By Gabrielle Porcaro
January 13, 2021
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10-Best Post-Mastectomy-Bras-for-Breast-Cancer-Survivors
Credit: Courtesy of Merchants

Whether you’ve had reconstructive surgery, a lumpectomy (a procedure to remove a lump), a mastectomy (the removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely), or have sensitivities to radiation or chemotherapy, there are plenty of bra options dedicated to the needs of those with breast cancer. However, the truth is, it can be overwhelming to search for new bras that can accommodate your unique or evolving shape. To make things more seamless, we’ve created a shopping guide with the help of experts—and have included a list of the best bras for patients and survivors, based on the advice of customers, who are living with breast cancer, too.

If opening your intimates drawer and slipping on your favorite style is no longer an option during your breast cancer journey—due to surgery, lack of support, irritating fabrics, chafing cuts, a change in breast shape, or weight fluctuations—you can totally find intimate apparel items that are right for you. First, you’ll want to speak with your doctor. Depending on your procedure or treatment, they might steer you to a specific style for ultimate comfort and proper healing. However, you’ll also want to do your research and consider factors like adjustability, pockets for breast forms, and details like front closures, which make slipping them on and off easier. Not to mention, settling on the right fabric is equally important—go for high cotton or buttery fabrics, which will be soft and cool against your skin and breathable, in case you have hot flashes.

On the onset of diagnosis or during treatment, you might want to switch to a wireless bra option while the area recovers, since underwires can be uncomfortable. "Most patients undergoing lumpectomy will not experience a loss of volume permanently or need a different cup size, but may want to look for a non-underwire, really supportive bra for right after surgery,” says Sarah P. Cate, MD, FACS, Assistant Professor of Breast Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. When it comes to going wireless, Kim Williams, a licensed fitter at Hope's Boutique in the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center, agrees. "Some physicians would like patients to stay away from underwire because it can poke and cause sensitivity to the breast tissue, so it helps to know what your physician would recommend."

Some experience swelling after breast surgery, meaning it’s important to choose bras with hooks—rather than single construction styles—so you can wear them on the loosest setting, and gradually tighten them as the swelling subsides. That said, bras with hook-and-eye front closure are even more ideal, as they are supportive and do not dig, points out Dr. Cate. Plus, since they fasten at the front, it’s easy to put them on even if you’re in pain or have limited mobility post-surgery or post-radiation.

It could take up to a year for the nerves to repair, the area to recover from surgery, and your skin to become less sensitized from radiation or chemo. The type of bra you need, as well as the size, may also change because of weight fluctuations and other changes due to your treatment process. Brands know that women want to feel as normal as possible, which is why they have worked hard to create bras that look just as good as they feel—from lacy bralettes to stylish sports bras to neutral, everyday picks. Ahead, nine top-reviewed bras for all body types that will see you through your breast cancer journey.

Warner's Easy Does Bra It No Bulge Wire-Free Bra

breast cancer bra warners
Credit: AMAZON

With over 13,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, this top-rated bra proves that you don’t have to break the bank for a solid undergarment. This wireless option is made of soft, breathable fabric that’s comfortable and non-irritating to post-surgery incisions and sensitive skin from radiation treatments. It also has a wide elastic band at the bottom and additional side panels for extra support. Those that have had mastectomies and reconstructive surgeries rave about this bra in the Amazon review section, with one sharing that a doctor actually recommended this style to her friend with breast cancer.

"At 48 years old, I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, which resulted in a mastectomy with ALND. After 3 1/2 months, still living with my expander, I continue to suffer numbness, mild swelling and general uncomfortableness in my armpit area. Nearly every one of my currently owned 40+ bras is hard to wear. This is the ONLY bra I have found that is not binding in my armpit. It does not have the typical 'trim' or seams that other bras have so it just lays nicely on my skin without pressing into it. I have since purchased 8 of these in various colors, because this is the only bra I wear now—even to Barre class," wrote a customer.

