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Best nursing bra 2021: Comfortable and stylish nursing bras you’ll want to wear all day

24 Sep 2021
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No more frumpy or uncomfortable nursing bras. Our top picks are stylish and easy to wear, which means one less thing to worry about

You most likely have “the best nursing bra” on your to-buy list before the baby arrives, but if you don’t, put it on there pronto. It’s one of the most important items any expectant or brand-new mum could buy for herself and the baby.

Although nursing bras are not exactly synonymous with glamour (granted, this likely is not a priority for you at this time), that doesn’t mean that you have to wear something that you’re not particularly keen on. Contrary to popular belief, nursing bras can, in fact, be pretty as well as comfy and functional.

If you’ve never had to shop for a nursing bra before, it’s understandable that you might not know where to start. What are you supposed to look for in a nursing bra? Is it the same as shopping for a regular bra? And how much do these things cost anyway? Our nursing bra buying guide will answer all of these questions for you, plus we’ve done lots of research and found some of the best nursing bras on the market for you to choose from.

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Best nursing bras: At a glance

  • Best overall: Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra | Buy now
  • Best no-fuss: H&M MAMA 2-pack nursing bras | Buy now
  • Best leak-proof: Knix Leak-Proof Nursing Bra | Buy now
  • Best plus-size: Gratlin Women's Plus Size Nursing Bra | Buy now
  • Best padded: Vertbaudet Pack of 2 Soft Padded Nursing Bras | Buy now
  • Best hypoallergenic: Seraphine Twin-Pack Bamboo Nursing Bras | Buy now
  • Best budget: Emma-Jane Seam-Free Maternity & Nursing Bra | Buy now

How to choose the best nursing bra for you

While the best nursing bra for you is ultimately down to personal preference, there are several styles to choose from and a few aspects to take into consideration in order to find one that suits you and your lifestyle.

Why is a good nursing bra important?

It’s commonly thought that the only difference between a normal bra and a nursing bra is the opening front flaps on the cups that provide easy access when it’s feeding or pumping time.

While that is obviously an important factor, it’s not the only thing a nursing bra is good for. These bras provide extra support for your much heavier postpartum breasts, have a lot of “give” for the daily expansion and deflation that comes with breastfeeding, and can also prevent you from leaking through your clothes.

What should I look out for in a nursing bra?

A nursing bra should, above all, be comfortable. Several factors, including the material, fit, accessibility, and how you put them on (whether they are front or back opening, or pull-on types) can contribute to this. We take a closer look at them below.

Material: A bra that is made from a breathable and soft material will eliminate any chafing. If you tend to sweat, look for a moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic material to avoid breaking out into a rash. In addition, a fabric that isn’t too stiff, and that has a bit of stretch would be better to adapt to your changing size.

Sizing: Unlike other maternity clothes, measuring yourself for a nursing bra should be done towards the end of your pregnancy so that you have a better idea of your postpartum size. Once you’ve measured, it’s then recommended to order a bra that is one bust size and one cup size larger to allow for the swelling that will inevitably happen as soon as the milk kicks in.

Fit: To ensure your comfort and ease, it’s best to go for a nursing bra that is similar to the bras you usually wear. If you are a fan of sports bras, opt for a nursing bra with a racerback, but if you prefer your good old Wonderbra, find a plunge nursing bra with padding.

Access: There are several ways in which a nursing bra can provide easy access for pumping or feeding. The most popular is the snap closure at the front that releases the cups. Some bras have a hook-type closure that hooks and unhooks the cups, and others have Velcro, or a tie that you have to knot and unknot. But not all bras have opening cups; some nursing bras are V-shaped and allow easy access simply by moving the cup out of the way. While these bras tend to be comfortable and easy to use, they may not be the best for double pumping, as you might need to continually hold the cups out of the way.

How much should I spend on a good nursing bra?

A good-fitting, comfortable, and supportive nursing bra doesn’t have to break the bank, and whether or not a nursing bra will suit you and your needs is not reflected in its price. Similarly, a more economical bra’s price might not be indicative of its quality and supportive features.

While you don’t want to go for the cheapest one around as it probably won’t last more than a few wears, the most expensive nursing bra on the market might not actually be the best one for you so there’s no need to specifically seek out those higher-end brands. Our list of the best nursing bras available to buy now are all under £40 and come in highly recommended by many happy customers.

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The best nursing bra to buy in 2021

1. Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra: The best overall nursing bra

Price: £34 | Buy now from John Lewis

This fabulous nursing bra by Bravado not only looks great, it’s extremely comfortable, and totally seamless, meaning that it won’t show under your clothes. It has removable padding to help with leaking that you can insert and remove as you please, and it comes in a selection of four colours.

Designed to mould onto your changing body, this bra does not chafe and users report that it is so comfortable, they wore it for years after their little ones were born.

This bra might not be the most supportive bra out there for bigger breasts, but when it comes to comfort and durability, this is the way to go. It fits true to size, and to keep it in optimal condition, it’s better to give it a hand wash.

