The Best Swimsuits, According to a Former Competitive Swimmer

Our expert recommends the Speedo Training Suit Endurance+ and Arena Men's Eol

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two women in one piece bathing suits

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Whether you're heading to the beach, exercising in the pool, or on the summer swim team, a reliable swimsuit is vital for the summer. The best swimsuits are comfortable, well-fitting, and won't restrict your range of motion.

Reviewed & Approved

The Speedo Solid Flyback Training Suit Endurance+ is our top pick for women because it's durable and versatile. The Arena Men's Eol Seasonal Print Jammer is our top pick for men because they're comfortable and provide a good range of motion.

What swimsuit you choose will largely depend on what type of swimming you plan to do. If you are a competitive swimmer, you will want to look for swimsuits that have a good range of motion and a snug fit so you can perform your best on race day. Former Olympic Trials competitor Will Manion recommends that you try on different brands because they all feel different and some feel more constricting than others. "Also, try to order the suit a month before a competition to make sure it is comfortable,” he says.

However, if you are purchasing a swimsuit for swim practice, swim lessons, or leisure swimming, you will want to prioritize the comfort and fit of the suit so that it does not ruin your swim session or cause discomfort or pain. We researched popular suits for a range of activities with these helpful features in mind.

Here are the best swimsuits on the market, according to a former swim coach.

Best Overall for Women: Speedo Solid Flyback Training Suit Endurance+

4.7
Speedo Solid Flyback Training Suit Endurance+

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  •  Long-lasting

  • Great value

  • Available in 11 different colors

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Thin shoulder straps could become loose over time if not taken care of

This classic women’s Speedo suit is a must-have for anyone in need of a quality, long-lasting swimsuit. It is a jack of all trades—perfect for swim practice, swimming laps, racing, or even hanging out by the pool. The Endurance+ fabric is quick-drying and anti-pilling, so it will be long-lasting for all purposes. Not to mention, it fits comfortably and is made of a four-way stretch material that can fit a range of body types. The Flyback design also provides an excellent range of motion.

However, the size you select may depend on the intended use of the suit. For practice suits, you may want to buy a size bigger than you think so it won't stretch out too much and can create drag resistance, so you feel faster during your race. For a competition suit, you will want to buy the correct size or a size smaller to reduce drag while in the water.

Best Overall for Men: Arena Men's Eol Seasonal Print Jammer

4.7
Arena Men's Eol Seasonal Print Jammer

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Low-cost

  • Long-lasting

  • Comfortable fit

  • Good range of motion

Cons
  • Some designs have limited availability in certain sizes

We love this suit for its overall value. Available in seven patterns, these sleek and affordable jammers are perfect for either practice or racing. There is an internal drawstring attached to the inner waistline area so you can adjust the size accordingly. They are made with Arena’s signature Malice fabric, which ensures a soft and comfortable fit without restricting your range of motion. They're also designed to be chlorine-resistant and reduce drag when you're in the water.

Best Budget: Dolfin Uglies Women’s String Back One Piece Swimsuit

Dolfin Uglies Women's String Back One Piece Swimsuit

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Aesthetic design

  • Low cost

  • Long-lasting

  • Good value

Cons
  • Not great for competitions

  • Not as high-quality as more expensive suits on the market

The Dolfin Uglies swimsuits are the top brand that I used to wear to practice as a competitive swimmer, and I still own and use mine to this day (almost ten years later). So these suits are not only a great price for a women’s one-piece practice suit, but they will also last you a long time.

Another big sell on the Uglies is that despite their ironic name, the patterns are beautiful and full of bright colors. Their line of suits comes in a wide variety of unique designs for swimmers to be comfortable during practice and express themselves at the same time.

If you are swimming mostly outdoors, note that these suits will fade over time, but are very durable given the low price compared to other swimsuit brands. If the suit does stretch out over time or you see some wear and tear, these also make great drag suits for practice.

Best for Girls (Kids): Speedo Girls Swimsuit One Piece Infinity Splice

Speedo Girls Swimsuit One Piece Infinity Splice

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Good quality

  • Comfortable

  • Many design options

Cons
  •  Expensive

It should come as no surprise that even Speedo’s line of kids’ products is the best on the market. For kids’ swimsuits, you want to make sure the suit is going to be comfortable for them, and that it fits them properly. Made with 20% lycra, this suit will stretch to provide a snug fit and good range of motion in the water.

