The best bras to support, lift and shape your bust

We've put the best bras through their paces so you don't have to—from strapless to push-up and everything in between.

Best bra collage image: 8 of our fave bra styles from Curvy Kate to Wonderbra and Spanx
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for the best bras that deliver on support, lift and style? We’ve got you (and your boobs) covered.

The best bras have a lot in common with a staple pair of jeans: they're an everyday wardrobe essential, but confusion over styles and sizing can quickly turn browsing for them into more of a chore than a treat. Too much choice = a higher chance of a shopping induced melt-down. 

Yet with roughly half the adult population wearing them, bras are big business. All the key retail players are clamoring to create new styles that not only look good, but are a joy to wear, too.

So just how do you find your perfect match? Like hunting out the best jeans, shopping for a great bra can require some trial and error—after all, a selection of supportive and stylish bras are the backbone of any good capsule wardrobe, so it's imperative that you get it just right. 

So to save you the hassle, we thought we'd go ahead and test out some of the greatest bras of all time for you—so you can find your perfect bra match first time round. 

How we chose the best bras 

There's no universally held standard of 'the best bra'—everybody has a different idea of how a good bra should fit, flatter and support. But there are some common qualities we firmly believe all of the best bras should share: 

  • Fit. When it comes to bras, fit is everything. If you're finding that your current bras aren't doing what they need to, then it's definitely time for a new one. With our guide to how to measure bra size in mind, we wore the bras through work and weekend, to really test their fit, support and wearability. 
  • The quality of the materials. If cared for properly, the best bras should also prove excellent value for wear. Which is why we rigorously tested the quality of their materials, their washability (following expert guidance on how to wash bras, of course), and longevity, to see if they really step up to the plate. 
  • Style. Who said supportive bras had to be boring? From pretty lace balcony bras to wow-worthy push up bras, we tried them all—to help you find the bras that will make your boobs look amazing, both in and out of clothes. 

As a result, we’re 100% confident that these are the best bras worth parting with your hard-earned cash for. 

The best bras chosen by our experts

Curvy Kate Victory Balcony Bra: our pick from best balconette bra, great range for bigger busts sized D-KK, best bra

(Image credit: Curvy Kate)

1. Curvy Kate Victory Balcony Bra

The best balconette bra

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 30-44, cup sizes D-KK
Best suited to: Bigger busts who favour a natural look
Wired: Yes
Padded: Yes
Machine washable: No
RRP: £33
Number of colors : 7
Reasons to buy
+A great everyday bra+Double layered mesh lower cup for amazing support+Changes from two to three hooks from an F cup
Reasons to avoid
-Bridge may be visible with some necklines

Curvy Kate has a great range for bigger busts sized D-KK, designed to lift and support with design features tailored specifically for big boobs, like extra hook-and-eye fastenings and more supportive straps. The classic balconette style moves away from a deep cleavage towards a natural lift, with sturdy, adjustable straps, a four-part seamed cup and sturdy underwire.

Balconette bras are designed with the cup cut horizontally, which creates a lift upwards, rather than inwards. This is great for women who have a bigger bust and want a more natural look, rather than the cleavage created by a plunge. 

The Curvy Kate Victory Balcony Bra offers a firm, natural finish, minus padding—a good option for bigger busts. The cups have a smooth shape that will work underneath dresses and T-shirts alike. Plus, it's pretty easy on the eye when the clothes come off, too. 

Rosie for Autograph bra: our pick for best padded bra, features signature shapes, ranges, and trendy colorways, best bra

(Image credit: M&S)

2. M&S Rosie for Autograph Silk & Lace Underwired Full Cup Bra

The best padded bra

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 30-40, cup sizes A-E
Best suited to: Small, asymmetric or low boobs
Wired: Yes
Padded: Yes
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £28
Number of colors : 4
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable to wear +Made from quality fabrics 
Reasons to avoid
-Only goes up to an E cup -Can sell out quickly online 

If you’re looking for a fancy bra at high-street prices, the Rosie for Autograph range ticks all the boxes. The signature shapes remain pretty much the same year after year, updated with new colorways and trend-led prints each season. If you find bra shopping stressful, it’s nice to know you have a tried-and-tested favorite you can return to again and again.

