- The right bra can make a world of difference in comfort, support, and confidence.
- Our guide features bras that performed well in our tests, emphasize comfort, and have a good range of options across sizes, support levels, and styles.
- ThirdLove is our top pick because of its intelligent fit finder quiz, half sizes, and carefully designed bras that are as sexy as they are comfortable.
- You can also check out our guide to the best women’s underwear you can buy, and the best sports bra.
Ladies, we’ve gotta take care of our ladies. Like us, they deserve the utmost respect and support, like us, they should never settle for second best. To that end, buying a bra that does your breasts proud is just about the best thing that you can do for yourself.
Alright, fine – That’s probably something of an overstatement, but the sentiment rings true. Buying bras may not be the most fun experience, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Luckily, there are a handful of companies that are looking to make the bra-purchasing process less of a hassle. But more importantly, the results are everything that you’ve ever wanted for your chest.
Your primary consideration when purchasing a bra should be comfort. After all, unless you’re letting the girls run free all the livelong day (which is fine!), you’re likely going to be wearing your bra for at least the eight-hour workday. That means that your underwire can’t be digging into your rib cage, that your straps can be tangling uncomfortably against your shoulder, and that your clasp can’t be scratching your back.
Then, you should also consider what style of bra you’d like. Are you looking to make an impression by pushing the ladies up, or are you looking to be a bit more inconspicuous with a classic t-shirt bra? There’s no wrong answer, of course, but there are certainly different bras for different occasions.
Perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to keep fit in mind. After all, an ill-fitting bra will be neither comfortable nor stylish (regardless of what you’re trying to achieve), but sometimes, figuring out exactly what bra size you are can be a bit difficult. This is especially the case when you’re doing your shopping online. Luckily, that’s not the case with a number of our favorite bra purveyors, who have gone to great lengths to ensure that you and your bra get along.
Regardless of which of these bras you choose, we’re confident that you (and the ladies) will be well satisfied.
Here the best bras you can buy:
- Best bras overall: ThirdLove
- Best bras for $10 to $20: Hanes
- Best for atypical shapes: Natori
- Best strapless bras: Wacoal
- Best bras for D to J: Trusst Lingerie
- Best bralettes and wire-free bras: Lively
- Best lounge bra: True & Co.
Updated on 11/05/19 by Mara Leighton: Added True & Co. as the best lounge bra and a few relevant links.
The best bra overall
At ThirdLove, it’s all about the fit, and oh, how these bras fit, thanks to the intelligent Fit Finder quiz and optional half sizes (starting at $68).
Face it – Today’s standard cup sizes aren’t always exactly what your body needs. And luckily, at ThirdLove, no one is expecting you (or your breasts) to fit into a predetermined mold. In just 60 seconds, Thirdlove will help you find a bra that feels as though it was actually tailored to your body, all without your ever having to leave the couch.
It all starts with ThirdLove’s Fit Finder tool, which as the name suggests, helps you find your actual right size. You’ll input the cup size and band measurements you normally abide by, as well as the company from which you’ve historically purchased your bra. But then you’ll also talk about where the shortcomings are – how much of a gap there is, how well the band actually sits against your back, and to what extent you find yourself adjusting the straps.
Most importantly, you’ll tell ThirdLove about the shape of your breasts, because yes, that will impact what bra is ultimately recommended.
Once you’re done with the full questionnaire, you’ll input your email address, and you’ll be shown what your bra size should be (it may be different than you previously imagined based on your answers), as well as a recommended bra. And best of all, if your bra size comes in a half cup (because yes, that’s a thing), ThirdLove can send you a bra that comes in a half size.
While you may not think that a web-based survey could actually take you to a better fitting bra, think again. As soon as I put on my ThirdLove Classic T-Shirt Bra, I knew that I’d been wrong with just about every other bra I’d ever worn. This is easily one of the most comfortable and truly supportive pieces of lingerie I’ve ever worn, and whereas other bras seem to work only with certain outfits, I’ve managed to wear this particular bra under cocktail dresses and sweats alike.
Although the T-Shirt Bra is the classic choice, ThirdLove has plenty of other fantastic options for you to choose from as well, including a racerback, a lace racerback with a front closure (which is beautiful, by the way), and another personal favorite, the lace balconette (for special occasions).
Several other women on the Insider Picks team have tried ThirdLove’s bras and love them. Since we’re all a range of sizes and shapes, it’s impressive that we all love these bras.
Reviewers at People called ThirdLove bras “the most comfortable…that [have] ever been on my body,” while nearly 22,500 customers have given the Classic T-Shirt Bra a 4.5 out of 5 stars on the company’s website.
Pros: Careful sizing guide, great fit, and comfortable material that doesn’t irritate the skin even after a long day of wear
Cons: The Classic T-Shirt Bra isn’t the sexiest bra in the world, but there are other options for that, too
The best budget bra
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good bra, and Hanes is here to prove it (starting at $11).
