Social distancing has significantly distorted my definition of comfort. Jeans I once considered comfortable now feel like there’s a boa constrictor around my thighs, and bras, well, they’re even more intolerable than before. While going braless is a good (and beneficial) option for some, others prefer having a bit of support. It’s hard enough finding a good bra when you shop in person, but finding a comfortable bra online? Even worse. According to Iris Clarke, owner of Iris Lingerie in Brooklyn, in order for a bra to be comfortable, it must fit.
“Bra fitting is an art,” says Clarke. “All of our band sizes are different, all of our cup sizes are different, bras come in all shapes, and breasts come in all shapes.”
Your best bet for finding a bra that fits perfectly is getting fitted by a professional. But, we know that’s currently not an option and won’t be anytime soon. Because bra shopping includes a lot of trial and error, Clarke says to order a few different options, and return the ones that don’t fit. To increase your chances of finding the one that fits, there are a few things to keep in mind.
How to find a comfortable bra online
Think about the amount of support you need
Phoebe Kunitomi, the founder of Okko, has a quick tip that can help depending on your cup size.
“For women who have cups size D or larger, I suggest looking for a bra that provides more support, such as those with adjustable or thicker straps and enough fabric in the front to adequately support the breast.” says Kinitomi. “For women with smaller chests, C or smaller, my recommendation is to find a bra that does not leave any gaps between your boob and the bra itself.”
Kunitomi says a common misconception is that heavy duty sports bras are the most comfortable, but that’s not always the case.
“Bras made for working out are intentionally very constricting, so boobs don’t jump all over the place,” she says. “Thankfully, there are more options on the market that are flexible and free like a sports bra but without the severe squishing.”
“In women with larger cup sizes, the way the straps sit on the shoulders and distribute the weight is going to play a bigger role in determining overall comfort level,” says Dr. Sekhon. “Thin straps can lead to excessive pressure on specific areas on the shoulder, which can be uncomfortable and cause soreness.”
Choose the fabric wisely
“Similar to fit, fabric is a key component in determining a bra’s comfort level,” says Kunitomi. “Your bra’s fabric touches some of your most intimate parts. For maximum comfort, you want to make sure that it is soft, not too tight, and breathable.”
She says the fabric you choose depends on personal preference. The bras at Okko are made of a nylon and spandex blend. “I love this option because it feels like a breath of fresh air while still being tight enough to support your ladies throughout the day. Dr. Sekhon adds that “softer materials like cotton will always be more comfortable than lace or anything that can feel rough or cause friction against the skin.” Kunitomi says that if you’re shopping for a cotton bra, make sure it’s blended with spandex so it stretches and molds to your body.
Avoid underwire, unless you know your size
“A wire bra could be comfortable if you get the proper size,” says Clarke. If you 100 percent know your size, feel free to try new underwire bras. But if it’s been some time since your last fitting, Clarke says you’re better off shopping wire-free bras .
Kunitomi is huge fan of wire-free bras, so no underwire, and no back clasp. “Have you ever had a small bruise on the side of your boob? That’s from an underwire poking your flesh,” she says. “If you sit at a desk all day, a back clasp can cause discomfort from rubbing against the back of the chair.
Test your new Bra in motion
“I can’t stress this enough—move around when you are trying on a bra,” says Kunitomi. “Being comfortable means your boobs feel supported while simultaneously feeling like they have nothing on, no matter what you are doing.” A bra might feel okay when you’re standing upright, but if your boob pops out when you bend over, it’s not the right fit.
Keep reading for some of our favorite picks.
Some of the most comfortable bras online
1. NIKE INDY LUXE, $50
This super soft bra offers light support, making it perfect for yoga, barre, or lounging. The straps are convertible, allowing you to wear the straps straight or crossed.
2. CUUP THE SCOOP, $68
Made with a butter microfiber fabric, and lightweight, flexible underwire, this bra offers support without feeling clunky.
3. OKKO SIGNATURE BRA, $39
“Fabric technology is so advanced these days,” says Kinitomi. “That’s why Okko has been able to create a wire-free alternative that provides the same support as a traditional underwire without having to wear metal.”
This unlined bra is complete with thick straps to help redistribute the weight of your breasts without digging into your shoulders. The front clasp not only makes it easier to get on and of, but prevents you from potential irritation from a back clasp rubbing against your seat.
This bra is the upgraded, cuter version of a tank with a built-in bra. It’s ribbed, supper soft, and offers minimal support without feeling like you’re wearing a bra.
6. HARPER WILDE THE BASE, $40
Soft and lightly lined, this full coverage, underwire bra provides comfortable support. Because the straps adjust in the front, fixing your strap length is super easy, and a j-hook in back allows for easy racerback conversion.
This cute and comfy bra is made with stretch foam cups and a soft lace. There’s wide, flat elastic hidden in the bottom band for support without wires.
8. LIVELY THE ALL-DAY T-SHIRT BRA, $35
Made from a soft fabric, this T-shirt bra is perfect for wearing all day long.
9. Soma Wireless Bralette, $46
This supportive and comfortable bra is perfect fuller chests. It comes with removable cups, allowing you to choose the look you prefer.
Working from home means underwear is not required. This is exactly what happens to your boobs when you stop wearing a bra. And here’s what happens when you ditch your panties for multiple days in a row.