Designed to help with chronic or immediate knee pain, sleeves also help flexibility and support. Quality knee support products are ideal for supporting your knees. Often people use them to help heal knee injuries as well. Yet one more reason a person may use knee sleeves is to improve circulation and blood flow. Lastly, they are used for pain management in sports like running, squat, deadlift, and basketball.
Like other products on the internet, there is a wide range of knee Sleeves available. Each of them claims to be the most effective, but we strongly disagree. Many of them are not high-quality, like those you’ll find on this list, and are next to worthless.
So, what is the best sleeve for you? Which of the sleeves are at the top of the list? To help you out, we created this list of the best knee sleeves of 2022.
The Best Compression Knee Sleeves & Braces for 2022
Our expert editorial team went through countless knee sleeves, testing their viability to provide as advertised. Manufacturers were contacted, lab reports analyzed, and stress tests were performed to help decide on the best knee sleeves available today. Here’s what we decided on:
- Exo Sleeve
- TheraICE Rx Compression Sleeve
- Caresole Circa Knee Compression Sleeve
- PentagonFit Knee Sleeve
- KneeWrap Pro
- Knee Force
- Knee Hero
- Knee Relief Patches
- Smart Knee Pad
- Kompress Kinetic Socks
- Soul Insole
- Feel Good Knees
One of the most widely used knee sleeves available online is the EXO Sleeve. Considered the best knee sleeve on the market, it easily surpasses most buyers’ expectations. Exo Sleeve has some of the most extensive positive reviews online. Made to be used in many situations, Exo Sleeve delivers as promised.
Not only does Exo make knee sleeves, but they also provide customers with a full range of other pieces of sports-related equipment. Other products include sandbags, belts, weight belts, resistance bands, and other workout equipment.
Three different sized sleeves are available for purchase including 5mm, 7mm, and light. Depending on what activity you’re taking determines the thickness of the brace you’ll use. For example, CrossFit and Powerlifting require a 5mm or 7mm sleeve. The light sleeve, only 3mm, is more for agility and dexterity, letting you benefit from the sleeve without hurting flexibility. Lastly, Exo Sleeve is available in several different sleeves and sizes and happens to be one of the only ones on the list.
TheraICE Rx Compression Sleeve
Constructed specifically as an instant pain reliever for knee pain, TheraICE RX Compression Sleeve is worked in a matter of minutes. Along with claims from the company, there are thousands of five-star reviews proving the validity of the claims they make. To work, TheraICE Rx uses a wide range of different aspects, cooing, heating, and compression. The newly developed technology is perfect for anyone with arthritis seeking instant relief to enjoy their favorite pastime activities.
To use the sleeve by TheraICE Rx, first place it in the freezer or microwave, depending on if you want it hot or cold. Next, slip it onto a part of your body, like the elbow or knee, then wear it for 15-20 minutes to get the instant pain relief promised by the company. The mix of compression and cold or heat therapy is ideal for nearly any mild injury on the extremities.
TheraICE Rx has achieved a milestone of more than $1,000,000 in sales, increasing day by day. Due to the popularity and high volume of positive reviews, it is considered one of the best available knee sleeves on the market. If you’d like a combo of heat pad, cold pack, and compression sleeve, then TheraICE Rx may be what you’re looking for.
Caresole Circa Knee Compression Sleeve
Designed and manufactured by Caresole, The Circa Knee Compression Sleeve is made of ultra-strength neoprene material. Space-age in appearance, neoprene is made specifically to keep you warm, helping your joints with lubrication and stopping injuries before they occur. Considering most neoprene knee sleeves are used mainly by bodybuilders, the Caresole Circa Knee Compression Sleeve works for everything, regardless of the day. People who may benefit from them, for example, could be those who spend a lot of time walking on hard surfaces at work all day or anyone else who wants to stop a slip before it happens.