I’ve been a fan of the entire range for years, but for the purpose of this review, I tested a Silk & Lace Underwired Full Cup Bra. As expected, it provided plenty of coverage and lots of support. The light padding and underwiring worked together to lift and boost my bust, while the luxe silk straps kept me comfortable.

See our full Rosie for Autograph Silk & Lace Underwired Full Cup Bra review

Boux avenue mollie lace plunge bra: lifts small and large busts, and features soft lace fabric that makes it a comfortable choice for everyday, best bra

(Image credit: Boux Avenue)

3. Boux Avenue Mollie Lace Plunge Bra

The best push-up bra

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 28-44, cup sizes A-G
Best suited to: Small, low or pointy boobs
Wired: Yes
Padded: Yes
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £20.80
Number of colors : 7
Reasons to buy
+Boosts cleavage on smaller busts+Inclusive size range 
Reasons to avoid
-Comes up a little small -Removable padding could be easily lost 

Mollie is Boux Avenue’s bestselling bra, with one being bought every 10 minutes. The removable padding in sizes A-DD will appeal to those with a smaller bust, while the plunging, supportive shape has made it Boux Avenue’s most popular choice for sizes DD+, too. 

The soft lace fabric makes it a comfortable choice for everyday; throw in an impressive shade range of six different colors and it’s clear we’re on to a winner. The full-coverage cups will boost your confidence, creating a full, rounded shape both under clothes and without them.

If your boobs are different sizes (almost everyone’s are!) it's handy that you can keep the extra padding in one cup, and not the other, for an even look. 

See our full Boux Avenue Mollie Lace Plunge Bra review

Wonderbra ultimate strapless bra: leverages super supportive, unbudging band, and unique "hand-shaped system", best bra

(Image credit: Wonderbra)

4. Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless Bra

The best strapless bra

Specifications
Sizes: 30D-38G
Best suited to: All boobs
Wired: Yes
Padded: Yes
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £40
Number of colors : 6
Reasons to buy
+Stays in place well+Creates impressive cleavage 
Reasons to avoid
-Feels slightly restrictive-Comes up small on the band 

Wonderbra's Ultimate Strapless Bra has long been touted as one of the best strapless bras on the market–so suffice to say, we were curious to try it out for ourselves.

And we're pleased to confirm that it's worth every single bit of the hype. The bra's super supportive and unbudging band (seriously, it's not going anywhere), is patterned with small silicone dots to ensure it won't slip as you go about your day or evening—so you won't have to secretly adjust it under your clothes, as is the case with many strapless bras. (Never a good look, let's be honest.)

But it's the bra's unique "hand-shaped system" that it's probably most famed for. Designed to lift and boost your bust from the inside, it quite literally feels like you've got a supportive set of hands holding you up. 

Admittedly, this makes the bra not the most comfortable thing to be wearing for long periods of time, but for events and special occasions, the support of this one is unbeatable, which is why it's one of the best bras. And if you've got bigger boobs, you'll be pleased to know that it's completely spill-proof, too. 

See our full Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless Bra review

Figleaves Juliette Lace Non-Pad Bra: offers support and lift for a fuller bust, plus comfortable material and fit, best bra

(Image credit: Figleaves)

5. Figleaves Juliette Lace Non-Pad Bra

The best plunge bra

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 30-38, cup sizes B-GG
Best suited to: Bigger busts who want some lift
Wired: Yes
Padded: No
Machine washable: No
RRP: £26
Number of colors : 5
Reasons to buy
+Pretty, feminine finish +Great support for a fuller bust +Natural-looking push-up effect 
Reasons to avoid
-Fussy strap details -Semi-sheer finish may limit outfit suitability 

You’d be forgiven for thinking this bra, which nods to a daintier bralette style, isn’t the most supportive. But once you try on this crowd-pleasing piece of lingerie, you’ll soon be proved wrong. Its clever double lining and sturdy underwire result in a secure fit and plenty of lift. The Figleaves Juliette is a plunge style and I found this provided a flattering shape under T-shirts and shirts, as well as plenty of cleavage if you’re opting for something with a lower neckline. 

