How to Fold a Sports Bras

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Sports bras are expensive undergarments with a relatively short lifespan. Therefore, it makes sense to take good care of them to ensure they continue to perform adequately. Apart from washing them correctly, you should also store them properly.

Hence, this article tells you how to fold sports bras to retain their quality.

How to Fold Sports Bras

Performance bras undergo far more wear and tear compared to a normal bra. They soak in the sweat, endure excessive friction, and work hard to hold your bust and prevent movement. Thus, you need to make sure that you are folding them correctly in a way that does not damage or distort the bra.

Graphic illustration of various images that shows the step by step process on how to fold sports bras

Here is how should you fold a workout bra:

  1. Lay the bra flat on a surface with the backside facing towards you
  2. Close the hooks or clasps at the back if you have them on your bra
  3. Fold the bra one-third of the way from one side along the band
  4. Fold the other side of the bra one-third of the way as well
  5. Fold the bra in half, bringing the top of the bra down to the bottom of the bra
  6. If you have a lack of space and want to stack the bra on top of each other, you can skip step 5 and fold the bra in thirds to make it even smaller
  7. Tuck in the straps between the folds of the bra to prevent them from tangling with the other bras in the drawer

Steps in Folding a Sports Bra

Step 1Lay the bra flat with the backside facing you
Step 2Close the hooks or clasps at the back
Step 3Fold the bra one third of the way
Step 4Do the same to the other side
Step 5Fold the bra in half
Step 6Tuck in the straps between the folds of the bra
Step 7Stack the bras on top of each other vertically with the padded cups puffed up

How to Fold a Sports Bra With Padded Cups

In general, non-padded athletic bras are better than the padded variety, as they are more supportive. The breasts are also more likely to move in a padded bra as the foam creates a barrier between the bust and the compression fabric.

Moreover, padded sports bras occupy more storage space as you cannot fold them up to be compact. Here is how you can fold a padded performance bra:

  1. Lay the bra on a flat surface with the cups facing downwards
  2. Close any hooks or zippers on the bra
  3. Then, fold the bra in half, bringing the straps down towards the band
  4. Tuck the straps between the folds of the front and back fabric
  5. Finally, stack the bras on top of each other vertically with the padded cups puffed up
Woman folding 3 padded and unpadded sports bras on a wooden table

If you fold these bras further, you can affect the foam of the cups and cause them to lose their shape quickly over time.

How Not to Fold Sports Bras

Now that you know the correct way to fold a performance bra, it would also be helpful to know the folding techniques to avoid. If you are committing any one of the mistakes listed below, your sports bra will be stretched out and end up losing its shape very quickly.

Here are the mistakes to avoid when folding sports bras:

  • Do not roll the bra when storing it. Even though this is a popular way to put clothes in drawers and wardrobes to save space, doing this with a sports bra could damage the shape compromising the supportive factor.
  • Do not scrunch up and shove the bra into a drawer or shelf. While you may be tempted to chuck the bra in the storage space, a few minutes spent folding the bra properly will translate into a longer bra life.
  • Do not fold padded and molded bras in half, with one cup lying on top of another. When you do this, one of the cups will end up being inverted, leading to permanent deformation, creases, and dents.
  • Do not forget to close all the hooks and clasps before placing the bra in the drawer or shelf. If the hooks are left open, they can snag the material of other regular bras.
  • Do not leave the straps unfolded. These can get twisted and tangled with other bra straps, causing them to stretch out.

Tips for Storing Sports Bras

Just like any piece of clothing that benefits from proper storage, your workout bra will also stick around for longer if you store it properly.

Moreover, you should arrange them in a way that every bra is accessible. Otherwise, you will end up making a mess of your organized space trying to reach a particular bra.

Depending on your wardrobe design and space, here is how you can store your sports bras safely.

Four different colors of seamless sports bras are placed on a pink background


One of the most common spaces for storing lingerie is a drawer. For your most delicate piece of clothing, I recommend small, padded drawers. However, if you only have access to wide drawers, line them with plastic or synthetic-cloth dividers, to segment the area.

Then, arrange your athletic bras according to their design and usage. Divide padded, molded, and non-padded bras, placing them in separate boxing.

Keep the ones you use the most at the front and routinely discard old, worn-out ones that are no longer useful. This will help you keep your drawer organized. If you’re interested in freshening up your worn-out bras, tie-dyeing them is a great idea.

Closet Shelf

If you cannot store your bras in a drawer, make space in your closet. On an empty shelf, arrange your dividers and follow the same organizational tips as with the drawers. To summarize, divide them according to type and frequency of use. Use a lower shelf so you can see the contents easily.

While you can also hang your bras in a closet on individual hangers, it might take up valuable space you cannot afford to spare. In that case, opt for a vertical hanger chain that allows you to store multiple bras in a smaller space. It also lets you see all your options at once.

Finally, you can get one of those hanging organizers made from synthetic material and hang them in your closet. Fold your bras properly and place them in the compartment arranging them appropriately. Keep the ones you use or want to use regularly at eye level, so you can quickly grab and go.

External Containers

External containers are a great option if you do not have any other storage space. Find cloth-lined boxes and arrange your bras carefully before replacing the lid. Avoid buying boxes without any lid as the continuous exposure to dust and debris will affect the lifespan of your bra.

A maroon racerback seamless sports bra placed on a blue background

How to Wash Sports Bras

In addition to storing your sports bra correctly, you should also wash them in the recommended manner. The better care you provide your bras, the longer they will last. Moreover, you should wash them after every use to remove the sweat and dirt.

Here is how you should wash your sports bra:

  1. Fill cold water in a tub or sink
  2. Add a little gentle laundry soap or shampoo and mix the solution. Do not use a fabric softener
  3. Soak the bra for 20-30 minutes
  4. Gently scrub the fabric with your hands until you are sure the bra is clean
  5. Drain out the water and rinse the fabric with cold running water until all the soap is removed
  6. Place the bra on a towel to remove the excess water. Do not twist or squeeze the fabric
  7. Allow it to air dry on a flat surface or drying rack. Avoid hanging the bra as this can deform the shape

Note: You can also machine wash the sports bras placed in a lingerie bag on a delicate cycle. Check the label to see the water temperature you can use. Ideally, cold or lukewarm water is best.

Related Questions

Is It Okay to Fold Bras?

It’s typically okay to fold bras as long as you do it in a way that retains the shape. By following the steps above, you can fold your bras properly, even if they have cups or wires.

Is It Better to Fold or Hang a Bra?

Folding a bra is better if you need more space, whereas hanging a bra is preferable if you have designs that you don’t want to risk ruining. Either way, it depends on your available closet space, purpose, or bra design.

How to Take Care of Sports Bras?

Aside from washing bras using warm water, detergent, and laundry bags, you can take care of sports bras when you fold them correctly. It also helps to have proper storage and closet organization.

How to Fold a Sports Bra [& What to Avoid!]


Folding your sports bras in the proper manner is of utmost importance to ensure a longer lifespan of the garments. Therefore, follow the recommended tips and tricks to fold and store your expensive workout bras.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.