What Are Nipple Covers?

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There may be times when you don’t feel like wearing a bra, making you consider nipple covers instead. Now, what are nipple covers, and how can these prevent nip slips? I’m going to discuss what nipple covers are all about and what makes them effective in different kinds of situations.

What Are Nipple Covers?

Nipple covers are stick-on materials that cover the nipple and some parts of the areola without worrying about the straps, band, and underwire. These self-adhesive covers are small and discreet, letting you use them underneath low-plunging, backless, or even tight-fitting clothes.

If you’re usually wearing a bra, trying on a nipple cover may feel bold and risky at first. However, learning its purpose and how it works can boost your confidence and see how it can benefit your breasts.

A model showing what are nipple covers

What Are Things to Consider Before Using a Nipple Cover?

Nipple covers serve as invisible bras that can solve your outfit dilemmas. While these lack straps, band, gore, and underwire, it sticks to the nipples and breasts for concealment. They come in various sizes, shapes, and colors to match different preferences.

Graphic illustration of nude colored nipple covers that describes that the best nipple covers must be washable, flexible and made of silicone


Silicone is the most common material used for nipple covers because of its gel-like texture that matches the skin. Silicone nipple covers also produce a smooth silhouette under clothes, making it seem as if you’re not even using a cover.

Polyester nipple covers are cheaper alternatives than silicone. However, they can be quite painful to remove. Meanwhile, if you want the thinnest material, there are a few satin nipple covers, although they may slip off easily.

Medical-grade silicone balances comfort and coverage while ensuring the nipple covers stay in place all day long.


Nipple covers work by keeping pressure on the nipple, which means it would stick to your body for a long time. However, some still use some form of pasties glue to enhance stickiness.

On the other hand, some covers use non-woven fiber cloths for high-temperature adhesiveness. In addition, you may consider covers with front clasps or drawstrings. If you want to reinforce the adhesiveness, you may also use medical-grade glue.


A nipple cover is a reusable form of undergarment. In general, you can handwash and reuse nipple covers up to 100 times when properly maintained. Even then, it won’t lose much of its structural integrity.

Some brands offer single-use nipple covers for emergency situations. If you think you’ll be using nipple covers frequently, it’ll be more cost-effective to invest in reusable silicone nipple covers.

Size and Shape

Nipple covers typically are one-size-fits-all. However, you also have to consider your cup size and the level of support you need.

  • If you have an A-B cup or sagging breasts, it’s best to stick to the usual 3-inch covers. Going for something bigger may cause the edges to wrinkle and make it uncomfortable against the skin.
  • 3-inch moon-shaped nipple covers are best for revealing outfits with a low neckline.
  • Opt for something bigger if you need more support or cleavage for tops with a higher neckline.
  • Some brands offer sizes that would work on ladies with a D cup or bigger.
An image of a person wearing a nipple cover


Unlike most bras, the best nipple covers are generally waterproof. This trait makes them the perfect nipple shield if you’ll be working in a humid environment, going to the beach, or dancing your heart out at a party.

This is also why most nipple covers use silicone because this material is less prone to react with other compounds, giving it its waterproof shield. Nipple covers can repel water even when your breasts get sweaty underneath thin sports bras, bikini tops, or bralettes.

Color and Finish

Nipple covers nowadays come in various shades, matching everything from light to dark skin tones. Some come slightly opaque, whereas others have a matte finish. Whichever you choose, it’s important that you can safely and comfortably cover the nipples.

Your Skin Sensitivity

Like when choosing the best bra, you need to determine if the cover’s material is safe on your skin. You may be wearing cotton, polyester, or spandex bras for most of your life, so check how your body would react to a different material.

To check for sensitivity, stick one nipple cover on your arm’s underside near the elbow. Observe if your skin is showing irritations after a few minutes. If you notice some rashes, it may be better to consult with a dermatologist to rule out any skin conditions.

Comparing Nipple Covers to Bras

Style Coverage Structure Best For
Nipple covers Nipples and some parts of the areolaWireless, strapless, and bandlessEveryday use, tricky tops, low-neckline tops
Bralette Usually full coverage of the breastsMostly wireless and has strapsEveryday use, lounging
Regular bras Can have full and semi-coverageMostly wired and has strapsEveryday use, formal, work

When Should You Wear a Nipple Cover?

A nipple cover is a tiny piece of material that clings to the nipples for concealment. It’s a simple solution for going braless and not drawing attention. There are several instances when you could use nipple covers.

  • Are you chilling at home, and you need to open the front door for deliveries? Nipple covers can save you the hassle of wearing a bra as you only need to plaster these beauties on your breasts, and you’re good to go.
  • There may be times when you simply don’t feel like wearing even the most lightweight bras, such as bralettes and spacer bras. Nipple covers are good alternatives because they are much lighter and more seamless.
  • If you are a model or performer who needs to change clothes frequently, nipple covers can save you time in changing brassieres as well.
  • While wearing a bra should be a personal decision, the concept of covering the breasts is a social norm. A nipple cover can be your first step to being more comfortable going bra-free in some circumstances.
  • Balconette bra or plunge bras work great when wearing tight, low-neckline clothes. If the bra’s material would ruin the texture of your clothes, you can use nipple covers instead to smooth out the silhouette without risking nip slips.
  • If you’re swimming or doing a morning run, rash guards and workout shirts can sometimes cause nipple chafing. You can wear nipple covers to prevent friction and irritation.
A woman wearing a nipple cover

How Do You Put on a Nipple Cover?

Nipple covers are pretty easy to use because they consist of adhesive material that quickly clings to the skin. Even so, you should still follow the proper instructions to ensure the covers won’t slip off the bust.

  • Be sure to wash off lotion, powder, moisturizers, or body oils.
  • Dry your chest before sticking the nipple covers.
  • Peel off the plastic backing from the nipple cover.
  • Put the sticky side over your nipples.
  • Press down gently on the nipple side before flattening the edges against the skin.

Are Nipple Covers Easy to Maintain?

Yes, nipple covers are easy to maintain primarily because of their washable material. Silicone covers, in particular, are incredibly flexible and pressure-resistant.

Silicone comes from sand or silica. When combined with oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen, silicone becomes a rubber-like material that can withstand constant use. Unlike plastic, silicone covers can withstand low and high temperatures, preventing them from melting or cracking.

However, you need proper maintenance to ensure you can use the nipple covers safely for a long time.

  • Handwash the nipple covers with mild soap and warm water for two minutes.
  • Gently rub the covers to remove any residue or dirt buildup. Let them dry overnight.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can scratch the silicone.
  • Put the covers in storage boxes when traveling.

Comparing Nipple Covers to Bras

How Do You Choose Nipple Covers?

When choosing nipple covers, make sure to check if the size fits the measurements of your nipples and areolas. You must pick a material and design that won’t bulge under clothes. You may also decide between reusable and single-use nipple covers.

Is It Okay to Wear a Nipple Cover Every Day?

It’s okay to wear a nipple cover every day as long as you don’t feel any redness or itchiness around your nipples. You also need to wear it properly so the stickiness can last the whole day.

Is a Nipple Cover a Good Substitute for Bras?

A nipple cover is an excellent substitute for bras if you don’t need much breast coverage or support. It’s also a great choice if you want to avoid bra straps or bands.

Bra Size Measurement & Cup Size | A, B, C, D, DD Bra Sizes AND Extra Large Breasts


Nipple covers are self-adhesive and reusable materials covering a portion of the breasts. While they aren’t the best for support due to the lack of straps, wire, and band, they do well concealing and protecting the nipples. Once you find the perfect fit, your breasts can take a break from 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.