The 12 Best Sports Bras for Small Chests of 2022

The Athleta Solace Bra provides optimal support no matter your chest size

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The 12 Best Sports Bras for Small Chests of 2022

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Whether you're an athlete or you use one for everyday wear, a sports bra is often an essential piece of apparel. Even if you don't have a larger chest, a sports bra may still be a necessary addition to your wardrobe. But one designed especially for your body type will be more comfortable.

Reviewed & Approved

The Athleta Solace Bra's stylish yet supportive design and strap placement makes it our top overall pick. The Lululemon In-Alignment Sports Bra is a good pick for low-impact activities like yoga.

Julia Breitwieser, design director of bras and swim at Athleta, says that sports bras for smaller chests usually have a lower front neckline than those designed for fuller busts. They can also feature narrower straps and less fabric on the backside of the bra. "You should still make sure you have the coverage you need so you aren’t slipping out or bouncing too much,” Breitwieser advises.

We researched dozens of sports bras for smaller chests and evaluated them for design and shape, support, material, quality, and price.

Here are the best sports bras for small chests, with varieties to suit every need and preference.

Best Overall: Athleta Solace Bra A-C

4.6
Athleta Solace Bra A-C

Athleta

Pros
  • Buttery soft fabric

  • Doesn’t stretch out after washing

  • Straps don’t dig into shoulders

Cons
  • Some dislike the removable pads

  • Not adjustable

Athleta's Solace Bra is our best overall selection because of its perfect balance of fashion and function. It's designed for smaller chests, but it fits breasts up to a C-cup size. The low-impact bra compresses the body to minimize movement and distribute weight across the chest. "We engineered thinner, naturally shaped, and tapered pads in this bra so that you can actually recognize your boobs," Breitwieser says.

The strappy back and low-cut, curved V-neckline are great for everyday wear or studio workouts. Breitwieser explains that the strap placement in the Solace Bra is a science. "It stays put, with no annoying digging," she says. "The straps are narrow, but the placement and interlacing allow for optimal support."

The Solace Bra A-C incorporates a lightweight, Buttermesh lining for superior ventilation while the Powervita exterior—made of nylon and spandex—offers a sculpted, smooth feeling. Most importantly, the bra's bonded chest band follows the body's unique curves and stays in place while you flow into your next pose. It's offered in sizes XXS-XL in Orchid Pink, Black, White, Navy, Wink Pink, and Island Coral.

Sizes: XXS-XL | Fabric: 75% nylon, 25% spandex | Padding: Yes (removable) | Support Level: Light

Best Budget: CRZ YOGA Strappy Sports Bra

CRZ YOGA Strappy Sports Bra

Amazon

Pros
  • Trendy strappy back

  • Buttery soft fabric

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Runs small

  • May be hard to find the right size

Reminiscent of higher-end brands, this strappy back sports bra layers seamlessly. The smooth, buttery soft fabric wicks away sweat and conforms to the body like a glove. The CRZ YOGA Strappy Sports Bra is designed specifically for A- and B-cups with quick-dry removable padding for a smooth and lifted fit. This low-impact sports bra is ideal for studio workouts and daily wear with a sturdy underband that eliminates ride up while minimizing movement. 

Made from 71% polyamide and 29% spandex, this light compression yoga bra delivers an almost naked, barely-there sensation. The intricate triple X-back straps allow for freedom of movement and are placed to avoid armpit irritation and digging. Available in sizes XS-XL, the CRZ YOGA Strappy Sports comes in more than a dozen prints and colors.

Sizes: XS-XL | Fabric: 71% polyamide, 29% spandex | Padding: Yes (removable) | Support Level: Light

Best Low Impact: Lululemon In-Alignment Sports Bra

Lululemon In-Alignment Sports Bra

Lululemon

Pros
  • Light built-in padding

  • Minimalist design

  • Buttery soft

Cons
  • Can pill if not washed properly

  • Material may stretch after wear

For the comfort-craving yogis and lounge enthusiasts, this classically cut sports bra features lululemon’s signature buttery soft fabric with a naked, barely-there sensation. The In Alignment Straight-Strap Bra is a light support style and features built-in, molded cups that support, separate, and conceal. This design is ideal for those who dislike removable padding, which can sometimes get bunched up in the bra or lost in the wash. 

