12 best sports bras to help you run, skip and jump with bounce-free confidence

Our tried and tested roundup of the best sports bras has all activities covered, whether you’re a yoga bunny or HIIT hero

Best sports bras
(Image credit: Future)

There’s no doubt about it. Finding the best sports bras can be tricky business. 

Whether you’ve been blessed with a big or small bust, love nothing more than a 7am 5k, or are more at home on your yoga mat, you’ll understand the importance of a great sports bra. And, most importantly, the difference it can make to your workout.

The aim of the game when it comes to sports bras is to keep your best assets close to your chest. A good one will hold them towards your body and support them, so they don’t get in the way or, worse, cause you pain as you work out.

For that reason, the best bras for exercise put the main focus on support. This can be provided in a variety of different ways, but the most popular methods are through wide shoulder straps, racerbacks, or underwiring. 

There's also the question of whether to buy a bra that supports your bust through encapsulation or compression too. Or, indeed, a bounce-proof blend of both technologies. Support and comfort are especially important for those who need bras for large busts or if you're seeking the best bras for back fat

So, to make shopping a far easier prospect than your next workout, we’ve put the best sports bras through their paces. We wore them for running, to pilates, and even a very sweaty HIIT session to bring you a reliable round-up. All you need now is a pair of the best leggings and best running shoes. See you on the mat!

How to find the best sports bra for you

These are the three key things to consider when shopping for the best sports bras:

  • Fit: The best sports bras need to fit tighter than everyday bras to provide extra support. But not so snug that it restricts movement or breathing.
  • Impact: The amount of support you need depends on what you're up to. Low impact refers to slow-moving activities like walking and weight training. High impact covers the likes of sprint training and burpees. Medium impact is anything in-between – think dancing, cycling or jogging. 
  • Compression vs encapsulation: There are two key terms to look out for when shopping for the best sports bras: compression and encapsulation. Compression works by drawing your breasts into your chest, while encapsulation refers to the way in which sports bras hold the breasts within two separate cups. The latter is best suited to bigger busts, but some bras offer a mix of both, for extra-firm hold. 

best sports bras: Panache Sports Moulded Underwired Bra

(Image credit: Panache)

1. Panache Sports Moulded Underwired Bra

Best sports bra for most people

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 28-40, cup sizes C-J
Material: 49% polyamide, 36% polyester, 15% elastane (all material details exclusive of trims)
Wired: Yes
Machine washable: No
RRP: $70/£42
Reasons to buy
+Underwiring offers extra support+Cushioned strap and band
Reasons to avoid
-Comes up a little small-Racerback strap tricky to secure

Suitable for all busts, the thoughtfully designed Panache Sports Moulded Underwired Bra provides support without compressing or restricting breasts as they move. It holds and retains shape by incorporating three synergistic design elements: light padding, underwiring, and moulded cups. The Moulded Underwired Bra also features airy-soft straps and seam-free inner cups for maximum comfort. That being said, its greatest, most underrated, perk is the inscribed washing instructions on the band, eliminating the need for niggling labels. Hands down, one of the best sports bras money can buy.  

best sports bras: anita sports bra

(Image credit: Figleaves)

2. Anita Active Extreme Control Sports Bra

Best luxury sports bra

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 30-44, cup sizes B-FF
Material: 62% polyamide, 21% polyester, 5% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: $69/£54
Reasons to buy
+Inclusive sizing +Full-cup support 
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky back fastening-Cups can dent in if your boobs are different sizes 

Crafted from lightweight, breathable fabric with perforated mesh sides, this is a bra that works hard to keep you cool. Even better, both the cups and band are lined with a super-soft towelling cloth for maximum comfort.

Free from padding, the cups on the Anita Active Extreme Control Sports Bra are made in three separate parts. This not only ensures each breast is fully encapsulated in the cup for spill-proof support but creates a rounded feminine shape. Housing three sets of hook and eye fastenings, the wide back band is bulkier than your average bra but worth it for the high-level support. 

best sports bras: Adidas Don’t Rest Alphaskin Padded Bra

(Image credit: Adidas)

3. Adidas Don’t Rest Alphaskin Padded Bra

Best budget sports bra

Specifications
Sizes: 2XS-4X
Material: 70% recycled polyester, 19% polyester, 11% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: $35/£18.34
Reasons to buy
+Removable padded cups+Extensive size range 
Reasons to avoid
-Limited colour choice-Pull-on only 

More like a crop top than a bra, this medium-support style uses a super-stretchy elastane blend fabric to secure your bust. The bulk of the support comes from the racerback, distributing the weight of your boobs while still offering full flexibility of movement.

