Best Value: Underworks Econo Tri-Top | Most Innovative: gc2b Half-Binder | Highest Quality: Underworks Extreme Chest Concealer
Binding is an easy way for FTMs to flatten out their chest and achieve a more masculine appearance. But it’s not a walk in the park! Trans men will often have to test out different products to find the right binder that works well with their body. So to help you get through that process faster, I’ve written this article!
Here, I’ll be covering 9 popular chest binders, and we’re going to find out which ones are worth your money. As a quick TLDR; my personal favorite binder is the Uniworks Econo-Tri-Top – trust me, it’s a godsend!
Waking up every day and feeling like your body isn’t reflecting your authentic self is an unfortunate reality for many trans people who struggle with gender dysphoria. But this doesn’t have to be the case forever: putting on a binder can reshape a trans guy’s body to help make it represent their true selves.
Though this seems like a natural activity for those in transition, the truth is, a lot of bad FTM binders exist. Some can restrict breathing, others can make you look like you have a uni-boob, and there are even those that can scratch and irritate your skin.
I’ve been binding for about five years, alternating products every year or so. Throughout this time, I’ve found awesome ones that made my chest look flat and masculine, but I’ve also had ones that did nothing but make me feel like I was bound up like a burrito.
Your experience with a binder will vary depending on your body type. For your reference, my chest measures 34 inches, and I used to wear C-cup bras. Most of the products I’ve tried are in the size medium, though I sometimes range from medium to large. I wrote these FTM binder reviews as a person with these measurements, though I’ve also included information for trans guys with other body types.
So, are you ready to begin your search for the best binder? Let’s get started!
DXKIGO Breathable Super Flat Les Lesbian Compression Chest Binder: Cheap and comfy! (jump to review)
Neal LINK Plus-Size Fit Bra: Great for a plus-size body! (jump to review)
DXKIGO Breathable Super Flat Les Lesbian Binder: Light and breathable binder. (jump to review)
Underworks Cotton-Lined Tri-Top Black Binder: Amazing compression, but a little uncomfortable. (jump to review)
gc2b Full Tank Binder: Fashionable and waterproof. (jump to review)
DXKIGO Super Flat Les Zipper Lesbian Chest Binder: Super tight but really flattening. (jump to review)
Underworks Extreme Chest Concealer Binder (Item 988): Looks and feels just like a cool undershirt. (jump to review)
gc2b Half Binder: Impressive compression and color options. (jump to review)
Underworks Econo Tri-Top : The perfect balance of value and quality. (jump to review)
9. DXKIGO Breathable Super Flat Les Lesbian Compression Chest Binder: C
If you’re experimenting with binding for the first time but you’re not yet ready to wear something that feels too tight, I recommend this product. It won’t completely flatten your chest, but it will give you a good idea of how binding changes your body shape.
Since it’s not as tight as other FTM binders, I only use it on days when I want to breathe better, like when I want to take a break from my high compression chest binders.
I also use this as my go-to binder when I’m planning on working out. It provides excellent support and breathability while making my C-cup breasts look like a pair of A cups. Not as flat as I’d prefer, but anything that keeps me from running out of breath while doing light to moderate physical activity is welcome.
If you’re well-endowed, I’d say this won’t do much for your bust, so it’s a product for trans guys with small to medium breasts.
One thing you should know about this product is that it clasps at the front and on either side of the shoulders. The clasps can protrude through clothing and can look a bit obvious when you’re wearing a tight t-shirt. There are products from the same brand with clasps at the side, if you’re not comfortable with having them at the front.
All in all, I think this is a cheap, reliable, and comfortable binder that does its job reasonably well. It won’t flatten as well as high-end products, but it’s an excellent option for a beginner.