The In-Alignment bra fits like a second skin and doesn’t show through body-skimming shirts. The ultra-lightweight material is sweat-wicking and made of 81% nylon and 19% elastane. The adjustable straps and hook-and-eye back closure offer a comfortable, versatile fit, and the bra is offered in sizes 2-12.

Sizes: 2-12 | Fabric: 81% nylon, 19% elastane | Padding: Light (built into the cups) | Support Level: Light

Best Reversible: Lululemon Align Reversible Bra Light Support, A/B Cup

Lululemon Align Reversible Bra Light Support, A/B Cup

Lululemon

Pros
  • Double-layered fabric

  • Reversible

  • Buttery soft material

Cons
  • No padding or pad pockets

  • White option may require extra coverage underneath

Get two bras for the price of one with the Llululemon Align Reversible Bra. This magical leotard-style sports bra features perfectly paired color combinations that reveal a second color or print when turned inside out. Constructed using Lululemon's buttery soft, featherlight Nulu Fabric, this ultra-comfy sports bra is the ideal undergarment for yoga, lounging, studio classes, and everyday wear. The U-back design pairs perfectly with workout tanks while the thick underband provides a secure, smooth fit.

Providing support for A- and B-cups, the Lululemon Align Reversible Bra is great for both lounging and light workouts. It's also offered in a wide range of two-sided color and print combinations in sizes 2-12.

Sizes: 2-12 | Fabric: 81% nylon, 19% Lycra elastane | Padding: No | Support Level: Light

Best High Impact: Nike Alpha UltraBreathe Sports Bra

Nike Alpha UltraBreathe Sports Bra

Dick's Sporting Goods

Pros
  • High support

  • Breathable, sweat-wicking fabric

  • Flexible mesh overlay for added coverage

Cons
  • Double clasp closure

  • Too much coverage for some

  • No padding

For your most high-intensity, vigorous workouts, the Nike Alpha UltraBreathe Sports Bra delivers an ultra-high degree of support without restriction. Made from featherlight, stretchy mesh fabric with Dri-FIT technology, this high-impact sports bra keeps the body cool while wicking away sweat on contact. The body-hugging fit features flexible encapsulated cups with a chest overlay providing fashion and function. Leaving a slight peek-a-boo slit above the breasts, the flexible mesh overlay minimizes bounce and adds an extra layer of security with some edgy flair. 

For full mobility and easy adjustments, this bra features a modified racerback fit with adjustable straps and a double hook-and-eye back closure. The Nike Alpha UltraBreathe Sports Bra is a standout in terms of support and style and is offered in sizes XS-XXL in a variety of patterns and colors.

Sizes: XS-XXL | Fabric: 81% nylon, 19% spandex | Padding: No | Support Level: High

Best Style: Alo Wild Thing Bra

Alo Wild Thing Bra

Alo Yoga

Pros
  • Can be worn as a top

  • Sculpting, supportive fabric

  • Universally flattering neckline

Cons
  • Not adjustable

  • Padding only included in light colors

Alo Yoga's Wild Thing Bra matches style with function. Featuring a low-cut front and a longline design, the bra can be paired with high-waisted leggings or layered under a slouchy tee. This versatile studio-to-street bra is a go-to for Alexis Sweeney, founder of the Silhouette by Alexis App and online fitness platform. “For a plunge bra, it is both tasteful and supportive, and very well-made,” Sweeney says. “I am a B-cup and find this to actually be the only plunge bra I can teach dance cardio in. I am constantly recommending this bra to clients.”

The comfy, cool racerback cut is delicately detailed with a ruched front coupled with soft cups for coverage, separation, and support. Accenting the deep V-neckline, the bra hits around the upper rib cage and showcases an opposing V-cut silhouette. “Not only is it supportive and crazy flattering, but I can also match it with anything, and girls are constantly asking me where this bra is from,” Sweeney adds.

The Alo Wild Thing Sports Bra is made from Alo’s signature Airbrush fabric providing a sculpted, smooth feel with four-way stretch and sweat-wicking technology. It’s available in sizes XS-XL (spanning sizes 2-18) and is offered in Black, Ivory, Cranberry, White, Anthracite, Dark Olive, and Steel Blue.