As you’d expect from Adidas, the fabric is tech-focused, teaming a power-mesh lining with moisture-absorbing properties to keep you cool and comfortable no matter how sweaty your workout. A feature that makes this one of the best sports bras for summer, too. 

Cleverly concealed at the sides, the removable padding gives you the option to boost your bust. Especially handy if you have different-sized boobs – you could always leave one in and take one out to even things up. 

best sports bras: Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra

(Image credit: Shock Absorber)

4. Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra

Best sports bra for high-impact exercise

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 30-40, cup sizes B-HH
Material: 49% polyester, 45% polyamide, 6% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: $69/£39
Reasons to buy
+Inclusive size range+Fully-opening back for ease 
Reasons to avoid
-Can come up small-Double clasp tricky to master

Active types, listen up. The Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra is your ultimate high-support solution for a wide range of exercises and sports. Its key selling point is the fully-opening, double-clasp back, letting you put a bra on and take it off with ease, without compromising on racerback support. The only slight downside is that the top clasp is a little fiddly to secure.

Wire and padding free, this best sports bra holds your boobs close to your body for bounce-free support. The shoulder straps are padded for maximum comfort and relatively narrow for a sports bra, meaning they can be easily disguised under the straps of your workout vest. 

best sports bras: Sweaty Betty Stamina Sports Bra

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

5. Sweaty Betty Stamina Sports Bra

Best sports bra for medium-impact exercise

Specifications
Sizes: XS-XL
Material: 91% polyamide, 9% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: $40/£35
Reasons to buy
+High-tech fabric+Amazing shade range 
Reasons to avoid
-Sells out quickly-Not big enough for larger busts 

Helping to take the weight off your shoulders for medium-impact exercise, Sweaty Betty’s Stamina Sports Bra has racked up more than 1,000 reviews in order to achieve its 4.4-star status. 

As you’d expect from Sweaty Betty, this not only works well but looks good, too, thanks to the wide colour choice and stand-out waffle detailing. Much more than a design detail, the waffle fabric has been placed across the back, chest, and sizes to help with breathability. Team that with sweat-wicking fabric, and you’ve got yourself a dry, comfortable workout.

This bra works by compressing your breasts close to your body, while the seamless edges minimise the risk of rubbing or chaffing. 

best sports bras: H&M Seamless Sports Bra

(Image credit: H&M)

6. H&M Seamless Sports Bra

Best sports bra for low-impact exercise

Specifications
Sizes: XS-L
Material: 88% polyamide, 12% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: $17.99/£12.99
Reasons to buy
+On-trend colour choices+Removable padding
Reasons to avoid
-Can sell out quickly

If you're yet to discover H&M's activewear offering, then you’re missing a trick. Not only is it really affordable (prices start around the £10 mark for shorts), but the products really work.

Take this sports bra, for instance. The soft fabric, plunging neckline, and wireless design means it feels more akin to a bralette than a sports bra, which is perfect for low-impact activities like yoga and pilates. The fully lined cups feature removable inserts, letting you change the look depending on how much shape or support you like. It does come up a little big, so we’d recommend sizing down if you’re in between sizes. That being said, a larger size will offer increased coverage. 

best sports bras: Freya Dynamic Sports Bra

(Image credit: Bravissimo)

7. Freya Dynamic Sports Bra

Best sports bra for bigger busts

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 28-38, cup sizes D-J
Material: 68% polyamide, 26% polyester, 6% Elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Not specified by brand
RRP: $64/£34
Reasons to buy
+Inclusive sizing+Comfortable to wear
Reasons to avoid
-Comes up big on the back

Not all the best sports bras are inclusive when it comes to sizing, so we were delighted to see that this hardworking number goes up to a size 38J. It’ll minimise jiggle for even the largest sizes without compromising on comfort. It’s all thanks to the little details, like a wide underband (that won’t dig in or leave welts on your skin), padded straps, and soft-backed fastenings. The lack of underwriting helps, too. 

It does come up a little big on the back, so size down there and up in the cup compared to your usual size. If you’re unsure about your bra size in general, Bravissimo offers free, online bra fittings with one of their helpful customer service advisors.

best sports bras: Falke Shape Melange Low Support Women Sport-Bra

(Image credit: Falke)

8. Falke Shape Melange Low Support Women Sport-Bra

Best sports bra for smaller busts

Specifications
Sizes: XS-XL
Material: 43% polyamide, 42% polyester, 15% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: $60/£55
Reasons to buy
+Super comfortable+Easy to adjust 
Reasons to avoid
-Only available in one colour-Sizing is a little confusing

One for the yoga bunnies, this fuss-free bra will keep your bust perfectly in place as you flow through your sun salutations. The adjustable back strap guarantees the perfect fit and, as it’s narrow, is nice and easy to disguise beneath your gym top.

