H Cup vs DD Bras: How to Choose the Right Size

Underwire poking, straps digging in, overflowing cups...ill-fitting bras are uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. But finding your true bra size can be confusing. Two sizes often used interchangeably are DD and H cups. But how do you know which size is right for you?

This article will compare DD and H cup bras, factors that impact fit between the two sizes, how to calculate your size, and tips for finding a well-fitting, supportive bra for your body. Read on for everything you need to know about DD versus H cups!

Key Differences Between DD and H Cup Bras


DD and H cups sound quite different, but they can actually refer to similar breast volumes on different band sizes. Here are the main ways DD and H cup bras differ:

Cup Volume

DD - On a 36 band, a DD cup holds roughly 670cc volume. This moderate volume suits many medium-large busts.
H cup - On a 36 band, an H cup holds approximately 1170cc volume. This larger volume suits most very full busts.


DD - This common "mass market" size is widely available at most stores and brands. Inventory and options are plentiful.
H cup - H cups are considered a "full bust" size only regularly stocked at specialty retailers. Stores may carry limited options.

Support Level

DD - Many DD bras from main retailers come in lightweight, unlined styles without substantial support structures.
H cup - Most H cup bras are more structured with lining, underwire, wide bands, and straps to provide ample support and lift.


DD - Widespread availability makes DD sizes very reasonably priced, especially at discount retailers.
H cup - Specialty large cup brands and greater structure means H cup bras cost considerably more on average.


DD - On smaller band sizes like 30, a DD cup is for small-medium busts. On larger bands like 38, a DD will fit much fuller busts.
H cup - Size more consistent as it represents very full busts on any band size. Less variability in fit.

As you can see, DD versus H cup bras differ in volume, support, availability, and pricing. Next, let's look at factors that help determine which size you actually need. Check out these H cup bras from Uplifted Lingerie for stylish, supportive options.

Factors Impacting Proper Bra Size Fit

measuring tape

DD and H cup sizes aren't directly interchangeable across the board. The right size for you depends on:

Band Size

Small band - On a 30 band, DD cups fit an average bust, while H cups are enormous.
Large band - On a 38 band, DD cups fit very full busts, while an H is even larger.

Breast Shape

Projected - Projected busts with more volume than width fit better in deeper H cups.
Shallow - Shallow shapes with wide breast tissue fit better in DD cups.


Firm - Dense, self-supporting breast tissue fits fine into lightweight DD bras.
Soft - For soft, malleable breasts that need a lift, sturdy H-cup bras prevent sagging better.

Comfort Level

Weight preference - Those wanting light, unlined bras can size down to DD cups.
Support needed - If you need substantial support, size up to structured H cup bras.

Clothing Necklines

Lower necklines - If you wear a lot of low-cut shirts, size up to full coverage H cups.
Higher necklines - DD cups work fine under high necklines as less coverage is needed.

As you can see, elements like your frame size, breast characteristics, priorities, and outfit styles all impact whether a DD or H cup bra will fit properly and comfortably.

Determining which size you need is tricky. Next we'll walk through how to accurately calculate your bra size.

How to Calculate Your True B
ra Size

Finding sister sizes with equivalent cup volumes is the key to determining whether you should wear a DD or H cup bra. Follow these steps:

1. Measure underbust loosely

Stand upright and wrap a soft measuring tape around your torso right under your bust. Make sure the tape sits flat and level.

Take a normal breath in and out without holding in your stomach. The measurement should be loose but not gaping.

Round to the nearest whole inch. Write down this number - this is your loose underbust measurement.

2. Measure underbust snugly

Repeat with the measuring tape lower around your ribcage, right where the underwire would sit.

Pull the tape so it fits comfortably snug against your torso without compressing breast tissue above. Exhale and take the measurement.

Round to the nearest whole inch. This is your snug underbust measurement.

3. Measure bust

Stand with arms at sides and measure around the fullest part of your bust. Make sure the tape sits level and straight across your back.

Don't squish breast tissue, but don't leave gaping space either. Take the measurement as your normal exhaled bust size.

Round to the nearest whole inch. This number is your bust measurement.

4. Calculate band size

Take your snug underbust measurement from step 2. This generally gives the most comfortable fit.

Convert to your band size by using that underbust measurement as your band number.

5. Calculate cup size

Subtract your band size from your bust measurement. The difference gives your cup size number. Each 1 inch of difference equals 1 cup size.

For example:

Loose underbust: 34 inches
Snug underbust: 32 inches
Bust: 39 inches
Band size: 32 (snug underbust measurement)
Bust - Band size = 39 - 32 = 7 inches difference

7 inch difference = 7 cup sizes

In this example, the bra size is 32G in UK sizing.

Using these measurements and calculations gives your true bra size, regardless of any misleading size charts or fit issues with old bras. Record your numbers so you can use them as a reference.

Now let's go through how to find the right sister sizes to determine if you should be wearing a DD or H cup.

Finding Sister Sizes for DD or H Cup Fit

Once you have your measurements, use sister sizing to convert between band sizes and find equivalent cup volumes. Here's how:

Sister Sizing Up

To sister size up, go down a band size and up a cup size. This keeps the same cup volume.