However, those who have previously purchased this suit warn potential buyers to double-check the sizing chart or to purchase a size bigger than expected since it tends to run small. 

Made with UPF 50+ sun protection, this suit will also help block the sun from harming your child’s skin. It comes in many different styles, ranging from bright and colorful to dark and simple.

Best for Boys (Kids): Speedo Boys' Learn To Swim Jammer

Speedo Boys Learn to Swim Jammer

Courtesy of Speedo

Pros
  • Low-cost

  • Durable

  • Good range of motion

Cons
  • Only available in four colors

Whether your child is just learning to swim or is already a near-pro athlete, these learn to swim jammers are a great, low-cost option for swim lessons, practice, or meets. Like most other jammers, they come equipped with an adjustable string inside the waistline to ensure a snug fit. 

The UPF 50+ fabric will keep your child’s skin protected from the sun while swimming outdoors. These jammers are especially suitable for kids who are sensitive to cold water, as they are designed with 20-percent Lycra XTRA LIFE material, which provides a little extra insulation and warmth.

Lycra also allows the swimmer to stretch and move around easily, which increases the range of motion.

Best for Competitions: Speedo Fastskin LZR Pure Valor Closed Back Kneeskin

Speedo Women's Fastskin LZR Pure Valor Closed Back Kneeskin

Courtesy of Speedo

Pros
  • Extremely high quality

  • Wide range of motion

  • Light material (good for racing)

Cons
  •  Expensive

If you are an athletic swimmer, you may already know that the Speedo Fastskin LZR is one of the best competition suits on the market. Though it sells for a very high price, this suit might just be worth the money as it is brilliantly engineered for a great performance in all of your races. The LZR Pure Valor is built with a light material that reduces drag and additional support around the abdomen to increase core stability

The 35-percent Lycra/Spandex material makes this suit superior to other suits in terms of range of motion, as this material is stretchy and will not constrict movement.

Those who've tried this suit note that the Pure Valor model has even more stretchability than other models, such as the LZR Elite. If you are serious about swimming and wish to crush the competition, this suit is a great fit for you.

Best Plus Size: TYR Women's Plus Size Mantra Twisted Bra Controlfit

TYR Women's Plus Size Mantra Twisted Bra Controlfit

Courtesy of SwimOutlet

Pros
  • Comfortable

  • Easily adjustable

  • Stretchable

Cons
  • Torso area is a little short

Designed for plus-size women, this suit is comfortable, adjustable, and simple. The adjustable shoulder straps allow you to customize the sizing, and the bra cups come in a contoured shape to accommodate the bust area.

The Power Mesh material provides added support and a flattering look. These features, in concert with the Durfast Elite and the 6-percent Spandex material, make this suit a top contender for a comfortable fit, no matter the shape of your body.

The suit also has a more conservative fit, with a medium neckline and modest coverage. If you are in need of a swimsuit that will allow you to stay active, comfortable, and fits your body shape, the TYR Mantra Twisted Bra Controlfit Swimsuit Plus is your best bet.

Best with Tummy Control: Swimsuits For All Chlorine Resistant Lycra Xtra Life Tank One Piece Swimsuit

Swimsuits For All Chlorine Resistant Lycra Xtra Life Tank One Piece Swimsuit

Courtesy of Swimsuits For All

Pros
  • Comfortable

  • Supportive

  • Flattering fit

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Shoulder straps are not adjustable

If you are on the market for a suit with tummy control, SwimSuitsForAll has you covered with the Lycra Xtra Life Tank One Piece. This suit is made with Power Mesh Tummy Control lining for a slim fit. It also guarantees comfort, especially in the bust area, with its built-in Power Mesh bra, soft cups, and plush underwire. The suit is 20% Spandex/Lycra, which is perfect for the swimmer who might prefer comfort and a flattering design over other swimsuit features. 

This suit is available on the Swimsuits For All website in four gorgeous patterns. However, because of the Tummy Control lining, the suit can end up being a little tight, so the sizes tend to run small. For that reason, you may want to purchase one size larger than you think so that it fits you comfortably.

