Is it Better to Sleep With or Without a Bra?

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Is it better to sleep with or without a bra? This is one of the most mystifying questions to ever conflict with women. Some wear a bra to bed for reasons concerning their breasts’ shape and perkiness.

However, you can find several resources suggesting multiple benefits of doing the opposite. Different myths and stories contradict each other, leaving unclear answers to this question.

By looking into the reasons people recommend wearing a bra or not sleeping with one, I try to land on a resolution to this long-standing debate.

Is It Better To Sleep With Or Without A Bra? 

For aesthetic reasons, women wear a bra in hopes of keeping their breasts full and perky. From the health perspective, many avoid it because it’s painful or said to cause breast cancer.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Sleeping With or Without a Bra

Action Benefits Disadvantages
Sleeping with a bra Prevent breast tissue from moving to the sidesStrap and band marks
Sleeping without a bra Avoid bust restriction and itchinessBreast tissue moving downward due to gravity

Preventing Sagging

If you’re sleeping with a bra based on the old wives’ tale that it will prevent your boobs from sagging, just don’t bother.

Dr. Seth Rankin debunked this, as he told Cosmopolitan.

“When you’re lying down flat, the effect of gravity pushes the breast tissue back towards your chest, instead of down towards your toes. So wearing a bra (the purpose of which is ultimately to support breasts from below) is essentially redundant in bed, as breasts naturally compress back down onto the chest.”

He clarified that for your breast not to sag, you’d have to sleep more than the normal duration, which is not consistently So it’d be best if you don’t sleep with your bra.

Even if you do and it worked, aging, gravity, pregnancy, and breastfeeding will reverse whatever anti-sagging purpose you think your bra serves while you sleep.

Dark haired woman in a pink bra looks over her shoulder

It’ll be better for you to simply wear the best push-up bra for the sagging breast​.

Avoiding Discomfort

So, maybe you are an advocate for letting your breast breathe freely at night because some bras can be painful to wear during the day. This is an important reason for taking that bra off.

As opposed to wearing a comfortable bra, an ill-fitting bra can affect the tissues, lymph nodes, nerves, and vessels found around the breast.

Aside from the palpable discomfort, a bra that doesn’t fit well can disrupt regular body functions such as limiting blood flow to the breasts.

If you wear a bra that doesn’t fit during the day and then sleep with it, you’re doubling the time that bra shouldn’t be holding up your breast. When it comes to breast cancer risk, rest assured it’s a myth.

If you sleep braless for this reason, keep those straps up and hooks attached.

Providing Support

While discomfort happens to some ladies when they sleep with their bras, others experience the opposite! There is a case for women needing to wear a bra while they sleep, and it has to do with lifting the breasts.

Ladies with larger boobs who are used to wearing highly rated push-up bras for D, DD, and larger, can experience more pain by not wearing a bra during bedtime.

Graphic image of a blue bra that describes that sleep bras are usually made from comfortable materials and have wide bands

You can learn more about a sleep bra and the features it has.

If you’re a big-busted woman and wear a very supportive bra throughout the day, it’s doing a couple of things. First, it’s keeping your breasts up and in place.

More importantly, it’s alleviating stress and pain in your back and shoulders. Even though you’re lying down while you sleep, tension can still build in your upper body.

Wearing a lightly supportive bra while catching some Z’s can help!

“Some ladies want to wear a bra to bed because it feels more comfortable for them. Your best bet is to choose a lightweight bra without underwire. Some camisole-style pajama tops even come with a bra built-in. The bra you choose to sleep in shouldn’t be too tight or have parts that dig in. An uncomfortable bra can irritate your breast, making sleeping difficult.” 

Advantages of Not Sleeping With a Bra

Most ladies can’t wait to remove their bras at the end of the day. While it’s liberating to be free of those ill-fitting underwires and straps, some women believe that sleeping in a bra can help prevent droopy breasts.

However, a bra that is neither stiff nor tight cannot be comfortable at night and can lead to adverse health effects. Below are some benefits of not wearing a bra at night:

Improves Breast Health

Wearing a bra at night can cause diseases like breast cancer. Unlike going braless, which can improve blood circulation, sleeping in tight bras or those with painful underwires can cause chest pains and shortness of breath.

Moreover, dirt and sweat won’t be trapped against your skin by an ill-fitting bra. Note that excess sweat can become a breeding ground for breast fungus. 

Improves Your Breast Shape

Sleeping without a bra doesn’t prevent drooping. Instead, it causes your breasts to lose their shape with time. One study found that bras tend to weaken chest muscles, making the breast sag.