The quality of the fabric is high for a lower price point, with delicate lace and pretty scalloped edges. The Figleaves Juliette Lace Non-Pad Bra is a real find, as it provides great shape and lift, without any padding. 

See our full Figleaves Juliette Lace Non-Pad Bra review

Spanx Bra-llelujah! Unlined Bralette: the most comfortable bra with a hosiery-style back that smooths out lumps and bumps, best bra

(Image credit: Spanx)

6. Spanx Bra-llelujah! Unlined Bralette

The best comfortable bra

Specifications
Sizes: XS-XL
Best suited to: Small, perky boobs
Wired: No
Padded: No
Machine washable: No
RRP: £36
Number of colors: 4
Reasons to buy
+Stretch fabric for perfect fit+Hosiery-style back smooths out lumps and bumps
Reasons to avoid
-Limited shade range-Only goes up to a DD cup  

Not longer just responsible for seriously impressive shapewear, Spanx have used their years of expertise to create the softest bralette we’ve ever worn. The beauty of this comfortable bra is in its simplicity, the features that are missing are as important as its key features. 

The plunging triangle shape, supportive shoulder straps and wide, hosiery-style back makes for a modern-looking bra with a sporty feel. It’s crafted from hardworking Lycra mix, for the softness of a t-shirt and the stretch of a pair of tights. The bra is free from padding, underwiring and hardware for a natural shape that camouflages seamlessly under clothes.

Those with bigger busts might find it doesn’t offer enough support for all-day wear, but it would work perfectly as a sleep bra. 

See our full Spanx Bra-llelujah! Unlined Bralette review

M&S Louisa Lace Longline Bralette: recommended for lounging and wearing underneath sleepwear, best bra

(Image credit: M&S)

7. M&S Louisa Lace Longline Bralette

The best sleep bra

Specifications
Sizes: 6-22
Best suited to: Bigger busts who want some night-time support
Wired: No
Padded: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £9.50
Number of colors: 2
Reasons to buy
+Super comfortable +Low price point  +Flattering on the bust 
Reasons to avoid
-Small fit -No fastenings means less flexibility on size

If you thought that bralettes provided minimum support, trying M&S’s signature style will soon changed your mind. While this bralette is recommended wholeheartedly for lounging and sleeping in, I’d also feel comfortable wearing this day to day with T-shirts, shirts or dresses; the seamed cups create a lovely shape, even for a bigger bust. 

I tried the bralette in my usual size and it was a little snug. After reading the reviews on the M&S website, I concluded I wasn’t alone, so I’d definitely opt for a size up with this bralette. 

The colorways in this exact style are black and white. But if you favor this style, there’s a whole host of M&S bralettes in pastel shades, eye-catching brights and fun prints.

Triumph Amourette 300 Underwired Bra: majority of the lift comes from the balconette-style wiring, best bra

(Image credit: Triumph)

8. Triumph Amourette 300 Underwired Bra

The best non-padded bra

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 32-44, cup sizes B-K
Best suited to: Big, round or low boobs
Wired: Yes
Padded: No
Machine washable: No
RRP: £38
Number of colors: 12
Reasons to buy
+Inclusive range of sizes+Wide range of colors 
Reasons to avoid
-Cups come up slightly big-Generous back band 

Gracefully tiptoeing the line between femininity and functionality, this full-cup style provides plenty of support without compromising on appearance. The bulk of the lift comes from the balconette-style wiring, perfectly placed to perk up your bust without digging in.

