The Best Knee Sleeves Buying Guide

Knees are vital to any activity — and they are the most vulnerable joints of the body. They are shock absorbers constantly on the job twisting and turning. Choosing the best Knee sleeves for the job is a significant part of getting the most protection. Whether your knees are injured, or you need the added protection, stability and support, you will find what you need in this guide.

I’ve listed 8 that cover a wide range of uses. You’ll find knee sleeves for powerlifting, body building, running, basketball, CrossFit, walking for exercise, and staying active with arthritic knees. Most of the sleeves on this list can be used for a variety of applications, but work best for what they were designed for. You will find longer descriptions below the table to help you pick the right one to fit your own needs.

Prices accurate as of:

Why Wear Knee Sleeves?

Knee injuries such as blown ACLs, PCLs, MCLs, or torn cartilage are prevalent because they are the most vulnerable and largest weight-bearing joint? Knee sleeves are designed to help stabilize the joint and surrounding muscles and tendons and protect them from injuries during high-stress movements.

But the truth is — you don’t need to be an athlete to be concerned about the health of your knees. Osteoarthritis of the knees affects millions of people all over the world, both young and old. So whether you’re engaged in a competitive sport, running or walking for exercise, or need more stability on a trip to the mall — they can help.

How Much Do They Help?

Good sleeves act as a compression element encircling your entire knee joint. They protect your knees from injury while increasing blood flow to reduce pain during and after any physical activity.

Here’s how they can help you:

  • Reduce the risk of injury from excessive pressure and strain from exercise, sports, work, etc.
  • Provide great support and alignment
  • Pain relief from injured, sore, tired, arthritic knees
  • Improve balance and a sense of where your knees are at all times

Which Ones are the Best?

Some are made primarily for one end result such as:

  • Weight lifting
  • Running, jogging, or walking
  • Support for injured knees
  • To keep active with arthritic knees

Even though most can be utilized for many purposes, you may not get the best results that way. For instance, the ones made for powerlifters are usually thicker and more rigid than one designed to wear when running. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the information in this post to get the most benefits from your choice.

How to Make the Best Choice

We’ve tried many of the available choices, and like most things in the world, knee supports aren’t all created equal.  Below, we’ve listed what we’ve found to be the top 6 factors to consider when shopping:

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is an important indicator of how well it can help you improve your performance. If you are doing heavy lifting in the gym or at work,  you will want them to fit tight with less flexibility.

On the other hand, if you’re running, walking, or cycling — you will naturally want more flexibility. Too much restriction and tightness will hinder your movement, and be uncomfortable. If you’re recovering from an injury, greater flexibility is usually best.

2. Value for Money

The value should be based on the overall qualities at its price point. To get the best value, keep in mind which of the categories you best fit in before shopping.  Deciding on your goals to help identify the qualities that are the most valuable for your personal needs is the first step.

3. Durability

Most are made with the same material so the durability depends on production quality. Look at the shape and the type of stitching used.  The quality of the product often plays a large role in comfort, usability, and how long they will last.

4. Size

Always check the size guide because you will want your them to be nice and tight for more support. That is why many athletes suggest sizing down from your measurements because loose-fitting defeats its purpose.

The reason they work at all is because of the compression quality and you will find that the compression level and tightness is by in large a personal choice.  But if you struggle to keep them on your knee, they are useless?

5. Warmth and Comfort

More often than not, thicker tend to be warmer and thinner options tend to be cooler. Comfort is another key factor to a great performance, and whether or not you will continue wearing them. If they’re not comfortable, you simply will not want to wear them, right?

6. Compression and Support

Higher quality materials usually provide higher amounts of compression and support which is why the best usually cost more. Just look at the athletes using them and you will see they use only the highest quality knee braces available. Of course, you can find cheaper options, but they don’t deliver the same compression and support as better made choices.

We’ve put together this Quick Guide Comparison Chart for you to see at a glance how we see the various applications. Below the chart are more detailed reviews of 6 of our favorites.

