How To Pick The Best Posture Bra For You (2022)

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Posture Bra?
  • What to Consider When Looking for a Posture Bra

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Maintaining good posture—the proper alignment of the head, shoulders, hips, spine and knees—is a constant battle.

We spend hours hunched over our computers, slouched over our tablets and looking down at our cell phones, all of which strain the neck, fatigue the shoulders and contribute to back pain. Factor in the additional burden for some women of carrying around large, heavy breasts, and you can see how standing tall becomes a struggle.

(Video) Is a “posture bra” a good idea?

Can a posture bra help? And if it does, what should you look for when shopping for one? Here’s what you need to know about posture-correcting bras.

What Is a Posture Bra?

A posture bra is a bra specifically designed with built-in back support. It won’t give you perfect posture—that requires a strong core, proper body mechanics and an awareness of how you carry yourself—but because of its design features, it will help guide your shoulders back gently, thereby encouraging you to stand straighter.

Like a regular bra, posture-correcting bras have straps and cups, front or back closures and both underwire and wire-free designs. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and textures (and yes, some even feature lace).

What really sets a posture bra apart from a regular one is the upper back and shoulder support it provides. “Posture bras have a broad back with criss-cross elastic [bands sewn into the material] to help pull the shoulders back and retract the shoulder blades,” says Karen Erickson, a spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “When you wear them and round forward, the elastic will pull, reminding you to resume erect posture.”

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Benefits of a Posture Bra

The main benefit of a posture bra is its ability to draw the shoulders back so that they’re less likely to round forward.

One small 2020 study observing 24 women who wore either a regular bra or a posture-correcting bra for three months found the women who wore posture bras experienced a 6-degree improvement in scapula retraction (the ability of the muscles that support the shoulder blades to hold them closer toward the spine) and reduced breast motion while walking by 17%.[1]Jones M, Mills C, Exell T, Wakefield-Scurr J. A novel multi-study intervention investigating the short and long term effects of a posture bra on whole body and breast kinematics. Gait Posture. 2021;83:194-200. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2020.10.031.

“This bra distributed the weight of the breasts enough so that the shoulders were able to sit back a little more and the shoulder blades were able to sit down on the rib cage more,” says Nelly Lugo-Larcheveque, a senior physical therapist at Hartford Hospital Rehabilitation Network in Connecticut, regarding the study.

While the research didn’t show drastic improvement with the use of a posture bra, it did find enough weight was taken off the neck, shoulders and back to provide pain relief and a straighter posture to women who needed it, says Lugo-Larcheveque.

Posture support bras can be equally effective for large- and small-busted women. While some women do experience neck, shoulder and back pain because of their large breasts, just about all of us have to contend with poor posture that results from modern life. “It’s the constant forward-head and shoulder-forward flexion [bending] from texting, laptops, cooking, carrying and other task work that creates postural imbalances,” says Erickson.

Regardless of how well it holds and supports, a posture bra is not a miracle worker. “It can’t take the place of good core fitness, and wearing one won’t fix bad posture in and of itself,” says Alice Chen, M.D., a physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Connecticut. “What posture corrector bras can do is try to coax you into more proper alignment, which is ears over shoulders over hips.”

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How Is a Posture Bra Different From a Sports Bra?

While there are some similarities between posture bras and sports bras—mainly the compression material used in both designs—a sports bra is intended to minimize breast bounce during exercise, not correct your posture. “They usually have good posterior [back] support, but their main goal is to give anterior [front] support,” says Erickson.

What to Consider When Looking for a Posture Bra

When it comes to shopping for a posture bra, first things first: Know your size. Any bra—posture or otherwise—won’t do what you need it to do if it doesn’t fit well. To that end, visit a specialty lingerie shop to get measured by an expert and try on a lot of bras. If you prefer to shop online, read the bra’s reviews and the manufacturer’s size guide carefully.

To find the best posture correcting bra for you, consider the following:

Support

A properly supportive bra should lift your breasts so that if you drew a line from your nipple to your arm, the line would intersect halfway between your elbow and shoulder.

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Cup Design

Look for cups that cover and lift the breasts, as well as a wide band under the cups for additional support.

Wire vs. Wire-Free

Whether you choose wire or wire-free is a matter of personal preference and comfort. Both styles of posture bras exist and can provide proper support if they fit correctly.

Back Design

Since a lot of the posture correction a posture bra provides comes from the back, be on the lookout for:

  • Criss-cross bands sewn into the back. These bands help encourage you to pull your shoulders back.
  • A high-back design, much like a cropped tank top. The additional material, usually somewhat stiff but elastic, can help discourage you from rounding your shoulders forward.

Straps

Adjustable straps help provide a more custom fit, but they aren’t always standard fare on posture support bras. Also, definitely look for wide, cushioned straps to help take the load off your shoulders.

