The 32 Best Maternity and Nursing Bras for Every Need
July 18, 2021
When it comes to the best nursing bras—which are generally designed for both pregnant and breastfeeding moms—there are endless options. You’ve got everyday nursing bras, sleep nursing bras, nursing bras with molded cups, pumping bras and extra-supportive nursing bras specifically made for women with larger busts. Yes, the cup runneth over with choices, but how do you know which one is right for you? Read on for shopping tips from lactation consultants and style experts, plus our roundup of the best maternity and nursing bras out there, so you can find the perfect fit.
In this article:
Shopping tips for maternity and nursing bras
Best maternity and nursing bras for everyday wear
Best maternity and nursing sports bras
Best maternity and nursing sleep bras
Best sexy maternity and nursing bras
Best hands-free nursing bras
Best supportive maternity and nursing bras
Best strapless maternity and nursing bras
Wondering when to buy a maternity bra? There’s no hard and fast rule, but women often find it’s time to buy a good maternity bra around week 18 of pregnancy. And no, your current bra in three sizes bigger won’t do the trick—maternity and nursing bras are specifically designed to provide the best support for growing, pregnant and breastfeeding bodies. But just because you find a maternity bra that fits now, doesn’t mean that’ll be your perfect size after baby arrives. “It’s not unusual to change bra sizes within the first few weeks of breastfeeding,” says New York City stylist Samantha Brown—so if you’re shopping before baby arrives, consider buying one or two sizes larger than usual, so you have one ready to wear after birth.
The same features you look for when shopping for a regular bra are especially crucial when you’re looking for a bra while pregnant or breastfeeding. Your girls are working hard for you and baby, so accommodate them well! The best nursing bras include these key components:
• Comfort. This should be at the top of your nursing bra must-have list during the first four to six weeks after having baby, says Stephanie Nguyen, founder of Modern Milk and a certified lactation consultant. She recommends stretchy nursing bras to accommodate the breast changes moms experience during this time. “Look for nursing bras in soft fabrics,” Nguyen says. You’ll also want to pick a bra with thick back closures that have four or more hooks, wide, cushioned straps and a band that doesn’t ride up in the back.
• Support. Breasts filled with milk are fuller (and heavier), so you’ll want more support than you had before baby. A supportive nursing bra also prevents sagging breasts after baby graduates from breastfeeding. “The band under the bust should be snug,” Brown says, but make sure the straps don’t cut into your shoulders. “An ill-fitting bra can impact a woman’s posture, and lead to strain and tension headaches,” she warns.
• Coverage. The cup should fully cover your breast—something you’ll especially appreciate around six weeks postpartum. “I personally like bras with molded cups to help disguise nursing pads and nipples that may be a bit larger than before,” Nguyen says.
• Ease. The best nursing bras make it seamless to breastfeed. “Look for removable pads, no underwire (if it’s a sleeping bra) and clips for easy feeding,” Brown says.
So how can you tell if you’ve found the best maternity or nursing bra for you? “If it fits, if it’s comfortable, if it’s easy to nurse in and you like the style,” Nguyen says. Pick up at least two nursing bras for daily wear, Brown suggests, so you’ll always have one on hand when the other is in the wash. Here, find some of the all-around best maternity and nursing bras out there.
Bravado Designs original nursing bra
First up is a pick from Bravado Designs, the winner of our 2021 Best of Pregnancy award for top nursing bra brand. The original, wire-free nursing bra is ideal for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. It’s made from a breathable, cotton fabric with a wide under-bust band and a sporty racerback design. And, for ladies that prefer full coverage, it comes in a full cup style too.
Buy it: $35, BravadoDesigns.com
ThirdLove 24/7 classic nursing bra
This underwire nursing bra, a former Best of Baby award winner, boasts a foam-padded hook and eye-back closure with extended hooks, ultra-thin memory foam cups to form to your body and clips and drop-down cups for easy nursing. The spandex and Pima cotton nursing bra even features a tagless (aka scratchless) printed label (pregnancy skin can be so sensitive) and gold alloy strap adjusters for a dash of luxury. Available in cup sizes A through I.
Buy it: $65, ThirdLove.com
Motherhood Maternity seamless clip down maternity and nursing bra
A fabulous do-it-all option, this is one of the best nursing bras for those on a budget. Thanks to the soft, stretchy fabric, it smoothes, shapes and supports you from pregnancy all the way through postpartum, and features clip-down straps for easy access when nursing or pumping. Because there’s no underwire, you could even use this as a nursing sleep bra—and you get all that for a very affordable price. It’s ideal for cups A through D, comes in nine different colors and is available in plus-sizes too.
