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First, the bad news: Modern life is not super conducive to proper posture. I’d venture to guess that the majority of people these days spend a good part of their days hunched over in front of computers and phones. (Guilty!)
Unfortunately, bad posture can have some pretty negative effects on your body. In fact, incorrect posture can put stress on your spine, which can then be the cause of musculoskeletal disorders, per a 2023 study. Research has also found that poor posture, particularly while sitting, can lead to your muscles getting fatigued quicker when exercising. (However, more research needs to be done.)
Now, for the good news: There are ways to undo some of the damage. Over the long-term, it's “beneficial to strengthen and stabilize the postural muscles,” says Lisa Mitro, DPT, a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in helping athletes reduce pain and prevent injuries.
Check out a preview of the best posture correctors:
But if you’re eager for a quicker fix, you may be considering one of those posture-correcting devices you’ve seen all over social media. But do they really work? There are pros and cons, experts say. “Posture correctors can help short-term as they are helping your body learn to stay in a more upright posture,” Dr. Mitro says. Plus, they're easy to use.
In the back and shoulders, "It will create some physical correction there so that things will sit better than they probably should if someone wasn't paying attention," adds David Koivuranta, a chiropractor at Toronto Neck and Back Pain Clinic.
Ahead, more details on posture correctors—plus the seven best customer-reviewed posture correctors with expert tips on how to shop for one, below.
What to look for in a posture corrector
There are different types of posture correctors. Some are physical correctors, like braces, that manually hold your shoulders and back in alignment. There are also apps and gadgets on the market that help send you little reminders to stop slouching. (With these, you still have to be the one to fix your own posture.)
While they’re not a magic wand for taking you from Neanderthal to ballerina, posture correctors *can* help you find your best posture and make you more aware of how you’re sitting and standing day to day when used in tandem with a strengthening program, and for a limited amount of time. “The real benefit of these devices is that they bring your awareness to your posture and that alone can reduce pain and increase confidence,” says Dr. Neel Anand, MD, a professor of orthopedic surgery and the director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles.
Shop for a posture corrector that is:
Non-rigid (meaning it doesn't force your body into a position that causes any pain or discomfort)
Do posture correctors really work?
Posture support tools may be helpful for some people, experts hear anecdotally. But there’s no scientific data that posture-support tools make a significant difference, say Dr. Anand and Dr. Koivuranta. If a person has spent decades slouching, a postural device likely won’t help. "The muscles in the front of the chest are going to be a little bit tighter, and the muscles in the back are going to be a little bit weaker," says Alex Tauberg, DC, CSCS, a chiropractor and the owner of The Pittsburgh Chiropractor. "So, even if you take it off, it's probably not going to keep you in that upright position."
How we chose the best posture correctors
For months, Women’s Health editors, including our editorial assistant Addison Aloian, have been researching the bestselling, most popular, and top-rated posture correctors. Our team consulted Lisa Mitro, DPT, David Koivuranta, Neel Anand, MD, Pamela Mehta, MD, Rahul Shah, MD, and Alex Tauberg for the story. Additionally, the team evaluated thousands of customer reviews and ratings to narrow down the best posture correctors for a wide range of needs and preferences.
Back Brace Posture Corrector
If you’re looking for extra support, this brace is for you. With over 10,000 ratings and an average of four stars on Amazon, this brace covers your entire back, and users love it. While it may seem a bit ~hardcore~, its material is breathable and it's easy to put on. Plus, it protects your waist while giving full back support, relieving back pain, and helping you stand up straighter.
Customers have some amazing things to say about this posture corrector. It's helped several people maintain a straight back and think more consciously about how they stand, and one person even has sciatica and lower back issues, and this has helped them with stability. However, it does limit your movement, so make sure to take it off when you decide to hit the gym.
Rave Review: "I tried this one with more than a healthy dose of trepidation and was overwhelmingly surprised. My posture was visibly better and the rides stopped being painful. I also started using it at work—I sit more than is good for me during the work day and this was a dream. I came home after 10 hours days not ready to scream."
This brace is worn similarly to elastic braces, but includes a stiff plastic or metal piece that sits vertically between your shoulder blades. A molded brace tends to offer more adjustable, firmer support and gives a solid reminder to pull your shoulder blades back to counteract your tendency to hunch over your computer or phone, Smith says.
The issue? The bulkier style of this brace means it can show through clothing. But given that you don't want to wear physical braces 24/7 anyway (because your muscles may get too used to them and grow weaker), you could wear this around the house for shorter intervals and leave it off when you're wearing something more form-fitting in public.
