Cheap Bras

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Our Picks

Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra
Barely There Invisible Look Underwire
Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra
Moving Comfort Fiona
Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap Bra
Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami
Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra

Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra Review

From $17 Best

Best Cheap Strapless Bra. This bra is so supportive that some women report wearing it even when they don't need a strapless. It's designed to accommodate larger bust sizes and helps create a smooth look.

One of the most frequent gripes about strapless bras is that they slip down throughout the day or evening, but that's not the case with this one, according to Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra reviews. In fact, several users posting reviews at Macy's gush that they never have to yank up the bra, thanks in part to silicone grippers on the inside of the band that help prevent it from sliding. The secure fit especially impressive given that this strapless bra is designed for full-figured women with cup sizes C to DD. It doubles as a minimizer, and women posting reviews at Amazon marvel at its ability to reduce the apparent size of their bust by one to two sizes.

The Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra (style No. 939) (starting at $17, Amazon) is made of nylon and Lycra, a combination that provides both support and give. Some users say it's so comfortable, they wear it even when they don't necessarily need a strapless bra. It has molded cups and underwire support, as well as four rows and three columns of hook-and-eye closures for even more support. Although it's billed as a strapless bra, it comes with straps that can be attached in a few different configurations, a convenient feature that makes the Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra far more versatile than a dedicated strapless bra.

Overall, this cheap strapless bra wins rave reviews from well-endowed women -- many of whom say they thought they'd never find a strapless bra that would let them wear tops with spaghetti straps or dance for hours at a wedding. They also appreciate the minimizing effect and the included straps that can be worn in multiple ways. If you need a strapless bra that will stay in place and create a smooth shape, this one deserves a look.

Barely There Invisible Look Underwire Review

From $18 Best

Reviewers rave about this seamless, tagless bra, saying it's true to size and so comfortable you forget you're wearing it. It has convertible camisole-style straps that you can crisscross to keep it hidden under certain tops.

This bra (style No. 4104) earns top praise from consumers for flawless fit and comfort. Women posting Barely There Invisible Look Underwire reviews at Kohl's say the bra is true to size, the straps stay in place, and the underwire is flexible and comfortable. In reviews at both One Hanes Place and Amazon, other consumers report that this seamless bra is -- true to its name -- invisible under clothing and provides ample support.

The Barely There Invisible Look Underwire (starting at $18, Amazon) makes a versatile everyday bra because the traditional camisole straps are convertible -- they crisscross in the back -- so you can wear the bra under a variety of tops. This standard bra is made of nylon and spandex, a mix that retains its shape after stretching and holds up well wash after wash, according to a Barely There Invisible Look Underwire review by testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. The bra has foam-molded cups for added support and is not only seamless but also tagless. It comes in sizes 34A-D, 36A-D, 38B-D, 40B-D, so women who wear DD or higher will have to look to one of our other picks. It comes with two hooks in the back (three on larger sizes) and three sets of eyes. The bra comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, taupe, and pink.

Barely There Invisible Look Underwire reviews overwhelmingly praise the comfort and support this bra provides. Women appreciate that it can be worn under almost any top and seems designed to last. This is a solid choice for women seeking a durable, comfortable everyday bra.

Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra Review

From $24 Best

Best Cheap Push-Up Bra. Our pick for a push-up bra manages to create natural-looking cleavage and the illusion of a larger bust. Fans of this bra appreciate the lift it provides and praise the overall comfort.

Almost all the women who have posted Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra reviews at online lingerie retailer Her Room award the bra high ratings. Consumers say this bra adds just the right amount of feminine curve and lift without looking unnatural or feeling uncomfortable. Several women posting reviews say they find the bra comfortable enough to wear on a daily basis. In reviews on Amazon, reviewers seem equally impressed with the comfort and natural push-up of this bra.

The Maidenform Dream Bra Push-Up Bra (style No. 9839) (starting at $24, Amazon) is made of a combination of nylon and elastane, with heavy graduated padding in the cups to enhance cleavage. It has seamless cups for a smooth look under clothing. The supportive underwire is cushioned and encased to prevent pinching and poking. One user who posted a Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra review on Amazon calls this the most comfortable underwire bra she has ever worn because the wire doesn't dig in and the fit is graceful and natural. The bra has camisole straps that are convertible in the back and a hook-and-eye closure with two hooks and three sets of eyes. Sizes range from 32A to 38D.

Natural-looking lift can be hard to come by in a budget push-up bra, but review after review indicates this bra achieves it. Couple that shaping ability with near-unanimous reports of comfort, and you have one of the best low-cost push-up bras available.

