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The Best Maternity Underwear for Ultimate Comfort

Looking for the best underwear for pregnancy? We’ve got you (and your backside) covered.
ByAnna Lane|Updated August 22, 2023
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best maternity underwear
Image: Shutterstock | LightAndAir
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There’s no denying that the shape of your body changes during pregnancy. You expect your belly to grow, of course, but your hips also widen to make room for baby—which means you may find yourself in need of new underwear. Instead of simply sizing up on your favorite before-baby undies, consider purchasing some maternity underwear that’s cut just right for moms-to-be. The best pregnancy underwear tends to be stretchier and have a fuller cut, which is just what’s needed when you’re sporting a baby bump.

The good news is that pregnancy underwear comes in lots of different styles, so whether you prefer a thong or a pair of full-coverage briefs, there are plenty of options. Also keep in mind that there are varying cuts available, including over-the-bump and low-rise designs. Comfort is key, so try on a few different styles before stocking your underwear drawer. We recommend grabbing at least one or two pairs that provide full coverage, as they’ll come in handy for the early postpartum days as well (or go ahead and opt for postpartum-specific underwear!). Wondering where to start? We’ve got some tips about how to shop for the best maternity underwear, as well as a list of some of our favorite options.

Types of Maternity Underwear

Maternity underwear comes in many different styles, from bikini briefs to shapewear and even absorbent undies. Like any other type of intimate wear, the option you choose depends on your own personal preference and comfort needs. Here are the three main types to choose from:

  • Under-belly maternity underwear. This type of maternity underwear rests just under your bump and sits low on the hips. Some under-belly styles also feature a crossover design to reduce pressure on your stomach. Women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD, recommends looking for “breathable materials, cotton and forgiving waistbands—which most are designed to have.”
  • Over-belly maternity underwear. Also known as high-waisted or over-bump underwear, this type sits just under your bust line, offering full belly coverage. This style of underwear provides gentle support, and some pairs even have built-in compression panels to reduce pregnancy aches and pains. “If you need support with your belly, you may want underwear with a high waist so you feel like it’s tucked in,” says Christine Greves, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.
  • Absorbent maternity underwear. This underwear typically has special fabric at the gusset (the piece of fabric that comes in direct contact with your crotch) to help lower the risks of leaks. “Up to 70 percent of women may have incontinence in the third trimester,” says Greves. “You might want some with extra absorbency.”

Things to Consider When Shopping for Maternity Underwear

The same factors—quality, cost and cut—come into play whether you’re shopping for regular undies or pregnancy panties. But during pregnancy, fabric choice and sizing concerns play a big role too. Keep the following in mind to find the best maternity underwear for your needs:

  • Fabric: Fabric choice is key when it comes to selecting the best underwear for pregnancy. Some synthetic fabrics, like latex or polyester, trap heat and moisture, which can cause itchiness and irritation. Greves recommends opting for natural fabrics, like cotton or bamboo, as they’re naturally hypoallergenic and breathable. Other materials like rayon and spandex offer great stretch, so it’s okay to wear them as long as the gusset is made from cotton.
  • Sizing: During pregnancy, your body undergoes a rapid transformation in a short space of time, meaning it can be tricky to determine your correct clothing size. In general, you can select your pre-pregnancy size when shopping for maternity underwear. But always check the brand’s size guidelines—and if in doubt, get the tape measure out to double-check your measurements. “Maternity underwear is designed to accommodate a growing belly and, in many cases, is more comfortable than regular underwear,” says Wider.

The Best Maternity Underwear for Every Need

Now that you know all the details about pregnancy underwear, check out a few of our favorite pairs. From maternity thongs and seamless styles to comfy boy shorts and high-waisted briefs, these are the best maternity underwear for every need.

Overall best maternity underwear

Kindred Bravely Under-the-Bump Bikini maternity Underwear
Image: Kindred Bravely
What We Love
  • Breathable fabric made from cotton and bamboo
  • Comfortable, non-rolling waistband stays in place
  • Available in a convenient multi-pack
Things To Consider
  • Only available in an under-the-bump style

Kindred Bravely’s pregnancy underwear consistently receives rave reviews, and it also happens to be a Best of Pregnancy award-winner. Wondering what sets this brand apart? First off, it’s designed with a non-rolling waistband that won’t dig in or sag. Each pair is made from a premium cotton blend and bamboo fabric for maximum comfort and breathability. There are tons of options to choose from, but the classic crossover style is hard to beat. These pregnancy panties also have a notched design that allows plenty of room for a growing belly and is ideal for postpartum recovery, especially for people healing from a c-section. Moms-to-be appreciate that they're smooth, soft and stretchy, and that they don't itch. Plus, they come in cost-effective packs of five. Bonus: Get 15 percent off sitewide with code KBBMP15.

