Best Nursing Bras of 2020
The Bravado Body Silk Seamless earned a top spot in our review thanks to the perfect combination of features that make it extra supportive and very easy to use. The nylon/spandex blend fabric is exceptionally smooth, and we trust that it will cause no irritation, even to the most sensitive and chapped nipples. The elastic band around the bottom of the bra is not the widest, but it conforms easily to your shape and does not dig in anywhere. The hook-and-eye closure is wider than average and has 4 size options, giving greater ability to accommodate your changing shape. Where this bra shines is in the amount of coverage and support it provides for any size boob. The stretchy fabric is cut and gathered in a way that it lifts and separates, helping to eliminate the risk of uni-boob that sometimes comes along with a fuller bust. We did not experience any sideboob spillage and never had to worry about tucking things back in their place.
We like that the cups are removable, but we had issues with them not staying put when inserted in the bra and opted to go without rather than periodically adjusting and readjusting throughout the day. The Bravado Body Silk lost points in the style department. While it is so comfortable you might just forget you're wearing anything, the cut and shape are a bit reminiscent of a grandma bra. But hey, maybe grandma knows a thing or two about her brassier priorities. Overall, when you are nursing a brand new baby, style is likely one of the last things on your mind, and the Bravado Body Silk Seamless bra more than makes up for it in other areas. We love this bra and think that it is likely to be the one you will reach for again and again during your nursing days.
We liked the look of the Ingrid and Isabel Seamless bra from the start and our tester was hooked the moment she put it on. In fact, she enjoyed it so much that she purchased two more for herself after testing was completed. The full coverage cut and the extra thick band give a held in and hugged feeling that inspires confidence whether working out or just lounging around the house. The straps are extra wide and sturdy. They are relatively easy to adjust but definitely won't slip. There is no band adjustment on this pullover style, but the high-quality ribbed fabric easily forms to your shape. However, we found that it runs a bit small, so you may want to size up.
The racerback style features a drop cup access, but because it is constructed from one large panel, it may take some maneuvering to get the fabric out of the way and find comfortable positioning for the excess. There are two individual pads sewn into the bra. While this is likely something you will appreciate for the extra coverage and softer material on sensitive nipples, we don't like that there is no option to remove them, especially as they are so thick. Lastly, the material has a very thick ribbed texture to it, which some may like, but may also be less comfortable for long periods. In the end, we feel that these are small flaws in an overall fantastic bra, and would not hesitate to use this ourselves or recommend it to a friend.
The On Gossamer Next To Nothing is a drop cup nursing bra that is a silky blend of nylon and spandex. The thin layer of padding covers the entire surface of the cup, and so will not travel or move around like those with removable pads. While many bras have a single elastic band to keep the straps in place when the cup is unclipped, this one has a unique thin mesh triangle that we feel blends better with the shape of the cup. We like that it is one of the few nursing bras that doesn't look like a nursing bra. It is discreet and stylish enough to work well under any shirt, simple mesh trim adds a bit of femininity without being too delicate or irritating. With no built-in underwire, the On Gossamer forms to your body, stretching in all the right places. It does not feel restricting or abrasive on sensitive breasts, yet still provides solid support where it's needed. We like that the cups are two individual pieces that can be dropped separately to prevent giving a free show to passerbys. The clips are among the easiest to snap on and off, making one-handed operation a breeze.
Compared to other bras, the Next To Nothing runs a bit small. Even if you size up, it offers less coverage, and we experienced some side boob while wearing this bra. For this reason, we think it may be better suited to smaller mamas that have less of a bust to contain. There are only three size options for the band adjustment, which does not leave much room for error. However, we did not have a problem getting a good fit. The strap width is only average, so they may dig in and get uncomfortable over time, but this may not be a problem if you are a smaller chested person. If you would like to slide into something a little more comfortable than your prepregnancy bra, but do not need excessive support from your underclothes, then the On Gossamer Next To Nothing is the one for you.
