Digging in your sides, sliding of your shoulders, chafing — ill fitting sports bras can be the worst.

Frankly, a well fitting bra is important all the time. But, it’s especially important when doing physical activities. No one wants to deal with bra issues while trying to work out.

According to expert bra fitter, Kimmay Caldwell, an improperly fitting bra can cause irritation and discomfort. “Breast tissue is delicate and can stretch easily,” she said. “It’s not made of muscle and you can’t work out in order to rebuild it. So, taking care of it by making sure it’s supported during exercise is key if you want to take a step toward maintaining shape and lift.”

As a woman with a larger bust, it can be a struggle to find sports bras that are comfortable and supportive. Most retailers only carry up to a 36 or 38 band size and a D or DD cup, which just isn’t enough for a lot of women.

I have been professionally measured at a size 34H, but I usually wear a 36DDD simply because that’s the closest size I can find in stores. So, I asked Caldwell for some suggestions!

Tips for finding a perfect sports bra

  1. Get measured by a professional: Getting a great fit under the bust (the band) and in the bust (the cup) is the first step. “I highly suggest a sports bra that comes in bra sizes, instead of small, medium, large,” said Caldwell. “You can really ensure that the band and cup fit your body proportions that way.”
  2. Look for adjustable bands and straps: This way, you can adjust the bra to fit your exact needs
  3. Consider a bra without underwire: “Keep in mind that if you are doing a lot of bending or stretching, something without an underwire and with more stretch is best,” Caldwell said.
  4. Consider going a size up: “Sports bras tend to run much tighter than regular bras, mostly because they are made with much firmer materials and are less stretchy,” Caldwell added.

Lastly, if you are creating a regular exercise schedule, Caldwell advises having several sports bras in your arsenal — especially since you’ll be washing them after each use. And speaking of washing, you should try hand washing and air drying sports bras with a delicate wash made for lingerie. Since they’re mostly made of elastic, this will keep the bra stretchy and your bust lifted.

The Best Plus-Size Sports Bras With a Larger Band

Caldwell notes that a plus-size sports bra is one with a band size that typically runs in a 38 and up. Here are her suggestions for the best sports bras that offer a larger band size.

  • 1. Anita Active Momentum Pro Wire Free Sports Bra, $99 and up, Amazon

Also available at Bare Necessities.

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This sports bra is available in a variety of colors and it goes all the way up to a size 40E. It’s supportive, without the underwire, and it’s built for high-impact activities.

  • 2. Curvy Couture Ultimate Fit High Impact Underwire Sports Bra, $45 and up, Amazon

Also available at Bare Necessities.

This goes up to a size 44H. It features full contour, no-bounce cups and moisture wicking fabrics.

  • 3. Goddess Mid-Impact Wire-Free Sports Bra, $56, Bare Necessities

This bra goes up to a 48 band size and an I cup, so it has a really great range for curvy women. It’s best for mid-impact activities, such as cycling.

  • 4. Elomi Energise Underwire Sport Bra, $35 and up, Amazon

Also available at Her Room.

This plus-size sports bra features three section cups, plus side panels for forward shape, good uplift and separation. It is unpadded and it does have underwire. It goes up to a size 46DD.

The Best Sports Bras for a Larger Bust

Here are a few more sports bras that Caldwell suggests giving a try if you have a larger bust, but not necessarily a wider ribcage. Although many of these styles go up to a 38 or 40, they also come in sizes that work well if you are not plus-size in the band, but still have larger breasts.

  • 1. Shock Absorber Women’s Run Sports Bra, $25 and up, Amazon

Also available at Her Room.

This style goes all the way up to a U.K. size 38G. The cups have a soft seamless microfiber lining, which is also quick-dry and breathable, according to the manufacturer.

  • 2. Panache Women’s Underwired Sports Bra, $32 and up, Amazon

Also available at Bare Necessities.

This sports bra features encapsulated cups for support, nonslip cushioned straps, a breathable mesh between cups and a padded underwire. It goes up to a size 40GG.

  • 3. Freya Women’s Plus-Size Sonic Spacer Sport Bra, $69, Amazon

Also available at Bare Necessities.

