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Best Pushup Bras

Updated on March 9, 2011

EVERYTHING You Need to Know About Pushup Bras

This site is designed to teach you absolutely EVERYTHING you need to know about Pushup Bras; from the different styles and materials to finding the right cut and where to buy...and even how to buy pushup bras for less! This is the most conclusive site for pushup bra information!


What is a Pushup Bra?

The Basics of the Pushup

A push-up bra is designed to lift the breasts to create cleavage. Push-up bras often come with padding that can be removed or is built into the bra (also referred to as "contoured padding"). Pushup Bras can also come with Air or Gel filled pockets. The purpose of a Pushup Bra is to give the illusion of a larger, fuller chest.


Styles of Pushup

"Need a Lift?"

As mentioned in the previous section, there are numerous styles of Pushup Bras. In this section we will outline the most popular styles:

1. Built-in / Countoured Padding

2. Removable Padding

3. Air Cups

4. Gel Cups

5. Water Cups

6. Wire Free Pushups

7. Balcony / Balconette Pushups

8. French Lace Sling Pushup

9. Bustier / Corset Pushups

While #1 - #5 utilize padding or other items to fill the cup under the breast and provide a larger look, #6 - #9 use materials such as thin wires or specially cut material to lift and shape breasts; giving them a larger look and pushup without "padding".

Victorias Secret's FRENCH LACE SLING (as shown in photo in this section) is basically a bra that you can wear on top of your bra to turn any bra into a pushup bra instantly.


Learn the "Levels of Ooomph"!

Explore the Different Kinds of Pushups

When deciding which bra is right for you, first decide how much of a "push" you need from your pushup.

There are five levels of "push" -

1. Subtle Lift - Subtle lift is the closest to a natural look. Subtle Lift bras will usually have removable padding or utilize thin wires, underwires or specially cut material to give "push".

2. Moderate Lift - Moderate Lift is just a step above a subtle pushup. With a moderate lift you can expect noticeable results that add an illusion of size, typically without increasing the actual size of the breast area.

3. Dramatic Lift - Dramatic Lift pushups do exactly what they are called! A Dramatic Lift will usually give you one cup size of "size". If you are a 34B and purchase a Dramatic Lift pushup bra, you will appear to be a 34C.

4. Extreme Lift - For those looking to go one-and-a-half to two cup sizes larger; consider an Extreme Lift pushup bra. These bras typically use contoured padding / foam in combination with underwires to add size, lift and shape.

5. Maximum Lift - If you want the ultimate in a pushup size-wise, you want to go for the Maximum Lift. These bras have gel, air, water cups in addition to having underwires and special cuts designed to "maximize" size appearance.


Padded Bra Versus Pushup Bra

What's the Diff?

Before you enter the bra section at your fav store or attempt to make a purchase online blindly, know the diff between the two most confused styles of bras; Padded Bras versus Pushup Bras.

PADDED BRAS are simply bras with padding added inside the lining. They are designed to provide a fuller shape for small breasts and an alternative to bra stuffing, a practice among preteen and teen girls in which tissues, cotton balls, or socks are placed inside a bra to simulate larger breasts. Unlike push-up bras, however, most padded bras support the breasts but do not significantly lift them.

PUSHUP BRAS are structured so that the breasts are lifted and the cleavage emphasised. The best known brand of push up bra is the Wonderbra.


How Much Pushup Do I Need?

Suggested Pushup Bra Levels

There is no "standard" rule for what level of "push" your Pushup needs to be. It really comes down to your opinion and what results your trying to achieve. Just because someone is naturally a AA or A cup doesn't mean they need to use a "Dramatic" pushup bra; on the flipside, just because someone is a D cup doesn't mean she shouldn't own a pushup bra. Both the AA and the D cup women should own a variety of bras and utilize them based on the settings.

Instead of basing your level of "push" on your natural breast size; base it on your intentions and attire.

