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How Many Sports Bras Do I Need

It goes without saying that sports bras are indispensable in any woman’s wardrobe — no matter what kind of exercise you do or how often. Not only are many of them designed to be supportive enough minimize bounce and protect your breasts during your workout, but also to wick sweat away. The result? A more comfortable sweat session all around.

But how many sports bras do you need? Well, the answer depends on several different lifestyle factors. While you may know how many regular bras to have in your rotation, you may not know how many of these specialty undergarments it makes sense to have.

That’s why we’re delving into the ultra-common question in this guide.

How often do you work out?

This is arguably the most important question to ask yourself when determining how many sports bras you need.

Are you someone who hits the gym two to three (or fewer) times a week? Then you can probably get away with just two sports bras. Two is definitely the minimum we recommend because it’s advisable to wash your sports bra after each wear. If you have more than one, then you’ll still have one to wear while the other one is in the laundry pile.

On the other hand, if you’re the kind of gal who hits the gym five or more days a week, you’re going to need more than two. Ideally, you’ll have at least four sports bras in your arsenal to switch out throughout the week.

Related: 7 Signs You’re Wearing The Wrong Sports Bra

What kinds of exercise do you do?

Some of us stick with one kind of physical activity we love, like running or Yoga. If that’s the case, then you may not need as many sports bras (as long as you don’t work out five or more days a week, of course). That’s because you’ll likely only need one style of bra.

For example, Yogis may prefer lightweight wire-free compression sports bras, whereas runners will likely only wear super supportive encapsulation sports bras with separated cups to reduce bounce when they’re working out.

But the more variety your fitness regime has, the more sports bras you’ll need. That’s because different kinds of physical activity call for different levels of support. For example, a low-impact sports bra works just fine for exercises like Pilates and strength training (anything that doesn’t cause your breasts to bounce much). These sports bras don’t typically have any padding or underwire, have narrower shoulder straps, and may or may not have separated cups.

Meanwhile, a medium-impact sports bra is ideal for activities such as power walking, using an elliptical trainer, and hiking, as they can better restrict breast movement. And high-impact sports bras are best for activities like running, plyometrics, and aerobics, as you’ll be pounding the ground and therefore require better bounce control to protect your breasts. These styles tend to have wider shoulder straps and underbands and individual cups (sometimes with underwire and/or side boning).

How often do you do laundry?

As previously mentioned, we advise washing your sports bras after every wear. And this isn’t just for hygienic reasons, either — it’s also to ensure you preserve its longevity. When left on the bra, sweat can break down the elastic and other fibers that contribute to its shape and support.

Pro tip: It’s a good idea to get the sweat off your sports bra as soon as you can, so when you get home from the gym, toss it in a basin with some detergent and let it soak. This is also why it’s best to opt for sports bras made with moisture-wicking material.

So, you’ll obviously need to consider how frequently you do your laundry in deciding how many sports bras to own. Do you do laundry on a daily basis? Then you can probably get away with two sports bras, provided you only exercise a few times a week.

However, if you’re someone who only does your laundry a couple times a week, then you’ll definitely need more sports bras in your collection to ensure you have a clean one to wear any time you work out.

The bottom line is, the number of sports bras you need will range from two to seven, but it all depends on how often you work out, how often you do laundry, and how much variety you incorporate into your exercise routine.

Related: How Should A Sports Bra Fit?

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Active Sports Bra P5541 in Black
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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