Which nursing bras are best?
In most cases, breastfeeding your baby is the healthiest choice for you and your little one — and an essential part of the bonding process. But to make feeding your child as convenient and stress-free as possible, you need some comfortable, easy-to-use nursing bras.
Nursing bras don’t just offer easy access to your breasts when it’s time to feed your child; they also provide support that can make you more comfortable. And choosing the right nursing bra is key to providing the most convenience and comfort. If you’re looking for a highly comfortable seamless bra with removable foam pads, the Bravado Women’s Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra is your best option.
What to know before you buy a nursing bra
Nursing bra types
You can choose from several types of nursing bras, so it’s usually easy to find an option that fits your body shape and preferences. Many mothers enjoy having multiple types of nursing bras to use for different occasions, too.
- Drop-down cup nursing bras are an excellent option if you’re wearing a button-down shirt. They feature a clip at the shoulder that holds the soft or molded cups in place and a hook closure to secure the bra in the back. The best drop-down cup bras allow you to undo the clip one-handed, so you can securely hold your baby with the other.
- Underwire nursing bras feature soft or molded drop-down cups but have wire underneath for additional lift and support. They may cause some discomfort if you’re experiencing enlarged milk ducts.
- Nursing sports bras use a compression design to provide support and have a snap closure in the front. They’re made of stretchy materials like nylon and spandex and work well for exercise and other high-impact activities. They shouldn’t be worn for prolonged periods, though, because the compression can lead to clogged milk ducts.
- Crossover or sleep nursing bras feature wireless construction and soft materials that move with the body. The fabric crosses in the front and is easy to pull down when it’s time to feed your baby. They’re usually designed to be pulled over the head, so they don’t have a hook closure in the back. These bras don’t offer the same support as other nursing styles, but are typically the most comfortable.
- Hands-free pumping bras let you easily attach a breast pump, so you can pump without holding it. The cups have a hole over each breast that makes it easy to connect to the pump. The front usually has a zippered closure, too, so it’s easy to get to the pump.
You’ll probably shop for nursing bras before your baby arrives, but it’s best to wait until you’re about 36 weeks pregnant. Get professionally measured if you can, because your cup and band can go up by as much as two sizes.
Your breast size can still fluctuate after you give birth, so you should get measured for nursing bras again a few weeks after having your baby. After this, your breast size should remain steady during the rest of the nursing process, so you can purchase several bras that should fit for the duration.
Choose a nursing bra that provides plenty of support to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible. Styles with underwire and hook closures in the back offer the best support, while sleep or crossover bras typically provide the least.
Underwire bras can be uncomfortable if you have clogged milk ducts, though, so a nursing bra with soft, wire-free cups and a hook closure in the back may be a better option. If you have larger breasts, you may prefer a bra with a wide, padded shoulder strap to get extra support.
Comfort is vital when choosing a nursing bra. Styles with soft cups are usually more comfortable than molded cups if you’re dealing with engorged breasts. If you’re having issues with clogged milk ducts or lactation mastitis, opt for wireless nursing bras that won’t cause any more discomfort.
What to look for in a quality nursing bra
Nursing bras are available in several materials. Cotton is the most common because it’s a natural, breathable material. You can also find synthetic materials that feel and perform similarly to cotton, though.
Make sure to choose a bra made of fabric that provides effective ventilation. Any moisture trapped between the bra and your skin may cause irritation and chapping on the nipples and breasts.
Ease of access
A nursing bra should let you open it with one hand because you’ll have your baby in the other. Avoid styles with clips or other closures that are hard to undo. Crossover or sleep bras usually offer the easiest access because you only have to pull down the fabric to feed your child.
The best nursing bras have adjustable straps that let you get the size just right. Select a style with wide straps, so they can provide support without digging into your skin.
How much you can expect to spend on a nursing bra
Most nursing bras cost between $10 and $80. Bras that cost less than $20 typically don’t offer much support, but you can find many highly supportive, easy-to-use nursing bras for $25 to $45.
What’s the best time to buy a nursing bra?
A. You’ll need a couple of nursing bras when you leave the hospital with your baby, so you should purchase one or two near the end of your pregnancy. Your breast size will change post-partum, though, so get measured again about two to three weeks after you give birth, when your breast size should have stabilized. You can buy more nursing bras then that you can usually wear comfortably until you stop breastfeeding.
How many nursing bras do I need?
A. It’s a good idea to have at least three comfortable nursing bras. That way, you’ll have a bra to wear even if you’re washing the others.
What are the best nursing bras to buy?
Top nursing bra
Bravado Women’s Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
What you need to know: This comfortable nursing bra offers many convenient features, making it one of the best options on the market.
What you’ll love: It features a seamless, wireless design for added comfort. It comes with removable foam cups to allow you to adjust the modesty level. It’s made of an extremely soft nylon-spandex blend.
What you should consider: It doesn’t provide as much support as some mothers would like.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top nursing bra for the money
Hofish Women’s Seamless Nursing Bra Bralette
What you need to know: Coming in a three-pack, these nursing bras are an extremely affordable option that still provides plenty of support and comfort.
What you’ll love: This bra provides single-handed access when it’s time to feed your little one. The cups drop down without much effort for more convenient nursing.
What you should consider: Its padding is somewhat thick and bulky, so you may need to remove or replace it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Lamaze Cotton Spandex Sleep Bra
What you need to know: This nursing bra isn’t just extremely comfortable; it’s budget-friendly and suitable for both daytime and nighttime use, too.
What you’ll love: It’s made of an incredibly soft cotton-spandex blend. It’s comfortable enough to wear at night for sleeping and highly convenient for middle-of-the-night feedings. It pulls on easily over the head. The wide shoulder straps help it stay in place.
What you should consider: It isn’t lined and may not provide enough support if you sleep on your side.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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