Sweatpants are made from a variety of different materials but are most commonly made from cotton fleece or a cotton polyester blend.

Cotton sweatpants are breathable, soft, and moisture wicking. In the wintertime you most likely want to find a thick pair of 100% cotton fleece sweatpants to keep you warm on those extra cold days.

When you mix cotton and polyester together you get sweatpants that are not only soft and warm, but also tough and durable. Polyester is resistant to wrinkles as well as shrinkage which will make caring for your sweatpants much easier. 

Learn more about can you shrink polyester, with us.

Our article also has information on how to style sweatpants, how to wash sweatpants, and how to shrink sweatpants.=

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What are sweatpants made of

What Are Sweatpants Made Out Of?

Sweatpants are most commonly made from a blend of cotton and polyester, however a high percentage of sweatpants are also made from 100% cotton. There are also plenty of spandex sweatpants on the market, as spandex sweatpants are ideal for activities like working out and yoga.

Find more information on these types of sweatpants below. 

1. Cotton Sweatpants

Sweatpants made from cotton are breathable, strong, and hypoallergenic. Cotton is a natural fiber that wicks moisture from the skin so that you can feel comfortable throughout the day.

Sweatpants are often made with cotton fleece for warmth and thickness, which are ideal for wearing throughout the winter.

Cotton is a fabric that is prone to shrinkage and must be washed in cold water and dried on tumble dry low. Hot water shrinks cotton sweatpants, it’s a fact.

Learn how to prevent sweatpants from shrinking. 

2. Cotton Polyester Blend Sweatpants

The most popular type of sweatpants are those made from a cotton polyester blend. It is common to see sweatpants made from a 60/40 polyester cotton mix but you also see sweatpants with an 80/20 mix in favor of cotton.

Learn how to stop 60% cotton sweatpants from shrinking.

Sweatpants made from a cotton polyester blend will shrink less than 100% cotton sweatpants, however they still should be washed in cold water to avoid shrinkage. Although polyester is made to be resistant to shrinkage, cotton is a natural fiber that will shrink if washed in hot water.

You may also want to avoid putting your sweatpants in the dryer on high heat levels since polyester is non-resistant to heat.

3. Polyester Sweatpants

Polyester is a man made synthetic fiber that makes for tough, durable, wrinkle and shrink proof sweatpants. 

Polyester is lightweight and has the feel of cotton to it. Polyester is a tough fabric that is meant to stand up to wear and tear which makes polyester sweatpants the perfect fit for playing sports in.

In addition to sweatpants you will find that track pants, soccer pants, and athletic joggers are also often made from polyester.

4. Spandex Sweatpants

Adding spandex to sweatpants gives you more flexibility and range of motion. Spandex is known for its stretch which makes spandex sweatpants ideal for activities like working out and yoga. 

Most spandex sweatpants are actually a mix of polyester and spandex, and often spandex is less than 50% of the material. 

How To Style Sweatpants

It seems that most of us have started to wear sweatpants a little more frequently in the past couple of years.

How you style your sweatpants largely depends on the type of sweatpants you are wearing. Baggy sweatpants might be paired with a baggy sweater, while your thick cotton fleece sweatpants might be worn with winter boots and a hoodie. 

To learn more about styling, read our article how to style sweatpants.

How To Wash Sweatpants

How to wash sweatpants depends on which material your sweatpants are made from, so before you start washing your sweatpants be sure to first check the care label. 

Cotton sweatpants should be washed in cold water and dried on air dry , tumble dry no heat, or tumble dry low to avoid shrinkage. Learn more about ways to dry your sweatpants without a dryer like dry flat & line dry.

Polyester sweatpants may be washed in cool to lukewarm water and should be dried on no higher than tumble dry medium.

If you do not feel confident washing your sweatpants without ruining them, then take them to a professional. Dry cleaners clean clothes for a living, and you can see how long they take and what the cost is with us.

For full step-by-step instructions on how to wash sweatpants please read our article: How to Wash Sweatpants: Clean and Soft. 

Also read this if you keep ending up with a smaller size of sweatpants every time you get a new pair: How to Wash Sweatpants Without Shrinking

How To Shrink Sweatpants

In order to shrink your sweatpants you will need to use the high heat settings in both your washing machine as well as your dryer.

To shrink sweatpants in the washing machine you first want to turn your sweatpants inside out, and then put them in the washing machine on the hot water setting. 

After the wash cycle has finished take your sweatpants out of the washing machine and place them in the dryer. Adjust the settings on the dryer to tumble dry high and wait for the cycle to finish.

To learn more please read our article how to shrink sweatpants. If your a simple guy like me and the options the better, then read how to shrink sweatpants in the dryer.


Sweatpants are most commonly made from a cotton polyester blend, however sweatpants are also made with 100% cotton as well as spandex.

Joggers are most commonly made from either 100% cotton or a cotton polyester blend. Some joggers may also contain spandex or viscose.

The best sweatpants are made from 100% cotton fleece. Cotton fleece is soft, warm, and moisture wicking.