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Spandex vs. Spanx: What’s The Difference?

If you are a girl who revolves her wardrobe around leggings and yoga pants, you have probably heard the term “spandex” thrown around a lot. But what if we told you that there is actually another fabric out there called “spanx”? Though both fabrics are very similar in many ways, they differ in a few key areas, making them each ideal for different uses. So what’s the difference between spandex vs spanx? Stay tuned to find out!

Key Takeaways

  • Both spandex and spanx are made from non-biodegradable materials, which makes them fabrics that are not good for the environment.
  • When talking about durability and comfort, spanx is the overall winner because it is stronger and more breathable than spandex.
  • Both spandex and spanx are highly stretchy fabrics, making them ideal for activewear like leggings and yoga pants.
  • Spandex is more stretchable than spanx, which makes it the better choice for high-intensity workouts.

Spandex vs.Spanx

Both spandex and Spanx are stretchy, form-fitting fabrics that are commonly used in activewear. Both fabrics offer a range of benefits, such as being breathable, comfortable, and moisture-wicking. They also both provide support to your body while you move and help keep you looking great no matter what activity you are doing.

However, there are some key differences between spandex and spanx that make them each better suited for different situations.

What Is Spandex?

Spandex, also known as elastane or lycra, is a synthetic fiber made from polyurethane. It is used to create stretchable and form-fitting clothing that hugs your body and moves with you. Due to its elasticity, it is commonly found in leggings, yoga pants, sports bras, swimwear, and other activewear. Spandex is also known for its ability to wick away moisture and keep you cool and dry during physical activity.

What Is Spanx?

Spanx, on the other hand, is a type of shapewear made from similar materials as spandex. It is typically used to smooth out any lumps and bumps, creating a sleeker silhouette. This can be helpful for wearing tight-fitting clothing or simply for looking your best. Like spandex, spanx is also moisture-wicking and breathable, keeping you comfortable all day long.


The main difference between spandex and spanx is their composition. Spandex is a synthetic fabric made of polyurethane and is renowned for its stretchy, elastic properties. It is typically used in clothing like leggings, yoga pants, and swimsuits because it hugs the body tightly, allowing you to move freely while maintaining a sleek, flattering silhouette.

Spanx is made of nylon and spandex fabric, giving it a slightly stiffer composition that holds your body in place more firmly. This makes spanx ideal for shapewear, since it smooths out any bumps and bulges, helping you feel confident no matter what you are wearing.

Durability and Comfort

Another key difference between spandex and spanx is their overall durability and level of comfort. Spandex has a reputation for being delicate and prone to stretching out, especially after multiple washes or in high-stress areas like the knees or crotch area.

Spanx on the other hand is stronger and less likely to wear out over time. This makes it ideal for tight-fitting items like leggings and yoga pants, where you need the fabric to hold up against tough movements and heavy use. Additionally, spanx is much softer than spandex, making it more comfortable to wear on a daily basis.


Spandex is also less breathable than spanx, which means that it may cause you to sweat a lot more in tight-fitting clothes. This can be problematic for activewear like leggings and yoga pants, where staying cool and dry is essential for performance.


Performance wise, spandex is the clear winner here. Whether you are a hardcore athlete or just like to squeeze in a yoga class every now and then, spanx is the better choice when it comes to keeping you comfortable and performing at your best. So next time you go shopping for leggings or yoga pants, be sure to look for the “spanx” label!


Spandex and spanx are both highly stretchy fabrics, which makes them ideal for activewear like leggings and yoga pants. Spandex is slightly more elastic than spanx, making it a better choice for high-intensity workouts where you need the fabric to move with your body. However, spanx is softer and more breathable, making it a better choice for everyday wear like tees and dresses.

Care And Maintenance

Both spandex and spanx are easy to care for and maintain. They can both be machine washed and dried, although it is recommended that you always wash your spandex or spanx items on a gentle cycle to keep them from stretching out over time. Additionally, both fabrics should be ironed on low heat in order to retain their shape and elasticity.

Environmental Impact

As I mentioned before, they are synthetically made fabrics from polyurethane which is non-biodegradable. As such, they can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. For example, spandex can take from 20-200 years for it to biodegrade, and can also release toxic chemicals when it breaks down.


Durability and Comfort4/55/5
Care And Maintenance5/55/5
Environmental Impact2/52/5

Frequently Asked Questions

Is spandex hot to wear?

Spandex can be a little bit hotter to wear than spanx, since it is less breathable and more elastic. However, both fabrics are designed to wick away moisture from your skin, so they should help keep you cool during any workout or activity.

Can spandex stretch out over time?

Yes, spandex can stretch out over time if it is not cared for properly. To help prevent this, it is recommended that you wash your spandex items on a gentle cycle in cold water.

What fabric is best for tummy control?

There is no one “best” fabric for tummy control, as this depends largely on your personal preferences and what activities you plan to do. Some people prefer the compression and support offered by spanx, while others prefer the stretchiness of spandex. Ultimately, the best way to find out which fabric is right for you is to try out a few different options and see which one makes you feel the most comfortable and confident!

Final Verdict: Which One Should You Choose?

At the end of the day, which fabric you choose really depends on your personal preferences and what activities you plan to do. If you are looking for something that is sleek and form-fitting, spandex is probably your best bet. But if you want something that is comfortable and breathable, Spanx might be a better choice. Ultimately, the right fabric for you is the one that best meets your needs and makes you feel great no matter what you are doing!

Further Reading

Go on and do some further reading; there are exciting blogs like does silk wrinkle. Or there’s even how you can shrink elastic waistband.

Not only that, but you will also find the types of silk fabric and an answer to whether linen shrink.

This is it, enjoy!

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