site logo: Breast Form FAQ
Revised: Mar. 31, 2003
site logo: Breast Form FAQ
 Materials used in commercial breast forms
The predominant material used in the more expensive commercial breast forms is silicone gel inside a very thin, slick plastic shell with tapered edges. Other materials such as rubber/latex, foam, or cotton batting are sometimes used. Here are the main qualities of each of the types of materials used to help in deciding if a certain material is right for you:

Good Points
  • The material gives the form a comparable weight, movement and feel of a natural breast.
  • The silicone can be colored; many forms of this type are available in a variety of shades to match skin tone.
  • Realistic nipples and areolas can also be produced.
  • The material of this type of form warms to your body temperature and feels very comfortable.
  • Silicone can be whipped with air to produce forms just as realistic, yet are much lighter to wear.
  • It is NOT the same material that was used in breast implants. It is similar, but the main problem with silicone implants came from their use INSIDE the body. Even if a breast form is punctured, the contents can not be absorbed through the skin.
Bad Points
  • Silicone forms are expensive, ranging anywhere from 100-450$ U.S. per form (and sometimes even more.)
  • Many silicone forms come in only 1-3 color shades. While this is still more shades than any of the other material options, people are not limited to just a few different colors. People's skin shades even differ with the season and the amount of sun their skin receives...a silicone form can not adapt to these changes.
  • Even given the variety of shapes, sizes and styles of silicone breast forms, you may not be able to find the right match for an existing breast.
  • Possibility of built-in nipple not matching color, shape or size of one on an existing breast.
  • Built-in or attachable nipples will not react to temperature changes (become erect) like a real nipple will, so, all other things being equal, there may be some external visual differences between a silicone form and an existing breast in certain circumstances.

Good Points Cheaper alternative to silicone, while still retaining some of the qualities of silicone that make it so desirable.
Bad Points While still having some of the qualities of silicone to a certain degree, rubber/latex can not dare to match the weight, feel or movement of even the cheapest silicone forms. Some people are allergic to rubber or latex.

Good Points Commercial foam forms are very cheap and can even be easily homemade. Can't be punctured or ruptured like silicone forms. Holds shape well, even in restrictive wear like sports bras.
Bad Points Will not likely have the drape, weight or movement approximating a real breast. The primary goal of this type of form is to approach the shape of the natural breast.

  Cotton Batting   
Good Points
  • Very cheap and easily home made.
  • Soft and comfortable against post-surgery, healing tissue.
  • This type of form can be a good way to estimate what cup size might fit best for your frame and body type.
  • Can restore the visual and dimensional balance of a missing breast.
Bad Points
  • VERY light and has no draping qualities
  • Can even become lumpy or distorted over time, especially if under-filled.
  • This type of form will not move the way a natural breast * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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