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The Best Sports Bras for Every Type of Activity

Best Sports Bras
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Updated January 28, 2024

Sports bras should provide the right combination of comfort and support. Too tight, and you might compromise comfort; too loose, and you could lose necessary support. Since sports bra fits and styles are subjective, consider your type of activity to help guide your purchase: Low-impact activities may call for less support and more breathable fabrics, while high-intensity sports require more support and give. Ideally, the materials include a sweat-wicking or sweat-resistant fabric, especially for activities like running or hot yoga.  

Our top picks for the best sports bras

Best sports bra for large busts: Lululemon Run Times Bra, High Support

Lululemon Run Times Bra, High Support

Created just for women with larger busts, this running bra has padded straps and a soft underband to add necessary support without compromising comfort. Good to know: Lululemon makes some of the best leggings for women for workouts.

Specifications:

  • Style: Full coverage hook-and-eye back closure; adjustable, crossable and padded straps
  • Support: Full support for high-impact activities, like running
  • Size range: 32B-40G
  • Materials: Nylon/Xtra life lycra elastane blend
  • Colors: Peach, pink, black, olive

Pros:

  • Lots of larger size options
  • Adjustable straps for a better fit

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Limited colors
Best for large busts
Run Times Bra High Support, B-G Cups

Run Times Bra High Support, B-G Cups

Best for low-intensity activity: Fruit of the Loom Tank-Style Sports Bra

 Fruit of the Loom Tank-Style Sports Bra

Fruit of the Loom leans on comfy cotton with a bit of spandex for support for these go-to sports bras. Ideal for low-intensity activities, like walking, the bra is also a solid choice for everyday use under T-shirts and sweatshirts, according to customers. And at about $5 per bra (or even lower if you catch a sale), the price can’t be beat.

Specifications:

  • Style: Pullover tank
  • Support: Full-coverage support
  • Size range: 34-46
  • Materials: Cotton and spandex
  • Colors: Black, white, red, rose, navy, heather blue, mint green, gray, beige, and gray-white stripe

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Lots of color options

Cons:

  • Not ideal for high-support needs
  • Not ideal for women with larger breasts
  • Predominant cotton material won’t wick sweat as well as other materials

Best for medium-intensity activity: Under Armour Mid Crossback Sports Bra

Under Armour Mid Crossback Sports Bra

A comfortable polyester blend and snug fit make this bra ideal for medium-impact sports, like cycling and kickboxing. The material is designed to wick moisture away from the body, and while the bra does fit securely, it doesn’t feel like a constricting piece of shapewear.

Specifications:

  • Style: Cross-back with keyhole
  • Support: Compression cut gives extra support
  • Size range: XS-XXL
  • Materials: Polyester/elastane blend
  • Colors: 14 available

Pros:

  • Customers rate it as true to size
  • Polyester blend wicks sweat better than cotton-based materials
  • Lots of color options

Cons:

  • Fit could be too tight for some
Best for medium-intensity activity
Women's Armour® Mid Crossback Sports Bra

Women's Armour® Mid Crossback Sports Bra

Best for high-intensity activity: Nike Swoosh Women's Medium-Support Non-Padded Sports Bra

Nike Swoosh Women's Medium-Support Non-Padded Sports Bra

This full-coverage sports bra is great for women with small- to medium-sized busts who are active and do high-impact exercise, like running. Recycled materials, plus Nike’s signature Dri-FIT sweat-wicking technology make this bra comfortable, breathable, and more sustainable than other choices.

Specifications:

  • Style: Full coverage, pullover tank
  • Support: Medium support with elastic-band base to keep bra in place
  • Size range: XS-XXL
  • Materials: Recycled polyester; DriFIT sweat-wicking technology
  • Colors: Orange, pink, black, white, gray, blue, red
  • Price: $16.97-$26.97 (on sale at retail website at time of publishing)

Pros:

  • Sustainably made with partial recycled materials
  • Relatively low price
  • Includes sweat-resistant material

Cons:

  • Runs small; Nike recommends ordering a size up
Best for high-intensity activity
Nike Swoosh Women's Medium-Support Non-Padded Sports Bra

Nike Swoosh Women's Medium-Support Non-Padded Sports Bra

Best sports bra for yoga: Girlfriend Collective Paloma Racerback Bra

Girlfriend Collective Paloma Racerback Bra

This comfortable bra, made with recyclable materials and spandex, helps support you while staying in place during yoga flow. Plus, the material protects you from sun exposure.

Specifications:

  • Style: Scoop-neck racerback
  • Support: Built-in support band
  • Size range: XXS-6XL
  • Materials: Recycled plastic bottles and spandex
  • Colors: Black, white, blue, plum, moss green, red-brown, and others

Pros:

  • Good color choices plus additional specialty colors
  • Wide size range
  • Sustainably made

Cons:

  • On the pricier side
  • Not ideal for high-impact activities
Best sports bra for yoga
Black Paloma Racerback Bra

Black Paloma Racerback Bra

Best sports bra for nursing: Kindred Bravely Sublime Nursing Sports Bra

Kindred Bravely Sublime Nursing Sports Bra

This award-winning bra, great for low-intensity activity post-pregnancy, is made with nursing clips, making feeding times easier.

Specifications:

  • Style: Pullover racerback
  • Support: Stretchy, supportive performance nylon/spandex blend; no underwire; removable padding
  • Size range: S-XXXL, in regular or busty
  • Materials: Performance nylon/spandex blend (some colors add polyester)
  • Colors: Black, gray, blue blend, fig

Pros:

  • Made especially for maternity
  • Comfortable and practical

Cons:

  • Niche use
Best sports bra for nursing
Sublime Nursing Sports Bra / Black

Sublime Nursing Sports Bra / Black

How to choose the best sports bra for you

Choosing a sports bra depends on several factors, including your cup size, how tight the garment fits, style, price, and level of activity.

How we selected the best sports bras

We selected these best sports bras based on consumer ratings and reviews.

How should sports bras fit?

Some sports bras will fit more snuggly than others, which makes them best for high-intensity exercise or activity, like running. For lower-intensity activities, a lower-compression sports bra would suit.

How to wash sports bras

Most sports bras can be washed in the washing machine. If you’re concerned with shrinking materials, hang them on a rack to dry versus using the dryer. Dryer heat degrades stretch and wicking fabrics over time. Use either a delicate or normal setting. If your sports bra has hooks or clasps, place it in a mesh lingerie bag before washing.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do I determine the right size for a sports bra?

The right bra for you will depend on your cup size and the level of support you are searching for, which is determined by the level of activity you intend to do while wearing the bra. By measuring under your rib cage and over your bustline, then comparing it to the manufacturer’s size charts, you can find the right size sports bra.

How often should I replace my sports bras for optimal support?

Most sources say sports bras should be replaced every six to 12 months, but factors like how much you are wearing them, for which level of impact sports or activities they’re used, and how you care for them will determine how long they’ll last.

Are sports bras worth it?

Sports bras provide necessary support for women during physical activity. They also preserve your everyday bras, which aren’t made to withstand the increased sweat, environment (like a hot yoga studio), or impact created by most exercises and physical activities.

Is it OK to wear a sports bra all day?

Yes, while it’s perfectly fine to wear a sports bra for extended periods, keep in mind that the materials are usually intended to absorb or wick sweat, so once they’ve been worn for a sweat-producing activity, it’s time to wash them.

What is the difference between a high-, medium-, and low-impact bra?

Depending on the activity impact level, sports bras for higher impact are more compressed and supportive than lower- impact sports bras.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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