Best Compression Shorts for Women

Best compression Shorts Women comparison

When it comes to athletic performance, weight loss and generally getting in the shape of our lives, we often focus on what goes into our body - and rightly so. But what about what we put ON our body? Fortunately the garment manufacturers are on top of it - and the compression sports garment market is flourishing. In this article we focus specifically on compression shorts for women.

We’ll compare and review the top 5 pairs of compression shorts for women. In addition, we will discover why you should bother with compression shorts in the first place.

Find what you should look for when looking to buy compression shorts and examine the different types of compression shorts for women that are available.

Top 5 Compression Shorts for Women

Copper Compression Womens Shorts

Copper Compression women’s shorts provide you with double the effect of most other compression garments by combining compression with copper infusion. This garment includes 88% copper nylon, making it easily the highest copper content of any compression shorts currently on the market. The combination of copper and compression will rapidly increase your blood circulation. The benefit of this is that it will quickly remove waste products from the working muscle while quickly bringing in oxygen and nutrients to replenish the exhausted muscle.

Copper compression women’s shorts support stiff and sore muscles and joints. The form fitting fabric is extremely comfortable. It provides the tight support you need to be as efficient as possible in and out of the gym while not restricting your natural range of movement. The high quality fabric will withstand washing and will not lose its function over time, as is the case with many lesser competitors - nor will they shrink. These compression shorts feature a high waist band which will not roll or slide down. 


  • 88% copper nylon
  • Support stiff and sore muscles
  • High waist band
  • Machine washable


  • Sizing is not accurate
Compression Short

The Nike Women’s 3 Inch compression short is a base layer garment for gym training or sports play. It features a polyester blend, making it ideal for extended outdoor wear. It features a close to the body fit and a 3 inch inseam. The Dri Fit fabric is extremely comfortable against the skin. This makes it a good choice for people who are prone to skin irritation. This garment does a great job of wicking away sweat from the surface of the skin to the outer edges of the fabric where it can be evaporated.

The body skimming fit of the Nike Women’s 3 inch compression short makes it the ideal base layer garment to unobtrusively provide you with the competitive edge that you need to perform at your best. A triangular gusset allows for a full range of motion to excel your performance even further while that flat elastic waistband provides a firm fit that will stay in place. These compression shorts are ultra comfortable - and they look great besides!


  • Polyester blend - great for outdoor training
  • Sweat and moisture wicking
  • Triangular gusset
  • Very comfortable


  • Sizing is inaccurate
Best Compression Shorts

FITTIN Women’s Active Compression shorts are a 90 percent polyester / 10 percent spandex blend of performance fabric. This combination makes them great for outdoor training while also providing the flexibility you need for such activities as yoga and CrossFit. This garment has been engineered with functional fabric, making them versatile, breathable and lightweight. They have been infused with moisture wicking technology to prevent sweat build up and resulting chafing. A quick dry treatment has also been applied to these compression shorts to keep them comfortable and dry as you train. The overall result is that these compression shorts fit like a soft second skin. If you want the best compression fit on these, you are advised to order one size down.

This is one of the few pairs of compression shirts to feature a pocket, which is located on the right side of the garment. This is ideal for carrying your phone. However, it does not have a pocket on the left side. The FITTIN Women’s Active compression shorts come in at a great price point and has a high level of functionality and durability.


  • 90% polyester / 10% spandex
  • Very breathable and lightweight
  • Moisture wicking
  • Right side pocket


  • No left side pocket
Women’s 3 Inch Compression Shorts

Tough Mode Women’s 3 inch compression shorts are a short pair of shorts that are designed to be worn as a base layer garment. They are made from a functional active fabric blend that provide compression and comfort without restricting range of movement. The comfortable matt finish feels great on the skin and will not cause any irritation to the skin. Moisture wicking technology has been applied to effectively move sweat away from the body’s surface.However, these short shorts do not come low enough to have any effect in terms of preventing inner thigh chafing while exercising.

