Best Bra of 2021
The Bali Women's Comfort Revolution Wire-Free is one that we found ourselves reaching for each day. The thicker, ergonomic straps are slip-free, providing comfort all day long, even during exercise. Constructed without a wire and synthetic materials, it wicks and breathes well, especially in warm weather. We wore it for weeks on end — even while sleeping and running. We can't help but boast its wonderful color options and comfortable nature. It has a nicely shaped cup that doesn't have any nipple show and can easily be worn under tight shirts for a seamless look. It features medium support with a true to fit sizing.
At retail price, it's a little on the expensive side. After running and skiing with it on for five hours, we noticed one small point of rub on the back of the strap, right where the length adjustments reside. This contender is built for comfort and proves to be a favorite for its wireless design that is supportive, shapely, and best for all-day comfort.
The Hanes Women's Oh So Light Comfort Flex Fit Wire Free is a t-shirt model that balances everyday functionality with a cute touch. This wireless contender is composed of synthetic and soft materials that provide enough support for casual, all-day wear, and light activity. We love the lacy frontal window between the breasts that gives this functional everyday wear option a sexy, cute look. The cups have minimal padding for a seamless look under a shirt, with no nipple show-through in our testing. While it's not the most supportive, it's best for those who are seeking minimal impact, light padding, and wear-all-day comfort. The price is also quite attractive.
Our only qualms with this product are the noted issues with quality and longevity. While stitching is seamless, it stretched out and compacted in our testing period pretty quickly. Also, the top of the cuff, with stretching, has started to roll, which many of our testers were disappointed by. This is the best high-value option that we've tested, and we recommend it if you don't mind a little compaction after a few months of wear.
If you seek a great deal on a sports bra, the MIRITY Racerback High Impact is an excellent three-pack deal. It offers full coverage and support for jumping, running, hiking, skiing, and pretty much any outdoor activity. The nylon and spandex blend work together to provide breathability and wicking strength, and help release sweat easily. The materials are soft and seamless, with no chaffing in key areas with our team of testers. The cups are removable with the option to have a high or low support experience. Also, three for one? You can't go wrong with that kind of deal.
While we can appreciate the excellent value, it might feel a touch tight around the band if you have a wider torso. Unfortunately, it has no adjustment for this issue, but the band does stretch as you use it through the day, bouncing back into shape after a wash. The other issue is the removable cups, which, like any removable cup, gets folded up and misshapen with a wash. We ended up removing the cups, which also made this product a little less support and some nipple show. If you're seeking an excellent deal, this high impact option is best for sports and activities with adjustable support.
The Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Memory Touch is a beautifully crafted option without an underwire that boasts superiorly soft materials, a stretchy band, and excellent comfort. It offers excellent support under the breast for shapely perfection that looks nice under any tank top or t-shirt. It is one of the only options that utilizes a completely seamless band. The cups almost completely cover the breast, providing a nice shape, with memory foam cups that feel supportive and comfortable.
While comfortable, the straps are thin and tend to fall off the shoulders. While we didn't experience any issues with stretching out in our short testing window, we suspect that the ultra-thin band might lose its elasticity over time, but we will continue to test it out to see how it fairs. Overall, if you're seeking a traditional design that offers an excellent shape, comfort, and super soft memory foam on both the cups and clasp, this is the one to buy.
If a wireless option with excellent coverage, support, and quality is what you value, the Vanity Fair Beauty Back Full-Coverage is one that stands out. It features cups that completely cover the breasts and a full-backed strap that distributes bounce and movement well. We appreciate the front-facing strap adjustments that make length changes easy. The cups are placed at an appropriate distance with extra material between the cups for enhanced support. The cups are also ample, which for our testing team, meant the breast was nestled inside, without pour-over from the sides or top. The wider back strap also helps to prevent pooching or constriction against the skin for a smooth look under any t-shirt.
Our biggest caveat lies in the pointy construction of the cup. Our testers found that under a shirt, the cup wasn't as rounded as a traditional model, which was a dealbreaker for some. We also noticed that during super sweaty endeavors, there was minor discomfort at the clasp, as there is a seam there. However, for all-day casual wear, this didn't present to be an issue. This high-quality full-coverage wireless contender is an excellent choice for those looking for a wireless option with a high level of support and coverage.
If you prefer next to no padding with just a little fabric for full-coverage support, the Hanes Comfort Evolution is one to take a gander at. It has no additional cup support and sports a thin layer of polyester and spandex that makes it feel like it's hardly there. The three-clasp adjustments make the torso diameter adjustable while the material is stretchy, to move easily with the body. If you prefer no padding with low impact support, this is the best one we've come across so far.
While this contender is full coverage, it has a plunging neckline which means there's less support between the breasts. With no additional padding, nipples can be seen through the material, and the shape of the breast under the shirt is your own. Some of our testers reported a chaffing point on one of the straps where a seam bulges out, making it uncomfortable for long-term wear while exercising and sweating. This is best for those seeking full coverage with minimal support that touts a breathable construction.
If you seek a supportive option for sports or running, the RUNNING GIRL Criss-Cross is a super cute go-to. It comes in a variety of colors with a criss-cross back that looks great with any tank top, open-backed shirt, or workout outfit. It features a two-layered design with a wicking interior mesh, and outer nylon construct that stretches, moves, and bounces back with the body. The best feature is its high level of support (when the cups are in) for the smallest and largest of breasts. It's incredibly versatile, performing well while skiing, hiking, running, hitting the gym, and doing pilates. You can also wear it casually around town and under any shirt for nice, shapely support.
The support comes in the form of a tighter elasticized construction that might feel a little too tight for some women with a larger torso and smaller breasts. The cups are removable, which helps with this fit qualm, but the support is lost by removing them. Since the cups are removable, they easily move and can be misshapen or fall out after a wash. We also notice that the materials can hold moisture, especially when sweating underneath many layers. With these specific fit issues aside, it's still the option we go for hitting the gym or heading out on the trail for a run because of the outstanding level of support and stylish criss-cross back pattern.
If all-day wireless comfort is what you seek, the Warner's Easy Does It No Bulge Wirefree will surely not disappoint. It's engineered to stretch, with a wider elasticized strap to provide a little more support and to prevent bulges. The straps are comfortable and we did not experience them sliding down. Perhaps the best comfort feature is the plush and smooth cups, which make it comfortable to wear all day long, even through exercise and casual wear. We also appreciate that there is nice support between the cups.
After two weeks of use, with a few washes in between, we are disappointed that the cups lost their shape and the fabric at the top of the cup began to roll down. Since this contender doesn't boast shapeliness, the cup wouldn't hold a specific shape and has begun to flex laterally. As a result, it has a low level of support. If comfort, wireless, and super soft materials are what you're after, this is an excellent low-impact option to consider.
The Natori Pure Luxe Custom Coverage is a fashionable t-shirt contender with a traditional underwire style. It stands out for its high-quality construction, shapely (almost push-up style) cups, and lacy straps that make for a sexy, yet casual look. The elasticized band has three adjustments with a super light and stretchy band that feels comfortable on the skin. It offers a medium level of support.
Unfortunately, while it's cute, it's not the most comfortable for all-day wear. While the cups and band are soft on the skin, the lacy band and adjustments dug into our skin. The band also feels a little smaller than most other models in its sizing. As a result, we often opted not to wear this one for casual everyday wear. However, for a special evening where a sexy strap and a cute look is required, this is a nice go-to.
The Fruit of the Loom T-Shirt stands out for its bargain prices that'll get you a two-for-one deal. It uses a cotton blend construction that breathes well in hot weather and offers a nice shapely look under any t-shirt. We love the front-facing adjustments, which make it a little easier to use than other traditional underwire bras.
Unfortunately, with a traditional underwire design, it isn't incredibly comfortable, especially in comparison to the numerous wireless and wired options with better comfort features. The straps and clasp feel itchy, the materials hold moisture when you sweat, and the cups and band feel a touch too small for the sizing. This set is only best for those that prefer a cotton construction, underwire, and a nice shape at a great price — but be mindful of its comfort pitfalls.
The Playtex 18 Hour Ultimate Lift Wirefree is a simple padless option that accomplishes some lift without the use of an underwire. It features a lacy and patterned style that looks nice on its own. It also has an additional side lift with reinforced seams and wider, stretchy bands with a nice variety of size options. This is advertised as a very supportive model, but we beg to differ.
When we first ordered and researched this contender, the marketing led us to believe it would be incredibly supportive, with great lift. The fact that it has no padding and is a cupped design without an underwire is quite surprising and didn't meet our expectations out of the package. Additionally, we wouldn't recommend this to most because the materials aren't very comfortable. There are many seams throughout with rigid lacy materials that make for chaffing hot spots, there's no padding in the cups, and the shape is a bit pointy. While it does accomplish offering some lift, it's not what we'd call "supportive" or an option with "ultimate lift" as claimed. If you want a little lift in a pad-free construction with a cute design, this option might work for you.
