Just like a little black dress is a wardrobe staple, so too are black tights. Pair them with skirts and dresses in the cooler weather for an additional layer of warmth, or add them to an outfit for additional color and texture no matter the season—the point is, they’re extremely versatile. But if you have experience wearing tights, then you likely know that they can be extremely finicky—we’re talking piling, snagging, and ripping.
So, we spent hours researching and testing the top-rated and most popular black tights on the market. Each pair was evaluated in our testing facility based on their stretch, opaqueness, durability, and value, and we’re sharing which ones have received the Byrdie stamp of approval. Plus, we consulted with Whitney Keefe, leader of the styling ambassador team at Stitch Fix, for some additional styling and care tips for black tights.
Keep reading to see which black tights we recommend.
H&M Tights 200 Denier
Waistband and legs have excellent stretch
Almost full opacity
Excellent quality for the price
Snagged a bit during the velcro test
Would love to see more size inclusivity
If you’re looking for a stretchy, opaque, warm pair of black tights that are affordable, this is the pair we recommend most. In addition to being almost fully opaque and incredibly stretchy both at the waistband and the legs, our tester noted how warm they felt, making them a fantastic option for winter.
While they did snag a bit during our velcro test, when our tester ran nail claws and jewelry across the tights, they resisted ripping and remained intact, making them impressively durable. We also appreciate that they can be thrown in the washing machine on a cold setting as opposed to hand-washing, which can be a bit more time-consuming.
Price at time of publish: $13
Material: polyester 90%, spandex 10% | Sizing: XS-XL | Waist: High-rise | Care: Machine wash cool
What Our Testers Say
“These are very practical tights and a great value. They’re a good price point for the quality. They’re also a very warm material and suitable for winter weather.” —Mandy Shum, Tester
Hanes Blackout Control Top Tights
Nice thick, opaque material
Very limited sizing
Waistband doesn’t stretch much
People that don’t wear tights often might want to stick to an affordable pair, and this one is a great option. The material is fairly thick and almost completely opaque, and the legs have a nice stretch to them, which provides comfort. If you’re looking for tights with tummy control, you’ll likely appreciate that the waistband is pretty stiff, but if that’s not what you’re after, beware that the waistband doesn’t have much stretch capability.
What impressed our tester most about these tights was how resistant they were to the velcro and jewelry tests which were performed to assess for snagging, ripping, and pilling. The tights held up almost perfectly to all of the tests, and given how affordable they are, it makes this feat even more impressive.
In terms of sizing, they only come in three sizes, so we absolutely want to see the brand expand the range.
Price at time of publish: $10
Material: 83% nylon, 17% spandex | Sizing: S-L | Waist: High-rise | Care: Hand wash
J Crew Control-Top Opaque Tights
Could have performed better in the durability tests
Limited size range
If you’re looking for a comfortable pair of very opaque black tights with unbelievable stretch, we recommend these. Our tester was shocked by how much she was able to stretch them, and even while stretched, they remained opaque. If you can’t stand tights that become see-through as you move around and bend, you’ll love these.
While they held up fairly well during the velcro tests with just minor pulling, our tester shared that the finger claws did some damage to these tights by creating small holes. However, she mentioned that she had to use pretty strong pressure to see any visible damage, so they’re pretty durable for everyday wear.
Price at time of publish: $23
Material: Nylon and spandex | Sizing: XS-L | Waist: High-rise | Care: Machine wash
Wolford Satin Touch 20 Denier Comfort Sheer Pantyhose
Sheer look is great for dressier outfits
Didn’t hold up well during durability tests
While we love black tights that are opaque, some are specifically meant to be sheer to pair with specific types of looks. Sheer tights look beautiful with dressier outfits for special occasions, and these are fantastic for that. They’re stretchy, which makes them comfortable, and they have a thick waistband that provides tummy control.
Because sheer tights are typically made with thin materials, it’s not surprising that these didn’t perform super well during the durability tests. Our tester shared that velcro created some piling, and jewelry and finger claws created micro-tears and small holes. Because of this, we recommend avoiding pairing these tights with dresses or skirts with heavy sequins or beading that could cause damage to the fabric.
Price at time of publish: $35
Material: 88% polyamide, 12% elastane | Sizing: XS-2XL | Waist: High-rise | Care: Machine wash cold
What Our Testers Say
“The stretch strength of these tights is impressive and went a long way. Even after stretching these out to what felt like yards, the retention of the silhouette was not significantly impacted.” —Stacey Perdek Smith, Tester
Best Tummy Control
SKIMS Full Control Tights
Waistband is thick and supportive but remains stretchy
Material around the feet is a bit thicker than material on the legs
Fabric on the legs is delicate
If you like to wear tights and you want them to double as a form of shapewear to smooth your tummy, this pair is a great option for you. While the legs are sheer, the waistband is opaque due to how thick and shaping it is. The waistband provides full control, and our tester loved that rather than being stiff or too compressive, the material is still a bit stretchy. She also appreciated that the material in the foot area is thicker than in the legs, which is great because shoes and toenails can often cause damage in this area.
While the sheer material held up nicely against the nimble and finger claws, the velcro test did some serious damage. Our tester shared that the moment the velcro touched the fabric, it immediately pulled and scrunched up. While they are a bit pricey for tights, the tummy control capability and the pretty strong durability (besides when it comes to velcro) make them a worthwhile investment if you’re in the market for them.
Price at time of publish: $48
Material: 65% polyamide, 35% elastane | Sizing: XXS-4X | Waist: High-rise | Care: Machine wash cold
Commando Sexy Sheer Tights
Has beautiful lace detailing
Very delicate and prone to snagging
Tights with a little something special—like lace detailing—can be paired beautifully with lingerie or fashion-forward looks. These are great because the lace detail at the waistband is thick without being too compressive, and the sheer legs combined with the bold, intricate waist create a gorgeous contrast. The material is stretchy, ensuring the tights are comfortable, and the waistband is raw-cut, meaning it won’t dig into your skin.
The one downside of these tights is that they’re not super durable. Our tester shared that the tights snagged easily when put through the velcro test, and any relatively sharp objects immediately caused damage on contact.
Price at time of publish: $38
Material: 82% nylon, 18% elastane | Sizing: S-XL | Waist: High-rise | Care: Hand wash
Sheertex Classic Sheer Rip-Resist Tights
Semi-sheer finish makes for a unique look
Waistband provides light compression
Passed the finger claw and jewelry tests
Could have more stretch
A lack of durability is a very common complaint when it comes to tights—put them under just the slightest bit of friction, and you can ruin them. But with these tights, you can wear them without having to be overly careful about your every move. While the velcro test did create some snags, our tester was shocked that these minor snags didn’t turn into really noticeable pulls or holes. She was also surprised when the tights passed the finger claw and jewelry tests with no visible signs of damage.
In addition to their durability, we love that the waistband provides minor compression that remains comfortable, and the semi-sheer look is pretty unique compared to the sheer and opaque options on the market. If we could change one thing about them, we would love for them to have more stretch.
Price at time of publish: $59
Material: 54% nylon, 31% polyethylene, 15% spandex | Sizing: XS-3X | Waist: High-rise | Care: Machine wash cold
Best for Cold Weather
Wolford Merino Tights
Soft, stretchy material
Reinforced toes and heels
Tights are a fantastic wardrobe essential when you want to wear skirts and dresses, but the temperature outside is making you think twice about it. These tights are made with nylon, elastane, and most importantly, wool, which helps to provide insulation. Our tester was impressed with how soft and stretchy these tights felt, noting specifically how well the waistband stretched and then maintained its shape.
While they did snag a bit during the durability tests, our tester explained that it was fairly minimal, stating that it took quite a decent amount of pressure with a nimble to create a small tear. If you’re in the market for a pair of tights to provide an extra layer of warmth this winter, these could be a worthwhile investment.
Price at time of publish: $90
Material: 49% nylon, 49% virgin wool, 2% elastane | Sizing: XS-XL | Waist: High-rise | Care: machine wash cold
Best for Long Legs
A New Day 120D Blackout Tights
Excellent stretch lengthwise
Waistband could be a bit more stretchy
If you’ve got long legs, then finding pants and tights that fit you properly might be challenging. These are a great option for you because their ability to stretch lengthwise is incredible—our tester was so impressed. Despite their great stretching capabilities, they do regain their shape after stretching, and they also maintain their opacity.
In terms of durability, our tester shared that they are pretty durable, especially given the low price point. While the velcro test did create some snags, the finger claws and jewelry tests did not create significant rips or holes, making them a great value for the money.