7. Quality vs Price

When it comes to choosing the best, it is important to not scrimp on the price in order to get the best there is in the market. Each manufacturer designs in their own advantages and disadvantages, but they are some of the best that you can get.

Just keep in mind that although there are different models, choosing the perfect one for you should not be too complicated. Always consider your needs, based on what you do and the workout routine that you have.

For instance, will you be doing a lot of heavy lifting? Determine how much stability you need to have so that it will be easier for you to narrow down your options.

We’ve detailed the best application with a description and summary for each knee sleeve to help you make the best decision possible.

Nordic

Knee Sleeves (1 Pair) Support & Compression for Weightlifting, Powerlifting & CrossFit - 7mm Neoprene Sleeve for the Best Squats - Both Women & Men, Black, X-Large

Nordic Lifting’s 7mm Neoprene Sleeves are premium and recommended for weightlifting, powerlifting, and Crossfit workouts. Nordics are meticulously designed to prevent painful knee injury along with upping your performance in the gym and competitions.

Applications: WeightLifting, Power Lifting, and Crossfit

Nordic Features

  • Nordics are carefully crafted with premium quality 7mm neoprene and reinforced stitching
  • Ergonomically designed for added comfort and efficiency
  • Perfect fit sizing makes them recommended for anyone. To get the right size, straighten your leg and measure the circumference of your knee mid patella
  • Sizes available are from XS (which fits under 11.8”) to XXL (which fits 17” to 18.3”).
  • Help increase your performance and help you complete physical routines at the top of your ability.
  • Add support to your body’s weaker joints (knees), so that you can avoid having injuries and unnecessary pain.
  • Great compression helps relieve joint and muscle pains and helps aid in muscle recovery and rehabilitation.
  • Well known for their warming effect, which efficiently reduces stiff muscles and joints. By retaining heat, the risk of having injuries is also reduced.
  • Price includes one pair with one-year replacement guarantee.

Summary

Nordic Lifting sleeves are designed for people who are into weightlifting, powerlifting, Crossfit, and gym exercises, as well as other heavy fitness workouts. They can help you perform at your best by providing superior support and compression for speedy muscle recovery and injury prevention. Just make sure that you get the right size that will comfortably fit your knees using the sizing chart on Amazon.


Rehband 7mm Model 7051 Original Blue

Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve - Model 7051 Original Blue (Medium (33-36cm))

Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve is definitely one of the most popular options, especially for Crossfitters, even though they are on the higher end of the market. Rehband is sold per piece and endorsed by popular names in Crossfit. There’s no doubt that Rehband is top shelf when it comes to performance and quality.

Applications: WeightLifting, Power Lifting, and Crossfit

Rehband Features

  • Made of 100% neoprene with the top layer made with strong, comfortable, and durable material to add more support.
  • 11 x 7 inches and weighs only 4 ounces.
  • Anatomical shape and a two-panel 3D design which provides a high level of comfort.
  • Advanced material technology for enhanced durability.
  • Worn and popularized by fitness athletes, including weightlifters all over the world.
  • Provides warmth, powerful stabilization, and strong compression to the knee joint to support blood flow and reduce swelling if there is any.
  • Relieves pressure and improves coordination.
  • Helps prevent knee strains and injuries.
  • Provides a recovery effect which can help the wearer recover faster and rehabilitate faster from existing injuries.
  • Accurate and easy to understand sizing guidelines to ensure that you will find the correct fit for your knees.
  • Sold as singles and not as a pair.

Summary

If you’re serious about your knees, workouts, or Crossfit exercise, Rehband is the one. They are a company that really takes pride in producing durable, long-lasting, high-performance products — including the original Rehband 7mm Model 7051.

You’ll find Rehband is packed with great features, making them the top choice of many professional athletes, including weightlifters.


Mava

Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves (Pair) (Black, XX-Large)

Mava Sports came up with these knee compression sleeves by thinking about people who need a product that can provide better knee support and compression. Mava Sports provide safety and injury prevention for those who are into cross-training, powerlifting, weightlifting, heavy workouts, and just about any other application.

