How Does a Push-up Bra Work?

cream push up bra isolated

The best push-up bras do two things to your breasts: one, they create the appearance of a larger bust through padding; and two, they enhance the look of your cleavage by lifting your breasts. While you might take a push-up bra for granted, it’s actually a feat of engineering, and the best push-up bras achieve their results thanks to many elements working together to lift and enhance. Below, we break down the four essential parts of any push-up bra and explain how a push-up bra works. Then, we briefly discuss who should wear a push-up bra (spoiler alert: it’s anyone who wants to give their girls a little enhancement, no matter how big or small their breasts are naturally).

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Push-up Bra Padding

The padding is the most straightforward part of a push-up bra. Several different types of padding may be used. Regular foam is the most common, but some women also like a water gel or memory foam push-up bra, which conforms to the shape of the breast more easily and can result in a more natural look than regular foam. Generally, the padding is concentrated in the bottom and outer sides of the bra cups in order to lift your natural breasts and push them towards the center to show them off to the best advantage. The padding may be molded into the bra, or come as a removable insert that can be added and taken out as needed. Over the years, Leonisa’s push-up bra technology has changed to meet the needs of the women who wear them. Today, our bras feature foam padding with different enhancements, such as rounding the breasts, lifting the bust and more. 

woman wearing black push up bra

Push-up Bra Straps and Bands

Many people think that lifting comes from the straps of a bra. While the straps can add a bit of a lift—and push-up bras often come with thicker straps for more support—the bra should fit well enough that the band will mostly hold it in place even if the straps slip. This also improves comfort for the wearer, as bras that put too much pressure on the straps can strain the back and neck. Many of our push-ups bras include wide, comfortable bands that will create a good foundation of support. You might want to opt for a three- or even four-hook model, rather than the standard two-hook band, especially if you have larger breasts.

7 Tips for Finding the Best Support Bra for a Large Bust

Push-up Bra Cups

The cup fabric and structure is equally important to lifting and centering your breasts. Because the padding pushes your breasts slightly out of their natural shape, you need the cups to re-sculpt them to get that natural-looking curve. Most push-up bras have more structured cups made of thicker fabric for this very reason. If you look at the center and top of the cup, which doesn’t have any padding, it will still be thicker and more structured than your everyday bras. Leonisa push-up bras include a patented design in the shape of hands that helps to lift and support the breast, resulting in an anti-gravity effect.

Push-Up Bra Underwire

Many push-up bras also feature underwire to provide a strong, curved base for the cups. The underwire keeps your breasts from distorting the cups and gives you that natural-yet-enhanced look. If you’re experiencing discomfort wearing a bra with underwire, you’re probably wearing the wrong size. Underwire bras are designed to be comfortable while providing lift. Push-up bras with underwire are the best option if you’re looking for a push-up bra that strongly enhances your chest.

As wireless bras have become more popular, wireless push-up bras have hit the market. Wireless push-up bras are a great way to combine a gentle lift with the comfort of a no-wire bra. However, wireless push-up bras are best suited to those looking for a minimal lift, or those with smaller chests. If you really want the maximum lift and cleavage that push-up bras can provide, you’ll need to go with an underwire model.

Who should wear a push-up bra?

wearing floral push up bra

Push-up bras are for anyone of any size who want more lift and support. Smaller chested women looking to enhance their busts might want to look for a medium lift (one full cup size) or extreme lift (two full cup sizes) depending on the look they want. However, this isn’t to say that larger breasted women can’t wear push-up bras—quite the contrary. In fact, some women with bigger breasts actually find push-up bras more comfortable due to their sturdier structure and extra padding.

Women with larger breasts will likely be most comfortable with a gentle lift (half a cup size). If you’re really nervous about trying out a push-up bra, get one with removable pads so you can experiment with it depending on how full you want your chest to look that day. Don’t let having larger breasts drive you away from trying out a push-up bra! You might be surprised how sexy and confident it makes you feel, not to mention how fantastic it makes your cleavage look.

If you’re looking to enhance your bust, check out our collection of push-up bras. We offer everything from gentle to extreme lift, and stock many different styles, including longline, lace, memory foam and more.

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