The Brooks Fiona is one of the few high-impact sports bras out there that is also nursing friendly. Velcro on the straps serves as a length adjustment as well as a release for the drop cup style of the bra. The backside has a hook and eye closure with 3 adjustments making it fully customizable for changing body shapes. Brooks is a company that makes running shoes and apparel, so we trust that this bra will hold up to the more intense post-pregnancy workouts. The fabric is lightweight and breathable, helping to wick away moisture. The elastic on the lower band is somewhat stiff to help provide extra support.
The trade-off for amazing support is a lack of shape; wearing the Brooks Fiona feels like more of a "smush" than a "lift". While this may not be ideal, we appreciate the security that it offers. In terms of ease of access for nursing, this bra is not our favorite. The wide front panel that offers so much coverage and support can be difficult to get completely out of the way. The attachment style of the straps allows them to release from the body of the bra, but there is nothing fixing the strap at the front, meaning that it will fall down your back and might be difficult to reach and reattach. Keeping these things in mind, we think that the Brooks Fiona is the perfect option for running moms or those who want to get back to a more intense workout routine soon after baby arrives.
The HOFISH Full Bust Seamless is a popular nursing bra that is extra stretchy and comfortable, easy to use, and budget-friendly. The nylon/spandex blend fabric is soft to the touch and is gathered in the right places to add a bit of shape. It has extra thick pads, so you won't have to purchase additional nursing pads. However, we like that they are removable, so if you choose to wear this bra while pregnant you won't have to deal with the extra bulk. The rear hook-and-eye closure has four rows and four width adjustment options, as well as a band extender, making this one of the most adjustable bras on our list. The clips to drop the cups are relatively easy to undo with one hand, and the wide straps don't cut or dig into your shoulders.
The design and cut of the HOFISH Full Bust bras are comparable to that of the Bravado Body Silk Seamless, however, we feel that the quality is reduced in a few areas. The fabric is fairly thin, and it tends to stretch out quickly. This same issue causes the bra to lose its shaping ability, and it may not offer quite as much support in the long run. While the fit may work for some, we had issues with the fabric gapping around the sides. Overall, this bra does not feel as durable as many others on our list but coming in a 3-pack, the HOFISH are some of the most affordable nursing bras out there. We believe they are perfect for moms on a budget, or for those who don't want to invest in clothing that they only plan to wear for a short time.
The Kindred Bravely Frech Terry Racerback is our favorite sleep nursing bra. It uses a rayon/spandex blend fabric that is smooth to the touch and cozy at the same time. With absolutely no plastic parts that could get uncomfortable through the night and a full coverage cut that will hold everything in place, this is the bra of our dreams. The cup fabric is so stretchy that we had no problem with the side pull access, while the band feels secure enough as to not let anything slip out. We also appreciate that the great range of size options makes it very easy to find your perfect fit. All the way from XS to XXL, each size is also available in a "busty" option. We think this makes up for the lack of a band adjustment in this pullover style bra.
As a sleep bra, the French Terry Racerback offers much less support than other day time bras on this list. It does not come with any sort of padding, removable or otherwise, so you'll need to purchase nursing pads separately. Once you have them, there is no dedicated space to insert the pads, so they may travel through the night and end up in the wrong spot. This bra runs very small, so it may take a few tries to find your perfect fit. If you are able, we recommend ordering multiples to try on at home rather than simply guessing. However, these are very minimal drawbacks, and we love the overall functionality of the Kindred Bravely. It is our number one recommendation for a sleep bra for nursing.
The Cake Maternity Croissant is an underwire bra with excellent shaping ability and heavy-duty support. The rear hook-and-eye closure is extra wide and is one of the most adjustable bras in our review with 5 width options. The fabric is a blend of cotton and polyester that feels suede-like on the outside and silky smooth on the inside. The straps are ribbed to ensure that they will not loosen up throughout the day. We love that the fabric of the bra is very wide from front to back, eliminating side boob and offering more structure and support all around.
