When you’re plus-size, few items are as fundamentally important to your wardrobe as a bra. The wrong one can cause digging, gapping or sagging. The right bra, on the other hand, provides support and shaping so you can feel confident and comfortable in whatever you wear on top of it. Thankfully, with the rise of size-inclusivity in the fashion market, the best plus-size bras are easier to find—and I’ve rounded up the ones that stand out. My top pick overall is Elomi’s Smoothing Underwire Bra, which is lightweight and breathable. If you want a slightly less expensive option, I recommend Vanity Fair’s Illumination Full-Figure Zoned In Support Bra.
Of course, different situations call for different bras. Ahead, you’ll find all my recommendations for the best plus-size bras, from stay-put strapless picks to the most comfortable wireless wonders to workout-friendly sports bras (to learn how I evaluated and picked the winners, see the end of this story). And for more shopping advice, check out our guides to the best underwear for women and plus-size clothing.
- Best Plus-Size Bra Overall: Elomi Smoothing Underwire Bra
- Best Affordable Plus-Size Bra: Vanity Fair Full Figure Beauty Back Smoothing Bra
- Best Plus-Size Strapless Bra: Le Mystère Soiree Strapless Bra
- Best Plus-Size Sports Bra: Knix Catalyst Sports Bra
- Most Comfortable Plus-Size Bra: Chantelle C Magnifique T-Shirt Bra
- Best Plus-Size Push-Up Bra: Soma Smooth Full Coverage Bra
- Best Plus-Size Full Coverage Bra: Elila Isabella Lace Full Coverage Bra
- Best Plus-Size Wireless Bra: Glamorise Full Figure Wire-Free Minimizer Support Bra
- Best Plus-Size Support Bra: Fantasie Fusion Side Support Bra
Elomi Smoothing Underwire Bra
Sizes: 32GG – 48E | Colors: Clove, Sahara, Black | Materials: 40% nylon, 36% elastane, 24% polyester
All of the experts I spoke with recommended Elomi as a top brand for curvy women. For an everyday bra, the Smoothing Underwire met all of my criteria: It has lightly molded cups to give you shape and is made from an ultralight, moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry. I also like that the 3-hook closure provides extra support for thicker ribcages. This bra comes in UK sizes but most retailers list the US size equivalents alongside them for convenience.
Vanity Fair Full Figure Beauty Back Smoothing Bra
Sizes: 36C-42H | Colors: Beige, Black, White, Quartz, Blue Sea Glass, Pink Amethyst, Navy, Cappuccino, Totally Tan, Ivory, Walnut | Materials: 78% nylon, 22% spandex
Vanity Fair’s smoothing bra is specifically made for fuller figures, with a 4-way stretch to easily glide over curves, smooth cups for a sleek look under clothes and a wide band to prevent back bulges. It’s a top pick on Amazon, where it has more than 30,000 5-star reviews, and while it has a wire-free design, the firm yet stretchy fabric still provides support (although it might not be enough for those at the larger end of plus-sizing charts).
Le Mystère Soiree Strapless Bra
Sizes: 32B – 40G | Colors: Nude, Black| Materials: Nylon, Spandex
Finding a strapless bra that works for a large bust can be challenging. Le Mystère’s Soiree has tailored support for bustier bodies. Molded cups and a wide band allow the bra to stay up without straps and support your chest. For versatility, though, it also comes with detachable straps that can be worn on one side, both sides, in a criss-cross or as a halter. FYI: The band runs small, according to the experts I spoke with, so you might want to go up a band size.
Sizes: 28DD – 42F | Colors: Black, Circuit, Cobalt, Tangerine, Taupe Grey, Pink Ginger, Navy, Berry, White| Materials: 59% nylon, 41% Spandex
Knix’s Catalyst sports bra is made for high-impact activities—think running, bootcamp classes and more. It has individually ventilated cups so you don’t overheat and adjustable straps for a customized fit. Another great feature: It has a hook-and-eye back closure so you can slip it on easily without having to squeeze it over a fuller bust.
Chantelle C Magnifique Seamless Contour Minimizer
Sizes: 32D – 44F | Colors: Black, Ultra Nude, Hazelnut, Ivory| Materials: 94% polyamide, 6% Spandex
“This is one of my favorite bras for fuller figures,” says Gina Stempler, owner of Bra Mobile, a bra fitting service, who notes that it’s invisible under t-shirts. The double wide band smooths your back and sides and molded cups won’t show through thin fabrics and material. The lightly lined spacer foam cups slightly separate and define breasts for a lifted look. One drawback: The nude colorways are limited and may not work for all skin tones.
Soma Smooth Full Coverage Bra
Sizes: 32B- 44G | Colors: Adobe Rose, Pale Sand, Warm Amber, Black | Materials: 79% nylon, 21% Spandex
If you want a little extra boost, Soma’s shaping bra is designed to lift your bust for a fuller look. It’s comfortable too, since it has padding along the seams that sit under your breasts, which helps to elevate your breasts minus any wire. The straps and hook-and-eye closure are also padded to prevent any digging. Note, this bra only goes up to size 44 in the band.