The inclusive sizing earns this timeless bra plenty of brownie points, catering for back sizes  32-44 and cup sizes B-K. It does come up a bit big, so if you’re in between sizes we’d recommend sizing down. 

You don't have to stick to classic white, black or beige, you can make the most of the broad colour offering with pretty pastels through to bold brights. 

Victoria’s Secret Lightly Lined Strapless Bra: sleek and versatile bra that can be worn in five ways, best bra

(Image credit: Victoria's Secret)

9. Sexy Illusions by Victoria’s Secret Lightly Lined Strapless Bra

The best multiway bra

Specifications
Price: £44.03
Sizes: Sizes 32A-38F
Composition: 83% polyamide, 17% elastane
Wired: Yes
Machine washable: No
Best suited to: All boobs
Provides: Strap-free support with no pulling or pinching
Number of colors: 9
Reasons to buy
+Firm but comfortable fit+Can be worn in five different ways 
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t offer a fully inclusive shade range -Sizing is a little confusing 

If, like us, you've always been a little suspicious of multiway bras–I mean, if they can be worn so many ways, surely they're sacrificing support?–then this VS bra will totally change your mind. 

This sleek bra can be worn in five ways–whether you choose to go down the traditional two strap route, opt for a racer back style, go strapless, asymmetric or halter necked. However you choose to wear it, the quality of the fabric will leave you seriously impressed: smooth as silk so that it's undetectable under even the tightest of clothes, the bra uses a patented zero irritation adhesive to ensure your support stays in place all day long.  One of the best bits about it? It has zero boning at the back – so  it doesn't dig, either. If you didn't think magic existed before, this bra will make you believe otherwise. 

See our full Sexy Illusions by Victoria’s Secret Lightly Lined Strapless Bra review

Figleaves Millie Lace Bralette: offers low coverage and is made from semi-sheer, unlined fabric, best bra

(Image credit: Figleaves)

10. Figleaves Millie Lace Bralette

The best bralette

Specifications
Sizes: XS-XL
Best suited to: Round, pointy, big or small boobs
Wired: No
Padded: No
Machine washable: No
RRP: £15
Number of colors: 3
Reasons to buy
+Inclusive size range +Looks pretty 
Reasons to avoid
-High coverage-Sells out quickly 

With two decades of experience, what Figleaves doesn’t know about lingerie just isn’t worth knowing. Proof they’re always ahead of the curve? The Millie Lace Bralette has not only become something of an influencer favourite,  and one of their most popular styles, but it is one of the best bralettes on the market. 

Fitting more like a crop top than a bra, this is low coverage in that it’s made from semi-sheer, unlined fabric, but it’s also longline, finishing two inches beneath the bust. It’s this extra fabric that makes it so stable and well suited for bigger boobs, providing extra support without the need for wiring. 

If you’re feeling confident, the pretty racer-back style would look lovely layered under a camisole top, or beneath an oversized linen shirt. 

See our full Millie Lace Bralette review

Panache Sports Moulded Underwired Bra: features light padding, underwiring, and molded encapsulation cups, best bra

(Image credit: Panache)

11. Panache Sports Moulded Underwired Bra

The best sports bra

Specifications
Sizes: Back sizes 28-40, cup sizes D-J
Best suited to: All boobs
Wired: Yes
Padded: Yes
Machine washable: No
RRP: £42
Number of colors: 13
Reasons to buy
+Underwiring offers extra support+Cushioned strap and band 
Reasons to avoid
-Comes up a little small -Racerback strap tricky to secure

We've found the best sports bra for supporting, rather than squashing boobs with this one, and we won't be letting it go any time soon. If you're looking for a sports bra that won't immediately rid your boobs of all shape as soon as you slip it on, then this is the one for you.

The light padding, underwiring and molded encapsulation cups of Panache's Sports Moulded Underwired Bra ensure that boobs not only feel super supported, but look great, too – both underneath clothes, and while wearing the bra alone.

