Finding the perfect bra is easier said than done. For starters, there are so many styles to choose from and it seems nearly impossible to buy one that’ll fit you properly and feel comfortable. On top of that, they can get pricey, so you want to make sure you’re investing in bras that’ll feel good, look good and hold up over time.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests bras of all kinds, from everyday T-shirt bras to strapless styles, sports bras, bralettes, wireless bras and more. We evaluate them in the Lab for things like stretch recovery and how well they hold up to laundering, then we send them out to consumer testers – hundreds of women ranging from small cup sizes to larger busts. Our testers provide feedback on comfort, support, fit, appearance and more.
When shopping, Jene Luciani, best-selling author of The Bra Book, suggests educating yourself as much as possible before you buy so that you understand the lingo when picking out your ideal bra. Tracy Freno, bra fit expert at Bare Necessities, also urges you to focus on what feels good instead of getting caught up on a specific size — especially because fit varies between brands. You can learn more about how to shop for bras and how to measure your bra size at the end of this article, but first, here are the best bras for every size, body type and style preference:
Best Overall Bra
Natori Pure Luxe Custom Coverage Bra
This style earned the top spot in our tests and was rated the most comfortable bra by our panel. On top of that, it proved to be durable because it washed well and kept its shape after we stretched it out in the Lab. In fact, it's the bra our experts have preferred to wear for years, even after trying out dozens of styles on the market.
It's a traditional bra that's ideal for everyday wear thanks to its foam cups, supportive underwire, adjustable straps and hook-eye closure. It has plenty of coverage throughout, yet still remains invisible under most clothing. It also comes in a variety of colors — including neutral shades and vibrant hues — and a wide range of cup sizes.
Tester notes: Users loved the smooth fabric, and also said it fit well, felt supportive, didn’t move around, and was easy to put on and take off. One B-cup tester said, “The inside of the bra is super smooth and feels good on my skin. I could wear it under any thin T-shirt and it didn’t show through.” Similarly, a DD-cup reviewer told us, “It was perfect in every way! It felt invisible, but did its job perfectly.”
Best Value Bra
Hanes Ultimate T-Shirt Bra
Don’t let the price fool you – this bra was one of the top performers in our evaluations and beat out styles over triple its price. It uses a super soft and stretchy fabric that feels like a cozy T-shirt, and it's tagless to avoid any irritation. It also has adjustable straps with a built-in hook so you can convert it to a racerback. And while this style has an underwire for lift and support, it also comes in an wireless version for those that prefer to skip the wires.
It washed well in our laundering tests without any shrinkage. The downside is the sizes are limited and it didn't bounce back to shape as well as others in our stretch recovery tests, meaning it may stretch out over time with wear.
Tester notes: Our panel unanimously said it was comfortable, supportive and stayed in place throughout the day. They also raved that it looked great under clothes. One C-cup tester told us, "This bra is amazing! It is so soft and so comfortable I forgot I was wearing it throughout the day. The straps were very easy to adjust and the bra offers very full coverage."
Best Bra for Online Shopping
ThirdLove 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra
If you struggle to find a good-fitting bra, you need to check out ThirdLove. First you take a quiz to help you pick out the right style and size, then you get free shipping and a generous 60-day return period to make sure you love it. The brand is also unique because it offers a wide range of sizes; this popular style goes up to a band size of 44 and comes in half-cup sizes for anyone that's in between. The website shows you plenty of images on a range of model sizes so you can see how it fits different body types.
The T-shirt bra is intended for everyday wear with its underwire for lift, foam cups to shape and pleated straps to prevent slippage on your shoulders. Plus, it held up well to washing in the Lab, though it didn't fully regain its shape after we stretched it out.
Tester notes: Testers liked how soft and comfortable the materials felt, and those with smaller cup sizes especially liked the fit and shaping benefits without having too much padding. One A-cup tester raved, "I love how soft this bra is, which feels great on the skin! I have never felt a bra material like this before." On top of that, a C-cup tester told us, "This was a great basic bra that felt very comfortable. I could easily wear it with almost any outfit and it didn't dig into any weird places on my body."
Best Bra for Large Busts
Freya Idol Moulded Balcony Bra
Finding a good bra can be especially difficult if you have a larger cup size, but this fashionable yet functional style may end your shopping struggles. It goes up to a size HH (which is the UK equivalent of a US size L) and it performed exceptionally well in our tests. It was durable in our Lab’s evaluations without any issues to report and our panel loved wearing it.
The thoughtful design offers support yet still works with most clothing because the cut isn't too high and the straps aren't too wide. It's adjustable and has an underwire for good separation, plus soft cups for a rounded shape.