Applications: Joint Pain and Arthritis Relief, Improved Circulation Compression – Effective Support for Running, Jogging,Workout, Walking, Hiking and Recovery

Mava Features

  • Mava provides orthopedic support to prevent any injuries as well as joint pain recovery, which is useful during rehab.
  • Mava compression helps reduce inflammation and swelling by stimulating blood flow. They also help relieve muscle stiffness, soreness, pain, and knee discomfort, including arthritis, osteoporosis, and tendonitis.
  • Heating effect and compression promotes pain relief from osteoporosis, and swelling and promotes muscular recovery and rehabilitation.
  • No stiffness, no itching and never conflicts with full knee mobility.
  • They are double-stitched for durability and built to last.
  • Very comfortable and efficient for weight lifting, running, working out in the gym, or a trip to the mall.
  • They come in different sizes, from small to double extra large.

Summary

The 7mm by Mava Sports is guaranteed to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts with muscle recovery and prevent injuries. They are not limited to those who are constantly doing heavy workouts because they can also help those with knee problems and those who need knee support and compression.

Mava is anatomically shaped for better performance and for optimal support. They will also not slip off while worn.


Bear KompleX

Bear KompleX Knee Sleeves Reviews

Bear KompleX is an athletic company that was started by “a couple of very average athletes with slightly above average aspirations, and way above average. They are well known around the world for lifting gear such as belts, bands, hand grips and everything targeted towards functional fitness athletes.

Reading the features below will show you why Bear Komple has such a powerful reputation when it comes to strength and powerlifting sports.

Applications: Cross training, weightlifting, wrestling, basketball, squats, and more

Features:

  • Both 5mm and 7mm — whichever suits you best, for optimal support and comfort.
  • Provide good range of support and compression, especially when performing a variety of exercises like squats, power cleans, snatches, box jumps, lunges, running, double unders, and more.
  • Aide in reducing pain by increasing blood flow during and after training and matches.
  • Excellent warmth to help prevent injuries while performing different movements.
  • Available in multiple colors that appeal to both men and women. Available colors are black, purple, red, black camo, blue camo, pink camo, neon yellow camo, stars and stripes, lightning, and Aztec, which is reversible with gray.
  • Professionally manufactured with four seams, two on each side, in a countered fashion to provide pro support and long lasting durability

Summary

Bear KompleX allows a full range of motion movements and offers good support and compression. Their support can be considered as mid-range And you can add a little flair to your workouts with a large variety of colors and patterns


Stoic

Stoic Knee Sleeves Review

Stoic’s Performance 7MM is the result of several years of research and development directed specifically at coming up with a high-quality end product.

That is why, with years in the making, users can be assured that special attention was given to every detail and that there are no weak links in their construction.

You will immediately feel the quality difference when slipping on a pair of Stoics. You can’t help but notice the great features, and comfortable fit.

Applications: Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Weight Lifting, Ultra Heavy Duty

Stoic Features

  • Manufactured from the highest grade and heaviest duty materials, so they are built to outlast other brands in the market.
  • Ultra high-density 7mm neoprene, which gives maximum support and rebound, especially when performing heavy workouts.
  • Provide added heat retention, which can significantly reduce aches and pains during and after exercise.
  • Superior levels of support and were tested to perform well even in the most extreme conditions.
  • Stoic’s patent-pending triple reinforced seam is considered to be the strongest stitch used on any knee sleeve.
  • Designed and built to last — as the inside and outside are made with heavy grade tear-resistant materials.
  • Complete knee and upper and lower leg coverage and support as they come in full 30cm length.
  • Added warmth and compression on the knee joints and other surrounding muscles.

Summary

These performance 7mm compression sleeves from Stoic are true of professional quality, ultra heavy-duty, and are built to last. Designed to be used for powerlifting, bodybuilding, and weightlifting, to achieve the next level in leg training.

Provide maximum support and performance, which is why a lot of athletes and fitness enthusiasts prefer them. Challenge your best performances today with Stoic for powerlifting.


