We understand it: Finding the right bra is easier said than done. For starters, there are so many designs to pick from that it seems practically difficult to find one that’ll fit you well and feel comfortable. On top of that, they can become pricy, so you want to be sure you’re investing in ones that’ll feel well, look well, and hold up over time.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab analyzes bras of all varieties, from T-shirt bras to strapless types to sports bras and more. We study them in the Lab for stretch recovery and shrinking after washing; then, we send them out to consumer testers – over 100 women ranging from tiny cup sizes to bigger busts. Our testers offer comment on comfort, support, fit, aesthetic, and more.
The options ahead are all winners from our testing with exceptional Lab performance, as well as high marks from our panel. But first, here’s what you need to know before you buy a new bra:
How can I get my correct bra size?
You may start by measuring your bra size at home or with a consultant at a shop. Even then, it would be best if you still tried on a couple of different sizes to determine what fits and feels best. It helps move up and down a few band and cup sizes if the fit doesn’t seem perfect. Keep in mind: much like clothes, each brand may fit you differently.
How can I tell whether a bra fits correctly?
It would be best if you full out the cups without any gaping (which suggests the cup is too large) or overflow (a hint the cup is too tiny) (a sign the cup is too small).
The band shouldn’t reach high up or too low on your back, and the central gore of the bra should sit level on your breast bone.
The straps should lay comfortably on your shoulders. Pulling the straps tighter may frequently provide you with more lift and support, which helps get rid of back and shoulder problems. Here are the most delicate bras for every size, body shape, and style preference:
These basic designs are a mainstay for any woman’s wardrobe as they’re intended for daily use and provide the optimum blend of comfort and support. They often contain underwires and cushioned cups, so they’ll offer you a pleasing shape, even under a tight T-shirt.
Natori Pure Luxe Full Fit Bra:
This model received the top rank in our testing and judged our panel’s most comfortable bra. Testers enjoyed the fabric and noted it fit well, was supportive, didn’t move about.
One tester said: “The inside of the bra is incredibly silky and feels lovely on my skin. I could wear it beneath any thin T-shirt and it didn’t show through.” Similarly, a DD-cup tester told us: “It was excellent in every aspect! It seemed inconspicuous, yet performed its job perfectly.” On top of that, it proved to be resilient since it cleaned skillfully and held its form when we stretched it out in the Lab.
Available with band sizes 32-38 and cup sizes B-G
Hanes Ultimate T-Shirt Bra:
This bra was one of the best performers in our assessments and beat other designs to treble its price. It was so comfy that testers told us they forgot they were wearing it, plus it kept in, and it looked excellent beneath clothes.
The straps are simple to adjust, and there’s a built-in hook so you can turn it into a racerback. The negative is the sizes restricted, and it stretched out a tiny bit in our rigorous lab testing, but it cleaned nicely without any shrinking.
ThirdLove 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra:
First, you take a survey to make sure you’re selecting out the proper design and size, and then you receive free delivery and a generous 60-day return policy to make sure you love it.
Testers enjoyed how soft and comfy the materials were on this basic shape, and those with smaller cup sizes loved the fit and shaping advantages without padding.
Spanx Bra-llelujah! Full Coverage Bra:
This style is entirely distinct from the others. It closes in the front since it includes an elastic, hosiery-like material for the back and shoulder straps. Testers gushed about the comfort, plus they claimed it was supportive and straightforward to put on and take off.
Available in brand sizes 32-40 and cup sizes A-DDD
If comfort is your primary objective, wireless and unlined bras are the ones for you. Wireless bras are designed without underwires, and unlined bras forgo the padding in the cups. These designs are more minimal, so they don’t offer you nearly as much form, but you may still receive sufficiently support depending on the bra.
Hanes Oh So Light Comfort Wire-Free Bra:
Hanes makes our list again, this time for their wireless bra that our testers felt was pleasant and surprisingly supportive despite not having an underwire. It was mainly enjoyed by testers who like to wear bralettes, but they felt this design was more flattering.
It also amazed our specialists in the Lab as the cloth entirely regained its form when we stretched it out, and it washed nicely with virtually any shrinking. Not to add, it’s one of the least priced bras we examined.
Available in sizes S-3X
True&Co. True Body V Neck Bra:
For those times when you can’t go bra-less, but you also can’t take the notion of wearing a real bra, a so-called “lounge bra” is your best choice. This smooth, lightweight design includes detachable cups, and our testers with smaller busts found it highly comfortable and supportive.
It comes in a larger-sized variant (for ladies with bigger chests or whole bodies) that also fared well in our evaluation. Both types stood up in durability testing, and our panel loved wearing them, but they noticed that they’re tougher to conceal beneath specific garments.