Amoena Esther Front-Close Postsurgical Bra

breast cancer bra amoena
Credit: BARE NECESSITIES

Specializing in post-mastectomy bras and bathing suits, Amoena has plenty of thoughtful products for anyone who has undergone surgery for breast cancer. Case in point: This bra has a wireless design, compressive fit, adjustable straps, and front hook-and-eye closure that ensure comfort, support, and easy on and off if you’re dealing with pain or limited mobility. The seamless, molded cups have pockets for breast forms—if you choose to use them—and the soft inner lining won’t irritate incisions or post-radiation sensitive skin. Not to mention, the sports bra-esque style is perfect for low-impact activities (like walking, golf, etc), and the breathable, mesh back and wings offer additional airflow to keep you cool and dry if you break a light sweat or experience hot flashes.

One reviewer shared that their four-week quest post-surgery finally led them to this wireless style: "Every bra I purchased was painful and uncomfortable. When I put this bra on, I couldn't believe how comfortable it was! My skin has felt raw since my surgery, and everything touching it causes pain. This bra was the answer."

Royce Georgia Molded Comfort Bra

breast cancer bra royce
Credit: FIGLEAVES

Believe it or not, post-surgery bras don't have to be ugly. This wireless post-mastectomy bra has a touch of lace and tiny bows on the straps, making it just as pretty as your other bras. It has soft, smooth molded cups to maintain your shape and breast form pockets for those who have gone through a mastectomy. Plus, it’s adjustable, thanks to rear hooks and a stretchy back that won’t pinch or dig annoyingly into your skin. Choose from two versatile colors: beige or black.

“I bought this black bra a few weeks ago (already have a plain ivory one, same brand.). Delighted with it: so feminine, with the lace feature, & so comfortable. It holds the prosthesis perfectly (unlike some bras where it falls out the side!),” reported a shopper.

Soma Embraceable Wireless Plunge Lace Trim Bra

breast cancer bra soma
Credit: SOMA

If you’ve always been a less-is-more type of bra wearer, you might be wondering if you can still get away with bralette styles—and the answer is yes. This full-coverage, wireless option is made of soft, unlined fabric that is free of latex and wires, making it perfect for post-surgery. The lace trim mimics that of your favorite bralette (but you don’t have to worry about itchiness!) and the built-up leotard back and wide bottom elastic band offer all the support you need.

"After surgery for breast cancer, I couldn't wear an underwire bra," said a customer. "As a 34DDD, I didn't think I would find a bra that would be comfortable and give enough support. This bra gave me such support that I doubt if I will ever go back to an underwire bra."

(Can't find your size? Try the Soma Lace Plunge Bralette ($11, was $30, soma.com), which one reviewer said lifted their spirits after breast cancer surgery, and was comfy enough to sleep in. Luckily, it's available in the full size range, S-XXL.)

Athleta Empower Bra A-C

breast cancer bra athleta
Credit: ATHLETA

Anyone going through breast cancer treatments should to try this bra, since it’s made of a super soft, cool-to-the-touch polyester-lycra blend that won’t irritate skin post-surgery or during breast cancer treatments. Fans reported that the compressive fit is not too tight (more like a hug), the zip front makes it easy to take on and off if you’re experiencing pain or limited movement, and the mesh back and breathable, moisture-wicking fabric keeps you comfy and cool all day long. This supportive style will be especially helpful to active women who might be trying to resume some aspects of their normal life.

"I have decreased movement in my left arm from my mastectomy last year, and this sports bra has been the easiest for me to put on," noted one breast cancer survivor in a review. "I haven't found a sports bra that I can easily put on myself without someone helping me since I don't have a full range of my left arm. I liked how the zipper had an extra piece of fabric at the end as a little cover so it wouldn't irritate my already sensitive skin."

