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Costochondritis is a condition where the cartilage around your sternum becomes inflamed. This condition is often caused by overuse of the chest muscles through severe coughing, which strains your chest area, an injury to your chest, physical strain from repeated exercise or sudden exertion you’re not used to and can be worsened by wearing a bra that is too tight.
I’ve reviewed four of the best bras for someone who suffers from costochondritis in the article below.
- My Top Bra for Costochondritis Reviews
- Features to Consider for Bras for Costochondritis
- Causes of Costochondritis
- Related Questions
My Top Bra for Costochondritis Reviews
It’s difficult to wear bras while you have costochondritis. Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the rib cage to the breastbone, which causes pain between your breastbone and ribs. Finding the right bra may help ease that pain and achieve the support that you need while you are recovering.
A bra I’d like to mention is the Smoothing V-neck Wireless Bra from Third Love. This bra is an excellent option for wearing if you suffer from costochondritis. This wireless bra has wide straps, a deep-v neckline, and supports you without over compressing your breasts.
Bali Women’s Comfort Revolution Easylite Seamless Wirefree Bra
Costochondritis usually goes away on its own, though it may go away sooner with treatment. It’s important to have a bra that you can wear comfortably while you heal. The Bali Women's Comfort Revolution Easylite Seamless Wirefree Bra is a pullover bra of lightweight, 360-degree-stretch fabric made of 61% nylon and 39% spandex.
The side flex panels of this bra offer additional stretch for easy on, easy off. The four-way stretch fabric is also moisture-wicking, which helps keep you cool and comfortable, similar to sports bras.
The Bali Women’s Comfort Revolution Easylite Seamless Wirefree Bra is a full coverage bra, with two-ply cups that have removable foam inserts for shaping and modesty. This bra smooths your back and helps relieve chest wall pain by supporting your bust with target support zones.
The Bali Women’s Comfort Revolution Easylite Seamless Wirefree Bra is also wireless and seamless, with wide straps that are designed to stay in place, similar to the Playtex Women’s 18-Hour Active Lifestyle bra that I review next.
- Seamless, so it is invisible under your clothing
- SmartComfort band design of this bra provides an amazing fit and maximum support for your chest, which can help prevent additional pain
- The fabric allows you to put this bra on and remove it easily
- Hand-wash and air-dry only
- The bra straps are not adjustable
- WIRELESS AND WEIGHTLESS - Easylite fabric feels soft and light.
- ALL THE SUPPORT YOU NEED - Two-ply cups with removable foam inserts, plus targeted support zones for...
- NO HARDWARE, NO LINES, NO SHOW - SmoothTec design with flat, fused edges creates a sleek and smooth...
Playtex Women’s 18-Hour Active Breathable Comfort Wireless Bra
The Playtex Women's 18-Hour Active Breathable Comfort Wireless Brais made of a combination of cotton, nylon, spandex, and polyester making it extremely comfortable, yet stretchy and supportive at the same time.
This bra has a seamless lining, which can help you avoid any skin irritation. This bra also has adjustable straps and 4 sets of hook and eye closures at the back, allowing you to easily loosen or tighten the bra as needed.
The breathable and moisture-wicking fabric of this bra, similar to Bali Women’s Comfort Revolution Easylite Seamless Wirefree Bra, keeps you cool and fresh for up to 18 hours.
The 4-way TruSupport bra design of this bra provides a 4-way support system: higher sides and a taller back for extra side and back support, fuller cups and a wide comfort strap for all-day comfort.
- Shoulder straps on this bra are well-cushioned, preventing them from digging into and slipping over your shoulders
- Wireless, making it much more comfortable
- Tag free, so nothing irritates your skin
- Provides support on the sides of your breasts and back
- Does not separate and define the breast shape
- Padding on this bra is on the thin side
- FOR WORKOUTS OR WORKDAYS - Designed for light-to-moderate workouts but comfy enough for the rest of...
- HELPING YOU KEEP YOUR COOL - Cool Comfort cups, an inner cooling band, and lightweight fabric for...
- FAMOUS M-FRAME DESIGN - Flexibly supporting women in comfort for decades.
Hanes Women’s SmoothTec ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra
The Hanes Women's SmoothTec ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra is made of polyester and spandex fabric, making the bra extra smooth, elastic, and comfortable. Similar to the first two bras on the list, it also is seamless and invisible under your clothing.
Similar to the Playtex Women’s 18-Hour Active Breathable Comfort Wireless Bra, the Hanes Women’s SmoothTec ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra is adjustable at the back with a hook and eye closure. The thick straps are not adjustable, but are wide and will not slip.
The Comfort Flex Fit of this bra provides 4-way stretch and makes this wireless bra extra breathable and lightweight. The flexible fabric allows you to wear the bra easily and comfortably.
- Comes in multiple sizes, from small to 3x
- Machine washable
- Unlined, with no padding
- May flatten your breasts a bit
- SUPPORT WITHOUT WIRES - Unlined cups and Hanes' patented, stay-in-place wide SmoothTec band provide...
- MOVES EVERY WAY YOU DO - ComfortFlex Fit 4-way stretch fabric for a flexible fit that adapts to your...
