The Best Nursing Tanks for Breastfeeding Mamas. 7 soft, stylish, comfy and functional nursing tank tops from my favorite brands.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: figuring out life as a new mama is hard work.
Before you even have your baby, you have to pack your hospital bag, which is actually kind of stressful. Then there’s your new baby to deal with. Newborns are no joke, y’all! Such demanding little things!
And then there’s all the skills you need to learn as a new to nursing mama. Like how do actually use a breastfeeding pillow to get your kiddo into position? And is your baby eating enough? How do you store breastmilk safely? What’s the best and safest baby bottle? And what the heck do you do when your baby wants to breastfeed in a baby carrier?
So. Many. Questions.
Not to mention, you’re figuring all of this out at the same time as your body is serving up a serious hormonal rollercoaster.
While seriously sleep deprived.
Anyone sensing a theme here?
The Best Nursing Tanks & Pumping Tanks
In need of a great maternity nursing tank, without a lot of time to spare? Just here to get my recommendations? Below, I’ve listed my picks for the best nursing tank tops below. You’ll notice they’re from the same brands I always recommend for maternity nursing wear: Kindred Bravely, Undercover Mama, Love and Fit, Hatch Collection, and Anook Athletics!
If you’re looking to build up your wardrobe of nursing tanks, here are my recommendations.
Nursing Tanks Make Life Easier as a New Mom
So yeah – new motherhood and nursing is hard work.
I wanted to get back to a normal-ish version of life as quickly as I could. I wanted to go out to restaurants and coffee shops and beer gardens again (our daughter was born in Budapest, so yeah, we took her to beer gardens).
And just as importantly, I wanted to look like myself again. And that meant having a normalish wardrobe that didn’t scream “new mom who has no clue how to do this!”
What is a Nursing Tank?
Enter a selection of good nursing tanks. Seriously, don’t underestimate the importance of some comfortable postpartum clothes that are still cute, and that help you get the job done when it comes to feeding your screaming bundle of joy at a cafe.
To the average joe, a nursing tank looks exactly like a normal tank top. You can get a range of styles, from a lace-trimmed nursing cami to a workout nursing tank to a plain ol’ tank top.
There are two main designs: drop down cups with a clippable strap and a built in nursing bra, or a slit style that you open up to offer a “peak-a-boo” to your boobs that lets your baby latch on.
With the drop-down style, the straps are where the magic happens. On both sides, the straps have a clip that holds up an extra panel of fabric. Unclip the tank with one hand, fold down the fabric and – voila – you can feed your baby!
Most clip style nursing tanks also have a built in bra, so there’s no need to wear a nursing bra underneath. The peek-a-boo slit styles generally don’t have a built in bra, so you can choose one that’s comfy for you.
I wore nursing tank tops almost exclusively when I left the house for the first 6 to 8 weeks postpartum. Once I got a bit more confident, I switched to a broader range of clothing for nursing, adding in a few great shirts for nursing paired with a nursing bra, and some dresses, too.
What is a Pumping Tank?
A pumping tank is different from a nursing tank, and is meant to free your hands and give you a bit of coverage when you’re pumping your milk, usually when using an electric breast pump. Like a nursing tank, it has a drop down panel on each side. It also has peak-a-boo slits where your nipples are where you can fit the pump suction cups.
This is a great option when pumping at home, because it’s a bit more comfortable than just letting your boobs hang out, and gives more coverage than a hands free pumping bra. However, it’s an especially good solution for moms who are going back to work, and need to pump outside of the house.
My Top Picks for the Best Nursing Tanks
This tank is roomy, comfortable, breathable and lightweight, making it ideal for warmer seasons or climates. Like many of Kindred Bravely’s nursing clothes, it can be used throughout your pregnancy to make room for a growing belly, and then worn afterwards for nursing.
The side opening is ideal because it allows your baby to breastfeed without having to lift up your shirt.
Unlike many other nursing tank tops, this one doesn’t have a built in bra. You can wear it braless at home, or pair with a good nursing bra for support. It also works without the drop down cups common with many other nursing tank tops.
It comes in five sizes: small to xx-large, and currently only comes in black. You will get free shipping on all orders over $59.00 from Kindred Bravely. USA only.
This nursing tank has an athletic look to it, and is great for getting back into a gentle workout routine when your doctor says it’s time. A great choice for baby and me yoga!
The clips of this nursing tank are one of the best features. They’re hidden behind stylish ruching that you can simply slide up when you’re ready to unclip for feeding or pumping.
The material is stretchy, but firm enough to offer support. Even better, this nursing tank has sewn-in breast pads for extra coverage and annoying leaks.
The double clip features a bottom loop that holds the tank top up while the top loop holds the removable drop down cups layer. This provides easy nursing access that’s as discrete as possible.
This tank also boasts a moisture-management knit that wicks away sweat and breast milk to keep mom comfortable and clean. It comes in Moss Green, Redwood, Stone and Char colors, and it’s offered in sizes extra-small through extra-large.
Annok makes great clothes for nursing once you’re ready to start working out again – checkout their entire line of maternity-nursing wear.
