Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for best wireless bras

Digging, poking underwire is out, and comfort is in — which is why wireless bras have grown in popularity. Why put up with an uncomfortable bra all day when you have another option? If support is a concern for you, finding extremely supportive wireless bras is possible, but you might be surprised to discover that you don't need as much support as you've come to believe. 

Choosing the right type of wireless bra is vital, whether a structured bra, a simple bralette, or a sports bra. You should also make sure you're buying the right size: polls show that up to 80% of people who wear bras routinely wear the wrong size. Think, too, about whether you want a wireless bra made of lightweight material or one with contoured or padded cups. 

In this guide, we touch on these points and more so you can get the information you need to make a stress-free purchase.

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You'll find wireless bras suitable for a huge range of chest sizes. For this reason, it should be easy enough to find one that fits you.

Key considerations

Types of wireless bras

Structured wireless bras

Structured wireless bras are the most similar to standard underwire bras. As such, this type of bra is great for anyone just making the transition. Though structured wireless bras can have lightweight cups, they more commonly have padded or contoured cups. The cup shapes are structured, as are the bands, with classic hook-and-eye closures. Boning below the underarm to help keep the shape is relatively common. 

Structured wireless bras tend to be supportive, and they don't lose breast definition like sports bras do. However, a structured wireless bra is not quite as comfortable as a bralette.


Bralettes are popular wire-free bras that are comfortable and easy to wear. They generally have elastic bands without hook-and-eye closures and are designed for wearers to pull over their heads. While you may find a handful of padded options, the majority have cups made of lightweight material. The cups are highly breathable but not all that supportive. 

You can find bralettes that offer a reasonable degree of support, but they're generally best for people who are happy to go through the day with light support. This might sound unpleasant if you're used to wearing an underwire bra, but you may be surprised to realize you don't need as much support as you thought you did.

Sports bras

Sports bras are predominantly wireless. As the name suggests, they're meant for wear during sporting activities that require additional chest support, such as running or volleyball. The elasticized cups support the breasts by compressing them slightly, which is perfect when you're playing sports or exercising but isn't necessarily comfortable for all-day wear. The light compression makes the chest look flatter and reduces breast definition, which some wearers dislike (though for others, this can be a bonus).


Structured wireless bras are sold in standard bra sizes, such as 38C or 32A, whereas bralettes are usually sold in sizes small, medium, large, and so on. Sports bras can go either way. You might think you know your bra size, but it's extremely common to wear the wrong bra size, so it's worth measuring yourself or getting a professional bra fitting. 

If measuring yourself at home, you'll generally need to measure just below the bust and around the largest part of the bust. Find a reputable bra sizing chart, and locate your bra size using the measurements. 

When buying a wireless bra that doesn't use standard bra sizes, there should be a sizing chart you can refer to. Again, you'll need to measure yourself to make sure you're getting the correct fit.


Wireless bras are sometimes padded or contoured. The difference between padded and contoured bras is that padded options have relatively thick padding in places, designed to make the chest look a cup or two larger, whereas contoured bras have light padding all over the cup to give the breasts a smoother and more evenly shaped appearance without looking larger. Of course, there's nothing wrong with your chest's natural shape, so you shouldn’t feel like you need a padded or contoured bra — but some people feel more comfortable with padded or contoured cups, and that's fine too.

There's no reason why you can't wear wireless bras to the office or formal events, but if you don't feel confident doing so, they're still great for lounging at home or wearing to the grocery store.




Some wireless bras are fairly plain in color and appearance, offering shades of white, black, and nude. Others are more colorful and come in a wider range of colors and prints. Your choice of bra color is personal, so choose what you love. That said, it makes sense to wear white or nude bras under white shirts, since darker-colored bras can show through.


Lightweight materials are great for bras that you wear during the summer because thick, padded cups can feel uncomfortably warm. Of course, lightweight materials aren't as supportive, so there's a tradeoff. Natural materials such as cotton and bamboo are more breathable than synthetics.


Some wireless bras feature boning just below the underarms to maintain shape and structure. This boning can dig in, however, which isn't necessarily what you want when you're trying to escape uncomfortable underwire.

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Check the washing instructions for your wireless bra. Most can be machine washed and dried, but some require air drying to hold their shape.

Wireless bra prices

Inexpensive: You can find some basic wireless bras for $5 to $15. While there are decent bargains in this price range, many bras on the inexpensive side aren't of top quality. They're also unlikely to be highly supportive, so if support is key for you, consider spending a little more.

Mid-price: Mid-range wire-free bras cost roughly $15 to $35. This includes highly supportive and structured bras. 

Expensive: At the top of the price spectrum, you'll find wireless bras that sell for $35 to $70 and occasionally more. Some of these are more decorative than standard bras; others are simply durable and well-designed.

Some people find wireless bras that fasten at the front easier to put on and take off than rear-closure bras.



  • Designers have put a lot of thought into wireless nursing bras. For example, you can buy wire-free nursing bras with cups that can be unhooked and pulled down to easily feed your baby. 
  • You can find a great wireless bra for a strapless garment. Wireless bandeau bras fit straight around the bust without straps, which is ideal when wearing strapless garments. 
  • Consider the shape of bra you're buying. Plunge bras are low-cut, for instance, and therefore useful for wearing with low necklines. Full-cup bras offer more support, but the tops of the cups may be visible if you’re wearing a tank top or low-cut shirt. 
  • You might need to try a few different styles before you find the perfect wireless bra. Don't let this discourage you, but do buy from sellers with a robust return policy.
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The extra-wide band of a longline wireless bra provides added support and distributes weight evenly to prevent it from digging in. A poorly fitting longline bra can roll up from the bottom of the band.


Q. Do wireless bras still offer support?

A. One of the reasons some people avoid wearing wire-free bras is the misconception that these bras are not supportive. Wireless bras certainly offer support to varying degrees. You can't expect a huge amount of support from an unstructured bralette made of flimsy material, but a structured wireless bra with contoured or heavily elasticized cups can offer plentiful support. After all, most sports bras are wire-free, and they're some of the most supportive bras around. 

In short, you can ultimately expect the same type of support from a wireless bra as you'd get from an underwire bra. Many wearers find wire-free options equally supportive, albeit in a slightly different way. 

Q. Are wireless bras better for your health?

A. In the past, some people believed that wearing bras, particularly underwire bras, was linked to a greater risk of breast cancer. However, recent studies suggest no correlation between breast cancer and wearing bras. That said, many people find wireless bras significantly more comfortable than underwire bras. If you've experienced rubbing or chafing from an underwire bra, you're unlikely to get the same from a bra without wire. 

Q. How can I tell if my bra doesn't fit correctly?

A. A well-fitting bra is essential for comfort and support. We recommend getting a professional fitting or at least finding a bra size chart and measuring yourself at home. However, slight sizing variations between manufacturers can leave you with an ill-fitting bra even if you bought it in your size. That's why it's important to know what to check for to see if your bra doesn't fit correctly. 

Saggy cups indicate the cup size of your bra is too large. If your breasts spill out from the sides or top of the cup, the cup size is too small. When the back of your bra sits higher than your natural underbust line, even with the shoulder straps adjusted correctly, the band size of your bras is too small. A loose and unsupportive band, even on the smallest clasp, means your band size is too large.


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