Tester notes: Our testers ranged from cup sizes D through G with this style, and they said it was comfortable, fit well, felt supportive and looked great. One D-cup wearer especially loved that “it was functional without looking like a granny bra" and a DD-cup user agreed, saying, "I love the design of the bra — feminine, flirty and cute." Besides appreciating its style, a G-cup tester noted, "I love the support, too."
Best Bra for Small Busts
Pepper Limitless Wirefree Scoop Bra
This brand designs its bras specifically for A, AA and B cup wearers, unlike other bras that may just be scaled down to fit smaller cup sizes. Its wire-free yet still provides lift with its stretchy fabric, and its cups are shallower than traditional bras. Plus, the cups are lightly lined for modest coverage without giving you excess material.
The fabric is also ultra soft with slight compression, which the brand describes as feeling like a hug from your favorite pair of yoga pants. Just note that several users reported the band feeling too snug, so we recommend sizing up. Pepper also makes an underwire bra with a curve that's optimized for smaller busts.
Tester notes: All of our A and AA cup testers appreciated how well the cups fit without any gaping. They also liked how comfortable the fabric felt, how great it looked under clothes and the fact that there wasn't too much padding. One A-cup tester even said, "It gave me cleavage, which many bras don't!"
Best Plus-Size Bra
Playtex Love My Curves T-Shirt Bra
Designed specifically for full figures, this bra is available in larger band sizes and has smoothing fabric that looks great under clothing. The straps are cushioned yet not too thick or wide, and they can convert to a crisscross in the back. It also has an underwire, padded cups and a hook-eye closure like a typical bra, plus modesty petals inside the cups for extra coverage.
Even though it's less expensive than other styles, it was still one of the top performers in our test with high scores across the board. It washed well without any shrinkage or noticeable signs of wear, plus it recovered its shape nicely after being stretched out.
Tester notes: Users raved about how great it looked under clothing, and they gave it a perfect score for staying in place throughout the day. They also liked how it offered good coverage while still being deep enough to wear with low-cut tops. On top of that, they appreciated the appearance of the bra itself, with one highlighting, "I loved that it was supportive and comfortable while still feeling sexy and feminine."
Best Wireless Bra
Olga Easy Does It No Bulge Bra
This bra outperformed dozens of other wireless styles with high ratings in every area of our consumer evaluations. It has a band for support instead of an underwire and provides adjustability through its straps and hook-eye closure in the back. Plus, the fabric is stretchy so it moves with you like second skin, and it has smoothing panels for side support and to eliminate bulge.
Unlike most bras where you shop by the band and cup size, this one is more like clothing sizes and has a guide to follow when you buy. It's designed for band sizes 34 through 46 — which is a wider range than most styles, though it only specifies cup sizes B-DD in its size chart. And while it offers great shaping benefits with some built-in padding, it doesn't separate as well as underwire bras.
Tester notes: Reviewers on our panel unanimously said it fit well, felt comfortable, stayed in place and looked great under clothing. Even though it's wireless, a tester said that it "provided more support than a typical wireless bra," while another highlighted, "the bra gave me great support and lift." They also noted how soft the fabric felt, with some saying they forgot they were even wearing a bra.
Best Unlined Bra
Cuup The Scoop Bra
An unlined bra is for anyone that prefers to avoid padding in the cups, regardless of bra size. This lightweight style has the separation and support of an underwire with soft, opaque fabric in the cup area. It also has a flattering scoop neck design that looks great under most clothing styles.
Another standout feature of this bra is its straps: they lie flat without slipping and are the ideal width to be supportive yet still discreet. Its buttery soft fabric also kept its shape perfectly after we stretched it out in Lab tests, and it washed well with no signs of wear.
Tester notes: It's hard to find a bra that suits a wide range of sizes, but this one fit the bill. An A-cup tester told us, "I am shocked with how comfortable this wired bra was to wear all day long. Nothing poked or prodded my skin and it did not feel tight and compacted." Similarly, a G-cup tester said, "The fabric is smooth and doesn’t get stuck under clothing. I was happy that the straps stayed in place without slipping all day."
Soma Enbliss Bralette
Whether you're working from home or just looking to stay comfortable, a bralette is often less constricting than a traditional bra with its minimal design. This style has no clasps, hooks or hardware of any kind. Instead, it offers full coverage support with smooth fabric and removable padded cups. The band is on the firmer side, but the brand says you can size up if you prefer a looser fit.
