The Best Jeans for Women of 2024, Worn and Washed by Us

levis-501-original-fit-womens-jeans
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Levi’s


Invented in 1873, the Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans are perhaps the most popular denim style ever — and with good reason. The 501s offer a classic shape, durable denim fabric, and a flattering fit on most shapes thanks to their high rise and relaxed yet tailored fit through the leg. Since they’re constructed from 100 percent cotton, there isn’t any stretch, but they’ll mold to your shape over time.

“These are much more comfortable than other vintage-looking jeans I’ve tried,” one tester said. “They hug the thighs and hips in a comfortable way, and the 30-inch inseam hits the ground exactly where I like it.” Helpfully, these 501s are available in four inseam lengths to accommodate most heights.

One tester (5 feet 6 inches, size 26) noted a slight gap at the waist with her pair, but she says this is typically an issue for her with jeans. Another prefers zipper flies and thought the 501’s button fly made her crotch area look rippled. However, our other two testers didn’t note this as a problem.

Size Range: 24–34 | Material: 100% cotton | Inseam: 26, 28, 30, 32 inches | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, normal cycle, wash inside out; tumble dry medium

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Levi’s Wedgie Straight Fit Women's Jeans
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Amazon


Star Qualities

  • Slight stretch

  • Flattering back pockets

With “wedgie” in the name, you may expect these to be uncomfortable — but that’s not at all what we felt. Sure, they felt a bit tight at first, but after a few hours, they ended up fitting perfectly. They act almost like shapewear, accentuating our curves and creating a “butt-lifting” effect. One tester even proclaimed: “They make my butt look great, to be honest.”

We found this pair to be a bit more fitting compared to the 100 percent cotton Levi’s 501s, resulting in more of a bootleg style on thicker thighs rather than a proper “straight” fit. That’s because they’re made with 1 percent elastane to offer stretch. 

The denim material of these felt high-quality, super durable, and quite thick — almost like workwear. “I’d say these are definitely some of my favorite jeans I’ve tried in the last couple years,” our size 34 tester said. She also noted how fair the price seemed, especially for the quality.

Size Range: 23–34 | Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Inseam: 26-30 | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold normal cycle, wash inside out with like colors; tumble dry medium

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Pistola Cassie Super High Rise Straight
PHOTO:

Pistola


As far as everyday jeans go, our tester loved this comfy, lived-in pair from Pistola, reaching for them over other denim she owned. Its mildly stretchy fabric makes sitting at the office and running errands a surprisingly comfortable experience, and its flattering silhouette accentuates the waist.

The straight-leg jeans’ inseam ends right at the ankle, giving you a chance to show off your shoes. Its faded blue wash is a classic shade, with purposeful whiskering and fading throughout the legs. Our tester felt supported in these jeans but still had room to move thanks to their cotton-blend fabric. We really didn’t have much to complain about with this pair.  

Size Range: 24–33 | Material: 77% cotton, 22% tencel, 1% spandex | Inseam: 31 inches | Care Instructions: Wash cold

People / Madison Yauger



Star Qualities

  • Supportive, sculpting, and comfortable

  • Kept its shape after washing

  • Flattering straight-leg silhouette

It’s rare to find a pair of jeans that hits the mark for women of different ages and sizes, but that’s exactly what the Everlane Way-High Jeans do. Ranging from sizes 2 to 32, our testers thought these straight-leg jeans were equal parts durable, comfortable, and flattering.

They appreciated the roomy and relaxed fit and thought the high-rise waist felt supportive. There’s a little tightness in the waist when sitting down, but it’s not worth sizing up over unless you want a relaxed, lower-slung look. And the fabric’s quite comfortable despite its slight stiffness, which signals its durability

This may be more of a cool-weather pant versus a summer jean because of its thicker cotton fabric. But in the right climate, they’re dependable go-tos.

Size Range: 23–35 | Material: Cotton, elastane | Inseam: 25.5, 29.5 inches | Care Instructions: Machine wash inside out on cold; tumble dry on low

People/Alyssa Brascia


Everlane The Way-High Curve Jean
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Everlane


Star Qualities

  • Statement-making silhouette

  • Soft and stretchy material

  • Didn’t gap at the waist

The controversial barrel jean is taking over the fashion scene in 2024, and we’re leaning in with these Everlane jeans. The high-waisted silhouette certainly makes a statement, fitting loosely from the thigh to the knee and tapering towards the ankle. The hemline is slightly cropped, which our tester particularly loved on rainy days. 

These jeans are comfortable for either running errands or sitting at the office thanks to their stretchy, soft fabric. It was easy to get the perfect fit because the size guide was accurate, and while the waistline is quite high, our tester didn’t feel like it was an awkward fit — in fact, in a rare occurrence for her, there was no gapping in the waist.

Its five denim shades, from classic blue to cocoa brown, make us want a pair in every color.

Size Range: 23–33 | Material: 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane | Inseam: 27, 29 inches | Care Instructions: Machine wash, tumble dry low

People / Alyssa Brascia


Spanx Flare Jeans
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Spanx


Star Qualities

  • Super comfortable and stretchy

  • Thick, supportive waistband

  • High rise and compressive fabric elongated and sculpted our legs

Straight from one of our tester’s mouths: “These jeans fit like a glove.” They loved the comfort and support that these durable jeans from celeb-loved Spanx supplied (even if they felt a little tight at times), and they felt that the smooth, ultra-stretchy style helped elongate their legs. One tester said she could even do yoga in them!

We were a bit disappointed to find out that the front pockets aren’t real (only the back two pockets are functional). And Spanx jeans are known for running long, so keep that in mind when adding to your cart. 

The pull-on Flare Jean is available in a light wash, vintage wash, black, and white. If a flare jean isn’t your style, the brand offers other jean styles, too. Our testers were divided over the price, but consider that you’re getting shapewear and denim packaged into one pair of pants.

Size Range: XS–3X | Material: 91% cotton, 7% polyester, 2% Lycra elastane; 70% polyester, 30% cotton lining | Inseam: 32 (petite), 34 (regular), 37 inches (tall) | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, gentle cycle inside out with like colors; tumble dry low

People / Ashley Johnson


Abercrombie & Fitch Ultra High Rise 90s Straight Jean
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Abercrombie & Fitch


All three of our testers (ages 23 to 48, sizes 4 to 16) commented on the comfort and incredible fit of these buzzy Abercrombie jeans. The Ultra High Rise ‘90s are lightweight yet noticeably well-crafted, hitting a happy medium in terms of structure, softness, and overall fit. Best of all, they didn’t limit mobility.

They come in five different lengths, from extra short for those 5 feet tall and under to extra long for anyone 5 feet 11 inches and taller. Two testers noted a waist gap, but fortunately, the same jean style comes in a Curve Love version that offers an additional 2 inches of room in the hips and thighs and can help solve this problem. 

Size Range: 23–37 | Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Inseam: 26.5 inches (extra short), 28.5 inches (short), 30.5 inches (regular), 32.5 inches (long), extra long | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

People / Dhara Patel


Abercrombie & Fitch Curve Love Ultra 90s High Rise Straight Jeans
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Abercrombie & Fitch


Star Qualities

  • Flattering on the waist and hips

  • Structured, but still comfortable

  • No gapping at the waist

If you’re in search of jeans with a classic denim feel paired with support and comfort, look no further. This is a pair of straight jeans designed for curvy bodies: They are high-waisted and conform to your body in the most flattering way. You’ll have complete mobility in these jeans and they won’t feel like leggings at all. Because they don’t gap at the waist, they are easy to wear out whether you’re sitting, climbing, or walking. We appreciated that they were thick and durable with well-stitched seams.

