This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

by Сашка

Be honest, how long has it been since you last checked you were wearing the correct bra size?

Discover the secrets to finding the perfect fit from the comfort of your home with our expert guide on measuring your bra size. We unravel the mysteries of proper sizing while providing clear, step-by-step instructions from lingerie industry professionals.

It’s time to say goodbye to discomfort and hello to confidence with a precise understanding of your bra measurements, cup sizing and the styles that are best for your shape.

Some of the best bras at a glance

Best everyday braBest lace braThe ultra-comfortable braBest for complete support

How do I measure my bra size at home?

Dawn Black, Lingerie Technical Manager at Ann Summers, has some great tips for getting started.

First determine your band measurement

‘Stand upright without a bra on, or with a non-padded bra on and take your band measurement using a tape measure in inches.

‘Place the tape around your back and under your bust, around the line where a bra would usually sit. Ensure the tape is sitting flat and in an even line all around. It should be feeling quite snug.

‘Round to the nearest whole number. If the number is even, add four inches and if it's odd, add five inches. This is your band measurement. For example, if you measured 32 inches, your band size is 36. If you measured 33 inches, your band size is 38.’

Next work out your cup measurement

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: Anna Tarazevich / Pexels

‘It’s often a good idea to wear one of your favourite fitting non-padded bras, too much extra padding is not ideal because you’re trying to determine how full your natural boobs are.

‘Place the tape measure in inches around your back and over the fullest part of your boobs. Try using a mirror to help ensure an even line and don’t pull too tight.

‘Round to the nearest whole number. Now subtract this measurement from your band measurement and use the below bra size guide.’

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: Dawn Black, Ann Summers

‘As an example, a band measurement of 34 inches and a cup measurement of 37 inches would equal a 34C bra size.

‘Remember this is only a guide to calculating your bra size, and whilst you can follow these guidelines, the best advice is always to get a professional bra fit.

‘Using measurements to determine your bra size is not an exact science because there are lots of other factors to consider when finding the ideal bra fit. It may take some trial and error to find your correct fit!’

How should a cup size fit?

Black told us that ‘a well-fitting bra cup should make you feel comfortable and look great.

‘There should be no boob spilling out of the cup from any angle. You should be enclosed within the cup without any bulging, gaps or excessive cup wrinkles.

‘In general terms, if you’re escaping from the cup then the cup size is too small, and if you’re seeing gaps or wrinkles within the cup then the cup size is likely too big.’

Is it better for a bra to be too big or too small?

Honestly, neither is ideal and both our experts advised that finding a bra with the perfect fit is the only solution.

According to Black, ‘wearing an ill-fitting bra can be very uncomfortable.

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: Dave McDermott / Unsplash

‘Bras that are too big allow your boobs to move around too much and bras that are too small squeeze and compress your boobs leading to unsightly bulges.

‘Larger breasts in particular need the correct level of support to avoid discomfort around the breasts, rib cage and shoulders. You need to find harmony between both the band size and cup size to ensure that you have enough lift and support to hold your boobs properly.’

If figuring out your size at home is too challenging and you seem to consistently be wearing the wrong size, Lee-Anne Norton, Boux Avenue's L&D Business Partner, recommends ‘being fitted into every bra that you buy; your bra fitting expert will help you with the best options for your bust.’

How do I know if I’m wearing the right size bra?

Norton says that when worn, ‘The underband will be in line with the wires at the front of your bra and feel snug. Ideally, your bra shouldn't move when you move. The cup should also fit flush across your bust with the centre front of the bra sitting flush against your breastbone in between the bust.

‘For your health, your wire should be sitting behind all bust tissue towards the middle of your armpit.’

In short, feeling comfortable is key.

Read also:
Most comfortable bras UK: How to choose, which to buy

Which bras are best for my shape?

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: Janaina Lourenço / Pexels

‘Each style of bra is designed to shape your bust differently and not every breast shape will suit each style of bra,’ Norton told us. ‘You may be different sizes in each style depending on your bust shape.

‘If your bust is bottom-heavy or close together we would recommend a balconette bra. The U-shaped wire of the balconette bra helps to lift and separate the bust.

‘For those who have a more separated bust shape, we would recommend a plunge bra as the C shape wires of this style bra will help to push the bust inwards creating a cleavage boost.’

Does size vary with different bra styles?