Colors: Black, White
+ Comfortable, medium-level compression
+ Ideal for light exercise
+ Great for beginners
– Clasps are obvious under clothing
8. Neal LINK Plus-Size Fit Bra: C+
Binding isn’t limited to trans guys with a small or medium frame. Over the years, I’ve found plus-size binders that I’ve come to love. One of them is the NEAL Link Plus-Size Fit Bra.
The binder is more like a sports bra that flattens my breasts quite nicely. It’s not too tight, so I like using it when I expect to be at work the entire day and will not be able to remove my binder for the next six to eight hours. I think it will also do a good job flattening chests for FTM transgender folks with a bigger bust size than mine.
One thing I love about this binder is the fabric. It’s made of cotton and polyester, which makes it seem like a cropped tank top. I also like how it feels against my skin: no pain or itchiness after wearing it throughout the day. Additionally, the cut is short enough so that you can be comfortable wearing it without having to hold in your gut.
Like other short tank-top style binders, it can roll up at the bottom, so try to use this with a clasp. Also note that the tank top is a bit loose in the underarm area, which sometimes exposes a bit of side boob. I wish they’d cut the armholes a little smaller to keep this from happening, but it’s not a deal-breaker, especially since I wear this under clothes anyway.
Another thing I noticed is that it’s a bit difficult to put on. Clasp it in place slowly and gently to avoid cutting the fabric. For the tank top-style binder, the row of clasps at the side are quite challenging to connect, so if you have nobody to help you, you should keep that in mind. The good news is that the makers of this product offer a strapless binder that clasps more to the front rather than the side.
Finally, this binder is dry clean only, which can get a little inconvenient if you plan on wearing it under your clothes every day. But you can alternate it with a machine washable compression binder.
Overall, it’s a binder I’ll recommend to plus-size trans guys who are on a tight budget. If you have a bit more money for a gc2b or an Underworks binder, I’d say you should still go for those, but this binder is worth it at its price.
Keep in mind that this product tends to run a couple sizes too small. So, read the product description carefully to figure out how your body measurements fit into each size.
Colors: Black, White, Gray
+ Second-best binder for a large chest
+ Quality cotton and polyester fabric
+ One of the more affordable options
– Difficult to clasp
7. DXKIGO Breathable Super Flat Les Lesbian Binder (Chest): C+
The DXKIGO Breathable Super Flat Les Lesbian chest binder is one of my favorite products. Most of my top picks, including this one, offer medium compression, which keeps me comfortable and feeling great throughout the day.
When I first wore this binder, it was actually rather tight, I thought that I ordered one size too small. I was actually about to return, but in the end I couldn’t be bothered. Good thing too! After wearing it a bit and breaking it in, it started to fit like a glove!
If you have a medium build like me, you’ll find that this binder can bring you down about two to three cup sizes, but won’t flatten you out completely. I’d use it when I’m wearing a looser dress shirt or a baggy top, but it still gives me a noticeable bust if I’m wearing it under a tight t-shirt.
Like other DXKIGO binders, I love how this binder tapers at the waist. You don’t have to worry about it rolling up when you raise your arms or move. Keep in mind that the binder clasps at the side, so you might have a hard time putting it on if you’re not patient.
The fabric’s made of a mix of nylon and spandex, which makes it seem like sportswear rather than underwear. That said, this is the perfect binder for me when I want to work out. Nylon isn’t absorbent, so it doesn’t make my clothes sticky at the end of the day. I’d also recommend this for FTM people who have jobs that require them to walk or move around all day.
One of this binder’s strongest points is its price. It’s one of the cheapest options out there, so it’s great if you’re in a pinch and need a reliable, inexpensive product. You can also offer this as a great gift to an FTM friend.
Colors: Black, White
+ Does not roll up unlike other half binders
+ Highly comfortable
– Does not flatten the bust completely
6. Underworks Cotton-Lined Tri-Top Black Binder: C+
One of the most recommended Underworks products is the Cotton-Lined Tri-Top Binder. I ordered one for myself after hearing a lot of positive feedback.
