Sports Bra vs Push Up Bra [Complete Guide]

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Both sports and push-up bras are basic undies in women’s closets. Despite this, they still have advantages over one another. Depending on your needs and circumstances, you may be able to make a better-informed decision about which bra to wear. This post will cover all you need to know about sports bras vs push-up bras.

Sports Bra vs Push Up Bra Overview

Most women have both sports and push up bras in their wardrobes, although they serve very different purposes. One you wear to the gym and the other you wear to the club. Let’s review the similarities and differences, and discuss when to wear each.

A black and white sports bra and black leggings are worn by a woman using a purple dumbbell

Sports Bra Overview

Sports bras are intended to be worn while exercising. Their design priorities include support, movement reduction, and perspiration wicking. A sports bra is a form of bra that minimizes movement and bounce by keeping the breasts as near to the chest wall as possible.

Graphic image of a blue bra that explains that sports bras usually have wide straps and has a snug fit

This implies that if you’re wearing a sports bra, your breasts won’t be able to move as freely when you’re sprinting, leaping, and so on. So, wearing a sports bra that stops your boobs from bouncing may significantly impact your health and well-being.

Sports bras are often comprised of high-performance athletic fabrics that wick sweat. While breast perspiration is a typical and natural outcome of activity or warm days, it can also irritate the skin. A sports bra can help you stay dry.

Sports bras reduce sagging. Although wearing a sports bra will not completely prevent droopy boobs, high-impact exercise without support will not assist. Physicians also advise sports bras if you are healing from any breast surgery since they limit mobility.

Push Up Bra Overview

A push-up bra works by boosting your breasts higher. As a result, your chest seems more round. Women wear push-up bras with enormous breasts that appear to sag. I am aware that breasts can droop due to their weight and, of course, gravity. There are several varieties of great push-up bras.

Graphic image of a blue bra that explains that ideally push up bras are made with heavily padded cups and underwire structure

Some push-up bras may raise and divide your breasts well, giving them a more natural look. Other types of push-up bras elevate and expand the cleavage. A push-up bra has additional padding on the sides and bottoms of the cups to help push your breasts inward and upwards.

This inward and upward action causes cleavage. Push-up bras can make your bust look 1-2 cup sizes bigger than it is. As a result, push-up bras are a fantastic choice to wear beneath low-cut outfits or boost your breast size visibly.

Push-up bras aren’t ideal for everyday wear since they press and squeeze your breasts. Of course, this is all dependent on the woman’s particular preferences. Push-up bras come in a range of styles. You might go for a lacy, embroidered push-up or a smooth push-up that can be worn beneath tight-fitting garments.

Comparing Sports Bra and Push Up Bra

You’ll be able to tell the difference between sports bras and push-up bras now that you’re familiar with their distinguishing features. When shopping for bras, keep these key similarities and differences in mind.


Although there are obvious distinctions between these two bra types, they also share many characteristics. Let’s list the similarities between these two seemingly dissimilar bra designs:

  • Both bras aid in the prevention of breast drooping. Drooping or sagging breasts can result from the muscular ligaments in the breasts sagging out and losing their structure. It is advised to use sports bras or push-up bras to prevent a deflated appearance.
  • They are the go-to bras for any occasion since both types of bras provide a ton of comfort in wearability and options.
A black push-up underwire bra with adjustable straps worn by a woman


Now that the similarities between sports and push-up bras are clear, it’s also practical to identify the differences. The following are some distinct differences between these two bra designs that you need to be aware of: 

  • Sports bras flatten your chest and make your breasts appear smaller, while push up bras enhance your cleavage and make your boobs appear larger.
  • The biggest difference between a push-up and sports bras is their support. Although push-up bras are frequently more comfortable, they lack the support and padding needed to hold your breasts in place during a strenuous workout. Sports bras are a superior option for active women since they offer maximum support and reduce movement during high-impact activities.
  • The material that sports and push-up bras are composed of is another significant distinction between the two types of bras. Most sports bras are constructed from breathable, sweat-wicking materials intended to keep you dry and comfortable as you exercise. Contrarily, push-up bras can be created from various fabrics, such as cotton, satin, and lace.
  • Sports bras often have a more structured fit than push-up bras. They often have supportive cups that reduce breast movement when exercising, a higher neckline, larger straps, and these features. Regarding fit, push-up bras are more adaptable and go with a wider range of tops and outfits.
  • Push-up bras include additional padding that gives the breasts a natural lift, whereas sports bras always have detachable cushions occasionally. The pads cannot be removed.

Major Distinguishing Factor

Sports bras and push up bras have very little in common, aside from the fact that they both support your breasts (albeit in very different ways. Sports bras hold your breasts in place while you exercise, and push up bras give you boobs shape and additional lift.

A blue Under Armour sports bra worn by a woman standing near a white wall

When to Wear a Sports Bra

Sports bras may be worn practically everywhere and at any time. However, there are a few instances where wearing one provides significant benefits.

Most ladies choose to wear sports bras when working out. Sports bras keep your breasts in place as you work out and sweat.

A sports bra provides the support you need to feel comfortable and pain-free, whether you’re working out, lifting weights, or practicing yoga.

When to Wear a Push Up Bra

If you have drooping breasts, a push-up bra is ideal. The push-up bra supports your breasts and raises them to their usual posture. Its built-in wire under the bra pulls your breasts up, giving them a bigger appearance.

If you’re smaller chested and looking for an uptick in your breast appearance, put on a push bra for A and B cups.

Keep in mind that they make push up sports bras, if you want the best of both worlds.

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

Final Verdict

Depending on the situation, you should have each of these bras in your drawer. Push-up bras draw the breasts together to accentuate cleavage. Better support and a sexier look are provided with a push-up bra.

In contrast, sports bras provide you with a lot of comfort, specifically while exercising. There is no underwire, and there are no straps or hooks that poke into your purse or shoulders hence you receive both breast and side support.

When it comes to bras, comfort comes first. When selecting a bra, make sure it fits properly. If you don’t know your chest measurement, you might ask the store clerk to help determine your cup size. Whether shopping for a push-up or a sports bra, it’s critical to pick a design that complements your body and activity requirements.


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.