Wireless vs. Underwire Bras - Pros & Cons

Difference between wireless and wired bra styles infographic.

To wear wire or not to wear wire…the decision is really up to you. Though wireless bras and underwire bras each have their own benefits, one style isn’t necessarily better than the other. It’s all about personal preference. In case the difference between the two isn’t clear, one is designed with wire that supports the shape of the cup while the other is free of wires completely. Read on to find out which style is best for you.


Wireless vs wired bras pros and cons.


Underwire Bras

There are common misconceptions about wired bras when it comes to the topic of breast health and comfort. For one, underwire bras can be comfortable as long as you’re wearing the correct size and the bra is made of quality materials (like our flexible, no-poke underwire). As for the link between breast cancer and bra wear, there’s no scientific evidence to support the myth that wearing a bra poses a higher risk for cancer. However, sleeping in a bra that’s too tight may cause issues such as restricted blood flow, skin irritation, and worsened symptoms of acid reflux. Now, let’s get into the perks and pains of underwire bras.


24/7® Classic T-Shirt Bra



Enhanced Support

If you’re looking for a bra that provides more support and shapes your breasts beautifully, an underwire bra could easily become your go-to style. Built-in underwires are designed to follow the natural curve of your breast, encompassing and lifting the tissue to create a gorgeous round shape. Underwire bras bring your ladies closer together and slightly lift them upwards, making them look firm and perky.  For that extra support, try push up bras and full coverage bra designs.


Cleavage and Shape

When comparing underwire vs wireless bras, one of the biggest benefits of a wired one is the gorgeous sculpted silhouette it helps creates. If you’re looking to enhance your shape, few wireless bras can compete with a carefully designed plunge bra that gently lifts and pushes your cleavage together for a truly stunning silhouette. (take a look at ThirdLove’s 24/7® Classic Uplift Plunge Bra to see what we’re talking about). If you want to add some drama and oomph to your look, underwire bras - with their sculpting abilities - will definitely help.


Potential Discomfort

The wire that makes underwire bras so great at shaping and supporting your breasts can also be responsible for the discomfort so many women experience every day. Even a bra that seems comfy at first can become a real nightmare after some time as the underwire starts poking the skin, causing pain and irritation. Wires can also bend and become bumpy, so at some point, you may just have to buy another bra and let go of the old one. Invest in higher quality bras that use flexible, strong underwire for long-lasting comfort!


Underwire Bra Pros

Underwire bras do provide more support and shape, thanks to their wired structure. We recommend this style for women with larger breasts who may want more support in their everyday bra. If lift is what you’re looking for, underwire bras offer your breasts more lift than a wireless bra does.


Underwire Bra Cons

Some women just prefer to go wire-free altogether. Even if the bra is a perfect fit, you may still find a wireless bra to be more comfortable.



Wireless Bras

Although it’s always a great time to go wireless, we say a non-wired bra is especially perfect for lounging, napping, and running errands. But you can also replace your everyday bra with a wireless one, depending on the amount of support you need.



When choosing between an underwire vs no underwire bra, many women opt for wireless. Wireless bras are perfect for everyday wear as they are light, soft, and usually made with breathable fabric that is gentle on sensitive skin. It’s a common misconception that a wireless bra gives little to no shape and support - ThirdLove’s designs with precise sizing technology (offering 3 times more sizes than most other brands) and built-in foam cups mold perfectly to your breast, accentuating your natural curves.



While wireless bras do offer less support compared to wired ones, it’s a popular misbelief that wire-free bras are good only for lounging, sleeping, and at-home activities. Wireless bra designs like ThirdLove’s Form 360 Fit™ Wireless Bra provide the ultimate fit with Precise Sizing™ technology, as well as soft, yet ample support due to foam cups and seamless stretch knit. Wireless bras support even bigger cup sizes, they just do it in a subtle and ultra comfortable way. Make sure to explore the brand's wireless bra size chart to make sure you're getting the perfect fit for maximum comfort and support.



As wireless bras are becoming increasingly popular due to their comfortable support, new wireless bra designs keep emerging every day. You can find wireless sports bras with built-in cups that will support your girls even during the most strenuous workouts and barely-there bralettes that are so light and airy that you’ll want to wear them non-stop. From sleek full coverage lace bralettes to snug nursing bras, there is something for everyone in our collection of wireless bras.


Wireless Bra Pros

Wireless bras can offer the same great benefits of a wired bra without wires. As long as it features a comfortable band and supple, stretchy fabric, you should be able to enjoy light support and maximum comfort.


Wireless Bra Cons

Without wires, you’re left with less structure. A wireless bra won’t give you the same silhouette as you would get with a wired bra, which will be noticeable when wearing fitted tops. And if you have larger breasts, a wireless bra probably isn’t enough to offer you the everyday support you’re looking for.


Considerations for Different Body Types

When choosing the right bra, you should also consider your body type and breast size. How symmetrical are your breasts? Do they sit closer together or wider apart? Depending on your breast shape and your preferences, you will want different levels and types of support and shaping. Those with larger breasts may prefer full coverage bras with extra support and padded straps, while those with smaller breasts may find that lightweight wireless designs are perfect for everyday wear.


Small Breasts

Small breasts don’t require too much support, so your bra choice truly comes down to your personal preference. Airy wire-free bralettes are amazing for lounging and sleeping, while a plunge bra will add some drama to your look for a date night.


Medium to Large Breasts

Large cup sizes, we know you need a bra that is comfortable, supportive, and stylish. You don’t need to settle for less and sacrifice one for the other! Opt for a full coverage underwire bra (either padded or unlined) for the ultimate boost of comfort and confidence. This type of bra will give your breasts extra support and shape them beautifully. And for those of you who’d love to minimize for a sleeker shape under outfits, try a minimizer bra that both shapes and minimizes your breasts.


Breast Shape

No matter what style of bra you choose, knowing your breast shape is a must. For example, round breasts are equally full at the top and bottom, which means they don’t need as much support, and a comfy wireless bra could be your best choice for everyday wear. Wide-set breasts would look amazing in shaping underwire bras: a T-shirt, plunge, or push-up bra will gently lift and pull them together, creating a beautiful silhouette. Explore our Breast Shape Dictionary to learn more about the different shapes. But remember that at the end of the day, it’s all about what you feel best in!


Best Bra Depending on Style Preference

Whenever you want to show off your natural curves and wear a fitted dress or top, go for an underwire bra that will shape and sculpt your bust. In general, underwire bras work well for both casual wear and special outings like date nights and celebrations, when you want more support and a gorgeous cleavage. Wireless bras are versatile and can be worn all day, every day, but they’re especially great for lounging, sleeping, running errands, and relaxing at your own pace.

Can't make up your mind? Get one of each! You're sure to find a perfect occasion to wear both of them.