There is no see through aspect to the Tough Mode Women’s 3 Inch Compression shorts. That gives you the freedom to wear it as either a base garment or an outer garment. These short are made from two different cutting patterns and material. The pattern shorts are compressed polyester, making them great for outdoor use, while the solid color shorts are compressed nylon, which are best for activities such as yoga or CrossFit.


  • Polyester and nylon options
  • Feels great on the skin
  • Moisture wicking


  • Not low enough to prevent thigh chafing
3 Inch Compression Shorts

The IAB Women’s Compression short, otherwise known as the IAB Booty Short, is a completely new and redesigned take on an older model of this product. It provides you with extreme functionality and protection during your training in minimalist design that looks great. The IAB Booty 2.0 comes with a 3 inch inseam to provide the best protection and length, while keeping your body tight and on form. The patented Keiyro fabric technology used here provides a maximum level of moisture wicking in a very breathable fabric. It also provides 4-way stretch to allow for complete 360-degree range of movement.

The body slimming properties of the IAB Women’s 3 Inch Compression shorts offers a light level of compression that allows you to move freely during your workout. These shorts are not see through, giving you the option of wearing them as outer or inner wear.


  • 3 inch seam
  • Keiyro fabric
  • 4-way stretch
  • Inner or outer wear option


  • Compression may be too slight for some wearers

Type of Women Compression Shorts

  • Three-inch compression workout shorts
  • Seven-inch compression workout shorts
  • Crossfit Compression Shorts
  • Plus Size Compression Shorts
  • Compression Shorts for Running
  • Padded Compression Shorts

What to look for in a Women’s Compression Short?


There are a large number of benefits to wearing compression shorts as detailed in the next section. However, none of them equate to much if the shorts are so tight that you feel overly constricted.That’s why your first consideration when looking for a new pair of compression shorts need to be the tightness of the fit. You need to find that sweet spot between optimum performance compression and uncomfortable restriction. The easiest way to find it is obviously to try a pair on. But you can only do that if you are in a bricks and mortar store. When you are shopping online you need to be guided by customer reviews and the compression guide listing. 

Compression Shorts Tightness

A pair of compression shorts that has a listed compression of more than 20 mmHG is considered a high grade compression garment. Between 10 and 20 mmHG is thought to be medium compression. Many women find that compressions levels above 20 mmHG are too restrictive for them, but others have no problem with them.

If you are really stuck about whether or not to go with a pair that are rated at more than 20 mmHG you can always try a pair on in a bricks and mortar store and then buy online accordingly.

Fabric Type


Compression shorts for women will almost always consist of a blend of two or more fabrics. Each fabric has its own properties. Here are the key things you need to know about the most popular fabrics used in compression shorts.


Polyester is not as thick as some of the other fabrics used, but it is the best choice if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the outdoors. As well as being water resistant, it will provide you with excellent UV ray protection.


nylon compression short fabric

Nylon is second only to neoprene in terms of durability. You will usually find it blended with lycra (spandex) in a 2 to 1 ratio.

This is very smooth fabric that feels great against the skin so is a good choice if you are problem to skin irritation.


Lycra, otherwise known as spandex, is found in most pairs of compression shorts to some degree. Its popularity stems from the fact that it is amazingly flexible without losing any of shape or functionality. As a result, it is mainly responsible for the form hugging fit of compression shorts.


Neoprene is the thickest and most durable of all compression short construction materials. It is also extremely lightweight. On the downside is the least breathable of any of the materials listed here. That is why it is usually paired with another fabric. It is resistant to water and sunlight.

Moisture Wicking

Because of their tightness, compression shorts will get hotter and cause more sweat than conventional training shorts. As a result, it is important that the compression short that you select is able to effectively deal with this issue. It should have moisture wicking technology built in that allows for the quick wicking away of sweat. You should also look for a garment that has been treated with odor protection.