Black told us that ‘just as with outerwear, your bra size can vary between different brands. What’s important is that the bra fits and you understand what a great fit should look and feel like.’

Norton went on to add that ‘bra sizing can vary due to styles and materials used. Certain fabrics will have more give than others which can affect the size. There are also padded and unpadded bras where you may have two different sizes. Padded bras can be a cup size larger than a non-padded bra.

‘Your bust shape will also affect what size you are. You may need a different size in different style bras as you will suit one style more over the other.’

What is a bra ‘sister size’?

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: Antonius Ferret / Pexels

‘A bra sister size is where you can wear a different size, that is related to cup volume,’ said Norton.

‘We would recommend only two sister sizes and this would be where you can go up a band size and down a cup size or vice versa. For example, if you are a 34C, your sister cup sizes would be 32D and 36B.

‘We wouldn’t recommend any more than this as the proportions of the bra would vastly change, and therefore not create a comfortable fit.’

Where can I get measured for a bra?

The following stores offer expert bra fitting appointments where a specialist will measure you and assist you in finding a fit that feels right for you.

  • Ann Summers

  • Boux Avenue

  • Marks and Spencer

  • John Lewis

Shop some of the best bras

Now that you’ve figured out your size, it’s time to invest in a comfortable bra that will see you through months of wear. Here are our favourites.

Best everyday bra

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: NET-A-PORTER

SKIMS Fits Everybody Scoop Neck Bra

Offering lift and comfort simultaneously, the SKIMS lingerie range is truly one of a kind.

This bra is made from a super soft two-ply stretch fabric that is wonderfully silky and flexible. Instead of a wired underband, it comes with an elasticated one that provides support without digging into the skin.

And the cherry on top? The bra’s available in a range of colours to suit every skin tone out there.

Best lace bra

We Tested It

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: Ann Summers

Ann Summers Sexy Lace Planet Padded Plunge Bra

A black lace bra is an essential piece in every girl’s underwear drawer. The right one can make you feel confident, powerful and sexy.

Our favourite one is this padded plunge bra from Ann Summers. It comes with removable mini pads if you’d like a little extra lift and underwire for complete support.

The ultra-comfortable bra

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: John Lewis

sloggi ZERO Feel Ultra Bralette

You save £18.50 (48.68%)£38

For long days or even long-haul flights, you don’t want a bra that will dig into or pinch the skin. That’s where the sloggi ZERO Feel Ultra Bralette comes in.

Lightweight and with a soft touch, the bra comes with light pads and thick straps that guarantee support. Plus, its seamless silhouette will remain invisible underneath fitted clothes.

We’re big fans of sloggi at Best Buys. All of the brand's offerings provide unparalleled comfort and support. Lately, we’ve been wearing the Ever Infused Aloe Bra which has a skin-moisturising effect and a firm hold feel.

Best for complete support

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer Collection Total Support Bra

Despite its non-padded, non-wired design, this slightly stretchy cotton-blend bra will offer wearers a great amount of support through hours of wear.

It comes with a full cup, thick straps and a supportive underband. The sides of the bra are slightly wider than usual too to ensure a comfortable lifting effect.

Best bralettes

This is how to measure your bra size at home, according to experts

Photo: Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein 2 Pack Bralettes

You save £20 (50%)£40

Calvin Klein’s lingerie offerings are some of the most popular around — and for good reason.

Made from a comfy cotton-elastane blend, these bralettes have soft non-padded cups and are non-wired.

They’re easy to wear thanks to their pull-on design, elastic underband and adjustable shoulder straps.

Meet the experts

Dawn Black, Lingerie Technical Manager, has been at Ann Summers for five years but has been a lingerie expert for over 25 years. She is responsible for the fit and quality of all of the lingerie, nightwear and swimwear at Ann Summers

Lee-Anne Norton is Boux Avenue's L&D Business Partner with a wealth of knowledge, having worked in the lingerie industry and at Boux Avenue for 10 years. A key part of her role is working closely with Boux's store colleagues to ensure the company delivers the ultimate bra-fitting experience for all their customers, including knowing the best style of bras for their customers' needs and their best shape.

Ready to find the bra of your dreams?

Well, the first step to buying the best bra for your needs is figuring out your size. And hopefully, with our experts’ advice and pro tips, you’ll be able to measure your bra size in the comfort of your own home without difficulty.

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