We Tested the Best Nursing Bras for Every Kind of Parent

After months of real-world testing, real parents name the Hatch Everyday Nursing Bra their favorite.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Nursing Bra
Photo: Bodily and Kindred Bravely
01 of 16

Shopping for the Best Nursing Bra

Welcome to the busy, rewarding, and tiring world of breastfeeding your baby! While doing this very important job, many lactating parents like to wear a nursing bra to provide easy access to your breasts, accommodate fluctuating breast sizes, and provide support to heavy breasts that may be full of milk. We asked a group of moms to test out 21 nursing bras while they were breastfeeding their kids, pumping, and going about their everyday lives to come up with this list of the very best.

There is a wide range of nursing and pumping bras on the market, with options for lounging, sleeping, exercising, and yes, even looking sexy. When shopping for bras, one category is most important, however: "Comfort is a big factor to take into consideration since the lactating person may experience breast soreness and engorgement," lactation consultant Rebecca Agi, MS, IBCLC tells Parents. In addition to overall comfort, our testers looked at fit, support, breastfeeding access, material, and style of these bras.

After months of testing, we narrowed down our list to these best nursing bras.

Our Favorite Nursing Bras

02 of 16

Best Overall: Hatch the Everyday Nursing Bra

Nursing Bra
Hatch

View at Hatch ($68)

Why We Like It: There are lots of ways to adjust this bra to accommodate a changing body: easy access front strap adjusters, four back settings, and a J-hook to transform it into a racerback style.

But Take Note: This bra is on the pricier side, though there are often discounts for buying more than one.

This nursing bra ranked best overall after impressing our testers with its comfort and ease of use. "This is my go-to nursing bra," our tester shared. "It's one of the most comfortable I've tried [and] fits like a glove, plus the micro scalloping detail is pretty." Along with major comfort, the bra stands out for the many adjustable features.

The front strap adjusters are easy to reach. There are four settings on the hook-and-eye clasps in the back, and there's even a J-hook to configure the straps into a racerback style. We like that the adjustability allows you to wear this bra from pregnancy through postpartum. "I used the hook-and-eye closures to adjust the band as my body made its way back to a normal shape postpartum," our tester said.

Easy access is another feature we love about this bra, especially since that's the whole goal of nursing bras. Hatch has created clips that work one handed, and our testers can vouch that they do work and did not experience any fumbling or wardrobe malfunctions with this top pick. The bra comes in sizes from Small through Extra Large, and the size chart on the website will help you choose the appropriate fit. For a super soft bra, this pick is also surprisingly supportive, our tester said. Finally, we like that the bra is available in eight color options, since it can be hard to find an attractive bra with color options beyond beige, white, pink, or black.

While this bra is more expensive than others on the list, our tester shared, "Given that it's my first choice when I open my bra drawer, I'd say it's well worth the investment." Also, the brand offers discounts for buying multiples, which is a great incentive to stock up.

The Details

  • Type of Access: One-handed clasp
  • Size Range: Small–Extra Large
  • Material: Pima cotton/spandex bend
  • Adjustments: Front strap adjusters, four back adjusters, J-hook attachment
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, line dry
03 of 16

Best for Feeding Newborns: Bodily the Everything Bra

Nursing Bra
Bodily

View at Bodily ($48)

Why We Like It: Perfect for sleeping and lounging, this ultra-comfy bra has a back hook and clasp which makes it easier to put on and take off without undressing.

But Take Note: The bra is super soft, but not very supportive, so it may not be a good pick for those with larger breasts.

The Bodily Everything Bra impressed our tester with its comfort, especially as a sleep and lounging bra. Ideal for the newborn phase that will keep you busy breastfeeding day and night, this bra stands out as a sleep bra because it's the rare hybrid bralette with a hook and eye clasp instead of an overhead pull-down style.

Mom of two Samantha Hutten (not one of our testers) likes a back clasp feature, too. "I prefer the ones that unclasp at the back rather than the sports bra kind because it's easier to get on and off and feels more like a 'regular' bra," she tells Parents.

