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While you probably have a bra for pretty much every daytime occasion—a meet-up with friends, spin class, going to work—the one bra you might not yet have in your repertoire is a bedtime version.

This is the bra you’re sleeping on. Literally.

Whether you need or prefer around-the-clock support, consider this your sign to test-drive a sleep bra. Fair warning: Once you add one to your pajama drawer, you’ll probably never want to go without again.

What is a sleep bra?

A sleep bra is a soft, wire-free bralette that lightly supports your chest and provides modest coverage for sleeping, napping or lounging around. Breast tissue is thin and delicate, and your breasts can be heavy! Sometimes this uncomfy combo can leave you tossing and turning, especially in the heat of summer. A sleep bra helps keep things in place so you can spend the night catching up on Zzzzs instead.

Who needs a sleep bra?

Anyone looking for gentle support throughout the night can benefit from a sleep bra. Here are our top five reasons you may want one:

  1. You’re busty. Larger cup sizes call for lots of bra options and 24/7 support. Whether you’re a back, side or stomach sleeper, a sleep bra shores up your chest all night long and prevents breast tissue from unnecessary sagging and stretching.

  2. You’re pregnant or nursing. Pregnancy is a rollercoaster, and your boobs are along for the ride. You might experience sore, tender breasts in early pregnancy and dense, full breasts later on. A sleep bra keeps you supported with light compression throughout these rapidfire changes. Between nighttime nursing sessions, a sleep bra will keep your nursing pads in place—a must when your sleep schedule is basically whenever you can.

  3. You’re PMS-ing. Are monthly hormonal changes making your boobs sore? Add a sleep bra to your PM routine. This breathable layer of extra support while sleeping will minimize tenderness and movement. Every little bit helps.

  4. You’re healing. If you had or are planning to have breast surgery, it’s important to have nonstop support. A soft sleep bra provides it while you’re recuperating.

  5. You want coverage. Have a house full of company and want a touch more coverage than pajamas normally afford you? A sleep bra keeps everything casually discreet over coffee.

How do you choose a sleep bra?

The top things to consider when choosing a sleep bra are fit, fabric and style. It’s always important to measure yourself and refer to the size chart for each bra, especially since sleep bras can be sized by cup/band like a traditional bra, by band only or by alpha-sizing (XS-5X).

Make things easy on yourself and chat with one of our Bra Fit Experts.

When it comes to fabrication: Do you want something seamless and shaping, like nylon, or something breathable like cotton? How stretchy or rigid do you want it to be?

Lastly, what style do you like? From sporty, minimalist over-the-head bras to lace bralettes with hook-and-eye options, there’s a sleep bra for every sensibility.

Top Sleep Bras

Bare Necessities buyer Heather Viskovic gives us the scoop on her favorite sleep bras.

The sleep bra you’ll never want to take off—and won’t have to. With defined, lightly lined cups and a band that stays put without putting on the squeeze, this everyday bralette from Chantelle is made for AM to PM and back again. It’s get one in every color good. (XS to 2XL)

For a lingerie-inspired style, this Chantelle pick is as comfy as it is pretty. Semi-sheer stretch lace cups are beautifully offset by a wide ribbon-esque band that adds a chic touch, not to mention smoothing support. Heather’s current go-to, she gushes, “is a dream to sleep in.” (EU-sized bands 32-40, cups C-H)

This stretchy sleep bra in fun colors handles the night shift with ease and support. From its ribbed band to the convertible, adjustable straps, this wire-free seamless bra makes for sweeter dreams. Available up to roughly a 42G, “This will keep you supported, especially with its taller sides, if you’re full-busted or plus size,” says Heather. (M to 4X)

Who doesn't love a zipper, the easiest way to put on, and take off, a bra? This front-close style keeps things easy. Ultra-soft to the touch, with a wide, smoothing band, this seamless bra is designed for endless comfort. When you want a little more coverage or shaping, just slip in the removable padding and head down to breakfast. This one is also our pick for anyone healing from surgery. (S to XL)

Are the girls mashing together, and it's keeping you up? The reason Heather loves this bra is that, thanks to its front hook-and-eye closure, it ensures your breasts stay fully separated all night long. In a soft, breathable cotton-blend, this bra helps you maintain cool comfort, making it a sure thing for summer. It’s also very nicely priced. (34C-DD to 52FGH)

Free of wires and closures, pull on this exclusively plus-size sleep bra for instant ahh. In a seamless, 4-way stretch microfiber, this bra provides support and shaping courtesy of its ribbed band and ingeniously placed knitting. (1X to 5X)

Updated 8/4/2022

Bare Necessities: Editor Bio

From the desk of: Callan Russo

Callan has spent almost a decade writing about bras and developing bra fit training for women’s apparel brands. She believes that the perfect outfit always starts with the perfect bra. When she’s not writing, Callan is spending time with her daughter and husband, racing through her watchlist or reading the latest find from BookTok.


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