matter how much you might think no-one will notice if you try to attach the button of your favourite pair of jeans with an old hair bobble, this trick just isn’t practical if you’re looking to leave your house for longer than five minutes. But there’s no need to panic at the thought of only wearing your old worn out, baggy-at-the-knee leggings for the next year – although we can tell you the best maternity leggings for a refresh on that front, too.
There are a whole host of maternity jeans available that will become your new best fashion friend by helping you feel comfortable without compromising on style. With no set rules on when to swap your skin-tight skinnies for bump-friendly skinnies, the style search begins whenever you feel you need a little more room for expansion. With elasticated panels and often made from a softer cotton with a little more stretch, the denim-shaped hole in your wardrobe will be filled in no time as we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to the best maternity jeans.
Speaking to our group of mum-to-bes, we asked what they were looking for in their ideal pair of maternity jeans – and then sought to find which collections ticked all of these boxes on the maternity market. We then gathered as many as we could and let our pregnant volunteers test each pair out for a whole day, going about their usual errands, including ladies at different stages of pregnancy. Our testers wore the jeans for working, playing, walking and even baby shower socialising and our reviews took into consideration:
- The comfort of both the denim and the bump bands
- Whether the sizing is reliable
- How the cuts work with a changing body
- Value for money
The best maternity jeans to buy 2021
1. New Look Waist Enhance Tori Mom Jeans
Best maternity jeans on a budget
RRP: £27.99 | Sizes: 8-20 | Leg lengths: One length
When it comes to great value clothing, New Look rarely fails us and its maternity jeans didn’t either. One of the cheapest options on the high street, the tapered mom shape has a more casual feel and will become your most reliable, everyday pair of jeans.
“The denim was good quality for the price and I felt nice and secure in the over the bump band,” says mum-to-be Amy Leeming who is five months pregnant. They are quite roomy so there will definitely be fabric for growth which is always a plus, although they could feel a little big for those in the earlier stages of pregnancy. For the price, these would be a handy purchase to help you feel put-together if your money has gone towards nappies and a new pram.”
There is no button on this pair that streamlined the waistband, although some women might prefer a more authentic feel if this was added. Super comfortable, this pair is perfect if you’re looking for good quality jeans that won’t break the bank.
2. Yours Bump It Up Maternity Blue Cat Scratch Skinny Jeans with Comfort Panel
Best plus-size maternity jeans
RRP: £31.99 | Sizes: 14-32 | Leg lengths: One length
We couldn’t complete a maternity jeans round-up without mentioning Yours for its size-inclusive clothing. We have praised the brand for creating trend-led products for curvy women before, and we’re thrilled to see it offers maternity jeans up to a size 32. Most of the styles available are skinny or straight leg, with comfortable over the bump bands.
Jenny Chilston, who is six months pregnant, says: “The shape was flattering and the pockets on the bum certainly helped it look perkier! The fabric felt a little thinner than some of my usual jeans, but they are a great price.”
There’s certainly a market for plus-size maternity wear and Yours holds the top spot in our eyes.
3. River Island Dark Blue Skinny Maternity Jeans
Best petite maternity jeans
RRP: £40 | Sizes: 6-18 | Leg lengths: 30-34
River Island has long been a favourable denim destination on the high street for good value, well-fitting jeans and its maternity offering is impressive. With multiple shades of denim in different cuts, the bump-friendly styles are a seamless continuation of the core products. For the vertically challenged, the short length is 30inches, but most styles are ankle grazers so suit shorter legs pretty well.
“I find it really hard to find jeans that don’t bunch up at the bottom, but these were a perfect cut,” says Sarah Tagliarini, who is four months pregnant with her second baby. “The band was secure and I loved the fit and shape.The mid-rise did sit slightly lower at the back which might be too low for later in my pregnancy, but right now they were a great pair for me.”
This pair had a higher cotton content so were a sturdier denim, although they do have pairs with more elastane for extra stretch.
