Best Sports Bras

Updated October 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Panache Underwired Sports Bra
Underwired Sports Bra
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Extra Support
Bottom Line

Top of the line sports bra that offers maximum support.


This sports bra offers maximum support by lifting and supporting each breast. It minimizes bounce by 83% during workouts by strapping breasts down with its adjustable back. Designed to feel like a regular bra.


Some users have noted sizing issues.

Best Bang for the Buck
Under Armour Mid Crossback Print Sports Bra
Under Armour
Mid Crossback Print Sports Bra
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

Best medium-support sports bra for A-C cups.


Fabric blend leads to a fuller, thicker-feeling sports bra that provides superior support for all activities, including intense training workouts. It provides heat and moisture management through ventilation. Reasonable price point.


Some fuller-chested users reported not enough support.

Glamorise Cami Medium Support Sports Bra
Cami Medium Support Sports Bra
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Best for Plus Sizes
Bottom Line

Comfortable and supportive sports bra.


A top choice for its mesh camisole design, which offers plenty of security along with comfortable airflow. Made from a breathable material that keeps you cool during workouts. Features reinforced cups that help you feel supported.


Users have noted that the material can feel scratchy.

Lavento Racerback Sports Bra Yoga Crop Top with Built in Bra
Racerback Sports Bra Yoga Crop Top with Built in Bra
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

Can be worn as both a top and a sports bra.


Designed for comfort and made out of a 4-way stretch material that feels silky on the skin. Built-in cups help with support while the longline design allows you to wear this as a top as well as a sports bra.


Not supportive enough for high-impact workouts.

YIANNA Cross Back Padded Sports Bra Medium Support
Cross Back Padded Sports Bra Medium Support
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Most Stylish
Bottom Line

Medium-support sports bra with criss-cross back straps.


Made out of a sweat-wicking material that keeps your body cool and dry during workouts. Fabric is made with Lycra which allows the bra to stretch to the shape of your body over time. Features a unique backstrap design.


Lighter support; not appropriate for all activities.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best sports bras

When it comes to exercise, women should do some pre-workout prep before they even begin their warm-up. And this prep should include a piece of clothing that is not just essential for us women, but also vital when it comes to working out. That’s right, ladies, we’re talking about sports bras.

The right sports bra can not only affect your performance, energy level, and comfort during exercise but also after it. Sports bras can provide comfort during your routine, help ease your breathing, aid in sweat absorption, and even prevent rashes by allowing air to breathe through. And these facts have not gone unnoticed by manufacturers.

The consumer market is flooded with sports bra styles — from colorful, strappy athleisure options, to high-performance activewear. If you’re looking to accent your day-to-day tee collection, you can choose a sports bra that best fits your style. But if you’re preparing to exercise or play active sports, you need a bra that offers support, comfort, and durability.

We’ve identified the bras that provide the perfect combination of performance and ease, whether you’re flowing through vinyasas or completing the final miles of a marathon. Please see our recommendations or read our shopping guide if you’d like to learn more about finding and caring for the perfect sports bra.

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The sports bra you choose should match your preferred form of exercise in terms of size, material, and purpose.

Benefits of wearing a sports bra

Whether you’re into aerobics with an A cup or hiking with DD’s, your breasts should be well-supported during most activities, including exercise.

Exercise can cause your breasts to bounce up and down and side to side, straining your body and creating discomfort. Without bones or muscles to provide stability, the soft, fatty tissues in your breasts can, in fact, shift and bounce several inches. Over time, the strain on your skin and ligaments can lead to stretching and sagging - the exact opposite of what you're trying to accomplish by exercising.

A properly fitted sports bra minimizes bounce by about half, holding your breasts firm as you tone and sculpt your muscles. Engineered with the right material and design for active movement, a quality sports bra prevents stress, stretch, and damage to your delicate tissues and ligaments. What's more, it keeps you comfortable!

The size of your breasts and your chosen mode of exercise play important roles in the type of sports bra you need. A bra’s fabric and design also factor into its comfort and durability.

Remember the three Fs when choosing a sports bra: Fit, Fabric, and Function.

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Kelsi is a professional women’s rugby player and currently trains full time with the USA 7s team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. Before making the national team, she played for the Seattle Saracens and helped win two National Championships. A true fitness enthusiast, Kelsi has also participated in cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, soccer, track, gymnastics, and wrestling.
National Champion Rugby Player

Types and fit of sports bras

There are two bra types to choose from: the compression bra and the encapsulation bra.

Compression sports bras

These sports bras press the breasts against the chest wall, minimizing movement. Most pullover styles and shelf bras are compression bras. These bras bind your chest and restrict bouncing, but they can be uncomfortable for women with larger breasts.