PentagonFit Knee Sleeve
One of the only knee sleeves considered medical-grade, designed for fast, stable knee support, is the PentagonFit Knee Sleeve. Wearers of the sleeve will gain stability, protection, and support. When worn daily, the pain subsides, injury is reduced, and recovery is hastened.
PentagonFit makes bold claims, stating their knee brace/sleeve provides users with benefits not seen elsewhere. Conditions improved by the sleeve include improved circulation and blood flow, stability, joint support, and lower levels of inflammation. Not only that, but the PentagonFit Knee Sleeve promises fewer injuries will occur while you wear it.
Regardless of whether it is sprains, tendonitis, ligament damage, arthritis, or any one of several other issues, PentagonFit Knee Sleeve provides you with maximum pain relief and optimal comfort.
VitaKnee is a newly developed knee sleeve support system. It comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and countless positive reviews written by dedicated buyers who made online purchases.
Even though the makers of the sleeves haven’t been around long, the company still holds some very high levels of respect from its buyers. VitaKnee has created its niche deep in the budget market, giving quality knee sleeves at discounted rates.
These ultra-light compression bandages can be placed on your body and forgotten. They help you avoid pain and mild to moderate discomfort in the lower body.
Like just about all the knee sleeves found on the list, KneeWrap Pro is machine washable. You can use it for multiple uses. Not only that, but the fabric is designed to fight against sweat, making it an ideal material to use for all professional and non-professional sports.
The Compression knee sleeve can save your knee from energy, help alleviate muscle tension, help with circulation, and control various temperatures, not to mention speed up your recovery times, not to mention other benefits as well.
Often, individuals will use the Compressa Knee Sleeve while going for a run. In other instances, they are used when lifting weights, playing basketball, hitting the gym, even while playing various sports. Regardless of whether you use the sleeves for daily usage or individual workouts, the sleeve is considered one of the best on the market.
Although their cost is higher than most other sleeves, it’s essential to mention you get three separate sleeves in each package. That’s likely why we consider the Compressor Knee Sleeve one of the most budget-friendly Sleeves on the list.
The Knee Force knee sleeve is oriented around pain reduction, increased knee strength and to help provide you optimal comfort all over the area. It is composed of a highly malleable, breathable mesh. The mesh is easy and highly comfortable to wear for most tasks you’ll perform throughout your daily routine.
Knee Force features a type of design, typically only seen in some of the highest reviewed knee sleeves on the list. The easy-to-spot green and black color is lightweight, breathes easy, and mesh.
Also, right now, if you buy soon, you get an instant 50% discount code. Knee Force offers similarly valued and effective supports comparable in price to other knee sleeves we mention.
Knee Hero, newly released to the market sleeve, is breathable and non-slip, specifically protecting your meniscus. Individuals who wear it daily or at the gym will benefit from fewer strains, sprains, and knee problems.
The new sleeve will help speed up injury recovery and help stop the pain in the joints from occurring. Knee Hero is available in three sizes, M, L, and XL. While it’s true this is one of the most expensive knee sleeves on the list; it comes complete with a 1–2-year warranty depending on what you pay for. This is one of the only knee sleeves on the market with a warranty of this time.
Knee Hero gives you supreme levels of protection for your knee. While wearing it, you’ll function at higher levels of performance. Although it’s more expensive than other sleeves, the warranty makes it worth it.
Knee Relief Patches
Only sold online, Knee Relief Patches are available at KneeReliefPatches.com. The significant difference in his product is it’s a patch rather than a sleeve. Knee Relief Patches work 24 hours when applied to the skin.
The patches are derived from old Chinese medicinal remedies. Each contains various ingredients that help with your meniscus ailments like arthritis and injury. Because they’re patches applied directly to the skin, they offer rapid relief to the treated area.
While other knee sleeves wrap around the knee, Knee Relief Patches provide the problem area with immediate support recovery. When combined with a compression sleeve of any kind, Knee Sleeve Patches gain optimal protection and effectiveness.
