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padded bra

One of the greatest differentiators among bras is padding. Each type of padding provides a unique shape and look for your bust. From no padding to ultra-padded bras, there are a variety padding options from which you can choose. But, how much padding do you need and which type of padding is best for you?

Let’s discuss padding options and how each affects your bust, so you can decide which you prefer.

Padding Options in Bras

A bra’s padding helps shape your bust. The type of padding and the amount of padding in the bra determines what kind of shape it can give you. Here are the three main types of padding options in bras:

Unlined Bras

unlined bra

Sandrine Unlined Wire Bra P5352 in Cameo Rose

Unlined bras have no padding in the cups. The bra cups are made of the bra’s fabric with no additional padding for coverage or shape. This type of bra offers a natural, comfortable fit. Because the bra is unlined, it offers little coverage for your nipples. However, unlined bras aren’t always transparent.

Unlined bras can be wired or wire-free. Some unlined bras have multi-part cups, which means the bra cups are sewn with multiple pieces of fabric, resulting in several seams. The extra seams in a multi-cup bra help provide support, even in unlined bras.

Examples of unlined bras include the Adriana Bralette, Sandrine Bra and Irene Bra.

Foam Lined Bras

foam lined bra

Tess T-Shirt Bra P50212 in Charcoal

Foam lined bras are lightly lined with foam to create an even layer of padding. The foam typically lines the entire bra cup. This can help create a more rounded breast appearance because it adds a little volume to your overall breast shape. Foam lined bras also provide more coverage than unlined bras.

An example of a foam lined bra is the Tess T-Shirt Bra.

Molded Bras

molded bra

Emma Plunge Molded Bra P5490 in Bare

Molded bras are heavily padded bras that help mold your bust into a desired shape. The bra offers padding throughout the cups, but also includes padding in the bottoms or sides of the cups. This extra padding in the bottoms or sides of the cups helps to lift, create cleavage or add volume.

The Lynn Y-Back Bra and Emma Plunge Bra are examples of molded bras.

Related: Contour Bras vs Push-Up Bras: What’s The Difference?

Deciding How Much Bra Padding You Need

How much padding you need is based on personal preference. There’s no right or wrong amount of padding to choose. However, knowing what kind of result you want from your bra will help you determine how much padding you need.

Ask yourself these questions when considering how much padding you want:

Do I need extra support?

Do I want a natural shape and fit?

Do I want to boost cleavage and volume?

Do I want subtle shaping?

If you’d like your bra to boost your bustline with more volume, cleavage or lift, a molded bra’s padding will do the trick. If you’re wanting to manipulate your bust’s shape, opt for a non-molded bra, like an unlined or a foam lined bra. It’s a good idea to have a variety of bras in your lingerie drawer. On some occasions, you may want a simple, easy fit, and on other occasions, you may want to accentuate your bust.

Related: Bra Shopping Guide: Tips For Buying New Bras

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 Matilda Push-Up Bra P53116 | Parfait Matilda Hipster P5315 in Nude
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Published by

Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is the founder of, a lifestyle and relationship blog offering relationship advice and encouraging women to be the happiest, most confident version of themselves through positivity and self-love. She's also a freelance writer and communications strategist. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, and check out some of her accomplishments on her portfolio.

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