Encapsulation sports bras

These sports bras feature individual cups that surround the breasts to maintain their natural shape, yet minimize bounce while moving. These bras often have rigid cups, bands, and straps in the front to restrict movement, making them ideal for larger cup sizes.

Most standard bras are encapsulation bras, while most pullover sports bras rely on compression to do their job. However, there are plenty of styles that combine the characteristics of both. These styles offer maximum support while you get your sweat on.

"Reduce friction against your skin with a bra boasting seam-free construction, molded cups, or padded straps."

Finding the right fit

Proper fit could mean the difference between an under-performing, saggy sports bra and a bra that pulls its weight during your workout. Pay attention to both band and cup size. If you're in a dressing room, be sure to take it for a test run (or jump, or stretch)!

Band size: Make sure your bra is tight around the band, which provides the majority of support. You want it slightly tighter than your everyday bras, but not to the point that it restricts deep breathing.

Cup size: To test for correct cup size, make sure the cup holds the entire breast. Spillage out the top or sides does not offer proper support and could lead to painful chafing. Also, if you see wrinkles or puckering, it could mean your cup size is too big. The fabric should be smooth and flush to your skin.

Wearing a badly fitted bra, especially during sports or workouts, can actually make you ill. More than 80% of women wear the wrong bra size.


Finding the right style of sports bra

In addition to the perfect fit, you want a sports bra style that suits your purpose and physique.

  • Racerback designs are common in sports bras and provide terrific freedom of movement; they're great for twisting in yoga or running. The racerback connects the shoulder straps between your shoulder blades, cinching the straps tighter and anchoring the bra closer to the body. This allows you to maintain the full rotation of your arms and shoulders without losing frontal support.
  • Tank top style bras are also popular. The straps are wide to help distribute weight and, often, they're padded for extra comfort. This type of strap is commonly seen on bras with a back closure, and they're usually adjustable so you can fine-tune your fit.
  • Pullover sports bras are the most common type. They have an all-over stretch which is great for tugging the bra over your top knot, but not so great when it comes to support.

Fabric of a sports bra

You don’t want to get distracted during your morning run by a scratchy seam or straps that dig into your shoulders. When it comes to enjoying a killer workout, comfort is the key. And the fabric your bra is made of plays a key role in that comfort.

Moisture-wicking fabrics — polyester, nylon, Lycra, spandex, or a cotton blend that incorporates these materials — keep you dry during even the toughest boot camp workout. Some companies specialize in moisture-wicking blends that also keep you cool while providing support. Many of these lightweight fabrics offer varying levels of stretch, so you are supported but not constricted while moving.

Breathable mesh panels can also help keep you cool while maintaining adequate support. Such material absorbs sweat and also allows air to pass through to your skin, providing not only cooling but also drying of sweat. This ensures that moisture does not remain trapped on your skin.

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Expert Tip
If you're trying on a sports bra for the first time, put it through a little dressing room workout by jumping or running in place. If you can feel your breasts bouncing, the bra is probably not right for you.

Function of a sports bra

When choosing a sports bra, ask yourself, “What type of activities will I be doing in this bra?”

Does your exercise routine involve a lot of running or jumping? Do you mainly practice yoga? Are you looking for a little extra support while walking? Just as there are different types of exercise, there are different sports bras that provide various levels of support.

Most manufacturers specify whether a particular bra is meant for low-, medium-, or high-impact exercise.

  • Low-impact activities such as walking, yoga, pilates, and strength training often don’t require an intense amount of support. Basic, stretchy pullover sports bras and shelf bras tend to do the trick. Women with smaller cup sizes typically don’t require more support than what a low-impact bra provides.
  • Medium-impact sports such as hiking, skiing, and cycling can lead to more bouncing and discomfort without a proper sports bra. Some compression bras may suffice, but finding a bra with the right combination of encapsulation and compression is ideal.
  • High-impact sports such as tennis, basketball, aerobics, and running call for total bounce control. A rigid encapsulation bra with some compression eliminates movement and keeps you comfortable throughout a high-impact workout.
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Ensure the material of the bra lets the skin breathe and does not irritate it, specially when in contact with sweat.

Tips on how to care for your sports bra

  • If you work out two to three times per week, aim to replace your sports bra every four to six months.
  • Heat breaks down spandex and other synthetic fibers, so plan to wash your sports bras in cold water with detergent.
  • Skip the dryer and let your sports bras dry in the open air. This could help you add a couple of months to your favorite racerback.
  • Even with precise care, sports bras stretch over time. If your bra loses its springy quality, it's not going to do its job properly. Time for a replacement!
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