How long do swimsuits last?

How Long Do Swimsuits Last and How to Make Them Last Longer?

Summer’s approaching, and whether you’re gearing up for a beach getaway, a day at the local pool, or a splash in the lake, there’s one essential you can’t forget: your swimsuit.

But as you rummage through your drawer, you might wonder about that favorite bikini or pair of trunks from last season. How long do swimsuits last anyway?

In this article, you’ll uncover the real lifespan of swimwear, learn to spot the signs that it’s time for a new one, and grab some handy tips to prolong your swimsuit’s life. Let’s go!

How Long Do Swimsuits Last?

Swimsuits typically last between one to several years, depending on various factors. The lifespan of a swimsuit is influenced by:

  1. Quality and Material: High-quality swimsuits made of durable materials like nylon and spandex tend to last longer. These materials are more resistant to pool chemicals, saltwater, and UV rays.
  2. Frequency of Use: If you swim frequently, especially in chlorinated pools, your swimsuit will wear out faster due to the harsh chemicals.
  3. Care: Proper care can significantly extend the life of a swimsuit. This includes rinsing it after each use, hand washing with mild soap, avoiding wringing, and laying it flat to dry.
  4. External Factors: Exposure to direct sunlight, lotions, oils, and rough surfaces can also affect the longevity of the swimsuit.
  5. Design and Size: A well-fitted swimsuit, tailored to your body type, will wear out less quickly than an ill-fitting one. Plus, certain designs, like those with fewer straps or embellishments, might be less prone to damage.

Lifespan Insights from Redditors

Diving deeper into the real-life experiences of avid swimmers and beachgoers, the Reddit community offers valuable insights into swimsuit longevity.

These firsthand accounts not only shed light on the practical lifespan of swimwear but also highlight why understanding this matters for both casual and frequent swimmers. Here’s what some Redditors have shared about their experiences:

  • Speedo Endurance: A popular choice among swimmers, the Speedo Endurance line has received praise for its durability. One Redditor mentioned that their Speedo Endurance swimsuit lasted close to a year with frequent use, and the only issue was with the stitching, not the fabric itself. Another user echoed this sentiment, stating that they swim five days a week, and the Speedo Endurance suits last a long time, with the stitching being the first to go.
  • Frequency of Use: A lifeguard shared that they would go through swimsuits every 2-6 months due to their frequent exposure to water and chemicals. On the other hand, another user mentioned that their swimsuit from the brand Illusions has lasted two years without any color loss or fit issues, despite swimming outdoors six days a week.
  • Drag Suits: These are designed for training and resistance in the water. One Redditor mentioned wearing the same drag suit for close to seven years, emphasizing their durability. Another user shared that they’ve been using their drag suit for four years, and it’s still holding up well.
  • Care and Maintenance: Several Redditors emphasized the importance of rinsing swimsuits after use to remove chlorine and other chemicals. One user mentioned that they rotate between two Speedo Endurance swimsuits and rinse them in fresh water after every swim, which has helped them last for years.

In essence, while the lifespan of a swimsuit can vary based on factors like brand, material, and frequency of use, proper care and maintenance can significantly extend its life. And as always, personal experiences can vary, so it’s essential to find what works best for you and your swim routine.

Related: How Long Do Sports Bras Last and When Should You Replace Them?

What Affects the Lifespan of Your Swimsuit?

While individual experiences can vary, there are common elements that play a significant role in determining the lifespan of your swimwear:

  • Exposure to Chemicals: Pools are often treated with chlorine to keep the water clean. However, this chemical can be harsh on swimsuit materials, causing them to fade and lose elasticity over time. Saltwater, too, can have a similar effect, especially if the swimsuit isn’t rinsed off after a swim in the ocean.
  • Sunlight: Just as the sun can damage our skin, prolonged exposure to UV rays can bleach the colors of your swimsuit, making it look worn out even if it’s relatively new.
  • Lotions and Oils: While sunscreens and tanning oils protect our skin, they might not be as friendly to our swimsuits. These products can leave stains, and some ingredients might even weaken the fabric over time.
  • Physical Wear and Tear: Sitting on rough surfaces, like the edge of a pool or a rocky beach, can cause snags and tears in the material. Additionally, frequent use, especially for activities like surfing or water sports, can lead to faster wear and tear.
  • Improper Care: How you care for your swimsuit after each use plays a crucial role in its longevity. Not rinsing it out after a swim, using harsh detergents, or drying it under direct sunlight can all shorten its lifespan.

Signs Your Swimsuit Has Run Its Course

After countless beach trips, pool parties, and laps in the pool, even the most cherished swimsuits start showing signs of wear.

Recognizing these signs early can save you from potential swimsuit mishaps and ensure you always look and feel your best in the water.

So, how do you know when it’s time to retire your trusty swimwear? Here are some clear indicators:

  • Loss of Elasticity: If your swimsuit starts to sag or doesn’t hug your body the way it used to, it’s a sign that the elastic fibers have broken down. This can lead to a poor fit, making swimming uncomfortable or even causing wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Fading Colors: Remember that vibrant shade your swimsuit once had? If it’s now looking dull or the colors have significantly faded, it’s a clear sign of wear.
  • Thin or Transparent Areas: Over time, the material can become thin, especially in high-friction areas. If you notice that certain parts of your swimsuit are becoming see-through, it’s time for a replacement.
  • Stretched Out Straps: Straps that have lost their stretch can lead to a swimsuit that doesn’t stay in place, making it challenging to swim or relax comfortably.
  • Damaged or Frayed Stitching: If the seams are coming apart or the stitching looks frayed, your swimsuit might not hold up for much longer.
  • Persistent Stains or Discoloration: Sometimes, sunscreen, tanning oils, or even pool chemicals can leave stains that just won’t come out. If these stains are prominent and affect the overall look of the swimsuit, consider getting a new one.
  • Unpleasant Odors: Despite washing, if your swimsuit has a lingering chlorine smell or any other unpleasant odor, it might be time to let it go.

