Here’s What To Know About Compression Undershirts
How to wear, when to wear, and our top picks.
You’ve likely heard of compression garments being worn by athletes for training and competition.
Compression shirts, shorts, tights, and sleeves have become commonplace across the world of sports among amateurs and pros alike.
In recent years, however, compression garments have expanded their use beyond physical activity to everyday wear and use.
For example, you may already be familiar with how compression socks are used to maintain good blood flow in the legs, which is especially important for those that are traveling or sitting for extended periods of time.
Another compression garment that has grown in popularity thanks to its many uses and benefits is the compression undershirt.
Here, we’ll cover all of those uses and benefits, as well as answer some common questions associated with compression undershirts and provide our top picks for the best ones out there.
Note: Featured products are independently selected and reviewed by The Underwear Review. If you purchase through our links, we may earn commission.
What Are Compression Undershirts Used For?
There are several reasons why people enjoy and choose to wear compression undershirts.
For starters, they’re most well-known for the slimming effect they have on a person’s figure, as the slightly compressive pressure of the shirt can smooth over the areas to which it is applied.
But there are many additional reasons why people choose to wear compression undershirts.
For example, do you hate when your undershirt bunches up at the sleeves or comes untucked at the waist?
Thanks to the light pressure applied by its fabric, compression undershirts keep in place much better than a traditional undershirt and allow your top layer to move and shift without bringing the undershirt along with it.
Additionally, do you ever find yourself overheating and feeling like your undershirt is too heavy and dense?
The fabric of compression undershirts is lightweight and breathable. Also, its sweat-wicking properties move moisture away from your body and assist with temperature regulation to keep you cool and dry.
Or maybe you feel like your undershirt doesn’t always fit quite right: too boxy, too loose, too flimsy.
Compression undershirts feature a slimming and stretchy fit that moves with your body while staying in place for a tapered and polished look.
It’s also worth noting that some just like the way compression undershirts feel. The soft, smooth, and stretchy material feels great against your skin and allows for a full range of motion.
Are Compression Undershirts OK To Wear for Extended Periods?
Compared to other undershirt options, many people find compression undershirts preferable for reducing fabric bulk, providing a polished appearance, and staying nicely in place.
Their stretchy and compressive fit is what allows compression undershirts to achieve these impressive benefits.
But that snug fit might also raise some questions for those who are new to compression garments.
For example, it’s not uncommon for people to wonder if it’s okay to wear compression undershirts for extended periods or on a daily basis.
So long as your compression undershirt is breathable (i.e. doesn’t block in moisture and heat) and fits correctly (i.e. does not restrict natural movement) then it’s absolutely okay to wear daily and for extended periods.
As you wear your compression undershirt, remember that it’s intended to be worn right against your skin without any layers beneath it.
When worn correctly, you’ll notice how the shirt has a unique and snug feel compared to a traditional undershirt, but one that should also feel soft, breathable, lightweight, and offer a full range of natural movement.
When purchasing a compression undershirt, remember to pay attention to the brand’s sizing chart, as compression undershirts will have a snug fit but should not fit too tightly.
If you find that your compression undershirt limits your natural range of motion in any sort of way or is causing you to overheat, then you likely need to size up.
The Best Compression Undershirts: Our Top Picks
If you’re shopping for your first compression undershirt, or looking for an upgrade, there are a few characteristics that you’ll want to keep an eye out for.
In particular, look for compression undershirt options with breathable fabric and non-restrictive fits.
While compression undershirts will have a snugger fit than standard undershirts, they should nevertheless always allow your body to conduct natural moisture management and move in a full range of motion.
Here, we’ve put together a list of our top picks for the best compression undershirts.
1. Spanx Sculpt Crew Neck Undershirt
The Spanx Sculpt Crew Neck Undershirt features a medium compression sculpting design that’s perfect for everyday wear. This compression undershirt has breathable fabric and mesh zones to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.
Shop at Spanx: Spanx Sculpt Crew Neck Undershirt
Available on Amazon: Spanx Sculpt Crew Neck Undershirt
Spanx’s Sculpt Crew Neck Undershirt features a performance fabric that’s quick-drying, sweat-wicking, eliminates bulk under clothing, and is the perfect length for staying tucked in.
Looking for even more sculpting and compression? Try the Ultra Sculpt Seamless Undershirt.
2. 2(X)IST Shapewear Form Crewneck Undershirt
The 2(X)IST Shapewear Form Crewneck Undershirt features an ultra-fitted construction made with a special tightly woven cotton spandex blend. This compression undershirt has a crewneck design with reinforced binding.
Shop at 2(X)IST: 2(X)IST Shapewear Form Crewneck Undershirt
Available on Amazon: 2(X)IST Shapewear Form Crewneck Undershirt
2(X)IST’s Shapewear Form Crewneck Undershirt has a tapered fit that shapes and firms the midsection with improved compression and provides superior support and comfort.
3. Esteem Apparel Compression Undershirt
The Esteem Apparel Compression Undershirt features a soft and breathable fabric in a seamless compression fit. This compression undershirt utilizes a mesh material shoulder design for easy on/offs.
Available on Amazon: Esteem Apparel Compression Undershirt
Esteem Apparel’s Compression Undershirt provides a slimming appearance that’s comfortable enough for all-day wear, can be worn discreetly under any type of shirt, and keeps snuggly in place.
4. KOCELS Compression Undershirt
The KOCELS Compression Undershirt features a high-quality nylon and spandex fabric blend that’s lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking. This compression undershirt is invisible under clothing and has a seamless design.
Available on Amazon: KOCELS Compression Undershirt
KOCELS’ Compression Undershirt provides 360 degrees of support and is extra comfortable for all-day wear. This compression undershirt also improves posture with a crisscross panel design on the back.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing an Undershirt?
While some people prefer to go without an undershirt, others are avid wearers that wouldn’t go without one.
And, of course, many simply wear an undershirt with certain outfits or when they feel the occasion calls for it.
But whatever your undershirt preference or habits might be, it can be helpful to know some of the benefits that an undershirt provides.
For example, wearing an undershirt is a great way to protect and preserve your top layer, whether it’s a dress shirt or simply an all-time favorite that you’d like to have around for a long time.
Undershirts do a good job of absorbing sweat before it reaches your top layer. This is especially important around the armpits, as deodorant can cause unpleasant stains that damage fabric over time.
Additionally, wearing an undershirt will offer you a little extra security and peace of mind.
Think of an undershirt as your last line of defense. If a stain or a tear happened to your top layer, you would still have an undershirt to fall back on.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that when temperatures start to cool down but don’t yet call for thick outer layers, an undershirt can serve as a useful layering piece, as they provide light insulation for your torso without adding any excessive bulkiness to your look.
If you’re looking to add some great undershirts to your rotation, be sure to check out our picks for the Most Comfortable Undershirts and our picks for the best undershirts Available on Amazon.