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.
Our Top Pick
Barely There Invisible Look Underwire Review
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) 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
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 $25) 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.
Lilyette Tailored Strapless Minimizer Bra Review
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) 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.
Moving Comfort Fiona Review
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) 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
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) 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
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) 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
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) 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.
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