Elila Isabella Lace Full Coverage Bra
Sizes: 34E – 46K | Colors: Black, Grey, Ivory, Plum, Red, Teal | Materials: 88% nylon, 12% Spandex
“Elila makes the most supportive plus size bras—with and without wires—and they offer fantastic lace options,” says undergarment educator Kimmay Caldwell. This top pick offers full coverage, but still looks feminine, and has side boning for added support and an extra-wide band that smooths in back. For a non-lace version, try the Elila Chloe Side Support Bra.
Glamorise Full Figure Wire-Free Minimizer Support Bra
Sizes: 36C – 50I | Colors: Cafe, Black, Blue, White, Light Blue | Materials: 40% polyamide, 35% polyester, 15% cotton, 10% elastane
Yes, curvier types can wear wireless bras, says Caldwell who likes the styles from Glamorise. This pick relies on a thick, cushioned band instead of wire for support and full-coverage cups to keep everything in place. The adjustable, 3-hook back ensures the band fits properly, too.
Fantasie Fusion Underwire Side Support Bra
Sizes: 30D – 40H | Colors: Black Cherry, Sand, Sapphire, Blush, Black | Materials: 56% nylon, 23% elastane, 21% polyester
Fantasie is another top plus-size brand for Caldwell. This style has extra support built into the sides of the cups, which helps provide more lift and shaping. The bra is accented with lace for style and the band is thicker at the sides to prevent spillage or bumps. Adjustable straps also allow you to lift your breasts even more, if you want. Note: The band size only goes up to 40.
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
With more than 17 years of experience as a journalist, I have spent much of my career covering fashion. I am the former editor-in-chief of People StyleWatch and was the first plus-size woman to ever hold that role. For this article, I also spoke to three experts in the undergarments industry, including Kimmay Caldwell, undergarment educator and founder of The Bra Confidence and Comfort Course; Gina Stempler, owner of Bra Mobile, a bra fitting service; and Caralyn Mirand Koch, a plus-size model and founder of The Properly Fitting Bra Club.
How I Assessed The Best Plus-Size Bras
When it came to choosing the best plus-size bras, I took into account the types of bras that most women need in their wardrobe—such as strapless styles, sports bras and more. From there, I asked the experts for recommendations that are supportive, high quality and specifically made for curvier bodies. I also read hundreds of online reviews to determine which plus-size bra brands provide the best undergarment wear-experience and took into consideration the overall price, size range, color selections and more, to ensure this list covered a wide variety of needs and budget levels.
What To Consider When Buying A Plus-Size Bra
When it comes to shopping for the best plus-size bras, the experts agreed that there is no one-bra-works-for-all solution. That’s because bodies are shaped differently. You may be plus-size but have a smaller bust. Or, you could have tear-shaped or rounded breasts. All of these factors will impact how a bra fits you. With that in mind, here’s what to keep in mind for your specific body.
If you are plus-size, there are certain features you will want to look for in a bra. One thing to prioritize is a wider band. “Ninety percent of a bra’s support comes from the band,” says Caldwell. “A wide, firm band will stay in place all day and prevent riding up, rolling, and sliding down.” Wider straps can also help but only impact about 10 percent of a bra’s lift, she says.
Also, look for well constructed cups. Molded cups will help shape your breasts and give them a uniform, rounded look. Cups that aren’t molded will emphasize your natural breast shape and won’t add any extra bulk. It’s really a preference thing—go for whatever look you prefer.
Lastly, with larger breasts, sweat sometimes becomes an issue. For that reason, it may be worth considering moisture-wicking fabrications or bras that have built-in mesh vents.
“Unfortunately, a vast majority of women do not know their correct bra size and are in fact wearing the wrong size,” says Stempler. “Most women are wearing their bands too big and their cups too small.” So, how do you find the right fit? Experts agree that it’s best to go to a lingerie shop to get sized by a professional. From there, you’ll want to try on a few different styles to see what fits your specific body well. “While measurements are a helpful starting point, they don’t disclose everything,” says Mirand Koch. “You and I could have the exact measurements on paper but have entirely different needs when it comes to a bra style.”
Rather than solely relying on the size, look for certain signs a bra is fitting you properly. “The center wire, which is called a gore, should be flat against your sternum,” says Mirand Koch. “The side wire of the cup should be behind all breast tissue, not on top of it. And your band should fit snugly and parallel to the floor.”
You’ll also want to think about the type of bra you need. For example, if you’re a jeans-and-tee kind of person, a smooth t-shirt bra is going to be a staple in your wardrobe. There are also wired and wire-free options to consider. “As to bra wardrobes, every fuller figured woman should have a comfortable wire-free style for lounging,” says Stempler. “But you are probably going to also need a wired option.”
Other styles worth considering: A balconette bra has a low profile and may be good for deeper necklines. A lacy style is stylish but not great for tops made from thin materials since the lace will show through. A push-up bra will give great lift. Caldwell suggests thinking about your specific wardrobe and then considering what gaps you need to fill.