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Best Minimizers

Updated April 2018
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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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Read more
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How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 94 Models Considered
  • 21 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 153 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Minimizers

    Last Updated April 2018

    For many, a plus-sized bust is a highly coveted physical attribute. But while a full and voluptuous figure may have its perks, finding clothes that fit properly often poses a tremendous challenge. The back, shoulders, and neck can take on considerable strain as well.

    If these issues sound all too familiar, a minimizer bra could be just what you need. Specifically designed to provide extra support while reshaping the bust, a good minimizer will effectively reduce chest circumference.

    If you're in the market for a minimizer but don't know where to start, we're here to help. At BestReviews, we're dedicated to providing consumers with pertinent information that helps them make solid buying decisions. To do this, we consult the experts, put in hours of research, and perform independent testing in our labs. Free manufacturer samples are never part of the process, and you can count on the fact that all our opinions are informed, objective, and completely free from bias.

    Our guide below will walk you through each step of selecting the perfect minimizer. When you're done reading, browse our top five picks in the easy-to-navigate product matrix above.

    If you're considering breast-reduction surgery, try a minimizer first. Many women are surprised at how effective a quality minimizer bra can be.

    Do you need a minimizer bra?

    Not sure if you need a minimizer bra? Consider switching to a minimizer if any of the following apply to you.

    • You avoid wearing button-down blouses due to stretching and gaping between buttons.

    • Form-fitting shirts not only feel tight around the bust, but create a visible horizontal line across or under your breasts.

    • You feel physically uncomfortable and need better support.

    • You find that most bra straps dig into your shoulders and back due to the weight of your breasts.

    • You have wide-set medium to large breasts with little to no cleavage.

    • The size of your breasts makes you feel self-conscious.
       

    A good minimizer will address the issues mentioned above through supportive breast tissue compression, redistribution, and shaping.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you feel as though your breasts are disproportionately large, a minimizer can help create a more balanced profile.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Minimizer bra benefits

    While the name alone pretty much sums up their function, confusion abounds when it comes to the actual capabilities of minimizer bras and how they really work. To start with, it's important to understand that a minimizer won't decrease the true size of your breasts. In fact, even your original cup size is likely remain the same – assuming you're already using the correct size for your measurements, of course.

    What a minimizer will do, however, is make your breasts look smaller by reducing their circumference. This is achieved by strategically adding support and compression where it matters most, lessening forward projection and lifting the sides toward the underarms. The redistribution of tissue not only gives your breasts a boost, it also helps to even them out.

    In essence, a minimizer bra does the following:

    • Adds support

    • Reshapes and contains

    • Evenly distributes tissue for a smooth, bulge-free effect

    • Reduces the measurements around the fullest part of the bust

    • Decreases overall visibility
       

    Furthermore, minimizer bras are often coupled with wider straps that are better able to support heavier breasts without digging into the shoulders.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    A minimizer bra can reduce the circumference of the bust by between three-quarters of an inch and two inches, depending on your cup size.

    Minimizers vs. sports bras

    Although both provide full coverage and offer excellent support, minimizers and sports bras are intended for different purposes.

    • Minimizer bras are specially engineered to reduce the circumference of the bustline while simultaneously providing support and shaping the breasts, whether with or without an underwire.

    • Sports bras are primarily designed to firmly hold the breasts in place and protect them from high-impact activities through compression. Here, size reduction is generally a secondary benefit. Some sports bras have underwires to encapsulate each breast separately, resulting in improved definition and support. However, many do not. Although a sports bra still supports and protects the bust, your breasts may end up looking a bit tubular.
       

    It's worth noting that many people use minimizers and sports bras interchangeably. Some swear by minimizers and wear them even for working out, while others find sports bras a bit more comfortable and prefer them for everyday support.

    EXPERT TIP

    A minimizer that's too big won't provide the compression necessary for size reduction and support. In fact, it might make your bust look bigger. Your bra should be snug without pinching or digging into your skin.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips for choosing the right minimizer

    Modern minimizer bras have come a long way from the drab, utilitarian designs of bygone years. Today, you can find them in a refreshing variety of attractive styles, fabrics, and colors. Unsurprisingly, different bras work for different busts. To help you choose the best minimizer for your needs, we’ve outlined some important tips to take into consideration.