All three testers for this pair, ages 18 to 44, emphasized the remarkable support these jeans offer. Their unique fit sets them apart, providing more room around the hips compared to Abercrombie’s standard sizes. This fit is particularly adored by those with hourglass figures — one of our testers even raved about it. However, we wish that the jeans offered more length for their plus sizes and that the fabric held its shape, as it tended to stretch by the second wear).

Size Range: 23–37 | Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Inseam: 26.5 (extra short), 28.5 (short), 30.5 (regular), 32.5 inches (long) | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold with like colors, tumble dry low

People / Ashley Johnson



The Kick Out Crop Jeans were a favorite among three testers on our team for their high quality. Aged 24 to 31 and ranging between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall, our testers appreciated the overall design of this pair, especially the curvy fit and how the hip area is spacious without creating gaps at the waist. (Though one tester did think her sizing ran a touch loose in the waist).

The jeans are really comfortable, have a stretchy waistband and a supportive fit, and are pretty much true to size — plus, they don’t slide down when you sit or stand. That said, the silhouette is cropped at the ankle and the jeans sit right at your hips, so if you prefer full-length or high-waisted jeans, you might have to get used to these differences. 

Testers also liked the design details, such as light fraying at the bottom hem and the slight flare. There’s also a copper button, but the denim was a bit stiff around it until a few wears in — then it became easier to fasten. They held up after washing too, with only minor wear (the frayed edges became more pronounced, which the testers actually liked) and no color fading.

Size Range: 23–33 (petite, plus, standard, tall) | Material: 99% cotton, 1% spandex | Inseam: 27 inches | Care Instructions: Machine wash

People / Cai Cramer


Lee Legendary Boyfriend Jean in White Frost
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Lee


If you’re looking for affordable jeans in a wide range of sizes, then the Legendary Boyfriend jeans from Lee are your best bet. Three testers, with sizing varying from a 2 to 20 plus, had nothing but good news to share about the comfort and wearability of this pair. From their sturdy yet super soft cotton fabric to their shaping fit (not to mention how well they held up in the wash), these jeans are in it for the long haul. 

Testers did, however, have different opinions of the style: One wasn’t crazy about the fit and wished they were a little more relaxed in the thigh, but the others thought they fit perfectly all around. But what they could agree on is that this classic pair was a fantastic price for the quality you get.

Size Range: 0–18, 14–30 plus | Material: 70% cotton, 29% polyester, 1% spandex | Inseam: 30 inches | Care Instructions: Machine wash inside out on cold, tumble dry on low or line-dry

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Shopbop AGOLDE 90’s Pinch Waist High Rise Straight Jean
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Shopbop


Star Qualities

  • Thick denim feels high-quality

  • Perfect length on our 5’6” testers

  • Cinches the waist and sucks you in

The Agolde Pinch Waist jeans are beloved by fashion influencers and everyday women alike. They’re made of a sturdier, more rugged denim material that holds up wash after wash. You won’t experience any stretch here, so if this is important to you, you may not feel as comfortable in these jeans. 

Our testers found that the thickness of the denim helped create a flattering stomach-flattening, waist-cinching effect. One of our testers was actually five months pregnant at the time of testing and found that sizing up one size achieved the perfect fit; however, another tester said that although she called in her usual size, the jeans felt a bit too tight and were hard to maneuver in, and a third had difficulty putting them on in size 34, her usual size. You may need to order a few sizes to find your perfect fit.

Size Range: 24–34 | Material: 100% organic cotton | Inseam: 29.5 inches | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold inside out with like colors, tumble dry low

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Good American Good Classic Slim Straight Jeans
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Good American


The Good American Good Classic jeans are high-rise jeans designed with a slim fit, created to hug the body and shape the booty while straying secure and providing support, particularly around the midsection. The thighs have some flexibility, which our testers, aged between 25 to 64 years old, noted makes them more comfortable than most other jeans they’ve tried. The jeans allow for easy movement and have a built-in stretch.