The clasp made it stand out in our tester's experience, too. "While this is a minor detail, it made me reach for this bra more often than other sleep bras," the tester said.

The fabric is great for those looking for a soft, flexible bra. It doesn't provide a ton of support and the bralette style can result in a uniboob look, especially if your breasts are larger. Since there's no decoration and the material is so soft, it does lay flat and smooth under clothing. Access is made easy with nursing clips on both sides, so you won't be fumbling with the bra in the day or night.

This bra comes in sizes Small through Extra Large (check the size guide on the retailer's website). We love the six earth tone colors that this bra comes in. The lush "Falls" color is a deep blue that may be our favorite!

In testing, this bra held up well to multiple machine washes, which is key since you'll be wearing it on repeat.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Nursing clips in the front
  • Size Range: Small–Extra Large
  • Material: Micromodal and elastane blend
  • Adjustments: Front slider straps and back hook-and-eye clasp
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, line dry
04 of 16

Best Budget: Motherhood Seamless Maternity and Nursing Bra

Nursing Bra
Motherhood

View at Motherhood ($25)

Also available at Amazon, Walmart, and BuyBuy Baby

Why We Like It: The design of this bra allows for discreet breastfeeding by making it easy to pull the bra down just a little without being too exposed.

But Take Note: The bra's moderate support may not be enough for larger breasts.

Nursing bras can get expensive, which is why this seamless pick is our top choice for a budget-friendly option. In addition to the lower price tag, our tester also appreciated its comfort and ease of use. She loved that the bra allows for discreet breastfeeding. "You could pull it down just a little and not have to pull it off the whole breast," she noted.

Truly seamless, this bra comes with light padding that is removable. It provides moderate support, but may not be enough for larger breasts. Additionally, while our tester loved the discreet access that the clips on both sides provide, there are limited ways to adjust this bra. The lack of strap adjusters limits the size range, but there is a three-pronged back closure to adjust the back circumference.

In addition to its regular reasonable price, Motherhood runs frequent promotions, such as offers of a free pair of panties with a bra purchase, or buy one, get one free.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Clip down nursing access in the front
  • Size Range: S–XL in Average Busted, Full Busted, and Plus Size
  • Material: Nylon-spandex blend
  • Adjustments: Three-pronged back closure
  • Care Instructions: Machine washable
05 of 16

Best for Sleep: Kindred Bravely Organic Cotton Nursing & Sleep Bra

Nursing Bra
Kindred Bravely

View at Kindred Bravely ($35)

Also available at Amazon, Target, and Nordstrom

Why We Like It: Kindred Bravely's unique sizing has "busty" options, making it easier to find the right fit.

But Take Note: The front can get a bit stretched out from being pulled down, but it's a minor issue and only noticeable if you wear the bra out during the day.

The goal of sleep bras is to provide support and easy access during nighttime feedings. Our testers found that this bra is super comfortable and a wonderful addition to your evening pajama wear. "With no clasps to worry about, it's perfect for middle of the night feeds." Simply pull down the material and your breasts are easily accessible. Testers were pleasantly surprised that this bra also allowed for in-bra pumps (like the Elvie and Willow pumps), which was a big bonus since it's not specifically a pumping bra.

The available eight colors match a variety of skin tones. We also love that Kindred Bravely has sizing that runs from Small through XXLarge, with an additional "Busty" option for each size. Testers also shared that they were pleased that the full back design provided a surprising amount of support. The bra cannot be adjusted, so use the size guide to find the right fit for your body.

The only noted drawback to this bra is that the front of the bra can get a little stretched out from being pulled down during nursing. Testers found that washing and drying helped remedy this issue and they were not bothered by this since it wasn't a bra they planned to wear during the day or under tight clothing.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Pullover style and pull down access
  • Size Range: Small–XXLarge-Busty
  • Material: Cotton/Spandex blend
  • Adjustments: None
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble or line dry
06 of 16

Best Nursing and Pumping Bra: Bodily the Do Anything Bra

Nursing Bra
Bodily

View at Bodily ($58)

Why We Like It: It provides both easy access for nursing and a supportive fit for hands-free pumping.

