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Wearing bras is in itself an innately uncomfortable experience. And if you have arthritis or any other sort of shoulder pain, this discomfort only multiplies. If you’re one of them, you will understand the following things more than anyone else will. Due to shoulder or back pain, wearing regular bras is a big no, yet doing away with one altogether isn’t an option.
And more often than not, it is not just shoulder pain; but neck, back and chest pain too. By the end of the day of wearing a bra, your ribs and shoulders may feel like they are on fire, and even a bra that may have felt comfortable in the morning feels like a torture device. There is less consideration among mainstream brands while shopping for a bra for shoulder pain.
There are a few brands that offer bras that are easier to manoeuvre when you have such shoulder or back discomfort, although not designed explicitly for the same. But that does not mean you have to make any compromises. We will help you find the best bra for shoulder pain by guiding you through some features that you should look for in a bra to minimize pain and also list our top picks. Read on!
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Pain-Minimizing Factors To Look For
Brands rarely specify if their bra is shoulder-friendly or not, and finding ones designed specifically for the purpose is even rarer! Most bras just promise full coverage and support without mentioning how kind it is to your shoulders. Worry not, as we have picked these four important features of a bra that can significantly minimize any pain that may be caused otherwise.
- The Dangerous Territory Of Straps: The straps are arguably the most important aspect when it comes to finding a bra if you are suffering from shoulder pain. The straps make direct contact with your shoulders and are also responsible for distributing the weight. If you have fuller breasts, then stay as far away as you can from thinner straps as they will dig into your skin and cause pain. Thicker, padded straps are the best way to ensure optimum support and always use this trick to know if the straps are too tight for you; you should be able to put two fingers in!
- The All-Important Band: We often ignore how important the band is in exchange for focusing on the cups or the underwire. The band is like the backbone of a bra as it is responsible for providing the majority of the support to your breasts. The band size is the measurement of your torso directly under your bust. If the band is sized incorrectly, your straps will have to take the load of your bust that should otherwise be divided evenly with the band. Your band should ideally be thicker, preferably padded, highly elastic and most importantly, the right size.
- The Right Closure: This gets even less of our attention than the bra’s band! Most bras have a hook and eye closure at the back of the bra. Look for bras with more tightness options that will allow you to customize the fit according to your comfort (aka, the band should not be digging into your skin). Alternatively, you can go for a front closure bra which is extremely easy to wear and take off when you have shoulder pain.
- Supportive Cups: The bra’s cups play a significant role in providing the optimum support for our breasts and, consequently, our shoulders. If the cups aren’t of the right size in accordance with your breasts, your upper body muscles, which include your neck and shoulders, will have to toil harder to support the weight of your breasts. Know your correct cup size and look for materials that will mould and adjust according to the shape of your breasts. But as breasts change over time, keep updating your bras to ensure you are not wearing the wrong size. You can use our breast measurement calculator to find your accurate size.
Best Bra For Shoulder Pain
1. Bali Women’s Comfort Revolution Front-Close Shaping Underwire Bra
Bali has made a name for itself in the lingerie market when it comes to quality and comfort. This Comfort Revolution Front-Close Shaping Underwire Bra is great as it combines comfort with utility. We know that wider straps and full coverage are synonymous with better support and hence less strain on your shoulders. But you may want a bra that is less visible and can be worn with deep V-neckline dresses. This is it!
The cups are made of stretch foam that gives your breasts support and just the right lift to create a flattering bust shape. And if you are worried about spillage or nip-slips, the bra has a classic lining for better bust control. The underwires are cushion-tipped for utmost comfort and added support to lessen the strain on the shoulder straps. Talking of the straps, they are cushioned and placed in a U-shape which helps them stay in place and also reduces stress on the shoulders.
The wider back minimizes back rolls or bumps for a seamless look. And a real lifesaver, the closure is located in the front. This bra can minimize up to 1¾ inches, perfect if you’re big-chested. It is available in seven vibrant colours to choose from and comes with an elegant lace overlay.
Why We Love It
- Cushioned-tipped underwire
- Plunging neckline
- Cushion straps
If you have bigger breasts, as good as this bra, maybe for a seamless look under clothes, the thinner straps may end up hurting you by the end of the day.
Our Take On The Bra: With each it makes, Bali only gets better. Despite narrower straps and a plunging neckline, this bra is able to give the optimum support to your breasts through its stretch foam cups and the wide, U-shaped band. The front closure with the cushioned underwire makes for very comfortable components and relieves shoulder stress. This bra is a must-have!
2. Delimira Full Coverage Front Closure Wire Free Back Support Posture Bra
Delimira is one brand that makes bras specially for relieving shoulder stress and to help in keeping a good posture. It has a special X-shaped back support reinforcement which gives your back much needed posture support. This divides the pressure on your shoulders. Additionally, there is no hurtful underwire to dig into your skin.