The double-layered fabric means this sports bra dries in record time – something fans of hot yoga will appreciate. 

As it’s been designed with smaller boobs in mind, it won’t offer enough support for bigger busts to exercise in. Having said that, if you’re looking for a cosy sleep bra or something to wear around the house, then this might just be for you. 

Did you know Falke does leggings too? See our full Falke Impulse Running Tights review  

best sports bras: Triumph Triaction Extreme Lite

(Image credit: Triumph)

9. Triumph Triaction Extreme Lite

Best plus-size sports bra

Specifications
Sizes: 34A-36F
Material : 79% polyamide, 21% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: $49.50/£40
Reasons to buy
+Fully supportive style+Multiway straps 
Reasons to avoid
-Back band comes up small-Cup size comes up a bit big 

Brilliant for keeping bigger busts under wraps during bouncy cardio sessions, this bra encapsulates each breast into a separate cup for targeted support. 

Specially designed to avoid sore shoulders, the fully adjustable straps are packed full of padding. They can be easily cross-crossed, too, for a firmer fit. 

Lightweight and breathable, the mesh fabric helps to move moisture away from the body, leaving you cool and dry. 

If you’re wearing your bra in place of a top, some colourways even feature light-reflective patterns, helping to keep you visible when running in the dark. 

best sports bras: Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Women’s High Support Non-Padded Sports Bra

(Image credit: Nike)

10. Nike FE/NOM Flyknit Women’s High Support Non-Padded Sports Bra

Best sports bra for extra firm support

Specifications
Sizes: XS-XL
Material: Front: 100% nylon, back: 61% nylon, 39% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: $80/£69.95
Reasons to buy
+Nice and stretchy+High coverage 
Reasons to avoid
-Can be tricky to get on and off

Nike always delivers on performance, and this high-spec sports bra is no exception. It works with compression, drawing your breasts close to your body to minimise movement whether you’re jogging on the spot or breaking into burpees. The fly knit fabric allows for just enough stretch to keep you comfortable without compromising on that all-important support.

Completely seam-free, there’s no need to worry about niggles or rubbing as you clock up miles on your next run, and it means that it sits almost undetected under sports vests and t-shirts too. Order your usual size for a snug fit that won’t inch up or down as you move. Pricey but worth every penny, this is one of the best sports bras around. 

best sports bras: M&S Goodmove Extra High Impact Non Wired Sports Bra

(Image credit: M&S)

11. M&S Goodmove Extra High Impact Non Wired Sports Bra

Best front fastening sports bra

Specifications
Sizes: 32A-42E
Material: 67% polyester, 19% polyamide and 14% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £25
Reasons to buy
+Front fastening+Stylish design
Reasons to avoid
-Zip can rub

Good news! If you find sports bras that only do up at the back tricky to manoeuvre, you’re in luck. M&S’ Goodmove Extra High Impact Non Wired Sports Bra does up with a zip-front, so it’s as easy to put on as your coat. 

Suitable for high-impact workouts, the ribbed underband works hand in hand with the racerback to minimise bounce. Full coverage cups help you to feel fully secure too. This pretty floral print will bring the tropics to even the chilliest of early morning workouts, but when the mercury does rise, rest assured the moisture-wicking fabric will keep you cool. 

best sports bras: Tala Zahara Bra

(Image credit: Tala)

12. Tala Zahara Bra

Best eco-friendly sports bra

Specifications
Sizes: XS-XL
Material: 92% upcycled polyamide, 8% elastane
Wired: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £30
Reasons to buy
+Made from upcycled fabric+High-coverage style can be worn in place of a top 
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky for wearing under T-shirts-Shoulder seams can dig in a little 

If you’re looking to make more sustainable fashion choices, this sports bra is a big leap in the right direction. By using upcycled polyamide to create their Zahara style, Tala saves 28 litres of water and 1.5kg of CO2 compared with non-upcycled polyamide. Impressive, eh?

Thanks to the high neck and zip, this style is seriously sporty and a fun way to upgrade your workout wardrobe. It is bulky, though, so it would be best worn as a top as opposed to layered under a vest or T-shirt. The compression fit works together with removable padding to keep your chest under wraps as you enjoy your exercise.