But Take Note: Though it's silky and attractive, the fabric doesn't absorb excessive leaking.

In the constant superhero work of feeding a baby, you may want or need to move between nursing and pumping. If you plan to alternate between the two, you'll want to add this bra to your arsenal. Our tester really liked how the straps can be adjusted from the front, enabling her to "adjust them throughout the day as your breasts change shape and fill up before a feed or pump and deflate after."

While using this for pumping could take a little trial and error, the Bodily site shares instructions for two options on how to fit pump flanges into the bra and has a helpful video showcasing how to set yourself up for successful pumping.

We love the silky, smooth fabric that looks and feels a little more luxurious than other nursing bras and comes in three colors. Our tester found it "incredibly comfortable." The only drawback is for those who face excessive leaking because the fabric isn't super absorbent. Our tester noted it is "incredibly quick drying" if you just have a drop or two of milk on your nipple or breast, but for major leaks, you may have to wear this bra with nursing pads.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Clip down access for nursing, two stretchy slits in the cups for hands-free pumping
  • Size Range: S–3X
  • Material: Polyamide-elastane blend
  • Adjustments: Adjustable slider straps and hook-and-eye back closure; straps convert to racerback for additional support
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, line dry
07 of 16

Best Nursing and Pumping Runner-Up: Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands-Free Nursing Bra

Nursing Bra
Kindred Bravely

View at Kindred Bravely ($60)

Also available at Amazon and Nordstrom

Why We Like It: Because this bra fits almost like a sports bra, it's incredibly supportive and the pump parts stay totally secure.

But Take Note: There is a double clip access—one for pumping and one for nursing—so access can be a bit clumsy.

In our test, the Kindred Bravely was a successful runner-up as best nursing and pumping bra. It has a lot of great features, including fitting very true to size, providing amazing support, and being incredibly comfortable. Our tester liked the "thick and sturdy" material of the bra, which has a sports bra-like design.

To use this bra, there's a double clip access, which our tester found to be a bit clumsy, especially for the nursing access. For pumping, you undo the top clasp, pump, and make sure you put the clasp back in the right spot. For nursing, you have to undo both clasps, feed, and then get them both hooked correctly. Tired moms do enough, so the challenge of a double clasp, especially one handed, may make some think twice about this choice.

While the material is super soft, it's also very sturdy. Our tester had to "pull both layers down toward my navel in order for my son to have access for breastfeeding." On the flip side, because it's so sturdy, it provides unparalleled support, and there's zero back or shoulder strain, which is a major benefit. There is a legion of customers who love this bra, so if the double clasp access doesn't scare you off, give it a try.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Double clip access—one for nursing, one for pumping
  • Size Range: Small–XXXL Busty
  • Material: Nylon-spandex blend
  • Adjustments: Adjustable straps, hook-and-eye back closure, plus additional bra extender included
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash, line dry
08 of 16

Best Bra for Large Breasts: Kindred Bravely Sublime Nursing Sports Bra

Nursing Bra
Kindred Bravely

View at Kindred Bravely ($45)

Also available at Amazon and Nordstrom

Why We Like It: The bra is available in a lot of unique color options, including some ombre styles, so it looks kinda cool peeking out from a shirt.

But Take Note: This is meant for low-impact activities and will not provide enough support for larger breasts doing high-impact activities.

The pullover racerback bra looks sporty and comes in a wide range of sleek colors, including some on-trend ombre picks. While this pick is considered a sports bra and will work for larger breast sizes, it's best to use only for low-impact exercises. If you're planning on running or doing other high-impact exercises, this bra won't provide enough support for larger breasts. Our tester agreed, and also felt that the bra stretched out a bit after a couple of wears.

If you like a pullover racerback bra, you'll have no issues with its shape, but if you are used to a back clasp, you may miss that adjustable feature. You can adjust the fit on the shoulder straps in the front, however.