Smart Knee Pad
This sleeve uses adaptive smart technology that gives optimum relief to the wearer. Each of the pads has three levels to adjust depending on your ailment. The graphene guarantees the temperature you select stays at a constant.
Smart Knee Pad isn’t just for your knees. It is also ideal for protecting or healing your elbows and calf muscles. Discomfort is significantly reduced while wearing the sleeves on whatever part of the body you decide.
There’s no denying it’s one of the most expensive products on the list. According to the makers of Smart Knee Pad, that’s because of the smart tech used in the pad. The pad is ideal for anyone looking for a customizable sleeve that also offers advanced temperature control – and is capable of use on several parts of the body.
Kompress Kinetic Socks
These socks are a little different than the sleeves on the list. Rather than working as a knee sleeve, the Kompress Kinetic Socks work without even needing to contact your knee.
When it comes to Kompress Kinetic Socks, people wearing them benefit from the patented focal compression technology. The specialized technology provides your feet and ankles the relief and support needed to keep pain from ever reaching your knees. Not only that, but the focal straps offer support as well, wrapping around your ankles, stopping an injury before it occurs.
Many people who use the kinetic socks also wear other knee sleeves from the list. By using both together, you have a much better chance of preventing injuries from ever occurring. Your ankles, feet, and knees will all benefit when you wear Kompress Kinetic Socks.
Here we have a simple pad that slips into your shoe like an insole to support your feet. The purpose of Soul Insole is to help prevent knee pain. Moreso, the insoles promise to help reduce pain throughout the body. Allowing your body to reduce the intensity of impacts helps it align correctly.
One of the main reasons people use Soul Insole is to treat plantar fasciitis, which occurs between the heel and toes. Other than that, the main reason it is used is to help reduce pain throughout the body in general.
People who use Soul Insole can count on better health, more money, less pain, and higher endurance levels. The last bonus is that the insoles are completely machine washable.
Feel Good Knees
Unlike other products on the list, we have Feel Good Knees, an entire product line you can find at FeelGoodKnees.com. There are no sleeves or physical products on the website. Instead, it is a collection of digital products (pdfs and videos) you use to learn how to take care of your knees. You can also order physical copies of the guide if you prefer.
Both Western and Eastern holistic medicines and practices were used to create the guides, which are entirely focused on your body’s natural way of healing. Todd Kuslikis, an MPA, is the designer of Feel-Good Knees and has a diverse history.
Many people can’t simply throw on a knee brace and end their pain and suffering. Even creams aren’t enough many times, which is why Todd Kuslikis designed the program around healthy, holistic, whole-body methods of health and wellness. After using Feel Good Knees, you’ll find ancient techniques that you can use to end knee pain quickly.
How We Ranked The Best Compression Knee Sleeves & Braces
Since all sleeves aren’t created equally, we created the above list to help make your selection easier. Only select knee sleeves help you out and improve your knee health. Here are the criteria we used to create the list.
Composed of various materials, some of the sleeves available on the market use cheap materials that don’t last. Other knee sleeves use specialized material for energy absorption, beneficial for compound movements. Others are made of the insulating, water-resistant material Neoprene. We took the material composition of each knee sleeve into consideration before allowing it onto the list.
Knee sleeves offering customizable sizes were placed on the list higher than those without. The sleeves also had to be functional in any size.
Fit and Comfort
Quality knee sleeves are well fitted to your form. Any sleeves loose or baggy don’t offer much protection; instead, they are next to useless. Regardless of the sleeve adjustment, it must be comfortable and well-fitting to be allowed on the list.
What Do Doctors Say
Naturally, sleeves supported by doctors were placed higher on the list than those not endorsed or created by medical professionals. All products on the list are made by one medical professional, like therapists, doctors, chiropractors, or other professionals.
The benefits of a product had to work as advertised for us to allow a sleeve on the list. Any knee braces or sleeves that promised immediate healing or 100% pain gone overnight were likely making false claims, and we removed them from the list. We did investigate some of them who made such bold claims, but we removed them from the list for the most part.
