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The best bikini for 2021

Shopping for a bikini usually means trying on dozens of styles. From retro two-piece sets to triangle string bikinis, it can be hard to find the perfect one. Learn how to narrow your options by comparing key features to save time and money on a bikini.

This buying guide shares everything you need to know about bikinis. There are a few recommendations at the end, including Tempt Me Women’s Retro Halter Bikini. Wearers love its stylish design and comfortable, stay-put fit. 

What to know before you buy a bikini

Pros and cons of bikinis

Pros: Bikinis expose more skin than one-piece swimsuits, leaving wearers with fewer tanlines. Most bikini tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched to create custom styles. Bikinis offer more in the way of adjustability than most swimsuits with tie, belt or hook-and-eye details. 

Cons: Bikini sets aren’t as convenient for wearers who wear different sizes in tops and bottoms. Many bikini sets are unlined, which means some of them appear sheer when wet. The straps of some bikinis weaken over time, especially when they’re tied into tighter knots. 

Types of bikinis

While there are countless styles of bikinis on the market, here’s a quick roundup of the four popular styles:

  • Classic bikinis feature triangle-shaped tops and bottoms. Traditionally, these pieces have string closures; however, some styles have snap or hook-and-eye closures.
  • High-waist bikinis have bottoms that are cut above the belly button. These sets can come with a wide variety of tops, which may include halter, strapless or one-shoulder styles.
  • Tankinis, as the name implies, include a longer top that covers most of the belly and a separate bottom. They offer the most coverage out of all bikini styles.
  • Monokinis feature distinct top and bottom pieces that are connected by a strip of fabric. The strip usually spans the belly or runs down the sides of the torso.

Bikini sizing

Many bikinis are sold in progressive sizes, such as small, medium and large. However, some sets follow even-number dress sizes. When bikinis are sold as separates, manufacturers may follow traditional bra sizing for bikini tops. 

What to look for in a quality bikini


Bikinis are usually made with blended materials that may include nylon, polyester or spandex. These materials are known for their lightweight, quick-drying qualities. Some bikinis indicate the material’s UPF, which refers to the percent of UV rays it blocks out. 


The most common closure for bikinis is a tie closure, but it’s far from the only one. Hook-and-eye closures are seen on many styles, as are snap or button closures. Though they’re somewhat harder to find, there are some bikinis that have velcro closures. 

Bikini separates vs. bikini sets

Many bikinis are sold as sets, and wearers who are partial to them typically wear the same or similar sizes on the top and bottom. 

Bikini separates include tops and bottoms that are sold separately. They’re popular among wearers seeking a better fit, especially if they wear different sizes on the top and bottom. 

How much you can expect to spend on a bikini

Budget-friendly bikinis cost $25-$40. Better-quality bikinis made from reputable bikini brands cost $50-$100. Designer bikinis run anywhere from $100-$500. 

Bikini FAQ

Should I buy more than one bikini?

A. Many people buy more than one bikini if they frequently go to the pool, lake or beach. Some people purchase extra bikinis for practical reasons. Others purchase more than one set so they can mix and match tops and bottoms. 

Should I remove the cups from my bikini top?

A. Some wearers opt to remove the cups, indicating that they add unnecessary bulk and retain water. Other wearers prefer keeping the cups in place, particularly for lighter-colored bikini tops that appear sheer when wet. 

How long will a bikini last?

A. It depends on the construction and material quality. Well-made bikinis can last through five years of use, whereas lower-quality ones may only last through one or two seasons. Other variables may impact the lifespan of a bikini, such as exposure to chlorine, frequency of wear and how you care for it. 

What’s the best bikini to buy in 2021?

Top bikini

Tempt Me Women’s Retro Halter Bikini

Tempt Me Women’s Retro Halter Bikini

What you need to know: Appreciated for its figure-flattering design, this high-waisted bikini is stretchy, comfortable and looks more expensive than it is. 

What you’ll love: Halter top has a hook-and-eye closure and tie-back straps. Made with a soft, flexible blend of polyester and spandex. Flattering ruched-front bottom. Available in sizes XS through XXL. 

What you should consider: Some wearers didn’t like how the bottom fit. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top bikini for the money

Heat Move Women’s Retro Flounce High Waisted Bikini

Heat Move Women’s Retro Flounce High Waisted Bikini

What you need to know: Fun and trendy, this high-waisted bikini is an affordable option that doesn’t compromise on quality.

What you’ll love: Tiered ruffle top creates an hourglass silhouette with the fitted bottom. Set includes one printed and one solid piece. A modern spin on a throwback style. Available in sizes S through XXL.

What you should consider: Some colors appear much different in person compared to the product images. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Suvimuga Women’s Halter String Bikini Set

Suvimuga Women’s Halter String Bikini Set

What you need to know: This classic string bikini with a Brazilian cut is simple and versatile. 

What you’ll love: Tie closures offer a flexible, comfortable fit. Comes in over a dozen vibrant colors and prints. Material and quality and stitching is much better than expected. Available in sizes S through XL.

What you should consider: Occasional reports of size discrepancies due to the chart being somewhat inaccurate. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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