Balconette Bra vs Demi Bra: What's the Difference & Which Is Right For Me?

Balconette Bra vs Demi Bra: What's the Difference & Which Is Right For Me?

Looking to expand and diversify your bra collection? Balconette and demi bras are two amazing bra styles to consider adding to your top drawer. Learn the differences between demi bras vs. balconette bras, and decide which is right for you. (Hint: It might be both!)


Balconette / Balcony Cup Explained 

The balconette or balcony bra made its appearance in the 1930s but didn’t become popular until the 1950s. Today, it’s considered a stylish option for everyone. Most women choose to wear balconette bras for special occasions, such as weddings or date nights. 

This bra style is best suited for larger breasts, but women with any chest size can benefit from its attractive design. Balconette bras have a few distinct features that helped it retain its popularity over the years: 

  • Wider straps than standard bras

  • Shorter in-cup seams 

  • Cups that cover to just over the nipple

  • Underwire that lifts your breasts upward for more cleavage


Demi Cup Explained 

So, what is a demi bra, then? 

The French word demi translates to “half” in English. A demi cup bra has cups that cover anywhere from 50% to 75% of your breasts. Its low, heart-shaped cut presents more cleavage than a traditional bra but less than a balconette. 

Demi bras are perfect for women whose breasts are fuller at the bottom than at the top. Like balconette bras, they push the breasts upward to create a more balanced look. This style of bra also has a tendency to push the breasts inward, making your breasts appear fuller.  

Key Similarities 

Balconette bras and demi bras have a couple of similarities:

Less Coverage

Both balconette and demi bras offer less coverage than traditional bras. While traditional bras cover all or most of the breasts, balconettes and demis cover closer to half.


The straps of balconette and demi cup bras tend to be wider and set farther apart from each other when compared to traditional bras. These wider, farther apart straps make the bras more supportive and easier to wear with low-cut tops. 


Both types of bras tend to be made from similar materials. These include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Cotton

  • Microfiber

  • Polyester

In many cases, both types of bras can also showcase gorgeous lace detailing. 


Both bra types can have any level of padding: 

  • Unpadded

  • Lightly padded

  • Fully padded

Usually, most or all of the padding will be in the lower part of the cup. This allows the bra to lift the breasts upward and give you show-stopping cleavage. 

Key Differences

These bra styles have a few important differences to consider, as well. 


Balconette and demi bras both provide lift, but have slightly different results.

Balconette bras lift the breasts upward. This enhances your natural cleavage and makes it more prominent. On the other hand, demi bras have padding in the lower portion of the cup that helps lift the breasts upward as well as inwards to put them more front and center.

If you’re just looking for a generous lift, a balconette is probably the right option, whereas if you struggle with breasts that appear more distanced, a demi will help push them together.

Level of Coverage

Balconette and demi bras have a similar level of coverage, but demis tend to provide just a little more coverage. While demi bras cover from 50% to 75% of the breasts, a balconette will usually cover closer to 50%. 


The primary difference here is that balconette bras have a straight neckline, while demi bras have more of a heart-shaped neckline. Both types of necklines make it useful to wear clothing with wide-set or low-cut necklines. 


Both balconette and demi bras can come with or without underwire. Balconette bras have a specific underwire design where the underwire is in a semicircle around the bottom part of your breasts to create cleavage. 

Bust Appearance

Due to their heart-shaped neckline, demi bras tend to have a bit less coverage than balconette bras. This, in turn, shows more cleavage and creates a fuller overall bust appearance. 


24/7® Classic T-Shirt Bra


When To Wear a Demi Bra vs. Balconette 

Both demi and balconette bras are flattering, especially for larger-breasted women. Which one you wear should depend on your outfit and personal preferences. 

Generally, demi bras are best for low-cut necklines. Balconette bras are better for necklines that are both low-cut and wide-set, due to the strap design. 

Each style is a great choice for formal or important occasions, such as a date, business event, or cocktail party. 

We recommend having both types of bras in your top drawer.


What bra is best for you?

When it comes to choosing between a demi cup bra and balconette bra, your preferences are the most important thing. These two styles of bra are very similar to each other but have key differences that may sway you one way or the other. 

Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up loving both styles! 

At ThirdLove, we offer bras in a wide variety of silhouettes and sizes, including our exclusive half cup sizes, to ensure everyone has access to a perfect-fitting bra. Explore our collections to find the best balconette bra or demi cup bra for you.