The Croissant bra is lacking in a few areas. It does not come with any padding, so you will have to add nursing pads as needed. The same ribbed texture that keeps the straps secure also makes them very difficult to adjust. Not to mention they slide from back to front, making them impossible to adjust while wearing. Due to the underwire, it is the least comfortable bra in our review. We do not recommend this as your only nursing bra, rather as an extra to add to your repertoire when you want something that looks a bit nicer. The bra is cut in a way that it lifts and separates and shapes more than we thought possible, making this a perfect option for a dressier night out or to wear under more form-fitting tops.
The Marvella by Kindred Bravely is a very minimally structured pullover style bra. The cups form a deep-v shape that makes it easy to drop one side at a time for nursing. The nylon/spandex blend fabric has a soft suede-like feel against the skin and the minimal amount of plastic and stiff foam in this bra make it one of the more comfortable padded options on our list. The straps come together in the back for a racerback fit and the adjustments slide from front to back, making it user-friendly.
While wearing this bra, we had no issues with chafing, rubbing or any discomfort, however, we thought the fit just felt weird. The bottom band has no adjustment, which ups the comfort factor by removing seams and metal closure hooks, but we feel that the band size is disproportionately large relative to the cup size. The cups offer less coverage than we typically like. If you have a larger rib cage, and a smaller bust, then this bra may fit your shape perfectly. However, it could be hit or miss, and we would have liked this bra better if it was a bit more adjustable.
La Leche League is an excellent resource for breastfeeding facts and information, so we had high hopes for their nursing sleep bra. However, we were not very impressed. The side-pull access typical of sleep bras is easy to remove and replace as needed. The fabric is fairly breathable and lightweight, which may feel better for moms who run warm when they sleep. Another advantage of this bra is the low price; it is one of the most affordable options on our list.
It is a very basic bra made from a blend of polyester, cotton, and spandex, but the fabric is not especially soft, and the material around the border tends to get itchy. There are a few seams that are not hidden very well and may dig in uncomfortably when the bra is worn for longer periods. Even for a sleep bra, the thin fabric of the La Leche League offers very minimal support, and may only be enough for smaller chested people. Pair this with the smaller than average coverage, and anyone with a larger bust may find themselves falling out and having to readjust during the night. Truth be told, we aren't huge fans of this bra, and aside from the low price, there is not much going for it. If you can spare a little extra cash, we recommend looking elsewhere for a nursing sleep bra.
The Simple Wishes Foundation has a unique design that allows you to nurse or pump, depending on the situation. In a perfect world, having one bra for two functions would be ideal. However, 2-in-1 products are rarely all that they are made out to be, and the Simple Wishes is no exception. In practice, this bra is difficult to put on, with overly complicated straps and multiple snaps and closures. Once on, the fit is very poor and we had problems with the cut gapping in some areas and rubbing in others. With three layers of fabric in some places, and then nursing pads, this bra adds a lot of bulk to your chest when it's already going to be larger than normal. We like that there are three rows and a whopping six width adjustments for the band, but somehow the perfect fit still eludes us. If you are dead set on an all-in-one nursing bra, then this option may suit your needs. However, it may be best to leave each product to its individual task. One bra for nursing, one bra for pumping; we think you will be happier.
Why You Should Trust Us
After hours of research, we selected the 10 nursing bras available in 2020. We then dove further in with hands-on testing to find the best of the best. Leading the review is Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford. With over 5 years of professional baby gear testing at BabyGearLab and many more years as a nanny and childcare provider, Abriah uses her experience to inform the research and testing process. Helping with hands-on testing is Justice Wofford. Six months pregnant at the time of this review, she augmented our analysis with her opinion on the fit and support of each bra.
Analysis and Test Results
We took into consideration 4 main features of each bra we tested: Fit/Comfort, Support, Ease of Use, and Style. Comparing these metrics helped us find the best options.