Why You Should Trust Us
Senior reviewer editor and content developer, Amber King and her testing team bring you this review. With over 23 years of wearing a bra and experience writing over 30 different categories of gear, she knows what goes into an excellent product. In addition to being a writer, she is a teacher, outdoor adventurer, and athlete. She spends her days teaching outdoors in nature education and exploring the local San Juan mountain range that she calls home in Colorado.
Our testing process started with researching the most popular options on the market for three hours. After selecting a wide variety of casual everyday wear options, we ordered and tested each side-by-side. Our main tester ordered a 34B size and found other friends that fit this size, to aid in the testing process. During the fall and winter in Colorado, we wore each product while running, skiing, hiking, climbing, and working from home. We take the time to note the nuances of each product by looking at materials, material thickness, seams, stretch, fit, and overall comfort. After months of testing, we offer our recommendations to take the guesswork out of which are the best.
Analysis and Test Results
We've taken the time to assess the most popular contenders that we could find on the market. After wearing them for days and comparing one to the other, we can help you figure out which will be supportive, comfortable, and ready for day to day wear. Focusing on casual options, we rate each based on four important metrics, including comfort, support and fit, shape, and breathability.
Your bra should feel comfortable, and even cozy for all-day wear. It isn't meant to feel like a torture device, but we've certainly encountered those that you can't wait to rip off at the end of the day. The market is full of them — cheap, scratchy materials, and basically useless because you can't stand to wear it all day. Wouldn't it be nice, instead, to wear one that you forget is on? As a result, we take comfort seriously. To assess this metric, we gave each option out to our testing team and wore them daily for at least three weeks each. Specifically, we look at construction (wire or wireless?), straps, the elastic, and how the materials feel against the skin. After wearing all day while heading to work, the gym, the store, and up a few mountains, we note which are more comfortable than others.
In our research, we've noticed that the most comfortable options are those with soft synthetic materials (i.e. nylon or polyester), wireless construction, and a certain level of elasticity that doesn't pinch. We also notice that thicker, padded straps are preferred by those in our testing pool to thin options. Those with a seamless construction also win over those with pinch points or adjustments that dig into the skin. Of them all, the Hanes Comfort Evolution is hands down the most comfortable.
This contender uses a super-thin fabric that has any extra padding and is essentially a swatch of soft material, wrapping your bodice with soft fabrics for excellent support. The Bali Comfort Revolution Wirefree and Hanes Oh So Light Comfort Flex Fit Wirefree are two others that also stand out. All three are options that we felt comfortable wearing from the office to the gym. All are wire-free and favorites with wear-all-day comfort. The Vanity Fair Beauty Back Full Coverage Wirefree is another high-quality option that is incredibly comfortable, offering a superior shapeliness to the rest. Of the sports-specific options, we prefer the MIRITY Racerback High Impact (a three-pack option), as it has a little more stretch to the fabrics.
Support and Fit
A supportive bra is one that helps prevent bounce, offers a little lift, and maintains its shape when in use. We also found that a comfortable, stretchy band that supports the cups also offers more in the way of fit. To test support, we put each on, take them for a run and ski, jumped up and down, and wore each throughout the day. Those that offer the least amount of jiggle, with what our testing team thinks is a good fit, score highest in this category.
The top-scoring options in this category are those with extra padding and full coverage for a high impact level of support. Sports options like the MIRITY Racerback High Impact and RUNNING GIRL Criss-Cross are high impact options, designed to keep bounce to a minimum.
Both utilize the elastic band as a closure, meaning you pull it over your head. With included padded cups, these options are very highly supportive with the MIRITY Racerback having a high cut, and thus, more coverage. The only downside of both options is when you remove the cups, support dwindles considerably, even though there is fabric covering the chest throughout; both for a fit that's true to size.
Of the traditional, everyday wear t-shirt contenders, the Vanity Fair Beauty Back Full Coverage Wirefree is by far our favorite. It boasts a super-wide and stretchy band, with cups that come over the top of the breast, covering it completely. There is a good amount of support between the cups as well, offering bounce-free performance for the women in our testing team. What's surprising is the completely wireless construction that is also very supportive. The Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Memory Touch T-Shirt is another that isn't full coverage, but a traditional option made from sturdy materials that hold their shape, and thus offer good support. The band isn't as wide as the Vanity Fair Beauty Back and there's a little less support between the breasts.