Though the coverage may be too visible under certain clothes, it has a V-neck in front to help it stay discreet under low-cut tops. And while it can be hard to find a good match with bralettes, this one comes in a wide range of colors and sizes to fit 32-44 in the band and A-G in the cups.
Tester notes: It was comfortable enough to wear all day at home, but good-looking and supportive enough that it is versatile for everyday use. As one reviewer summarized, "The fabric is very soft. It feels like I'm wearing nothing! It is so very comfortable that I'd wear it all day and all night."
Best Lace Bralette
Aerie Eyelash Lace Padded Plunge Bralette
Lace bralettes are often delicate and only designed for small cup sizes, but this versatile style is pretty and feminine with its intricate lace details yet still offers shape and support from removable padding. On top of that, its plunge neckline can be easily worn under most clothing.
It also has adjustable straps and a hook-eye closure so it goes on like a regular bra, plus a clip in the back so it can convert to a racerback. It's ideal for A-C cups, but is available in variations for larger cup sizes with sturdier straps plus an extra hook in the back. As an added bonus, this bra uses 71% recycled nylon in its blend to help reduce waste.
Tester notes: Reviewers were surprised by how much they loved this bra. As one tester told us, "The feel of the cups are amazing! They're soft, but still provide support." Another summed it up by saying, "It was super comfortable and gorgeous too." While some struggled with fit issues, most gave it high scores for appearance and overall satisfaction.
Best Strapless Bra
Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra
This bra proves you don’t have to sacrifice support to go strapless. In fact, it had higher scores from our testers than other non-strapless styles. It uses silicone strips along the top and bottom that help in stay in place as you move, plus wide side panels with boning for more stability and smoothing benefits.
Besides its stay-in-place powers, it held up in Lab tests without shrinking or stretched out. It comes with removable straps that you can wear like a traditional bra, halter, criss-cross or one shoulder style. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors and a wide range of band and cup sizes to fit many bodies. In fact, this style was especially loved by people with full figures and larger busts.
Tester notes: Our panel unanimously said it stayed in place all day and on top of that, it fit well with no spillage or gaping in the cups and looked great with their outfits. A D-cup tester told us, "I wasn't pulling it up all day like I normally do with strapless bras," while a a plus-size reviewer with a DDD-cup agreed, saying, "It stayed in place and gave great support."
Best Strapless Bra
Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra
While the previous strapless style is suitable for most cup sizes, this one is more minimal and better suited for A and B cups. In fact, it's hard to even find a strapless bra that's available in A cup sizes. The fabric is buttery soft and the brand says it uses just enough lift without having too much padding in the cup — "like pillows for your boobs," as the website explains.
It comes with convertible straps and has an X-bridge in between the cups for easy folding. The bra washed well in our Lab tests, though it didn't fully recovery its shape in our stretch recovery evaluations.
Tester notes: Our panel gave it perfect scores for appearance, ease of putting on and ease of taking off, plus high ratings for fit and support. Testers with larger busts said it needed to be pulled up frequently, but those with smaller cup sizes raved that it stayed in place all day. B-Cup testers in particular gave it perfect scores for overall satisfaction, with one summarizing, "I liked that it was strapless and actually stayed up. I would often forget I was wearing it. I never had to pull it up and it made my boobs look great."
Best Front-Close Bra
Spanx Bra-llelujah! Full Coverage Bra
Spanx is most well-known for its shapewear, but this bra wowed our testers and analysts with its innovative design. For starters, unlike most bras that either clasp in the back or pull over your head, this one snaps in the front so you don't need to struggle to get it on or take it off.
This style is also unique because it uses a soft, hosiery-like material for the back and shoulder straps. It's not adjustable, but it's stretchy to conform to your body. Though the material didn't bounce back to shape as well as other styles in our Lab tests, the bra still offers superior support with its underwire and full-coverage cups. Plus, these same straps are available in a pullover bralette style that has no clasps or underwire.
Tester notes: Reviewers raved about the comfy materials, plus they said it was supportive and easy to put on and take off. It earned praise from a C-cup tester who said, "I liked the fabric and that the straps were very comfortable. It was very easy to wear and I barely noticed it on all day." It was also,“hands down, the most comfortable bra I have ever worn,” according to a DD-cup tester.
Best Full-Coverage Bra
Vanity Fair Beauty Back Full-Figure Bra
With full-coverage cups to avoid spillage, wide straps to reduce stress on shoulders, and wide side panels that smooth to prevent bulge, this bra is your best bet if you're looking for all-over support. The cups are lightly lined so you don't get too much padding and the fabric feels smooth throughout while looking flattering under clothes.
