I Found the Best Plus-Size Swimsuits for Under $30

Kayla Boyd | May 9, 2018 Beauty & Style
I Found the Best Plus-Size Swimsuits for Under $30
Image: Leah Cooper/CafeMom

cheap plus-size swimwear
Leah Cooper/CafeMom

Shopping for a new bathing suit can feel extremely stressful. I often think I'm going to walk into the store and have fun trying on different styles, but instead the lack of options and sizes ends up giving me anxiety and making me hyper aware of all my "flaws." Sometimes I am able to find a cute swimsuit that makes me feel comfortable and confident, but many times it has come down to the day before vacation or a beach trip, and I just grab the first thing that seems to fit alright. And on top of all that, they almost always seem to be overpriced!

Like shopping for jeans, it is important to find a bathing suit that is comfortable, is easy to move around in, and hugs the curves correctly. Wearing a swimsuit in public can make anyone feel exposed, but it can be an even harder experience when society has consistently taught us to hide our cellulite and tummy rolls and chubby arms. 

Finding swimwear that we feel completely happy in can already seem impossible -- and for plus-size women (like myself) it can feel especially difficult. That's why many of us are willing to drop tons of money on the first thing we feel okay in. However, there are actually some pretty good options out there that don't involve breaking the bank. 

I tried on six different plus-size swimsuits -- at $30 and under, all of them could be considered  "cheap" -- to see if it really is possible to feel good in something that doesn't cost way too much money. And let's just say, I was pleasantly surprised. 

blue swimsuit
Leah Cooper/CafeMom

  • Haogo Women's Retro High Waist Tassel Fringe Bikini in Pink, Amazon 

    1

    I've heard good things about ordering swimwear on Amazon. The shopping site has tons of options in just about every size and offers some of the lowest prices. I loved this bright pink fringe bikini because it looked so fun and flattering -- plus, it was under $20!

    Haogo Women's Retro High Waist Tassel Fringe Bikini ($17, Amazon)

  • Surprisingly Good Fit

    2
    cheap bathing suit from amazon
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    I ordered a size 2X, and it fit pretty well. I was hesitant about the amount of padding in the top, but it actually provided enough coverage, while still giving my breasts a nice amount of lift. Although I did like the way it fit and the fringe was adorable, there were a few issues with it. 

  • Color & Quality Were Way Off

    3
    cheap bathing suit from amazon
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The most obvious issue was that the color was WAY different in person. I was expecting a bright pink suit but I got a coral one instead. Luckily, the color is still pretty, just not what I was expecting. 

    Another downside is that the material was very thin. The padding and fringe on the top provided enough coverage, but the bottoms were a little see-through in person. And as a result of the cheap material, the fringe didn't look quite as nice in person either. 

  • Adjustable Halter Top

    4
    cheap bathing suit from amazon
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The halter top ties behind the neck, which allowed me to adjust the top as tightly as I needed it. The back was also very open, which is helpful for tanning purposes.

  • Supportive Underwire & Padding

    5
    cheap bathing suit from amazon
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The padding provided a nice bit of push-up without causing my breasts to spill out. The underwire also made me feel very supported and secure. 

  • Flattering Side Ruching 

    6
    cheap bathing suit from amazon
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    Despite the thin fabric choice, the bottoms did fit really well. They hit my waist line right at its curve, covered my butt, and had some ruching detail on the sides. Ruching really helps accentuate an hourglass shape by giving more definition to the waistline. 

  • Faye Basic Plunge Front Swimsuit, Boohoo

    7

    Boohoo is known for being trendy and pretty affordable, so I wasn't surprised that I found a cute option for only $20. This suit gave me major Baywatch vibes. And I was curious about how the quality and fit would be. 

    Faye Basic Plunge Front Swimsuit (Boohoo, $20)

  • Sassy & Trendy Look

    8
    cheap bathing suit from boohoo
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    I got a size 2X and it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, which is pretty much what I expected. It's very sassy and on-trend. However I did get what I paid for quality-wise.

  • No Padding or Support

    9
    cheap bathing suit from boohoo
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The biggest issue with this swimsuit was the lack of support. There was no padding, which means my nipples would totally be visible while wearing this. And although the plunging neckline is super cute, the straps didn't fit tightly enough to make me feel secure. 

  • Trendy Low Back

    10
    cheap bathing suit from boohoo
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The back was really cute! It covered my butt well, and it would do a good job of hiding any back rolls (in case that's of particular concern for anyone). I like that it had a low V-cut, similar to the front.

  • Accurate Color & Style 

    11
    cheap bathing suit from boohoo
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    Overall, the suit's style and color were on point with the online image. But, this one wouldn't be my first recommendation for someone in need of good support.

  • Treasure Hunt Swimsuit in Nude, Fashion Nova

    12

    Celebrities and influencers are always raving about Fashion Nova, so of course I had to check out the online retailer's swim selection. I really liked the unique, neutral color and the elegant macramé details of this suit. It was the most expensive one I purchased, hitting the $30 price point. 