Bauerfeind

Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support - Breathable Compression (Rivera, Medium)

Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support isn’t your normal neoprene sleeves that most people are using in the gym. Bauerfeind GenuTrains are soft knit fabric that feels stretchy, comfortable, and is quite breathable. Where neoprene keeps your knees and legs wet with sweat, Bauerfeind is manufactured to wick away moisture as it warms your knee cap area.

Applications: built for sporting activities such as basketball, football, soccer, baseball, running, lacrosse, tennis, weight training & more!

Bauerfeind Features

  • Order from as many as 13 different sizes for a perfect fit
  • Made from soft knit material
  • Elastic knit makes them comfortably snug
  • Bauerfeind has been in business for over 80 years
  • Manufactured to relieve pain, provide support without limiting mobility
  • Machine Washable
  • Built-in spiral stays to ensure shape and snug fit
  • Viscoelastic Omega pad to cushion the kneecap as it relieves pain in knee and surrounding area
  • Great for Arthritic knees to reduce pain and swelling
  • Not as hot as neoprene and more supportive than lycra

Summary

If you’re looking for a great all-around knee sleeve that’s easily worn all day for comfort, support, and knee pain relief — look no further. Great knee support and stabilization for any sports and exercise activities. (*Note* These are not made from rigid neoprene to wear for squats and powerlifting.)

The Bauerfeind Air Knit fabric is one of the most comfortable products made, with superior freedom of movement. They are really great for activities like basketball, baseball, running, walking, tennis, football, and all other sports that require a lot of freedom of movement.


TELALEO

Telaleo Knee Sleeves Review

Telaleos are used primarily for heavy lifting and deadlifts. These Telaleos are 7mm neoprene knee braces for powerful support and stabilization. However, they are also advertised and used extensively for soccer, football, basketball, and so on.

You’ll find them to offer great support, knee stabilization, and help with staying active with an injury. High compression, stability, support, warmth, and at a great price make them a good choice for many.

Applications: Strong Support for Heavy-lifting, Squats, Gym and Other Sports

Telaleo Features:

  • 7mm Thick Neoprene
  • Anti-slip and rollback due to the thickness
  • Strong compression for injury prevention, warmth, and muscle memory
  • Washable, durable, lightweight comfortable
  • High Quality with secure seam
  • Unisex design
  • Thickness and construction for fast warm-up and heat retention

Summary

Telaleo brand comes with mixed reviews. However, you will see for yourself that most negative reviews are due to people ordering too small. TELALEO is a high-quality product, so don’t be put off by the affordable price — order right now!

Take your time, order according to their chart, and you will have a great product for a very affordable price.


UFlex Knee Sleeve Review

Uflex Knee Sleeve Review


UFlex is great compression and designed to improve endurance and keep your knees protected from injury. Expect moderate support which is great for arthritis, tendonitis, meniscus tears, and runners knees. They’re made from a nylon and Lycra blend for comfort, flexibility, and durability.

Applications: Running, Jogging, Sports, Joint Pain Relief, Arthritis and Injury Recovery

UFlex Features:

  • Suitable for any sports activity that stresses knees
  • Pain relief for arthritis, tendonitis, jumpers and runners knee
  • Built in anti-slip silicone so you never need to worry about rolls or slipping down
  • Compression level is good for squats, weightlifting, yoga, etc.
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • 3D technology for a perfect 4-way stretch

Summary

UFlex knee compression sleeves are absolutely great for running and walking. If fact if you’ve tried other brands and been less than satisfied, UFlex is going to amaze you. They are produced with modern 3D technology with a 4-way stretch to make them amazingly comfortable. The 4-way stretch ensures great protection, compression, warmth, and support.

If you’re running with arthritis or sore knees — look for unequaled pain relief and recovery time. You will notice right away the heating effect that is helping to eliminate any swelling, stiffness, and sore knees. Never worry about them slipping, bunching up, or rolling. That’s due to the double silicone anti-slip wave that grips your leg and knee to keep you from constantly readjusting.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do They Work?