Your boobs are fine without a bra during sleeping time. Sleeping in an ill-fitting bra is not as good as going braless because your breast can develop a certain shape. When you go braless, your breasts become perkier and rounder.

Promotes Better Skin Health

Sleeping without bras is better than going to bed with one because you don’t have to worry about redness and the underwires digging into your skin. When you wear a bra for a long period, it can leave ugly marks on your skin. 

The marks can become permanent with time if you don’t let your skin bounce back. The perfect time to allow your skin to get back to normal is at night when you’re sleeping.

So make sure to remove your bras before sleeping. The eight-hour rest is adequate for your skin to heal and bounce back to normal. 

Minimizes Chances of Having Injuries

Unlike sleeping without bras which can help prevent injuries, the hooks and underwires can poke into your skin and injure you if you sleep and wear a bra.

When you’re sleeping and moving in your bed, the hooks can rub against your skin and cause severe injuries. You may also experience less pain around your chest and back if you don’t wear a bra during bedtime.

Bras can also put pressure on your neck and rib cage. To avoid such injuries, remove your bras when you go to sleep.

Woman in a blue lace lingerie lies on her bed

Improves the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system comprises organs and vessels that help remove toxins from my bodies. It’s important to get rid of the waste products as they’re harmful. 

Generally, wearing a tight bra while sleeping is not as good as going braless because it can interrupt how the lymph nodes function. 

Promotes Hygiene

It’s advisable to wear soft clothes such as pajamas when going to sleep as they prevent sweating. Unlike during the day when you’re wearing clothes, you’re likely to sweat a lot at night if you wear a bra because you’ll cover yourself with a duvet or blanket.

Unfortunately, the area near your breast can become a breeding ground for bacteria when you sweat. 

Minimizes the Chances of Getting Skin Infections

Going to sleep without bras is also better for your skin because when you wear a bra to bed, you’ll cover up pores that aid in airflow and blood circulation and get skin infections. 

Most people don’t know that the skin already contains good bacteria. However, you can encourage harmful bacteria to breed when you sleep with your bras. 

Boosts Blood Circulation

Naturally, bras are tight to hold your breast firmly in place. If they weren’t tight, there wouldn’t be a reason to wear one. However, a tight bra impacts blood circulation because they compress blood vessels.

You might not notice immediately the effects of poor blood circulation, however, it can cause cramps and varicose veins.

The only time you should let your body restore healthy blood circulation is during bedtime when you sleep without bras. This is very important especially if you wear a bra the whole day.

Helps You Breathe Properly

It’s important to breathe properly when sleeping. According to research, some people have more breathing problems during bedtime than during the day.

This is because the upper airway becomes narrow when you lie on the bed allowing little air to reach the lungs. 

That’s why you shouldn’t wear a tight bra when you sleep. If you do, your ribcage may not function well, causing decreased oxygen intake and breathing problems.

Disturbs Your Sleeping Cycle

Going to bed with a bra is not as good as going braless because you can feel uncomfortable and struggle to get a full night’s sleep. You’re likely to enjoy your sleeping time when you sleep without a bra. 

Unlike pajamas, which are comfortable and soft, bras are not intended for use in bed. Some are uncomfortable causing you to lack sleep. In turn, you’ll be fatigued the next day. 

Enhances Comfort

If you wear tight bras, removing them after a busy day will make you feel relaxed and relieved. Wearing an ill-fitting bra to bed can cause discomfort, and affect the quality of your sleep.

You may also feel restless or irritated due to being uncomfortable. 

Saves You Money

Let’s face it, bras, especially stylish ones are expensive. No matter the money you spend on bras, whether it is $60 or $90, consider that money saved when you sleep without a bra.

Your bras won’t get worn out quickly and you can use that money on something more important. 

Related Questions

Does Wearing a Bra to Bed Affect Your Breast Size?

Wearing a bra to bed does not affect your breast weight and size. However, it can create a variety of health issues, including restricted blood flow.

What Can I Wear Instead of a Bra at Night?

There are several wire-free clothing you can wear to bed instead of a bra. Great alternatives include bodysuits, pasties, and bandeaus. Unlike bras, these clothes aren’t uncomfortable and won’t dig into your skin.

How Do I Choose a Sleep Bra?

Consider soft cups, breathable fabric, and a stretchable band when choosing a sleep bra. It’s also up to you if you prefer adjustable or fixed straps.

Wired vs Wireless Bra: When To Have and Wear Each Type of Bra

​What’s the Final Verdict?

​There are many benefits of not wearing a bra. However, going to bed with a bra will not prevent your breasts from sagging.

Small-breasted women may opt for no bras in bed because there’s no logical reason for doing so, while those with bigger boobs would opt for bras because they provide support, thus reducing pain.


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.