4. Long Tall Sally Maternity Slim Leg Jeans
Best tall maternity jeans
RRP: £65 | Sizes: 8-24 | Leg lengths: 34-38
For the long-limbed among us, buying regular jeans that don’t look as though they’ve had an argument with your ankles is no mean feat. That’s why Long Tall Sally has been the go-to for years to bag bottoms that really fit, so we just had to try out the maternity jeans on offer. And we are chuffed we did. While some stores do offer longer leg lengths, Long Tall Sally’s mission statement is that they don’t just add inches onto the bottom, they design pieces that are made with proportions in mind. As a result, this pair fits like a glove.
“It felt like I wasn’t even wearing jeans, these were so comfortable. I’ve lived in them since I got them,” says eight months pregnant, Alice Park. “The over-the-bump band sat perfectly over my longer torso, they looked fab on the bum and the crotch is longer so there was no need to hoist them up throughout the day which is something that usually drives me mad.”
While the pair come in a 34 inch, 36 inch and a 38 inch length, they are pretty generous with their sizing so you might even find you need to roll them up!
5. Isabella Oliver Over the Bump Organic Maternity Boyfriend Jeans
Best over the bump maternity jeans
RRP: £69 | Sizes: 4-12 | Leg lengths: One length
Isabella Oliver is a London-based sustainable maternity brand that you need to have on your radar. With multiple five-star reviews from customers raving about the comfort, fit and quality of the jeans, we had to give them a whirl – and we can see why. The stretchy band sits at the right point of the bump helping mums-to-be feel super supported. “It was like a hug for the bump!” says Sarah Tagliarini.
The best part is that the rear of the band is thicker for added back support which is perfect for any woman who might be struggling with lower back pain. The boyfriend fit is more relaxed, but there is also a skinny shape available. There is less stretch in the denim which we liked so they feel like proper jeans, as all the stretchy magic lies in the band.
6. Gap Maternity Inset Panel Skinny Jeans with Washwell
Best under the bump maternity jeans
RRP: £49.95 | Sizes: 6-22 | Leg lengths: 30-33.5
If under-the-bump styles are more your thing, then head over to Gap. It has an extensive collection of maternity jeans in a huge range of colours and styles. In fact, there were 80 options on our last count, including pairs with full panel (over the bump),demi panel (less coverage, sits low on the bump) and inset panels (elasticated panels that sit under the bump).
The maternity skinny jeans we chose were a sturdier denim and felt more like pre-pregnancy jeans while still being comfortable. The inset panels are great for the earlier stage of pregnancy, although are a little less versatile when nearing your due date.
Alice Park says: “This pair moulded to my bump easily and would have been fab at my earlier stages. Now I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, it’s a little tricker to pair tops with an under the bump style without showing some skin.” We thought they were especially good for the summer as you can keep cool around your bump with floaty tops without an extra layer of fabric making you hotter.
7. Lily & Ribbon Sophia Stone Wash Maternity Jeans
Best maternity jeans for pregnancy and beyond
RRP: £49 | Sizes: 6-26 | Leg lengths: 30-34
Award-winning maternity brand Lily & Ribbon was founded by mum-of-two Tanya Patel when she was left feeling frumpy in maternity wear. Every item on the site has been tried and tested by new mums to create clothes that are as fashionable as they are functional and we think these jeans tick every box.
“The fit was perfect and made with good quality denim with just the right amount of stretch,” says Amy Leeming. “The over the bump band was so soft, super secure and felt like a second skin, while an extra button at the waistband meant I could pull them easily over my hips. I’ll be able to get on the floor to play with the baby with ease later on, too.”
The band didn’t go baggy or loose after washing and would definitely grow with you which is why we are crowning this pair great for taking you through all stages of pregnancy and beyond.
8. Seraphine Organic Cotton Over Bump Black Maternity Jeans
Best maternity skinny jeans
RRP: £55 | Sizes: 6-18 | Leg lengths: One length
If a pair of jeans are good enough for the Duchess of Cambridge, then they are good enough for us! As soon as Kate was spotted in this pair when she was pregnant with Prince Louis in 2018, they sold out immediately. Obviously. A good amount of stretch in the sculpt and shape fit so we found them comfortable while streamlining our bottom half nicely. “As soon as I put these on, I felt put together, which is a dream on the days I’m lacking energy or feeling out of sorts,” says Sarah Tagliarini.