Size range: S to XXL | Materials: 95% rayon/5% spandex (body); 100% cotton (gusset)

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Best cotton maternity underwear

Maternity Foldover Hipster maternity underwear
Image: Pact
Buying Options
Pact|$32.00
What We Love
  • Foldover waist adapts to your changing needs
  • Made from breathable, organic cotton
  • Good color options
Things To Consider
  • Lace detailing doesn’t stretch, which can be uncomfortable in later trimesters

Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic and breathable, meaning it won’t irritate sensitive skin, which is a real bonus during pregnancy. Pact—a brand committed to sustainability and fair trade—creates some of the best maternity underwear out there. Crafted from GOTS-certified organic cotton, the briefs feature a foldover waist that can be pulled up over your belly or folded down, depending on your needs. They also offer cheeky coverage for your rear end, and the lace detailing adds an extra-feminine touch. Did we mention this pregnancy underwear can be worn both during pregnancy and postpartum? Score!

Size range: S to XL | Materials: 95% cotton/5% spandex

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Best maternity thong

Kindred Bravely Grow with Me Maternity & Postpartum Thong
Image: Kindred Bravely
What We Love
  • Designed to adjust to your body’s changing needs
  • Doesn’t cause visible panty lines
  • Comes in three colors
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say the material is more delicate than expected

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing thongs! Case in point: This maternity thong designed just for expectant mamas. The stretchy nylon-spandex blend expands to fit your body’s changing needs, and recovers its original shape after each wear, meaning you can rock them during all four trimesters and beyond. Plus, the cotton gusset is soft and breathable. The best part? You can say goodbye to bunchy underwear and visible panty lines, as this thong is featherlight and virtually invisible under clothing.

Size range: S to XXL | Materials: 80% nylon/20% spandex (body); 100% cotton (gusset)

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Best seamless maternity underwear

No VPL Blush Maternity Panties
Image: Seraphine
Buying Options
Seraphine|$29.00
What We Love
  • Doesn’t cause visible panty lines
  • Soft, seamless fabric
  • Available in under- and over-the-bump styles
Things To Consider
  • Line dry only

It's no secret that Seraphine is a pregnancy favorite here at The Bump; they even won a Best of The Bump award for best maternity clothes brand. And this seamless maternity underwear is no exception; it's the perfect undergarment for any outfit, thanks to its clever cut which prevents visible panty lines. The low-rise, crossover style of this pregnancy underwear sits comfortably under the belly but still keeps you covered in the back. The microfiber material is sleek and soft, while the cotton gusset keeps things comfortable. Need a little extra coverage? This style comes in an over-the-bump cut as well.

Size range: S to XL | Materials: Microfiber (body); 100% cotton (gusset)

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Best plus-size maternity underwear

Motherhood Maternity Plus Size Fold Over Panties
Image: Motherhood Maternity
What We Love
  • Foldover waistband adjusts to your changing needs
  • Super-soft cotton and lycra blend
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say the fabric stretches throughout the day

Motherhood Maternity is a great place to source plus-size maternity clothes and intimate wear. This pair of underwear can be worn as high-waisted maternity underwear or folded down under your bump. The cotton and spandex blend provides enough stretch for a comfortable fit, and the cut of the briefs gives ample coverage in all the right places.

Size range: 1X to 3X | Materials: 95% cotton/5% spandex

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Best maternity support underwear

Skims Maternity Sculpting High Waist Brief
Image: Skims
Buying Options
Skims|$34.00
What We Love
  • Gently compresses to smooth and lift your natural figure
  • Silicone waistband prevents panties from rolling down
  • Available in an inclusive range of sizes
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say it causes visible panty lines

Skims (aka Kim Kardashian’s shapewear line) has something for everyone, including pregnant moms. This maternity underwear offers the perfect level of support, without feeling too restrictive. The over-belly briefs smooth your curves and lift your butt to enhance your natural shape. Better yet, the gentle compression may relieve some of the weight of your baby bump and ease back pain. Made for optimal comfort and fit, this pregnancy shapewear features a satin-finished leg opening and a silicone waistband to help prevent it from rolling down.
Size range: XXS/XS to 4X/5X | Materials: 78% nylon/22% spandex