Available in sizes XS-XL, with versions for plus-size and more giant cups
Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette:
It comes in many colours, so it may be part of your clothing if you choose to let it show. Another awesome thing: the lace isn’t too fragile; it stood up to our Lab testing without shrinking or stretching out. Plus, our panel stated it was simple to put on, and it kept in place throughout the day. It wasn’t as supportive as other types, but that’s anticipated with bralettes.
Vanity Full Figure Wirefree Bra:
Not only does this full-figure style offer a back-smoothing design that looked amazing beneath garments, but it also felt comfy and very supportive of our testers. They were astonished to garner so much support without an underwire (though it does come in a wired form if that’s what you want). “This bra is incredibly comfy and more supportive than other sports bras I own,” one lady commented. Another thing testers scored it high for was its ability to remain in place throughout the day.
Available in band sizes 36-44 and cup sizes C-DDD
Look for broader shoulder straps and back panels that’ll provide you with more support and a better, more comfortable fit.
Playtex Love My Curves T-Shirt Bra:
Designed primarily for more extensive forms, this bra has smooth properties that our testers claimed looked wonderful beneath clothes. They also gave it a perfect grade for keeping in place and loved that it was both comfortable and supportive. The straps are padded but not overly thick or broad, and they may convert to a crisscross in the back.
Our testers picked out the look of the bra itself, noting it was feminine and lovely. They also felt it to provide adequate coverage while being deep enough to wear with low cut shirts.
Available in band sizes 36-44 and cup sizes C-G
Freya Idol Moulded Balcony Bra:
If you struggle to find a nice bra in bigger cup sizes, this one’s for you. It goes up to a size HH, and it fared well in our testing. It proved durable in our Lab’s testing without any difficulties to report, and our panel liked wearing it and claimed it was comfortable, fit well, felt supportive, and looked beautiful.
Our testers varied from cup sizes D to G with this design, and one noted she particularly enjoyed that “it was useful without appearing like a granny bra.”
Available in band sizes 28-38 and UK cup sizes B-HH (click here to learn what your UK size would be) (click here to find what your UK size would be)
Evelyn & Bobbie Defy Bra:
Designed exclusively for bigger cup sizes, this amazingly comfortable design is both seamless and wire-free. Not only was the silky fabric pleasant, according to testers, but it also had broad straps and interchangeable cups for optimal support. On top of that, the fabric around the sides, back and front all assist flatten bulges and keep the bra in place.
While the style may make it tough to wear discreetly beneath specific apparel, it’s the ultimate leisure bra and flatters beneath garments with more excellent coverage. Even though it’s a pullover design, reviewers claimed it was simple to put on and take off.
Available in band sizes S-3XL for band sizes 30-48 and cup sizes C-I
It appears like a regular bra in the front, but the back is a smooth, slimming fabric that helps eliminate annoying bumps and bulges created by bra lines. And while it wasn’t as simple to put on as typical bras, our panel felt it looked excellent beneath garments, and it was both supportive and pleasant.
One D-cup tester even remarked that it was the best fitting and most comfortable bra she’s ever worn. The primary negative for this one is that it’s the most expensive bra in our test. It’s also worth mentioning that sizing works a little differently, so be sure to check the size chart before you purchase it.
Available in sizes XS-1X and cup size A-E
These bras won’t be your regular go-to’s, but they’re essential for special events or attractive ensembles that display a regular T-shirt bra. While backless and strapless bras are frequently thought of as less comfortable, our testers were shocked at how much they appreciated these soft, stay-put selections.
Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra:
This bra is intended for bigger cup sizes and illustrates you don’t have to forgo support to go strapless. It earned more excellent marks from our testers than comparable non-strapless models. Our panel unanimously claimed it remained in place all day, and on top of that, it fits nicely, felt supportive, and looked beautiful.
It held up Lab testing without shrinking or stretching out, and we appreciate that it comes in numerous nude colours to complement various skin tones.
Available in band sizes 30-44 and cup sizes B-H
Harper Wilde The Flex Everyday Strapless:
This bra is softly padded to offer lift and was particularly enjoyed by our B-cup testers, who noted the comfort, support, and the fact that it kept in place in their comments. They also claimed it provided a beautiful form and looked wonderful beneath clothes.
The online-only brand also has some unusual features: it provides free shipping with both ways so you can try on numerous sizes, has multiple shades of nude to complement a variety of skin tones, and comes with detachable straps that adjust in the front.
Available in band sizes 32-42 and cup sizes A-F.
Victoria’s Secret T-Shirt Demi Bra:
This one’s a little more modest than full coverage versions and is softly lined, so you receive some, but not too much cushioning. Our testers, who varied in B-DD cup sizes, awarded it flawless grades for support. They also remarked it gave them great form and looked excellent beneath clothing.
It stretched out a little in our Lab testing, yet it held up nicely after we washed it. Plus, the straps can convert to crisscross in the back so that you can use it with racerback shirts.
Available in band sizes 32-40 and cup sizes A-DDD