Sizes: XS-XL | Fabric: 87% nylon, 13% spandex | Padding: Available in light color styles | Support Level: Light

Best Padded: Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh Sports Bra

Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh Sports Bra

Nike

Pros
  • Doubles as a crop top

  • High-coverage cut

  • Numerous color options

Cons
  • Runs small

  • Not adjustable

The magic of this bra is in the padding. Unlike most bra pads, the Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh Sports Bra features a one-piece pad that stays in place while you work out and keeps its shape between washes. Even more, the pad pocket opens at the top with a compartment large enough to stow a phone—just swap out the padding to make some room first.

This simple, low-maintenance pullover bra has a racerback design for easy on and off with an extended underband for stability, comfort, and coverage. Fitting nice and snug, the longline silhouette doubles as a crop top. Nike's Dri-FIT technology helps wick away sweat to keep the chest dry and comfortable during a workout. Whether it’s a cardio or strength day, this medium-impact sports bra will support all your active endeavors.

The Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh Sports Bra is made from a stretchy, soft blend of polyester—of which 50% is recycled polyester fiber—and spandex. It's offered in sizes XS-XXL in a wide array of colors.

Sizes: XS-XL | Fabric: 82% polyester, 18% spandex | Padding: Yes | Support Level: Medium

Best Crop Style: Lemedy Padded Sports Bra

Lemedy Padded Sports Bra

Walmart

Pros
  • Thick and supportive material

  • Versatile style

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Runs small

  • Straps aren't adjustable

  • Bottom may roll up

Blurring the lines between a longline sports bra and a crop top, this trending style offers shape and support for studio workouts and everyday wear. Showcasing a spaghetti strap bra top, The Lemedy Padded Sports Bra is easy to pull on when you're in a rush. It’s made from 87% nylon and 13% spandex for the perfect marriage of stretch and shape retention, with a lightweight, soft feel. The crop top’s shelf bra includes removable pads that are quite thick for shape and modesty.

This Lemedy crop top is perfect for layering or mixing and matching with your existing legging collection to create a whole new workout wardrobe. It provides light support for an A- to C-cup in sizes S-XXL and is available in an extensive assortment of bright and neutral colors.

Sizes: S-XXL | Fabric: 87% nylon, 13% spandex | Padding: Yes (removable) | Support Level: Light

Best Push-Up: Victoria's Secret Ultimate Push-Up Sports Bra

Victoria's Secret Ultimate Push-Up Sports Bra

Victoria's Secret

Pros
  • Wireless molded cups

  • Push-up padding

  • Numerous color options

Cons
  • Fastens in back or over head

  • Fixed padding

If you're looking for a little boost while keeping your chest secure and stable, the Ultimate Push-Up Sports Bra can help—without any stubborn, poking wires. This medium-impact sports bra delivers a smooth, lifted silhouette while still maintaining your natural shape. Wireless molded cups complete with supportive push-up padding conform to your body for a comfortable fit. Plus, the keyhole racerback cut features a hook-and-eye back closure and adjustable straps for ultimate flexibility.

For comfortable all-day wear, the bottom band is padded for extra support and cushion. The Ultimate Push-Up Sports Bra is made from a stretchy, sweat-wicking blend of recycled polyester and elastane, and it's offered in a wide variety of prints and colors in sizes XXS-XXL.

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Fabric: 88% recycled polyester, 12% elastane | Padding: Yes | Support Level: Medium

Best With Pocket: Brooks Drive Three-Pocket Run Bra

Brooks Drive Three-Pocket Run Bra

Zappos

Pros
  • Three built-in pockets

  • Bonded seams prevent chafing

  • Cup-specific sizing

Cons
  • Straps not adjustable

  • Some dislike the removable pads

  • May stretch out after heavy wear

When you're on-the-go, carrying around a bag isn't always practical. That's why the Brooks Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra—featuring three hidden pockets—is ideal for the busiest of women. Crafted for long-distance runs or weekend errands, the medium-impact racerback bra includes two side mesh pockets and a bonded phone pocket on the back. The compression style bra keeps you stable and supported with removable cups for extra coverage.