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Best maternity underwear boyshorts

Maternity Organic Cotton Stretch Shorty
Image: Gap
Buying Options
Gap|$14.95
What We Love
  • Available in several neutral colors
  • Stretchy feel
  • Made with organic cotton
Things To Consider
  • Low-rise style

Gap is home to some of the best underwear for pregnancy, in plenty of cuts and styles. If you prefer a simple boy short, check out this fuss-free pair. Made with organic cotton, these briefs are soft and stretchy with an elasticated waist that sits just under your baby bump. They’re available in a few neutral colors, making them perfect for everyday wear.

Size range: XS to XL | Materials: 92% cotton/8% spandex

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Best sexy maternity underwear

Cosabella Never Say Never Maternity Thong
Image: Cosabella
What We Love
  • Mid-rise, wide-stretch waistband
  • Floral lace detailing
  • Available in a variety of styles, colors and sizes
Things To Consider
  • Minimal coverage

Whether you’re planning an extra-special date night or just need a pick-me-up, this maternity lingerie will have your back. Designed in Italy, the maternity thong boasts scalloped lace, and sits comfortably below your bump. Plus, you can also pick up the matching bra for a seductive set. And if you like a little extra coverage, this style comes in an equally hot boy short cut too.

Size range: S to L | Materials: 80% polyamide/15% elastane/5% cotton

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Best over-bump maternity underwear

What We Love
  • Full back and bump coverage
  • Made with moisture-wicking fabric infused with cooling minerals
  • Pretty color
Things To Consider
  • Line dry only

For true full coverage of both your bump and your bum, these high-waisted briefs are just what you need. These seamless stretch-knit pregnancy panties are ideal if you run hot but still need a little extra belly support. Why? The technical, moisture-wicking fabric is infused with cooling minerals to keep you drier than ever. Bonus features include a stay-put band and a cotton gusset. Consider us sold!

Size range: XS to XL | Materials: 93% nylon/7% spandex (body); 100% cotton (gusset)

Buy Now

Best under-bump maternity underwear

Intimate Portal Maternity Underwear
Image: Amazon
Buying Options
Amazon|$15.99
What We Love
  • Comfortable, cross-over waistband
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say there’s a visible panty line

Like many pairs of pregnancy underwear, these bikini briefs have a low, under-belly cut. So what makes them the best maternity underwear with an under-bump cut? The crossover style fits nicely underneath your baby bump without applying added pressure. They’re also made from 95 percent cotton, with a touch of spandex for added stretch factor. Another cool feature is the inner lining that’s purposely designed in a light color so you can detect any unusual spotting. Still not convinced? This pack of maternity underwear has over 20,000 five-star reviews on Amazon—more than enough to convince us!

Size range: S to XXL | Materials: 95% cotton/5% spandex

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Best absorbent maternity underwear

Thinx Super Modal Cotton Brief
Image: Thinx
What We Love
  • Eco-friendly option for pregnancy discharge and postpartum recovery
  • Available in an inclusive range of sizes
Things To Consider
  • Hand wash or machine wash cold, then line dry

Let’s finish up with a downright practical option from Thinx. This ingenious style fits just like regular underwear but boasts an absorbent gusset to protect you from pregnancy discharge, light bladder leaks (it happens) and postpartum bleeding. Yep, that’s right, these undies can absorb up to 45 ml (the equivalent of five tampons) of liquid—wow! Even better, Thinx replaces the need for disposable pads or liners, so it’s an eco-friendly option to boot.

Size range: XS to 4XL | Materials: 95% cotton/5% spandex (body); 100% polyester (gusset)

Buy Now

How We Chose the Best Maternity Underwear

Maternity underwear can help keep you comfortable as your body changes during pregnancy. To choose the best styles, we consulted with two ob-gyns for their take on fabrics and fits to consider. From there, we tracked down the most popular maternity underwear options on the market and narrowed the field based on elements like size range, fabrics and style. Reviews from real users were also factored in to ensure we had the best idea of how this underwear performs for a variety of expectant moms.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

Sources

Jennifer Wider, MD, is a nationally renowned women’s health expert, author and radio host. She is a graduate of Princeton University and received her medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Christine Greves, MD, is a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. She received her medical degree from the University Of South Florida College Of Medicine, where she also completed her residency.

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