Shipping is neither fast nor slow – I got the product after about a week. After opening the nondescript box, I immediately noticed how thin and soft the material was, compared to other products that offer extreme compression. I was concerned about this at first, but this turned out to be an advantage because the fabric made the binder more breathable.
What separates this binder from other products from this manufacturer is the tri-top front panel, which is there for optimum compression. It also comes with a soft cotton lining, which makes it feel smooth and non-itchy. Try this if you’re prone to getting rashes from tight clothing.
Comfort is where this binder shines. I have a C cup, and it flattens my breasts without making them sore. Plus, it makes me look like I have a nice set of pecs. If you do a lot of physical activities, expect this to be your go-to binder: it provides support without feeling constricting.
Another strong point is compression. I look flatter wearing this than any other binder I’ve used before. I’m not that well-endowed, but I do not lack in that department either, so I’m glad that it makes me look flat, even when I’m wearing a relatively tight T-shirt. If you’re used to wearing a gc2b binder, you’ll find that this flattens the bust much better.
The straps on the binder’s shoulders are broad, so the weight is a bit spread out. Narrower straps tend to put a lot of pressure on my shoulders, which makes my chest turn red and sore at the end of the day.
I have relatively thin arms, but I noticed that the armholes are a little small, and it scratches my underarm area. I think the product has small holes to reduce the chances of me showing a bulge from the sides, but the tiny holes do tend to make this too tight for my arms.
Putting the binder on can be a challenge, too – you might need someone to help you pull it down to cover your chest. Expect to take a few minutes before you can put it on properly. Don’t worry, though, it does get easier after wearing it a few times. You can also try sliding it up from below.
Another thing I noticed about this binder is that the bottom tends to roll up, especially when I’m moving my arms. That creates a small but noticeable bulge under my chest. I’ve managed to get around this by using a binder clamp, but it would be better to use something that won’t need accessories. I’d prefer binders that taper at the bottom to solve this issue.
Despite these drawbacks, this binder is well worth the price – it also lasts quite a bit longer than other binders I’ve tried.
Colors: Black, White
+ Amazing compression; makes your chest look flat
+ Comfortable for the chest area
– Too tight around the arms
– Rolls up at the bottom
5. gc2b Full Tank Binder: B
The first gc2b product on my list of favorites is the full tank binder. I was eager to buy this after trying the shorter tank binder, so I got myself one in the same size (medium). If you have questions about sizes, reach out to the company’s customer service department. They respond quickly and will ease your anxiety about ordering the wrong size.
The full tank binder arrived about a week after ordering, just like the shorter version. You can get expedited shipping if you like, but it didn’t really bother me.
Like the half binder, the longer one was made of a blend of nylon, spandex, and cotton. The binding panel only goes up to the lowest part of my chest, which means that my stomach doesn’t get constricted whenever I’m wearing this. It also doesn’t make my back or stomach feel too hot.
Some people don’t like this product because it looks like a half binder with an extra sheet of fabric stuck to the bottom, but that doesn’t bother me. What I don’t like is that the bottom part of the tank tends to roll up, such that I have to tuck it into my pants. This doesn’t happen with the half binder, which is why I prefer that one. Plus, if you have a long torso, you might not have the ability to tuck this in, which is a bummer.
Despite these minor flaws, this binder comes with a major advantage: you can wear it as a swimsuit. It’s made from waterproof fabric, just like actual swimwear. Aside from the usual black and white, you can also buy this in olive green and purple, so it’s pretty enough for you to wear in the open.
Overall, if you’re looking for a tank top that offers the same level of compression as gc2b’s half binder, I’d wholeheartedly recommend this one. It might be a little challenging to keep this from rolling up, but that’s not too much of a disadvantage. The gc2b full tank binder also doesn’t look like a bra, so it should be one of your top options for chest binding.
