This is how long you should keep a bra before replacing it

No, that six-year-old bra isn’t doing its job properly [Photo: Pexels]

Ever tried on a new bra and realised your previous one was barely holding anything up at all?

Whether it’s over months or years, bras cunningly lose their elasticity without you noticing, leading to riding-up straps and one funny-shaped pair of boobs.

But when exactly do bras reach this point? Months? Decades?

If you’re clutching onto a circa-1999 Bravissimo purchase in the hope it’s still in its prime, bad news as experts reveal that you should be replacing your bras annually.


“The average lifetime of a bra is one year,” says Julia Mercer, M&S’s bra fit expert. “Though of course this depends on how many bras you have and how frequently you wear them.”

A bra worn four times a week is hardly going to have the same hold as one you’ve stashed at the back of your drawer for 364 days of the year.

But there are a few ways to make a bra last longer – and contrary to what your friends might have told you, that doesn’t involve keeping it miles away from your washing pile.


In fact according to Mercer, M&S recommends washing all of its lingerie at 40 degrees.

“Washing your bra regularly helps to regenerate the elastics,” explains Mercer. “Avoid putting padded bras in the tumble drier – instead reshape padded bras while they are still damp to help them keep their shape.”


How you store your bras makes a big difference too. Don’t cram the lot of them into the corner of your knicker drawer.

“When storing bras, sit the cups inside one another and then stand the bra upright in the drawer,” Mercer suggests. “This helps prevent damage to the wires – and it helps you find them more easily when you’re in a hurry!”

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