Moving Comfort Fiona Review

From $24 Best

Best Cheap Sports Bra. This sports bra can accommodate women of all cup sizes, providing support during intense runs, aerobic activity, or casual weight lifting. Unlike on most sports bras, the straps and band are adjustable.

According to a Moving Comfort Fiona review on About.com, this sports bra scored big among a group of testers -- marathon runners with C and D cups -- for its support, comfort, and ability to wick away sweat. Consumers posting reviews at Amazon have found that the bra provides excellent support for high-impact activities and holds the bust in place without constricting the ribs and making it harder to breathe, as other sports bras are wont to do.

Most sports bras must be pulled on over the head, so many women posting Moving Comfort Fiona reviews on the brand's website are pleasantly surprised that this one offers a hook-and-eye closure in the back, making it simpler to put on and take off. Sizes 32 to 38 have three hooks and sizes 40 to 44 have four hooks for additional support. The Moving Comfort Fiona (starting at $24, Amazon) is made from patented DriLayer X-Support fabric, which is 88% polyester and 12% Lycra. It has molded cups and a leotard strap design that is adjustable in the front.

Such features make the Moving Comfort Fiona a standout in the sports bra category. Reviewers appreciate that you don't have to peel off the bra after a sweaty workout; you can simply unhook the back closure. The adjustable band and straps are uncommon and welcome amid all the too-tight elastic on other sports bras. Women posting Moving Comfort Fiona reviews on numerous sites rave about the bra's comfort and support and award it almost universally high ratings, making this sports bra our No. 1 pick.

Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap Bra Review

From $17 Good

No woman typically wants to wear a bra for 18 hours straight, but if you have to, consumers say this is a good one to choose. It provides support even without underwire and is our only pick with padded leotard straps.

Women posting Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap reviews on Amazon call this bra durable and comfortable. One reviewer says she's been buying the style (No. 4693) for more than 10 years and each one typically lasts close to five years. The brand caters to full-figured women with sizes up to 54DDD, and G cups available for band sizes 38 to 46. In reviews at Kmart, women report that the bra is comfortable to wear for a full 18 hours, as advertised, and is very supportive despite not having any underwire.

The Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap Bra (starting at $17, Amazon) is an especially good choice for a woman with a larger bust because the cut-and-sew cups provide more support than seamless cups. The back closure has three rows and three columns of hooks and eyes for added support and the straps are padded for added comfort. The bra is made from a supportive mix of nylon, cotton, spandex, and polyester, and it's the only non-sports bra on our list with leotard-style straps that create a U shape in the back.

While most Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap reviews are positive, the bra is not without its drawbacks. Some shoppers posting at Freshpair say this bra isn't suitable for tops with low necklines and the seamed cups show through underneath T-shirts. One woman complains that the fabric is itchy.

Negative comments seem to be minority opinions, however. Most consumers deem this an excellent bra, especially for women with larger chests. With its low price and high marks for comfort and durability, this cheap bra is worthy of consideration.

Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami Review

From $16 Think Twice

This cheap bra is the only one our list that can't be adjusted in any way. There's no back closure; you pull the bra over your head to put it on. Consumers seem put off by the sizing, saying the fit just isn't good and the band tends to be too tight, causing unsightly "back fat."

This style (No. 6200) is touted in marketing copy as Good Housekeeping's pick for the best supporting bra without underwire, although we didn't find any indication of that on the magazine's website, and consumers criticize the fit in Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami reviews on Her Room. The bra is meant for women with smaller chests; it comes in sizes 32, 34, and 36, and reviews warn that it seems to run small. It's 92 percent cotton and only 8 percent Lycra, and some consumers find that it doesn't have enough elasticity and fits too snugly -- especially given that you have to pull it over your head to get it on. Among the few women who have posted reviews on Amazon, one finds the bra comfortable but another gripes that the material doesn't have enough give; one strap broke when she put it on.

The Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami (starting at $16, Amazon) is the most basic of bras. There's no underwire and no back closure. Neither the band nor the straps can be adjusted, which irks some users posting Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami reviews. The bra is seamless and has thin spaghetti straps. Women posting reviews at Her Room like how the straps look under tank tops and sheer clothing.

Given that there's no way to adjust the straps or the band to make this bra fit better, it's unlikely to work for many women. On top of that, consumers complain that it doesn't run true to size. In our estimation, this budget style lacks too many features to be worth your while. There are better bras out there that offer the comfort, support, and price that frugal consumers are seeking.

Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra Review

From $17 Think Twice

We didn't find a lot of reviews of this budget bra, but those we did encounter were generally negative; even the positive comments nearly always come with caveats. Consumers report that the fit is wrong and the bra is just plain uncomfortable. Other women say they've had problems with the underwire popping out the side.

With so many women allegedly wearing the wrong size bra, it's no surprise that gripes about fit turn up in reviews of most styles. But even satisfied customers air complaints in Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra reviews. At Her Room, some consumers posting reviews find the cups too small, the band too tight, and the straps too thin and uncomfortable. Others complain of gapping where the straps meet the cups -- a problem the reviewer says she faces often with push-up bras -- and a ripple in the front of the bra (in a response to that review, a Carnival representative suggests the wearer may need a different size). Only a few women have posted reviews on Amazon, but they are resoundingly negative. One consumer declares the bra unattractive and odd-fitting; another cites stiff, inelastic straps and inadequate coverage; and a third reports that the underwire on all three of the bras she ordered poked through during the first wear.

The Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra (style No. 504) (starting at $17, Amazon) is constructed of a combination of nylon and spandex, a mix that some women posting at Her Room say helps the bra fit comfortably. It uses both underwire and graduated padding in the cups to create a light push-up effect some consumers appreciate. The bra has a standard camisole strap design and hook-and-eye closure, with two hooks and three sets of eyes. The cups on this bra are seamless.

In general, Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra reviews -- even positive ones -- comment on poor fit and a lack of durability. With no unalloyed raves to balance out the negative reviews, this push-up bra doesn't seem to have much to recommend it.

Buying Guide

Women spend a lot of time and money trying to look their best, and the right bra provides an essential foundation for building that image. Bras range in price from about $10 to as much as $200 (unless you count one-of-a-kind, diamond-encrusted designs that cost millions). We focused our attention at the low end, seeking out cheap bras between $10 and $25.

Cheap Bras Buying Guide

No single bra type fits all women and all occasions -- Redbook magazine reports that women own an average of nine bras -- so we researched many different types of cheap bras to come up with our recommendations. These included standard or everyday bras, push-up bras, strapless bras, and sports bras. Within these four main bra types, there are demi bras that cover the lower half of the breast, full coverage bras that contain the entire breast, minimizer bras that reduce the bust line to create a slimming look, plunge bras for wearing underneath low-cut shirts, padded bras that add a little extra to your natural bust, seamless bras for a smooth look underneath clothes, underwire bras for added support, wireless bras for added comfort, and countless combinations of the above.

Our top everyday bra is the Barely There Invisible Look Underwire (starting at $18). This standard bra offers full coverage; seamless, lightly padded cups; and a plunge neckline that dips low in the middle. The best cheap push-up bra we found, the Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra (starting at $24), uses graduated padding to create more cleavage. In the strapless category, our top choice is the Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra (starting at $17). It's convertible, so you can wear it with straps or without, and it helps give full-figured women a smaller silhouette. Our favorite sports bra, the Moving Comfort Fiona (starting at $24), features molded, seamless cups; wide, adjustable straps; and a thick band secured with three hook closures.

The Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap (starting at $17) is a good cheap comfort bra, offering wireless support, a higher neckline, and supportive cups with no padding. One cheap bra that didn't make our cut is the Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami (starting at $16). There's no way to adjust either the straps or the back band, and numerous women complain about the overall fit. Consumers also aren't impressed with the fit of the Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra (starting at $17), and several say the underwire pops out the side.

Various experts estimate that anywhere from 70 percent to 85 percent of women wear the wrong size bra, which undoubtedly accounts for some of the complaints about fit. When you try on a cheap bra, make sure the band lies flat and doesn't ride up in the back, the cups contain your breasts, and any underwire doesn't dig in. Likewise, the straps shouldn't cut into your shoulders. If they do, you're probably relying on them too much to provide support; that's supposed to be the role of the band. The fabric on the best cheap bras is typically a combination of stretchy spandex or Lycra and soft yet supportive polyester or nylon.

In a field of dozens of lingerie manufacturers, the top bra brands include Bali, Playtex, Maidenform, Olga, Lilyette, and Jockey, a few of which appear on our list. Victoria's Secret owns more than a third of the intimate apparel market, according to one analyst, but almost all its bras start at $30 or more.

Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table

(from $18)
Bra Type Standard
Fabric 85 percent nylon, 15 percent spandex
Cups/Padding Seamless, foam-molded cups
Underwire Yes
Straps Convertible camisole
Closure 2 hooks (3 for larger sizes), 3 sets of eyes
Sizes 34-36A-D, 38-40B-D
(from $24)
Bra Type Push-up
Fabric 78 percent nylon, 28 percent elastane
Cups/Padding Seamless cups with graduated padding
Underwire Yes
Straps Convertible camisole
Closure 2 hooks, 3 sets of eyes
Sizes 32-36A-D, 38B-D
(from $17)
Bra Type Strapless
Fabric 88 percent Tactel nylon, 12 percent Lycra
Cups/Padding Molded, seamless cups
Underwire Yes
Straps Includes convertible straps
Closure 4 hooks, 3 sets of eyes
Sizes 34-40C-DD
(from $24)
Bra Type Sports
Fabric DriLayer X-Support: 88 percent polyester, 12 percent Lycra
Cups/Padding Molded, seamless cups
Underwire No
Straps Leotard
Closure 3 hooks (4 for sizes 40 and up) and 3 sets of eyes
Sizes 30-40B-DD, 42-44C-DD
(from $17)
Bra Type Standard
Fabric Polyester, nylon, spandex, cotton
Cups/Padding Cut-and-sew cups
Underwire No
Straps Padded leotard
Closure 3 hooks, 3 sets of eyes
Sizes 34D-DD, 36B-DD, 38-46B-G, 48B-DDD, 50-54C-DDD

Bra Reviews

No matter what type of bra you're looking for, bra reviews from both experts and consumers indicate that several features are essential. First up: comfort and support. Most user reviews we researched indicate that women prize a bra that comfortably supports their breasts. Fit and durability are also vital. Bra reviews often mention whether or not a consumer finds a bra "true to size," although fit varies from brand to brand. Consumers seem to expect a bra to last at least six months, and the longer the better. Other key qualities shoppers take into account are fabric and construction.

Best-Fitting Bras.

With so many women allegedly wearing the wrong size bra, it's important to have a professional size you up. If you're ordering online, Good Housekeeping provides a guide to taking your own measurements. Once you know your bra size, it's a good idea to try on several different styles to find the best-fitting bra.

Because consumers commenting online may not have purchased the correct size, we took all the bra reviews we read with a grain of salt. That said, some bras earn far more praise for comfort and fit than others, and usually the more adjustable the straps and band, the better the fit. That's why we like the Moving Comfort Fiona (starting at $24) -- it's one sports bra that's completely adjustable, where many options in the category aren't. According to consumers posting bra reviews on Amazon, the bra is comfortable for any type of workout. Those with larger cup sizes especially appreciate the adjustability and how well the bra keeps their chests contained.

The Barely There Invisible Look Underwire (starting at $18) is the most comfortable and best-fitting bra some women have ever found, according to bra reviews at Kohl's. Consumers posting comments at online outlet One Hanes Place like the bra so much that they stock up just in case it's ever discontinued. The Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap (starting at $17) also gets many compliments on fit at Freshpair. Women appreciate the lift and support the bra provides and confirm that it actually is comfortable enough to wear for a full 18 hours.

Women posting bra reviews at online lingerie retailer Her Room likewise find the Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra (starting at $24) extremely comfortable. They say it gives small busts a boost without looking unnatural or showing through clothing.

The Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra (starting at $17) impresses women posting bra reviews at Macy's, who say it holds the bust in place without spillage over the sides and top (a common problem with strapless bras that fit poorly). Consumers posting at Amazon agree, saying the bra is unbelievably comfortable and even calling it the best-fitting bra they've ever worn. One woman living in Central America went on an unplanned hike up a mountain in this strapless bra and had no problems. She relies on it now over a sports bra when she knows she'll be traveling on bumpy roads.

But not all cheap bras deliver the comfort of the best-fitting bras on our list. The fit of the Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami (starting at $16) seems to be all wrong, according to bra reviews. Women posting comments on Her Room report that the bra runs small and the lack of adjustability in the straps and band makes it very hard to wear properly. One woman reports that the band is tight and doesn't smooth out any "back fat." Consumers commenting on the Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra (starting at $17) at Her Room find the fit and comfort lacking. Some bra reviews report that the cup sizes seem to run small, the straps are uncomfortable, and the bra rides up or gaps a bit where the cups meet the straps. One reviewer who ordered two Carnival bras in the exact same size says one fits and the other is too small.