Colors: Black, White
+ Good compression
+ Waterproof; can be worn while swimming
+ Reliable customer service, expedited shipping available
– Might roll up when worn
4. DXKIGO Super Flat Les Zipper Lesbian Chest Binder: B+
If you don’t want to fiddle with multiple clasps for binding your chest, try the DXKIGO Super Flat Les Zipper Chest Binder. It’s relatively simple to put on: just roll it over your head then zip it up.
If I’m going to enumerate the things I love about this product, I will start with its super slim and fit style. It’s tighter than my other binders, so if I want to look flat under my clothes, this is what I go for.
Another thing I love about this binder is the design. It has wide, comfortable straps that distribute weight evenly on my back. Additionally, it tapers at the bottom, so you don’t have to worry about it rolling up as you move throughout the day. If I weren’t using it as a binder, I’d probably use this as a cropped tank top that I could wear outside, especially if I had rocking abs.
I try to refrain from running or exercising too much while wearing this binder, as it’s one of the products that make it harder for me to breathe. I’d prefer a more comfortable binder, but there are still occasions when I want to appear as flat as possible, and this binder works well for that purpose.
If I were to nitpick, I’d say one thing I don’t like about this binder is the neckline. It’s cut a little too high and can be visible under a shirt. But if you’re going to be wearing this with a dress shirt, you won’t encounter any issues.
Overall, I’d say this is one of those binders that I’d save for special occasions. It’s not comfortable enough for everyday use, but it’s one of the pretty and well-designed products you can use for a formal or semi-formal event. Try this if you’re an FTM with a small collection of binders but are looking for something that will make your chest look even flatter and firmer.
Colors: Black, White
+ Easy to put on
+ High level of compression
– Not too comfortable
3. Underworks Extreme Chest Concealer Binder (Item 988): A
Trans guys who are ready to invest in a high-quality chest binder should check out the Underworks Extreme Chest Concealer. It’s a full-length binder that provides ample chest support while keeping you comfortable. The product has two compression layers at the front, which is made of 30% spandex and 70% nylon. Like other binders from this brand, it comes in a discreet package with a simple design.
While this product is quite tight on the chest area, it has a more relaxed fit at the midsection. That way, I don’t feel like I have to suck in my gut the entire day. Other binders make me feel like I’m in a corset, which is NOT what I want. In contrast, this one is like a tighter undershirt. Still, you have to remember that this binder can put pressure on your stomach if you overeat. The material is stretchy but is tight enough to keep you from showing a muffin top.
Another cool feature about this cut is that it doesn’t look like a bra. Trans guys who have dysphoria will be pleased to wear this binder for this reason. It also doesn’t roll up at the bottom. You can even tuck it in to ensure it stays in place.
One thing you have to keep in mind about this product is that it’s not as tight as other compression binders from the same manufacturer. It’s better for those days when I want to breathe better and take it easy. I personally use this when I want to take a break from my high compression chest binders.
Despite its emphasis on comfort, this binder does its job well. Binding with this doesn’t make me look completely flat, but it makes me look like I have amazing pecs. If you want a completely flat chest, you can wear this under another compression shirt.
While other binders from this brand can get a little too tight for my arms, this one lets me move with ease. I’m prone to getting rashes in my underarm area, and this product didn’t make me feel uncomfortable at all.
Because it goes all the way to your hips, it also helps you maintain good posture. You’ll feel it crinkling inside your shirt if you slouch, so it will be much more comfortable to use this while keeping your back straight.
Since it’s a long binder that’s cut to look like an undershirt, I only wear this at the start of autumn and throughout winter because it makes me feel too hot and sweaty during the spring or summer. I also don’t like wearing this with low-cut shirts, as it tends to reveal a bit of cleavage because of the low neckline.
Overall, I prefer this product over shorter binders from the same brand. It doesn’t look and feel like a bra and gets the job done. If you’re a medium-size trans guy like me, I think this binder will offer you the level of compression you need without any pain. Another great advantage of getting a high-quality binder like this is that it can last for about two years, while others will last you about a year before they loosen up.