But it's comfort that makes this one a real winner in our eyes. With smooth, seamless inner cups, feather-light soft straps and no irritating, niggling care labels to contend with (washing instructions are printed directly on to the inner band), this one is as comfortable as a bra gets.

It also comes complete with a racerback clip, so you can amp up the support for more intensive sweat sessions, like running and HIIT workouts.

Dora Larsen Maria lace and stretch-tulle underwired balconette bra: doubles as a lingerie staple and trend piece, best bra

(Image credit: Net-a-Porter)

12. Dora Larsen Maria lace and stretch-tulle underwired balconette bra

The best fashion bra

Specifications
Sizes: 32B–38C
Best suited to: Special occasion wear
Wired: Yes
Padded: No
Machine washable: No
RRP: £56
Number of colors: 1
Reasons to buy
+Pretty as a picture+Gentle support and comfortable fit
Reasons to avoid
-Hand wash only-Sells out quickly

Dora Larsen is the hottest new lingerie brand on the block—with the brand's delicate, vibrant bras selling out almost as soon as they hit the shelves. Restocked after selling out yet again, this gorgeous Maria lace and stretch-tulle bra gives gentle support and lift thanks to its soft cups and adjustable straps–meaning that it's much more than just a pretty exterior.

But what an exterior it is. Delicate navy lace and vibrant pink trims make this a lingerie item that's supposed to be seen. If you're feeling brave, wear it proudly beneath a sheer blouse for a chic, sultry look. And if you're wanting to feel extra special, pair it with the brand's matching high briefs. It's probably a good idea to snap it up before it goes out of stock again, though. 

Calvin Klein bralette: offers breathable design, comfort, and support required for sedentary days, best bra

(Image credit: Calvin Klein)

13. Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Bralette

The best working from home bra

Specifications
Sizes: XS–XL
Best suited to: Working from home/chill days
Wired : No
Padded: No
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £30
Number of colors: 8
Reasons to buy
+Soft cotton-blend for optimum comfort
Reasons to avoid
-Not supportive enough for active days

Some days, you just gotta give your boobs a bit of a rest. Our perfect solution? Calvin Klein's iconically soft bralette. Breathable, comfortable and offering that little bit of support required for sedentary days, it's our perfect working from home pick. 

With a racer back fit, no padding and no lining, this one probably counts more as loungewear than it does bra, but it does a great job of helping you feel just that little bit more put together for days when you won't be moving much. Or, like M&S' Louisa Lace bralette, wear this one as a stylish and secure sleep bra with a pair of the brand's soft cotton boxer shorts. The only trouble you'll have is deciding which color to choose. 

M&S t shirt bra: second-skin soft and decorated with non-irritating lace around the band, best bra

(Image credit: Marks & Spencer)

14. M&S Collection Sumptuously Soft™ Non-Wired Plunge T-Shirt Bra A-E

The best everyday T-shirt bra

Specifications
Sizes: 32A–42C
Best suited to: Casual, non-active days
Wired: No
Padded: Yes
Machine washable: Yes
RRP: £20
Number of colors : 5
Reasons to buy
+Seriously soft and comfortable +Great value for money 
Reasons to avoid
-Not supportive enough for active days

Sumptuously Soft by name, sumptuously soft by nature. Made from a smooth, soft polyamide mix, M&S' plunge non-wired bra takes the cake of best T-shirt bra at such a reasonable price point. Decorated with soft non-irritating lace around the band, this fuss-free bra does exactly what it says on the tin: provides light to medium support, shapes the bust for a lifted, smooth look under clothes, and pretty much stays super-soft through washing and wear. Whether you're wearing it with one of the best dresses for off-duty days, or with a loose, linen shirt for working from home, this one will be a stalwart in your lingerie drawer, that much we promise. 