This bra is more of an everyday bra, with non-padded soft cups with a thin elastic-lined band for all-day comfort and ease of movement. Another feature for the delight of ladies with shoulder or back discomfort is the adjustable front hook and eye closure. The straps, too, have three possible adjustable positions that allow you to customize the bra’s fit and how it sits on your shoulders.
The overall style of the bra, with its wire-free design and high side contouring panels, give you excellent coverage. The higher sides take care of any side rolls or spillage too. And despite the coverage, the low-cut neckline is well hidden under clothes. You will be spoilt for choice with the twenty vivid colours this bra is available in!
Why We Love It
- X-shaped back support reinforcement
- Convenient adjustable front hook and eye closure
- Three-row adjustable straps
The sides are pretty high, and some customers have remarked that it digs into their armpits also, that the front hooks are a tad too small.
Our Take On The Bra: This Delimira Full-Coverage Wire-Free bra is perfect for posture correction. The X-shaped back support is able to provide ample support for your back, and the super-wide adjustable straps relieve the stress on your shoulders. And it has a front adjustable hook and eye closure! It’s worth giving a shot.
3. Playtex 18 Hour Ultimate Lift And Support Wire-Free Bra
Playtex is a well-known lingerie brand in the US, with the 18 Hour collection being among their bestsellers. The Playtex 18 Hour Ultimate Lift & Support Wirefree Bra is designed to give the ‘Ultimate’ support to your breasts. And yes, ultimate support without an underwire digging into your skin! Hooray!
The fuller cups provide maximum coverage, while the Magic Ring design helps relieve stress on the shoulders. You also get an enhanced cleavage as the cups give them a snug fit. It provides the support your aching shoulders need from the multi-seamed panels that make up the construction of this bra. And as the bra is wire-free, wire pokes are out of the question!
The cups are lined with soft jersey fabric to give ultimate comfort, which also doubles up to accommodate according to the unique shape of your breasts. The straps do not slip off as they are positioned closer to each other. The straps are cushioned, so they do not dig into your skin. If you have restricted arm movement, the hook and eye closure at the back is not suitable for you.
Why We Love It
- Multi-seamed panels for support
- Soft jersey fabric lining
- Cushioned straps
The band sizes for each cup size is different, so check them carefully before placing your order.
Our Take On The Bra: As we said before, you cannot go wrong with Playtex when it comes to the best bra for shoulder pain. This bra offers the ultimate comfort to your breasts with its padded straps and added side and back support. The jersey fabric enhances the natural shape of your bust while giving you full support. All this without an underwire!
4. Bali Comfort Revolution Shaping Wirefree Bra
Bali is still in the game! As the name suggests, the Comfort Revolution Shaping Wirefree Bra focuses primarily on your comfort. That is evident by the fact that it is hardwire-free and relies on its knit-in zones and foam cups for support. The cups are incredibly comfortable, with no wires digging into your skin. You may not be as satisfied with the shaping if you have fuller breasts.
But the 2-ply sides shape, support and lift you well and give you a seamless bust shape. The thick band, wider straps, and high-rise sides all offer shoulder-soothing support. The bra is constructed with a no-lines design and fused edges which makes it invisible under clothes. The hook and eye closure is at the back, though. The SmartComfort band gives a smoothing effect to the back while also adding crucial support.
The 4-way stretch fabric enables the bra to move with you, something you definitely want to feel as natural as possible with a bra on! The side flex panels also add stretch to the bra, which makes it easy on the sides and shoulders. The Comfort-U straps are placed closer to each other, so they stay in their place.
Why We Love It
- Hardwire-free comfort
- Knit-in zones for targeted support
- Wider straps, a thicker band
The sizing differs as it ranges from XS to 3X, so you need to tally it with their sizing chart before ordering it.
Our Take On The Bra: The Comfort Revolution Shaping Wirefree Bra by Bali is a decent choice if you are looking for a bra and you suffer from shoulder pain. It is free of wires and has a 4-way stretch fabric for maximum comfort. The knit-in zones provide targeted support, although not so effective for bigger breasts. But if you have small breasts, this is the ultimate comfortable bra!
5. Glamorize MagicLift Front Close Posture Back Support Bra
Another entry into this list of the best bra for shoulder pain is the Glamorise MagicLift Front Close Posture Back Support Bra. This one’s for you if you are looking for solid posture support. Apart from this, the highlight of this bra is that it gives you the desired support without any wire pokes because it is wirefree!
This bra offers great support and full coverage while also giving your breasts a slight lift. The super-soft cotton fabric is breathable and is a must-try for hot climes. The contoured cups have a floral mesh panel at the edges along with self-patterning. You get this bra in four colours; white, lilac, pale pink, and cafe, so you can match them to your tops.
This bra offers exceptional support with its contoured cups and just the right amount of lift owing to the MagicLift design. And to put your shoulders at ease, the straps are wide and cushioned too. It is as comfortable as an everyday-wear bra can get! Full coverage and support mean you’re tucked in and ready to go. The criss-cross Lycra panels at the back smooth any bumps or rolls out, while the adjustable front closure is easy to get in and out of.