When you are pregnant or nursing, your number one priority is likely to be comfort. There is so much going on with your body that an ill-fitting piece of clothing can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. If a bra doesn't feel good when you're wearing it, then it's the wrong bra. The lower band should be snug, but wide enough that it does not dig into your rib cage. We also prefer straps that are a bit wider than average, like on the Bravado Body Silk, because they will help distribute the load better. The softness and stretchiness of the fabric are also important in reducing irritation and chafing. We love the material of the On Gossamer Next to Nothing because it feels silky soft on sensitive areas. The best bras will move with you and not feel restricting. The Ingrid and Isabel is a perfect example of a bra that flexes to fit the shape of your body.
The fit of a bra can vary widely depending on body shape and personal preference, however, the use of good design and extra stretchy fabrics can make some bras better overall. When you choose a bra, make sure there are no hot spots where the fabric rubs or is too tight. It is equally important to avoid bras that gap in the wrong spots; loose fabric can cause just as much irritation as tight. We experienced intense gapping around the sides of the Simple Wishes Foundation.
Different mamas will appreciate different levels of support from their nursing bra. However, as your breasts grow, you will likely need a bit more than your pre-pregnancy bras provide. The On Gossamer is the closest thing we can find to a normal bra, that still offers some much appreciated additional support. We also like the Bravado Body Silk for its full-coverage design that is snug but not suffocating. It offers a high amount of support without smushing your chest into the dreaded uni-boob or shapeless lump.
For working out, you will need something with maximum support. Unfortunately, this usually means throwing any sort of shaping perks out the window. The Brooks Fiona offers the highest level of support on our list. It is sure to keep everything in place through the toughest workouts. If you want gentle support, the Ingrid and Isabel bra is a full coverage option that is sporty but still cute. Some of the least supportive bras on our list are those for sleep; products like the Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback and La Leche League are looser fitting and more comfortable through the night.
Ease of Use
How easy a nursing bra is to use will greatly influence how often it gets worn. There are two main access types found in nursing bras: some have a side pull style that utilizes extra stretchy fabric sewn into a wrap style. Others have a clip where the cup and strap meet, allowing you to drop the cup down for easy feeding. With the exception of the Brooks Fiona all the bras we tested have a way to keep the strap from slipping to the back, making it easy to adjust the bra back into its regular position.
The Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback is a foolproof sleep bra. It is one of the easiest to take on and off, has no extra adjustments to fumble with, and does not require you to use a clip, making it perfect for groggy midnight feedings. The On Gossamer is the ideal daytime bra. The straps are easy to adjust, and the clip that holds the cup is easy to undo with one hand. We also appreciate that the cups are two separate pieces with a space in the middle, making it much easier to drop one cup at a time and get it completely out of baby's way without exposing your goods to the world.
The cherry on top of all this is style. How does the bra look? For this metric, we prefer bras that have some sort of system to prevent uni-boob, whether that means separate cups, extra elastic, or in some cases, underwire support. Also, consider how well a bra will fit in with your maternity wardrobe. Do you tend to wear more racerbacks? Or do you usually go with the standard straight straps? Whatever your preference, you want a bra to match.
For more of a sporty athleisure look, we love the Ingrid and Isabel Seamless racerback bra. It is one of the most discreet nursing bras on the list and could easily be worn under a loose flowy tank to add a little extra coverage and support. The most supportive shaping bra on our list is the Cake Maternity Croissant, which also happens to be the only underwire option we tested. If you want a nursing bra that will smooth everything over and add a little perk, this is perfect for wearing shirts or dresses that are more form-fitting.
When all is said and done, the bra you choose to wear while nursing is completely dependent on your personal preference. That said, we selected the top bras of various styles to offer a wide range of options. We recommend purchasing your nursing bra from a retailer that has a flexible return policy, and also trying out a few different styles, so you can find what works best for you. Whether you are looking for a sleep bra, a daytime bra, or whatever is most comfortable, we've got you covered.
— Abriah Wofford