While it’s hard to part with a favorite piece of swimwear, recognizing these signs ensures you’re always comfortable, confident, and stylish in the water. Plus, shopping for a new swimsuit can be a fun way to refresh your summer look!

How to Care for Your Swimsuits to Extend Their Lifespan

With a little TLC, you can significantly extend the life of your swimwear. Here’s how to give your swimsuit the care it deserves:

  • Rinse Immediately After Use: Whether you’ve been in a chlorinated pool, the salty ocean, or even fresh water, always rinse your swimsuit in cold water. This helps remove harmful chemicals, salt, and other residues that can degrade the fabric over time.
  • Hand Wash with Mild Soap: Instead of tossing your swimsuit in the washing machine, gently hand wash it using cold water and a mild soap. This method is gentler on the fabric and helps maintain its elasticity and color.
  • Avoid Wringing: Twisting or wringing out your swimsuit can damage its fibers. Instead, gently press the water out between two towels.
  • Dry Flat in the Shade: Lay your swimsuit flat on a towel, away from direct sunlight. The sun’s UV rays can fade the colors. Also, avoid hanging your swimsuit, as this can stretch out the fabric.
  • Rotate Your Swimsuits: If you swim frequently, it’s a good idea to have a few swimsuits on rotation. This gives each one a break, allowing the fibers to return to their original state and extending their life.
  • Steer Clear of Harsh Chemicals: Sunscreens and lotions are great for your skin but can be tough on swimsuits. If possible, apply them at least 30 minutes before putting on your swimsuit to reduce transfer. And if there’s a spill? Rinse immediately.
  • Store Properly: Once your swimsuit is completely dry, store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid shoving it in a packed drawer, which can cause it to become misshapen.
  • Check the Care Label: While these tips are generally safe for most swimsuits, always check the care label. It might have specific instructions based on the material and design.

Tips for Choosing a Durable Swimsuit

Selecting the right swimsuit isn’t just about style and fit; durability plays a crucial role, especially if you’re someone who loves spending time in the water.

A durable swimsuit not only offers better value for money but also ensures consistent comfort and confidence during each swim.

So, how do you pick one that stands the test of time? Here are some pointers:

  • Prioritize Quality Over Price: While it might be tempting to grab that budget-friendly swimsuit on sale, investing a bit more in a high-quality piece can pay off in the long run. Look for brands known for their durability and craftsmanship.
  • Examine the Material: Swimsuits made from a blend of nylon and spandex or polyester tend to be more durable. These materials resist the damaging effects of chlorine and UV rays better than others. Check the label to see the material composition.
  • Check the Stitching: Good stitching is a sign of a well-made swimsuit. Ensure the seams are even, tight, and lay flat against the skin. Double-stitched seams can be a bonus, offering extra durability.
  • Opt for Thicker Fabrics: While thin swimsuits might be trendy, they can wear out faster. A slightly thicker fabric can provide better resistance to wear and tear.
  • Avoid Too Many Embellishments: Swimsuits with lots of embellishments, like beads or sequins, can be prone to damage. While they might look fancy, these decorative elements can come off easily, especially with frequent use.
  • Consider the Suit’s Purpose: If you’re someone who regularly swims for exercise or indulges in water sports, it’s wise to prioritize performance over fashion. Brands like Lands’ End, Tyr, and Speedo offer collections like AquaFitness, Durafast, and Endurance, respectively, which are designed for longevity and frequent use. While these high-performance suits might lean towards basic designs, they’re crafted from durable materials like chlorine-resistant polyester, ensuring they outlast the average swimsuit.
  • Read Reviews: Before making a purchase, check out reviews from other customers. They can provide insights into the swimsuit’s durability and whether it lives up to its promises.
  • Try Before You Buy: If possible, try the swimsuit on. Move around, stretch, and see how it feels. A good fit not only ensures comfort but also reduces unnecessary strain on the material.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re curious about the lifespan of your favorite bikini or wondering about the best materials for longevity, we’ve got you covered with these commonly asked questions.

How often should you replace a swimsuit?

The frequency of replacing a swimsuit largely depends on its usage and care. For someone who swims daily or is exposed to chlorine regularly, a swimsuit might need replacement every season. However, with proper care and less frequent use, a good-quality swimsuit can last anywhere from one to three years.

Do bathing suits go bad?

Bathing suits don’t “go bad” in the way food does, but they can degrade over time. Factors like exposure to chlorine, sunlight, and improper care can cause the material to lose its elasticity, fade, or become thin. When a swimsuit no longer fits well or shows signs of wear, it’s time to consider a replacement.

What kind of swimsuit lasts the longest?

Swimsuits made from materials like polyester or a blend of nylon and spandex tend to last the longest. These materials are more resistant to chlorine and UV rays. Brands that focus on performance, such as Speedo’s Endurance line or Tyr’s Durafast suits, often produce durable swimsuits designed for longevity.

How many times can you wear a swimsuit?

There’s no set limit to how many times you can wear a swimsuit. However, its lifespan will depend on how you care for it after each use and the activities you engage in while wearing it. With proper care, a swimsuit can be worn numerous times before showing signs of wear.


Swimsuits might not last forever, but understanding “how long do swimsuits last” and applying the right care can significantly extend their lifespan.

It’s not solely about their durability, but also about the confidence and comfort they offer. So, when you find that perfect swimsuit, cherish it, care for it, and savor every sun-soaked moment while wearing it!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top