Lululemon vs. Athleta: Which is Best

Lululemon vs Athleta Brand Comparison

If you’re looking for yoga wear that’s well made, fashionable, and unique, you may be considering one of the big activewear brands. Lululemon and Athleta are two activewear giants that are both very popular in America and worldwide. They are in serious competition with each other.

While Lululemon and Athleta offer very similar products, there are slight differences between the two brands. It’s vital to choose good quality sportswear when doing yoga; you don’t want to find yourself in a challenging pose only to hear the rip of material as your leggings or yoga pants split open. Let’s look at the two brands to help you decide which to buy from. 

TLDR: Lululemon is more expensive ($100+ for a pair of leggings), doesn’t go over size 14, and actively tries to encourage the Yoga lifestyle.  Athleta goes over size 14 and is usually under $100 for a pair of leggings.


Lululemon vs Athleta Comparison

Lululemon Vs. Athleta

Although Lululemon and Athleta do offer similar products, there is one main difference between the brands. Lululemon is a yoga brand that focuses on providing stylish yoga gear; thus, the brand is more commonly associated with yogis than other kinds of athletes. With their bright colors and bold, eye-catching designs, Lululemon has become very trendy, but are often considered a ”hippy” brand. 

Athleta does compete with lululemon on the yoga front but is more of an activewear brand. They produce a wide range of exercise gear, suitable for various sports. Athleta creates garments ideal for hiking, running, and weight training, as well as yoga. Athleta’s style is often described as being a cross between athletic wear and streetwear. Their clothing is made for workouts but is often worn throughout the day by ”sporty” individuals. Athleta is a colossal brand with Gap as its parent company. 

Either company makes yoga pants that are going to work really well for doing Yoga.


Lululemon vs Athleta: How the companies started


Athleta is a long-established company that began in the late 1980s. The founders saw a gap in the market as most women’s sportswear was designed for petite women that were already in shape. It was hard to find sportswear that wasn’t pink, and that suited the curvier figure.

Athleta was considered revolutionary at the time as they created attractive garments for women who wanted to work out. It was considered a feminist brand in the beginning and used the slogan “”The Power of She.”” Athleta went through challenging times in the early 2000s and sold the company to Gap. Since then, the Athleta range has grown more popular. 


Athleta vs Lululemon

Lululemon was initially founded in 1998 in Vancouver by an eccentric character known as Chip Wilson. The lululemon team has dedicated years to designing and manufacturing yoga lines for high-end athletes around the world.

The company’s name was created as a bit of a tongue twister after Wilson discovered that the Japanese struggled to sound Ls. Wilson thought the brand’s name would be memorable and be on everyone’s tongue. The first products were tested on yoga instructors and became a big hit. 


Lululemon vs. Athleta: Price

Lululemon is more exclusive than Athleta

A quick look on the high street or the company’s online shops will reveal that Lululemon is the k of the two brands. A pair of legging from Lululemons will set you back up to a staggering $158, while at Athleta’s you can expect to pay up to $98 a pair. 

Athleta has regular sales and events throughout the year. It’s easier to get a discount at Athleta than it is at Lululemon, so you may find that you can pick up some legging for a lot less than the full price. 


Lululemon vs Athleta: Yoga Community

The lululemon brand aims to create a haven where fitness and yoga enthusiasts can come together and find support. The original Lululemon yoga store in Vancouver encouraged customers to get together and do yoga. Many Lululemon stores around the world still offer free lunchtime yoga sessions to help customers relax and unwind. 

While Lululemon has a genuine interest in helping customers to develop their yoga practice in order to improve their body mind and spirit, Athleta offers no such perks. The company seems more interested in making money than in how active customers become. 


Lululemon vs. Athleta: Sizing

Lululemon seems to be geared towards the fit, active type. Their sizing goes from 0 through to 14, with no additional sizes available for extra tall people or plus-sized individuals. Their range is aimed at women who love yoga. 

Athleta, on the other hand, offers a larger selection of sizes from plus sizes to petites and talls. The company is definitely more size-inclusive. They not only offer women’s sportswear but also have a selection for men and children. 


Lululemon vs Athleta: Production

If you’re searching for an environmentally friendly brand that sells American made products, you may be disappointed by these two brands. Neither Athleta nor Lululemons materials or clothing are manufactured in America. 

Lululemons clothing is mass-produced in Southeast Asia and China. Although this may seem unethical and like they are trying to cut corners when it comes to production costs, the company does care about their employee’s wellbeing. Lululemon provides work to local people, and their labor conditions are better than many other brands in the fashion industry. 

As Gap is Athleta’s parent company, they don’t have a very good reputation for providing ethical or sustainable clothing. 

You may also be interested in reading How Ethical is Lululemon


Lululemon vs Athleta: Material

Athleta/Lululemon material comparision

Lululemon is considered a lifestyle brand that has many loyal followers. Many customers return to Lululemon again and again as they love the excellent quality fabrics. Lululemon uses materials that look and feel great. They use high-quality materials that are durable, long-lasting, and suited for high performance.

Athleta uses good quality fabrics as well, but Lululemon seems to be winning hands down when it comes to materials. Both companies use bamboo and cotton blends, which are excellent as they are long-lasting, moisture-absorbant, and breathable. Lululemon has created a signature fabric called Luon, which gives consumers a comfortable material. 

You may also be interested in our guide to Yoga Pants vs Leggings and Tights if you are looking to see what the differences are between these types of athletic wear.  If you are looking for the best shoes for yoga we have an excellent writeup for men and women’s shoes.



Both Athleta and Lululemon offer good quality clothing for those that want to practice yoga. Their designs are stunning, and their clothing is made from good quality materials. It often comes down to personal preferences as to which one you choose.


Abi Latham is a freelance writer who loves writing about pretty much anything.  She’s also written a few books.  If you have extra time, check one out, they’re really good.