Pricier than the jeans our testers typically purchase, these are thick and soft to the touch. They have reinforced belt loops, a waistband that prevents gaps, and five pockets, combining functionality with style.

The jeans look as good as new after being washed, with no strings or fraying at the edges. Our testers unanimously confirmed that these jeans are true to size, and with a wide range of size options available, finding the perfect fit is easy.

Size Range: 00–14, 15–30 plus | Material: 68% cotton, 26% recycled cotton, 4% polyester, 2% elastane | Inseam: 28 inches | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold inside out, dry flat or hang dry

People / Alyssa Brascia


Good American Good Legs Skinny Jeans
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Nordstrom


Star Qualities

  • Durable and soft, even after washing

  • Stretchy but holds its shape

  • Wide size range

Good American’s skinny jeans have a material that is surprisingly soft for denim, yet has a high-quality density. Our testers appreciated that the jeans were snug and supportive but never felt tight or slipped down. 

Our taller testers (who were 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall) thought the jeans could have been an inch or two longer, while our petite testers (5 feet 1 inch and 5 feet 3 inches tall) were pleased that they didn’t need to hem them. The silhouette is slightly tailored, but most skinny jeans do cap at the ankle so if you’re used to wide-leg jeans, these may feel a touch short (we suggest pairing with heels or platform sneakers). 

The denim has a lot of stretch, so if you’re in between sizes, there’s flexibility; our testers all had success with their normal sizes. The jeans looked brand new after laundry day, and any stiffness quickly softened within a few hours of use.

Size Range: 00–30 | Material: Organic cotton, elastane | Inseam: 29 inches | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold inside out, dry flat or hang dry

People / Joelle Hernandez


Wrangler Westward High Rise Bootcut Jean
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Wrangler


Wrangler is another iconic American denim brand, so we had to put one pair to the test. Made from 100 percent cotton, these bootcut jeans offer durability and zero stretch, which some may prefer and some may not.

Our testers, ranging from 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 8 inches, found these jeans to be a bit too high-rise for their liking, and two noted that they ran small. (We recommend ordering a few sizes to find the right fit.) Each tester tried the 30-inch inseam, and while the shortest tester said they were much too long, the other two said the length was perfect. 

But they all agreed on their favorite thing about these jeans: The fabric is really nice. It’s soft to the touch and feels really thick but not stiff. They also loved the jeans’ bootcut flare, high-quality stitching, and beautiful wash. 

Size range: 24–35 | Material: 100% cotton | Inseam: 30, 32, 34 inches | Care Instructions: Not listed

People/erika reals


Old Navy Mid-Rise Wow Boot-Cut Jeans
PHOTO:

Old Navy


Despite having a penchant for high-waisted jeans, our three testers generally found favor with this budget-friendly, mid-rise pair from Old Navy. Ranging in age from 23 to 62 and heights from 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 5 inches, each tester ordered their normal size and was happy with the overall fit. The back pockets were too small to fit a standard size iPhone, but the jeans were easy to move around in and had lots of give.

Everyone loved the soft feel of the material and stretchy waistband (even though it sat below the stomach, which made some feel unsupported in contrast to their usual styles). The denim has a medium thickness and showed no signs of distress post-wash. 

Because of their simple, classic appearance, these jeans can work into nearly any outfit. Plus, you can frequently find them on sale.

Size Range: Regular (0–30), Petite (2–18), Tall (4–18) | Material: Cotton, polyester, recycled cotton, spandex | Inseam: 30 (short), 32 (regular), 36 inches (long) | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, inside out with like colors; tumble dry low

People / Dhara Patel


Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Rockstar 360° Stretch Super-Skinny
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Old Navy


Star Qualities

  • Feels like leggings

  • Modern details, like a lightly frayed hem and ankle slit

  • One of the least expensive jeans we tried

[Editor’s note: The pair we originally tested is discontinued, but this style is nearly identical, save for the ankle slit.]

