The Best Training Bras To Help Your Tween Feel Comfortable & Confident

Tweening is hard; these bras make one thing easier.

by Megan Hungerford
Originally Published: 
best training bras
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Let’s face it, puberty is hard. There are zits to battle with the latest TikTok acne treatment, the task of learning to shave, plus all the other physical (let alone emotional) changes a maturing body goes through. The journey to adulthood can be downright awkward, which is why finding the best training bra will help keep your tween comfortable and confident. Junior bras don’t just provide some support, they also conceal and cover. Scary Mommy reached out to pediatrician and puberty expert Dr. Cara Natterson, MD, to learn more about what to look for when shopping for training bras for your kiddo.

The Expert

Dr. Cara Natterson is a pediatrician, consultant, and New York Times bestselling author of puberty and parenting books including the best-selling series The Care and Keeping of You. In 2020, she co-founded OOMLA, a brand dedicated to making puberty comfortable through apparel and information. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins Medical School and trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco.

Are Training Bras Really Necessary?

“New breast tissue can be exquisitely tender, so having some material between the skin and a T-shirt or sweater makes a big difference for some girls,” Dr. Natterson says. “And when something or someone knocks into growing boobs – like a ball to the chest during sports or an accidental elbowing while hanging out with friends – a bra can reduce the ouch factor.”

Dr. Natterson mentions that there are great emotional benefits to training bras as well. For one, minimizing noticeable body changes can do a lot for a tween. “If girls feel better about themselves because their new curves aren’t quite as obvious, that self-esteem bump should be recognized,” she adds.

When Should My Daughter Start Wearing A Bra?

When exactly to introduce a training bra can vary, but the average age tweens begin wearing bras is around 11 years old, which is when the early stages of puberty usually begin. But remember, everyone is different! Some tweens may need them much earlier (sometimes as early as age 7), and others may not need one until they are teenagers. Remember to listen to your tween and keep an open dialogue so they know they can ask when they think it’s time.

Which Bra Is Best For Tweens?

A first bra should make them feel comfortable and confident. For maximal comfort, Dr. Natterson suggests looking for training bras made from super soft, cotton-based fabric because synthetic material can hold onto odors (if that’s a concern for your kiddo).

“The straps should fit across the shoulders without digging in or falling off. Look for smooth, stretchy elastic to avoid irritation from clips, clasps, or rough edges,” Dr. Natterson adds. If finding a transparent bra is of utmost concern, make sure to skip options with bows or embellishments that could show through clothes.

“Perhaps most importantly, the bra should gently compress growing breast tissue without binding it, helping to minimize sensitivity in the area and maximize confidence,” she explains. “Big bulky pads don’t do the job here…the ideal first bra is one that wraps gently around the chest.”

Finding an all-but-invisible training bra that blends seamlessly under T-shirts can make all the difference for a tween on the shy side. But other young adults will feel more confident in something that celebrates their femininity, like a lacy bralette. Got an athlete in your house? There are also fantastic options for those sporty kiddos who are always ready to run. Regardless of the junior bra style you’re looking for, one thing’s for sure: Your preteen will feel more comfortable in their own skin when you find the best training bra for them.

Editor’s note: We’ll be using female pronouns throughout, but these picks are perfect for any tween or teen looking for the right training bra.

1. A Classic Set of Training Bras From Hanes

Give your preteen the support she needs with the seamless pull-on training bra from Hanes. The design offers all-day, stay-in-place comfort. The removable foam cups and adjustable straps allow her to customize this bra for the most confident fit.

Helpful Review: “Good starter bra. My ten-year-old says they are super comfortable and I like the look it accomplishes. It smoothed her front without bulk so she’s not self-conscious. Some clothing she has was on the thinner side, so it also eliminated the need for an undershirt. I feel like her posture got better because she’s not slouching trying to hide, too.”

Sizes: Small — X-Large | Colors: 4 | Material: 95% Nylon, 5% Spandex

2. A Comfortable Set Of Cotton Bras From Fruit of the Loom

These simple spaghetti-strap training bras are the perfect starters for growing girls. The soft, cottony pull-on style feels similar to a cami so the fit won’t feel foreign, plus, there’s no padding making it a comfortable option for first-timers. And with a wide variety of colors, patterns, or nudes, she’s nearly certain to find a style she likes.

Helpful Review: “We got these for our daughter. This is actually the second set we have got her. She really likes them. Thank goodness because any mother knows that getting the right bra for their daughter is easier said than done when it comes to their daughter complaining.”

Sizes: 28 — 40 | Colors: 22 | Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex

3. A 10-Pack of Training Bras That Feel Like a T-Shirt

This cropped cami training bra value pack from Sweet Princess is such a deal. Made of soft, naturally breathable cotton, these unpadded junior bras will keep her covered without adding extra volume. Plus, with 10 bras in a set, there will always be a clean cami in her drawer — and that is music to mama’s ears.

Helpful Review: “My daughter is picky as can be when it comes to bras and after trying MANY different ones we found these. She loved that there are different colors, I love that there are multiple to last between laundry days, and they fit her comfortably. Measuring her and using the size chart was simple and we had no issue getting the right size.”