Buy it: Motherhood Maternity Seamless Clip Down Maternity and Nursing Bra, $25, Motherhood.com
Cake Maternity cotton candy seamless nursing bra
A winner according to both Nguyen and new moms we polled when it comes to the best nursing bras, this option has a high-thread count for extreme softness and a scoop neckline, making it comfy for day and night. Plus, the XL size can accommodate up to a 42E. (Good news for those looking for plus-size nursing bras!)
Buy it: $49, Nordstrom.com
Storq everyday bra
Many breastfeeding moms prefer no underwire in their nursing bras to avoid any clogs, but even during pregnancy some women find an underwire to be uncomfortable against their sensitive breasts. Enter: Storq’s soft cup nursing bra that accommodates a growing bust and can easily be pulled aside for feeding sessions. The modal and spandex blend make for an ultra-soft, stretchy feel, but the bra still offers support through its lined fabric, adjustable back straps and hook-and-eye closure.
Buy it: $46, Storq.com
Lively the mesh trim maternity bralette
Searching for a hardworking maternity bra that’s pretty too? The mesh trim bralette from Lively could be the one for you. Available in five colors, this bra is made from sleek, supportive nylon with an inner sling and adjustable straps for added comfort and support. Plus, drop-down cups take the stress out of nursing on the go. Suitable for cup sizes A to D.
Buy it: $35, Lively.com
iLoveSIA 3-pack seamless maternity bra
This beloved maternity bra has no underwire nor wide bands—just cups that drop down fully when you need them to; but there’s also enough room for you to add a cup or nursing pad when strapped up. Get three in a pack; they’re also available as tanks.
Buy it: $28, Amazon.com
Spanx bra-llelujah! mama nursing bra
Spanx is a brand renowned for its signature shapewear, but did you know that they make maternity underwear too? Introducing the Bra-llelujah mama nursing bra. This wireless style is made from a four-way stretch fabric, that’s a dream come true for ladies with fluctuating breast sizes. Additional features include clip-down cups for easy one-handed nursing access, a wrapover design that’ll keep the opposite cup in place during breastfeeding, removable padding and nursing pad pockets, plus so much more. Available in three neutral colors in cup sizes A to DD.
Buy it: $58, Spanx.com
Gratlin women’s comfort support maternity wirefree seamless nursing bra
This maternity bra is great for women who hate underwires but still need plenty of support. The side panels, large cups and tightly knitted underband hold everything in without digging into your skin. Bonus: Amazon reviewers love the full-coverage nursing bra, and did we mention it’s only $18?
Buy it: $18, Amazon.com
Just because you have a new baby—or are expecting one on the way—doesn’t mean you have to stop moving; rather, it means you need a bra that’ll work even harder for you while you get in your exercise. The best maternity and nursing sports bras offer secure support, full coverage and quick, easy access for breastfeeding or pumping either after a workout or smack in the middle of one.
Love & Fit Athena 2.0 nursing sports bra
Adjustable straps are par for the course among the best maternity and nursing sports bras, but the Athena bra offers an adjustable back closure to boot, and women rave about the medium-impact support and comfort it provides. The design adds extra coverage on the top and sides to keep the ladies in place, as well as removable cups to protect those sensitive nipples (you can even slip in nursing pads). When it’s time to nurse, simply unclip and go.
Buy it: $65, LoveandFit.com
Kindred Bravely sublime nursing sports bra
Whether you’re perfecting your yoga pose, sweating at Barre, hiking in the woods or just power-walking around town, you can’t go wrong with this sweat-wicking, racerback nursing bra. The stretchy but supportive fabric, adjustable straps and wireless design can take you from pregnancy to postpartum and beyond, and the clips provide discreet, one-handed nursing access. The best part? This style is available in a range of inclusive sizes designed to fit cup sizes B to I.
Buy it: $40, KindredBravely.com
Cake Maternity zest maternity bra with flexi wire high impact nursing sports bra
Gym-bunnies are sure to appreciate this next pick, which claims to be one of the only high-impact maternity sports bras to offer supreme comfort and support. Available as a plus-size maternity sports bra as well, this style minimizes bounce and reduces friction while also wicking away moisture from the body. The wide straps offer comfortable support, and the mesh panels increase breathability. Once baby arrives, the cups also drop down for easy feeding.
