Should You Sleep in a Bra?

Jan 04 2024 0 Comments

Deciding whether or not to wear a bra to bed can be a confusing process; some say sleep bras maintain your shape while others insist nighttime bra wearing is detrimental to your health. So what's the truth? We're here to get to the bottom of it and help you figure out if a sleep bra is right for you.

Side view of a woman sleeping in bed

Pros: Why You Should Sleep in a Bra

May Alleviate Breast and Back Pain

Taking your bra off at the end of the day can be a sigh of relief, but for bustier women, wearing a bra at night can actually be more comfortable. The support of a well-fitting sleep bra can help keep your breasts in one place eliminating the discomfort that comes from movement during the night. Additionally, those experiencing breast tenderness from hormonal factors such as menstruation and pregnancy may also feel some relief when wearing a bra to bed.

Absorb Moisture and Reduce Chafing

Irritation and sweat are common issues in any area where the skin folds, especially underneath the breasts. Wearing a bra to bed can help absorb that excess moisture and prevent fungal infections, while the added fabric and lift from a sleep bra can reduce friction allowing for a more peaceful slumber.

Nipple Protection

Individuals with sensitive nipples may find wearing a bra at night more comfortable as it helps reduce friction caused by a loose shirt or sheets. People experiencing leaking while breastfeeding may also like wearing a nursing sleep bra with cotton pads for the added barrier it provides.

Protection After Surgery

Sleeping in a bra is often recommended after having breast surgery. This is because wearing a bra helps keep the gauze in place and prevents breast movement that might cause irritation and slow the healing process.

Wearing a sleep bra can also be beneficial if you've recently gotten a nipple piercing to protect the jewelry from getting caught on clothing or bedding.

Cons: Reasons Not to Wear a Bra to Bed

May Be Uncomfortable

Not everyone needs the extra support of a sleep bra, and for some people, wearing any kind of bra to bed (even one meant for sleeping) is simply uncomfortable. If this sounds like you, it's best to skip the bra and stick to baggy t-shirts.

May Affect Breathing and Circulation

Wearing a bra with underwire or one that's too tight can potentially restrict circulation while sleeping and prevent the chest from fully expanding while breathing leading to discomfort and difficulty sleeping. This is uncommon, however, and can be fixed by choosing a soft, well-fitting sleep bra with no underwire or going braless.

May Cause Sweating and Skin Irritation

Wearing any kind of tight clothing to bed, including a bra, can cause chafing and irritation for those with sensitive skin. In addition, the extra layer of fabric may result in excess sweating leading to more irritation and even yeast growth in rare cases. For this reason, it's important to choose a sleep bra with breathable fabric and to always change into a clean bra before bed.

Are There Any Side Effects From Sleeping in a Bra?

According to popular belief, wearing a bra to bed will supposedly prevent your breasts from sagging. On the flip side, you may have also heard that sleeping in a bra actually increases sagging. So who's correct? Multiple factors can contribute to breast sagging from genetics and aging to smoking and weight fluctuation, and wearing a bra doesn't address any of these underlying causes. There is no evidence suggesting that wearing a bra has any effect on the breast tissue either positively or negatively. Similarly, wearing a bra to bed will not stunt breast growth during puberty.

Another common myth is that wearing a bra to bed increases your risk of breast cancer. This is not true. Aside from potential skin issues from wearing an ill-fitting or dirty bra, there are no serious health risks caused by wearing a bra to bed.

Best Bras to Sleep in

When picking out a sleep bra, it's important to choose something with soft, breathable fabric and no underwire. Getting the right fit is equally important, as anything too tight or too loose risks causing discomfort and irritation. Take a look at our Size Guide for help if you're unsure what size to get.

Here are five of our top sleep bra picks to help you get a good night's rest:

Goddess Keira Soft Cup Bra

Best For: Plus-Sized Women

Goddess Kiera Banded Wire Free Bra - Pearl Blush sleep bra

Goddess Kiera Banded Wire Free Bra - Pearl Blush ($48.00)

Available in band sizes 36-56 and cup sizes B-H (US)

Additional Colors: Fawn, Black

Add an air of sophistication to your day with this flattering soft cup option from Keira. Feminine, yet ultra supportive. Once it's on, the only thing on your mind will be how good you look and feel.

Evelyn & Bobbie Beyond Bra

Best For: Day and Night Wear

Evelyn & Bobbie Beyond Bra - Clay ($88.00)

Available in sizes S - 3XL 

Additional Colors: Himalayan Salt, Black Onyx

The Evelyn and Bobbie Beyond Bra features adjustable comfort straps and a back band that flexes to move with your body. This wireless bra shapes and lifts like an underwire bra but without the hard pieces.

Parfait Dalis Wire Free Bralette

Best For: Comfort

Parfait Dalis Charcoal Wire Free Bralette - Charcoal ($50.00)

Available in band sizes 30-42 and cup sizes D-H (UK)

Additional Colors: Black, Navy, Bare

Soft modal and stretch lace define this wireless bralette with supportive seamed cups perfect for lounging or sleeping. Converts easily to a racerback style with a J-hook.

Anita Emily Soft Bra

Best For: Small Cup Sizes

Anita Emily Soft Bra - Powder Rose ($75.00)

Available in band sizes 32-42 and cup sizes A-E (US)

Young, modern and tender! The extra low-cut soft bra in a triangle look accentuates the neckline and radiates a touch of French charm. The internal dividing seam in the lower cup, the continuous frame and telescopic side stiffeners provide a perfect fit and hold up to cup size E. The triangle-look décolleté has a particularly beautiful look and radiates a touch of French charm.

Parfait Adriana Lace Bralette

Best For: Full Busts

Parfait Adriana Lace Bralette - Pearl White ($50.00)

Available in band sizes 30-42 and cup sizes D-H (UK)

Additional Colors: Racing Red, Sapphire, Bare

Pretty and Lacy, this wire-free bralette is very supportive and super comfortable. The convertible J-hook feature allows for a racerback option. Especially designed for full-busted and full-figure women.

The Bottom Line

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to wearing a bra to bed. Ultimately, the choice to wear a sleep bra comes down to personal preference. If sleeping in a bra is uncomforable, you can go braless without worry, but if you decide to sleep in a bra, make sure to change into a fresh bra before bed and choose a soft, wire-free option. For more information, visit our Sleep Bra Guide.


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