image description

Tips for Choosing the Best Compression Sports Bra in 2023

How to Choose The Best Compression Sports Bra

Finding the perfect bra can feel like spotting a unicorn, but it shouldn't be that way. Your sports bra is a key piece of workout equipment, just like your sneakers or leggings. And when it comes to high-impact activities — whether you're running, hiking, playing sports, doing a HIIT class, biking, or lifting at the gym — a compression sports bra is a must-have to ensure you can stay focused on your workout rather than get distracted by uncomfortable clothing.


Finding the best compression sports bra — one that is comfortable yet supportive, fits without chafing, and has breathable material that also feels good against your skin — doesn't have to be rare enough to compare to a unicorn spotting. The trick is knowing what to look for.     

woman wearing CW-X Xtra Support Sports Bra


What is a compression sports bra?

A compression sports bra is accurately named — they hold your breasts close to your body to reduce movement while working out. They do not have individual cups to separate the breasts, keeping bounce under control for a more comfortable experience during any activity, whether you're going for a low-paced walk or doing jumping jacks in a fitness class. 


What are the different types of compression sports bras?

Compression sports bras can range in a variety of ways. All of the best compression sports bras have a bit of stretch to them, but they vary in material, usually Lycra or spandex. CW-X compression sports bras feature patented Targeted SUPPORT-WEB technology that uses mesh webbing built into the cup of the sports bra. CW-X's multi-directional EXO-stretch body fabric, which is breathable and moisture-wicking to keep your body dry during sweat sessions, also has flat seam construction to reduce chafing and irritation — all important factors when choosing your bra.

The design of the straps can also vary — some examples include racerback, cross-back, and U-back — to accommodate the wearer's preference based on different activities and body types for maximum comfort and stability.

You might also opt for different necklines and straps depending on what looks the best under your workout clothes as well as your different activities. For example, you may choose a sports bra with a high necklace for yoga so there are no surprises during downward dog.

back of a woman wearing CW-X Stabilyx Sports Bra


Is there a difference between compression sports bras and high-impact sports bras?

Compression sports bras can suit a wide variety of fitness activities, from walking the dog or yoga to running or CrossFit. High-impact bras are often compression bras that are used for activities that cause more bouncing and multi-directional breast motion, which require stronger compression to contain movement.


CW-X Xtra Support Technology Overview Graphic

Who should wear compression sports bras?

Compression sports bras are used by anyone who wants to reduce breast movement during an activity for a more comfortable experience that will also prevent pain or injury in the shoulders, neck, and back.


What kind of sports and activities would require a compression sports bra?

From low-impact activities like pilates to high-impact activities like a basketball game, compression sports bras are a key piece of equipment. Whether you're a runner, weight lifter, horseback rider, dog walker, yogi, hiker, rock climber, fitness class enthusiast, mountain biker, or athlete across all sports from cheerleading to wrestling, you can benefit from a compression sports bra.


Do I need more than one compression sports bra in my workout wardrobe?

You'll likely benefit from a range of compression sports bras so you can support your chest comfortably during different sports and activities. For situations when you really want to reduce movement, you'll want a compression sports bra that hugs your chest close to your body to limit movement and bounce. When you're taking on a less intense workout or just looking for a comfortable option while running errands, you may benefit from a compression sports bra with a looser yet still supportive fit.


woman wearing CW-X Xtra Support Sports Bra in color Forest Night

How to make sure a compression bra fits correctly?

Always try on a compression sports bra to ensure that the fit is comfortable and supportive, limiting bounce and movement without being too constricting. It can often feel like you don't really know if a compression sports bra is the right fit until you've tried it during an activity, which is too late for a return or exchange, but there are plenty of red flags to be on the lookout for before cutting off the tags.

If you notice spillage over the tops or sides of the compression sports bra, the cups may be too small. Try the next size up for a better fit. Similarly, the band on the bra should lay flat and not roll up — again, you may want to try a larger size.

If the straps are digging into your skin, you may not be supporting your breasts adequately and may benefit from a smaller size for more stability. You should be able to fit one finger between the band and your skin comfortably. You may also want to size down if you see the cups are wrinkling or have gaps in the cup area due to excess space.


Why is fit important in compression sports bras?

The main reasons are comfort and support. You'll find that low-impact activities like walking or yoga will require less constricting bras than high-impact activities such as an obstacle course or volleyball, but either way, you'll need ample support — or you may pay the price later. Compression sports bras can help prevent injuries in the neck, shoulders, and back as excessive movement can stretch the ligaments in your chest. In addition to reducing pain, a good compression sports bra can reduce the development of saggy breasts.


How do I determine my correct bra size and fit?

Instead of guessing with vague sizing such as small, medium, or large, go for a compression sports bra with individual cup and band sizing such as CW-X for a more targeted and accurate fit. Measure your band size by taking a level measurement around your rib cage, directly under your bust, and rounding to the nearest inch — that's your band size. For cup size, take a loose measurement over the fullest part of your bust and round to the nearest inch — then subtract the band size from your bust size to find the right cup size. Every inch equals one cup size up.

 If your bra size is not listed, try the sister size by decreasing the cup size and increasing the band size or vice-versa. For example, a 34DDD should try a 36DD or a 42C should try a 40D.

woman wearing CW-X Xtra Support Sports Bra while working out


How do you care for a compression sports bra?

With all of your sweat sessions, it's likely that your compression sports bra will be in the washing machine often. Follow the specific instructions for your bra as stated on the label and consider hanging it to dry instead of putting it through your clothes dryer for an extra layer of protection.


Compression sports bras won't just enhance a workout or activity — your experience just wouldn't be the same without one. Who wants to worry about a wardrobe malfunction at the gym or need to stop a run just a few minutes in because there's too much chest movement? In addition to providing support, comfort, and pain prevention, the best compression sports bra makes you look and feel like your best self — which may mean you're up for adding another five minutes at the end of your elliptical session.


CW-X compression sports bras offer a variety of selections depending on your preferences, from body shape to go-to workout activity. And while there are countless sports bras on the market, only CW-X has patented EXO-WEB™ technology that mimics kinesiology-taping techniques that trainers apply to injured muscles. When applied to muscles and joints, it creates an exoskeletal support system that improves biomechanics during motion, from warming up the muscles ahead of a workout to maximizing support during peak training zones to accelerating recovery. Not only is this technology in CW-X compression sports bras but also their tights, shorts, and sleeves for both women and men looking to achieve their full fitness potential.