+ Covers the entire upper torso and is more flattering for the body
+ Provides high compression trans people wearing small to medium sizes
+ Relaxed fit in the midsection
– A little hot to wear
2. gc2b Half Binder: A+
gc2b is one of the top brands when it comes to binding. One of their most popular offerings is the half binder, which is one of the transitional garments I have come to love over the years.
I got my first gc2b binder a week after ordering: it’s not the fastest shipping time, but I wasn’t bothered. Like most binders, this product comes in a discreet package. I tried to slip it on like a regular tank top but found that it was a bit too snug, so I pulled it up instead.
One of the first things I noticed was the compression: it significantly reduced my bust size. As with most compression binders, it was too tight in the beginning, but after breaking it in, I could wear it for about eight hours without noticing that it was there.
If you’ve spent a significant amount of time wearing binders, you’d know that some of them can end up making your breasts look like a single bump in the middle of your chest, depending on how the panels are designed. But I like how this product flattened everything evenly and made me look like I had a muscular chest. I’d say it even made my shoulders look broader because my chest was no longer drawing attention away from them.
gc2b binders are made from a mix of nylon, polyester, spandex, and cotton. The material on the back is quite stretchy, making it easy to move around. It’s stiffer on the front for better compression, but not uncomfortable.
The neckline is also low enough that I can wear it under a V-neck shirt. I didn’t notice any visible hems or creases, which is something I needed if I wanted to “pass.”
Finally, the binder tapers at the bottom and gets tight near the waist, which means that I don’t have to worry about it rolling up whenever I raise my arms. That’s an issue I have with most short binders, though I didn’t have to worry about that with this product.
I have bought a medium version of this binder in multiple colors, and they have been some of my go-to products ever since. If you have money to spend on a professional binder, I’d say this is quite worth it.
Colors: Black, White, Nude, Olive Green, Purple, Blue, Red
+ Multiple color options
+ High-quality fabric
+ Amazing compression
+ Pretty design
1. Underworks Econo Tri-Top: A++
If you’re looking for value and comfort, look no further than the Underworks Econo Tri-Top. At its price point, I’d say it’s one of the best starter binders for trans men. Personally, this was the binder that gave me the confidence to start wearing one in public.
One of this binder’s main features is the three layers of fabric at the chest area, which provide a high level of compression. I’d say my bust size is average, and it did an excellent job of giving my chest a naturally flat appearance.
It also provides enough support, especially if I want to do a little jogging around town. Other extreme compression binders often make me stop exercising sooner than I originally intended because I start feeling out of breath and light-headed.
The fabric is also thinner at the back, making it cooler to wear. It can be a tad see-through at times, but it’s okay since you’re going to wear it under a shirt.
At the end of the day, this is one of the best binders available to FTM transgender men – both in terms of quality and value. There’s not much more I can say about it!
+ Cheaper than other products from the same maker
+ Perfect starter binder
+ Tri-top product that flattens the bust and flatters the body
+ One of the best FTM binders for large breasts
Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose A Chest Binder
Choosing your first binder can be confusing. To help you make the right purchasing decision, I’ve made a short buyer’s guide covering different binder sizes, types, and materials.
Choosing Your Length
One of the first decisions you’ll make is whether you should get a short or long binder. Short ones end at your waist look more like a bra, but they don’t constrict your stomach. Longer ones look more like an undershirt or a tank top. If you’ve got a bit of extra weight on your stomach, you’re better off looking for a longer binder. If you’re fairly trim, then a shorter one is best.
Getting The Right Size
Measuring your chest and bust is essential to making sure you buy the right bander. Don’t just get a medium because you always get a medium T-shirt. Get a measuring tape and learn your exact measurements.