This Freya sports bra goes up to a size 40G. It has adjustable straps, breathable foam-lined cups and an underwire.

  • 4. Royce Women’s Impact Free Cotton Sports Bra, $62, Amazon

Also available at Her Room.

This bra goes up to a size 40FF. It has a breathable all-cotton body with self-lined cups, a wide elastic underband and padded straps, according to the manufacturer.

courtesy / Khadija Horton

Sports bras are comfy and amazing—except when they’re not. I.e., when they’re actually not supporting anything, and you’re 10 minutes into a workout and already adjusting your straps and experiencing chafing. I mean, it’s an accomplishment in itself that you got out of your warm bed and made it to that morning Pilates class, so the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable the entire time. There are tons of sports bras out there you can choose from depending on your cup and band size, workout type (e.g., low or high intensity), or style preferences (racerback, longline, underwire, etc.), but to make your life easier, we rounded up ones with the best customer reviews. (Even better? Pair them with cute leggings from these brands.)

This list has designs from Lululemon to Amazon brands in almost all sizes and colors for every kind of activity, so you can feel supported in one that fits you perfectly. Wear these styles when you’re running (here’s a playlist for ya), working on your abs (try this 30-day challenge!), or simply doing some much-needed morning stretches.

If you’re looking for something to give you a little lift:

Maidenform Sport Custom Lift Underwire Bra $26.61 amazon.com

  • Moisture wicking
  • Great support
  • No spill over
  • Gives some lift
  • Lightweight
  • Some reviewers said the straps don’t stay in place

Notable 5-star review:

This is truly one of the best sport bras I’ve ever owned. I will not buy one that doesn’t have a front or back clasp—it’s torture getting in and out of one without it. It’s very well made and has some push-up power. I just bought five more in different colors. This works great for running and cycling.

If you’re looking for high-impact support for large cup sizes:

Panache Wired Sports Bra $70.00 $54.61 (22% off) amazon.com

  • Has breathable mesh panels
  • Supportive enough for high impact workouts
  • Feels secure
  • Has wide, cushioned, and convertible straps
  • Some reviewers say it can run small

Notable 5-star review:

I am large chested (36FF), and it is SO hard to find sports bras made for larger busts that are supportive enough. I run and do a lot of HIIT, and this sports bra is fantastic for keeping the girls in place during my workouts! Plus, it is very comfortable and made of a soft material. Highly recommend this sports bra.

If you’re looking for a sports bra to wear every day:

Lululemon Energy Bra $52.00 lululemon.com

  • Doesn’t dig in
  • Has tons of stretch
  • Feels smooth on skin
  • Only provides medium support

Notable 5-star review:

I absolutely love this bra! I am a 32 DD and have one in a size 6 for workouts and then two in a size 8 for lounging around. They are so comfortable while still providing lots of support. I would definitely recommend this!

If you’re looking for coverage:

Glamorise Full-Coverage Sports Bra $38.99 $27.30 (30% off) amazon.com

  • Full coverage
  • Molded cups
  • Modesty panel
  • Hook-and-eye back closure
  • SUPER supportive
  • Goes up to size 50J
  • Some reviewers thought fabric could be uncomfortable

Especially on women with larger busts, sports bras can create a lot of unwanted cleavage action. If that’s not your go-to gym look, you’ll want a bra like this one with a built-in modesty panel that still looks cute. Bonus: This bra is super supportive, even in higher-intensity workouts, and promises no bouncing. Goes up to size 50J.

Notable 5-star review:

My search for a sports bra is finally over!! No longer do I have to stuff myself into three sports bras, crushing my bosom and my soul, to be able to get a good workout. My 36G bust is fully supported in this bra—it’s comfortable, easy to put on, and cute! I especially like the panel that prevents too much cleavage, which has always been a problem for me. Now I can go to the gym without feeling self-conscious. I’ll definitely be purchasing more.

If you‘re looking for more compression:

Outdoor Voices Doing Things Bra $65.00 outdoorvoices.com

  • Has tight band around back for extra compression
  • Comes in tons of colors and patterns
  • Has breathable mesh panel at back
  • Some reviewers say it’s not the best for high intensity workouts

Notable 5-star review:

It’s my favorite sports bra for running—comfortable and supportive. I wear size small and am a 34B. For maximum support, I can also fit into an XS but prefer the fit of the small. I have the Doing Things bra in a bunch of colors and love that the patterns; plus, dark colors DO NOT show sweat!!