The Reputation of the Company
Naturally, any company which couldn’t prove its validity as an honest company was removed from the list. Only companies with a solid track record were added to the list. Many companies have less than desirable reputations, known for producing low-quality materials. Each of the products on our list is provided by quality companies.
We considered it or placed it on the list if a knee sleeve provided support or functionality relative to the cost. We wanted to ensure the customers were delivered what they were promised or more: people who are paying more get more and vice versa.
Customer satisfaction is as important as anything else. Companies with excellent customer service are considered trustworthy, while those without it are frowned upon and left alone. We didn’t allow any companies that hid terms of service or didn’t offer warranties or refunds.
What Do Knee Sleeves Do?
One of the most common injuries and health concerns people speak about is their knees. Knee problems occur from injury, aging, and medical ailments. Medical issues like Arthritis and Gout are perfect examples of medical issues which cause knee issues.
Knee sleeves are designed to help in these situations. Made with compression materials, they offer support to your knees, provide added strength, support, and protection, making them ideal for the elderly and athletes alike.
How Do Knee Sleeves Work?
They increase blood flow to the problem area, providing an increased body temperature ideal for healing. More than that, they also help with inflammation, reducing swelling to a minimum, and limiting movement.
Warmth helps with the body’s responsiveness to the knee’s issues, making it pay more attention to healing it.
They provide more control, stability and help with balance. Knee sleeves help control movement, so more injury doesn’t occur. By limiting your knees’ range of motion, you will more easily avoid actions that cause more damage.
With increased blood flow resulting from wearing the knee sleeve, your knee will gain more oxygen and nutrients needed to heal.
Finally, with more blood flow, swelling is kept to a minimum. Inflammation is one of the most problematic occurrences that cause joint pain and issues, as we see with the knee.
Who Should Use Knee Sleeves?
Pretty much everyone can benefit from using a Knee Sleeve at some point in their life. Older individuals, athletes, and even people who perform everyday tasks at work can gain a lot of support from a knee sleeve.
Some specific people who would benefit from wearing knee sleeves are:
- People who exercise frequently, joggers, runners, and weightlifters.
- Individuals who have arthritis or joint pain.
- Anyone who wants to speed up recovery time, stop inflammation and heal faster after an intense workout.
- Specific athletes are those in CrossFit.
- To avoid further injury, persons want to control mobility, range of motion, and precise movements.
- Anyone suffering from knee pain, lower leg pain, lower back pain, tendonitis in the knee, ligament damage, or other similar issues should consider knee sleeves.
Anyone who wants to avoid injury, speed up recovery, or has pain related to the knees will benefit from using a knee sleeve.
How You Should Pick the Right Knee Sleeve Thickness for You
Depending on your needs will dictate what thickness of knee sleeve you need. Sizes include 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm. To pick the knee sleeve that’s for you, follow these guidelines:
For minimal support, with the full range of motion, designed for maximum agility, 3mm is your best bet. They are the thinnest available knee sleeves, and they’re typically made from spandex and nylon rather than neoprene. Joggers, runners, and endurance athletes will likely appreciate these thinner knee braces the most.
The next step up is 5mm, designed for strength and flexibility. This is a suitable medium between support, mobility, strength, and agility. Powerlifters, weightlifters, and cross-fitters will appreciate these knee sleeves the most.
7mm, the thickest of all sleeves, are made for maximum strength and support. They’re a lot stiffer than the thinner ones, offer more stability, and will likely up your confidence in certain sports. Although they limit your range of motion, they are well fitted and shouldn’t hinder your ability to move too much.
What are the Benefits of Knee Sleeves?
