Underwire Bra Pain: How to Avoid It

underwire bra pain

Bras. I don’t know about you but sometimes I loathe them for being uncomfortable. Meanwhile I love others for being comfy and providing me support simultaneously. Plus, I feel more confident when the bra looks good. Most bras have a supportive underwire, but underwire pain can make the skin around the breasts sore to the touch and also be really uncomfortable. Underwires can press into your chest or even protrude out of the bra and poke your sides. Ouch. That underwire bra pain is a big reason why I don’t wear underwire bras under my clothing anymore. But if you do still want the support of underwire here are a few tips. Alternatively, you could go wire-free.

Disclosure: I am happy to collaborate with our sponsor The Feather Bra to bring you this information on how to avoid underwire bra pain!

Get the Right Fit

The first tip to avoid underwire bra pain is to buy a bra that fits well. Unfortunately most women don’t know how to find their true bra size. Yes, about 80 percent of women wear the wrong size bra! Thankfully when you choose a bra that is neither too tight nor too loose, it can prevent your underwire from moving around and eventually poking you or digging into your chest.

Wash Your Bras Carefully

As much as our bras go through daily as you wear them, they’re actually a delicate item of clothing. So, special care is necessary to keep the fabric of the bras at their best. If you don’t wash bras properly, they can can stretch and thin out.

As a result, the underwire might poke through the fabric and hurt you. Not to mention that now you have a bra that’ll last a shorter time than it might otherwise with better care while washing; that means you’ll be back shopping for a new one soon. Hand washing the bra with delicate detergent and then air drying it is the best way to keep your underwire bra in prime condition. And, by doing so, you’ll lessen the chances of any underwire bra pain.

Or if you’re like me and simply don’t have time to hand wash the bra then put it in a lingerie bag and pop it into the washing machine on a gentle cycle with a small load. Then air dry.

Keep Replacements

Bras get old sooner than you might expect. The average lifespan of a bra is about 6 months. And that’s with washing it as I explained above, as well as rotating them. Since bras get old so quickly, it is ideal to have another bra handy in case the strap wears down to the point that it breaks or the underwire starts to hurt.

If you do experience underwire bra pain, I say stop wearing it! Life’s too short for that. Now is the time to choose that backup bra you have stashed at home or rotate between the other bras you have that are still comfortable to wear.

Avoid the Underwire Altogether

Hands up if you’re joining me in wearing underwire-free bras!

Sometimes the best route for dealing with potential underwire bra pain is to completely avoid an underwire design. While underwire is touted as the best option for full support bras, that’s not always the case.

While it might take a bit of shopping around, there are plenty of wireless bras that offer full support and no fear of stabbing or digging into your skin while you wear them. The Feather Bra, for example, is a great underwire-free bra for comfort and support.

And non-wire bras often come in the same colors as underwire ones, including black, white, and nude. Get the right size and you’ll likely find a comfortable option that provides the support you want for underneath your clothes.

A Few Questions for You about Underwire Bra Pain

Have you ever experienced underwire bra pain? If so, what did you do – toss the bra or put up with it? Also, do you prefer wire or non-wire bras?


  1. Underwire can be a pain, but it’s also the best option I’ve found. Nothing else compares. Getting the right fit has become more difficult for me as I’ve aged and put on weight. I’ve had bras last a lot longer than 6 months. If that’s all they lasted, they’d be a very expensive items. I guess I don’t go for the frills though. 🙂

  2. Funny how I never had problem with underwire bras and on the contrary I hate the wirefree ,it feels like I’m not supported,but I admit that if they Pearce the cotton or lace on the side and you don’t realise it untill you are wearing hem they are painful.

  3. OR… just don’t wear a bra if you don’t need to &/or when you don’t need to.
    Small breasted women have more choice luxury on this point. Also, I have some t’s and stretch slips that offer very minimal support. Many modern clothing items completely disguise the fact of bra/braless, so what does it matter?
    Evenings out, job interviews… are bra times. I also like shoulder pads at a job interview. There’s power in them there shoulders!
    Whatever happened to “burn the bra”? A lot actually, and would be a fab article here.

  4. Haven’t worn underwire in years. Hehe. I personally love sports bras with varying types of support. A quick search for “who invented the underwire” looks like it might have been the ladies themselves who invented this contraption. Well! Hehe…I’m all for comfort and underwires, for me, are opposite. Interesting read, Friend! I also hope you’re having a great weekend.

  5. I never minded underwire too much, and seemed to have good luck with fit. However, since going through radiation, I’m not supposed to wear them anymore. If I really wanted to for a few hours I could. Now I wear sports bras for the compression factor, and it’s a challenge to find one with straps that work with most shirts. The struggle is real!

  6. I’ve had good luck with underwire. I now know the value of replacing bras regularly. Also, I’ve ditched Victoria’s Secret entirely, and buy exclusively from Third Love. They really are the most comfortable bras I’ve ever worn. Getting fitted and measured properly is key!

  7. I have a mixture of both underwire and wire-free bras that I pick and choose from depending on my activity for the day, or the outfit I’m planning to wear. Some clothes need a little less or more support to fit right. I make my bras last a lot longer than six months by always using a lingerie bag and never putting them in the dryer, though I probably stretch some out longer than I should.

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