How to Shop for the Most Comfortable Sports Bra *Ever*, According to a Lingerie Pro

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Photo: Getty Images/Mireya Acierto
Confession time: I have not put on a real bra since March 13, 2020—the day the Well+Good offices closed their doors, and I went into self quarantine. To be honest, I'm not even totally sure I still know how to hook a real bra, since the only ones I've put on the last three months slip on over my head and are clasp-free. But if living in a sports bra 24/7 has taught me anything (aside from the fact that I will never be going back to "real bras" after this), it's that they're not all created equally, and pros agree that you need something totally different from one you wear all day than the one you wear for your a.m. cardio class.

"In general, a sport bra is designed to support your tissue perfectly through all sorts if movement and motion so that when you are doing that HIIT training your breast are locked in place," says Jessica Pfister, vice-president of Le Mystere. While this type of bra is great for working out or running around in, she explains that you don't really need this level of support when all you're doing is sitting on your couch with a laptop all day. "You can definitely find something way more comfortable that would be supportive enough for the average WFH day."

While there are a few benefits associated with going braless—like improved circulation, better breast tone, and better skin health—going au natural can create some back and postural issues, particularly with women who have larger breasts. Because of this, Pfitser is a big believer that you should wear a bra every day, and cites sports bras as a comfortable alternative to letting the ladies hang free.

"Wearing a bra, even when working from home, prevents damage to the Cooper's ligaments which over time stretches your tissue and can cause discomfort and sagging," she says. "But all you need is a bra that strikes the perfect balance between a traditional, structured bra and none at all.  It should provide enough shaping to properly support and lift your breast tissue as well as anchor to the body to prevent your tissue from moving around too much."

If you're planning on wearing a sports bra for hours on end, she suggests looking for lightweight fabric and steering clear of anything compressive that's built for high-impact activities—you can save those for your HIIT class or morning runs. Opt for something that's intended for mid-to-light impact workouts, or shop the lingerie section for seamless, wireless bras with a little bit of stretch.

"An all day sport bra will be lighter, softer, less constructed more comfortable," says Pfitser. "Look for something that's more athleisure that provides some level of support and shaping, but doesn’t necessarily encapsulate or compress like a high impact bra." And—yes—those do exist. Shop four of the most comfortable sports bras, below.

4 most comfortable sports bras for everyday wear

1. Le Mystère Sheer Illusion Wireless Bra, $58

most comfortable sports bra for everyday
Photo: Le Mystére

This bra is Pfitser's personal favorite. It's got four-way stretch, lightweight cups with mesh support, and is so "buttery soft" that she says it "feels like a cloud."

2. Hanes Women's Cozy Bra G196, $10

most comfortable sports bra for everyday
Photo: Hanes

For $10, you can get four-way stretch that moves with you no matter how much (or how little) you're moving around on a given day. The brand suggests sizing up for a more comfortable fit.

3. Sweaty Betty Namaste Seamless Bamboo Yoga Bra, $60

most comfortable sports bra for everyday
Photo: Sweaty Betty

Made with super-soft bamboo fabric, this bra is made with chafe-free fabric and will keep you supported all day long and through your evening yoga flow.

4. Soma Enbliss Wireless Bralette, $46

most comfortable sports bra for everyday
Photo: Soma

"When was the last time your bra made you say ahh?" reads the product description on this bra, which promises to do exactly that. It's got a wide bottom band to hold your breasts in place, and comes in 11 different color options for you to choose from.

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