The over the bump band was a snug fit, although it comes up quite high on the torso so would be better suited to women who aren’t petite. That being said, it provides excellent coverage for larger bumps. They might be Duchess-approved, but they are also Good to Know approved. What are you waiting for?
9. H&M MAMA Mom Ankle Jeans
Best maternity mom jeans
RRP: £34.99 | Sizes: S-XXL | Leg lengths: One size
With your body changing, it’s natural to feel a little awkward with your style when pregnant, but H&M has a great maternity range that offers trend-led pieces with extra room for a bump.
“There have been times when I’ve felt unfashionable or frumpy while pregnant, but this mom pair of jeans helped me feel like my pre-pregnancy self,” says Amy Leeming. “They felt more modern and trendy.”
While the relaxed, tapered fit is more casual, the shape hugged the hips, stayed put throughout the day without loosening and the over-the-bump band was comfortable. Plus, the style was perfect for the warmer summer months.
10. M&S Maternity Sienna Premium Straight Leg Jeans
Best maternity straight-leg jeans
RRP: £35 | Sizes: 6-24 |Leg lengths: 29-35
Marks and Spencer holds a place in many of our hearts, so it makes sense to head to the high street stalwart at one of the most important times of our lives. If straight-leg jeans are your preference, then we found the super soft material comfortable while the design is a little smarter than some of the other brands. “These are the sort of jeans you can rely on. Comfortable, can be dressed up or down and super soft,” says Alice Park.
Great value, M&S is often known for being on the generous side of sizing, too, so buy your pre-pregnancy size and you’re likely to have a bit of extra room for growth. We particularly like the decorative button for a more authentic look. Plus, M&S cotton is sustainably sourced so you can do your bit for the planet at the same time.
11. Next Maternity Relaxed Skinny Jeans
Best maternity boyfriend jeans
RRP: £32 | Sizes: 8-18 | Leg lengths: 29-31
Next is a one-stop shop for most mums-to-be thanks to its adorable kidswear as well as sophisticated womenswear and maternity ranges. While the retailer officially calls this fit a ‘relaxed skinny’, the loose shape that sits a bit lower on the hips means it can be classed as a boyfriend jean in our eyes. Made from a quality denim and excellent value, this fit convinced our tester to step out of skinnies for good!
“I’m so used to wearing skinny jeans that I was a bit reluctant to try a looser fit, but it’s worth giving them a go when your body is changing so rapidly”, says Sarah Tagliarini.“I loved the cut, they were so comfortable and more streamlined than I expected. I’ll be wearing this style after my due date for sure.”
The over the bump band was super soft and stretchy, but we would recommend sizing down, especially if you’re not used to a relaxed shape. Next can be quite generous on its sizing so you might need to try to navigate this before you buy. Plus, they have slightly shorter leg lengths so a great choice for petite frames.
12. Spanx Mama Ankle Jean-ish Leggings
Best maternity jeggings
RRP: £96 | Sizes: XS-XL | Leg lengths: One length
When it comes to smoothing shapewear, Spanx is one of the leaders of the pack, but how would this notorious brand fare with maternity wear? They get top marks froms us! Rather than jeggings, Spanx call their specialised bottoms ‘jean-ish’, which we love, as the jeans-leggings hybrid are super comfortable and supportive. There’s no need to worry about the pair being too tight or restrictive, the Magic Mama band that sits over the bump, made from nylon and elastane, is a seam-free lighter material that feels breathable as well as being secure. With the higher price point, they are more of an investment but were one of our favourite pairs for taking you past birth, too.
“I absolutely loved this pair. I’m not usually one to spend a lot of money on jeans, but these are worth every penny,” says Alice Park. “I wore them to my baby shower where I definitely ate enough cake for two and felt like I could breathe easy. They weren’t too tight, just the perfect fit that I don’t want to take off.” Available in black, blue and white, the band will grow with you and you’ll live in this pair once your little one is born.
