We get it: 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 ones that’ll feel good, look good, and hold up over time.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests bras of all kinds, from T-shirt bras to strapless styles to sports bras and more. We evaluate them in the Lab for things like stretch recovery and shrinkage after laundering, then we send them out to consumer testers – over 100 women ranging from small cup sizes to larger busts. Our testers provide feedback on comfort, support, fit, appearance, and more.
The picks ahead are all winners from our tests with excellent Lab performance, as well as top scores from our panel. But first, here's what you need to know before you shop for a new bra:
When should I replace my bra?
Instead of following a timeframe, it’s best to replace your bra when it loses its stretch and no longer feels supportive. 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.
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 may 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.
Now that you know what to look for, here are the best bras for every size, body type, and style preference:
These basic styles are a staple for every woman's wardrobe since they're designed for everyday wear and offer the ideal mix of comfort and support. They typically have underwires and padded cups so they'll give you a flattering shape, even under a tight T-shirt.
Natori Pure Luxe Full Fit Bra
This style earned the top spot in our tests and was rated the most comfortable bra by our panel. Testers especially liked the fabric, but 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 tester told us: “It was perfect in every way! It felt invisible, but did its job perfectly.” 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.
Available in band sizes 32-38 and cup sizes B-G
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 triple its price. It was so comfortable that testers told us they forgot they were wearing it, plus it stayed put and it looked great under clothing.
The straps are easy to adjust and there’s a built-in hook so you can convert it to a racerback. The downside is the sizes are limited and it stretched out a little bit in our rigorous Lab tests, but it washed well without any shrinkage.
Available in band sizes 34-38 and cup sizes B-DD
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 make sure you’re picking out the right style and size (their bras go up to a band size of 48 and comes in half-cup sizes!), then you get free shipping and a generous 60-day return period to make sure you love it.
Testers liked how soft and comfortable the materials were on this basic style, and those with smaller cup sizes especially liked the fit and shaping benefits without there being too much padding.
Available in band sizes 30-48 and cup sizes A-I
Spanx Bra-llelujah! Full Coverage Bra
This style is totally different than the others. It closes in the front because it has a stretchy, hosiery-like material for the back and shoulder straps. Testers raved about the comfort, plus they said it was supportive and easy to put on and take off.
The material stretched out more than other bras in our test, but with comments from our panel like “It feels like second skin!” and “Hands down the most comfortable bra I have ever worn,” you’ll likely find it’s worth trying out.
Available in brand sizes 32-40 and cup sizes A-DDD
If comfort is your main goal, wireless and unlined bras are the ones for you. Wireless bras are made without underwires, and unlined bras skip the padding in the cups. These styles are more minimal so they don't give you quite as much shape, but depending on the bra you can still get plenty of support.
Hanes Oh So Light Comfort Wire-Free Bra
Hanes makes our list again, this time for its wireless bra that our testers said was comfortable and surprisingly supportive despite not having an underwire. It was especially loved by testers who prefer to wear bralettes, but they found this style in particular to be more flattering.
It also wowed our experts in the Lab as the material fully recovered its shape after we stretched it out and it washed well with barely any shrinkage. Not to mention, it’s one of the least expensive bras we tested.
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 stand the thought of wearing a real bra, a so-called “lounge bra” is your best bet. This smooth, lightweight style has removable cups and our testers with smaller busts found it to be especially comfortable and supportive.
It comes in a larger-sized version (for women with bigger busts or full figures) that also did well in our review. Both styles held up in durability tests and our panel enjoyed wearing them, though they noted that they’re harder to hide under certain clothes.
Available in sizes XS-XL, with variations for plus-size and larger cups
Cosabella Never Say Never Sweetie Bralette
Bralettes are the most minimal bras out there – they don’t have padding or underwire. This pullover style from Cosabella has a pretty lace design (that our testers loved!) and comes in lots of colors so it can be part of your outfit if you want to let it show. Another great thing: the lace isn’t too delicate; it held up to our Lab tests without shrinking or stretching out. Plus, our panel said it was easy to get on and it stayed in place throughout the day. It wasn’t as supportive as other styles, but that’s expected for bralettes.
Available in sizes S-XL
Vanity Fair Beauty Back Full Figure Wirefree Bra
Not only does this full-figure style have a back-smoothing design that looked great under clothes, it also felt comfortable and super supportive on our testers. In fact, they were surprised to get so much support without an underwire (though it does come in a wired version if that’s what you prefer). “This bra is super comfortable and more supportive than most sports bras I own,” one woman said. Another thing testers rated it high for was its ability to stay in place throughout the day.
Available in band sizes 36-44 and cup sizes C-DDD
If your cup size is larger than a D or your band size is higher than a 36, you'll want a bra that's specifically designed for your shape. Look for wider shoulder straps and back panels that'll give you more support and a better, more comfortable fit.
Playtex Love My Curves T-Shirt Bra
Designed specifically for fuller figures, this bra has smoothing features that our testers said looked great under clothing. They also gave it a perfect score for staying in place, and liked that it was both comfortable and supportive. The straps are cushioned yet not too thick or wide, and they can convert to a crisscross in the back.
Our testers called out the appearance of the bra itself, saying it was feminine and pretty. They also found it to have good coverage while still being deep enough to wear with low cut tops.
Available in band sizes 36-44 and cup sizes C-G
Freya Idol Moulded Balcony Bra
If you struggle to find a good bra in larger cup sizes, this one’s for you. It goes up to a size HH (which is the UK equivalent of a US size L) and it performed well in our tests. It was durable in our Lab’s evaluations without any issues to report, and our panel loved wearing it and said it was comfortable, fit well, felt supportive, and looked great.
Our testers ranged from cup sizes D to G with this style, and one said she especially loved that “it was functional without looking like a granny bra.”
Available in band sizes 28-38 and UK cup sizes B-HH (click here to find what your UK size would be)
Soma Vanishing Back Unlined Bra
Traditional cups aren’t for everyone, so this bra skips the padding and uses a smooth, unlined fabric instead. Our panel still thought it looked great under clothing and one D-cup tester raved that it didn’t add unnecessary padding to make her shape even bigger. They also liked the lace pattern, smoothing capabilities, and the fact that it closes in the front, though some said the metal clasp got a bit annoying at times. It also washed well in the Lab without shrinkage or signs of wear.
Available in band sizes 32-42 and cup sizes B-G
It looks like a normal bra in the front, but the back is a smooth, slimming fabric that helps get rid of pesky bumps and bulges caused by bra lines. And though it wasn’t as easy to get on as normal bras, our panel said it looked great under clothes and it was both supportive and comfortable.
One D-cup tester even said that it was the best fitting and most comfortable bra she’s ever worn. The main downside for this one is that it’s the most expensive bra in our test. It’s also worth noting that sizing works a bit differently, so make sure to check the size chart before you buy it.
Available in sizes XS-1X and cup size A-E
These bras won't be your everyday go-tos, but they're necessary for special occasions or stylish outfits that show a typical T-shirt bra. While backless and strapless bras are often thought of as less comfortable, our testers were amazed at how much they loved these comfy, stay-put picks.
Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra
This bra is designed for larger cup sizes and 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. Our panel unanimously said it stayed in place all day and on top of that, it fit well, felt supportive, and looked great.
It held in up Lab tests without shrinking or stretching out, and we love that it comes in several shades of nude to match different skin tones.
Available in band sizes 30-44 and cup sizes B-H
Harper Wilde The Flex Everyday Strapless
This bra is lightly padded to give lift and was especially loved by our B-cup testers who highlighted the comfort, support, and the fact that it stayed in place in their feedback. They also said it gave a nice shape and looked great under clothing.
The online-only brand also has some unique features: it offers free shipping both ways so you can try on multiple sizes, has various shades of nude to match a range of skin tones, and comes with removable straps that adjust in the front.
Available in band sizes 32-42 and cup sizes A-F.
Victoria's Secret T-Shirt Demi Bra
$15 and up
This one’s a bit more minimal than full coverage styles and is lightly lined so you get some, but not too much padding. Our testers, who ranged in B-DD cup sizes, gave it perfect scores for support. They also said it gave them amazing shape and looked great under clothes.
It stretched out a bit in our Lab tests, though it held up well when we laundered it. Plus, the straps can convert to crisscross in the back so you can wear it with racerback tops.
Available in band sizes 32-40 and cup sizes A-DDD
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