- You have to wear it every day, so you better make sure your underwear is the most comfortable clothing you own.
- Tommy John makes the most comfortable women’s underwear we’ve ever worn, and we’ve tried a lot of underwear.
- If you’re looking for a bra to go with your new underwear, check out our guide to the best bras.
Underwear. You won’t give it a second thought if it’s fabulously comfortable, but if it’s anything less than that, it’s all you’ll be able to think about all the livelong day. And let’s be honest – you’re way too busy to waste any brain space on something as trivial as underwear. But thankfully, there are plenty of options these days that are as comfortable as they are playful, and you really can’t ask for more when it comes to your undergarments.
Long gone are the days of a one size fits all approach to your lingerie. Today, you have plenty of styles, cuts, patterns, and sizes to make you feel confident and sexy from the moment you begin to get dressed.
When it comes to deciding what underwear is best for you, trying really is believing. Luckily, most online underwear companies today have a satisfaction guarantee, so if you receive a pair and realize that the material isn’t what you thought it would be, or the fit isn’t quite right, don’t try to force yourself into liking them. You deserve better than that.
Speaking of material, that’s certainly key to keep in mind when selecting the best undergarments for your lifestyle. Are you constantly moving around for a living, or are you generally sitting at a desk? Do you need something a bit more breathable, or are you seeking fuller coverage? Ultimately, you’ll need to be sure that whatever material you’re working with is durable. After all, these are garments that you’ll be putting through the wash a lot, so be sure it can stand up to the spin cycle (unless you want to be like Justin Bieber and throw your underwear away after a single wash).
Hand in hand with material comes the underwear style. If you’re always slipping into figure-hugging dresses, you may want to consider a thong. If you’re really just looking for something to lounge around in on the weekend, perhaps consider a boyshort.
No matter what you choose from our favorite options, we’re confident that you’ll feel well-suited to take on the world and anything it throws your way.
Here is the best underwear for women:
- Best women’s underwear overall: Tommy John
- Best cotton underwear: Everlane
- Best seamless underwear: Commando
- Best budget underwear: Aerie
- Best gender-inclusive underwear: TomboyX
Updated on 1/21/2020 by Jen Gushue: Updated prices, links, and formatting. We also removed Thinx, our previous pick for best period underwear, due to reports of them possibly containing harmful chemicals. While reports do conflict, we’re erring on the side of caution by removing them from our guide at this time.
The best overall
- Tommy John
Tommy John has mastered the art of underwear for women with its Second Skin Brief, Air Cheeky, and Air Thong.
For too long women’s underwear has been about sex appeal instead of comfort, but no longer. Tommy John’s underwear is hands down the most comfortable underwear you can buy.
Tommy John may have started off with men’s underwear, but its new Second Skin and Air underwear collections for women prove that the company’s designers know a thing or two about what women want in a great pair of underwear. That means no scrunching, chafing, bunching, or riding up. And boy does Tommy John’s underwear deliver on its promise that there will be “no adjustment needed.”
The Insider Picks team tested out both the Second Skin and Air underwear collections and loved every pair. From the sexy thong and cheeky styles to the practical and attractive briefs, Tommy John’s underwear is super comfortable.
I particularly loved the Second Skin Brief, which is made from 90% micro-modal and 10% Spandex. It gives full coverage everywhere you need it without embarrassing panty lines. Most importantly, it looks good, feels great, and never needs adjusting throughout the day.
The entire Second Skin collection is made from the same material, so you can choose the boyshorts, thong, or cheeky instead of the brief, too. Tommy John has lots of color options, too, including a nice deep purple, a deep rosy pink, white, black, nude, and more.
The Air collection is fantastic for hotter weather or workouts because it’s made with improved ventilation, moisture-wicking, and deodorizing fabric. The Air underwear comes in briefs, cheeky, and thongs that are made from 77% Nylon mesh and 23% Spandex.