For nursing access, there are clips on either side that make it easy to get your breasts out. Moisture-wicking fabric is helpful for leaks, sweat, or any combo of the two! This pick is recommended for extra support around the house or any low impact exercises, which can be a beneficial way to get your postpartum body moving again.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Nursing clips for easy access
  • Size Range: Small–XXL Busty
  • Material: Nylon-spandex blend
  • Adjustments: Adjustable sliders in the front straps
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash, line dry
09 of 16

Best Pull-Down Style: Bodily So Easy Bra

Nursing Bra
Bodily

View at Bodily ($45)

Why We Like It: There's no telltale signs of this being a nursing bra, so if it fits, use it as a bralette after you've weaned your baby.

But Take Note: Those with larger breasts may find this bra is not sturdy and supportive enough to use beyond bedtime or around the house.

Our testers praised pull-down styles as having the easiest access, and this bra provides easy access with a comfortable fit. Our tester shared that she felt the lightweight "material is stretchy, comfortable, and forgiving."

While this bra may work for those with smaller breasts, more well-endowed people may not feel supported enough by this choice. Additionally, the pull-down aspect makes it so your entire breast is exposed, which may make more modest folks uncomfortable.

The lightweight fabric is made with aloe vera-infused nylon. While this makes for a lightweight material, our tester didn't mention any benefit from the infusion, so it's hard to say if it is a worthwhile addition. Available in three sizes and three colors, the almond/black color combo is the chicest and will look at home in any lingerie drawer, after your baby has weaned.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Pull down
  • Size Range: Small, Medium, Large
  • Material: Aloe vera-infused nylon and elastane blend
  • Adjustments: None
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low delicate
10 of 16

Best Sports Bra: Ingrid + Isabel Seamless Nursing Sports Bra

Nursing Bra
Ingrid & Isabel

View at Ingrid+Isabel ($46)

Also available at Amazon and Nordstrom

Why We Like It: Unlike some sports bras that squeeze too much, this one is both supportive and super comfortable.

But Take Note: This bra is made for medium impact.

Our tester raved that this was the most comfortable bra out of all the nursing bras she tested. Spoken like a true tired mom, she "wore it through multiple physical activities, going out for the day, and it was so comfortable, I forgot I was wearing it to bed multiple nights."

Crafted like a racerback sports bra, this pick is appropriate for medium-impact activities, but might not cut it if you want to run or do other high-impact exercises. The bra pulls on overhead, so there are no back clasps for adjustment. The shoulder straps are adjustable and can be tightened for additional support.

The full-coverage bra has front hook access for breastfeeding. Our tester noted that when you pull down the flap, "it exposes most of your breast." Folks who are more modest or will be breastfeeding in public may want to keep that in mind.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Front hook access
  • Size Range: XS–XL
  • Material: Polyamide, polyester, and elastane blend
  • Adjustments: Shoulder straps are adjustable
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low
11 of 16

Best Seamless: Kindred Bravely Ultra Comfort Smooth Classic Nursing Bra

Nursing Bra
Kindred Bravely

View at Kindred Bravely ($45)

Also available at Amazon and Nordstrom

Why We Like It: This lightweight bra provides a smooth fit, which looks flattering under fitted clothing.

But Take Note: The light padding in the bra is not sewn in, so it tends to bunch up when the cups are open for nursing.

Our testers praised this bra as a "no-fuss, quality nursing bra." While not super exciting, it fits well, supports your breasts, and does provide a smooth fit with a seamless look, so it's an excellent option for tighter tops. Available in two colors, this bra may not be a thrilling option, but is a handy workhorse that's comfortable and easy to wear.

The smooth fabric feels good on your skin, and front nursing clips make boob access a cinch. We like that there are lots of adjustable features on this one; both the back hook-and-eye and the sliders on the strap help you get a perfect fit. If you're wearing a tank top, this bra helpfully converts into a racerback style.

