Best Nursing Top
The BOOB Classic Short Sleeve is our dream t-shirt. The classic design consists of a single additional panel of fabric layered over the top half of the shirt, cutting off just below the bust and creating a cute empire waist. We love that the lift-up opening makes it easy to nurse discreetly and does not create a fabric puzzle to work through when nursing. While it is stretchy enough to accommodate a growing bump, the thick material has a solid feel. These tees have the quality to last without looking over-stretched. The flattering fit works well for a wide range of sizes, and moms with extra-large busts will appreciate the BOOB top even more for the full coverage of the high crew neck. We like that the fabric is organic cotton and feel that the material is soft enough to avoid irritating sensitive skin. If you are looking for a version of this perfect tee that you can wear during the colder months, BOOB makes a long sleeve version as well.
We struggle to find any flaws with this top. It's simple and versatile enough to go with anything in your wardrobe and comfortable enough to wear while lounging at home. However, if you want something with a little more flair, this may not be the shirt for you. It only comes in solid colors and has no extra frills or fancies. However, we still think it is a perfect staple. Likely the most significant factor holding back most moms from filling their closets with these t-shirts is the price. The BOOB Short Sleeve is one of the most expensive products in our review. However, we feel the quality lives up to the price. Our tester wanted to wear this t-shirt every day, and we think you will too.
The Seraphine Cotton Stripe Top is a stylish top that works for pregnancy and nursing. The stiffer fabric and tailored cut step it up a notch from your everyday wardrobe. This 100% cotton blouse features an empire waist gathered with an elastic band that looks cute over a baby bump and is flattering to a postpartum belly; an optional sash comes with this shirt to tie around the waist for an extra feminine look. The front panel of fabric has discreet zippers on both sides that open vertically. These allow quick nursing access and are conveniently placed. We like that the material is lightweight yet structured and is cut in a way that doesn't look slouchy. The subdued grey stripe pattern and optional bow make this an excellent choice for dressier outings.
Because it is 100% cotton, there is no stretch to the material. However, the looser fitting cut didn't feel restrictive during testing (be sure to choose the right size). If you are unsure, we recommend sizing up to avoid any tightness or discomfort. The zippered access points require two hands to open, which can be a juggling proposition as you prepare to nurse holding your baby. Our tester also noted that although the opening is nice and long, it is a bit too far to the side to provide ideal access. Despite these few drawbacks, we love the fabric's texture, and the cut is comfortable but still somewhat dressy. We think this is a perfect top to have on hand while pregnant or nursing.
The Bralido Maternity and Nursing Camisole could easily end up as your go-to bottom layer for your nursing days. If you wear it under a regular nursing top, it can help prevent exposure of your entire midriff to the world. The stretchy nylon/spandex blend fits snuggly but isn't restrictive. The clip-down access is similar to a nursing bra, and it is easy to operate with one hand once you get the hang of it. Although there is no built-in shelf bra, it comes with nursing pads, and the fabric is gathered in a way that supports your bust, so you may be able to skip the nursing bra altogether. Perhaps one of the most attractive features is the price; the Bralido Camisole is one of the lowest cost items in our review. It is the perfect option if you are looking for a convenient nursing solution but do not want to replace your entire wardrobe.
As with many lower-cost products, the quality of the Bralido is not as good as some of the other tops we tested. The fabric tends to pill easily and loses elasticity over time, making this tank a better short-term choice. While the overall fit is comfortable and offers good coverage lengthwise, we experienced some side gapping around the straps and find that the bottom hem rolls up over time. However, it isn't uncomfortable and didn't occur when layering. We love the versatility of the Bralido Camisole and appreciate that it works with most budgets. We recommend keeping a few in your closet, as they always seem to come in handy.
The Nursing Queen Cowl Neck Pullover is the perfect cozy sweater worthy of consideration for winter moms or those who run cold. It is comfortable and warm without looking slouchy, thanks to the color block pattern and cowl neck style. The cut is flattering on various body types, and it has the extra length and width in the torso to accommodate a growing baby bump. The zippered opening reaches from seam to seam, making it large enough to comfortably nurse or pump. When closed, the tiny zipper disappears, and it is impossible to know that it is anything other than a stylish pullover.
The fabric on this pullover is a cotton/spandex blend with good stretch, but the weight is closer to a thick t-shirt and less like a heavyweight sweatshirt. There is also no hood. As a result, the Nursing Queen is not a suitable replacement for an ultra-cozy, stay-at-home, kick-back hoodie. Also, because the nursing opening is so large, it offers less breast coverage than most competitors. However, if you wear a shirt underneath, privacy may be less of a concern. We think the Nursing Queen Cowl Neck Pullover is a perfect layering piece for moms who are pregnant or nursing during the chillier time of year.
