The 9 Best Nursing Bras of 2021

The right picks for breastfeeding moms

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: HOFISH Seamless Nursing Maternity Bras at Amazon

"Inexpensive bralettes... offer great coverage and support for any body type."

Best for Large Busts: Bravado! Essential Nursing Bra at Amazon

"Strong and supportive even up to an M cup... slimming back panel."

Best for Small Busts: CAKYE Maternity Nursing Bra at Amazon

"Made of 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex... accommodates changing cup sizes."

Best Nursing Sports Bra: SYROKAN Bounce Control Bra at Amazon

"Offers support... and you can unhook the straps to feed your baby before you go for a run."

Best Pumping Bra: Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bra at Amazon

"Provides full coverage... to pump at work without exposing your breasts, for all major pump brands."

Best Sexy: Cosabella Womens' Soft Bra at Amazon

"Delicate floral lace with a scalloped edge, the bra looks sexy, and allows for easy breastfeeding."

Best Sleeping: Kindred Bravely Nursing Sleep Bra at Amazon

"Made of terry cotton so it feels soft and comfortable while you get your few hours of sleep."

Best Nursing Tank: Caramel Cantina Nursing Cami at Amazon

"Provide full body coverage... function the same way as a nursing bra."

Best Strapless Bra: La Leche League Maternity Bra at Amazon

"Maximum support without straps and giving access to the nipple for breastfeeding."

A nursing bra is a supportive undergarment designed for breastfeeding women. It has cups with flaps or panels that can be easily opened to provide access to your breasts without having to remove your entire bra. It's a convenient breastfeeding accessory.

Here are the best nursing bras for all your needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: HOFISH 3PACK Full Bust Seamless Nursing Maternity Bras

It’s a myth that the more expensive the bra, the better the coverage. In fact, these inexpensive bralettes by HOFISH, which come in packs of three (with different color options depending on your preferences), offer great coverage and support for any body type. Features include a clasp on the strap that allows one-handed access to the nipple, a triangle cup that offers strong support for heavy breasts, a side band that keeps skin tightly tucked, removable foam cups, extenders to allow for extra room around the torso, and clasps that allow users to create a racer-back silhouette.

Plus, these bras are also a great option for pregnant women because they are comfortable and can stretch as your breasts grow.

Best for Large Busts: Bravado! Designs Women's Essential Embrace Nursing Bra

If you have large breasts, you know that it’s important to wear a bra that supports you. For this, the Bravado! Designs Women’s Essential Embrace Nursing Bra is perfect. Featuring three layers of lightweight dynatex fabric that is comprised of 44 percent cotton, so your breasts can breathe a little. There is no uncomfortable underwire but these bras are strong and supportive even up to an M cup. They also have a slimming back panel which will smooth out your back when you are wearing a shirt.

Some say finding the right sizing can be tough, but once you get the right one this will be your new favorite pick. One customer with large breasts said she thought this was better suited for those with a small band size and large cup, so be sure to read through all of the reviews before you purchase. These are also thin so for those who want nipple coverage be sure to wear a nursing pad when wearing this (which you might already do).

Best for Small Busts: CAKYE Women's Underwire Maternity Nursing Bra

Not every woman has a DD cup once her milk comes in. In fact, some women stay relatively small chested even if they are breastfeeding exclusively.

For these women, the CAKYE Women’s Underwire Maternity Nursing Bra is ideal. Made of 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex, they are as comfortable to wear as a t-shirt. They are easily washable, and the material accommodates cup sizes that change over the course of a day. The lace details on this make it feel a little more like your pre-pregnancy bras which is a plus for most.

Best Nursing Sports Bra: SYROKAN Women's Bounce Control Wirefree

After their bodies heal from birth, women are encouraged to begin exercising to maintain a healthy lifestyle—even women who are nursing.

It can be a challenge to find a bra that is supportive enough to sustain activities like jogging or biking, especially if your breasts are tender from breastfeeding. Although the Syrokan Womens’ Bounce Control Wirefree High Impact Maximum Support Sports Bra is not specifically meant for nursing mothers, women who are breastfeeding have reported that it offers them the support they need, plus you can unhook the straps on the top to feed your baby before you go for a run.

This bra is made of two layers of limited stretch material that will keep your breasts supported, plus it has wide straps that will help minimize stress on your back. Mesh panels in the front help your skin breath so your already hot breasts don't get even hotter.

Best Pumping Bra: Simple Wishes Signature Hands Free Pumping Bra

One of the most time consuming and frustrating aspects of breastfeeding is pumping. Women pump for all sorts of reasons—to relieve discomfort, to stimulate milk production, and to stockpile breastmilk so that other caretakers can feed the baby while they work. Exhausted mothers find out quickly how irritating it can be to hold the pump nozzle to your breast. To free your hands, there is Simple Wishes Signature Hands-Free Pumping Bra.

The bra looks a bit like a corset and provides full coverage so that you can pump at work without fear of exposing your breasts. It is also compatible with all major breast pump brands.