Cheap Push-Up Bras, Padded Bras, Underwire Bras

Cheap push-up bras are similar to standard, everyday bras; the only difference is that they have gel or foam padding strategically placed on the underside of the cup to lift and push the bust up and out. More often than not, they incorporate underwire for an added boost. They also tend to have plunging necklines so they can be paired with a low-cut top that shows off the enhanced cleavage. The comfortable and supportive Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra earns the title of best cheap push-up bra. It uses graduating padding to create a natural push-up effect.

Another cheap push-up bra we researched, the Carnival Seamless, gets very poor reviews from the few consumers who have posted comments on it at Amazon; they say the underwire doesn't hold up at all. One woman who bought three of these bras noticed the underwire poking out of all three by the end of the first day she wore them. Women posting on Amazon and elsewhere also seem to find this cheap push-up bra generally ill-fitting.

We looked into the Victoria's Secret Very Sexy line as well, but those are decidedly not cheap push-up bras, ranging from $48 to $78 depending on the fabric you choose. Many reviewers find the Maidenform Push-Up Bra an attractive and attractively priced alternative.

Padded Bras.

While the other bras on our list aren't classified as push-up bras, many are padded bras that use extra material or gel to add fullness and provide some lift. The Barely There Invisible Look Underwire has molded foam padding. Women posting comments on One Hanes Place like this padded bra because it's light and naturally shaped, without too much push-up. The other padded bra on our list is the Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra, which has molded, padded cups. The Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra has molded cups but no padding -- not a problem for many full-figured women commenting on this bra at Her Room.

Underwire Bras.

While the cups do the heavy lifting when it comes to pushing up and supporting the breasts, underwire bras have additional support built in. The Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra and Maidenform the Dream Bra Push-Up Bra, as well as the Barely There Invisible Look Underwire and the Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra, are underwire bras. The underwire on the Maidenform bra is encased in soft material, and reviewers posting on several sites declare it uncommonly comfortable. For those who are nonetheless skeptical of underwire bras, the Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap earns rave reviews from consumers posting on Amazon. Even women with bigger cup sizes find the bra completely supportive despite the lack of underwire.

The Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap is also the only bra we researched that doesn't have seamless cups. Although seamless cups are more popular because they show no lines, cups that are cut and sewn provide extra structure and support, and the seams help define the shape while restricting how much the bra can stretch. This is especially important for women who have D cups or larger. Several women with larger chests who have posted reviews at Freshpair note how well the cups fit and how much better their clothes fit when they wear this bra.

Cheap Strapless Bras

Strapless bras are designed to be worn under tube tops, strapless cocktail dresses, and the like. The band on a cheap strapless bra should be wide, with two to four hook closures, to provide adequate support and stay securely in place. Our pick for the best cheap strapless bra, the Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra, has four hook-and-eye closures on the back, along with optional convertible straps.

Bra Band.

The band is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of any bra, not just a cheap strapless bra, because it's the band -- not the straps -- that bears most of the weight. A flimsy or extremely stretchy band will only loosen over time and not provide a proper fit for very long, if at all. Generally the more hook closures a band has, the more support it provides. Full-busted women should aim for three or more hooks to get the support they need. Three of the bras on our list meet this benchmark: the Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra, with its four hooks, and the Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap bra and Moving Comfort Fiona sports bra, with three.

The Barely There Invisible Look Underwire, Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra, and Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra each have two hooks on the back. However, their slimmer bands don't generate any negative comments that we could find. The Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami has no hooks at all; you pull it over your head to get it on, and there's no way to adjust the back strap. Several women who have posted reviews of this bra at Her Room don't like the design.

A bra band should be wide enough to create a smooth, slim look underneath clothes. Skinny bands need to be fastened tightly to provide enough support, which can cause the band to cut into your skin and make your back look lumpy. One woman who posted a review at Kohl's notes that the band on the Barely There Invisible Look Underwire is wide enough to smooth her back better than the skinny band on a previous bra.

Bra Straps.

Although the Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra is a cheap strapless bra, it does come with straps that can be worn in the traditional style or crisscrossed in the back. The purpose of bra straps is not to support the breasts but to balance out the weight between your shoulders and your back. Straps should lie flat against your chest and neither fall off nor cut into your shoulders. One woman who posted a review of the Lilyette bra at Kohl's notes that the straps stay in place even after many washings, unlike the straps on other bras she's owned.

Bra straps come in a variety of widths and configurations, but the two most common are camisole and leotard straps. Camisole straps are sewn into the band at right angles. This design works well for most bras, especially in larger sizes, because the band can accommodate as many hook closings as needed, offering more support and making the bra easily adjustable. Leotard straps are thicker than camisole straps and create a U shape in the back (similar to the back of a leotard).