The only real downside here is the price, because at $22 and up, this underwear is very expensive. We recommend going with a value pack to minimize the cost a bit. Besides, you’re going to want to wear these every day, so you’ll need more than one pair. – Malarie Gokey
Pros: So comfortable, great fit, fun colors, many styles, innovative breathable fabric, no adjustments
The best cotton underwear
Everlane’s underwear collection goes back to basics with supremely soft Supima cotton that’s ethically sourced and transparently priced.
If you don’t want to spend $20+ on one pair of underwear, you’re in luck, because Everlane just created its first underwear collection. The online company is known for its transparent pricing and ethically produced clothing, so you can feel good about the underwear you’re buying.
Everlane’s underwear collection features bikini, thong, hipster, and high-rise hipster styles that are all made with Supima cotton that’s grown in the United States and made into underwear at ethical factories. The cotton’s extra-long fibers are super soft on your skin and the material is breathable.
We at Insider Picks reviewed Everlane’s underwear, and we loved it. The high-rise hipster was a group favorite with its full coverage and comfortable feel. I also personally loved the regular hipster style, which is both sexy and comfortable. Those of us who prefer thongs were also favorably impressed with Everlane’s take on that classic sexy style.
You can choose from heather grey, powder pink, white, and black colors. All of Everlane’s underwear is completely basic, or as the ad campaign says, “No frills. No bows. No bullsh*t.” It’s your everyday underwear. It’s made for you and puts your comfort above anything else.
Perhaps best of all, one pair of Everlane underwear costs $12, which is nearly half the price you’d pay for a pair of Tommy John’s underwear. You can get a three-pack for $27, which averages out to $9 a pair.
If you’re looking for affordable, high-quality underwear that’s made ethically from the best material, Everlane’s Supima cotton underwear is for you. -Malarie Gokey
Pros: Supima cotton is soft, comfortable, breathable, variety of styles, comfortable elastic, ethical production, transparent pricing
Cons: Only basic colors
The best seamless underwear
If you’re all about forgetting that you’re wearing underwear, Commando is about as close as you’re going to get.
Sometimes, the name is all you need. Underwear from Commando will make you look (and feel) as though you’re not wearing undergarments in the best way possible. People Magazine notes that “you’ll never fall victim to pesky panty lines ever again” with this lingerie, and really, what more could you want from your underwear?
Commando has one of the wider selections of styles when it comes to online panty retailers. You can select your underwear by type, with options including high rise, active, boy short, and thong, to name a few. Alternatively, you can filter your search results based on materials, which are also wide-ranging on the Commando site. Options include chic mesh, signature microfiber, perfect stretch, luxe, and lace satin, among others.
With the exception of a few styles, colors in the Commando line are generally muted and quite classic. So if you need to find a pair of underwear for the cocktail dress you’re wearing to the charity gala, you’ll probably want to pull out a pair of Commandos.
New York Magazine says that Commando ticks all the boxes when it comes to both comfort and functionality, and this assessment certainly rang true for me as well. As Jasmine Caccamo, professional stylist noted, “These seamless undies create a super-flawless fit and everything looks perfect – whether I’m wearing them under leggings or a silk cami dress.” – Lulu Chang
Pros: No-show design, wide selection of styles and materials, no riding up
Cons: Some styles are expensive
The best budget underwear
You only have to pay $35 for 10 pairs of underwear from Aerie, but just because it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic piece of lingerie.
Great underwear can also come at a great price, and that’s precisely where Aerie by American Eagle comes in. Before you write this brand off as one that is only appropriate for tweenaged girls, hear this: You can get 10 pairs of comfortable undies for just $35.
Beyond the unbeatable price point, Aerie also makes truly comfortable and dependable underwear. Simple and unfussy, the majority of these undergarments are made of good ol’ cotton. But we’re not fazed by the lack of rayon, satin, and silk.
To say that Aerie has a wide selection would be an understatement – No matter what kind of style or color or print you’re looking for, this brand has it.