One of the highlights of Brooks sports bras is the pinpointed sizing options. The Drive 3 Pocket Run Bra spans band sizes 30-40 and comes in cup sizes AB, CD, and DDE. Best of all, choose from a range of vibrant and neutral colors including Blue Bolt, Magenta, Black, Nightlife, and Terracotta/Fluoro Pink.

Sizes: Band sizes: 30-40, Cup sizes: AB, CD, and DDE | Fabric: 72% polyester, 28% spandex | Padding: Yes (removable) | Support Level: Medium

Best Plus: Girlfriend Collective Lou V-Back Bra

Girlfriend Collective Lou V-Back Bra

Girlfriend Collective

Pros
  • Minimalist design

  • Thick, supportive fabric

  • Numerous color options

Cons
  • Runs small

  • Thin padding

  • Not adjustable

Feel hugged and secure without distraction with Girlfriend Collective's Lou V-Back Bra. This simple, minimalistic sports bra boasts Girlfriend Collective's signature blend of sustainable fabric—79% recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and 21% spandex—along with recycled, removable cups.

This full-coverage, double-lined sports bra delivers a compressive, hugged sensation with plenty of softness and stretch. The built-in support band offers a stable, sturdy fit for medium-impact workouts. Equipped with minimally thick straps that don't dig into the skin, the racerback bra is both stylish and comfortable. You can find it in a wide selection of limited edition and essential colors in sizes XXS-6XL.

Sizes: XXS-6XL | Fabric: 79% recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 21% spandex | Padding: Yes (removable) | Support Level: Medium

Best for Running: Under Armour Infinity Limitless High Sports Bra

4.5
Under Armour Infinity Limitless High Sports Bra

Under Armour

Pros
  • No removable pads

  • Adjustable straps

  • Sweat-wicking fabric

Cons
  • Cannot uncross straps

  • Can be difficult to fasten

  • Straps may be stiff

There's nothing worse than having a sweaty, chafing, unsupportive sports bra distract you during a workout. Luckily, the Under Armour UA Infinity High Sports Bra features patented HeatGear fabric that delivers a second-skin-like feel that effectively wicks away sweat for all-day comfort.

With targeted support, this sports bra comes with a figure-eight design that's injection-molded into a one-piece pad to sync with the breast's natural shape and movement patterns. The hollow, molded cups deliver lightweight support without sacrificing modesty. Best of all, there are no pads to fish out of the washer.

For ultimate ease and adjustability, the crisscross straps are adjustable along with the hook-and-eye back closure. Built-in mesh paneling adds a chic touch with extra ventilation, and the bra is offered in sizes XS-XXL and in a variety of color options.

Sizes: XS-XXL | Fabric: 87% polyester, 13% elastane | Padding: PU injected one-piece padding | Support Level: High

Final Verdict

No matter your cup size, you’ll need varying support for different activities—meaning high support for high-intensity workouts and lower support for low-intensity workouts and everyday casual wear. For lower impact workouts like yoga, barre, and Pilates, we recommend the Solace Bra A-C (view at Athleta). This strappy back bra pairs beautifully under tank tops and features a lower neckline for a non-restricting, fashionable fit.

For high-impact workouts, we recommend the Nike Alpha UltraBreathe Sports Bra (view at Nordstrom). This fully adjustable sports bra is made from an ultra-lightweight mesh with Dri-FIT technology. The Nike Alpha UltraBreathe features flexible encapsulated cups with a chest overlay for both fashion and function—minimizing bounce and adding an extra layer of coverage.

What to Look for in Sports Bras for Small Chests

Compression

Compression sports bras offer support by pressing the breast tissue against the chest wall, thus restricting the range of motion. This comfortable, minimalist style of sports bra is most popular among smaller cup sizes as it's typically wireless.

When opting for a compression sports bra, designer Julia Breitwieser suggests making sure you feel hugged and secure. "If it’s designed for a fuller bust, the circumference around the bust could be too big and not be holding you securely," she says.

Encapsulation

Encapsulation sports bras are designed with two cups—either separate or molded—which lift, stabilize, and support the breasts during physical activity. This style often features light to medium padding with seamless molded cups for smooth coverage. This type of sports bra is favored for offering exceptional comfort and support without compromising shape.