High prices don’t always correlate with high quality, and similarly, budget buys don’t mean budget quality. No one knows this better than Hanes, the classic underwear brand that makes one of the best wire-free bras on the market.
Whether you want to call it a bralette or a wireless bra, you’ll certainly call it supremely comfortable. The Comfort Wire-Free bra line by Hanes is one of the sturdier bras you can buy. Sure, it’s not made of sexy lace, but as a result, it can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. It doesn’t lose its shape or stretch out in unattractive ways after several cycles in the washing machine, and because it doesn’t have an underwire, it’s incredibly lightweight and flexible.
But don’t think that a lack of wire means a lack of support or structure. As folks over at Good Housekeeping noted, “I liked that this bra did not have an underwire, yet I felt fully supported. It was soft and comfortable…I almost forgot I was wearing a bra.”
Because the Wire-Free bras are fully adjustable, they also stay put quite well. Over 2,000 folks on Amazon have given the Hanes bra 4.4 out of 5 stars. Reviewers note that the bra “holds everything where it needs to be without wires and without binding or squishing or pushing things higher than they need to go.”
Pros: Extremely affordable, wide range of colors, good support, and straps that stay in place
Cons: There are a limited selection of cup and band sizes, so chestier women may not be able to find a good fit
The best bra for atypical breast shapes
If you’re a fan of deep V-necks, the Natori Plunge Bra will keep you supported while staying out of sight (starting at $40).
There are few outfits for which the Natori Plunge isn’t the perfect fit, and that makes this bra a staple in just about any wardrobe. As the name suggests, this bra takes a dramatic plunge down the middle, so if you’re a fan of daring cuts and plunging necklines, this is certainly the bra for you.
Flirty and fun, Natori’s signature Feathers lace adds the right touch of femininity to this pretty piece of lingerie. While aesthetics and functionality don’t always go hand in hand when it comes to your underthings, Natori is certainly the exception to that rule. The comfortable T-shirt design is also plenty supportive.
Best of all, perhaps, is that the Plunge bra seems to be particularly useful for women with atypical bra sizes or breast shapes. As one happy customer noted on the Natori website, This is the first time I’ve worn a bra without padding and my boobs have never looked better!” Another reviewer echoed these sentiments, writing, “This bra is the most comfortable bra I have ever worn. It fits my barely-A, wide-set bust perfectly.”
New York Magazine calls the Natori Plunge the “unicorn of undergarments,” and the bra boasts a nearly five-star review from over 500 buyers on Amazon. The bra features a molded mesh outer cover with lace trim, as well as adjustable stretch straps that become wider as you size up. The Plunge is constructed of 84% nylon and 16% lycra and lace.
Pros: Great for plunging necklines, comfortable, flirty, and well-fitting for women with atypical bra sizes
Cons: Cup size runs small, so be sure to order accordingly
The best convertible bra
If you need one bra to serve the purpose of two (or more) bras, then you’ll want the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra (starting at $68).
Strapless bras in and of themselves are always a bit of a struggle, what with constant slippage and the seemingly never-ending need to adjust and readjust their fit. But with the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra, you can bid your fidgeting days adieu.
Part of the secret of this great bra is that it’s not just strapless – it’s actually convertible. The removable straps can help keep you supported, but so too can the gripper strips inside the top and bottom edges that make sure that the bra stays adhered to your chest, and doesn’t begin wandering down. The back and side boning also helps the bra maintain its shape, while the mesh back keeps you comfortable.
Although most strapless bras don’t do much for actually helping to shape your chest, the Wacoal is a different story, thanks to light foam padding, you’ll enjoy “full figure natural shaping, support,” and most importantly, no show-through. Because the straps are fully removable, you can choose how to wear them, whether that’s halter style, crossed in the back, or traditional.
Folks at New York Magazine note that “this bra stays put no matter what,” and more than 800 people on Nordstrom’s website have given the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra a resounding 4.7 out of 5-star seal of approval. Good Housekeeping also pointed out that the bra washed well without shrinkage, and that it was comfortable, supportive, and easy to put on.
Pros: Great for larger chested women, convertible, stays in place, comfortable
Cons: Some customers have noted issues with fit
The best bra for sizes E (DD) to J
If you need a seriously supportive bra that won’t dig into your shoulders or sides throughout the day, you need to try Trusst Lingerie’s D to J bras.
If your cup size is over a D, you already know the difficulty of finding a bra that fits. Since many brick and mortar stores don’t carry larger sizes, shopping online becomes a bit of a gamble where you often have to buy two bras of similar sizing at once just to see which one works best. But not so with Trusst, which offers a simple two-step sizing tool that allows you to find your fit without ever leaving home.