Price at time of publish: $9
Material: 94% nylon, 6% spandex | Sizing: S-2X | Waist: High-rise | Care: Hand wash
Our winner from our test of the best black tights is the H&M Tights 200 Denier. They’re stretchy, super opaque, durable, and affordable. If you’re looking for a pair of tights to help keep you warm this winter, we recommend the Wolford Merino Tights. And if you’re looking for a pair that hold and smooth your tummy, go for the Skims Full Control Tights.
Meet the Expert
Whitney Keefe is the Styling Ambassador Lead at Stitch Fix. She's also a volunteer stylist for the non-profit organization Dress for Success.
How We Tested
Each pair of black tights was tested in our lab facility and evaluated based on stretch, opaqueness, durability, and value. Our testers assessed them for how easily they could put them on before putting the tights through durability testing. They used clips to see how far the tights could stretch and then regain their shape and then used velcro, finger claws, and jewelry to see how prone to pilling, snagging, and ripping each pair was. They were then given a rating in each category, and those with the highest scores appear on this list.
Testing Black Tights for Durability and Comfort
Other Options We Tested
Spanx Tummy Shaping Tights
While our tester shared that these tummy-shaping tights had a comfortable, flattering waistband, she found the legs were lacking in the stretch department.
Frola Women's Semi Opaque Solid Color Footed Pantyhose Tights
These semi-opaque tights had excellent stretch, but our tester shared that just a light touch of velcro did serious damage to the material.
Manzi Run Resistant Control Top Panty Hose Opaque Tights
These super stretchy tights felt soft and comfortable, but our tester shared that they didn’t hold up well during any of the durability tests.
What to Look for When Buying Black Tights
“Tights range from sheer to semi-sheer to opaque," explains Keefe. "These terms refer to how transparent the fabrication is and therefore how much skin will show through (also to how much warmth you can expect to get from them!).” If you’re looking for black tights with excellent opacity, go for the J Crew Control-Top Opaque Tights. If you prefer sheer coverage, we recommend the Wolford Satin Touch 20 Denier Comfort Sheer Pantyhose.
Finish and Style
According to Keefe, some tights have a matte finish while others have a silk finish. "Tights with a silk finish will reflect light, giving them a bit of shine or shimmer (a great way to make a holiday look a little extra festive)," she explains.
In addition to the finish, some tights have open toes while others cover the feet. Some even have beautiful lace detailing, like the Commando Sexy Sheer Tights. When looking for tights to suit your needs, think about what you’ll be pairing them with and what weather conditions you’ll be wearing them in.
“Some tights pull double-duty as shapewear," Keefe explains. "If this two-for sounds appealing to you, look for a pair with a ‘control top.’ You can find control top tights with extra support through the waist or from the thigh to waist.” If you want black tights that provide some shaping and tummy control, we highly recommend the Skims Full Control Tights.
What is the best way to wash tights?
The proper way to wash tights really depends on the specific ones you have, so you should always refer to the tag for proper washing directions. However, there are some things to keep in mind when washing all tights. “A mesh washing bag can protect tights from tangling with other items and being stretched or snagged when [in the machine],” says Keefe. And, once they’re washed, it's best to hang your tights to air dry versus putting them in the dryer.
What do you wear tights with?
You can’t go wrong wearing tights with any dress or skirt in your closet—especially to get use out of them in the colder months. You can wear dresses over tights and pair them with your favorite pair of boots for a simple look. Or, layer your mini or midi skirt with a sweater, and top the look off with a pair of booties. “Pairing opaque black tights with black ankle boots is a great trick for elongating your legs and creating a streamlined silhouette,” says Keefe.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust Byrdie
Alyssa Kaplan is an experienced writer in the beauty industry and product tester specializing in cosmetics. She received a bachelor’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she studied marketing and product development in the cosmetics industry as well as fashion business marketing. Alyssa has been a commerce writer at Byrdie since 2022, where she covers all things beauty.
Byrdie contributor Kylee McGuigan has worn her fair share of black tights over the years. As a former high school dance team member, she had to search high and low for the perfect black tights for practices, rehearsals, or even for shows. So, she has a good idea of what makes a good pair of black tights.
Plus, after hours of researching various pairs of black tights and chatting with our experts, she’s gathered enough insight to determine which ones are currently the best on the market.