If you prefer an underwire construction, be sure to check out the Natori Pure Luxe Custom Coverage. It has a memory foam cup that offers nice coverage, with a thicker band that also provides more support. However, it's not as supportive as the Vanity Fair Beauty Back, nor is it as comfortable for all-day wear.
After wear all day, it's important that your bra doesn't pooch, fold, or look mis-shapen. After all, wouldn't it be nice to have something that is supportive and looks good under any tight top or dress? For this test, we simply put each on and look at the shape of it under a tight t-shirt. Most in our testing offer a nice profile, while others are pointed at the nipple or make the breast look misshapen.
Those with a little extra padding, high-quality materials, and a cup that doesn't cause boob spill-over score the highest in this metric. Three options stand-out as our favorite which includes the Vanity Fair Beauty Back Full Coverage Wirefree, Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Memory Touch T-Shirt, and Natori Pure Luxe Custom Coverage. All have a spacious cup that is true to fit, with the Vanity Fair completely covering the breast, unlike the Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Memory Touch or the Natori Pure Luxe Custom Coverage. All have a medium level of padding with cups that are supportive, and thus, shapely. The Calvin Klein has the least amount of coverage, with cups that are a little close together, offering a little 'push up', but still in a nice round look under any t-shirt. The Natori Pure Luxe is similar, with a bit more coverage than Calvin Klein. One thing to mention is the Vanity Fair Beauty Back has a bit of a pointier construction than the other options, which some like and others do not.
The Fruit of the Loom 2-Pack also offers a really nice shape but has an uncomfortable underwire. The Bali Comfort Revolution Wirefree fits well, allowing the breast to fill the cups, without spillover, but the cups aren't as shapely as our highest scorers. Sports bras like the MIRITY Racerback High Impact and RUNNING GIRL Criss-Cross also offer a really nice shape, with removable cups. However, when the cups are removed, it assumes your natural shape, including nipple show.
Options with super soft or flexible cups that are wire-free typically don't score as well in this category but do the job for most. For example; the Hanes Oh So Light Comfort Flex Fit Wirefree is one of our favorites for its exceptional level of comfort, but the cup itself is soft — still holding its shape, but not as well as those with an underwire or a more rigid memory foam cup construction. The Warner's Easy Does It No Bulge Wirefree claims there no bulges; however, we found the cups do deform and squished laterally for many of our testers, deeming it to be less shapely. If you prefer a shape-less construction, be sure to take a look at the Hanes Comfort Evolution, a supportive option with no padding or cushion.
A bra that breathes and keeps you dry is one that'll help to keep you comfortable all day long. Whether you're sweating at the gym, commuting to work, or hanging out at home, breathability is an important factor when considering comfort. For this metric, we ran and backcountry skiied in each option to see wick away sweat, dry out quickly, and breathe around the cups and band.
The best are those constructed from polyester, nylon, spandex, and elastane. Luckily, most tested did very well, with thinner materials in the cup and band doing better than those that are thicker. The Bali Comfort Revolution Wirefree (94% Nylon, 6% Spandex), Hanes Oh So Light Comfort Flex Fit Wirefree (84% Nylon, 16% Spandex), and Hanes Comfort Evolution (89% Polyester, 11% Spandex) are the most breathable for their synthetic material construction and thinner materials. All thin contenders that promote excellent wicking and breathability, especially for hot weather. The Comfort Evolution is the thinnest of these three, with the Bali Comfort being the thickest in the cups.
Sports bras like the MIRITY Racerback High Impact(90% Nylon, 10% Spandex) and RUNNING GIRL Criss-Cross (88% Nylon, 12% spandex) also do well in this metric, but not as well as the thinner options above. With more support, we still recommend these options for sports. Both have two layers of materials in their construction, with the RUNNING GIRL having a thicker construction that holds a little more moisture than the MIRITY Racerback. Both wick well and dry quickly; they are also suitable for hot weather or any aerobic or non-aerobic activity. While the MIRITY Racerback has more area coverage (making it seem a little warmer) it has many vents to promote water transfer and breathability.
A bra that you wear all-day every-day shouldn't feel like a torture device. Instead, we want to opt for one that's comfortable and supportive, and looks great under a shirt and on its own. We realize that each person has differently shaped and sized breasts, with unique considerations and needs. While we offer recommendations, keep in mind what you need choose accordingly. It's our hope that we've been able to present the best option for your needs and budget.
— Amber King