Our tester did find that the light padding is not secured into the bra, so it moved and bunched a bit when the cups were down for feeding. Also, she found the band rides up a bit under the cups.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: Front nursing clips
  • Size Range: Small–XXL Busty
  • Material: Polyamide-spandex blend
  • Adjustments: Adjustable strap sliders, hook-and-eye back closure, converts to racerback style
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash, line dry
12 of 16

Best Underwire: On Gossamer Mesh Convertible Nursing Bra

Nursing Bra
On Gossamer

View at Amazon ($18)

Also available at Ingrid + Isabel

Why We Like It: This underwire bra provides more support and a customizable fit, thanks to the cup and strap sizing along with convertible straps.

But Take Note: Because of the underwire and mesh, this bra needs to be hand washed.

Fans of underwire bras will appreciate this chic and simple bra that is comfortable, relatively affordable, and looks stylish. Underwire bras offer a lot of support and can help create a flattering shape by lifting and separating the breasts. Some women prefer them, while others are happy to banish them outright. It's all a personal preference, but if you want to try an underwire nursing bra, this is a great starting point.

Our tester is "a huge fan of underwire bras" and found "this was far superior" to others. "The main reason is the fit." This bra fits well with no gaps, no spillover, and the breathable mesh fabric is comfortable and soft.

For breastfeeding access, the one-handed clasps are easy to use. Since it's mesh fabric, there's no bulk when you open up the bra to feed your little one. The only drawbacks our tester found were that the fabric in the back was a little itchy, and the bra needs to be hand washed, so it's not as easy to clean as others that can be tossed in the laundry pile.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: One-handed clasps on straps
  • Size Range: 32B–38F
  • Material: 100% nylon
  • Adjustable: Adjustable shoulder straps, hook-and-eye back closure
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash
13 of 16

Best Lace: Cosabella Never Say Never Maternity Mommie Nursing Bralette

Nursing Bra
Cosabella

View at Amazon ($79)

Also available at Motherhood

Why We Like It: A beautiful bra made from quality lace, this is worth the splurge to make you feel good.

But Take Note: It runs small and needs to be hand-washed.

If you're a fan of Cosabella's popular lace bralette, you'll likely enjoy adding this pick to your lingerie collection. For others, it may be a bit of a challenging splurge. Our tester found the bralette style comfortable, and it does provide some support. "If you have to flash a bit of bra in public to breastfeed, it's absolutely beautiful," she said.

The lovely lace is available in four sizes and 12 showstopping colors. If you're between sizes, our tester recommends sizing up. She also shared that to get more support, she often "pulled the straps on the tightest setting," but by midday they would need adjusting.

Tired new moms may not appreciate that this lace bra needs to be hand washed, so it also becomes an investment in time and money.

The Details:

  • Type of Access: One-handed clasps on straps
  • Size Range: S–XL
  • Material: Polyamide-elastane blend lace; cotton-elastane blend lining; cotton, polyester, and elastane cup
  • Adjustments: Adjustable straps
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash
14 of 16

Our Testing Process

Kindred Bravely Davy Nursing Pajama Set
kindredbravely.com

Our team of three testers wore a variety of nursing bras for a brief time (three hours), an extended time (eight hours), during at least three different feedings, and through half an hour of physical activity. While wearing the bras, they took notes in a variety of categories including comfort, fit, access, and support. Finally, they all answered the same questions for each bra tested, so that every bra was judged on the same criteria.

15 of 16

Factors to Consider When Buying a Nursing Bra

Pregnant Woman with Shopping Bags
Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Fit & Size

Finding the right fit may take a bit of trial and error.

"Rib band size and bust measurement should be taken into consideration when purchasing a pumping and/or nursing bra," lactation consultant Agi says. "Tight-fitting bras and bras with underwire should be avoided as they can contribute to plugged ducts, especially during the postpartum period as milk supply is regulating and breast size is fluctuating."