If you’re looking for high-intensity support:

SYROKAN High-Impact Sports Bra $42.00 $24.99 (40% off) amazon.com

  • Super supportive
  • Works as well as layering two sports bras
  • Comes in tons of cute colorways
  • Has molded cups and hook-and-eye closure
  • Can be tight and constricting

Boxing, sprinting, dancing, and other high-impact sports are a breeze in this super supportive bra that works just as well as wearing two at the same time. It comes in a ton of cute colors and goes up to size XXL (40DD).

Notable 5-star review:

I’m 34DD and I got a medium. I love this, it’s amazing, best sports bra I’ve gotten so far. It helps my posture too and helps disperse the weight in my back and equal it out. It feels great, definitely worth it—I would recommend it!!

If you’re looking for medium-intensity support:

RUNNING GIRL Ombre Racer-Back Bra $14.55 amazon.com

  • Semi-supportive
  • Lots of compliments
  • Comes in multi-packs
  • Lasts over time
  • Same quality as name-brand bras
  • Not necessarily good for larger busts or sizing

For medium-impact workouts like jogging and hiking, this simple, but still stylish ombré piece seems to do the job. It comes in a variety of colors and goes from S to XL.

Notable 5-star review:

The seamless material is great quality, comparable to a lot of high-end brands, but wayyyyy cheaper! For reference, I wear a 32DD and I purchased these in a size S/M, and they fit perfectly. They are so comfortable! I highly recommend these if you’re looking to get some new sports bras!

If you‘re looking for something adjustable:

Glamorise Adjustable Sports Bra $54.99 $39.90 (27% off) amazon.com

  • SUPER supportive
  • Full-coverage
  • Hook-and-eye closure at the back
  • Adjustable straps to make front tighter
  • Breathable, sweat-wicking fabric
  • Company is wonky with sizing, measure your bra size to find your fit

In my opinion, everything should be adjustable. This bra has a hook-and-eye closure at the back and comes with straps that you can adjust to make it tighter across your chest. It also goes up in size to 46I.

Notable 5-star review:

In this thing, I can run, jump, do jumping jacks—I could be a trampoline artist with this thing. I wear a G cup. Can you understand how life-changing a bra like this is? In this thing, my breasts do not shake or move at all. Seriously. I usually keep it on the tightest setting, but sometimes will let it out a bit if I’m not doing a high-impact exercise. According to multiple reviewers, sizing for this bra is super wonky. I measured around my ribcage for the band size and then in my best fitting bra, measured around the bust line. The difference between the two numbers accounts for cup size—1 inch is A cup, 2 inches is B cup, and so on. This method worked perfectly for this bra.

If you’re looking for something seamless:

PUMA Women’s Seamless Bra $28.00 $16.24 (42% off) amazon.com

  • Stylish logo straps
  • Inexpensive
  • Has removable padding
  • Some reviewers say the metallic foil can wear off over time

Notable 5-star review:

I have recently started to get really into fitness and was looking for a sports bra that wasn’t too restricting but also doesn’t show through when it’s a little chilly. This bra is perfect! I love the removable padding. It really helps when I’m wearing it out in public but is also nice to remove when I’m just trying to be comfortable at home. Cute enough to wear as part of an outfit, and functional enough to be a regular workout bra.

If you’re looking for something strappy AND supportive:

CALIA by Carrie Underwood Focus Strappy Sports Bra $17.97 dickssportinggoods.com

  • Perfect amount of padding
  • Is available in 8 total color ways
  • Has antimicrobial technology to prevent odor
  • Some reviewers said it might not be the best for larger cups

Notable 5-star review:

I had been wearing a standard pull-over-your-head sport bra when I tried this one on—the improvement in comfort was amazing. Even better, this one unhooks in the back for easy on, easy off. My days of struggling to remove a sweaty pull-on sports bra are over! Thank you, Carrie !

