How Often You Need To Replace Your Sports Bras

when to replace your sports bra

Unsplash/Angelos Michalopoulos

Raise your hand if you still have a couple of sports bras from high school tucked in your dresser drawers. Don’t worry — our hands are up, too. If they aren’t stained, tattered or torn, you don’t have to trash them, right?

Think again.

Just like your favorite pair of running shoes or yoga leggings, sports bras wear out over time. The elastic bands weaken, making the bras less supportive, and the breathable fabrics start to feel, well, suffocating. And no matter your cup size, a truly supportive and comfortable sports bra is essential for a successful workout. So yes, you do need to replace them.

To protect your breasts from being strained or injured by rocking a wayyy worn-out sports bra, aim to replace this piece of clothing every six to 12 months. We know, they’re often expensive, and once you find one you truly love, it feels impossible to toss it for a new one. But depending on how frequently you wear (and wash) them, this timeframe will keep you both comfortable and safe.

when to replace your sports bra

Unsplash/Christopher Campbell

How To Know When Your Sports Bra Needs Replacing

First things first, washing and drying machines are the worst enemies of athletic clothing. Wash cycles (and many laundry detergents) can be especially harsh on the fabrics, breaking them down more and more with each cleaning. And the high heat of the dryer degrades elastics surprisingly quickly. So wash your sports bras only as often as you need to (AKA when they get smelly) and let them air dry.

Otherwise, here are some sure-fire signs your sports bra is ready to be recycled in favor of a newer model:

  • The straps slip and slide out of place.
  • You notice uncomfortable chafing where the fabric is moving rather than staying put.
  • Its original vibrant hue is no longer so vibrant.

So there you have it. We’ll see you later — we have to go donate a solid 75 percent of our sports bras now. Ugh. Here’s hoping we land on some sweet athleisure sales soon!

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