If you want a slimming, smoothing, and supportive top to wear after taking your baby home, the BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Support Tank is the one for you. This high-quality shirt is a blend of nylon and spandex and offers multiple layers of compression to help support weakened abdominal muscles after pregnancy. The pull-down access style is one of the simplest options, and the stretchy neckline retains its shape well after repeated nursing sessions. The top's simple cut reminds us of a workout tank, and the thicker straps and moderate coverage allow it to effortlessly function as a layer under other shirts or all on its own. Thanks to the tank's snug fit, it can be worn without a nursing bra, although you might consider adding nursing pads if you tend to leak between feedings.
The Everyday Pull-Down Support Tank is designed for postpartum use, limiting its versatility and lifespan. It is also one of the most expensive tops in our review, which could make it a no-go for higher budgets. It also requires special care when washing, or the fabric will pill and wear faster. Lastly, BLANQI only offers sizes S-XL and may not fit petite or plus-size mamas. The BLANQI Support Tank is a high-quality nursing top that could be the right choice for some not governed by budget.
The Kindred Bravely Davy Sleepwear Set uses a breathable blend of viscose and spandex, making it uber soft and smooth. The pants' waistband is sturdy but does not cut into the belly. The top has a double-layer opening that finds the perfect balance between ease of access for middle-of-the-night feeds and good sleep coverage, so you stay covered. The fabric is stretchy enough for a changing body, and our tester could not get over how incredibly soft it was. Many moms love this set for the hospital, so they have something comfortable to wear before and after giving birth. Others find that the shirt is cute enough to wear as a regular top paired with jeans.
A few moms found the fit of the Sleepwear Set to be a bit odd. The top and bottoms are sold exclusively as a set, which means you cannot mix and match sizes if you need a small top and medium bottoms, which means you may need to sacrifice the perfect fit of one or the other. The pants are also much longer than most people need and must be rolled at the waistband or worn above the belly button to keep you from tripping. Our tester noted that the top's pull-down layer might not stretch low enough to be convenient for everyone. Overall, these pj's comfort and functionality impressed us, and we recommend them to any mom looking for ultimate comfort.
The Ekouaer Tank Top has simple, solid colors with wide straps and is a stand-alone top. The rayon/spandex blend fabric is lightweight and stretchy, accommodating different body shapes. Breast access is through a side opening that is wide and long, allowing room for adjustment. It also helps to keep fabric out of the baby's face while nursing. The Ekouaer is affordable and would be a useful closet staple for anyone who doesn't want to spend a lot on maternity and nursing clothes.
Although the design is for pregnancy and nursing, we do not like how it fits over the belly and think it is more suitable for postpartum use. We also feel that the pull-to-side nursing access is not as flattering as some other styles and find that the opening falls at an odd angle. Lastly, while affordable, the quality isn't great. This top quickly shows signs of wear, and you will likely have to repurchase if you plan to nurse for more than a few months. However, if you are in a pinch and would like something simple to augment your maternity wardrobe, the Ekouaer may be the right nursing top for you.
The Smallshow Short Sleeve Nursing Top is a dressier t-shirt for everyday wear. This shirt is lightweight and comfortable, with the softest material. The shirt's sleeve length and higher neckline give it a modest yet flattering fit and look. For boob access, lift the top layer to uncover a v-neck with plenty of fabric for discreet and easy nursing or pumping. The pack comes with three tops, and with multiple color options to choose from, there is sure to be a set that suits your style.
The Smallshow does have a few factors to consider. The shirt's fabric is thin and easily wrinkles, and some users report that it is easily stained by breastmilk. This shirt has a criss-cross v-neck under the top layer that creates odd patterns under the top layer. The shirt is stretchy and fitting, not flowy, and not everyone will feel comfortable wearing it with a postpartum belly. If you're not comfortable wearing fitted tops, this option may not be for you. But, if you like a figure-hugging fit, the Smallshow is a comfortable nursing top suitable for around the house that doesn't look like pajamas.
We had high hopes for the Motherhood Maternity Clip Down Cami. It is a cotton/spandex tank with various color and pattern options. It is great for layering under other tops for extra breastfeeding coverage. The clip-down style access is simple and easy to operate one-handed, and it has a built-in shelf bra that could eliminate the need for a nursing bra. The extra-long length fits nicely over a baby bump.
Unfortunately, we think the shelf bra is too small for many mothers, and it doesn't offer as much support as you may need. So if you're sporting an impressive rack, this might not be the option for you. The material is also not as stretchy as we would have liked, and we experienced some extreme gapping around the clip area of the strap, leading us to believe that the overall design of this cami isn't the best. Although these are not expensive, there are other layering options we prefer, at a better price.
Why You Should Trust Us
Testers here at BabyGearLab have evaluated and compared gear for parents and babies for nearly a decade, giving us extensive knowledge of what works and what doesn't. Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford, has been part of the team since 2015 and led the product selection and testing for this review. We evaluated each top's fit and comfort first, with a soon-to-be mother, and second, with a nursing mother. This allowed us to gauge each metric from both a pregnant woman's perspective and a breastfeeding mother's perspective. Each shirt got its day in the sun, and the fit, comfort, quality, were assessed during long periods of wear through daily activities.
Analysis and Test Results
We tried each top and paid attention to the fabric's stretchiness, softness, breathability, and then compared the form versus function of each product. In the end, the ones that combine the most perks into one shirt won top honors.
Most pregnant or nursing women will agree that comfort is king. An ideal nursing top utilizes fabrics that are extra stretchy and breathable. The cut of the material can help prevent the discomfort of tight spots or awkwardly placed seams. One of our favorite options for comfort is the BOOB Classic Short Sleeve. The fabric is buttery soft, and it has no ties, zippers, or digging seams. The Kindred Bravely Davy Sleepwear Set is another top we love for its ability to flex with your body. The fabric is light and breathable, and it never felt restricting or irritating during testing.
The Seraphine Cotton Stripe Top is probably the least comfortable in this group due to its use of zippers, buttons, and slightly stiffer fabric. That said, the thoughtful cut provided the right shape to make it pleasantly wearable.
Ease of Access
Nursing can be a tough enough job, so you're going to want a shirt that makes the process as easy as it can be. There are various methods to reach the boob, and some are easier than others or offer more visual boob protection. We included a wide range in figuring out which design works the best, from pulldown or unclipping to lift-up styles. We tended to like the lift-up styles, such as the BOOB Classic Short Sleeve and the Smallshow Short Sleeve Nursing Top. Our testers feel that it is easier to get the fabric out of the way and position yourself and your baby more comfortably. In a looser fitting top, the lift-up portion can also act as a makeshift nursing cover.
Tops with zippered nursing access, such as the Seraphine Cotton Stripe Top, can be a bit more involved. They require two hands to pull down the zipper, and you must open them before positioning your baby, leaving you potentially exposed for longer than is comfortable or necessary. The Nursing Queen Cowl Neck Pullover has a zippered opening that is perfect for layering thanks to its extra-wide span of the zipper. The BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Support Tank has the most straightforward access style, only requiring you to pull down at the neckline. Generally, tops with bigger/less complicated openings will be more natural to nurse in and often offer some visual barrier for modest mothers hoping to avoid giving a free show to onlookers.
We appreciate the quality found in many of these tops; however, the higher quality often comes with a higher price tag. Your budget for nursing tops will likely be influenced by the number of children you plan to have, how long you hope to nurse, and how concerned you are with remaining stylish during these breastfeeding years. A lower quality top with a cheap price tag might suit your needs perfectly but be the wrong solution for another mom who wants something for the long haul and several babies. A t-shirt like the BOOB Classic Short Sleeve constructed from thick, durable cotton fabric will likely maintain its high-quality feel through spit-up, milk leaks, and being stretched in every direction. We also think it will survive well through multiple children and remain fashionable through the years.
If you plan to breastfeed for only a short time or only want the bare minimum that will get you through a single child, then you may want to opt for more budget-friendly clothing. The Bralido Maternity and Nursing Camisole isn't the highest quality, but it is functional and comfortable. If you only intend to breastfeed your baby for a short time, it could potentially be the only nursing-specific clothing you purchase. Available in a 3-pack, these tanks easily add extra coverage to a regular top during your nursing days and could be layered under various clothing pieces that are not nursing specific to increase their versatility.
Everyone wants a nursing top that doesn't look like a nursing top. Our favorite styles seamlessly incorporated the openings into the design of the shirt to provide discreet breastfeeding access. The Seraphine Cotton Stripe Top has one of the most inconspicuous access points, and most people probably wouldn't even suspect it is a nursing top. Others use styled layers to their advantage to provide versatile style and comfort for new moms who want to look their best but might be worried about how their bodies have changed.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, much of what you do is for your baby. Finding a comfortable and flattering shirt is something you can do for you. After researching and testing the most popular options on the market, we selected products with various access styles, comfort levels, and potential options for different climates. Our favorite tops can be worn in various settings and combine the perfect amount of comfort and style. We are sure you will find something that suits your style and nursing needs from our selection.
— Abriah Wofford