Want to update your wardrobe to accommodate your life as a mother? We selected and purchased 8 of the best nursing tops available today to try them on for size. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, heading back to the office, or need something to fit over your baby bump, we've got you covered. We believe a nursing top should be comfortable to wear and make nursing or pumping access easy and quick, so we evaluated the competition with these design elements in mind. We considered fit, ease of access, quality, and style and assessed which top is best for different situations. We can help you narrow the options to a contender that fits your needs and budget.
Nursing comes with various new needs you've likely never thought of before. While a natural and beautiful experience, nursing may necessitate the need for top-ranking nursing pads to prevent leaking through your nursing top, the best nipple cream to help with sore or chapped nipples, and one of our favorite nursing bras for support and easy access for feeding.
Editor's Note: We updated this review on May 5, 2023, to remove discontinued products.
If you want a slimming, smoothing, and supportive top to wear after taking your baby home, the BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Support Tank is 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 the review, making it a no-go for tighter budgets. When washing, it also requires special care, or the fabric will pill and wear faster. Last, 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 those not restricted by budget.
Access Style: Lift up | Material: Organic Cotton/Elastane
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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 also makes a long sleeve version.
We struggle to find any flaws with this top. It's simple and versatile enough to go with anything in your wardrobe and comfortable to wear while lounging at home. However, if you want something with a little more flair, this may not be your shirt. It only comes in solid colors and has no extra frills or fancies. However, we still think it is a perfect staple. The price is likely the most significant factor holding most moms back from filling their closets with these t-shirts. The BOOB Short Sleeve is one of the most expensive products in the lineup. 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.
Access Style: Pull down/Lift up | Material: Viscose/Spandex
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Pants run long
Somewhat difficult access
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 the shirt 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 bottom, which means you may need to sacrifice the perfect fit of one or the other. The pants are much longer than most people need and must be rolled at the waistband or worn above the belly button to prevent tripping. Our tester noted that the top's pull-down layer might not stretch low enough to be convenient for everyone. However, despite these hiccups, this set's comfort and functionality impressed us, and we recommend them to any mom looking for ultimate comfort.
Access Style: Zippered lift up | Material: Cotton/Spandex
REASONS TO BUY
Good for layering
REASONS TO AVOID
Minimal coverage when unzipped
The Nursing Queen Cowl Neck Pullover is the perfect cozy sweater worthy of consideration for winter moms or those who run cold. The color block pattern and cowl neck style make it comfortable and warm without looking slouchy. 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 breast 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, privacy may be less of a concern if you wear a shirt underneath. We think the Nursing Queen Cowl Neck Pullover is a perfect layering piece for pregnant or nursing moms during the chillier time of year.
Why You Should Trust Us
Testers 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. We assessed each top's fit and comfort, first with a soon-to-be mother and second with a nursing mother. This assessment allowed us to gauge each metric from both a pregnant woman's and a breastfeeding mother's perspectives. Each shirt got its day in the sun, and we assessed the fit, comfort, and quality during long periods of wear through daily activities.
We tried each top, considered the fabric's stretchiness, softness, and 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.
It would be wonderful if nursing tops had budget-friendly prices since they are somewhat of a necessity but have a relatively shorter lifespan than regular clothes. Unfortunately, to find well-fitted garments that are comfortable to wear and work well, we discovered you have to spend a few extra dollars, or you will be sacrificing things like quality or ease of access. We like the Kindred Bravely Davy Sleepwear Set because it has two pieces, and you get a little more for your money. The BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Support Tank is one of the most expensive in the review. We contend it is a good value because it can be used for layering, goes with almost any outfit, and has the quality to stand up to nursing needs potentially as long as you choose to nurse, depending on how you care for it. So, theoretically, it could be worn multiple times a week, making it more valuable than a top you can only wear to work once a week without your coworkers speculating on your cleanliness.
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 has no ties, zippers, or digging seams. The Kindred Bravely Davy Sleepwear Set is another top we love because it can flex with your body. The fabric is light and breathable and never felt restricting or irritating during testing. The most comfortable, with scores of 9, are the BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down, BOOB Classic Short Sleeve, and the Kindred Bravely Davy Sleepwear.
Nursing can be a tough enough job, and the last thing you want is a shirt that hinders the process. A shirt that eases the experience can be invaluable. Various methods are built into these shirts that allow babies 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 pull-down or unclipping to lift-up styles.
We typically prefer lift-up styles, such as the BOOB Classic Short Sleeve and the Smallshow Short Sleeve Nursing Top. Our testers feel 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. The BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down has the top score for the group with an easy pull-down design that keeps the other breast contained. 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 drawing unwanted attention. The Nursing Queen Cowl Neck Pullover has a zippered opening that is perfect for layering, thanks to the extra-wide span of the zipper.
Tops with zippered nursing access can be a bit more involved. They require two hands to pull down the zipper, and you must open them before positioning your baby, requiring you to put your baby down and leaving you exposed for longer than is comfortable or necessary. The Bralido Maternity and Nursing Camisole earned the lowest score because it has an awkward clasp and leaves both breasts exposed when unclipped, which is less than ideal for most nursing moms.
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 if you are looking for a temporary fix, but it may be the wrong solution for another mom who wants something for the long haul and several babies. The highest quality options are the BLANQI Everday Pull-Down Support Tank and the BOOB Classic Short Sleeve. In our experience, a t-shirt like the BOOB Classic Short Sleeve constructed from thick, durable cotton fabric will maintain its high-quality feel through spit-up, milk leaks, and being stretched in every direction. Our tester is wearing this top through her second pregnancy and is impressed with how well it holds up. The lowest quality option is the Ekouaer Tank Top, with very thin fabric that will likely wear out by the time you are done nursing.
If you plan to breastfeed for only a short time, you may want to forgo pricier clothing and opt for more budget-friendly alternatives. 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 clothing you already have 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 shirt's design to provide discreet breastfeeding access.
Some use styled layers 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. The lowest-scoring for fashion is the Ekouaer Tank Top, which has an odd cut that didn't look good over belly bumps in our tests, and it is clearly a nursing top with apparent openings.
Some women experience dry nipples while nursing, and using one of the best nipple creams can help. Consider having a product on hand for times when your nipples need extra care.
Much of what you do during pregnancy and breastfeeding is centered around your baby. Finding a comfortable and flattering shirt that supports you through motherhood is something you can do for you. After researching and testing some of the most popular options on the market, we selected products with various access styles and comfort levels and included options for different climates and seasons. Our favorite tops can be worn in multiple settings and strike the perfect balance between comfort and style. We are sure you will find something that suits your style and nursing needs from our selection.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.