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 wireless 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.

What is a Wireless Bra?

A wireless bra is a bra without underwires. Whether you call them soft cup bras, wirefree bras, or wireless bras, these bras all provide poke-free support without rigid plastic or metal underwires.

Some women prefer wireless bras to underwired bras as this type of bra provides comfortable support that highlights your natural shape. Unlike wired bras, there are no underwires to pinch or poke your ribs or underarms.

What is a Wired Bra?

On the contrary, a wired bra is a bra that has rigid underwires that lift and shape the bust. Underwire bras generally provide more support than wireless bras, as the wires are made of sturdy metal or plastic material.

Some women dislike wired bra styles as they may be more uncomfortable than wireless bras. If you are wearing an ill-fitting underwire bra, the bra cup wires can uncomfortably poke or pinch you. This may cause pain or irritation. Some women avoid this type of bra altogether for this reason.

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 wireless, 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 wireless 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 wireless 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.

Are wireless bras bad for you?

No, wireless bras are not bad for you. Many women find wire free bra styles to be more comfortable for day to day wear. As long as you are wearing a proper-fitting non wired bra, you will get the support you need from your bra.

Even more, wireless bras can be more flexible and therefore more comfortable and forgiving on your body for all-day wear. Wireless bras are a great option for anyone look for comfortable bras without underwires.

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. An ill-fitting underwire bra or wireless bra will never be comfortable.

Top Picks for Underwire Bras

WonderWire Front-Closure Bra

WonderWire Front-Closure Bra

Price: $59

Review: 4.7/5 Stars

This front-closure bra is our best-selling underwire bra style. Featuring a snap front clasp, extra-wide cushioned straps, and cushioned underwires, this bra provides comfortable wired support. The cushioned wiring structure means maximum comfort and support for everyday wear.

Lace Comfort WonderWire Bra

Lace Comfort WonderWire Bra

Price: $57

Review: 4.1/5 Stars

If you're a fan of lace bras, this underwire bra is a must-have. Featuring 3-piece lace cups that shape the bust and cushioned underwires for extra support, this is one of the most comfortable (and beautiful!) wired bras.

Low Cut WonderWire Lace Bra

Low Cut WonderWire Lace Bra

Price: $59

Review: 4.3/5 Stars

If a classic back-closing bra is your thing, look no further than this bra. Featuring extra-wide adjustable straps, cushioned underwires, and a back hook-and-eye closure, this is one of the best underwire bras for large breasts.

Top Picks for Wire Free Bras

MagicLift Original Support Bra

MagicLift Original Support Bra

Price: $55

Review: 4.6/5 Stars

This wireless bra is our best seller for a reason. This bra features our signature MagicLift technology with an inner sling that lifts and shapes the bust without a wire. Featuring a classic silhouette, lace detailing, and adjustable straps, this is one of the most comfortable wireless bras for sizes up to 56J.

MagicLift Seamless Support T-Shirt Bra

MagicLift Seamless Support T-Shirt Bra

Price: $56

Review: 4.1/5 Stars

A T-shirt bra is a wardrobe staple, and nothing is more essential than a wire-free T-shirt bra. This seamless bra features plush wide straps, seamless cups, and a back closure for an adjustable fit. When it comes to wireless bras, it doesn't get much more comfortable than this bra.

MagicLift Seamless Sports Bra

MagicLift Seamless Sports Bra

Price: $56

Review: 4.1/5 Stars

This sports bra features seamless cups, wireless support, and adjustable straps and back closure. This is one of the most comfortable sports bras, and is versatile enough to wear as an everyday bra, too.

About the Author

Maeve Gesualdi is a Fordham University alumna where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Fashion Studies. Based in New York City, Maeve is part of the marketing team at Glamorise. Maeve regularly interacts with customers via social media and product reviews, as well as with influencers and models. She is constantly getting feedback on our products as well as gaining a better understanding of what women in our category struggle with and/or look for when searching for a bra. Aside from writing, she is passionate about all things travel and fashion.

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