Best swimsuits: stylish swimming costumes and tankinis for the beach and pool
On the hunt for a wonderous one-piece? We’ve got the best, most flattering swimsuits for all body types and budgets, as recommended by Mumsnetters.
By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated May 24, 2023
Swimsuit shopping can be a stressful business. Chilly changing rooms, squillions of options and vague sizing info make it a bit of an ordeal, and finding the perfect swimming costume might feel like an impossible task.
Never ones to shy away from a challenge, we’re taking the stress out of swimsuit shopping. As firm believers that there’s a swimsuit to suit everyone - no matter your size, shape or budget - we’ve hunted high and low for the swimming costumes that are worth investing in this year. Drawing on the combined knowledge of thousands of Mumsnetters, we’ve whittled our favourites down to what we believe are the 10 best swimsuits. Each has different strengths, so we’re pretty confident there’s something for everybody.
Time to dive in: here are the best swimsuits to buy this year.
1. Best overall swimsuit: Boden Santorini Swimsuit
Price: £65 | Buy now from Boden
"The Boden Santorini swimsuit is your new best friend!" - recommended by Mumsnet user, CushionsAndCandles
"I read threads like this for several years with many people suggesting Boden and I thought it was just too expensive for something I don't wear much. However, having tried it I am a convert and when it is half-price it really isn't £££" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Berolloreb
This stylish swimming costume from Boden is our pick for best swimsuit. Mumsnetters love the great quality nylon fabric and subtle scaffolding underneath. The Santorini has lightly padded cups, a body-sculpting lining and a hidden support shelf under the boobs. What’s more, it holds its shape and the colours will stay bright all summer long. The straight neckline and halter-neck fastening are supremely flattering, and it’s available in eye-catching colour block, chic stripes, French navy and classic black.
- Size range: 6-22 reg/long
- Colours available: Colour block, striped, navy, black
2. Best budget swimsuit: Sainsbury’s Medium Control Swimsuit
Price: £14 | Buy now from Sainsbury's
"Sainsbury’s do a really good range. I like plain black one piece swimsuits and they do at least one every year, often with discreet piping detail and in flattering styles that are also good to swim in, at half the price of M&S" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, borntobequiet
"I swim a lot and can heartily recommend Sainsburys TU range- they really last and are very good value and flattering" - recommended by Mumsnet user, HuaShan
With its hidden powermesh panel, this swimsuit from TU at Sainsbury’s offers poolside confidence at a bargain price. The subtle white piping and mid-rise leg are flattering, and you can’t go wrong with a one-piece in basic black. Mumsnetters say TU swimming costumes last well against sea and pool swimming and keep their colour and shape.
- Size range: 6-26
- Colours available: Black
3. Most flattering swimsuit: Derssity One-Piece Swimsuit
Price: £22 | Buy now from Amazon
"This was surprisingly flattering when I needed to quickly lay my hands on a costume recently I was worried it would be a bit old fashioned but the colour seems to lift it (I got purple) and the ruching isn’t too much" - recommended by Mumsnet user, 1frenchfoodie
"I bought it in black and I'm very impressed. It's stylish and very flattering in a way I didn't think I could feel in a swimsuit again" - pastypirate
The plunging neckline together with clever ruching make this tummy-control swimsuit from Derssity supremely flattering, whatever your body shape. The wireless bust has adjustable crossover back straps, and a soft fixed bra for subtle support. It’s cut high on the leg but has plenty of bum and back coverage, so you’ll feel secure and supported whether you’re in the pool or at the beach.
- Size range: S-XL
- Colours available: Various
4. Best sporty swimsuit: Arena Lightech Swimsuit
Price: £18 | Buy now from Amazon
"I think the best swimsuits for proper swimming are Arena" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Savvy7
"Arena swimsuits. I used to train a lot and they always lasted really well without any chlorine damage. Not cheap though" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Tallpaulwho
If you’re serious about swimming, Arena swimsuits are built to withstand all conditions. They keep their colour and shape with regular exposure to chlorine, and are made of lightweight fabric that moves easily with your body. This Lightech swimsuit is cut high at the front, so there are no worries about escaping boobs while you do your laps.
- Size range: 26-46
- Colours available: Navy, black, red, blue, mint, light blue
5. Best patterned swimsuit: Batoko Narwhal Swimsuit
Price: £60 | Buy now from Batoko
"I LOVE mine, so comfortable and flattering" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Hoolihan
"I love Batoko (size down for supportive fit:they are double lined feel like they hold you in nicely), but they might be a bit bolder than you like!" - recommended by Mumsnet user, PoTheDog
How adorable is this? If you’re looking for a statement cossie, Batoko is a treasure trove of bright and unusual patterns - from seals to sunflowers and lobsters to leopard print. Made from recycled plastic, the British-based company intercepts rubbish on its way to landfill, and turns it into great quality swimwear. Each swimming costume is double lined and supportive, without the need for shaped cups, wiring or shelves.