Buy it: $80, Zappos.com
Milx nursing and pumping sports bra
This pick is designed as a nursing sports bra, but really it’s an all-in-one bra for new moms. It’s secure, comfy, breathable and moisture-wicking, so you’ll feel great wearing it all day long. The cups easily pull aside for nursing or pumping, and the lower neckline means you can wear it under everyday clothes. There’s even an adjustable rib band, so you can get a great fit as your body grows and shrinks.
Buy it: $79, Milx.com
Ollie Gray the anywhere bra athleisure nursing & hands-free pump bra
This stylish nursing sports bra from Ollie Gray is designed for the modern mom who lives in athleisure attire. The clever design allows you to breastfeed or pump hands-free, while the luxe antimicrobial and moisture-wicking materials keep smells and stains to a minimum. Bonus: This cool style comes in seven trendy patterns and fits cup sizes A to DD.
Buy it: $68, OllieGray.com
When your breasts are large, sensitive and prone to leaking, having a bra that’s comfy to sleep in is key. The best nursing sleep bras are ultra-soft with no wires or metal clasps to poke you awake, and cups that can be pulled aside without fumbling with clips in the dark.
Bravado Designs ballet bra
This super-soft, wire-free nursing sleep bra is loved by moms and moms-to-be alike. The material is light, lined and stretchy, with a pull-away front design. It’s also OEKO-TEX certified, meaning it’s made with safe materials. Simply put, it’s one of the best nursing sleep bras around.
Buy it: $34, BravadoDesigns.com
Motherhood Maternity plus size wrap maternity and nursing sleep bra
This nursing sleep bra is made especially for plus-size moms. The soft cotton option is also clasp-free, with criss-crossed cups that can easily be slid aside for nighttime nursing. It’s available in sizes 1X to 3X and four colors including this pretty floral print.
Buy it: $20, Motherhood.com
Medela nursing bra for sleep and breastfeeding
This racerback nursing bra is perfect for wearing to bed. The crisscross front design means instant, one-handed access. Plus, the four-way stretch fabric comfortably adapts to your changing body, and also wicks moisture away (in case of leaks or sweaty nights). It’s even OEKO-TEX certified, meaning you can rest assured there are no nasty chemicals in the materials of this Medela nursing bra.
Buy it: $16, Amazon.com
HATCH the skin to skin bra
This maternity sleep bra is all about comfort. With cotton-spandex cups and no clasp in sight, how could it be anything but? The minimalist sleep bra is also nursing-friendly thanks to an elasticated band at the top. You also have your choice of four colors.
Buy it: $38, HATCHCollection.com
Yes, maternity bras and nursing bras are designed with a clear purpose in mind—but that doesn’t mean they have to be wholly utilitarian without any frills. These are our favorite sexy nursing bras that look as good as they feel. .
Le Mystere sexy mama underwire nursing bra
Nothing says sexy quite like peekaboo lace. Available in black and ivory, and in multiple sizes, this stunner among our sexy nursing bra picks is practical too, thanks to easily unfastened clips.
Buy it: $66, Nordstrom.com
Goddess Keira wire-free nursing bra
Available in cup sizes DD through N and band sizes 36 through 46, this is a great sexy nursing bra for plus-size mamas with its super-silky (read: sensual) fabric. The wide underband and adjustable straps make it comfortable too.
Buy it: $48, BareNecessities.com
Cake Maternity chantilly nursing bralette
This next pick is proof that maternity intimates can be pretty and practical. Made from a chantilly-style stretch lace, this nursing bra exudes French boudoir chic. Better yet, this bralette has adjustable straps, drop-down nursing cups and a supportive side-sling design, making it functional enough for everyday use.
Buy it: $55, CakeMaternity.com
Natori feathers maternity bra
Elegant with just the right amount of sex appeal, this Natori nursing bra features a plunging neckline and a feminine lace trim, adjustable stretch straps and nursing clips. It offers a smooth look under clothes—and it’s oh-so-pretty when those clothes come off.
Buy it: $66, Natori.com
Ann Summers sexy lace non padded flexi wire nursing bra in red
Add some sass to your underwear drawer with this racy red nursing bra by Ann Summers. It has a flexible underwire for moms that need extra support and drop-away nursing cups with clip-fastenings that can be opened and closed with one hand.