This version has an underwire for good separation, though it also comes in a wireless version that still proved to be supportive in our tests. And though the panels are stretchy, the bra still kept its shape well after we put it through the wringer in our stretch recovery and laundering evaluations.
Tester notes: Reviewers loved how it looked under clothes and how it stayed in place well, plus they raved about how comfortable and supportive it felt to wear. They especially liked how the straps didn't dig into or slip off their shoulders. The one complaint they had was that the hooks were a bit difficult to put on in the back, but it was still overall easy to get on. One C-cup tester told us, "I liked how smooth it looked under my clothes," while a DD-cup wearer said, "The cup size was perfect and the straps were thick and sturdy, which made for better support."
Best Demi Bra
Victoria's Secret T-Shirt Lightly-Lined Demi Bra
This one’s a bit more minimal than full-coverage styles and is lightly lined so you get some padding for shape, but not too much. Besides its demi cups, the straps are also fairly thin to wear under clothes, plus they can convert to criss-cross in the back so you can wear it with racerback tops.
There's underwire for good separation and lift, and the smooth fabric is intended to look seamless under clothing. Just note that the fabric stretched out a bit in our Lab tests, though it held up well when we laundered it.
Tester notes: Our reviewers, who ranged in B-DD cup sizes, gave it perfect scores for support. They also said it gave them amazing shape and lift, plus it fit well and looked great under clothes. One DD-cup tester said, "I liked how supportive it was! My chest was definitely very high up. I liked how thin the strap was and yet supportive. The material was also very smooth."
Best Lightweight Bra
Hanes Oh So Light Wire-Free Bra
Hanes makes our list again, this time for its wireless bra that's lightweight yet surprisingly supportive. And whether you're wearing it in the summer or just want a barely-there feel, it fits like second skin so you won't be poked or weighed down. Not to mention, it’s one of the least expensive bras we tested.
The back of the bra has adjustable and convertible straps, plus a hook-eye closure like a traditional bra. The front has flexible foam cups and a band below the bust for support. Its soft fabric wowed our analysts as the material fully recovered its shape after we stretched it out and it washed well with hardly any shrinkage.
Tester notes: This style was especially loved by testers who prefer bralettes, but they found it to be more flattering than other minimalist bras. Most wearers raved that it was comfortable and supportive despite not having an underwire to lift. As one tester put it, "It is so incredibly comfortable. I like the look of it and it is a flattering fit. The material is super soft and it's supportive without being uncomfortable."
Best Lounge Bra
Evelyn & Bobbie Defy Bra
This insanely comfortable style is both seamless and wire-free. Not only is the fabric smooth for superior comfort, but it also has wide straps and removable cups for ultimate support. On top of that, the fabric along the sides, back and front all help smooth bulges and keep the bra in place.
While the design may make it harder to wear discreetly under certain clothing, it's the perfect lounge bra and is extremely flattering under tops with more coverage. It's a pullover style, but is still easy to put on and take off.
Tester notes: This bra was so smooth and comfortable that testers forgot they were even wearing it, but it also provided incredible support thanks to its full-coverage design and removable cups. One DDD-cup tester said, "This bra felt like a cloud when I put it on, it was so comfortable! I felt ZERO pressure on my shoulders and my breasts felt totally supported and lifted."
Best Sports Bra
Nike Swoosh Sports Bra
This medium-impact style was rated the most comfortable sports bra in our test. It's ideal for a wide range of activities thanks to its compressive fit that reduces bounce, and it has a racerback design that gives you a good range of motion as you exercise. It's also a pullover bra, meaning there's no pesky hardware to get in your way.
It effectively wicked moisture away in Lab tests so you can stay cool and dry as you sweat. It also washed perfectly in our laundering tests with no shrinkage or signs of wear, so you can expect it to last. The one thing to note is that if you have a larger cup size, you'll need better separation for high-impact activities to prevent movement in all directions.
Tester notes: Our panel gave it high scores for being supportive yet not constricting, as well as comfortable, breathable and non-irritating. It earned praise through a variety of exercises — like walking, running, biking and workout classes — with comments like, "It was effective at wicking away my sweat," and, "fits great and gave me good support during cardio."
Best Mastectomy Bra
AnaOno Rora Pocketed Front Closure Bra
This brand was founded by a breast cancer survivor that couldn't find a bra to fit her body after surgery, and it has since become a favorite resource for post-op shoppers. While there are many styles to choose from depending on surgery type and personal preferences, this one is a bestseller and is ideal for recovery thanks to its adjustable fit and soft fabric for sensitive skin.
