What Type Of Bra Is Best For Your Boob Shape? Here’s Your Ultimate Guide

No boobs left behind.

Model posing in Bluebella lingerie
Courtesy of Bluebella
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Breasts. They’re as unique as fingerprints and come in an infinite range of shapes, sizes, textures, and skin tones. This makes the market for bras and lingerie extremely lucrative, yet still incredibly difficult to navigate.

Anyone with boobs can attest, bras are not one-size-fits-all. Finding the perfect one is not impossible, but when you’re in that fitting room, it certainly does feel like it. From inconsistent sizing, to uncomfortable wiring, settling on your go-to style takes time and patience.

To help streamline that process, I spoke with several bra experts (yes, those exist) to gain more insight into the intimates market and answer some of the most daunting questions (read: What types of bras are best for which shape?).

Sarah Sullivan, Vice President and Creative Director at LIVELY, explains that knowing your breast shape is key (athletic, bell-shaped, relaxed, round, east-west, etc.). She says that most boobs “fall into a combination of shape categories: Either wide-set or close-set, and either full or shallow,” she explained.

After breast shape, Sullivan says you must know your band size. “The most important thing to pay attention to when trying on bras is the band. Eighty percent of the support you get from a bra comes from the band,” Sullivan said.

“If the band is too loose, you will see all sorts of fit issues, including: Gaping in the cups, the band riding up your back, and straps slipping off your shoulders,” she continued. “Your band should be firm without causing discomfort, and have just about 1-3 inches of stretch if you were to pull it off of your body. Always start with the right band size and go up or down in the cup size until everything fits perfectly.”

But how can you be sure that it does, in fact, fit perfectly? Alice Kim, founder of PerfectDD — a brand that makes tops for people with a large busts and small to mid frames — explains what to look for when you’re examining the fit.

  • Band: “Your band should lie parallel to the floor, not lift up (which indicates the band is too big). If the band feels too tight, constricting, and uncomfortable, it may be too small.”
  • Hook: “A new bra should be worn comfortably on the loosest hook. The band will stretch over time, which is when you move to an inner hook. If you have to wear it on the tightest hook right away, your band is too large.”
  • Straps: “Straps should lay snug against your shoulders and stay in place throughout the day. If they slide down even after you tighten them, it may be time for a new bra. Straps that dig into your shoulders indicate that your band is too large — the straps are doing more support than they are supposed to.”
  • Cups: “Cups should lay flush against your breast, providing lift and shape. Cups that gape indicate that your cup is too large. Cups that wrinkle is also a sign that the cup is too big or may not be the right shape for your breasts. Cups that cut into your skin with spillage on top or the sides mean the cup is too small.”

With that in mind, take a look through the different types of bras to find what works best for your breasts.


Full Coverage

Full coverage options are great for larger chests that require additional lift and support. Ra’el Cohen, founder of Thirdlove, suggests this style for wide-set breasts. “If you are struggling to achieve cleavage with certain tops, look for full coverage bras that will help bring your breasts up and together.”



The lightly-lined bra is a great option for everyday wear, due to its non-bulky fit and wired support. These styles work best for people with smaller breasts or people who don’t want added volume. Cohen from ThirdLove explains that people with this breast shape “tend to have a problem with cup gaping. Due to this, we recommend T-shirt style bras.”



ThirdLove’s Cohen explains that balconettes are great for breasts with lax tissue. “Since these tend to be longer breasts that hang, try a balconette style bra that has a slightly shorter cup for more fullness at the top.”



Wire-free bras help eliminate the painful digging of underwire or the dreaded wire popping out. These styles are best for people who prioritize comfort over lift and support.



Side support is one area that often gets forgotten when considering comfort, but is just as important — especially, for plus-size wearers. Longline bras can provide extra support and comfort for your waist, back, and sides.


Customizable Cups

Bra styles that allow you to place inserts in the cups are great for uneven breasts, as well as post-surgical breasts.