If you’re looking for cuteness only:

QUEENIEKE Light Support T-Back Bra $19.99 amazon.com

  • Cute to wear with open-back tops
  • Doesn’t cut into shoulders
  • Provides some light support
  • Some customers report sizing can be small

Function doesn’t always have to be top of mind when buying a sports bra, especially if you’re more into lower-intensity workouts, like yoga. This T-back style is super cute and comes in 14 different colors and in sizes XS through XXL.

Notable 5-star review:

They run true to size. I bought a large and it fit perfectly. Very comfortable. Good support. Very stylish to wear with yoga tops. I am extremely happy with my purchase and will order more!

If you’re looking for ~sexiness~ only:

QUEENIEKE Mesh Sports Bra amazon.com

  • Stylish
  • Cool metallic details
  • Fun, strappy back
  • Works for medium-impact activities
  • Reviewers say to size up

Mesh paneling and lots of cleavage are what this bra is about, so if that sounds like you, step right up. This style also comes in three cute colors and goes from XS to XL.

Notable 5-star review:

This bra is not only stylish but also functional! I love it. Thee begonia pink colorway is beautiful and the stripes have a metallic sparkle to them. It is medium support and the back is amazing. I am a 34c and got a small. It fits but a medium would as well so I would size up.

If you’re looking for a hook-and-eye closure:

Yvette Criss-Cross Sports Bra $26.99 amazon.com

  • Provides tons of support
  • Goes up to size 5XL
  • Cute criss-cross back detail
  • Hook-and-eye closure
  • True to size
  • Pay attention to the company’s sizing chart to get your correct size

Sometimes, you just don’t want to wrestle with a sports bra, by pulling the tight fabric over your head and around your boobs. That’s where a hook-and-eye closure can make a major difference. This style features that element, plus it’s got a cute, strappy back going on and it’s great for medium- and low-impact workouts, like hiking and yoga. Plus, it goes up to size 5XL.

Notable 5-star review:

I’ll be honest, I was very skeptical about this bra. I have an exceptionally large chest (K cup) and haven’t had great luck in the past with pricey alternatives. I saw the positive reviews for this, loved the design, and decided to give it a whirl for the reasonable price. I am blown away by the support and love the fact I still have some shape as opposed to a big, solid tube.

If you‘re looking for a longline silhouette:

Sweaty Betty Stamina Sports Bra $50.00 sweatybetty.com

  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Material is durable
  • No irritating hooks
  • Has breathable mesh panels
  • Reviewers say it can run small

Notable 5-star review:

These stamina bras are just way too comfortable! No lines, smooth, and really supportive. I wear it everyday regardless if I’m going to the gym or not.

If you’re looking for a front zipper:

Yvette Zip-Front Sports Bra $26.99 amazon.com

  • Two closures: a zip-front and a hook-and-eye in back
  • Full-coverage, molded cups
  • Goes up to size 5XL
  • Stylish
  • Pretty supportive
  • Some reviewers think this style can run large

Putting on a sports bra and taking it off are some of the most frustrating parts about wearing one at all. A zipper-front closure solves that problem for you and this one comes in a cute patterned style and goes up to size 5XL. It also has tons of support.

Notable 5-star review:

I love the style, zip front, full-coverage cups, and back mesh panel detail that wicks away sweat. Highly recommended for these reasons and the fact that it is so easy to pair with black leggings and looks different and fashionable.

If you’re looking for something that’ll make any sports bra work for you:

YOWBAND No-Bounce Band $18.99 amazon.com

  • Can add to any existing sports bra
  • Adjustable velcro means there is size flexibility
  • Comes in lots of colors
  • Reviewers say this works best under sports bras vs. over them or over other clothing

Listen, if you’ve already got a ton of sports bras and you’re not looking to buy more but you want something that will improve their performance, this band is the product for you. Secure it so it lays across the upper part of your chest and around your back—it will provide extra support.

Notable 5-star review:

I was skeptical at first because I have a larger bust (38DD), and sports bras don’t do much for me. I wore this today for an all-day volleyball tournament and completely forgot I was wearing it! It definitely worked better under my sports bra and not over it because it didn’t ride up that way. So far, so good!

*Reviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Plus size exercise bra

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