- Size range: XS-XL
- Colours available: Blue
6. Best quality swimsuit: Land’s End Tugless Swimsuit
Price: £50 | Buy now from Lands' End
"Lands' End makes great quality, durable swimming costumes. I've had a couple for years. Look at their website and see their Tugless range" - recommended by Mumsnet user, WalkingInTheAir13
"I have worn Land's End for years. I'm 6' tall and have never had issues with length. Their stuff wears like iron" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Aquamarine1029
With three body fits and a loyal Mumsnet fanbase, Lands’ End’s Tugless swimsuit is a real crowd pleaser. The secret to its success is the Lycra Xtra Life elastane in the fabric, which resists chlorine damage and keeps its shape for up to 10 times longer than other costumes. The fit is comfortable, practical and classic, with no bells and whistles. It’s got great bum coverage and, like the name suggests, it doesn’t budge.
- Size range: 8-20 reg/long/plus
- Colours available: Blue/turquoise, navy/white
7. Best swimsuit for the beach: Pour Moi Reef Padded Strapless Swimsuit
Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon
"Have a look at the Pour Moi range, really lovely" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Bebethany
If you’re looking for a pretty swimsuit for a beach holiday, this floral number from Pour Moi? could be the one for you. Featuring removable straps and a retro belt detail, the black side panels have a slimming effect and the cups are lightly padded. The sizing is by bra size, so this is a great cossie if you’re large of bust.
- Size range: 32C-36G
- Colours available: Black/red
8. Best maternity swimsuit: Summer Mae V Neck Maternity Swimsuit
Price: £33 | Buy now from Amazon
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise while you’re pregnant, and this maternity swimsuit from Summer Mae will keep you looking stylish, whichever trimester you’re in. It features as our number one pick in our roundup of best maternity swimsuits to invest in. The delicate, frilled straps are deceptively supportive, and the cute tie-back is great for adjusting the fit as your body changes. Removable cups and ruched sides keep this swimming costume comfortable and flattering, and it comes in four different colours.
- Size range: S-XL
- Colours available: Khaki, black, wine, fucshia
9. Best black swimsuit: Deakin & Blue Long Sleeve Swimsuit
Price: £130 | Buy now from Deakin & Blue
"I’ve just bought this one from Deakin & Blue. Definitely size up in their costumes though. To feel less lumpy in my menopausal body, it was worth the money. I wore with shorts to go paddleboarding the other day and felt good!" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Imissmoominmama
"My go to nicer costume is Deakin and Blue which was £££ but looks gorgeous and you can really swim in it" - recommended by Mumsnet user, CMOTDibbler
Deakin & Blue’s elegant range of swimsuits are a real hit with Mumsnetters. Each swimsuit is available in three body fits, based on bra size - the Hepburn, the Monroe and the Hendricks. This long-sleeved style is perfect if you prefer to cover your arms, or want to go for a surfer look. Featuring a double lining and smart paneling, it fits like a glove and has an extra long back zip for easy changing.
- Size range: 8-24
- Colours available: Black
10. Best swimsuits for big busts: Curvy Kate Jetty Tankini
Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon
"Curvy Kate navy jetty high waist bikini. So lovely and comfortable!" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, CaptainBrickbeard
"I like their swimwear - I ordered loads from there last year to get a choice, and thought it was all good quality. Lots of the designs have both bikini and tankini tops - buy one of each and you can choose whether to go for a bikini or cover up a bit more" - recommended by Mumsnet user, TwinsPlusAnotherTwo
Tankinis are brilliant for getting just the right fit top and bottom, and this one from Curvy Kate is blessed with underwire support and fully adjustable, non-slip straps. Fitting like a proper, unpadded bra, it’s a godsend for the big of boob, and stands up to regular pool swimming. Mumsnetters recommend ordering a few sizes to figure out a perfect fit.
- Size range: 30D-40HH
- Colours available: Pink, black, navy
How to buy the best swimsuit for your body type
Just like with clothes, it’s important to choose a swimsuit that you feel like yourself in. Go for what makes you feel comfortable. If there are parts of your body you feel less confident about, look for a swimming costume that offers support or coverage in these areas.
What’s the most flattering type of swimsuit to wear?
When you feel confident, you naturally look your best. The most flattering swimsuit is a swimsuit you feel good in.
Do you need different swimsuits for different activities?
Not necessarily, but if you’re a regular pool swimmer you’ll want a practical swimsuit that’s resistant to chlorine damage - like the Arena LighTech or Lands’ End Tugless. For holidays you might want a more stylish swimsuit that can double up as a top, like one from Batoko or the Boden Santorini.
What’s the best swimsuit to buy?
Boden’s Santorini swimsuit is the best swimsuit to buy - it ticks all the boxes for style, quality and practicality.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which swimwear discerning Mumsnet users had bought for themselves.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which women’s swimsuits had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers reviews said about them.
Having collated all that information, we picked the swimming costumes we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.