13. Jojo Maman Bebe Dark Wash Bootcut Maternity Jeans
Best bootcut maternity jeans
RRP: £35 | Sizes: 8-18 | Leg lengths: 30-32
If bootcut fits are your favourite jeans, give the ones at Jojo Maman Bebe a try. The maternity specialists have a large range of denim and we were thrilled to see a pair of flares in the mix. The over the bump band is thicker than some of the other brands so it is very secure. If you find it a little restrictive, give them a wash as we found the band to give a little and feel more comfortable.
Amy Leeming says: “The best part about this pair was the seamless transition between the denim and the band which made it easy to pair tops with.” This particular pair felt more formal and can easily be worn with a pair of heeled boots which was a welcome change to a lot of casual denim.
What to consider when choosing the best maternity jeans
Choosing jeans can be a minefield at the best of times, let alone when your pregnant body is constantly changing. Remember it’s an individual process and there is no one-size-fits-all process – literally! Chelsey Oliver, Creative Director of maternity brand Seraphine, advises to make the move when your regular jeans become uncomfortable, which might happen sooner than you first think. She says: “The sooner you switch, the more wear you’ll get out of your maternity jeans and the better value your purchase becomes.”
Sizing – Whatever size you were wearing pre-pregnancy, start here. Maternity jeans come in the same sizes as regular collections and should theoretically fit similarly in the leg and are made to cater for a bump. If you’re trying a new cut of jeans, then you might need to size up or down depending on the fit. Most jeans will grow with you, but we recommend buying two pairs so that you can switch between them as your body changes throughout pregnancy.
Under the bump vs. over the bump – This is really down to personal preference. Under the bump styles often have elasticated jersey panels around the waistband which some women find useful during the early stages of pregnancy as they are less restrictive. Over the bump jeans include a large elasticated panel that fits over your bump with the denim starting underneath which is often considered more supportive, although can be hotter as there is an extra layer of material. “As a rule of thumb, if you love the secure feeling of high-waisted styles, you may prefer over the bump”, explains Chelsey. “If you usually prefer a low-rise or hipster style then under the bump may be better for you.”
Fit – All of the brands we researched made maternity jeans in a skinny cut and many reported this fit regularly features in their top sellers. Our feedback was that the skinny style streamlined the bottom half and the tighter fit felt secure. However, maternity wear has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and you can find most of the jean shapes you’d usually buy available in a bump-friendly version. There’s no reason they should feel different on the leg and the waistband should be tight enough to prevent you from hoisting them up while remaining comfortable. Concerned about wearing tight clothing? Don’t panic. The key is ensuring you are comfortable, tighter clothing on the bump won’t harm your baby who is protected by your body. Ideally you want your jeans to feel snug but not uncomfortably digging into your skin.
Comfort – Goodbye stiff, rough denim. Hello soft cotton. Most maternity jeans are made using cotton with a higher percentage of elastane to give extra stretch and flexibility. If you’re after a more sturdy denim, check out the percentage fabrics on the site and opt for pairs with less elastane.
Value for money – There are some great high street maternity jeans that won’t make too much of a dent in your maternity pay, as well as some more specific styles that can cost a little more. The amount you spend is entirely depending on your personal circumstances, but don’t immediately think you’ll only be wearing them for a couple of months. Chelsey encourages mums to consider wearing them after birth, too.” Most mums find that their maternity jeans are still the most comfortable options”, she says. “They help you feel supported, while also smoothing and streamlining your shape for that extra confidence boost.” So you denims could be one of your best fashion investments.
Best place to shop for maternity jeans
Some of our favourite brands for the best maternity jeans are:
- Gap – high street jeans experts with a huge range of bump-friendly options
- Seraphine – celebrity-approved maternity specialists
- H&M – fashion-forward retailer with denim in lots of different shapes
- Spanx – high-end shapewear specialists with jeggings offering
- New Look – great value maternity jeans
- Isabella Oliver – ethical maternity brand