After wearing a bra for a few years most women develop a preference of what style they prefer. Some women love wearing an underwire due to the support that it gives, while others prefer to go wire-free for comfort.
Is it possible to have both support and comfort? Is one better than the other? We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of both and examine the rumors that underwires are bad for your health.
Are underwire bras uncomfortable?
Some women would say yes and have sworn off underwire bras forever. Others live in them and can’t imagine a bra without an underwire. Who’s right? Well, the answer to this question isn’t black and white.
Wearing an underwire bra can be just as comfortable as one that’s wire-free, provided that it fits correctly.
If you’re wearing a bra that’s too small and the underwire is digging into your armpits, then, of course, that’s not comfortable! Wearing an underwire that’s cushioned and that fits properly is a much different experience.
Which is better - wired or wireless bra?
Ultimately, this is a matter of personal preference but we’ll examine the pros and cons of each so that you can make your own decision.
- Underwires are great for attaining a round and lifted look. Since the underwire does the shaping, no matter your natural breast type, you can achieve a rounded and lifted look.
- Bras that have an underwire are extremely supportive, especially for fuller busts. This is because the wire enforces the band which is the part of the bra that gives the most support.
- It’s easier to achieve separation between the breasts with an underwire.
- An underwire is suitable for most breast types. The only breast type that may not benefit as much from an underwire is one that is close-set. Depending on the bra there may be too much space in the center gore for the underwire to fit comfortably.
- In strapless styles, an underwire provides much more support. If you’ve ever worn a strapless bra like a bandeau without a wire, you know what I’m talking about. Unless you have a small bust or breasts that are naturally very lifted you’ll either need an underwire or very stiff molded cups to get enough support.
- Wireless bras can’t tack like an underwire can. Tacking is when the underwire rests against the body and in between the breasts. Ideally, the center gore lies flat against your breastbone. Without wires, it's hard to create the same separation. There are however high-quality wire-free bras that are able to create cups that give support and separation like an underwire.
- Underwires may not be suitable for those who have just had surgery.
- Bras with an underwire are not suitable for sleeping, especially if the fit is tight.
- Underwire bras may not be suitable for very large breasts (Sizes L and above). This is a matter of comfort and personal taste, however.
- Those who are very thin or bony may find that an underwire is more painful. In this case, we’d definitely recommend an underwire that is cushioned.
- Underwire bras can break and poke through the fabric. This is never comfortable.
- Underwire bras may be uncomfortable for women that are pregnant, especially later in pregnancy or if they are carrying high.
- Wireless bras are sometimes better for nursing mothers whose size fluctuates frequently. In this case, we’d recommend a wire-free nursing bra with cups that stretch to accommodate the changing in size.
Are underwire bras bad for you?
Now that we’ve gone over the pros and the cons we’ll get into a subject that’s had some heated debate. Do underwire bras really cause health problems? There is a claim that underwire bras can cause breast cancer.
How? The claim states that the underwire restricts the flow of lymph fluid in the body by pressing on lymph ducts underneath the breasts and in the armpit area. So what is lymph fluid?
Lymph is a clear, colorless fluid made up of white blood cells that attack bacteria found in the blood.
It travels through the arteries and cleanses your tissues carrying bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted cells to the lymph nodes for filtering. If the lymph nodes are blocked, they cannot properly do their job of filtering.
So bras really cause this problem? According to researchers, no. A bra would need to be unbearably tight in order for it to restrict the flow of lymph through your body.
While it is very unlikely for bras to cause cancer, they can cause other health problems if they don’t fit properly. Back pain, headaches, and neck pain can all be caused by a bra that’s too tight or not tight enough. This is why it is so important that you make sure that you’re wearing your correct size.
Top picks for underwire bras
The Allover Lace Front-Close Underwire Bra is as gorgeous as it is supportive. The secure front closure makes it easy to put on and take off.
The Feel the Wonder Lace Underwire Bra has cushioned underwire for comfort and 3 piece cups for structure and support.
Top picks for wire-free bras
The Everyday Seamless Support Bra has soft cotton liners instead of underwire for support and comfort.
The Smooth Silhouette Minimizer Support Bra minimizes bust projection by up to a full cup size, and the wide padded straps won’t dig into your shoulders.
Whether you choose to wear an underwire bra or if you prefer to go wire-free is up to you. The most important thing is investing in a quality bra that fits you perfectly.
While we’re at it, why choose one side or another? There’s a place for both types of bras in every woman’s wardrobe.