This nursing tank has a clever double-layer design with a simple slit in the lower layer for quick and easy access. It comes in black and anise, and it is available in four different sizes that coordinate to an easy-to-use sizing chart.
No built in bra or drop down cups on this nursing tank top – use with a good nursing bra for good support and a seamless nursing experience. Flowy and stylish, this sleek and classy tank features an innovative double-layered V-neck design that allows for discrete and easy feeding and pumping.
Standard shipping is free on all US orders for this product.
Simple and brilliant, the 24/7 nursing tank is made from 90% cotton and 10% lycra for cool, soft and stretchy comfort and a seamless nursing experience.
This nursing tank top unhooks from the built-in bra with an effortless one-handed clasp, and the straps can be hooked together in the back for a racer-back type tank.
It was designed with plenty of room in the tummy area for comfort, and it comes in four neutral colors. It can be machine-washed and line-dried.
Extra-wide arm holes are the trick with this tank. Simply pull the arm hole over your chest to expose your nursing bra and you are ready to go. It is made of a soft and stretchy rayon/spandex blend.
The fun back of this tank has a cute cut-out at the top and a split bottom back that can be left open or tied up for a more fitted look. This makes a great fitness shirt, especially when paired with a nursing sports bra.
It comes in a pink peach color and is available in sizes small through extra-large.
Made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex, this nursing cami is extra soft, flexible and long for comfort and security. The clips are easily removed with one hand, and as a bonus they can attach to both nursing bras and regular bras for use long after breast feeding is over.
It is available in five neutral colors and two different variations. You can choose a regular hemmed trim or get it with a wide lace trim, which gives it a nice nursing cami style.
Choose from nine sizes ranging from extra-small to 5XL. This is the most economical tank on the list, and this company offers free shipping on orders of $45.00 or more.
Featuring a patented Easyclip™ system, you’ll be able to effortlessly clip and unclip the bra cups to pump or breastfeed from only one or both sides at the same time. It features removable padding and a double layer of material in the cups, and it is made of 94% nylon and 6% spandex.
The silouehtte is hip-length, and it comes in sizes small through xx-large, which will accommodate bra sizes 30B through 44E.
This tank comes in black and beige and should be hand-washed or washed on the delicate cycle in your machine. Any purchase over $59.00 will qualify for free shipping with Kindred Bravely in the USA.
What to Consider When Looking for the Best Nursing Tank Top?
Soft and Comfortable
If you’re new to breastfeeding and this is your first little one, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this. But…you’re going to have really sore nipples for the first few weeks.
And what does no mamma want to deal with when already dealing with cracked and bleeding nipples? Rough fabric.
Seriously, getting a nursing tank with soft and comfy fabric is sooooo important.
While some guides to finding the best nursing tank tops argue function is more important than style, I say…uhhhh no.
You just spent 6 or more months in maternity clothes. And will probably live in loungewear at home for the better part of the 4th trimester.
When you go out, it’s not a crime to want to look good.
Thankfully there are plenty of nursing tank tops out there that look good and function like a dream!
Easy to Care For
This is not the time of life for hand wash only, my friends. This is the time for machine wash on whatever setting you happen to push, and then throw in the dryer (without dryer sheets, mind you) or hang to dry.
Nursing tank tops that require hand washing should be banned from the face of the earth. Go for something easy!
Most (but not all) nursing tank tops have adjustable straps of some sort. This can be helpful to get a perfect fit, or if you need a bit more breast support. Generally, the peak-a-boo slit style don’t have adjustable straps, as they’re meant to be worn with a nursing bra.
Nursing Pad Friendly
Until your milk supply stabilizes, you’re probably going to experience some leakage. This is where nursing pads come in. They are reusable or disposable pads that sit between your nipples and your shirt, and they do the heavy lifting of absorbing any leaking milk so it doesn’t soak through and stain your shirt.
If this makes you think of a maxi pad for your boobs, you’re exactly right.
Some nursing tank tops have a built-in pocket for your nursing pad, some have a build in reusable nursing pad, and some have nothing of the sort.
If you get a nursing cami without a nursing pad pocket, you can still use nursing pads. You’ll just want to use the disposable type, which usually have a bit of adhesive on one side so you can stick them on to the inside of your tops for nursing like a sticker.
Built In Bra vs No Built in Bra
Most nursing tanks have a built in bra, and are meant to be worn braless on their own. If you have large breasts or back problems related to breast size, this means you’ll want to look for a nursing tank that gives you enough support and has adjustable straps to lift you up a bit when desired.
Will You Still Need a Nursing Cover?
Depending on how you put together your outfit, note you may still need a nursing cover to get a bit more privacy when nursing in public. While some nursing tops are designed to be quite modest without a nursing cover (i.e. the slit style nursing tops), others still may expose you a but (i.e. the drop-down style)
Final Thoughts on Finding a Great Nursing Tank Top
Having a great nursing tops is like having the right tools for any kind of job – it makes getting the job done way easier.
I recommend getting a variety of nursing clothes, as you’ll probably be wearing them for up to a year or longer – and you’ll want some wardrobe variety!
I hope this post helps! Please share with other new mamas and mamas to be!