Rave Review: "After trying several different shoulder posture braces, I found this one to be the most comfortable and effective. In addition to being more adjustable, the elastic give and wider straps makes this brace MUCH more comfortable, allowing me to wear it for a longer period of time (which is essential to make any brace effective)."
NextGen Posture Corrector Kit
This kit is totally the full package. It comes with a few different devices for each area of the spine, including a posture corrector strap, a neck mold, and a low back bridge. The posture corrector strap can be worn on the back, similarly to the other ones on this list.
You can use the blue neck mold by placing on the floor, then laying on your back with the highest point of the mold supporting the bottom third of your neck, Koivuranta says. Use it for no more than five minutes a day, twice a day, when you start and work up from there, he adds. Similarly, you can use the low back bridge under your lower back when lying down on the floor.
The neck and lower back molds can be used at the same time, but you might not see any benefits to wearing the posture corrector while lying down, he says. Using these tools "along with some habit training, mobility training, and resistance exercises, would stack the deck in favor of some posture correction," Koivuranta says.
Rave Review: "Since incorporating the Posture Kit into my routine, I've noticed a significant improvement in my daily posture, overall mobility, and general well-being. The combination of these tools has transformed the way I approach self-care, making it an integral part of my daily life."
Read more: Pillows For Neck Pain
2 Premium Posture Corrector Trainer & Tracker
If all you need is a gentle reminder to alert you when you’re slouching, you can try one of the wearable devices, Smith says. These attach either via a clip to the front of your bra or with adhesive to the skin on your upper back and vibrate when your posture starts to slip. This one comes with an app for your phone so you can track your stats over time.
If you like the idea of having a posture reminder during the day but don't want to spend the money, you can set up your watch to alert you at specified intervals. Once an hour, set a smartphone alert that instructs you to check your posture as well as take a break to stand, walk, and stretch. “Our sedentary lifestyle is one of the main reasons for back pain, and the best thing you can do is get more motion,” says Smith.
Rave Review: "I was hesitant to get this because I’d read that you have to be hunched over like a cartoon villain in order to set it off, but that turns out not to be true, and I’m really glad I bought it. You can easily calibrate it to buzz at the “slouch level” (I’m making that term up) you want just by being stiffer or in more of a soldier-like posture when you calibrate. For someone like me, who has mild-ish but visible scoliosis that leads to bad posture even before I spend eight hours a day at a desk, it’s kind of a godsend."
Thick straps are the way to go when you're shopping for a posture corrector, Koivuranta says. You want them to be "nice and comfortable, soft and padded and very adjustable," he adds. This double-strap back brace has a waist strap and another elastic belt to offer extra lumbar support and comfort as you wear it. It also has two auxiliary support bars in the padded back strip for added structure.
Amazon customers say they love how the straps fit around the chest, it's comfortable, and it provides a ton of support. One reviewer even wrote: "I put it on the first time and my nine-year-old came in the room a minute later and exclaimed I had grown taller somehow." Amazing!
Rave Review: "This posture corrector works wonders. It firmly pulls my shoulders back where they belong, effectively relieving the discomfort I used to experience. It has significantly helped me with my slouching and humpback issues. The double cross design and the support plates in the back strip provide outstanding support from all angles."
If your posture is seriously out of alignment or you have existing low back pain, you may prefer a longline brace that provides support from the base of your neck to the top of your hip, says Neel Anand, MD, a professor of orthopedic surgery and the director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles.
You slip this one over your shoulders and then wrap a wide piece of elastic around your low back and stomach. One thing to note: It provides very firm support throughout your back, but it can be quite visible through clothing.
Rave Review: "This back brace worked! My upper back was killing me, and my posture sucks. Within two days, my pain was gone. I'm 5'9 and very thin. I ordered size medium and it fit well. Putting the brace on and adjusting it was easy. I wore it all day while doing outdoor ranch chores and found it to be reasonably comfortable."
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Clavicle, Chest, And Back Posture Corrector
Out of all of the physical posture support devices, this one provides the lightest support but is also the most comfortable and the least visible under clothing. So, you can wear it at work, home, while you're walking around, or anywhere else.
Reviewers like this one, saying it's comfortable and light. One user says they've even gotten compliments on how much better their posture has gotten since they've started wearing the corrector. And since it's designed for women, sizing is easy because it works based on bra size. There are also plenty of sizing options, from extra-small to large.
Rave Review: "I can definitely tell that it's helping. When I wear it my posture is noticeably better—my boyfriend and friends and family have commented on how much better my posture is with it on. It also has been great when I'm not wearing it, because it is helping me have a better 'feel' for what good posture feels like."
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