Buy it: $29, ASOS.com
Seraphine navy lace maternity and nursing bra
Here’s yet another gorgeous bra that can be worn from your first trimester to your fourth (and beyond!). Cotton-lined cups, covered with a stylish navy lace overlay, provide a supportive fit with drop-down nursing access. Plus, it’s underwire free so it’s super comfortable to boot!
Buy it: $35, Seraphine.com
Pumping can turn into a pretty time-consuming activity, so the last thing you want is to have to hold the shields to your breasts the entire time. Enter: hands-free nursing bras. These genius accessories let you slip the shields into your bra and pump while putting your hands to other good uses.
Kindred Bravely sublime hands-free pumping & nursing bra
This Best of Pregnancy award-winning maternity bra is truly one of the best we’ve seen. You can nurse or pump in this underwire free design, which fits all standard pump flanges. Plus, this style offers hands-free support thanks to the double-layered cups with removable padding. Available in sizes S to XXL busty (cup sizes B to I).
Buy it: $50, KindredBravely.com
Bodily the do anything bra
Developed in collaboration with a lactation consultant, this hands-free pumping bra was designed for active parents on-the-go. The secure-snap nursing clips allow for easy, one-handed access, and the adjustable slider straps let you seamlessly transition from pumping to nursing. It’s made from OEKO-TEX certified fabric that’s silky-soft and supportive so you can pump worry-free.
Buy it: $58, Bodily.com
Larken X nursing and hands-free pumping relaxed bra
This unique hands-free nursing bra is made without any elastic, snaps or zippers—just ultra-soft, moisture-wicking fabric that’ll keep you comfy all day and night. Unlike many pumping bras, this one can easily be worn under tops without adding bulk. When you’re ready to nurse or pump, simply lift the panel for easy access. Oh, and did we mention that this bra is machine-washable?
Buy it: $48, ShopLarken.com
Simple Wishes hands free pumping bra
With over 7,000 reviews and a near five-star rating, it’s no wonder this popular pick is one of the best hands-free nursing bras out there. Designed specifically for pumping, it features a zippered front, an adjustable Velcro back and even an extra panel with a zippered extender to ensure a perfect fit as your body changes. It works with all major breast pump brands and holds the shields and bottles securely.
Buy it: $30, SimpleWishes.com
All of the best maternity bras and nursing bras are going to provide some support—but when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, sometimes you need even more cushioning. These full-coverage, ultra-supportive maternity and nursing bras are just the ticket.
Soma embraceable full coverage contour nursing bra
Moms rave about the level of support this full-coverage nursing bra offers. It has contoured, lightly padded cups; a plush underwire; an extended, padded hook-and-eye closure and brushed microfiber fabric for an unbelievably soft feel. Available in cup sizes B to DDD.
Buy it: $48, Soma.com
Cadenshae plus cup size nursing bra
Not all supportive nursing bras feature underwire. This wireless option, made for moms with H to J cup sizes, is up to the task no matter the activity, even intensive workouts. Molded foam cups offer superior cushioning, a thicker underband reduces vertical movement and provides extra comfort, while the adjustable shoulder straps are padded and the back straps can transform into a racerback nursing bra. Mesh panels and moisture-wicking fabric keep you dry and comfy, and clips let you nurse with ease.
Buy it: $65, Cadenshae.com
When you’ve managed to find the perfect strapless dress, the last thing you want is your bra straps ruining the look. But finding strapless maternity bras—and strapless nursing bras—isn’t always the easiest task. We’ve done the hard work for you, rounding up our favorite strapless options for moms and mom-to-be.
La Leche League seamless strapless nursing bra
This nursing bra slips under a strapless dress, halter or strappy tank for instant, gentle support. Clear straps are included, should you want a little more lift, and the frame itself is built so it can be easily flipped up for nursing. If you want a little more wiggle room, this maternity bra is available up to size XL, which accommodates a size 38 band.
Buy it: $19, Figure8Moms.com
Lively no-wire strapless bra bundle
Although this bra hasn’t been specifically designed for pregnancy or postpartum wear, we think it would work well in a pinch thanks to the underwire-free design. Molded cups and an underbust support band keep the ladies in place, but the nylon-spandex blend material still has plenty of stretch.
Buy it: $70 for a set of 2, WearLively.com