Closure Placement

Front-closure bras are a convenient and comfortable option if you have shoulder pain or range of motion issues that make it hard to move your arm toward your back to fasten a bra.

Perhaps more important than whether your bra closes in the front or back is the number of hook-and-eye grommets on the bra closure. Generally, the more it has, the more support the bra provides. “I recommend a minimum of three for large-chested women,” says Dr. Chen.

Additional Features

The compression material of some posture support bras can lead some women to feel hot. In this case, reach for one that incorporates some mesh material or cutout details to allow for better airflow.

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If you’re interested in tummy control as well as support that goes a little further down your back than a traditional posture bra, consider trying a longline style, which looks a bit like a corset.

Cost

Posture bra prices run the gamut, starting as low as $10 and exceeding $50 on the high end. Luckily, many options are available in the $20 to $40 range, depending on your specific needs and preferences.

FAQs

How do I choose a posture corrector? ›

What to look for in a posture corrector
  1. Encourages muscle activation. There are definitely benefits to bracing with the right support. ...
  2. Effectiveness. Narrowing your search to posture correctors that focus on key areas can increase a product's effectiveness. ...
  3. Comfort. ...
  4. Ease of use. ...
  5. Area of support.

Is wearing a bra good for posture? ›

Wearing a bra can help to support the weight of your breasts and prevent your back from arching and shoulders from getting rounded. If your posture has been affected due to not wearing a bra then you can perform some posture correction exercises.

Do posture sensors work? ›

While posture correctors can be helpful, they are not a long-term solution. “Posture correctors should only be used short-term to help cultivate awareness of healthy posture, but not for extended periods which results in core muscle weakness,” says Dr. Zazulak.

Do push up bras help with posture? ›

Enhances body posture

With the support of a push-up bra, many women are somewhat forced to walk upright which helps them improve their posture. It is honestly impossible to slouch when you wear a push-up bra. Your shoulders will automatically be thrown back to enhance the push-up effect.

Why does my bra hurt my back? ›

Your upper body hurts

“The most common bra fit issue is a cup that's too small and a band that's too loose,” says Winchester. “This results in a bra that is unsupportive, uncomfortable, and leads to issues such as shoulder and back pain.”

Can you wear posture corrector all day? ›

How to Use a Posture Corrector. Rodriguez suggests limiting use to only a few hours per day. If you keep it on too long, your body may begin to rely on the device so much that you revert back to that rounding. “You don't want to use it as a crutch and have it ultimately do more harm than good,” she adds.

Do doctors recommend posture correctors? ›

Improve your posture with a posture corrector and exercise

Many medical experts agree that posture correctors offer instant pain relief and can train your body to maintain proper posture on its own. Posture correctors work best when used correctly and combined with postural exercises.

How do I fix my neck hump? ›

Wong shares six exercises that help get rid of the hump at the base of the neck. She recommends doing the stretches daily.
...
6 stretches and moves to help get rid of buffalo hump
  1. Shoulder rolls. ...
  2. Cat pose. ...
  3. Chin tucks. ...
  4. Chin-to-shoulder stretch. ...
  5. Head side-to-side stretch. ...
  6. Massage the area with a ball.
8 May 2022

How does a posture bra work? ›

Most posture bras are made from an elastic material. Furthermore, some have a criss-cross strap at the front that provides compression and support to the breasts. Some have a closure in the back that helps to support the upper back and shoulders.

Should we wear bra at night? ›

There's nothing wrong with wearing a bra while you sleep if that's what you're comfortable with. Sleeping in a bra will not make a girl's breasts perkier or prevent them from getting saggy. And it will not stop breasts from growing or cause breast cancer.

What happens if I dont wear a bra? ›

"If you don't wear a bra, your breasts will sag," says Dr. Ross. "If there's a lack of proper, long-term support, breast tissue will stretch and become saggy, regardless of breast size." Still, both experts agree that multiple factors play into if and when sagging (technical term: "ptosis") occurs, bra-wearing aside.

How can I stop slouching? ›

The idea is to keep your body in perfect alignment, maintaining the spine's natural curvature, with your neck straight and shoulders parallel with the hips:
  1. keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
  2. pull in your abdomen.
  3. keep your feet about hip distance apart.
  4. balance your weight evenly on both feet.

How long does it take to correct your posture? ›

Cut down on activities that have led to poor posture, too. Take breaks from computer and TV time, and exercise more. "In six to 12 weeks," says Doshi, "you'll see an improvement in your posture."

How should I sleep to fix rounded shoulders? ›

Place a pillow by your side to help offload the weight of your arms. This is particularly helpful if you have rounded shoulders which tend stick forward even when you lie down.

How do I stop my shoulder from hunching? ›

Your first line of defense for correcting rounded shoulders is stretching and strengthening. Beyond that, Gallucci says soft tissue mobilization by a physical therapist can loosen the tight muscles in the chest region, which may occur due to the hunched-over position.

