Sports bras aren’t just for advanced yogis and marathon runners. If you’re going for a leisurely jog or bike ride around the park, a sports bra is just as useful a piece of clothing as it is for weight lifting or Pilates. Some women even prefer to keep sports bras on hand for lounging at home since they’re more comfortable and less constricting than traditional bras while still offering support.
Buying Guide for Sports Bras
Why buy a sports bra?
Sports bras offer incredible support during workouts, but they’re also incredibly versatile. Sports bras are great for wearing around the house and running errands since they’re so comfortable. They’re also great for athleisure looks. You can pair your sports bra with joggers, a bomber jacket, and a cute pair of sneakers for a comfy yet trendy athleisure outfit.
What should you look for in a sports bra?
- Support: Though all sports bras offer some degree of support for your chest, some brands or designs will offer more support than others. There are even sports bras with underwires for firmer lift and support. Certain sports bras are also better for high-impact exercises like running or jumping rope, while others are best geared towards low-impact exercises like cycling or walking.
- Material: Certain materials may be more comfortable for some users than others; some women like that spandex feels like a second skin, for instance, while others find it too clingy or tight. Also, keep an eye out for certain materials that offer more ventilation and are less prone to underarm chafing, like two-ply mesh constructions and soft knit bras.
- Design: The racerback sports bra is probably the most recognizable and classic design, but there are alternative design choices more akin to traditional bras or camisoles if you’re looking for a sports bra that is less noticeable underneath your workout clothes. Sports bras designed to look like conventional bras offer lift, shape, and comfort and are a breeze to wear under your daily attire.
How do you find the right size of sports bra for you?
Since sports bras typically aren’t sized the same way as traditional bras with cup sizes and band sizes, it can be trickier to find the right fit for you. A sports bra that’s too small can be tight and uncomfortable, whereas a sports bra that’s too large for your bust won’t offer much support. However, there are some brands designed for women who wear larger- or smaller-than-average cup sizes. For a perfect fit, it’s best to measure your bust and band size with a tape measure and refer to the size chart for the ideal size.
Our Picks for the Best Sports Bras
FITTIN Racerback Sports Bras for Women
Try this high-quality sports bra that helps manage your sweat and temperature as you exercise.
Pros: Here’s an all-around quality sports bra well suited to various types of physical activity. It’s an easy pull-on/pull-off bra that can be washed by hand or machine. It’s available in sizes small to 3XL. The nylon, polyester, and spandex blend bra is form-fitting, comfortable, and soft against your skin. The Climacool material also provides extra ventilation to avoid overheating, and it soaks up your sweat so that you can work out without feeling drenched. They’re available individually in seven different colors or in packs of two, three, or four, so you can order what fits your personal needs.
Cons: This bra doesn’t offer as much support for women with larger busts. It’s also recommended to hand wash this bra for longevity.
Bottom Line: This bra is designed for the woman on the go- it’s soft, skin-friendly, and offers plenty of elasticity for high-intensity workouts! It’s also padded for full coverage and is breathable enough to wear underneath your everyday clothes.
Fruit of the Loom Women's Cotton Pullover Sports Bra
A set of bras designed for medium- and low-impact exercise that are still comfortable enough to wear while relaxing at home.
Pros: A set of bras that are stretchy and comfortable enough to wear to the gym or lounging around at home. It’s available in a wide variety of colors and patterns so you can express your style while working out. Some of the bras come equipped with built-in padding for extra support that can be easily removed if desired, while others are pad-free. The elastic hem and double spaghetti straps keep the bra firmly in place during wear while still remaining comfortable. The 2-ply stretch construction and tag-free labels are also designed to keep you comfortable throughout your workout.
Cons: These sports bras have a limited size range. Some of the bras are pad-free.
Bottom Line: These sports bras are soft, comfortable, and perfect everyday bras. They’re incredibly affordable and versatile. They’re also great for medium- and low-impact exercises like cardio, yoga, and Pilates.
Yvette High Impact Women Sports Bra
A stylish sports bra with double shoulder straps, ideal for yoga and high-impact cardio alike.
Pros: This is a premium sports bra designed specifically with high- and medium-impact exercises in mind. It’s available in sizes small to 5XL. The fabric will feel cool and silky against your skin while remaining stretchy, durable, and quick-drying as you exercise. The mesh camisole front panel is complete with a durable zipper that helps keep your chest secure and covered while also providing ventilation. The keyhole racerback allows for more style and ventilation than typical sports bras, making it an ideal bra for cardio and weight training. The 3D support pads are also sewn in, so they won’t shift during your workout.
Cons: This bra is more expensive than other sports bras on this list. This bra also runs small, so it’s recommended for women with large busts to size up.
Bottom Line: Machine washable and sweat-wicking, this polyamide-elastane blend bra offers four-way stretch and support. This bra is fashionable and supportive enough to double as an everyday sports bra top. It even has an adjustable hook and eye closure for the perfect fit.
Just My Size Women's Pure Comfort Plus Size Bra
A sports bra designed to give extra support and security while also offering wire-free comfort and breathability.
Pros: This is an extra-supportive sports bra that won’t hinder your movement and is wire-free for your comfort. It’s available in sizes XL to 6XL. It comes in several timeless colors, and you even have the option of purchasing these bras as a set. The cups are pad-free and soft, and the four-way stretch gives your chest maximum security and holds your bra in place. The straps are wide for more support. The material is seamless and smoothing, and it wicks away sweat and dries quickly. This bra is ideal for women who wear bigger cup sizes and those prone to shoulder or back pain.
Cons: The material doesn’t offer as much coverage and support as some others. This bra also runs small, so it’s recommended to size up.
Bottom Line: This plus size-friendly bra is wire-free for maximum comfort, so it’s great for working out or lounging. It has 360-degree stretch and knit-in support that gently lifts and shapes your breasts. It’ll also keep you cool and dry due to its moisture-wicking material.
Hanes Women's SmoothTec ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra
This comfortable, lightweight bra is versatile enough to wear while working out or relaxing at home.
Pros: This sports bra is designed with your comfort in mind. It’s available in neutral tones of black, white, beige, navy, and heather grey. It also comes in small to 3XL. It’s unlined, pad-free, and wire-free, so it’s the perfect bra for sleeping in. It also has a stretchy, ComfortFlex fit that’s designed to mold to your body without being too tight or constricting. The wide straps offer plenty of support and are sure to stay in place throughout your workout. It also has an easy-to-wear hook and eye closure, making it a breeze to take on and off.
Cons: This bra doesn’t offer as much support as other bras on this list. It’s also unlined, so it may not be ideal for those with larger busts.
Bottom Line: This bra has a seamless design that makes it easy to layer underneath your clothes. The v neckline is also flattering, allowing you to wear this bra with many different styles of tops and blouses.
A great sports bra is a staple piece for most women due to its comfort and support during exercise and relaxation. If you need a new sports bra, check out our top picks.