    Nude Treasure Hunt Swimsuit ($30, Fashion Nova)

  • Modest & a Bit Luxurious

    13
    cheap bathing suit from fashionnova
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    Despite my unsure facial expression, I did like this swimsuit! Once again, I'm wearing a size 2X. It has a more modest look, while still being very trendy and cute. The material felt nice and thick and the champagne color gave it a sense of luxury.

  • Macramé High-Neck Details

    14
    cheap bathing suit from fashionnova
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    My favorite part was definitely the high-neck macramé details. It's a style I haven't seen a lot, and it offers coverage and support without making me feel too covered up. Inside, it had padding and a comfortable elastic band to support the breasts. Note: The macramé could cause some weird tan lines, but they might be worth it!

  • Adjustable Straps 

    15
    cheap bathing suit from fashionnova
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    My only complaint is that the top did feel a little loose. The adjustable straps helped with that though! After tightening them up, it still felt slightly big in the front, but I felt supported enough to where it wasn't uncomfortable. The straps were also nice and thick and stayed in place. 

  • Criss-Cross Straps 

    16
    cheap bathing suit from fashionnova
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The straps were also able to be detached and criss-crossed in the back. This feature was very helpful for me because it gave me way more support. 

  • Printed Caged Back Bikini, Rainbow

    17

    This bikini looked super cute online! Each piece was sold separately, which is essential for women who need a different size in the top and bottom. I thought the floral print and white, black, and light blue color combination was really pretty. But, at such a low price, I was worried about the fit. 

    Printed Caged Back Bikini Top ($13, Rainbow)

    Printed High Waisted Bikini Bottom ($13, Rainbow)

  • Cute Suit

    18
    cheap bathing suit from rainbow
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    To my surprise, this suit felt and looked really good! I did have a slight sizing issue, but that obviously wasn't the brand's fault.

  • I Should Have Sized Up in the Top

    19
    cheap bathing suit from rainbow
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    I ordered a 1X in the top and a 2X in the bottoms. After trying them on, I realized I definitely should have ordered a 2X in the top! Pay close attention to the sizing charts to avoid making the same mistake I did. 

  • Supportive Underwire & Padding

    20
    cheap bathing suit from rainbow
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    Despite the suit being a little too small, the top did offer good support. The underwire and padding gave my breasts a nice lift, and the straps were thick, sturdy, and adjustable. 

  • Adorable Caged Back 

    21
    cheap bathing suit from rainbow
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The caged back is so cute! This was one of my favorite aspects of this swimsuit. I didn't feel like it was hugging my fat too tightly or causing any other problems. 

  • Matching Side Cutouts 

    22
    cheap bathing suit from rainbow
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The caged look carried over to the bottoms in side details. I was very impressed that these cute cutouts also didn't hug my fat too tightly. They were actually really flattering. It was such a cute way to coordinate the top with the bottoms. They also had good booty coverage and hit my waist in the perfect spot.

  • Ruched Swimsuit, Forever 21

    23

    This sexy black swimsuit looked like a good one to try because the look is so elegant and versatile for different body shapes. As someone who is no stranger to Forever 21's plus-size selection, I had high hopes for this one. 

    Ruched Swimsuit (Forever 21, $25)

  • Gorgeous Style

    24
    cheap bathing suit from forever 21
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    I loved this suit! It was definitely one of my favorites. It fit me well, and I felt very confident in it. 

  • Plunging V-Neckline  & Padding

    25
    cheap bathing suit from forever 21
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    Unlike the red V-neck option I tried, this one has more support due to the padding it has. It had a little bit more structure, and the straps were nice and thick so it felt like it would stay in place. 

  • Ruched Waist 

    26
    cheap bathing suit from forever 21
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The ruched waist looked a little strange to me when I first looked at the suit, but on my body it made a world of difference. It made this swimsuit so flattering! It really accentuated my waistline. 

  • Simple Chic Low-Back

    27
    cheap bathing suit from forever 21
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The back of this suit was simple but cute. It fit nicely all around, and it matched the photos online.

  • Time and Tru Off-the-Shoulder Ruffle One-Piece, Walmart 

    28

    Walmart's new plus-size line, Time and Tru, seems to have a lot of cute options! As someone who hasn't ever shopped at Walmart for clothes, I was pleasantly surprised by the cute swimwear choices for such low prices. 

    Time and Tru Off-the-Shoulder Ruffle One-Piece ($20, Walmart)

  • The Winner

    29
    cheap bathing suit from walmart
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    This was the winner! I was honestly shocked. This swimsuit looked adorable and was super comfortable (I'm wearing a 2X again). The color was slightly darker in person than it looked online, but it was still a nice shade of teal. 

  • Removable Straps 

    30
    cheap bathing suit from walmart
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    One of my favorite features of this suit was the removable straps. I'm not usually a fan of strapless tops or swimsuits because of the lack of support, but it really worked out here thanks to the sewn-in cups and elastic band to support the breasts. 

  • Flounce Ruffle Detail

    31
    cheap bathing suit from walmart
    Leah Cooper/CafeMom

    The ruffle went all the way around and looked incredibly fabulous. It's crazy how such a simple detail can really elevate an entire garment.