According to PerfectDD’s founder Kim, push-up bras are a great option “for those who want extra lift, making the top appear more full.” She notes this bra is “also good for those with a smaller cup [who] want to add volume.”



Demi styles are great for wide-set and shallow breasts, but beyond that, they’re cute as hell. Thankfully, the days of stylish bras that only fit one demographic are long gone.



Nubian Skin revolutionized the nude palette when they launched in 2013. Their innovative colors give options for women of color seeking no-show bras.



Plunge bras can be worn with low-cut tops, though they still provide coverage, lift, and cleavage. ThirdLove’s Cohen echoes this, stating: “Smaller breasts can benefit from a little extra lift and the cleavage definition created by a plunge bra.”



If you’re trying to style a one-shoulder top or halter neckline, multiway strapless bras are your best option. You can adjust the removable straps as needed to fit whatever your outfit calls for.



Pepper specializes in creating bras for smaller chests, which can be a good fit for athletic breasts. Similar to a traditional T-shirt bra, unlined styles give support and are invisible beneath clothing. The difference is in the lining: T-shirt bras include light lining, while unlined styles are made of the thinnest possible fabric.



Bralettes have skyrocketed in popularity over recent years for their extraordinary comfort. If you’re super active or have a larger cup size, you may want to opt for a version with more coverage and support. Lounging around or working from home? Bralettes are the perfect option.



Their extensive size offering (6X-XS) and functional designs have made Yitty one of my favorite bra brands. With silicone grippers to keep it in place (a huge win when you’re trying to do a strapless look), their bandeau is a must.



For incredible support through the sides and tummy, a corset is a great alternative to strapless bras. Particularly useful for people with large breasts, the structured bodice gives extra, extra support and stability. Consider one with multiway straps to make it work with any style neckline.



Any and everyone can get down with this ultra cozy cotton bralette. Wire free and unlined, this is actually one of my go-tos for a lazy day. Thanks to the extra band support, it even works for large chests.



If you have fuller breasts, Kim of PerfectDD suggests opting for racerback-style bras for added support. She says the criss-cross back is “great for larger cup size, as it provides more back support.” Kim also notes the design is “also good for sloped shoulders,” as you won’t worry about straps slipping down.


Sports: High-Impact

PerfectDD’s Kim has patented a high-impact, maximum coverage bra that can accommodate cup sizes DD and up. “Our sports bras are designed for high-impact, so we use compression fabric that minimizes not only the look of your chest, but to provide extra support for no bounce. There is also an inner side sling to prevent side spillage and contain breast tissue forward, and a center seam to separate the breasts from one another.”


Sports: Medium-Impact

For the workout enthusiast or anyone with sensitive skin, Oya created an antimicrobial, anti-irritation sports bra. The high neck of this bra is also helpful for equally distributing breast tissue if you are trying to minimize the appearance of your chest.


Sports: Low-Impact

I’m a big fan of MeUndies designs. The dual-layer fabric makes their sports bras ultra comfy and great for activities like yoga or weights. These are also gender-affirming for folks who want to minimize their chest, while still getting support.



Nursing bras provide comfort and functionality, with straps that can be opened in the front, for easy breast access. The seamless design is free of wires or excessive padding for optimum comfort when breasts may be sensitive.



This bra type is great for bell shaped (slimmer at the top and fuller at the bottom) and narrow breasts. According to ThirdLove’s Cohen, people with these shapes “may experience overflow with minimal coverage styles, like balconette or demi. Instead, try a full coverage bra that features wider, memory foam straps that provide support, but never dig in.”



For folks that have undergone a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or top surgery, having a bra with an easy-open front closure can help during the recovery process. It’s also helpful for people with limited arm and shoulder mobility.



A Bravissimo fit expert told Bustle: “It’s very common for most women to have one boob bigger than the other ... We recommend any styles with stretch lace in the cups, as they mold to your unique shape.”



This implant-friendly bra is a good option for people who have undergone breast augmentation or surgery of some kind. The soft cups mold to your shape to help smooth any unevenness.