Of course, they work! Are they magic and cure all knee ailments? Of course not! They are for people who want to invest a few dollars to take every precaution against knee injury.

And people who have sore, injured, or arthritic knees who want pain relief and the ability to stay active. They work to provide stability and protection to weak knees and knees involved in sports, athletics, and other activities that stress knees.

Why Should I Wear Them?

They are designed and used to help you protect knees with previous and future injuries. They work by keeping a constant compression factor on the knee joint, muscle tissue, tendons and ligaments surrounding it.

The compression element is for increasing blood flow and circulation to the area. The increased blood flow works to reduce pain and swelling from activities that are particularly hard on knees. At the same time, the compression acts to stabilize the joint, the patella and increases proprioception.

How To Measure For The Best Fit?

Correct and accurate measuring is a must to realize the benefits of your purchase. Each manufacturer has its own standards, specifications, and directions for accurate measurement.

90% of the dissatisfied customers are those who did not take the directions seriously enough to make accurate measurements per the manufacturer. For the best and most accurate measurement, use an inexpensive (one dollar) seamstress measuring tape exactly how and where the directions advise. The best practice when falling on a division line is to order the smaller size.

How Do I Wash My Knee Sleeves?

Read the directions! However, most cloth knee-sleeves (but not all) can be machine washed BUT not machine dried. So wash and air dry. If you can’t machine wash them, throw ’em in the sink with a mild detergent and scrub away.

If your sleeves are neoprene the directions might say do not machine wash. I wash mine in the machine anyway with a very light detergent and air dry inside out. If the smell gets out of hand do this: 1. Boil them for 4-5 minutes, remove from heat, add light detergent and let them soak for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly. You can also soak them in hot water and vinegar.

Can I Wear Them All Day?

I often wear mine all day when I’m on my feet all day. The added support makes my knee feel comfortable all day and I avoid the soreness that follows when I don’t.

However, if you find yourself wearing your Knee Sleeve all day for chronic pain, you probably need to consult a physician. A qualified specialist would be in a better position to let you know what’s going on with your knee, and maybe suggest a knee brace instead.

Can I Wear Them When I Sleep?

A knee sleeve should fit tight enough to allow for compression, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable or digging into your legs at the top and bottom bands.

With that in mind, most people have no problem sleeping in them, even though they are designed to help blood flow while you are moving around. So be sure yours isn’t too tight and cutting off circulation when you sleep in them.

Why Should I Use Them For Squats?

When you are squatting and standing with weights on your shoulders you are definitely putting an abnormal amount of weight and pressure on your knees. When correctly fitted they will help reduce pain, soreness, and inflammation that is common to squatting.

Quality neoprene sleeves will aid in blood circulation to keep your knees warm helping to prevent serious injury. And there is the possibility that you can lift more.

Which Ones Should I Buy?

First of all, think through what you expect to gain from wearing them. When you purchase quality you are purchasing a product that has been manufactured with a specific end purpose in mind.

The ones for arthritis will not be the same product as those for weight lifting. Both of those are made with keeping the patella in place in mind. However, some people need an open patella sleeve. I’ve tried to save money with generic brands and wound up with nothing, so my advice is to buy brand names with history, reputation, and reviews.

Are They Good For Arthritis

They have been around the sports and athletics world for years, but are now becoming a popular item for arthritis in the knees. When osteoarthritis starts taking away the cartilage in knees it leaves you with pain, muscle soreness, and unsure steps.

I stay active with arthritis thanks to my sleeves. I can walk or jog every day without feeling like my knee is about to collapse and without the soreness and pain that comes without them. My opinion is that they are too inexpensive NOT to try one for yourself.

Summary

Whether you need protection, support, stability, or something for injury recovery your knees are too important to scrimp on the price. Even though more expensive doesn’t always equal more quality or results, you will usually get what you pay for.

Each manufacturer designs in their own advantages and disadvantages, but the ones I’ve listed are some of the best that you can get. Just keep in mind that although there are a lot of different models choosing the perfect one for your needs should not be too complicated.

