Underwire vs. Wireless Bra: What is Better?

Chris Ondatje June 11, 2021
Thre young girls wearing sports bras resting in the gym



Whether you’re taking Zoom calls in your home office or you’re out on a hike, you want a bra that provides support without cramping your style or pinching your skin.

But the reality is that we’ve all worn an uncomfortable bra. In fact, the very garments that are supposed to make life easier can actually cause back, neck, and shoulder pain.1 

So, when it comes to maximizing comfort, which is better—underwire or wireless bras? [We’ll give you a hint with three words...wireless bamboo bras.]

In this short guide, we’ll break down the differences between these two types of bras so you can find your perfect fit.

Woman wearing blue wired bra

The Truth About Underwire

Underwire bras more closely match the whalebone enhanced bras of the past. They are created by sewing pieces of wire, plastic, or other hard material into the underside of the bra cup.2 This material provides shapes and support. Instead of their natural shape, your breast shape gains a more uniform, rounded appearance from the molded cups.

Is that a good thing? It all depends on your desired look—and your comfort level!

Pros of a Bra with Underwire

Despite their potential discomfort, the wired bra still has many fans. For some, it's about habit. For others, the shaping of the contoured cups and the security of an underwire bra are must-haves.

The pros that keep fans coming back are the underwire bra style include:

  • Great support, especially for a larger bust (a push-up bra is a good example of this)
  • Prevention from chafing
  • Shaping and lifting
bamboo bra

Cons of a Bra with Underwire

One reason why more women are turning to wireless bras? The well-known negatives involved wire bra options.

  • Underwire bras are famously uncomfortable
  • They include materials that are bad for the environment, such as plastic
  • You often pay a premium in exchange for getting pinched

Maybe you’ve been told that you need a bra with an underwire for support and you’ve accepted the discomfort that comes with it. Or perhaps, if you have a fuller bust, you find your back aching if you wear a wireless bra.

The truth is the style may not be the problem. The likely cause of your discomfort is a poorly fitting bra.

So, what's the alternative to the underwire bra? Let’s take a closer look at wireless bras.

Cutting the Wire

More and more people are embracing wireless, and we don’t just mean your internet connection! 

The first bra made without the confinement and discomfort of whalebones and wires was created around 1910.3 While the idea has been around for a while, the technology has improved quite a bit in the last century.

In 2020, wireless bra sales increased by at least five percent.4

Today’s bras are made only of fabric and elastic materials. They don’t contain any wires or hard plastic pieces. Instead, the state-of-the-art fabrics and weaving provide a close, supportive fit.  

Two blue wireless bras

Pros of Wireless Bras

Non wired bra benefits include the following:

  • Comfort – When it comes to the comfort of a wired vs wireless bra, there’s no comparison.
  • Eco-friendliness – Wireless bras can be made of sustainable materials. Bye-bye, plastic!
  • Diversity – Today’s wireless bras are available in many sizes, styles, and colors. There are non-wired bra styles such as the sports bra, minimizer bra, t-shirt bra, bandeau bra, and more.
  • Affordability With fewer components and inputs, wireless bras are often less expensive. As an added bonus, they’re easier to care for, which can help them last longer.

Sounds good, right? The only potential downsides are a different shape than the one you’re used to. But keep in mind that today’s wireless bras can include padded cups and push up bra styles, too.

Even if you previously thought you could only get the support and comfort you needed from an everyday wear underwire bra, it’s time to check out the new wireless bras on the market. You’ll be surprised by the quality and comfort you find.

Underwire vs. No Underwire: What Type of Bra is Best for Everyday Use?

The best bra for everyday use is the one that fits your comfort and style needs. The most important factor when finding the perfect everyday bra is fit.

If your bra fits, it’s going to be more comfortable. And as we’ve argued, you shouldn’t be in pain because of your bra!

However, as more women discover, wireless bras are often far more comfortable than their underwire cousins. The right wireless bra can meet your everyday needs. Shop for a product with eco-friendly materials so you can do right by your body and the environment.

Learn how to wash bras and how to store bras correctly so that you can keep your bras in working order for as long as possible!

Boody: Wireless Bras for All Shapes and Sizes

After reading through these wire free bra benefits, we bet you’re ready to cut the underwired bra.

At Boody, we’re committed to women's bras that give you support-all in an environmentally friendly package. Our computer-knitted wire-free bra styles don't just cut out underwire they're also made without clasps, hooks, or seams of any kind.

Crafted from sustainably grown bamboo viscose, our bras and bralette styles are form-hugging and soft at the same time. Shop our selection and say goodbye to your painful bras once and for all.

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.


  1. WebMD. Back Pain: Women Often Blame Their Bra.
  2. Bra Theory. Bra Theory 101: What Purpose Does An Underwire Serve In An Underwire Bra?
  3. Good Housekeeping. The Evolution of the Bra.
  4. Vox. The Pandemic Didn’t Kill the Bra.

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