The Dos and (Very Much) Don’ts of Wearing a Bra to Bed
According Lucky Sekhon, MD, fertility specialist and board-certified OB/GYN, wearing a bra to bed is merely a matter of personal preference. While wearing a bra won't prevent sag or impact the elasticity your breasts, it might be a better option for those who needs to feel a little, uh, snuggled. "For women with larger breasts, or pregnant women whose breast size tends to increase rapidly, a bedtime bra may increase comfort, make a woman feel supported, and even help to relieve some back pain and tension," says Dr. Sekhon.
That being said, not all bras are created equal. "The potential downsides of wearing a bra to bed are that it can cause skin irritation and infections from continued moisture and lack of exposure of the bare skin of the chest wall," says Dr. Sekhon. "It can also impair circulation to the chest and back muscles which may lead to chronic posture and musculoskeletal issues."
Oof, okay. So just for clarity, let's unpack what bras are actually "safe" to sleep in, if you want your chest to be cradled to bed.
How to wear a bra to bed
1. Don't wear something that'll dig into you
This is probably the most obvious heads-up, but want to be crystal clear. An underwire bra, that old size-too-small bralette, or something with a tight band is not suitable for breasts or rest.
"Sleep is a precious commodity; an ill-fitting bra should never hinder your time to rest," says Phoebe Kunitomi, bra expert and founder of Okko. "I suggest wearing a wirefree option that won't poke or dig, like our Signature Bra."
2. Do look for breathable, soft fabrics
Dr. Sekhon echoes that you should ditch the underwire and padding, but also be mindful of material and how it lays on your epidermis. "Choose a bra with comfortable, flexible soft fabric," says Dr. Sekhon. "Avoid lace and other embellishments which may irritate the skin. Ensure that the fit isn't too tight."
3. Don't repurpose your sports bra for a pajama top
"While sports bras are wireless, you may want to avoid them at night because they tend to be quite tight and restrictive," says Kunitomi. Yes, that. Also, if you're doing a high-impact workout and hitting the sheets in your sweat-soaked sports bra, maybe uh, don't?
4. Do change into a nighttime bra, if you have the bandwidth
"If you wore a bra during the day, you probably don't want to put on the same one at night," says Kunitomi. "Sweat, bacteria, and oil can accumulate on your bra—you don't want this stuff rubbing against your skin for prolonged periods of time."
Well, I'll think about it. In the meantime, these are the best recommendations for bedtime bras.
6 bras that would be a dream to sleep in
1. Supersoft Modal V-Neck Molded Cup Bra, $36
This Jockey Forever Fit bra has spent more time with my breasts than any other. I'm a 32DD and the medium still provides ample support, so I suspect if you're a bit bustier it'll give you a little oomph as well. As for the comfort factor, my breasts might as well be swaddled by clouds.
Shop now: Supersoft Modal V-Neck Molded Cup Bra, $36
2. The Maternity Bralette Bundle, $60
I love Lively for its luxe, functional wireless bras, and its maternity line offers similarly high quality. Stock up on these neutral sleep-bras if you need some extra support at night. Lively's Busty Maternity Bralette Bundle ($60) is great for those who have a Dolly Parton situation on top of pregnancy boobs.
Shop now: The Maternity Bralette Bundle, $60
3. Richer Poorer Classic Bralette, $32
Behold, this simple triangular bralette and a matching pair of boxers from Richer Poorer. Sets like these are a must-have. This particular bralette might be best suited for those with smaller breasts.
Shop now: Richer Poorer Classic Bralette, $32
4. Supportive Modal Sleep Bralette, $50
Courtesy of Lunya, this adjustable modal bra is absolutely bed-ready. Caveat that the size range is a little limited—it's best for A to C cups—but if you fall into the spectrum, it's a hard recommend. Well+Good's beauty and fitness director Ali Finney is a huge fan of this bikini-top-as-PJs style, and you will be, too.
Shop now: Supportive Modal Sleep Bra, $50
5. Knix LuxeLift Pullover Bra, $50
Knix is very popular among the staff at Well+Good. I keep going back to this print because you can only have so many neutrals, you know? Even if it's a little too busy for you, you can count on the brand for maximum support and relatively inclusive sizing (from 30A to 42G).
Shop now: Knix LuxeLift Pullover Bra, $50
6. Okko Signature Bra, $42
Okko puts out intimates that give new meaning to the word "seamless." Constructed with lift and ease in equal measure, the aforementioned signature bra features a flattering V-neck and comes in a variety of "nude" shades for many skin tones as well as your classic LBD (Little Black Bra).
Shop now: Okko Signature Bra, $42
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