Benefits of Women’s Compression Shorts

Compression clothing is designed to increase blood flow and lymphatic activity to specific parts of the body. In the case of compression shorts these muscle groups are the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Here are some specific benefits of wearing compression shorts during exercise or sports training and game play . . .

Increased Recovery

Compression is well known as an ingredient in post exercise or injury recovery. Scientists understand that when a muscle group is compressed, or tightened, blood flow activity is increased. This results in the faster transportation of blood and nutrients to the muscle group. At the same it will carry away waste products such as lactic acid more quickly from the muscle area. 

fast recovery with compression shorts

A study that was published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research looked at athletes who had a 24 hour gap between two 40 km time trials. Those who wore compression shorts were able to recover faster and performed far better in the second time trial than another group who were given a placebo pair of shorts to wear.

Wearing compression shorts after your workout is also a good idea. The compression will speed up the blood flow of nutrients to get the amino acids that your muscles are crying out for into the cell as quickly as possible.

More Muscle Control

When you wear compression shorts, the muscles in your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings are more tightly controlled. This allows you to perform such exercises as squats and lunges with better form and greater efficiency.

Enhanced Performance

A research project conducted by the Australian government found the following specific exercise related benefits of wearing compression shorts . . .

  • Enhanced blood circulation

  • Reduced blood lactate during peak exercise

  • Increased skin temperature which enhances warm-up

  • Increasing vertical jump height

  • Improving repetitive jump power

  • Reducing muscle oscillation upon ground contact

  • Increasing torque generated about joints, improving performance and reducing the risk of injury,

  • Enhancing recovery following strenuous exercise by aiding in the removal of blood lactate and improving subsequent exercise performance

  • Reducing the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness in the days following strenuous exercise

  • Increasing feelings of positive leg sensations both during and following strenuous exercise.

Research that was conducted by the Australian Institute of Sport revealed that athletes who wore compression garments had a 10.6 second improvement on their time over a 10km run compared to when they ran the distance wearing conventional shorts.

A 2013 meta analysis of more than 30 individual studies found that compression shorts were especially beneficial for improving the vertical leap of an athlete. That is why you see so many professional basketballers and volleyballers wearing compression shorts under their uniforms. The same meta analysis showed that compression clothing was also great for improving an athlete’s performance when moving explosively. 


Compression shorts prevent injury

The compression clothing industry was in its infancy in 2001, when NBA bad boy Alan Iverson scored 51 points in a game while wearing a full length compression sleeve. That performance put compression garments on the map. It turned out that Iverson had bursitis of the elbow and the compression sleeve had done wonders in helping him to play through the injury.

Compression is the perfect way to treat swelling or reduced blood flow. It can help to control muscle cramps and restless leg syndrome as well as helping to alleviate lower body blood clotting and venous issues.

Sun Protection

If you are exercising outdoors, then you need to think about protecting yourself from the Sun’s rays while you are exercising. Compression shorts, especially those made from polyester, offer a high degree of protection from the sun’s z UV rays. Some of the better brands offer sun protection of up to UPF50+.


The best pair of women’s compression shorts on the market are the Copper Compression Women’s Shorts, which are 88 percent copper infused nylon, delivering the benefits of both copper and compression. They also feature a high waistband and have moisture wicking properties.Our second favorite is the Nike Women’ 3 Inch Compression Short, with its polyester blend, triangular gusset and ability to remove sweat and odor. Rounding out our top three is the FITTIN Women’s Active Compression Shorts, which features a polyester, spandex band, has a right side pocket and is also moisture wicking. 

Top 3 Compression Shorts for Women

 Copper Compression Women’s Shorts

Our #1. Recommendation

Copper Compression Women’s Shorts

jim roose

My name is Jim Roose. I'm a former competitive power lifter and gym owner. I've bought millions of dollars of fitness equipment over the last 20 years. This site is my way of giving back to the fitness community that's done so much for me. Every article on here is carefully researched and written by me. Leave a comment if you have any questions.