First, check the measurements of the fullest part of your chest. Then, measure the area underneath your breasts. Add those numbers then divide by 2. This will be your binder size, but you should still check the seller’s sizing chart to be sure.
It’s tempting to purchase a binder that’s smaller than your size to get a flatter chest. But if you plan on doing this, make sure you’re still able to take shallow to medium breaths while wearing the product.
Materials For A Binder
Look for breathable fabric when buying a binder. Most companies sell professional binders made from nylon or polyester, but some premium binders also come with a cotton lining for maximum comfort.
Note that plastic wrap, duct tape, and bandages are not breathable and may irritate your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is chest binding?
Chest binding refers to the compression of breast tissue to make a person appear masculine. It’s one of the first steps in FTM transition, though it’s also frequently done by intersex, gender fluid, and nonbinary individuals.
Is binding harmful to my health?
No peer-reviewed studies directly assess the health impacts of chest binding. Anecdotal evidence and preliminary research suggest that some of the effects of binding are pain and discomfort, shortness of breath, and dermatological issues, such as rashes.
How long can I wear my binder?
Binders should not be worn for more than eight to 12 hours per day. Don’t sleep with your chest binder on and take days off from binding from time to time.
Can I wear a bra with my binder?
Binders are designed to be worn on their own. Please do not wear another undergarment to ensure that the product will be able to flatten and distribute chest tissue evenly.
How do I pick a nude color?
If your skin tone is uneven, I suggest going with a nude color that matches the color on your upper arms and shoulders. That way, if you wear a tank top or a shirt with a low neckline, the binder won’t look too obvious.
Can I wear two binders at once?
Please do not wear two binders at once. If you’re not satisfied with how flat your chest is after binding, consult the manufacturer for sizing suggestions. Some of them also provide customized products.
How do I avoid getting rashes or skin infections?
Make sure your body is completely dry before putting on a binder. Opting for more breathable fabric will also help.
Can binders affect my chances of having FTM top surgery?
Binding over a long period can cause one’s skin to lose elasticity, which might have a “minor cosmetic effect” after your FTM surgery. Generally speaking, though, it won’t prevent you from pushing through with the operation.
How do I know if the binder causes too much pain?
Chest binding is often associated with pain, but that shouldn’t be the case. Get a different size or product if you often catch yourself out of breath or light-headed after wearing the product.
Can I bind without using any of the professional binders listed?
Some people like binding using a compression shirt or a sports bra. These are fine for those who are starting, but I suggest you invest in a more comfortable and highly effective binder. Don’t use duct tape, since it’s not designed for skin and can cause cuts and rashes.
Can I exercise wearing a binder?
It’s not ideal, but if you’re more comfortable with a binder, you can wear one. My advice is for you to wear a size up than your usual (I usually get a medium, but I wear a large for exercise) and to help you breathe easier.
Take the product off immediately if you notice any pain, discomfort, or trouble breathing.
Do I need a new size binder after starting hormone replacement therapy (HRT)?
FTMs who have started HRT may experience a decrease in breast tissue. Their shoulders may also become broader. Depending on how your body changes, you may need to choose a size smaller or larger.
Binding Up Your Options
Looking for the best binder is something that requires quite a bit of patience. Each body works differently, so something that works wonderfully for me might not work as brilliantly for you. Consider all your options, go with your gut, and order the one you think will be worth the price. If the product doesn’t feel right, return it and order another one.
It may take a few months (or years) before you find the perfect binding tool out of all the options available, but the search is well worth the effort. If you’re looking for the best chest binder for large breasts, try the Econo Tri-Top. Those who would like to invest in the most fashionable product available can try the gc2b half-tank binder. I also recommend the Underworks Chest Concealer for those who want both comfort and style.
Always remember to take off the product if it starts feeling too uncomfortable. Binding isn’t the most comfortable or fun activity, but if it helps relieve dysphoria and gives you the confidence you need to be your best self, then it’s well worth it!