Should You Wear a Bra to Bed?
By: Daisy Hemmen
Everyone has their own sleep preferences—chilled or warm rooms, blankets or duvets, fetal or supine positions, bamboo pajamas or sweats.
But what about lingerie? Should you wear a bra to bed? Is that even okay to do?
It turns out, the answer is beyond a simple yes or no. When it comes to our women's eco-friendly bras that are built for comfort and ease, the answer may be yes.
Wearing a bra in bed depends on your physical needs and comfort, which are unique to you. To discover what’s right for your body, let’s explore all factors that influence nightly lingerie choices.
Is It Okay to Sleep with a Bra?
First—is it safe to wear a bra in bed at all?
If you fear long-term damage from wearing bras overnight, rest easy. Zero medical studies say that sleeping in a bra will harm your overall health—no cancer, disease, or stunted growth in store.1
In fact, wearing a bra at night may actually help with certain breast health concerns, such as:
- Hormonal changes in size
- Painful lumps
- Breastfeeding pain
- Back or shoulder pain
However—while a normal bra can minimize breast sagging during the day, sleeping with a bra does not prevent sagging.2 When lying down, gravity simply doesn’t have the same pull on your breast tissue and internal ligaments. If you’re wearing a sleep bra purely in hopes to prevent sagging breast, feel free to take it off.
Who Should Consider Wearing a Bra in Bed?
Just like the daytime, every person has different lingerie needs at night. Your average bra wearer may not need any supportive garments while sleeping. However, certain women are more likely to show symptoms that a bra in bed could soothe.
If you fall into any of these categories, a bra might add some comfort while sleeping:
- Pregnant women – During pregnancy, hormonal changes can change the size, shape, and sensitivity of your breasts. A nighttime bra can ease this physical transformation, providing support to growing or swollen breast tissue.
- Lactating women – At night, lactating breasts can ache, swell, or even leak. A supportive and flexible maternity bra reduces breast pain and can hold nursing pads in place to prevent any spillage.
Larger breasts – For those with bigger bustlines, nighttime bras might make the difference between a restless and peaceful night of sleep. That extra support can take away joint and muscle pain, as well as any extreme sagging sensation caused by larger breasts.
- Breast implants – Particularly post-breast surgery, breast implants need a decent amount of protection. In fact, sleeping with a soft yet supportive bra can keep breast implants lifted for longer periods.
Wearing a Bra to Bed—Possible Side Effects
To repeat, wearing a bra while sleeping won’t create long-term health issues (brush aside those breast cancer rumors). However, you might experience some negative side effects with a poorly fit, uncomfortable, or dirty bra at night.
If you see notice of these symptoms when sleeping in a bra, consider changing your nighttime uniform:3
- Poor circulation
- Rashes or infections
- Skin irritation or pigmentation
- Acid reflux
- Disrupted sleep
What Kinds of Bras Work for Sleep?
Try as we might, no perfect bra exists. Different bra types exist for different purposes, from flexible athletic bras to formal strapless bras. And at night, certain bras will definitely support your sleep better than others.
Overall, sleep bras should be comfortable, stretchy, yet supportive. Start by looking for these qualities in your nighttime bra:3
Underwire-free – In most molded or padded bras, you’ll find an underwired bra lining the base of each cup. While this structure helps support your breasts during the day, it will not be a very comfortable bra at night. For sleep-ready bras, look for underwire-free designs.
- Hookless – Similar to underwire, hooks or clasps on your bra can disturb your sleep or leave skin indentations. Go for full-band bras with zero clasps in the front or back.
- Soft & breathable fabric – Sleep is not the time to worry about glamour. Leave behind any heavy or ultra-padded bras, and opt for a breathable, soft bra or bralette fabric. Cotton, lycra, or bamboo viscose (like Boody’s sustainable bras) are great options.
- Form-fitting – The purpose of a sleeping bra is support—so you’ll need one that properly fits. Your bra should leave zero indentations or marks on the skin, but still support your breasts while lying down. When wondering how to know if a bra fits, learn how to measure your bra size.
- Clean – At night, it’s easy to let little chores slide to the side. But there’s one you can’t avoid—cleaning your bra. Wearing a dirty bra at night is much worse than wearing none at all. Unclean bras can cause bacterial or fungal infection (or at least a bad smell).
Should I Wear A Bra to Bed?
So, should you sleep in a bra or should you be sleeping braless? The answer is—trust your body.
Sleeping in a bra comes down to comfort level. If a bra or bralette helps your sleep, then go for it! If it worsens or doesn’t change your sleep quality, then leave bras for daytime. Either way, the choice is personal to you.
If curious about wearing a bra in bed, Boody has your back (and front). Flexible yet ribbed fabric creates the perfect support level, whether in bed, on the street, or somewhere in between. Have an upcoming trip planned and wondering how to pack bras? We can help with that too. Visit our website today!
About the author:
Daisy Hemmen is a San Diego State University Fowler College of Business alumni. Based in Encinitas, California, Daisy is a part of the marketing team at Boody North America. She is passionate about learning the ins and outs of living a happy and healthy lifestyle that benefits both people and the planet, and enjoys sharing her bountiful findings with the community.
- Norris, R. Curious If it's Okay to Sleep in a Bra? OBGYN's Explain. https://www.byrdie.com/is-it-bad-to-sleep-in-a-bra-5025199
- Mulvey, K. Is It Bad to Wear a Bra to Bed? Not Necessarily. https://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/breast-health/is-it-bad-to-wear-bra-to-sleep
- Perez, M. Is Sleeping in a Bra Bad For You? Here’s What You Should Know. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/sleeping-in-bra
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What is Organic Cotton?