Why We Love It
- Posture support
- MagicLift design
- Front-adjustable closure
The seam in the centre puckers outwards strangely if you have fuller breasts.
Our Take On The Bra: This Glamorize MagicLift Front Close Posture Back Support Bra looks and feels fantastic, thanks to its MagicLift design, cushioned straps and posture support! The front closure is a blessing for women with shoulder discomfort. Go for it!
6. Calvin Klein Invisibles Comfort Seamless Lightly Lined V Neck Bralette
Calvin Klein is a name to swear by when it comes to intimate wear. It needs no introduction and is, hands down, one of the best lingerie brands out there. Despite being a little steeply-priced, their Invisibles Comfort Seamless Lightly Lined V Neck Bralette is worth every bit. This bra is more of an everyday bra as it doesn’t have heavy padding or the sort.
Instead, the cups are lightly lined with a solid, seamless design for a smooth look under clothes. Plus, as there is no closure, there is nothing that digs into your skin, although putting it on may be difficult. The support comes from the wide, seamless elastic band. The V-shaped neckline both at the front and back ensure its invisibility under clothes.
The smooth microfibre fabric is soft against the skin and can be worn throughout the day without any discomfort. The cups are removable, so you can relax if you are just chilling at home. And the best part if you ask us? It is machine washable! No more hand washing bras. It is available in sixteen different colours for you to choose from.
Why We Love It
- Lightly lined
- Machine washable
It fits true to size, according to Calvin Klein.
Our Take On the Bra: This Calvin Klein Comfort Seamless Lightly Lined V Neck Bralette is an amazing bra for small-chested women as it provides sufficient support and light padding for them to get through the day with comfort. It is invisible under clothes owing to its genuinely seamless design and can be washed in the washing machine! Great everyday bra!
7. Delimira High Impact Sports Front Adjustable Underwire Bra
Your sports-loving side will love the next bra we will talk about! The Delimira High Impact Sports Front Adjustable Underwire Bra is the perfect sports bra with all the comforts of a shoulder-friendly bra. Although it has light padding as opposed to the heavy padding that high impact sports bras usually have, it offers enough compression to give you an excellent bust shape.
The adjustable hook and eye closure at the back allow you to customize the bra’s fit according to your comfort. And as it is a workout bra, after all, there are mesh panels throughout the front to ensure sufficient breathability while you sweat it out.
The straps are pretty wide and hence distribute the weight of your breasts evenly on your shoulders while also controlling any bouncy breasts while you run, jog or jump. It is the best option for running, boxing, basketball, gym workout, or just to train in. YOu can get this in five unique colours; spiral seaweed, beige, black, burgundy, and stone grey.
Why We Love It
- Front adjustable straps
- Mesh panels for breathability
- Wider straps
The straps are placed a tad too far from each other, so they tend to slip off sometimes.
Our Take On The Bra: The Delimira High Impact Sports Front Adjustable Underwire Bra is perfect if you are into sports or not! It is comfortable either way; the padded cups made of professional quick-drying fabric and mesh panels for breathability are both super useful features at the gym! The wide straps offer optimum support to relieve shoulder stress too.
8. Wacoal Awareness Full Figure Underwire Bra
Wacoal never disappoints. Their Awareness Full Figure Underwire Bra should be your go-to if you have a combination of fuller breasts and shoulder pain. We say so based on the bra’s unique full figure design to give bigger breasts the coverage they need. The underwire adds support and provides a flattering lift to your bust.
The seamless 2-ply fabric cups are sufficient to give your bust a seamless and natural shape while enhancing the curve of your chest. If you have a cup size between DDD to I (yes, they do have all sizes!), there are hidden slings for extra support. How convenient! The underwire is encased and so doesn’t show under clothes.
The Awareness Full Figure Underwire Bra is available in five beautiful colours that you can match with your outfits; cappuccino, ivory, black, calypso coral, and high rise. This is one of the few bras on this list that has calla lily jacquard fabric which adds feminine charm.
Why We Love It
- Full coverage
- 2-ply fabric cups
- Hidden slings for added support
The cup sizes and band sizes aren’t the same, and you change accordingly. Check this before you make a purchase.
Our Take On The Bra: Wacoal has done an excellent job with the Awareness Full-Figure Underwire Bra. It provides full coverage for bigger breasts and gives them a seamless, natural bust shape. The wider straps divide the weight on your shoulders well to minimize pain. There is only one way to go; try this bra out!
Now that we have helped you to take better care of your precious shoulders in the future with our picks of the best bra for shoulder pain available in the market, we wish you a happy bra shopping session! Say goodbye to shoulder pain!
Hi there, I’m Jyoti Priya, Founder and Editor of LingerieAsk.com. I and my team exhaustively research to provide you with expert lingerie advice, products reviews and buying guides. Our only goal is to help our readers make the best purchase decisions.