The best skinny jeans are the ones that we feel comfortable in all day long — and these pants from Old Navy gave us the soft, hugging fit that we’re after. They fit snugly across the hips and thighs in a way that feels supportive, not uncomfortable, and the denim feels soft and stretchy, almost like a pair of workout leggings. 

The inexpensive jeans are outfitted with a few thoughtful details that make them look and feel much richer. The seams are well-stitched, with a slight V-shaped line above the back pockets that creates a flattering lift illusion, and the modern hem is raw and slightly frayed. 

Our only complaint was that these jeans stretched out a little throughout the day, albeit not enough that they no longer fit right.

Size range: 00–30 | Material: Cotton, polyester, spandex | Inseam: 29 (petite), 27 (petite), 33 inches (tall) | Care Instructions: Machine wash cold; tumble dry low

People / Lee Hubilla


Gap High Rise Stride Jeans with Washwell
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Gap


Wide-leg jeans, a repeat style on Katie Holmes, Jennifer Lopez, and so many more celebs recently, are beloved for their relaxed nature and flattering design. So we were excited to take Gap’s popular High Rise Stride jeans out for a test run.

All three testers, who respectively wear sizes 4, 10, and 16, appreciated how comfortable and unrestrictive these jeans were. While they did stretch out after several hours (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we might add), they returned to their original shape after washing them.

Because they run long, we think they’re a good dressy jean to wear to the office paired with comfortable heels.

Size Range: 24–35 | Material: 99% cotton, 1% elastane | Inseam: 29 (petite), 30 (short), regular (32), long (32.5), 34 inches (tall) | Care Instructions: Machine wash

People/Ayana Lage



What sets these Gap jeans apart from the other denim we tried is how comfortable they felt. Even when sitting at a desk for an eight-hour work day, the Baby Boot jeans didn’t dig into our sides or give us a wedgie — huge wins.

They’re made from thick, soft denim with just the right amount of stretch to let us move freely. Plus, they didn’t stretch out throughout the day, which meant they looked as flattering at 8 p.m. as they did at 8 a.m. 

The mid-rise silhouette hugged our figures at our true waists, which is a nice compromise for those who aren’t into the low-rise trend. The only problem is that they run slightly small, so read the measurement guide carefully. 

Size Range: 24–35 | Material: 2% elastane, 13% recycled cotton, 81% cotton, 4% elasterrell | Inseam: 31.5 (regular), 35.5 (tall), 29 inches (petite) | Care Instructions: Machine wash

People / Cai Cramer


Things to Consider When Buying Jeans 

Material Makeup

How stiff or stretchy you want your jeans is completely up to you. Some people prefer jeans that they can easily move in and are flexible (think the Spanx Flare Jeans), while others only wear stiff jeans made from 100 percent cotton (like the Agolde ’90s Pinch Waist Jeans). They do not stretch, but they can mold to your shape and become more relaxed over time.

Jeans that are made from 100 percent cotton tend to be more long-lasting and durable than those with stretchier materials in the construction such as elastane, elasterell, and spandex. Polyester is found in some of these stretchy blends as well because it aids in stretch recovery.

Keep the Measuring Tape Taught

Conroy emphasizes the importance of taking your measurements before buying a pair of jeans. She advises to measure your natural waist and hips, as well as your navel and 2 inches below, which helps in determining where each type of jean will hit, whether it be a high-rise, mid-rise, or low-rise pair. She also recommends measuring your inseam length, which determines how long the jeans will fit on you.

“Do that while only wearing your undergarments so there’s no extra material inflating your numbers,” Conroy tells PEOPLE. “As you measure, pretty please make sure the tape is taught, but not tight; it should have a little give. Otherwise, you’ll under-measure and when you slip into a pair of jeans, they’ll be too tight and uncomfortable.”