By: Heather Bien We’re all trying to be better stewards of Mother Earth. From recycling to upcycling and eating conscientiously to dressing mindfully, our choices affect the planet. So choosing organic cotton clothing seems like an easy decision, right? Not so fast! As with all sustainable choices, it’s important to take a moment to learn a bit more about why organic cotton might win over conventional cotton—and what makes these two materials different in the first place. Read on if you’re interested in learning about organic cotton and whether it’s the best choice for you and the environment. Conventional cotton Before we get into debating modern cotton farming techniques, let’s get familiar with the plant we’re talking about: cotton. It’s soft, durable, and probably on your body right now. But what else do you really know about cotton? Here are the basics: Cotton comes from the cotton plant – The cotton plant is a warm-season woody perennial shrub from the genus Gossypium and the family Malvaceae. Cotton fabric is made from the plant’s fibrous seed-hair (which is also called a cotton boll). Cotton is one of the top agricultural crops – Traditional cotton is the most widespread and profitable non-food crop in the world. Although the plant is capable of growing in any warm-weather climate, India and China are now the top producers of cotton globally. Cotton is thirsty – A normal cotton plant requires 10 gallons of water to reach peak potential. That doesn’t sound so bad, but multiplying it outward, that means it takes about 5,000 gallons of water to produce just 2.2 pounds of cotton fabric. Pests think it’s delicious – Not only is cotton thirsty, but it’s prone to pest infestations from bollworms, weevils, aphids, stink bugs, thrips, and spider mites. In order to combat these common pests, conventional cotton is routinely sprayed with a veritable salad-dressing of pesticides, many of which can remain in the soil and water supply for years afterward. Cotton harvesting requires defoliation – In order to quickly and efficiently harvest cotton, many commercial growers use chemical defoliants to strip the leaves from the cotton plant prior to harvesting the bolls. Like pesticides, these chemicals remain in the environment and on the cotton itself. Is organic cotton better? All of those cotton factoids point pretty compellingly to buying and wearing organic cotton fabric. But first, it’s important to understand what sets this organic alternative apart. Why exactly is “organic” cotton anyway? You might associate the word organic with your healthy fruits and veggies, but it’s not always clear what this term means when it comes to cotton. For many years, there was not a standard definition, but today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require that any cotton product labeled “organic” meet the following criteria: Made with fibers from USDA-certified organic crops Third-party certified (ie., through the Global Organic Textile Standard) under the National Organic Program standards Has a specific percentage of organic material (depending on the crop) But this definition is a little circular, so we need also to define USDA-certified organic crops. According to the USDA, organic crop standards are defined as follows: Land must have had no prohibited substances applied to it for at least three years before the harvest of an organic crop. Soil fertility and crop nutrients will be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations, and cover crops. These can be supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials. Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices, including physical, mechanical, and biological controls. When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List may be used. Operations must use organic seeds and other planting stock when available. The use of genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge is prohibited. What is organic cotton? In short, it’s cotton that is farmed according to these practices and certified organic by the USDA. Why should you choose organic cotton? With fewer pesticides, fewer synthetic chemicals, and more thoughtful cultivation practices, organic cotton can certainly offer a more environmentally friendly choice when compared to regular cotton. Is organic cotton sustainable? Here are a few other reasons why organic cotton can be a better alternative for you and the earth: It’s better for our water resources – According to an analysis by the Textile Exchange, producing an organic cotton T-shirt requires 1,982 fewer gallons of water compared to a regular cotton T-shirt. Because organic cotton uses less chemicals, its production also releases fewer toxins into our aquatic ecosystems. It’s good for the soil (and our carbon footprint) – According to the Soil Association, the more natural cultivation practices and fewer pesticides used by organic cotton farmers can support healthier soil. That soil, in turn, can absorb more carbon from our atmosphere and help keep the planet healthy. It encourages biodiversity – Multiple studies have shown that organic farming practices can encourage more diversity among the animal species of our planet. Sustainability is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. But when it comes to plant-derived textiles, the ones which help us create a healthier world are always a better alternative. Explore the benefits of bamboo with Boody Whether you choose to purchase conventional or organic cotton clothing, the fact that you are shopping mindfully for yourself is a win for the environment. At Boody, we believe in bringing you quality, comfy, sustainable clothing basics that keep you feeling good about yourself and your personal impact on Mother Earth. From our sleepwear to our loungewear, women’s bamboo shirts to our underwear, sustainable and ethical are our touchstones. Our clothing is made of bamboo viscose, requiring less water than cotton while putting precious oxygen back into the environment. That just feels good, doesn’t it? Explore the bamboo benefits today, with Boody. Sources: Britannica. Cotton. https://www.britannica.com/topic/cotton-fibre-and-plant Cotton. The Story of Cotton - Where Cotton Grows. https://www.cotton.org/pubs/cottoncounts/story/where.cfm World Wildlife Federation. Cotton. https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton Textile Exchange. Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. https://textileexchange.org/quick-guide-to-organic-cotton Soil Association. What is organic cotton? https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organic-living/fashion-textiles/organic-cotton/ USDA. Conservation and Biological Diversity in Organic Production. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/02/29/conservation-and-biological-diversity-organic-production About the Author: Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.