Are underwired bras bad for you?

Posted on 28 May 2017

Looking to clarify whether the underwire bra is good for your health? Read on for the truth about underwired bras and whether they really are bad for your health.

The mystery around underwired bras and their impact on our boobs today still circulates the internet with no clear answer. According to, the main concern is that "Underwire bras cause breast cancer by blocking the drainage of lymph fluid from the bottom of the breast so it can't get back into your body". Sounds scary, right? 

But aren't underwired bras supposed to support your chest and the shape of your breast? They're a popular bra style for that very reason, so should we be worried?


How did the theory come about?

The beginning of the "myth" came from Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, a husband and wife team who were medical anthropologists. The pair wrote the book "Dressed to Kill" where they studied the link between bras and breast cancer. The team's theory was that "external pressure of the bra constricts the lymphatic vessels and prevents proper draining of the breast tissue, leading to fluid accumulation in the breast". This was following the diagnosis of Grismaijer's breast cancer whilst pregnant. The book is said to have made a huge impact on the practises of the Medical and Fashion industries. 

The evidence

Singer and Gismaijer are the only scientists to have conducted a study about the correlation of bras and your health. The team studied 4,000 women, with the major discovery that women who rarely or never wore bras have a 1 out of 168 chance of developing the illness. However this shows the correlation to cancer when not wearing a bra, not specifically when wearing one.

Not only is the concern related to cancer, other health concerns from wearing underwired bras include chronic back pain, headaches and poor posture. However, this can also be attributed to having a poorly fitted bra. 

So what's the benefits of ditching an underwired bra?

With technology development in manufacturing garments, the non-wired bra has become supportive for a variety of breast sizes. Is that enough of a reason to completely ditch the underwired bra? As argued by medical professionals, the evidence gathered by the one scientific study isn't sufficient. Other's medical professionals however, do recommend to give yourself a break from the underwire, and opt for a non-wired bra from time to time. 

Should I stick to non-wired bras?

As only one study of the link between the two has been conducted, the answer to whether underwired bras are bad for your health is not a straight forward "yes". Ultimately, underwired bras aren't completely bad for you, as there is no multiple sources that state the style causes breast cancer. Regarding other health related issues the fit of your bra is also important, not just necessarily the type of bra you're wearing. However it is completely up to you how you feel towards underwired bras. Whether you wear them 24/7 or treat your tatas to a little relaxation with a non-wired bra, is down to your comfort and your own beliefs with the evidence provided. If you are looking for comfortable, underwire-free bras, then look no further! Neon Moon has you covered (literally), with our amazing choice of bras.

Neon Moon Non Bra

Neon Moon Shop All


What do you think? Are you cautious about underwired bras and ready to embrace the non-wired life? Let us know in the comments below! 


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  • June Sees: June 17, 2017

    Very insightful and I’m reading more into this myth and studies. I love wired bras for the full back support and non-wired for those lazy days. Big boobs problems ha!

  • Lucy Dolan: June 16, 2017

    Very insightful article! Didn’t even realise this was a thing. Big fan of Neon Moon bras x

  • Camille: June 05, 2017

    Hello Neon Moon team!
    Have you heard about Pr Jean-Denis Rouillon’s study about bras?
    I personally turned “No bra” a few months ago, BUT, if I have to wear a bra, I definitly wear a Neon Moon bra :)

  • Michelle: June 05, 2017

    I will never buy an underwire bra again. Ever. You can’t make me.

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