Always consider your needs, based on what you do and what you intend to gain from your purchase.

For instance:

  • Will you be doing a lot of heavy lifting?
  • Are you a runner, or a jogger?
  • Do you need them to stay in place and comfortable all day for an injury?
  • Looking for support and compression for arthritic knees?

Some are best for one activity only, like sleeves for weightlifting; others are much lighter and more flexible to cover more activities with one sleeve. The compression and comfort always depend on the size you choose, so be careful to read and understand the sizing chart each manufacturer includes. Choosing the best knee sleeves and making accurate measurements is the key to better results.

10 thoughts on “The Best Knee Sleeves Buying Guide”

  1. Great article on knee straps and equipment. Though I don’t have injuries at the moment, this can come in handy whenever a situation were to ever arise in my life or anyone else’s.
    The Rehband Knee Sleeve seemed to be a great option, especially since I go to the gym and do some heavy work here and there.
    I’m glad to stumble across this article, and you’re recommending great products for each and every type of athlete, runner or person out there.

    • HI Josh

      To tell you the truth, I sure wish I would have started using them BEFORE I had any knee problems or injuries. That’s because knees are one of the most vulnerable joints in any sports activities or heavy lifting in or out of the gym.

      Sleeves do a great job of keeping your knees stable and inline when you’re putting any excess pressure on them from lifting or turning and twisting movements.

      Thanks for stopping by

  2. I found the article very informational I do a lot of running and after a while, my knees hurt so i am glad I got to see this and by seeing the other product and how you compare the pros and cons makes it easy to choose thanks for the information

    • Yep, if you’re knees are hurting when you’re running it’s best to give them a shot. Knee sleeves can do wonders for helping your knee joints recover from a run and prevent injury.

      Thanks

  3. These all look like great options. I don’t quite understand though how they help prevent injury. Is it because they give your knees extra support? Kind of like a belly band does for a postpartum mother?

    Would you recommend wearing these anytime you participate or engage in any physical activities/sports?

    • They can definitely help prevent knee injuries during sports activities. Knees are quite vulnerable to injury from the extra exertion placed on them, especially from the constant twisting and turning.

      Knee sleeves will help keep your knee in line with your upper and lower leg during these movements. There are several other advantages to wearing them that come into play both before and after physical activities. 

      Not only do they help prevent and heal knee injuries from the warmth and increased blood flow when we think of sports, but they do the same thing for arthritic knees even on a trip to the mall.

      Thanks

  4. I’ve had three operations on my right knee over the years, and while it’s “not bad”. having extra support when I’m doing exercise of playing sport certainly helps. There’s also a little bit of arthritis in my knee.

    For my particular issue, the Mavashave got my attention. They sound like an upgrade from the compression bandage I sometimes use. I think I’ll take a look at these. Thanks for the tips.

    • HI Darren

      Thanks for reading and leaving your comment. And yes I definitely think using the Mava knee sleeve would be an upgrade from a bandage wrap. I would highly recommend trying a knee sleeve. At worst it wouldn’t help, and at best you would, like myself, be quite suprised at the added support and decreased pain both during and after physical activity.

  5. Hey Sport Skilz:

    I have never considered knee support in any of my athletic endeavors so thank you for making me aware.

    I do a particular kind of exercise now where I walk up and down very steep hills holding weights. It is quite a workout. What I have noticed is that when going down hill I seem to be somewhat unsteady on my feet. Would some kind of knee support help me?

    Also, can these products help keep my legs from cramping after a workout?

    One final question. How long will these products keep their integrity without wearing out?

    Thank you so much for this useful info and I hope to hear from you!

    • HI Chris

      You should definitely try a pair. What you describe is one of the best things knee sleeves do…..add support to the joint that makes you much more steady on your feet. As for cramping afterward: there are so many things that cause cramps, that I couldn’t say.

      But there is a good chance that the added support and added blood flow will help with that problem. When it comes to how long they last, I often hear of Rebands lasting years, with lesser quality lasting months.

      If I were you, I would definitely choose a quality knee sleeve and give it a shot.

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