Best Sexy: Cosabella Womens' Never Say Never Mommie Soft Bra

Just because you’re nursing a baby doesn’t mean that you can’t feel and look sexy too. The Cosabella Womens’ Never Say Never Mommie Soft Bra is the nursing version of the brand’s bestselling Never Say Never line of lingerie. Formulated out of delicate floral lace with a scalloped edge, the bra looks sexy, and allows for easy breastfeeding. It comes in eight colors ranging from sexy black to bright pink so you are sure to find a model that works for you.

Best Sleeping: Kindred Bravely 2PACK French Terry Racerback Nursing Sleep Bra

Even if you didn't sleep with a bra pre-pregnancy you'll most likely need to sleep with one while you are breastfeeding, to support your breasts and have a place to hold nursing pads so you don't leak at night. This top choice is made of terry cotton so it feels soft and comfortable while you get your few hours of sleep. When it is time for a nighttime feeding you can easily pull the cups aside to give your nipple to your baby.

Many customers comment that this is their favorite of their nursing bras and many wear this around the house all day. Their customer service is helpful at finding the right size and will help solve any problems.

Best Nursing Tank: Caramel Cantina 3 Pack Women's Nursing Cami Built in Bra

Nursing camis are a lifesaver for when you are at home or on the go. They provide full body coverage but let your little one easily get a meal since they function the same way as a nursing bra. Wear them alone on hot days or under a sweater or dress when the occasion comes. You'll want a few of these in your arsenal if you plan to breastfeed and they also make for great sleeping shirts since you can put nursing pads in them.

This three pack set comes with rave reviews. The clasp easily comes undone with one hand and isn't cumbersome like many others out there. The built-in bra gives enough support to wear alone which takes the need for another bra (and more laundry) away. Its available in four sizes so many will be able to find the right fit for their changing body.

Best Strapless Bra: La Leche League International Women's Maternity Padded

For the times when you want to wear a strapless dress without weaning your child, there is the La Leche League International Women’s Maternity Padded bra. Formulated specifically to offer maximum support without straps while also giving access to the nipple for breastfeeding, this bra keeps you feeling lifted. When your baby needs access you just simply lift the bottom of the bra where it will separate from the base giving them discreet access.

If you need an extra lift this bra comes with removable pads and removable clear straps when you need some more support. A few have commented this doesn't give a ton of support, so if you do need it, a strapless nursing bra might not be the right pick for you. 

Buying and Using a Nursing Bra

By Donna Murray, RN, BSN

A nursing bra is a supportive undergarment designed for breastfeeding women. It has cups with flaps or panels that can be easily opened to provide access to your breasts without having to remove your entire bra.

Do You Need A Nursing Bra?

A nursing bra, or any type of bra for that matter, is not something that you absolutely need, but it is a convenient breastfeeding accessory. If you have smaller breasts, you may feel fine without a bra. A regular bra or a sports bra can be used as well. However, if you have a larger bust, or your breasts are very full and heavy, a supportive nursing bra may help you to feel more comfortable. 

Why You May Choose to Use a Nursing Bra 

  • You have large, full, heavy breasts: A nursing bra can hold up the extra weight of your nursing breasts. It can also provide support to the Cooper's ligaments which may help to prevent your breasts from sagging later on.
  • You are leaking: Nursing pads can be worn inside a nursing bra to soak up excess breast milk from leaky breasts.
  • Your nipples are sore: A nursing bra can hold breast shells in place to protect your sore nipples and help them heal.
  • You plan to exercise: It is very important to wear a supportive bra while you exercise especially if your breasts are larger and full of breast milk. Without good support, the movement of your breasts during exercise could put you at risk of developing mastitis.

Buying a Nursing Bra

  • If you decide to wear a nursing bra, be sure to choose one that fits you properly. Your nursing bra should be supportive but not tight. It should not leave any indentations or marks on your skin. If your bra is too tight, it could cause plugged milk ducts, mastitis or a decrease in your milk supply. Lingerie stores, maternity shops, and lactation centers may have someone available who can provide you with a bra fitting and help you to choose the right bra.
  • A soft cup bra is preferred over an underwire bra. The wire from an underwire bra can put pressure on the tissue at the base of your breast leading to the same problems that a tight bra can cause.
  • Choose a bra that is made from cotton or other natural materials. Natural materials are absorbent and allow air to flow to your breasts. Synthetic materials can irritate your breasts and trap moisture.
  • Try out the flaps on the bra. Pick a bra that has clasps that you can operate with one hand so that you can easily open and close the panels while you are holding your baby.
  • Since your breasts will most likely change in size at the end of your pregnancy and then again during the first week postpartum, you may not want to invest in more than one or two bras until after your baby arrives.
  • It may be helpful to have at least two nursing bras so that you can wear one while the other one is in the wash. Nursing bras can become soiled easily from leaking breast milk, sweating or your baby's spit-up and drool. Change your bra whenever it becomes dirty or wet since moisture laying on your breasts for an extended amount of time can provide an optimal environment for the growth of bacteria or fungus. To avoid skin irritation, sore nipples, mastitis or thrush, wear a clean, dry bra. Nursing pads or breast shells worn inside your bra can also help to keep your bra clean and dry.
  • Nursing bras can be purchased at maternity shops, department stores and online.
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