For example:

34E has the same cup volume as 32F
36DD has the same volume as 34E
38H has the same volume as 36HH

So if you measure as a 36GG based on the steps above but find 36 bands uncomfortable, try sister sizing up to a 34H bra instead. The H cup on a smaller band preserves the cup volume.

Sister Sizing Down

To sister size down, increase the band size and decrease the cup size. The volume remains the same.

For example:

36DD has the same volume as 38D
34G has the same volume as 36FF
32H has the same volume as 34GG

Sister sizing down is useful if your underbust measurements put you at a smaller band size than you find comfortable. Go up in the band and down in the cup to maintain the volume while achieving a more comfortable fit.

Using sister sizes allows you to adjust the bra proportions while keeping the same overall cup volume suited to your bust.

Tips for Choosing Between DD and H Cups

Looking at sister sizes reveals whether a DD or H cup bra contains the volume needed for your unique proportions. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Prioritise fit over size. Focus on fit rather than getting hung up on a specific size. The right size for your body might differ from your preconceived ideas.
  • Pay attention to overflow. Spillage, gaping, digging in, and bulge are clues you're in the wrong size, whether DD or H cup.
  • Consider breathability. If a DD cup in your sister size gives you enough coverage and support but feels more breathable, it may be the ideal choice.
  • Evaluate support level. If only an H cup in your sister size provides enough support and lift, size up. Support matters more than the letter.
  • Assess comfort over time. The most comfortable size that feels great all day as you move is the right one, regardless of DD or H label.
  • Get fitted in person if needed. An expert fitting at a speciality boutique can assess your size and shape needs to recommend the right bra size.
  • Remember that everyone's proportions are unique. Let your individual measurements and comfort guide you to the best DD or H cup fit.

Top Bra Styles for DD and H Cups

Once you narrow down your precise size, it's time to find flattering, comfortable bras. Here are top styles to try for DD and H cups:

Best Bras for DD Cups

Those who fit well into DD cup sizes have lots of cute bras to select from. Look for these bra types:

Push-up - Push-up bras lift breasts up and inwards to create serious cleavage. Padding adds up to 1 cup size.

T-shirt - Smooth, seamless cups give a rounded shape under tops. Foam lining prevents nipple show-through.

Bralette - Unlined, pullover bralettes offer light support and coverage for smaller DD busts.

Demi - Demi cups with lace lift breasts up while revealing some cleavage. Low-cut styles pair well with V-necks.

Unlined - Unpadded bras create a natural silhouette for DD breasts needing minimal shaping.

Best Bras for H Cups

Those filling out an H cup need bras engineered for ample support and coverage. Key bra types include:

Full coverage - Full coverage cups and wide straps fully encase and lift large busts with no spillage.

Underwire - Firm underwires lift breasts from underneath and improve posture. Look for wider wires that don't dig in.

Sports - High impact sports bras compress and separate to minimise bounce during activity. Opt for thick padded straps that don't dig in.

Nursing - Nursing bras open and close for convenience while providing full coverage. Flexible cups accommodate changing sizes.

Bandeau - Bandeau bras wrap and support larger busts. Choose structured styles with multiple hooks and supportive padding.

Shop for your new size in a style suited to your needs. Be sure to scoop and swoop when putting on bras to ensure full support!

Common Bra Fitting Issues in DD and H Cups

woman lying down in bralette

Making the switch to a more accurate size takes some adjustment. Be patient honing in on your ideal fit. Some common issues and solutions:

DD Cups

Spillage - Indicates too small of a cup. Try sizing up to an E or F cup.

Gapping - Loose cups signal sizing down. Try a D or C cup for fuller coverage.

Straps digging in - Switch to a smaller band size with larger cups to redistribute breast weight off the straps.

Sliding straps - Tighten straps fully. If they still slip down your shoulders, shorten the strap length.

H Cups

Overflow - Flesh spilling over or underwire sitting on breast tissue means sizing up to a HH, J or higher cup.

Empty space - Wrinkling cups mean the cups are too projected. Try a shallower cup in a smaller size.

Band riding up - A too-loose band provides inadequate support. Tighten the band hooks or size down.

Underwire poking - An underwire sitting on breast tissue rather than the chest wall calls for wider wires and more projected cup depth.

Adjusting your bra habits to your new correctly fitted bras takes time. Allow for a breaking in period as you determine the best styles, sizes, and fit tweaks for your body. The payoff of finally finding that perfect fit is well worth the effort!

The Takeaway

DD and H cups refer to different size ranges, but come down to the same principle - choosing a size with enough total cup volume and support to fit your unique bustline. Determining which specific cup letter suits you requires calculating your complete bra size based on measurements. From there, you can sister size up or down to find the DD or H equivalent holding the cup volume ideal for you.

Focus on identifying well-fitting styles in your personal size rather than getting stuck on a particular letter. A properly fitted bra feels great and leaves you supported from morning to night. By understanding sizing methodology and trying bras in your true size range, you'll join the ranks of women who finally understand the perfect fit - and enjoy the comfort a well-sized bra provides!

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