So we decided to see if we could handle sleeping in a bra!
2. Hi! We’re Rachel and Kristin. Rachel is a 36 B and Kristin is a 40 DD, and we are not fans of bras.
“BRAS ARE THE BEST!” —No one except people who make bras.
3. So when we heard there was a bra designed for people to sleep in — specifically to help protect your boobs from sagging — we were understandably, uh, horrified by the premise.
Not pictured: Sleep.
4. And while we were not convinced “protecting” our boobs from sagging was worth the terror of wearing a bra 24/7, we were curious: Were there other perks of sleeping in a bra?
Better sleep? More support? Less rolling over on our nipples?
5. We decided to find out!
6. First, we tried sleeping in our regular ol’ bras, for comparison:
7. Rachel, a 36B, was shocked by how much she hated sleeping in her bra.
Rachel: I hate wearing bras. Like, really hate. Taking off my bra when I get home is one of my favorite moments of my day. And before you @ me for my small-tit privilege, know that I did not always have small tits! But in ye olde days — before I had a breast reduction back in 2003 — I still didn’t love wearing bras. I see them as a necessary evil, basically required to cover up my nipples so HR doesn’t get mad at me. So I was dreading this in the hours before I went to bed. Having to put my bra back on after enjoying several bra-free hours after work was such a sad moment. And the bra felt 10 times more uncomfortable at night — maybe because bras aren’t really meant to be worn lying down, or maybe because my bed has always been a safe space where my boobs get to be free. But with the bra on, my brain was singularly focused on WIRES. I tossed and turned and had actual nightmares.
The morning after I slept in my regular bra for the first time, I stumbled bleary-eyed to the coffee machine — neck and back surprisingly sore — and just kept thinking, I’ve made a terrible mistake. I was so relieved when Kristin IMed me later that day and was like, “Holy shit, that was awful.” Because I’d definitely felt like I was being overdramatic about how bad it was after the first night. But I wasn’t. The whole night, I felt like it was crushing my ribs, and before long, my soul.
8. And sleeping in a regular bra made Kristin feel like Christmas was cancelled.
Kristin: Oh man, sleeping in a regular bra was a garbage idea. I picked my most comfortable bra with the aim of trying to sleep in it for a week, and got about two days of terrible sleep before I decided Future Kristin’s Boobs are just gonna have to look like two really long tube socks nailed to a board.
What I DID learn though, is that sleeping in a bra you previously thought was comfortable is an excellent gauge of whether not it actually IS comfortable — or if you have just succumbed to the white noise of discomfort that comes with All Things Boob. You can learn A LOT about a bra when you have nothing else to concentrate on besides the wires slowly slicing you into people cheese. Honestly, the people we should be getting bra fitting advice from are the people who successfully sleep in regular bras, because they have figured that shit out.
9. Then, we tried sleeping in the special sleeping bras:
10. Rachel was actually pleasantly surprised by the sleeping bra.
Rachel: After how much I hated sleeping in my regular bra, I was super nervous about trying the sleeping bra. I put it off for a really long time because I didn’t want to sacrifice a night of sleep! When I first unpacked the sleep bra, I was really shocked that it was so soft. And then I discovered that it doesn’t have wires and thought, OK, I’m listening… Like, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad!
When I put it on before bed, I actually didn’t hate how it looked. All the straps going across my chest made it possible for me to pretend I was a backup dancer for Beyoncé. I was also very surprised by how snug it was. Not just that it fit — but that it felt like it was giving me a gentle squeeze. It was really weird; when I went to bed, it felt kind of like I was being spooned by a friendly ghost. Like, it definitely exerted a light pressure. But I didn’t hate it! It was actually sort of calming, like a Thundershirt.
Overall, the sleeping bra was a million times more comfortable than sleeping in my regular bra. I slept soundly, didn’t have nightmares, and didn’t wake up wanting to burn the world down. A vast improvement over sleeping in my regular bra.
11. Kristin liked the sleeping bra better than the regular bra, but the excessive straps were a deal breaker.
Kristin: Again, I tried for a week, and got through about two nights before it was just cutting into my sleep too much. I tried to hook the straps together but the more I tossed and turned, the more they came unhooked — so when I woke up it was back to looking like two purses strapped to my shoulders. This is less terrible than sleeping in a regular bra, but it is still miles worse than sleeping in no bras at all. What this bra lacks in wires it makes up for in straps, which is great if you want to feel like you are sleeping in a basketball net, but I’m like 99% sure that’s not on your list of interests. I had several false starts where I just couldn’t handle All The Straps and I would take the bra off after 15 minutes and promise to sleep in it the next night. The material IS very soft, which makes it easier to sleep in, but at the end of the day, it’s still a bra, so it just ends up feeling like a hug that has lasted a little bit too long.
Kristin: I had the best and easiest time sleeping in a worn-in, thin-strapped sports bra from Target, which I tried on a whim after this was over. The lack of wires coupled with thinner straps made it BY FAR the easiest to fall asleep and stay asleep in. Was it necessarily maximized for optimal lift and support? No, but it kept my boobs in one general area, and if you’re looking to find a good way to keep yourself from rolling over onto your own nipple, this is probably your best bet
Rachel: Sleeping in my regular bra made me feel like the princess in The Princess and The Pea. I had no idea how awful it would make me feel! But my main takeaway was that I was a little too quick to judge the sleeping bra. I still think the basic claim is pretty ridiculous — it seems highly unlikely that you’ll ever find research on whether or not this thing will keep your tits from sagging 30 years from now in a peer-reviewed journal — and I resent the idea that a woman should put herself in boob jail every night to avoid sagging later in life. But if you’re the kind of person who already sleeps in a bra, you may actually like the NightLift! It’s really soft, and the huggy-ness of it was weird and cool. For me, the best bra will always be no bra.
13. Basically: Taking off your bra is a simple, beautiful joy, and no one should be deprived of its glory.
NightLift provided two bras to BuzzFeed free of charge for the sake of review, but we were not obligated to write about them or to say nice things.