A higher level of pushup is generally worn with lowcut or strappy attire. For example, if you are going out for a night-on-the-town and planning to wear a low-cut, V-neck sweater; regardless of your natural cupsize, you will likely want to consider a medium-to-heavy level of push to perfect your breasts since they will be the emphasis of your outfit (hence the reason you are wearing a low-cut V neck as opposed to a turtleneck).

On the other hand, if you are going to the gym to workout, most women will opt NOT to wear a heavy padded bra that traps sweat and becomes heavy and bulky-feeling.

Victorias Secret Pink Pushup Bra at for 60% off retail
Victorias Secret Pink Pushup Bra at for 60% off retail

Best Brands of Pushup Bra Designers & Where to Shop

The BIGGEST and the BEST

In random order, here are my personal top picks for pushup bras:

Victorias Secret (of course!). Victorias Secret offers a great variety of pushups that are excellent quality and will truly last (especially if you wash and hang-dry them!). You can expect to pay about $50 for a good pushup bra at Victorias Secret or about $20 - $30 at

Fredericks of Hollywood. If you're looking for an Extreme Lift pushup (water, air or gel) bra, then Fredericks of Hollywood is a great place to shop. Expect to spend about $68 on a bra. If you shop online and use the free rebates website called Mr. Rebates you will get a 5% instant rebate on your Fredericks of Hollywood purchases (in addition to coupon codes)

Calvin Klein. If you don't own a Calvin Klein bra for your subtle-to-medium lift needs, you simply must purchase one! Calvin's are so comfortable and cute. You'll pay around $55 at Macys or Calvin Klein for a nice bra. You can also shop Calvin Klein at WorldsSexiestWholesale or find one on eBay (just watch out for eBay knockoff products!)

Armani. I have totally fallen in love with the Emporio Armani lingerie line! Wonderful pieces and I love the ARMANI logo on their goodies! Victorias Secret INTIMISSIMI Gel Inserts Victorias Secret INTIMISSIMI Gel Inserts

Alternatives to Pushup Bras

Some people don't want to buy a pushup bra because they think they wont use it often and can't justify spending the money on an item they wont use. Other people don't have the money to buy one or perhaps still arent sure what kind they need. Yet others want to be able to make any bra they already own into a pushup without being limited to only one pushup bra.

No matter what your situation is, there are several alternatives!

1. Gel Inserts. You can scoop up a pair of Gel Inserts such as the Victorias Secret INTIMISSIMI Gel Inserts for under $10 at These inserts can be placed in any bras padding "slots" or slid between the lace overlay and micronet of a bra. (they can also be used with swimwear!). Great for smaller chest sizes looking for lift and push.

2. Pushup Pads. You can also buy pads that are just like the gel inserts. Pads don't give a "real", "Natural" feeling like the gel inserts do, but they give the same appearance.

3. Air or Gel Cups. You can now buy Air and Gel inserts in sizes A - DD.


Where to Start? What Color of Bra is Best to Buy? Lace or No Lace? Straps? Grrrrrr....

Decisions, Decisions... And How to Decide!


If you're finally ready to invest in a good pushup you're probably debating over what color is best for you.

Keep in mind the colors of clothing that you wear the most. If you wear lots of dark colored clothing; opt for a black, navy or chocolate colored pushup.

On the flipside, if you wear lots of light colored clothing; purchase a pastel, white or nude pushup bra.


A strapless bra is only practical for strapless attire. Unless you plan to wear a TON of strapless attire, do not make your one pushup bra a strapless. Instead, find a pushup that offers removable / convertible straps.

If you wear a lot of tank tops, you will want to consider the width of your tank top straps. If you tend to purchase spaghetti-strap tank tops, then you will want a skinny-strap pushup. If you like T-Back tanks, then buy a convertible or T-Back pushup bra.


Again, consider how you dress. Embellishments and lace can leave bumps / wrinkles / lines in tight-fitting clothing or airy materials. The last thing you want is a lumpy-looking chest under your tight tee!

However, if you are buying the pushup to go under an angora sweater, a sexy, girly, lacey bra is just fine! Make sure you get the matching panties too!


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