- KEEP COOL, ALL DAY - Cool Comfort moisture-wicking fabric keeps you cool and dry, even on those...
Carole Martin Front Adjustable Closure, Full Support Bra
Last on my list, the Carole Martin Front Adjustable Closure, Full Support Bra offers multidirectional stretch with its 82% Nylon, 18% Spandex fabric.
This flexible fabric provides a comfortable fit and support for your breasts.
This bra has a hook and eye front closure, which makes it easier to put on and take off. This bra has fully adjustable, thin straps and is completely wireless.
- Sides of this bra are wide, which provides more support and comfort
- Back of this bra has a wide band that evenly distributes the weight of your breasts and gives them great support
- Doesn’t come in sizes for larger breasts.
- Does not have any padding or lining
- Front closure bra for women with overlap triple adjustment hook & eye for an enhanced look.
- Adjustable straps for enhanced comfort and support.
- A versatile women’s comfort bra for any occasions.
Features to Consider for Bras for Costochondritis
Costochondritis can be very painful and can happen suddenly with no warning. It’s important to have a comfortable bra that you can wear that won’t add to your pain. I discuss some of the features that you should consider when looking for the best bra to wear while suffering from costochondritis below. I have also included a comparison table as a quick reference guide.
Comparing the Features of Bras for Costochondritis
|Bali Comfort Revolution||Full bust with removable pads||Pull-over||Non-adjustable|
|Playtex 18-Hour||Full coverage||Hook-and-eye closure at the back||Adjustable|
|Hanes SmoothTec||Unmolded||Hook-and-eye closure at the back||Non-adjustable|
|Carole Martin||Unmolded||Hook-and-eye closure at the front||Adjustable|
Type of Fabric
The fabric used in a bra contributes to the comfort that it can provide. The fabric should be soft, breathable, smooth, seamless and stretchy to help avoid causing more chest pain.
Avoid textured fabrics, like lace, which can irritate the skin and cause discomfort. Choose a bra with no design or seams to prevent any friction between your bust and your bra.
The Bali Women’s Comfort Revolution Easylite Seamless Wirefree Bra and Playtex Women’s 18-Hour Active Breathable Comfort Wireless Bra are two of the most comfortable bras on my list without seams or textured fabrics.
The wrong size of bra can also cause discomfort. The bra you choose should not be too tight or overly compressing. It is best to give yourself space to move and breathe freely if you are suffering from costochondritis. Using a too-tight bra during those situations can worsen the condition even more.
If you are wearing a bra that is too loose, all of the weight of your breasts will be on your torso and shoulders. The weight of your breasts should be well-distributed to help avoid shoulder and back strain as much as possible.
How the light contour cups of the bra fit also matters. Your breasts should be fully covered to make sure they are well-supported.
If you have costochondritis, you’ll need a supportive bra that won’t add to your discomfort. The bra should support your breasts with a wide elastic band, wide side panels, full coverage cups, and well-cushioned wide straps.
On my list of best bras for costochondritis, I have the Carole Martin Front Adjustable Closure, Full Support Bra, and Bali Women’s Comfort Revolution Easylite Seamless Wirefree Bra that can give amazing support to your bust.
Wide Straps and Band
A wide elastic band that stays in place without rolling up and helps to support your upper body is key when choosing a bra for wearing while you have costochondritis. A bra that has wide, padded non-slip straps can also help alleviate discomfort by keeping the straps from digging into your shoulder. The supportive straps will put less pressure on your shoulders, chest and back. Adjustable straps are also a plus.
The Bali Women’s Comfort Revolution Easylite Seamless Wirefree Bra and Hanes Women’s SmoothTec ComfortFlex Fit Bra are examples of the best bras on my list that have wide bands and straps.
Causes of Costochondritis
Costochondritis can be caused by different things. Some possible reasons why you may develop costochondritis are:
- An injury caused by an accident or physical trauma
- Severe coughing that causes strain on your torso
- Infection in the heart or lungs caused by viruses or bacteria that cause joint inflammation
- Physical strain on the muscles due to physical activities such as exercises and lifting heavy objects
- Having large breasts
- Recent or undergoing surgery on the area
Does It Hurt to Wear a Bra With Costochondritis?
Wearing the wrong kind of bra can add to the pain of costochondritis. Some people prefer not to wear a bra if the chest area is in pain, but some people can deal with costochondritis better when they are wearing the right bra.
Can Your Bra Cause Rib Pain?
Yes, a bra can cause rib pain if it is too constricting. The compression can cause too much pressure on the ribs, causing pain in the nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and breast bone. If this happens very often, you may develop skin irritation and joint and muscle pain. A bra with an underwire may also cause rib pain, as the underwire may dig into your ribs as you bend and move.
What Causes Pain When Wearing a Bra?
Unsupportive or uncomfortable bras can cause pain. An ill-fitting bra that is too loose or constricting can also cause discomfort.
Bras for costochondritis should be able to protect your chest while supporting your breasts. The right bras for costochondritis should be supportive and comfortable with the right amount of elasticity and breathability. The band and shoulder straps of the bra should be wide enough to give you extra support and also stay in place.