There are several health benefits associated with wearing knee sleeves. If you are using a quality knee sleeve, you can benefit in the following ways:
Patella and Knee Support
Most knee sleeves support the movement of your patella, providing you with added strength and support to reduce the risk of injury to your joints. If you aren’t aware of the patella, it is a piece of bone that protects your knee joint, shaped like a triangle. Wearing a well-fitted knee sleeve helps your patella stay in place, even when performing extreme activities.
Knee Injury Recovery
Knee sleeves are used to stop the patella and knee from slipping and unwanted movements in the knee joint. Not only that but they are also used to increase recovery speed. With added blood flow caused by knee sleeves, warmth circulates on the area, helping nutrients and oxygen hit the tissue layer needed for a quick recovery. Knee sleeves are essential for people who perform squats, jog, or other similar exercises.
Knee sleeves are used for the warmth they provide to the affected area. They increase the temperature of the knee and joint to improve circulation. With more circulation comes better mobility and recovery.
While it’s true that what’s considered warm is different to everybody, knee sleeves do elevate both internal and external temperatures in the area they cover. Some people prefer to wear the sleeve while performing their specific exercise or sport; others don’t see a reason and use them strictly for recovery purposes.
Ask anyone who’s used a knee sleeve before, and most will tell you they are relatively comfortable. Along with being physically comfortable to wear, knee sleeves reportedly add a degree of security for many athletes. An athlete who knows they have the extra stabilization from a knee sleeve gains a degree of comfort, kind of like you would have when wearing a weight belt.
Knee Sleeves Versus Knee Wraps Versus Knee Braces
When shopping online, there are many options; sleeves, wraps, and braces are all available for your knees. While similar, they each have specific uses – here they are below:
Used for moderate compression, sleeves keep the knee safe and add warmth. They also help with added support when performing compound exercises like squats. Lastly, they help speed up recovery time and reduce inflammation leading to joint pain.
A knee brace adds protective cushioning at the patella and front of the knee, AKA the anterior. These spots are essential as they help protect your ligaments. Knee braces are primarily used for balance, support, and recovery.
Used less frequently than braces and sleeves, wraps are used in performance sports like weightlifting and bodybuilding. When used correctly, they offer support that allows heavier weight to be used. They help with energy, fatigue, and performance. There is some debate about their safety since they increase contact between the patella and thigh bone, becoming dangerous.
Best Knee Sleeves Fabrics
Most common knee sleeve materials, nearly every sleeve you find online uses neoprene. Neoprene is known for comfort, compression, flexibility, warmth, and its tendency to resist water.
Used in some of the thinner knee sleeves, these materials are not nearly as supportive as neoprene but have their uses regardless. They’re more used explicitly for lighter braces which require mobility and agility.
Copper-infused sleeves are becoming all the rage. Copper is infused into other fabrics and promised to help promote healing. Although zero scientific evidence proves the claims of speedy recovery when using copper, the material with copper interlaced in stops the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
What Does Science Say About Knee Sleeves?
Science comes with mixed reviews when it comes to knee sleeves. Some studies favor the support offered from knee sleeves; others discredit them, suggesting knee sleeves cause a placebo effect of sorts.
During a 2021 study, research was conducted on a large group of high-performing athletes. Two types of knee support were used, neoprene sleeves and braces. After a series of studies were finished, researchers claimed they found nothing to support knee sleeves having any positive or negative effect on athletic performance.
Another study related to knee sleeves’ effects on recovering injuries differed slightly. In those studies, researchers showed support, indicating that knee sleeves improved function in people with injuries or needed additional strength levels. Knee sleeves have also been proven to lessen pain in individuals with preexisting injuries. The same study concluded they help with mobility and stability as well.
Knee Sleeve FAQs
We thought it would be appropriate to add a FAQ section with all the questions we received on Knee Sleeves. Here are some of the more commonly asked questions.
Q: What Are Knee Sleeves?
A: Knee sleeves are simply fabric covers, sometimes slip-on, other times wrapped. They are primarily used to give added balance, stability, and support to the knee and all its joints.
Q: Do I Need Knee Sleeves?