Best Stylish: Summersalt The Sidestroke

Summersalt’s The Sidestroke

Courtesy of Summersalt

Pros
  • Aesthetic designs

  • Comfortable

  • Quality material

Cons
  • No bra cups may not be ideal for certain bust sizes

Available in 10 beautiful designs, Summersalt has a one-piece leisure suit that is both trendy and good quality. Rated as one of the top bathing suits styles by Elle magazine and The Today Show, The Sidestroke is a top seller among Summersalt’s swimsuit product line.

The suit also provides good support in the bust area and has good compression. It is open in the back area and provides full coverage of the butt. With 22% elastane material, it is sure to fit snugly for swimmers of all shapes and sizes. 

This suit gets bonus points for sustainability, as the material is also comprised of 78% recycled polyamide.

For women looking for a well-rounded, long-lasting swimsuit that works well for competitions but is also sleek enough to be worn for leisure swims, Speedo's Women's Swimsuit One Piece Endurance+ Flyback suit (View at Amazon) is your best bet.

For men looking for a reliable swimsuit that offers an adjustable, comfortable fit but is also fitted enough for competitions, look no further than Arena's Men's Eol Seasonal Print Jammers (View at Amazon).

What to Look for in a Swimsuit

Range of Motion

The range of motion is important when deciding which swimsuit to purchase, especially if you need a suit for swim practice or competitions. A suit that constricts your motion in the water can slow you down and cause discomfort. "Range of motion is important for flip turns and breaststroke. You don’t want to fight against the suit or material to do the movements," says Manion.  

Sizing

Sizing is a very important factor to consider when purchasing a suit, especially online. Every brand has different sizing, and swimsuit sizes do not necessarily align with the sizes of your clothes. For example, you might wear size 30 jeans, but not be a size 30 for swimsuits. For swim practice, Manion suggests buying a size up.“I always wear a size larger practice suit so that it doesn’t get stretched out and so that it lasts a long time,” he says.

Comfort

As with any swim product, comfort is a key consideration for most situations, although it is less of a priority for competition suits. This is related to range of motion and sizing as well. You will want to make sure your suit is the right size and provides a good range of motion, since both of these features contribute to how comfortable the suit will feel on you. Swimsuits with Spandex, Lycra, or other elastic materials will provide the most comfort and stretchability.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to wash swimsuits

    First, it is highly recommended that you read the care instructions on the suit before washing it. However, in general, swimsuits should be washed using the gentle, delicate, or hand wash cycle. For the best results, wash with detergent specifically for delicate loads. Hang the swimsuit to dry. If you are short on time, you can also bring the suit in the shower with you for a quick and easy rinse in a pinch. 

  • How to sew a swimsuit

    Because swimsuits are made with such stretchy material, you will want to use a stretch needle when sewing them—especially with four-way stretch fabric. For the threading, the best option is to use polyester thread, as it is more durable than cotton thread. You can sew swimsuits with a regular sewing machine and do not need a serger, although you can use a serger if you want to or have one.

  • How to measure for a swimsuit

    It is recommended that you have someone else take your swimsuit measurements for you, since doing it on yourself can reduce the accuracy. You will also want to use a soft tape, rather than a hard tape or a ruler, so that you can wrap it around your body and get an accurate measurement.

    Keep in mind that your pants or waist size may not be the same as your swimsuit size (this is especially true for men). Finally, make sure to check out the product’s website for sizing charts that include specific body measurements as they relate to swimsuit sizes, as sizes may vary among brands.

  • How to make a swimsuit

    To DIY a swimsuit, you will want to use mostly nylon fabric (about 80%) with the remainder of the suit being Spandex or Lycra (about 20%). Cotton should be avoided as it will soak up the water. You will also need a lining and an elastic to add as finishing touches and to ensure the suit fits comfortably and, most importantly, stays on your body while swimming. 

    Because swimsuits are made with such stretchy material, you will want to use a stretch needle when sewing them—especially with four-way stretch fabric. For the threading, the best option is to use polyester thread, as it is more durable than cotton thread. You can sew swimsuits with a regular sewing machine and do not need a serger, although you can use a serger if you want to or have one.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

A former competitive swimmer and swim coach, Alex Battaglia understands the value of a quality swimsuit, whether for a competition, for practice, or for leisure swimming. Now a health researcher, she’s committed to thoroughly researching the best products for both recreational swimmers and athletes, and finding products that are scientifically proven to work. 

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