Type of Fly

Among many features present in modern jean styles, one of the most important (and dividing) is the type of fly. The button fly was introduced in 1873 when it appeared on the first pair of Levi’s 501s, where it still lives today, as well as across plenty of other denim brands and styles. However, it’s not everyone’s favorite. Most modern jeans are designed with a zipper fly, which can be a bit easier to open and close and provides a smoother appearance around the crotch area.

Most brands will list in the specs what kind of fly the jeans are designed with on the product page.

People


How We Tested 

In order to fairly determine the best jeans for women on the market today, we wore best-selling pairs from some of the most popular denim brands out there for a few weeks (think Levi’s, Good American, Lee, and more). 

Our group of female-identifying editors, colleagues, family members, and more included a variety of sizes, heights, and ages — ranging from 23- to 64-year-olds, from 5 feet 1 inch tall to 6 feet, and from sizes 2 to 22. We put each pair to the test against several different body types in order to see which ones were the most size-inclusive, durable, comfortable, and more importantly, actually flattering.

Over the span of several weeks, tested each pair of jeans against the following attributes.

  • Material Quality: Upon receiving our jeans, we took them out of the packaging and snapped pictures, taking stock of any loose threads or imperfections, as well as noting if the seams were double-stitched or belt loops reinforced. We evaluated the denim based on softness and the color quality.
  • Fit: We tried on each pair of jeans, assessing how they felt while doing all of the acrobatics that you would in the dressing room (yes, we squatted, sat down, walked around, and pretended we were in a photoshoot). Once we jotted down initial thoughts, we went about our days as usual. Errands, the office, dinner — we wore them everywhere.
  • Comfort: After the day was done, we wrote down how we felt while sporting our new denim. We documented the smallest things: if they had hardware that dug into our skin, waistbands that pinched when we sat down, and fabric that felt uncomfortable (or amazing) throughout the day.
  • Durability: We made sure to get at least one wash in there (remember, you don’t have to wash your denim nearly as much as your regular clothes) and observed how they held up when following care instructions. Fraying hems, discoloration, and other impurities were noted after they had fully dried. (Luckily, we didn’t experience too much of this.)
  • Overall Value: Once our testing period was complete, we compared each pair to one another depending on our testers’ feedback. We decided whether or not we think the jeans’ price matched their quality and value, if we would recommend them to friends and family, and if we would buy them again ourselves, either at full price or on sale.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which jeans are the best?

    We loved something about every style of jeans we tested, from the durability of Levi’s 501s to the gap-free waists of Good American, so it really depends what you’re looking for. If you’re in the market for a trusty pair of jeans that will see you through the years to come, we recommend Levi’s, Agolde, and Wrangler for their long-lasting denim that just gets better with age. If you’re wanting to buy into some trends at a lower price point while still getting jeans that are made well, we recommend Old Navy and Gap.

  • How can you tell if jeans are good quality?

    The first place to look to tell if jeans are high quality is the stitching. You’ll want to make sure the jeans are durable enough for everyday wear, so pay close attention to this, noting if there are any loose threads or snags. If the jeans have been cross-stitched or double stitched (or have reinforced belt loops like the Good American Good Classic Slim Straight), that’s one sign that points to a quality pair of jeans. You can also tell how well-made they are just by looking and feeling the denim and how the zipper is made.

Why Trust PEOPLE? 

This denim guide was compiled collectively by current and former PEOPLE shopping team members, including Lindsey Metrus, Erin Johnson, Erika Reals, Dhara Patel, Madison Yauger, Alyssa Brascia, and Cai Cramer. Each tried on several pairs for this denim test and contributed their unique insights. Reals also interviewed celebrity stylist Cindy Conroy to get her advice on jeans shopping, as well as her tips and tricks on finding the perfect pair.

Meet Our Expert

Cindy Conroy is a fashion expert, celebrity stylist, keynote speaker, and on-air commentator who’s appeared on E News! and CTV’s The Social and has been featured in Forbes, WWD, New York Magazine, InStyle, and more.

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.


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