This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

What are the best swimsuits for women in 2021?

Whether you’re taking a dip or soaking up the sun, you’ll need a swimsuit that covers all your needs for comfort and style when you hit the beach or pool this summer. However, with so many choices, from tankinis to classic one-piece styles, it can be hard to narrow your options. 

The Anne Cole Twist-Front Ruched One-Piece Swimsuit has a sleek style that runs true to size. But if that’s not your style, there are plenty of options to choose from once you know your essential needs.

What to know before you buy a women’s swimsuit

Popular styles

The most common styles of swimsuits for women include one-piece, bikini and tankini styles.

One-piece swimsuits: The one-piece swimsuit is considered a classic style that is easy to put on and take off. Given their designs, they’re considered more secure than most bikinis and tankinis. However, it’s more challenging to find swimsuits with adjustable straps. 

Bikinis: Bikinis are considered the go-to style for those who want to get a tan with minimal tan lines. They’re also popular for their mix-and-match styling. However, some wearers experience difficulty in finding well-fitting bikini tops and bottoms.

Tankinis: Tankinis offer more coverage than bikinis, though they can be adjusted to expose the belly and minimize tan lines. Many tankini tops provide more support than one-piece swimsuits or bikinis. Unfortunately, the excess material of some tankinis may take longer to dry than expected.


Many swimsuits for women have progressive or “alpha” sizing, which is small, medium, large and above. Others follow traditional number sizing for dresses or pants. Many swimsuit manufacturers now offer plus-size styles as well.

What to look for in a quality swimsuit 


The vast majority of swimsuits for women use a blend of polyester, nylon, spandex and elastane for the material. As expected, these fabrics have considerable “give” to offer a flexible fit. 

One of the pitfalls of these materials is that they require special care to keep swimsuits in good condition.

Many swimsuits are machine washable with gentle, bleach-free detergent in cool water, but some require hand washing. Almost all swimsuits should be hung to dry, simply because the dryer’s heat, even on low, may cause these materials to warp or deteriorate. 

Strap adjustability

According to many wearers, strap adjustability is a feature that makes or breaks a purchase. Adjustable straps change the fit of a swimsuit top, but they also impact the support level. 

Additionally, some straps are long enough to be tied in more than one way. Others are removable, meaning you can wear the swimsuit with a strapless design. 

Removable cups

Many swimsuit tops have removable cups. These help with contouring, and sometimes, they contribute to an overall better fit. Some wearers like the modest shaping they offer, whereas others feel the padding adds unnecessary bulk to the swimsuit. 

Reversible designs

There are several reversible one-piece swimsuits and bikinis. While they offer style versatility, many of these styles lack typical construction and linings. As a result, they’re generally hit and miss among wearers.

How much you can expect to spend on swimsuits for women

Basic swimsuits for women cost $40 or less, though construction varies considerably. Higher-quality swimsuits, including sport or active styles, run $50-$100. Designer swimsuits range from $100-$300. 

Swimsuits for women FAQ

Why is it challenging to find the right size in a swimsuit?

A. Simply put, there are significant discrepancies in sizing across manufacturers. It’s pretty typical, for example, for a wearer to be size 10 in one brand and an 8 or 12 in others. More than anything, it’s recommended to try on styles based on fit, not size.

Should I wear a bra with my swimsuit for more support?

A. Some wearers prefer wearing a sports bra for additional compression and support, especially if they engage in water sports. There are some swim bras on the market specifically designed to wear with swimsuits. Many swim bras have UPF ratings or removable cups. 

What’s the best swimsuit for women to buy?

Top swimsuit for women

Anne Cole Twist-Front Ruched One-Piece Swimsuit

Anne Cole Twist-Front Ruched One-Piece Swimsuit

What you need to know: A versatile option, this flattering swimsuit comes with removable straps and pairs well with most types of cover-ups.

What you’ll love: The ruched design creates an hourglass silhouette, and it has high-quality construction, which is evident with stitching, lining and material. The contoured cups have a stay-put design. 

What you should consider: There are a few reports that the color fades in the wash or after spending time in a pool. 

Where to buy: Macy’s

Top swimsuit for women for the money

Tempt Me One-Piece High Neck Plunge Swimsuit

Tempt Me One-Piece High Neck Plunge Swimsuit

What you need to know: This affordable one-piece has a classic silhouette and a few contemporary design details.

What you’ll love: The flexible design features a nylon and spandex blend. The mesh panels are an attractive detail that also functional since they dry quickly and keep the swimsuit breathable. It’s available in dozens of colors. 

What you should consider: A few consumers felt the overall construction quality was low.

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out

COCOSHIP Vintage Sailor Pin-Up Swimsuit

COCOSHIP Vintage Sailor Pin-Up Swimsuit

What you need to know: A fashion-forward option, this throwback design is a comfortable one-piece with a built-in skirt.

What you’ll love: Wearers say the bust design offers support and a fair amount of coverage. The halter top design features wide, adjustable straps for a custom fit. It’s a popular option for everyday swimming or resort wear.

What you should consider: Several consumers experienced difficulty finding the correct size. 

Where to buy: Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.