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Hands up if you’re living in your sports bra right now? Yep, us too. But don’t be fooled. That’s not because we’re working out *every* single day. They’re just so comfortable to wear, even when we’re not. Under loungewear, for cleaning, for cooking, for daily walks. For watching Netflix in. Sports bras > normal bras, any day.
In all seriousness, a good sports bra is a vital piece of kit if you’re partial to working out. While you might not need one of amazing quality if you’re just planning to lounge around in it, you will if you’re going to be exercising. A study at the University of Portsmouth found that breasts can move up to 14cm when you’re working out, if they’re left unsupported. That’s quite a lot of movement. What’s more, if this is repeated time and time again, you could cause irreversible damage to the Cooper’s ligaments that help hold your boobs in place. Not ideal.
So, in the name of perky breasts, a good sports bra is paramount. But with almost every retailer offering a different style and design, finding the perfect one can be tricky. That’s where we come in. We’ve hunted down the best sports bras for impact, for big breasts, for small breasts and everything in between. There’s something in this edit for everyone, whatever your boob size, budget and chosen form of activity.
Before you start shopping, there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly: sizing. Use your chosen brand’s size chart to figure out what will be the most comfortable for you – and don’t be disconcerted if you need a smaller sports bra to your normal bra size. Sports bras do often come up that little bit tighter, to keep you supported when you’re jumping up and down. That said, it shouldn’t be restrictive.
You should also consider whether you want a compression bra or an encapsulation bra. Compression bras are best for women with smaller boobs, because they look more like crop tops and hug against your body. Encapsulation bras look a bit more like a regular T-shirt bra, because they support each breast separately. Bigger-boobed girls? The encapsulation bra is the one for you.
Finally, find a bra that will ensure you’re not soaked in sweat. It needs to wick moisture from your skin and dry quickly. We’ve made sure all of these bras do, but if you want to test the claims, place a drop of water on the fabric and make sure it spreads out quickly (and doesn’t bead up).