The material is a modal, which is known for its incredible softness, though may be a bit delicate with pilling over time. The front-closure makes it easier to get on after surgery, yet it still has adjustable straps that help you find the right fit. And because it's designed for recovery after a medical procedure, the purchase may be covered by insurance.
Tester notes: Besides producing bras, AnaOno has created a sense of hope for people going through difficult times. As one tester told us after her mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries, "I can’t describe what it’s like to have bras that work for me as I get used to my new normal."
Best Maternity Bra
Natori Feathers Plunge Bra
Natori is our top bra brand thanks to its comfort, support and appearance, and also makes several maternity bras for nursing moms. It has the same features as its regular bra styles, but with an easy-access clip down for breastfeeding. And though it has an underwire for good separation support, the brand also sells wireless maternity styles for anyone that prefers to skip the wire.
Besides the nursing access, this bra has a plunge neckline and thinner straps so it looks discreet under most clothing. It also has pretty lace details throughout so nursing moms don't need to feel like they're wearing unattractive gear throughout their breastfeeding journey. And though it looks delicate, it's still supportive and has a sling to keep everything in place during feedings.
Tester notes: Reviewers loved wearing it throughout their pregnancy and breastfeeding days, especially highlighting the comfort and fit. One user said, "After a year of nursing, I really appreciated how 'normal' this bra looked under clothing, especially compared to most other styles I tried. It gave me great shape and support, yet still felt comfortable and offered convenient nursing access."
Before you buy, check out these tips from fit experts, product analysts and shopping pros to make sure you're picking out your best bra.
Where's the best place to buy bras?
Many people love shopping for bras online: It can be more convenient to try on bras in the comfort of your own home instead of a store dressing room. Still, there are some important aspects to keep in mind to ensure you're making a smart purchase without feeling it first:
- Check the return policy to make sure you can get a refund if it's not a good fit. Many online bra retailers offer free shipping both ways so you can try on a few and send back whatever doesn't fit.
- Take advantage of customer service. Tracy Freno, bra fit expert at Bare Necessities, explains, "Many sites are equipped with fitting experts — whether by phone, chat, social media, or other means of communication — who are trained to help answer any questions you may have regarding fit, style, or even offer suggestions of what to buy."
- Do your research before you start shopping. Whether it's understanding the terms in the product descriptions or figuring out which style is best for your body type, Jene Luciani, best-selling author of The Bra Book, stresses the importance of educating yourself ahead of time. "I suggest knowing how to measure yourself and then following their sizing charts as much as possible, and also knowing what styles would be most suitable for you. For example, a woman with very full breasts probably isn’t going to be happy with a Demi cup. If it says full coverage, that’s more suitable."
How can I find my correct bra size?
You can start by measuring your bra size at home or with a consultant in a store. Even then, you should still try on a few different sizes to see what fits and feels best. It helps to go up and down a few band and cup sizes if the fit doesn’t feel right. Keep in mind: just like clothing, each brand will fit you differently.
How do I know if a bra fits properly?
- You should fill out the cups without any gaping (which means the cup is too big), or overflow (a sign the cup is too small).
- The band shouldn’t go high up or too low on your back and the center gore of the bra should lie flat against your breast bone.
- The straps should sit comfortably on your shoulders. Adjusting the straps can help you find a better fit — making the straps tighter can often give you more lift and support, which helps get rid of back and shoulder pain.
How many bras should I own?
"It will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences," shares Freno. "I generally recommend four everyday styles plus three specialty bras (e.g., sports bra and strapless styles)." Luciani suggests stocking up once you find your perfect style: "If you have that 'favorite' bra that you’re tempted to wear everyday, I recommend buying more than one — so for example, if it’s that nude T-shirt bra — buy three or four."
When should I replace my bra?
Freno shares that "the rule of thumb is about 100 washes/wears." But since most of us are likely not keeping track, it’s best to replace your bra when it loses its stretch and no longer feels supportive instead of following an exact timeframe.
Luciani adds, "Obvious signs of wear and tear such as crushed cups, bent underwire, stretched out straps, broken or bent clasps and when the material loses its elasticity — all good signs it’s time to toss. Other signs that are maybe not so obvious is if it suddenly seems big or it’s not holding you up the way it should be! That may mean it’s time to replace."
Be aware that the more you wear and wash the bra, the faster it'll need to be replaced. And because your size can change over time, it’s important to check the fit in front of a mirror once or twice a year to make sure your bra is not too big or too small. "Even as little as a five pound weight loss or gain can change your bra size to some degree," explains Luciani.