Sizes: Small — Large | Colors: 20 | Material: 100% Cotton

4. A Reversible Training Bra That Fits All Body Types

The OOMBRA Training Bra was designed by Dr. Natterson. “Using a patented design, it combines super soft materials with just the right amount of stretch across the chest,” Dr. Natterson says. “It’s the only bra on the market that flips from a nude side (with many shades of nude for many shades of girl) to a print side, so girls wear it the way they want, boosting confidence and individuality.”

Helpful Review: “Fits amazing! Super soft and a cute design. I especially love the straps because they are not thick or noticeable like a sports bra. This bra is so comfortable I can sleep in it and I even forget I am wearing a bra because it doesn’t dig in or have itchy tags. I was worried that this bra wouldn’t fit me or be supportive enough because I am a C cup, but it works perfectly. Size reference: I am 17 years old and a size 32C in most bras. In the OOMBRA I am a size 34-36. I highly recommend this product!!”

Sizes: Unique sizing based on measurements | Colors: 6 prints; 7 nudes/neutrals | Material: 46% cotton, 45% Modal, 9% spandex; inner layer is a special knit 100% poly

5. A Set of Training Bralettes In Nice Muted Colors

Looking for an invisible option? The Simply Adorable girls training bra comes in a variety of neutral tones to blend in under clothes. The cotton pullover junior bra is so incredibly comfortable for new bra wearers that some girls even sleep in theirs. Available in a 5-pack color of combinations, your little lady will have her choice of colors all week long.

Helpful Review: “Perfect for what we need. It is so hard to find non-padded training bras for a 9-year-old. These are perfect. She’s already growing so fast as it is, I didn’t want a padded bra adding more that isn’t there yet. Her nipples do not show through and the color selection is great to hide under her clothes, even her basketball tank tops.”

Sizes: Small — Medium | Colors: 5 | Material: 100% Cotton

6. A Lightly Padded Set of Camisole Bras For Modest Coverage

Worried about a nip-slip? These thinly padded bras will keep things smooth and modest without adding bulk thanks to the removable foam padding. The seamless construction means comfort all day and parents report that their preteens hardly even notice they're being worn.

Helpful Review: “These training bras are perfect! My daughter has to have everything comfortable [...] I like them also because they have light padding so they don't show the breasts, other ones we tried were so thin they were pointless. Love them, would buy again!”

Sizes: Small — Large | Colors: 3 variety packs | Material: 92% Nylon,8% Spandex

7. A Colorful Pack of Machine-Washable Bralettes With Removable Foam Pads

Help your kiddo express that colorful personality of hers with the Alyce Intimates Seamless Bralette in cheerful brights. These nylon/spandex bralettes offer all-day comfort with a tag-free design and adjustable straps. Plus, she won’t be tugging at her bra, thanks to the wide bottom band that keeps it in place.

Helpful Review: “These are exactly what I was looking for, for my daughter who is needing a training bra. It is padded to cover her nips perfectly. Very soft stretchy fabric. She said they are very comfortable and she can wear all day and also sleep with them. The colors [and] prints are super cute, easy to wash and doesn't shrink.”

Sizes: Small — X-Large | Colors: 4 | Material: 90% Nylon, 10% Spandex

8. A Pack of U-Shaped Cotton Bralettes From Calvin Klein

These U-shaped bralettes are great for anyone, but they’re especially ideal for pre-preteens just looking for something simple and casual to wear under shirts. This breathable bralette from Calvin Klein is the ultimate in cotton comfort for tweens who aren’t fans of all the frills.

Helpful Review: “Calvin Klein is the best. I bought two of these packs for my daughter who likes her shirts a little long and baggy. She doesn’t like the inverted V-shape tops on a lot of the training bras — looks too grown up — and those teeny straps have a way of breaking and twisting and being annoying. I love Calvin Klein bras for myself and was so happy to find these. She wants me to buy her four more so she can have one for every day of the week.”

Sizes: Small — X-Large | Colors: 10 | Material: 55% Cotton, 40% Modal, 5% Spandex

9. A Racerback Training Bra With Plus-Size Options

It’s no surprise that one of our favorite training bra options is a racerback bralette from one of the most widely available lingerie brands in the U.S. After almost 100 years of outfitting American women, Maidenform is a household name for a reason. Sporting the racerback styling, this training bra will be your tween’s go-to for summer tank tops.

Helpful Review: “Perfect for a young girl beginning her bra journey! The material, lace, stitching, and hardware are all supremely comfortable. We ordered with the understanding that if the padding was ‘too much,’ we would return. But we were pleased to find that the padding is appropriate and the petals can even be removed for washing. Very well-made and comfortable — just right! We would highly recommend it.”

Sizes: Small — 3X-Large Plus | Colors: 3 | Material: 94% Nylon, 6% Spandex


Dr. Cara Natterson, pediatrician, consultant, and author of the best-selling series The Care and Keeping of You. She is also the co-founder of OOMLA.

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