Skims Fits Everybody Crossover Bralette

(Image credit: Skims)

15. Skims Fits Everybody Crossover Bralette

The best triangle bra

Specifications
Sizes: XXS-4X
Best suited to: Small to medium sized boobs
Wired: No
Padded: No
Machine washable: Yes
Number of colours: 9
Reasons to buy
+Inclusive nude shades+Super comfortable
Reasons to avoid
-Sizing system is confusing-Might not be supportive enough for bigger busts

Think what you will about Kim Kardashian, she sure does make a good bra. Her  brand, Skims, specialises in solutions-based shapewear and underwear that not only looks good, but feels it too. This bralette is Kim's favourite, and we can see why. The fabric is supersoft, with minimal seams, for a barely-there feel and absolutely no marks when you take it off. The narrow straps and lack of wiring means it doesn't offer loads of support, and for that reason it probably wouldn't suit bigger busts for all day wear. That being said, the stretchy fabric provides a good amount of security and lift, with the cross-over shape means there's no spillage.

How do I know if a bra fits properly?

So you've found the best bra, but you're still unsure about how a bra should fit. We totally get it – finding a bra that fits like a glove is no easy feat. 

But according to Priya Downes, CEO and co-founder of fit first lingerie brand Nudea, there are a number of tell-tale signs that will indicate whether or not your bra fits as it should. 

  1. Your bust is bulging out of cups and is showing through your top – giving the double boob effect
  2. The centre front of the bra is not sitting against your sternum, and is lifting away
  3. The cups are now empty and wrinkling
  4. The underband is riding up at the back, and you have to tighten the straps
  5. A previously comfortable bra is now uncomfortable.

But it's also important to remember that the size of your boobs is likely to fluctuate throughout the month. While knowing how to measure bra size  is extremely important (especially during lockdown) it's also important to take into consideration when you should measure your bra size. 

"We wear bras everyday of the month, so it's good to always be well fitted," says Priya. "At the time of lowest hormonal activity, about seven days into the cycle, the breast will be at its lowest size, as well as on the last day of the cycle. It would be ideal to measure at both times." 

Though she adds, "Usually one or two bigger bras for your biggest days will do, but we should also make sure that your smaller size is suitable for everyday."

Top tips for buying a bra online 

We're firm believers that every good fashion look starts with the basics, and a good bra is a non-negotiable. Even the most well thought through capsule wardrobe wouldn't be effective without a well-stocked bra drawer to go with it. Here's how to make sure you get it right the first time round when shopping online. 

Book an online fit consultation: No, it's not the same as an in-person fitting, but virtual bra fittings can go a long way in helping you find the best fit – and subsequently the best bra – for you. 

But your new bra through its paces: "When you finally get your bra, make sure you try adjusting the straps and jiggling your boobs," says Carlotta Ghigi, Nudea’s in-house bra technologist and expert fitter. "As you’re putting the bra on, lean forward and ‘jiggle’ your boobs into the cups to get the best fit. This can be a real game changer for some who’ve been wearing ill-fitting bras for years," she advises.

Ensure hassle free returns: "It's an oft-quoted statistic that 80% of British women are wearing the wrong bra size, but self-measurement is just one step in finding your fit," says Carlotta. "So it makes sense to ensure that returning items is as easy as possible."

When should I replace my bra? 

As with a pair of the best jeans, you probably have a few favorite bras in your underwear drawer that you turn to again and again. But when your bra no longer feels supportive – whether that's because your bra has lost its stretch, its fabric is wearing thin from over-washing, or your size has changed – it's time to seek out a replacement. 

But proper care of a bra can prolong its life. Here are a few tips for making your favorite bra go the distance: 

  • Machine wash your bra in a garment bag – and on a delicate cycle – to keep it from getting twisted among your other clothes
  • Line your bras up in your underwear drawer like they do in shops. Folding your bra one cup inside the other can shift the padding and compromise its shape. 
  • Invest in a special detergent, like the Nudea Bra & Briefs Detergent and Softener Duo, to keep your bra in mint condition for as long as possible