Look for bras that are comfortable and stretchy to accommodate varying breast size. Just like your baby will grow and change, so will your bra needs. It's better not to purchase a lot of one type as you may find your needs change.

"I usually measure according to the manufacturer's instructions, but still end up either ordering multiple sizes from the get-go to compare or exchanging for a different size," mom Samantha Hutten tells us. "I still haven't mastered the art of figuring out my bra size."

Access

The goal of nursing bras is easy access to the breast. There are a few different styles of bras to consider:

  • Clasp down: These bras have small clasps on the shoulder straps that open flaps to expose the breast and nipple. Most can be opened one-handed, and the level of modesty depends on the bra. This type usually provides more support to the breast, especially when the clasps are closed.
  • Pull down: This style is clasp free, so you just pull part of the bra down to expose the breast and nipple. While this style may be easier, it also can expose more of the breast and may provide less support for bigger breasts.
  • Pumping bra: Bras made exclusively for pumping have cut-out areas that allow you to insert the pump shields and support them hands-free. Each style is a bit different, but most retailers have photos or even videos demonstrating how the bra and pump work together.
  • Combination: Some bras are made to alternate between pumping and nursing. While this can be a benefit to some parents, it can also mean the bra is made with extra layers of fabric, which could be a drawback.

Underwire

Many lactation specialists and professionals recommend nursing parents avoid underwire bras during the initial postpartum period. Wire-free bras are often softer and more comfortable, which is great when you may be awake and asleep at all hours of the day and night. If you feel more comfortable in an underwire bra, make the transition slowly by wearing it for a few hours a day until you can build up to longer stretches. The goal is to avoid a tight bra or have the underwire push against a duct, leading to a clog or infection. Mastitis is most common in the first six months of breastfeeding, so if you're past that milestone, an underwire bra may be fine.

Materials

A bra is so close to your skin that it should be breathable and comfortable. "Any bra that is going to be worn during the postpartum period should be made of material that washes well, like cotton or nylon," Agi says. "Between leaky breasts, increased sweat from hormonal imbalances, and baby spit up, these bras are going to be washed a lot."

You may also want a bra made of durable material that you can throw into the washing machine (and even the dryer!). Check the care instructions before buying if this is important to you. Always wash a new bra prior to wearing it.

Style

Find a style that is comfortable and fits your life. While it may be sad to give up lacy and beautiful lingerie, know that this phase is temporary. As your body regulates and your breast size and supply even out, you may be able to find a bra that fits both your preferred style and new way of life.

"When my sons were newborn, the really soft ones were my favorite [because of] sore, cracked nipples, [and] engorgement," Hutton says. "When I went back to work, I tried to get some nicer ones that provided a little more shape instead of a uniboob."

Be sure to wear the right bra for your activity. If you're exercising, wear a sports bra. If you're sleeping, wear a sleep bra. Your future breasts will thank you.

16 of 16

Your Questions, Answered

Natori Hidden Glamour Maternity Bra
natori.com

When is the best time to buy nursing bras? It's fine to buy a nursing bra before you deliver, but if possible, wait until near the end of your pregnancy. At that point, your body will have grown, but be prepared for your breasts to get bigger once your milk comes in. If you want to plan ahead, purchase sleep bras or other types that are soft, stretchy, and have room to expand into. Once the baby arrives and your breast size regulates, you'll know if you want a sleep bra, sports bra, or everyday bra that can accommodate your new nursing or pumping lifestyle.

Should you go up a cup size in a nursing bra? This depends on the style and fit of the bra, so read user reviews and check the brand's size guide. During breastfeeding or pumping, breast size can fluctuate from early morning before feeds to the afternoon when you've been nursing all day. "A bra that molds to the changing shape of the breasts is ideal," Agi says.

Who We Are

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's also the mom of a 12-year-old son, 9-year-old son, and 5-year old daughter. She breastfed all three of her kids and wore a wide range of nursing bras through that experience. After the initial newborn phase, Maya did prefer underwire bras for the support they provided. She probably still has a comfy sleep bra lingering in her pajama drawer.

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