A guide to Cotton Bras

Cotton bras for seniors, Cotton Sports Bras, Pure Cotton Bras and Cotton Bras for sensitive skin.

By Pat Jameson, Bra Fitter

front closure cotton bras

With the rise of synthetic material production finding pure cotton bras, or any garments for that matter, can be a touch feat. In this article I am going to guide you through the pros and cons of cotton bras, common use cases for cotton bras, why it’s hard to find cotton bras in shops and I’ll point you to some of my most recommended cotton bras.

Cotton V Synthetic Bras

The big debate… which is better, cotton or synthetic bras?

My summary of thoughts are that unless you actually need a cotton bra due to skin sensitivity then synthetic bras are a better way for most women to go because they will be more durable as they are more resistant to stretch. Stretch resistance is important when it comes to a bra providing support – you can read more about that here.

The arguments for cotton bras being the best choice is that it’s nicer to have natural fibres against your body, it helps to wick moisture from the skin and that they create less irritation issues for those with sensitive skin. While I agree these are all fabulous advantages I think the benefit of strong support (from stronger stretch resistant fabrics) and a longer lifespan are more important to most women.

Benefits of Cotton Bras

  • Natural material
  • Cotton allows your skin to breathe
  • Cotton causes less irritation on sensitive skin
  • Ultra comfortable as the material stretched easily against the skin

Cotton Bras for sensitive skin

Hands down the most common need for cotton bras is centred around women who react to synthetic materials. I have heard the desperation in these poor women’s dialogue – a reason I was driven to write this blog. Could you honestly imagine wearing a garment that itched you and left welts on your skin?! Poor ladies.

Some women are prone to reacting to the general synthetic fibres in bras, the metals used in claps or lingerie detailing, latex sometimes use in bra production or even the chemicals used to treat or wash the fabric.

A cotton bra is a great solution for those suffering these unrelenting skin irritation issues.

Cotton Bras for seniors

Cotton bras for seniors are a popular choice. Due to the nature of our skin thinning as we age and becoming more delicate, it’s really common to hear of elderly women seeking out a high cotton content in their bras.

I see this as a good fit as cotton delivers a lot of the qualities our seniors ladies are looking for. That being, soft fabrics, low irritant materials, wire free (not always, but often) bras that stretch to our shape quickly. In short they are comfortable which is generally the main aim for bras for seniors.

With that super soft, super comfortable feel will often come a lower support solution. I don’t believe this to be a major issue for elderly women. Comfort is key for this demographic. So long as they find that their breasts being less supported is causing them other issues.

Why is it hard to find Cotton Support Bras in stores?

While I, the Bra Fitter, believes cotton bras are an important part of our stock room, I understand why most retailers choose not to stock a large variety of cotton bras. With the buyer demand for synthetic high support durable bra options there is simply less customers out there seeking a high percentage cotton bra. Given the nature of bras having so many sizes and colour variants required most retailers will put one of two token high cotton content styles and feel it irresponsible to put any more of their stock inventory dollars in to the category. It makes sense on paper (or a profit and loss statement), but it doesn’t help the women out there looking for this category.

This is why we see so many women choosing to shop online for cotton bras.

100% pure Cotton Bras – do they exist?

Its quite unlikely you’ll find a supportive 100% cotton bra. You may find a 100% cotton “crop” top, but its highly unlikely you’ll ever find a 100% pure cotton bra. This is because bras require elastic and metal elements in order to truly be considered a “bra”. A Bra should be designed in cup sizes eg 36D, not XS-XXXL sizing which doesn’t allow for our proportions.

The industry will label anything that they (the producer) deems to have a high cotton content as a “cotton bra”.

For the purpose of my recommendations I have considered anything with 80% or above cotton content to be a “cotton bra”. Most women who seek out a cotton bra don’t actually want a 100% cotton bras as they still want the elastic and metal elements in order to get a good fit and appropriate support.

Cotton Front Closure Bras I recommend

The merging of Cotton Bras and Front Closure Bras is a bit of a tricky one. As cotton bras are rare in their own right, and then the same with front closure bras being an anomoly, we don’t see many bras producing cotton front closure bras. But I do have some favourites listed below for you to look at. The Royce Comfi Cotton Front Closure Bra is a personal favourite and most importantly is available in a decent range of actual bra sizes.

front closure cotton bra
98% cotton front closure bra

Royce Comfi Bra
cotton front closure bra
95% cotton front closure bra

Fruit of the Loom Cotton Bra

Cotton Sports Bras I recommend

So I have to be honest and say ordinarily cotton and sports bras aren’t a common mix. This is because the synthetic materials are what provide the strong stretch resistant fabrics that a sports bra really needs. Royce has done a really great job with the Impact Free Cotton Sports Bra that has 81% cotton content and is a super supportive sports bra available in a great range of sizes. I am sorry I don’t have more to recommend – I can’t bring myself to suggest a product I don’t believe in just for the sake of it.

cotton sports bra
81% cotton High Impact Sports Bra

Royce Impact Free Cotton Sports Bra

Cotton Support Bras I recommend

While we talk about the cotton fabric being less structured and more stretchy than synthetic materials, it is also important to note that you can actually find cotton support bras in a great range of sizes. The Anita Jana Cotton Wire Less Bra and the Royce Grace Wire-Free Cotton Comfort Bras are both a testament to this. Noting again that these styles are 80% and 84% cotton. Of course the brands have ensured the cotton is placed on the internal cups of the bra in order to ensure

cotton support bras
80% cotton support bra for B – H cup

Anita Jana Cotton Wire Less Bra 5427

cotton-support-bra plus size
84% cotton support bra for D-FF cup

Royce Grace Wire-Free Cotton Comfort Bra

My final words on Cotton Bras

As mentioned through out this article I do believe that cotton bras are only *truly* a benefits to those who really need to stay away from synthetic fabrics. While there are some lovely benefits of cotton, if you are a hard to find size or have particular needs then you’ll probably find it easiest to stick to mainstream bras that use a higher percentage of synthetic materials that aid support and lifespan.

Got a question? Feel free to get in touch 🙂

Pat x