Wireless bras — also called wire-free bras — are exactly what they sound like: bras without an underwire. They’re more structured than bralettes, but less so than wired bras, and ideal for busts of all sizes. Finding one, however, can take some trial-and-error, especially if you have a larger chest.
Below, we spoke to experts about how to shop for wireless bras and what to know before buying one. NBC Select staffers also tried a handful of wireless bras across styles for a month to narrow down our favorite options.
SKIP AHEAD The best wireless bras to shop
How we picked the best wireless bras
Experts recommend keeping the following factors in mind while shopping for wireless bras.
- Color and style: Wireless bras come in a variety of colors and patterns, and different necklines with varying amounts of coverage. Think about what style you’ll feel most comfortable in and what aligns best with your wardrobe.
- Band: 90% of a bra’s support comes from its band, so pay extra close attention to it while shopping, says Jené Luciani Sena, a bra expert and style consultant who authored “The Bra Book.” Bands that measure at least two inches wide are the most supportive, and wider bands best anchor themselves to your ribcage, preventing them from flipping up while you’re wearing the bra, she says.
- Material: Support depends partly on the fabric. Stretchy materials like lycra and spandex offer less support than more restrictive options like nylon, says Laura Tempesta, a bra expert and founder of Bravolution. If you have a smaller chest, fabric may not make much of a difference to you. But if you have a larger chest, it’s best to prioritize non-stretch fabrics — they’re more compressive and stabilizing, so there’s less bouncing and shifting of the bust while you’re moving around.
- Straps: Wider straps offer more lift and overall support compared to thinner straps, says Tempesta. Also keep in mind that stretchier straps can cause breasts to sag, whereas stiffer straps lift breasts up.
- Adjustability: An adjustable band and straps allow you to customize a wireless bra’s fit to your body, making it look and feel like it’s made for you, says Tempesta. Wireless bras that aren’t adjustable whatsoever usually have the most relaxed, unstructured fit — they may work for those with smaller chests, but usually not those with larger chests, our experts say.
- Closure: Many wireless bras have an adjustable hook-and-eye closure, but you may prefer the convenience of a pullover style. Bras can also clasp in the front, which some find easier since you don’t have to reach around your back for access.
- Cups: To shape the bust, wireless bras are usually designed with cups that have foam padding, either built-in or removable. A bra without padding is considered unlined and embraces the natural shape of the breasts.
- Size: Wireless bras are sold in alpha sizes — meaning small, medium, large, etc. — or sizes based on your band and cup sizes. Brands often have charts to help you find the right size, which experts recommend checking before purchasing.
- Return policy: No one wants to get stuck with a bra that doesn’t fit, so research a brand or retailer’s return policy before making a purchase. Doing so tells you how long you have to decide if you’re keeping it.
How we tried wireless bras
After consulting experts and researching wireless bras, we chose over a dozen models for NBC Select staffers to try for about a month. Brands sent us bras across sizes and styles, which we evaluated based on factors like size, fit, comfort, adjustability, support and coverage.
The best wireless bras to shop
Ultimately, the right wireless bra for you comes down to personal preference, and finding one you love may take time. To kickstart your search, here are the best wireless bras based on our reviews and expert guidance.
Nikki Brown, NBC Select SEO editor, and I have worn Knix’s Revolution V-neck bra repeatedly since receiving it. Its 3D-printed fabric stabilizers add support, according to the brand, and Brown especially loves the fabric. “It’s stretchy yet resilient, and super smooth underneath clothes,” she says. Brown is equally fond of the straps — they lay flat without digging into her skin, plus, they’re neither too narrow nor wide, so she can wear it with a variety of shirts, including tank tops.
While the bra’s pads are removable, they’re essential if you’re wearing a tight or form-fitting top, according to Brown. “Without them, your breasts may look flattened,” she says. “But if your main priority is comfort, this bra feels just as amazing without them.”
Adjustability: Straps and band | Material: Nylon and lycra | Closure: Hook-and-eye | Cups: Removable pads | Size range: XS to XXXXL++
Knix iterated on its original Revolution wireless bra by designing this scoop-neck version you pull over your head instead of clasping in the back. According to Brown, the band is unforgiving when first worn, but gets less rigid with more wear and time. It has many of the same features we enjoy about the Revolution V-Neck bra, like smooth fabric, straps that lay flat and removable pads. But since it has a higher neckline, Brown says this bra is best for wearing with T-shirts or by itself around the house.
Adjustability: Straps | Material: Spandex and nylon | Closure: Pullover | Cups: Removable pads | Size range: XS to XXXXL++
“This bra gives me all the support of a wired bra without any of the annoying discomfort, and I never feel like I need to take it off at the end of the day,” says NBC Select updates editor Mili Godio. “Some days, I literally have to force myself to use other bras.” She finds taking Spanx’s wireless bra on and off easy thanks to its front closure, and says its stretchy back band hugs her curves without feeling restrictive. Plus, it gives her a light but noticeable lift.
Adjustability: None | Material: Nylon and elastane | Closure: Front | Cups: Lined | Size range: 30 to 38, C to DD | Care: Hand wash
Out of all the wireless bras I tried, this one gives me the most lift and the roundest shape, especially underneath form-fitting tops.The cups contour to my chest and offer light compression, holding everything in place and preventing sag. Plus, there’s plenty of coverage on the tops and sides, yet the V-neckline is deep enough that I can wear the bra with lower cut shirts or dresses.