    Consider a minimizer with an underwire for maximum support

    Just like most other bras, minimizers can be found with or without underwire. As larger breasts naturally require as much support as possible, most women prefer their minimizers to have underwire. Unless you're looking for a bra to sleep in or you find underwire unbearably uncomfortable, we highly recommend opting for a minimizer bra with this additional supportive measure.

    If you’re debating between a minimizer with underwire and a minimizer without underwire, we suggest you try the bra with underwire. For larger breasts, an underwire can make a big difference in how supported you feel.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Consider buying a minimizer with seams and a minimizer without seams

    Seamed bras have their advantages. A well-placed seam can offer support and contouring, especially if the bra isn't padded. However, some people find that the seams show through certain items of clothing. Regardless, a quality minimizer with underwire should be effective whether seamed or seamless.

    Seamless minimizer bras have their advantages, too. They provide a smooth, nearly undetectable appearance that works well under T-shirts or form-fitting clothing. Some women feel more comfortable wearing a seamless minimizer, particularly if the fabric of their top is on the thinner side.

    Consider a minimizer with a wide back band and padded, wide shoulder straps

    A minimizer with a wide back band and wide shoulder straps offers superior comfort and may stay in place better. Some level of padding, no matter how light, can further help prevent straps from irritating or digging into the skin, making it more pleasant to wear.

    A quick way to check whether your bra fit is correct is to stand sideways in front of a mirror with your elbow bent at a 45-degree angle. If the cup apex is positioned in the center of your upper arm between the top of your shoulder and elbow, it's a perfect fit. If it’s lower than that, your bra could be too big.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Consider the type of bra fabric that suits you best

    Although largely a matter of personal preference, the type of fabric a minimizer consists of can also have an impact on its functionality.

    • Cotton

    Tends to be soft and comfortable, and it’s a good option for those with sensitive skin. However, pure cotton may not provide the best elasticity, and it can be prone to shrinkage if laundered incorrectly.

    • Nylon

    Offers excellent contouring and a pleasing fit, but may not be the most supportive fabric. It’s not highly absorbent, either, but nylon generally dries quickly.

    • Polyester

    It's often blended with other fabrics, such as cotton, producing a good balance of comfort, support, and moisture control. On the downside, a bra with a significantly high polyester content can feel a bit scratchy.

    • Lace

    Adds a touch of delicate femininity, whether it's lining the cups or the entire bra. However, lacy minimizers probably aren't the most durable bras for everyday use.

    EXPERT TIP

    To get the most out of your bra’s minimizing effects, avoid padding. If coverage and support are top concerns, opt for a minimizer with reinforced layers of fabric instead.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Minimizer prices

    There's a minimizer for just about every budget.

    Prices are often determined by the fabric, brand, and whether or not the item has an underwire. Smaller details like padded straps can also impact cost.

    You could spend anywhere from $10 to $70 (or even more) for a minimizer. We generally advise buyers who want good support to avoid minimizer bras that are budget-priced.

    • A budget-priced, wire-free minimizer can cost as little as $10, but don't expect the best support from a bra of lower quality.

    • Underwire minimizers generally cost anywhere from $20 to $70. Many have luxury and/or comfort features, such as fine detailing or high-end fabric.

    When purchasing a minimizer, don't be tempted to drop a size down in the hopes of added reduction. A minimizer that’s too small doesn’t offer any benefits. On the contrary, it simply won't fit.

    Faq

    Q. Will wearing a minimizer help relieve back pain?

    A. If the pain is caused by inadequate bust support, you may find that switching to a minimizer can be surprisingly helpful. For the best results, opt for minimizers with wider bands and straps. Also look for separated cups, as these will deliver better weight distribution.

    Q. Is it normal for a minimizer bra to feel more snug than a regular bra?

    A. Yes. Minimizers are designed to compress your breasts to some extent, and this will naturally result in a snug, secure feel. However, there is a huge difference between a fit that's “snug” and a bra that's simply too small. If your breasts spill out over the cups or the band pinches or cuts into your skin, it's a sure sign that your minimizer is too small.

    Q. Are minimizer sizes different from other bra sizes?

    A. No. The size of your minimizer should be the same as your regular bra size – if you're already wearing the correct bra size. Many women are incorrectly sized without being aware of it and experience problems with fit and comfort as a result.

    We strongly advise having a professional take your measurements. If this isn't possible, take a look at the manufacturer's sizing guidelines and follow them as closely as possible before purchasing a minimizer based on your regular bra size.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor