Underwire Bras Versus Soft Cups

Choosing a bra based on whether it has a wire or not is a preference not a necessity. Let me explain: when someone insists that a soft cup (wire free bra) is more comfortable we can almost guarantee that she is wearing the wrong size.

The reasons why wires are uncomfortable are based on the following:

  1. The wire is misplaced, this is a term I use often, and this simply means that the wire is rubbing against very sensitive breast tissue. If your wire is not on the other side of your breast tissue it will cause many problems:
  2. While there is no clinical data supporting the fact that wires cause cancer, I believe that a wire that digs into your breast tissue will cause trauma eventually resulting in scar tissue. Make sure your wire is as far back as possible in line with your armpit and then scoop whatever tissue may be under your arm into the cup away from the wire. One of the many reasons why a professional fitting is so important is that a fitter will educate you on this process.
  3. The discomfort of a misplaced bra wire is usually because the bra band is so loose that it moves and rubs against the breast tissue. Choosing a snug fit is uncomfortable in the beginning but once your support is felt and the bra does not move you are on your way to a liberating bra experience.
  4. There is some evidence (American) that suggests that a misplaced wire can displace breast tissue. This is often experienced in the form of “side boob” “back fat” and in extreme cases just above the breast in the form of a fatty “pocket”. This is just an observation by physicians in the USA and one of the possible explanations is the misplaced wire. This may or may not be reversed by a properly fitted bra. I do not believe there is enough evidence to support this, however it does make sense when you see how bad some bras are and how an underwire can cause some terrible markings.


There is definitely an indication for a soft cup, however if you choose to wear a soft cup or a non-wire bra because you feel an underwire hurts you, the size is wrong. Soft cups are great for frail ladies or for ladies who like to sleep in a bra. While there may be a preference for a soft cup it is not possible to get the same support or shape as a well fitted underwire bra.

In our experience most ladies who insist on a soft cup are wearing the wrong size.



Having said all of the above we prefer to fit breast feeding mothers in a soft cup because they generally need to sleep in their bras. A lot of maternity/ feeding bras are available in a gentle flexi-wire and when they are fitted correctly they can be very comfortable and unobtrusive.


When choosing a bra and your preference for underwire vs soft cups make sure you are absolutely certain of your size. A well place wire does not hurt, it supports.

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