Adjustability: Straps and band | Material: Nylon and spandex | Closure: Hook-and-eye closure | Cups: Lined | Size range: 34 to 40, C to G
As someone with a larger bust, Rosalie Tinelli, NBC Select senior social media editor, says unsupportive bras often cause back pain. According to Lori Kaplan, professional bra fitter and founder/owner of Bra Tenders, this typically happens when the band rides up between the shoulder blades and unevenly distributes weight on the chest, or when overly tight straps put pressure on the shoulders, neck and back.
Thankfully, Tinelli doesn’t experience any discomfort while wearing Truekind’s wireless bra, thanks in part to convertible straps that can be worn in multiple different ways, like straight, cross-back or over one shoulder. Plus, the sweetheart neckline gives her a little cleavage.
Its longline style causes the band to extend a few inches down the ribcage, so I like to wear the bra with flowy shirts or oversized sweaters and high-waisted pants — it acts as a bra and undershirt of sorts.
Adjustability: Straps and band | Material: Nylon and spandex | Closure: Hook-and-eye | Cups: Lined | Size range: S to XXXXL
Minimizer bras, according to Kaplan, push breast tissue down rather than up, and distribute weight across the chest rather than forward, reducing the projection of the bust.
Spanx’s wireless minimizer does exactly that when Tinelli and I wear it. It holds our busts in place and reduces bounce, plus makes our chests appear and feel flatter under shirts. The bra has cushioned straps that never move around, and the two small cutouts between the cups allow air to pass through them, making the undergarment breathable and particularly comfortable in warm weather. My favorite part of the bra is its thick, rigid band. It gives me a little lift and shape, and stays flush against my ribcage all day.
Adjustability: Straps and band | Material: Nylon and elastane | Closure: Hook-and-eye | Cups: Unlined | Size range: 32 to 42, C to G
Beyond its extensive size range — which even includes half cup sizes like A ½ and E ½ — the soft and smooth fabric of Third Love’s wireless bra won me over. If I’m spending time at home, running errands or casually hanging out with friends, I’ll throw this bra on and wear it for hours. It gives me a light lift, but since the cups don’t offer any compression, they very gently shape my chest. Because of that, I prefer more structured wireless bras when I’m wearing tight tops.
Adjustability: Straps and band | Material: Nylon, spandex and polyester | Closure: Hook-and-eye closure | Cups: Lined | Size range: 30 to 44, A to G (including half cup sizes)
Eby’s wireless bra is made with SoftWire, a piece of proprietary “wireless-underwire” that shapes, supports and lifts the chest, as well as a layer of 3D fabric in the band that adds structure to the undergarment, according to the brand. It reminds me of Knix’s Revolution bra, except it’s less compressive, has a more relaxed fit and uses fabric with a silky finish. There are also wings on the cups that help prevent side spillage, which I appreciate as someone with a larger chest.
Adjustability: Straps and band | Material: Nylon and spandex | Closure: Hook-and-eye closure | Cups: Lined | Size range: XS to XLDD
If you frequently wear clothing with low necklines, this bra — made by one of our favorite woman-owned businesses — is worth the investment, in our opinion. It has a plunge cut and shallow cups, which means you get less top coverage, but don’t have to worry about your bra peeking out of tops. The cups are sturdy and on the more rigid side, giving my chest a consistent rounded look under clothing. However, they’re not compressive, which I find makes my torso look wide. The bra’s band extends down my ribcage so I always feel lifted, and it stays anchored to my body all day.
Adjustability: Straps and band | Material: Nylon and spandex | Closure: Hook-and-eye closure | Cups: Lined | Size range: 30 to 40, AB to CD
This wireless bra borders bralette territory due to its soft, stretchy fit, but its knit fabric is surprisingly compressive, which I find helps stabilize my chest. Godio says the fabric is also lightweight and breathable. “I honestly forget I even have a bra on,” she says. True & Co’s wireless bra is designed with a wide band that stays secure to my ribcage so it never flips up, but it gives me a lighter lift and less shaping compared to some of the other wireless bras I tried. Because of this, I feel most comfortable wearing the bra around the house or under casual, loose tops.
I tried the scoop neck option, while Godio tried the V-neck bra. Both styles offer plenty of coverage, in our experience.
Adjustability: Straps | Material: Nylon and elastane | Closure: Pullover | Cups: Removable pads | Size range: XS to XXXL
Meet our experts
At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Jené Luciani Sena is a bra expert and style consultant who authored “The Bra Book.”
- Laura Tempesta is a bra expert and founder of Bravolution.
- Lori Kaplan is the founder and owner of Bra Tenders, a bra fitting salon and retail store in New York City. She’s been a professional bra fitter for over 45 years.
- Melissa Garrick is the vice president divisional merchandise manager of women’s ready-to-wear, swim and outerwear at Saks Off Fifth.
Why trust NBC Select?
Zoe Malin is an associate updates editor at NBC Select who writes about apparel and footwear like sports bras, bralettes, slippers, running sneakers and more. For this article, she interviewed four experts about wireless bras and how to shop for them. She also coordinated NBC Select staff reviews of wireless bras to recommend the best options on the market.