Grab a measuring tape to get the size of your bust and band, and then input the number of inches for each to determine what your bra size should be. Sizes range from a 32 to 46-inch band size with cups ranging from D to J in certain styles. But if the size shown isn’t anywhere near your normal size, you can email your measurements, the size and style of the bra you measured yourself in, and the company’s fit specialists will help to ensure a secure fit for you.
As if its focus sizing wasn’t enough, Trusst’s support is unlike anything I’ve tried before. In lieu of the annoying underwire that can dig into your sides or armpits and pop out at surprising moments, Trusst’s bras come equipped with a 3D-printed bra core called Breast Advanced Support Technology (BAST) sewn right into the molded contour cup itself to redistribute breast weight and offer support without the poke.
Based on the engineering principles of a bridge truss, it uses the core of your body to really lift the breast and padded shoulder straps that reduce shoulder and back strain even after hours of wear. In fact, while I typically take off my bra as soon as I get home, I felt comfortable enough in the bra to keep it on until bedtime.
But if your cups tend to runneth over in a demi, the brand offers an array of sultry styles that might be better suited for you, including a t-shirt bra, a sexy, lacy plunge option, and a soft, full-coverage bra that’s built for the daily grind. Plus, there are three underwear styles you can pair with your particular bra of choice for a full set.
Reviewers at The Lingerie Addict praised the brand for its unique construction as well as the accuracy of its sizing system. And the Suzanne has become one of the brand’s best-sellers. – Valis Vicenty
Pros: Easy but accurate sizing, fabulous fit, and surprisingly comfortable support without the stab of an underwire.
Cons: Some styles can run a little small, but they’re indicated on the page so you can adjust your sizing before you add to cart
The best bralettes and wire-free bra
Lively’s bras and bralettes only cost $35, but they offer the quality, support, and style of much more expensive ones.
If you’re sick of spending $50 to $100 on each bra you buy, take a look at Lively. All of the startup’s bras and bralettes cost just $35 a piece. You can choose from a wide range of styles, including numerous bralettes and a handful of different bra styles with and without underwire.
I’ve tried several Lively bras and each one has impressed me in a different way. The underwire push-up bra and the push-up bra without underwire are both incredibly comfortable. The padding is subtle and not excessive like the push-up bras from Victoria Secret and other brands. You get a slight lift without feeling like you’re going to fall out of your bra.
The no-underwire version is surprisingly supportive, too. When I first laid eyes on it, I thought I’d need to return it immediately, but it’s turned out to be one of my favorites. The wide band gives the support I need and the lack of wires make it super comfortable for all-day wear.
The All You Busty Bralette is very comfortable for lounging around home with its wide, thick straps, and super soft material. I’m not a bralette person for going out and about (having a DD cup will do that to you), but it’s perfect for days when you have nowhere to go beyond the grocery store. As someone with a larger cup size, I really liked that there’s a DD+ section with all the bras and bralettes that are made for larger busts.
Women with smaller busts will love the wide range of bralettes and how cute they look. Many of them are stylish enough to show off, too.
The only real downsides here are that Lively doesn’t have sizes above DDD and the bras may not be as long-lasting as more expensive ones. – Malarie Gokey
Pros: Wide range of styles, true to size, cute designs, comfortable, affordable
Cons: May not be as long-lasting as others, sizes max out at DDD
The best lounge bra
- True Body Co.
True & Co. makes comfortable, wire-free bras from a buttery soft material that lifts and supports.
True & Co.’s True Body Collection is full of soft, wire-free bras that are perfect for lounging.
Sizing ranges from 32A to 42DDD/F, and while it won’t give you as much support as a traditional wire bra, it does promise up to an inch of lift.
One of our favorite styles from the True Body collection is the V Neck Racerback. The bonded technology means no elastic or bulky, line-disrupting seams. The wire-free channel lends support like underwire without the wire, and the “super lift fabric” (a tightly knit blend) provides the noticeable lift and support. The molded cups prevent you from slipping out and getting the dreaded “underboob” that almost uniformly plagues these seamless, “comfort”-first bras.
I wear the V Neck Racerback around the house, but I also like to use it under T-shirts for a smooth silhouette and a more natural shape. For as much use as I get out of it, almost $60 isn’t ideal but it certainly hasn’t been regretted.
The Mesh Scoop Neck Lift Bra is also one of the best pieces of loungewear that I own. It’s basically the same as the other True Body bras by virtue of its identical smooth, buttery soft fabric, but it also has a mesh back so it’s extra breathable.
Most True Body bras come with removable pads, and range in colors from nudes to bright patterns. And after many less-than-careful loads of laundry, I haven’t seen any noticeable change in performance or look. – Mara Leighton
Pros: Buttery smooth fabric, noticeable lift, versatility, extreme comfort, relatively affordable
Cons: Not as much support as a traditional bra, can find lounge bras for cheaper, less support for larger cup sizes