The Sports Bra Care Guide

Caring for Sports Bras

Sports bras are one of the more important items in your wardrobe to care for correctly: A sports bra can be an expensive purchase, and when you find a good one, you want it to last. That’s why learning how to care for your bras is key to ensuring their longevity. In this guide, find out how to do exactly that. You’ll learn:

How to Put on and Take off Sports Bras Without Stretching Them Out

The first step in caring for your favorite sports bra is to learn how to put it on and take it off without stretching out the material. To start, you need to make sure the sports bra is the right size, since one that is too small will require lots of pulling, which will damage the band and straps. Since the majority of sports bras are pullovers, we’ve focused on that style here.

  • First, hold the bra upside down so the cups are facing your body, and place your arms through the armholes.
  • Hold the back of the band with one arm and maneuver it over your head so your neck is in the correct hole.
  • Then use both hands to move the band down over the bust line and adjust the straps as needed.

To take off a sports bra without damaging it, reverse the process:

  • Gently move the band above the bust, stretching it as little as possible.
  • Cross your arms and grab the opposite side of the band, then pull it over the head.
  • The sports bra should come off inside-out, with minimal stretching.

Laundering Sports Bras

We recommend that you pick up more than one sports bra to reduce wear-and-tear and damage from frequent washing.

Sports Bra Washing Tips

The best method to wash any bra is to hand-wash it but, especially for workout gear, this may not always be a viable option (discover more on how to wash all bra styles with our bra washing guide). If the pads are removable, take them out first and hand-wash those. Then put the rest of the sports bra into a mesh lingerie bag. This will keep it from catching on anything and getting stretched out in the laundry.

Use a gentle or delicate cycle, and be sure never to use fabric softener, as it can damage the wicking material of a sports bra.

In short, here are our sports bra washing tips:

  • Remove and hand-wash pads
  • Hand-wash the sports bra, or put it in a mesh bag in the washing machine on delicate
  • Use detergent, not fabric softener

Drying Tips for Sports Bras

The rules for drying sports bras are the same as those for all bras. If you want the bra to last, don’t put it in the dryer! Sports bras are often made with materials that are quick to dry, so lay it flat or drape it over a drying rack; it shouldn’t take long. If a sports bra is already stretched out, then putting it in the dryer may help to shrink it back a bit, but this isn’t how we recommend treating a good bra.

After the bra has been washed and dried, fold and store in a drawer or organizer. Hanging them by the straps can cause them to get stretched out, so folded and put away is your best bet for a long sports bra life.

How to Care for Sports Bra Padding

Sports bra padding can be tricky to care for and easy to lose. If you’re putting the bra in the washing machine, make sure to remove the pads first. These need to be hand-washed, or they’ll lose their shape. Rinse them in the sink or tub with a bit of detergent, then lay them flat or on a rack to dry. Whatever you do, don’t put these delicates in the dryer.

When is it Time to Replace Your Sports Bra?

A sports bra’s life is dependent upon a few factors: frequency of wear, intensity of wear, method of care. If you only have one or two sports bras in rotation, wear them every week for high-impact workouts and then throw them in the washing machine and dryer, your bras are going to wear out quickly. They may need replacement in as little as six months.

If you wear them less often and care for them gently, they can last from one to two years. If your sports bra starts to feel stretched out, or like you’re not getting the support you need, then it’s probably time for a new one.


Caring for a High-Quality Sports Bra

Now that you’re an expert on sports bra care, it’s time to invest in one that will make you feel like an MVP. No day like today to start living your fittest life.

Bare Necessities: Bra Fit Experts

From the desk of: Our Bare Necessities Bra Fit Experts

We take fit personally! With over 20 years of experience, we know how the perfect bra should fit and feel. Our Bra Fit Experts stop at nothing to find you the perfect fit. Chat online or call 877-728-9272 (select option 4) for a complimentary bra fitting or personal shopping advice.


International Shipping Options

Select the country you will be shipping to and your preferred billing currency.

There was an error. Please try again later.

Your session expired.
Please click OK to refresh the page and continue.


Looks like we’re bare at the moment. Please try again later.