Push Up Bra vs No Bra: Key Differences To Know

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The push-up bra has its share of pros and cons. While the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, sometimes you just want the girls to be free. So, which is better and what would you prefer on a day-to-day basis: push-up bra vs no bra?

Push-up Bra vs No Bra Overview

Wearing a bra is a rite of passage for the majority of women. A quality bra can provide ample support relieving the pressure off your back, shoulder, and neck muscles. It can also enhance your bust and keeps your breasts contained to prevent excessive pain while you work out.

A woman lying down wearing a white push-up bra and black leggings

However, with more and more women ditching their bras, should you jump on the braless bandwagon too? Here is what I think.

Push-up Bra

The best push-up bras are designed to give you more volume and add shape to your bust. It achieves this task with the help of discrete cushioning at the base and, occasionally, the sides of the bra cups.

Graphic image of a blue bra that explains that the best push up bras are made with heavily padded cups and extra supportive structure

Consequently, the padding pushes your breast tissues inwards and upwards for a fuller look.

You can choose the amount of lift you want by opting for the level of cushioning in the cups. Smaller chested women use push up bras to enhance their cleavage.

These cups are also lines with wires to contribute towards shaping and lifting. They are often full-coverage to envelop your entire breasts for better control and support.

No Bra

There are many misconceptions about the effects of going braless on your breasts. Fortunately, the increase in awareness backed by authentic scientific research on going braless has busted many of these myths.

For example, not wearing a bra does not cause your breasts to sag. Sagging occurs naturally as the ligaments supporting your breasts weaken with age. Moreover, genetics can also play a detrimental role in breast sagging.

Similarly going braless does not increase your risk for breast cancer. There is no credible evidence that shows a link between not wearing, or wearing, a bra and developing breast cancer. Moreover, wearing an underwired bra also does not cause breast cancer.

Comparing Push-up Bra and No Bra

Comparing the perks of wearing a push-up bra and not wearing a bra at all can help you determine what’s best for you and the well-being of your breasts.


It is impossible to list the similarities between wearing a lifting bra and going braless because there are none. However, the sheer freedom of deciding whether you want to put on a bra or not and having sole autonomy over one’s body is a liberating feeling.

According to the New York Times, more women these days are ditching the bra as they feel it is an unnecessary piece of garment. Being able to make that choice makes them feel empowered since for a long time women have been forced to dress a certain way to appease society.

Similarly, other women feel empowered after putting on a bra for the voluptuous shape and attractive lift it imparts to your bust. It makes them feel good about their body and how they look in certain dresses.

A woman with blond curly hair wears a gray v-neck shirt seated outside the house


Whether you want to wear a bra or prefer going braless is a personal preference. Here is how your experience may differ:

Comfort and Support

The primary purpose of a bra is to provide support to the weight and overall structure of the breasts. In addition, the push-up bra also pushes your breasts upwards to enhance them apart from offering support.

Therefore, if you have a fuller bust, you will benefit the most from wearing a bra. A good bra can help you alleviate back pain. Moreover, a push-up bra has soft padded cup linings that reduce friction due to movement, keeping your boobs well-supported throughout the day.

If you leave your plus-sized boobs without any support, you may end up having chronic muscular pains in your back, neck, and shoulder. Thus, it is advisable for women with heavier chests to have a supportive bra on for a major part of the day.


One of the main problems often associated with wearing a bra is that it feels restrictive or constraining. The reason behind this is that women often wear the wrong bra size.  In the case of the lifting bra, the underwires can cause pain as they poke and pinch your skin.

On the other hand, there are not many things that compare to the relief you feel when you take off your bra at the end of the day. Therefore, if the fundamental issue with wearing a bra is that it feels uncomfortable, you need to schedule a bra-fitting appointment with a professional.

Breast Shape

The push-up bra imparts a more enhanced, rounder, and perkier look to your bust. Thus, it is quite popular among women who want to fuller-looking breasts and a pronounced cleavage. Contrarily, going braless allows you to embrace your body and highlights the natural shape of your breasts.

When to Wear a Push-up Bra

You can wear a well-fitting, lifting bra that feels comfortable every day. However, certain attires call for this perfectly complementing bra. These include:

  • Low-cut: These are designed to draw attention to your breasts. A good push-up bra makes your breasts look perkier and creates a deep cleavage allowing you to reap the benefits of a plunging neckline
  • Figure-hugging: These tops and dresses cling to your curves. The bra in-focus can make your breasts appear rounder and firmer under these clothes, providing you with a smooth silhouette
  • Square neckline: This design highlights your collar bones and your breasts. Thus, you can wear the bra to provide you with fullness on the top for an attractive form

You can also wear this bra when you want to exaggerate your breasts for a boost of confidence.

A black underwire push-up bra with a silver accessory in the middle is worn by a woman

When to Wear No Bra

You can skip wearing a bra under outfits that can be adulterated by the appearance of your bra straps or band. These include:

  • Backless dresses: You can ditch the bra while wearing a backless dress. While there are specially-designed bras with a low back, going braless can make the entire experience more stress-free and eliminate any chances of the band peaking through
  • Strapless: If you do not need the support, you can go bra-less under a strapless top to highlight your shoulders to their maximum potential
  • Spaghetti strap: A spaghetti strap top is another piece of clothing that looks best without a bra

In addition, some women have smaller breast sizes, so they can opt for going braless more conveniently than fuller-chested women. If your core purpose of wearing a bra is to prevent your nipples from showing, you can wear a nipple pastie for coverage.

Which Is Better?

It is impossible to say that one approach is better than the other. Many women prefer having a bra on for several reasons, such as better support, more coverage, enhanced cleavage, and better appearance.

On the other hand, going braless is considered an act of liberation against outdated societal norms. Moreover, some women do not require the services rendered by a bra and opt for not wearing a bra just to conform to social standards.

What Is a Push-Up Bra? (Yes, You Should Try One)

Final Verdict

Wearing a push-up bra or not wearing one is a personal choice that depends on every woman’s beliefs, preferences, and needs. While it is not something that can be dictated, it is helpful to know the pros and cons of wearing a bra that can help you determine what is best for your bust.


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.