Folks over at Jezebel have also been singing Aerie’s praises for years, with Madeleine Davies writing that these underwear are the reason that she doesn’t “put off doing laundry for an extra week.” If that’s not high praise, we don’t know what is.
And if all this isn’t enough to convince you to give Aerie a try, perhaps the message that the company is trying to send will do the trick. The brand’s #AerieReal campaign may have first debuted in 2014, but it’s still appealing to women who aren’t buying underwear from airbrushed supermodels. The company has long pushed for honest acceptance of women’s bodies, and when it makes underwear this wearable, it’s pretty easy to accept yourself. – Lulu Chang
Pros: Supreme affordability, durable and soft material, ability to buy both in stores and online
Cons: Some reviewers have noted that underwear can run a bit small
The best gender-inclusive styles
- Lyndsey Byrnes/TomboyX
TomboyX makes gender-inclusive underwear that ranges in style from thongs to 9-inch boxer briefs and comes in sizes XS to 4X.
In the words of its founders, Tomboy X has been making “underwear that any body could feel comfortable in, regardless of where they fell on the size or gender spectrum” since 2012. Our reviewer says TomboyX “single-handedly changed my underwear standards forever.”
TomboyX adapted masculine-style underwear like trunks and boxer briefs to suit women’s bodies, giving people who prefer wearing underwear styles that aren’t traditionally feminine a more tailored option.
If, for example, you prefer wearing men’s boxer briefs, but you’re sick of feeling that annoying bunching that comes from creating space for certain parts of male anatomy, TomboyX has boxer briefs for you. Whether you want boyshorts, 4.5-inch long shorts, 6-inch long shorts, or 9-inch long shorts, TomboyX has you covered.
The company also makes more traditionally feminine styles like thongs, bikinis, and briefs. Sizes range from XS to 4X to suit many different body shapes and sizes, so there really ought to be something for everyone.
The underwear is made with Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex cotton that’s eco-friendly. You can also get MicroModal and athlete-friendly Active Drirelease fabric if you prefer.
A few members of the team have tried TomboyX’s underwear, and we all love it. Our reviewer Jen Gushue loves the cotton boyshorts. I personally wear the 9-inch briefs in lieu of shapewear under dresses in the summer to avoid chub rub and I find them exceedingly comfortable to sleep in as well. – Malarie Gokey
Pros: Wide selection of colors and patterns, lots of different gender-inclusive underwear types, great cotton and modal materials, eco-friendly
What else we considered
We’ve tried lots of underwear over the years from brands old and new. All too often, women’s underwear prioritizes style and sex appeal over comfort. As we put this guide together, we prioritized comfort above all else, and that helped us eliminate a lot of brands. All of our picks are winners because they are tremendously comfortable.
We found a number of brands we also liked, but they were ever so slightly less comfortable than our top picks, so we’ve included them here in case you want more options.
- ThirdLove: ThirdLove sent the Insider Picks team a few pairs to try, including the seamless thong, the lace bikini, and the seamless cheeky. All three styles were very comfortable, silky smooth, and very attractive looking. We loved the fun colors and the sexy little details. Although we love this underwear, our top picks are more comfortable.
- MeUndies: If you’re looking to make yourself (or a partner) laugh (in the best of ways) at your underwear, you’re going to want to go with MeUndies. The brand has lots of fun patterns and you can subscribe to them to get new ones regularly. We like MeUndies a lot, but again, our top picks won out in the comfort department.
- True & Co: For those of us who don’t want our underwear to be just barely there, the hipster is the perfect underwear, and True & Co makes great hipsters.
- Lively: Lively is another great underwear startup that makes affordable underwear at $10 a pair or 3 for $25. We like the brand’s underwear, but we think its bras are better.
- Athleta: As an athletic wear company, Athleta makes great underwear for workouts that is moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and comfortable.
Check out our other underwear and bra guides here
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