Most consumers seem to like the leotard design of the Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap; one woman who posted a review at Freshpair points to it as a crucial aspect of the bra's comfortable fit. The Barely There Invisible Look Underwire and Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up bras are traditional camisole bras; however, the straps are convertible and can be crisscrossed in the back to accommodate certain shirts.

With sports bras, the strap design helps define the activity level the bra can accommodate, especially for women with larger cup sizes. In general, camisole straps are best for low-impact activities such as walking or weight training. Leotard straps, like those on the Moving Comfort Fiona Bra, are best for more vigorous activities such as hiking, and racer-back straps that cross in the back are designed for high-impact activities such as running and aerobics.

Cheap Sports Bras

Cheap sports bras are designed specifically for physical activity, with complete coverage and wide straps. Any underwire should be very flexible and move with your body, say experts at REI, and the bra fabric should wick sweat off the body. Sports bras general fall into three categories. Compression bras, which flatten the breasts against the body, are best for women with A and B cup sizes. Encapsulation bras surround and support each breast to minimize movement and are best for women with D cups or bigger. Women with C or D cups should look for a combination of the two. The Moving Comfort Fiona is a good example of a cheap combination sports bra.

Bra Fabric.

The fabric of a bra has a direct impact on its comfort, durability, and support. For a cheap sports bra, you want a moisture-wicking fabric that isn't too stiff. The Moving Comfort Fiona is 88 percent DriLayer X-Support polyester (a fabric patented by Moving Comfort) and 12 percent Lycra. One woman who posted a comment on the Moving Comfort website appreciates that the materials used in this bra are very comfortable on her extra-sensitive skin -- so much so that at times it feels like the bra's not even there.

Cotton is a good bra fabric choice because it's breathable and soft, but it may not provide adequate support on its own. The Elita Les Essentiels Crossover Cami, for instance, is 92 percent cotton and doesn't have any underwire, and women posting reviews at Her Room note that it doesn't offer enough support if you have a larger bust. Nylon or polyester can be found in a soft weave that provides more support. These bra fabrics are often combined with something stretchy such as spandex or Lycra, as in the Moving Comfort Fiona. The Barely There Invisible Look Underwire is 85 percent nylon and 15 percent spandex. One woman who posted a review at Kohl's notes that the bra's soft fabric feels smooth against her skin.

The Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra is 88 percent nylon and 12 percent Lycra, and the Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bra is 78 percent nylon and 28 percent elastane. One consumer notes that this blend doesn't breathe terribly well and makes her sweat, but she joins a chorus of women posting at Macy’s who marvel at how comfortable the bra is -- comfortable enough to sleep in, one woman declares. Another consumer likes that the Maidenform, unlike many other push-up bras, has solid sides instead of lace, which is apt to rip. Our choice for a good comfort bra, the Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap, is a blend of four different fabrics: polyester, nylon, spandex, and cotton. One woman who posted a bra review at Freshpair says the Playtex is comfortable enough to wear every day.

Mesh and lace are two other common bra fabrics, but they're not the most durable and can irritate the skin. Satin is soft and comfortable and also used in many designs but usually requires special care. Don't completely discount these bra fabrics, however -- they're suitable for sexy bras that you don't intend to wear on a day-to-day basis.

Bra Durability.

Many things can go wrong with a bra. The band and straps can stretch out or break, lace or mesh can snag and rip, and underwire can snap or pop out, as evidenced in reviews of the Carnival Seamless Push-Up Bra. None of these seems to be an issue with the Barely There Invisible Look Underwire, according to women posting reviews on Amazon. Comments reveal that women are happy with this bra's performance; one says it holds up well wash after wash. While one person posting a comment at Macy's says the quality of the Playtex 18-Hour Original Comfort Strap has gone downhill, most others adamantly disagree, saying they've experienced no problems and have worn it for years without having it stretch or give out. A consumer who posted a review at Kohl's found that her much-loved Maidenform The Dream Bra Push-Up Bras needed to be replaced after about a year, but she notes that they no doubt would have lasted longer had she not put them in the washing machine and dryer (bra instructions generally recommend hand washing). Our pick for best cheap sports bra, the Moving Comfort Fiona, gets enthusiastic reviews from women posting on REI, who say the bra is made of high quality materials that help it last a long time. One reviewer reports that she has worn several of these bras for more than two years and they are still going strong.