Do bras help with sagging? ›

Dr. Blake says wearing a bra doesn't prevent your breasts from sagging and not wearing one doesn't cause your breasts to sag. “Wearing a bra doesn't affect the risk of breast sagging, or what is called 'breast ptosis,'” she says. It also won't impact the shape of your breasts.

Why do my nipples leave dark spots in my bra? ›

The Montgomery's tubercules are small holes found around the areola which releases a kind of oil to moisturize the nipple and also to protect it during the period of breastfeeding. The body excretes excess toxins via the lymph system which may be signified by gray/brown stain in the cup of your bra.

How tight should a bra be? ›

No matter the type of bra, the band should fit comfortably around your body, snug but not tight. Remember to always start a new bra on the loosest hook and hook tighter as the band stretches over time.

Are racerback bras better for posture? ›

They may actually improve your posture as well. Shoulders of women with large breasts tend to slump forward due to the weight of the breasts, but racerback bras counteract this by pulling the shoulders backward.

Do bras help with sagging? ›

Dr. Blake says wearing a bra doesn't prevent your breasts from sagging and not wearing one doesn't cause your breasts to sag. “Wearing a bra doesn't affect the risk of breast sagging, or what is called 'breast ptosis,'” she says. It also won't impact the shape of your breasts.

What kind of bra is best after shoulder surgery? ›

A loose fitting sleeveless undershirt followed by a loose button down shirt. Please do not wear a traditional bra for two weeks, but one with a T-back or racer back straps are okay.

Why is my bra hurting my shoulders? ›

If the straps are too tight, they may cause additional pressure that can lead to neck or shoulder pain and headaches. The center part of the bra isn't lying flat with your body. This can be due to the cup size being incorrect for your body.

Do sports bras help posture? ›

While there are some similarities between posture bras and sports bras—mainly the compression material used in both designs—a sports bra is intended to minimize breast bounce during exercise, not correct your posture.

What is bra strap syndrome? ›

Costoclavicular syndrome, sometimes referred to as bra strap syndrome, can be caused by tight straps that pinch and dig into your shoulders. This can contribute to pressure on your shoulders and resulting pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.

Can rounded shoulders be corrected? ›

Rounded shoulders are a common issue for many people. By following a stretching and strengthening program designed specifically for this issue, you can help correct muscle imbalances and improve posture.

At what age do women's breasts start to sag? ›

Menopause. Most aging changes in the breasts occur around the time of menopause. Menopause is a natural process during which ovulation and menstruation stop. This transition normally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

Should we sleep without bra? ›

There's nothing wrong with wearing a bra while you sleep if that's what you're comfortable with. Sleeping in a bra will not make a girl's breasts perkier or prevent them from getting saggy. And it will not stop breasts from growing or cause breast cancer.

Is it good to sleep without bra? ›

Just like there are no major benefits to sleeping with a bra, there are also no major negative consequences to sleeping in one. “No published data says there is any detriment to sleeping in a bra, such as breast cancer effects, bad blood circulation, or stunted breast growth,” says Samuels.

What does a woman wear after rotator cuff surgery? ›

Loose-fitting shirts that are easy to put on, like button-down shirts and oversized t-shirts, are best for post-surgery. You can also find post-surgical shirts made specifically for shoulder surgery patients at online retailers. When getting dressed, focus on putting the surgical arm in first.

How long does it take to recover from surgery on your rotator cuff? ›

How long does it take to recover from rotator cuff surgery? It takes six to eight weeks for the tendon to heal to the bone. Complete recovery time varies by size of the tear. For a small tears, full recovery time is about four months, for large tears, six months.

How do you shower after shoulder replacement surgery? ›

You may shower after the dressing is removed. Do not put your shoulder under water for four weeks after surgery, such as in a bath, hot tub, or pool. You may shower and let the water run over your incision, then pat it dry. Do not put ointment, alcohol, or lotion over your incisions, it is best to keep them dry.

Why does my bra get tighter as the day goes on? ›

It could be down to hormonal changes

Throughout the day, you may find that they affect all manner of things. Often enough, an increase in hormones could mean that your breasts swell or start to feel larger. That is typically completely normal but it can play havoc with your lingerie.

What happens if I wear a tight bra? ›

Ill-fitting bras have also been associated with neck, back and shoulder pain, bad posture, and rubbing and chafing leading to skin abrasions. We also see ill-fitting bras causing permanent changes to the body, such as deep grooves in the shoulders caused by pressure from the bra shoulder straps.

Why do I have dents in my shoulders from my bra? ›

If you want to get rid of those red marks and indentations on your shoulders that come from your bra straps, you've come to the right place. They're caused by too much downward pressure, which gets even worse if you're wearing your bra for hours on end every day.

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