AnaOno Pocketed Front Closure Bra

breast cancer bra anaono
Credit: ANAONO

Dr. Cate highly is a fan of AnaOno, an intimates brand that not only celebrates all boob shapes, but also designs post-surgery undergarments for breast cancer patients and survivors. Made of buttery-soft modal fabric (feels even better than cotton!), this recovery bra features comfortable compression, hook openings at the front, and a wide back bridge for added support. The smooth, irritation-free construction is perfect for those going through radiation, since it won’t bother sensitive skin, incisions, or cause pain after treatment. Worth noting: The bra has pockets that can accommodate expanders, prosthesis, or breast forms, but also lays smoothly when nothing is in the pockets.

One reviewer wrote: “Had a great experience with the website and the transaction - purchased this bra for my mother, who in her 80s had unilateral mastectomy and couldn't find a bra that was comfortable enough to bother wearing. The entire thought was just too much. After a bit of research, I found this - it is so soft, front closure, comfortable and comforting - my mother couldn't believe how pretty she felt wearing it. I am sure we will be looking for a second one right away.”

Cosabella Never Say Never Post-Surgical Front Closure Bralette

breast cancer bra cosabella
Credit: COSABELLA

Inspired by Cosabella’s founder, Valeria Campello, an 8-year breast cancer survivor, this post-mastectomy bralette makes anyone wearing it feel gorgeous. "I hoped it would allow women to feel comfortable and beautiful as they undergo the treatment process and afterward,” Campello told Health. “Designed in our classic, floral Never Say Never lace, it has a supportive racerback style for post-surgery wear after a mastectomy." The delicate-looking yet durable lace is soft and stretchy to accommodate changing breast sizes and prosthetics. The bra also has convenient front closures, pockets for breast forms, and a drainage opening, proving the Italian brand has thought of everything.

TomBoyX Holdster Bra

breast cancer bra tomboyx
Credit: TOMBOYX

Fran Dunaway, two-time breast cancer survivor and co-founder of TomboyX — a sustainable, size- and gender-inclusive apparel company — shared with Health that she avoided going out in public post-surgery because she did not feel comfortable in any bras. "Of course, there were many places I wanted to go, but the discomfort in going braless was a hindrance.” She spoke to the head of product at TomBoyX, who came up with this unique piece: "My vision was a super comfortable, one-sided bra that had straps below the incision lines and was easy to get on and off."

Designed specifically for those recovering from a unilateral mastectomy, this single-side bra offers unilateral support while allowing the surgery side to breathe and heal. It’s reversible—so will work for you, no matter which breast is removed—features adjustable hooks at the side for a flexible fit (read: you don’t have to pull it over your head), and it has smooth, flatlock seams that won’t irritate or chafe sensitive skin. And for days when someone might not want to wear their prosthetic, this will still provide support for the opposite side. One shopper noted how much they appreciate that it’s “designed to avoid any contact with recent breast surgery scars or breast radiation dermatitis.”

“2 months post mastectomy. Size C cup before, now I have just one. I went flat and want to keep things simple. This bra is surprisingly comfortable, smooth stretchy yet supportive fabric. It stays in place, and no bunching or rubbing or getting uncomfortable where I’m numb or irritated under my mastectomy side armpit. Can wear it all day!” raved another.

Leonisa Doctor-Recommended Post-Surgical Wireless Bra with Front Closure

breast cancer bra leonisa
Credit: LEONISA

This top-rated post-op bra is recommended by doctors for a reason. Designed for patients recovering from breast augmentation, reduction, lift, reconstruction, or mastectomy surgery, it has soft cups that offer exceptional coverage, while protecting incisions from irritation and infection. The adjustable hook-and-eye front closure makes it easy to put on—even with limited mobility—and the criss-cross back straps improve posture and minimize back pain from surgery. Reviewers pointed out that this bra has a supportive fit that also guarantees less movement during the healing process. Bonus: It’s available in an expansive size range of 32B to 42DD.

“Perfect amount of compression for post op breast surgery. Comfortable and comes up high enough on the sides, front and back. I am ordering another! I had a lumpectomy, one lymph node removed and a reduction and lift. This is the best bra I tried. And I tried many. My surgeon was impressed with it as well. Much better than some of the stiff Velcro closure bras many get at the hospital,” raved a customer.

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