A: Not necessarily. If you are new to compound movements like squats and deadlifts, with no injuries, you’ll probably be ok. If you are lifting extreme weights or suffering from an injury, you may use knee sleeves to add support.
Q: How Do I Reduce Knee Pain?
A: Knee sleeves are proven to help with pain reduction. Drinking more water also helps, as do some anti-inflammatories in some cases. Other supplements like glucosamine also help with joint support.
Q: What Are the Advantages of Knee Sleeves?
A: The main advantages include increased blood flow, speeded recovery, lower pain levels, supported mobility, and compression for joints and knees.
Q: What Are the Disadvantages of Knee Sleeves?
A: Some people complain about restricted movement when using knee sleeves. They are not usually enough for injury support, and braces often work better. Another rumor is that they do nothing and are simply a placebo effect.
Q: Do I Need Knee Sleeves for Weightlifting?
A: You don’t need knee sleeves. However, some people, especially those with injuries, may benefit from using them.
Q: Which Thickness of Knee Sleeve Should I Use? 5mm or 7mm?
A: Although minuscule, thickness does play a big part in mobility and support. 5mm gives mid-range protection while providing movement freedom for agility. 7mm is much heavier, primarily for heavy weightlifting. And 3mm provides the least protection but offers the most range of movement.
Q: Are Injuries Prevented from Knee Sleeves?
A: According to some studies, knee sleeves can reduce the risk of injury while speeding up recovery times. Still, there is debate about the validity of actual protection knee sleeves provide.
Q: Do Knee Sleeves Help with Osteoarthritis?
A: Studies have shown that knee sleeves do help with osteoarthritis.
Q: Do I Need Sleeves for Powerlifting?
A: No, it’s an entirely personal preference.
Q: Are Knee Sleeves Legal in Powerlifting Competitions?
A: As long as the knee sleeves meet specific requirements, the IPF and USAPL both allow them. Of course, it’s always best to check before you use them during a competition.
Q: Are Knee Sleeves Allowed at CrossFit Events?
A: Yes, if they are non-branded.
Q: How Much Should I Pay for a Knee Sleeve?
A: Knee sleeves typically sell for between $30 and $60. Some, however, are as much as $120.
Q: Can I Wash Knee Sleeves?
A: Yes, you can wash knee sleeves most of the time. Vinegar helps eliminate strong odors that take hold after a few weeks of usage.
Q: What are the Most Affordable Knee Sleeves?
A: PentagonFit Knee Sleeve, VitaKnee, Knee Force, Knee Hero are all priced under $50 with excellent ratings.
Q: What Material is Best for Knee Sleeves?
A: Neoprene is the most widely used material, also considered the best by many people. Still, it’s more a matter of preference than anything. Some people prefer copper-infused, while others may like nylon best.
Q: When Squatting, Which Knee Sleeve Should I Use?
A: Exo Sleeve’s 7mm and 5mm are considered the crowd favorites.
Q: When Running, Which Knee Sleeve Should I Use?
A: The lightweight 3mm Exo Sleeve is best for running.
Q: Which Knee Sleeves Should Women Wear?
A: Sleeves should be snug but not tight. They also should not be baggy. They are available in multiple sizes, XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL. You’ll have to select your ideal size based on personal preference and feel.
Q: What’s the Difference Between a Knee Brace and a Knee Sleeve?
A: A brace is a tough, rigidly designed contraption, functionally holding your knee in place. Braces are primarily used for injury recovery and stopping your knee from hyperextending. Sleeves offer more mobility, are lighter, and are less protective.
The Best Compression Knee Sleeves & Braces for 2022 Conclusion
While some argue that using a knee sleeve will make no difference, many people still swear by them. Some are more effective or simply better than others, and some are complete garbage. Knee sleeves made to higher standards, although more expensive, seem to offer real support while reducing the risk of injury. Any of the top-ranked knee sleeves on this list will provide you with exceptional support and mobility.
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.