Breitwieser stresses the importance of making sure your breasts fill out the cup. "If you aren’t filling it, you’ll be getting movement within the cup instead of support," she says.

Support Level

No matter your cup size, you will still need to match your support level to your activity, meaning high support for high-intensity workouts and lower support for low-impact workouts.

While smaller cup sizes can get away with less material than fuller cup sizes, it’s best to steer clear of styles that have overly skinny straps and minimal coverage while working out. Save those bras for your rest days.

Material

Some materials are better for exercise than others. If you’re looking for a compressive but moisture-wicking sports bra, consider materials like spandex or microfiber. Both are common, comfortable options that are resistant to moisture.

Cotton is not the best choice for sports bras. While comfortable, cotton absorbs moisture. This can lead to friction and chafing. Cotton can also retain odors.

Adjustable Fit

Buying any piece of clothing your regular size may need a little adjustment to get a comfortable fit. Sports bras are no exception. Some sports bras use standard small/medium/large sizing while others use cup sizes for a more accurate fit. 

Regardless of the sizing system, look for a sports bra that you can adjust to better fit your body. For example, you may need to adjust the straps or band.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How should a sports bra fit?

    A properly fitting sports bra minimizes breast movement in all directions—forward and back, up and down, and side to side—and won’t cause chafing or discomfort that can distract you from performing at your best, explains bra designer Julia Breitwieser. 

    Plus, “static comfort can be different than comfort during movement," Breitwieser says. "Definitely take the time to jump around or try a downward dog in the fitting room or your home before assessing if it’s the right bra for you.”

    In addition, “Not many people realize that your bra support should come mostly from bands lifting, not straps pulling,” Breitwieser points out. “The bonded chest band in bras stays put and molds to your form to provide better support in all the right places.”

  • How do I measure for a sports bra?

    Breitwieser recommends going to a professional bra fitter. “Even if you follow instructions to measure on your own, keep in mind every brand fits a bit differently,” she says. 

    But if you do want to measure yourself—or a friend—be sure to wear a non-padded and non-compressive sports bra and use a soft measuring tape. You'll need to know two key measurements: band and cup size.

    To determine band size, place the measuring tape around your rib cage, right underneath the bust. Relax your arms at your sides and exhale to get the smallest measurement possible. The tape measure should be snug. Round down to a whole number (so if you measure 31.5 inches, record it as 31 inches). Find the correlating band size below.

    Rib Cage Measurement to Band Size

    • 25 to 27 inches = 30
    • 27 to 29 inches = 32
    • 29 to 31 inches = 34
    • 31 to 33 inches = 36
    • 33 to 35 inches = 38
    • 35 to 37 inches = 40
    • 37 to 39 inches = 42
    • 39 to 41 inches = 44

    To determine your cup size, place the measuring tape around the fullest part of the bust. Then subtract the ribcage measurement from the bust measurement. The difference translates to the suggested cup size below.

    Measurement Difference to Cup Size

    • <1 inch = AA
    • 1 inch = A
    • 2 inches = B
    • 3 inches = C
    • 4 inches = D
    • 5 inches = DD/E
    • 6 inches = DDD/F
  • Can you swim in a sports bra?

    The fabrics used in most sports bras aren’t made to withstand chlorine or saltwater. Breitwieser says swimming in a sports bra can cause the garment to break down much sooner. So while you can use one as a swim top, you're likely shortening its usable life.

  • Is it bad to always wear a sports bra?

    Rakhi Shah, DO, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Northwestern Medicine in Illinois, cautions that wearing a tight garment like a sports bra for too long can lead to skin irritation. “If the skin is moist, such as after exercising, it can lead to infections including yeast,” Shah says.

  • How do I wash a sports bra?

    To prolong the life of a sports bra, avoid heat since it deteriorates spandex. Wash the sports bra in cold water and hang to dry. For extra special care, some people prefer to remove any bra pads and hand wash them.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Having worked for a women's sports bra company, Emily Stone has learned a thing or two about what makes or breaks a bra. As a health and wellness writer, she researches and reviews products for Verywell Fit, Verywell Mind, and Verywell Health. Stone favors Athleta, Lululemon, and Under Armour for their sweat-wicking materials and aerodynamic designs.

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