Key specs – Sizes: S-XXL; Material: 88% polyester, 12% elastane; Fastening: back; Available colours: black, butterscotch, dusky pink, ivory; Bras in pack: 1

Buy now from John Lewis


2. H&M MAMA Nursing Bras: The best no-fuss nursing bra

Price: £20 | Buy now from H&M

If you don’t want to have to fiddle with snap-on and off removable cups or back clasps, this set of two nursing bras from H&M’s MAMA range is ideal. Each bra has a wrap-over design meaning that popping out of them to feed the baby is super easy and immediate. The material is thick which gives a more padded feel, although the bras themselves are not padded.

The seamless design, along with the soft and stretchy fabric make it one of the cosiest nursing bras around, and the price works out to just £10 per bra. Buyers have reviewed these nursing bras as fitting true to size, being nice quality and supportive despite being so soft. They’re machine-washable too.

Key specs – Sizes: S-XL; Material: polyamide 91%, elastane 9%; Fastening: none (pull-on); Available colours: black & grey marl/beige & dark grey; Bras in pack: 2

Buy now from H&M


3. Knix Leak-Proof Nursing Bra: The best leak-proof nursing bra

Price: £40 (approx.) | Buy now from KNIX

Canadian brand Knix specialises in everything postpartum and their nursing bras do not disappoint. This leak-proof nursing bra is made from a stretch fabric designed to adapt to a mother’s changing body and the special technology in the leak-proof removable pads means that you’ll never have milk stains down the front of your top either.

This bra has easy snap clasps that are made to be used one-handed, and many happy shoppers have reviewed it as being like a second skin, offering superb comfort and easy usability. Though based in North America, the company does deliver internationally but you’d need to stock up on some of its other stuff (check out their leakproof nursing tank and underwear) in order to qualify for free shipping which only kicks in on orders over $150.

Key specs – Sizes: 32A-42G; Material: 60% nylon, 40% spandex (outer), 92% nylon, 8% spandex (lining); Fastening: back; Available colours: black, pink ginger; Bras in pack: 1

Buy now from KNIX


4. Gratlin Women's Plus Size Nursing Bra: The best plus-size nursing bra

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

This affordable nursing bra by Gratlin with thousands of positive reviews on Amazon is impressively available in 14 different colours and in sizes up to 5XL, catering to anyone who can never find a bra that actually fits. It has a pull-on, racerback design for a sporty and supportive feel, thicker-than-average straps to hold up heavy breasts, and easy on-off hook clasp cups for feeding and pumping time.

It’s made of breathable cotton that wicks away moisture, with a little elastane for some stretch. It provides a full coverage, even for the bigger-bosomed, but some buyers suggested buying one size up as they run a little on the smaller side (as a guide, one customer wrote that she is a 40G and the XXL fit her perfectly).

Key specs – Sizes: S-5XL; Material: 96% cotton, 4% elastane; Fastening: none (pull-on); Available colours: choice of 14; Bras in pack: 1

5. Vertbaudet Soft Padded Nursing Bras: The best padded nursing bra

Price: £28 | Buy now from Vertbaudet

If it wasn’t for the discreet clasps at the front for the drop-down cups, it would be impossible to recognise that this Vertbaudet number is actually a nursing bra. In addition, though this bra looks as if it sports an underwire, it actually does not. It does, however, provide as much support as an underwired bra, and is also shaping.

The padding hides nipple outlines and although it’s a structured bra, it is so soft that one buyer mentioned that they don’t even unclasp the cup to feed their baby as it’s malleable enough to just move out of the way. There are two in the pack so you can wear one while you wash the other.

Key specs – Sizes: 32B-38F; Material: 95% cotton, 5% elastane; Fastening: back; Available colours: black, cream, light grey, dark grey; Bras in pack: 2

Buy now from Vertbaudet

6. Seraphine Bamboo Nursing Bras: The best hypoallergenic nursing bra

Price: £35 | Buy now from Seraphine

Viscose, made from bamboo, is a naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial material, so if you’re prone to sweating or breakouts from bras that are too tight or non-breathable, then these bamboo nursing bras from Seraphine might just be for you. These moisture-wicking bras are supportive without being restrictive, and also regulate your temperature while being breathable and comfortable.

The general reviewer consensus is that these bras are comfortable, supportive, and look cute too. One buyer mentioned that it is the first nursing bra that hasn’t made her break out in a rash, and another (who is currently breastfeeding her third baby and knows the drill) wrote that this bra is a must-have for new mums.

Key specs – Sizes: S-XL; Material: 78% viscose (bamboo), 17% nylon, 5% spandex; Fastening: back; Available colours: black & white, grey & blush, black and terracotta; Bras in pack: 2

Buy now from Seraphine


7. Emma-Jane Seam-Free Maternity & Nursing Bra: The best budget nursing bra

Price: £11 | Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé

It’s understandable that you may not want to fork over a lot of money for an item that you could only end up wearing for a few months, but with the Emma-Jane seam-free maternity and nursing bra at Jojo Maman Bébé, you don’t have to compromise quality for a low price.

Providing full coverage, adaptability for your changing shape, and cup clips for feeding, this bra is comfortable, stretchy, and doesn’t show under a T-shirt. If you’re looking for optimal support, then perhaps this isn’t the bra for you, but for daily comfort, and even for use as a sleep bra, this product is excellent value for money.

Key specs – Sizes: 32B-38F; Material: 90% polyamide, 10% elastane; Fastening: back; Available colours: black, white; Bras in pack: 1

Buy now from JoJo Maman Bébé


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