Best knee compression sleeve

Sports Apparel
BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which knee compression sleeves are best?

Knee compression sleeves have become staples in the gym and in everyday life; they’re comfortable, flexible and in many instances, unnoticeable. People find different uses for them, but many people use them when doing heavy lifting or going for long runs. These sleeves help increase blood flow in the knee area, which can reduce the risk of swelling after workouts or being on your feet all day. These knee sleeves aren’t restrictive and you won’t feel as if you have less mobility. If you’re looking for a knee compression sleeve that’s breathable and improves blood circulation, the POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a knee compression sleeve

Knee sleeve vs. knee brace

There are people who mistake knee sleeves for knee braces or think they have the same purpose. Knee sleeves and braces have similarities but can have completely different uses. If someone is dealing with a serious knee injury such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a knee sleeve may not be suitable enough to help reduce pain and stabilize the knee. A knee brace will likely be more suitable if the knee injury is serious, but it’s best to consult a doctor.

Some people skip rehab and just wear a knee sleeve or brace. If a doctor or another appropriate professional requires you to do rehab, it’s best to do the rehab because your knee can recover faster. Don’t avoid therapy and expect to fix the issue with just a sleeve or brace. 

Size

To determine the size you need for your knee sleeve, use a sewing tape measure to measure the circumference around the leg in the knee area. With your leg slightly bent at a 70-degree angle, measure the circumference approximately 4 inches below the kneecap. For circumferences shorter than 10.5 inches, an extra-small knee sleeve is recommended. For sizes 10.5-12.5 inches, a small is best; 12.5-13.5 inches is suitable for medium sizes. If measurements come out to be 13.5-14.5 inches, then a large is best, while extra-large is suitable for those who have measurements more than 14.5.

Open patella vs. closed patella knee compression sleeve

While it may not seem like a major difference, knee sleeves with patella (knee cap) openings have different benefits than a closed knee compression sleeve. Open patella knee sleeves have an opening in the knee-cap area, while closed sleeves are just regular sleeves with no opening. Open patella knee sleeves put less pressure on the knees and are more breathable than closed models. Closed knee sleeves provide more support, so it’s usually preferred by weightlifters.

What to look for in a quality knee compression sleeve

Antibacterial

Having a compression knee sleeve with antibacterial properties helps slow down or stop the spread of bacteria, mold and more. Knee compression sleeves with antibacterial properties are especially useful for those who are highly active and go to the gym frequently. There are sleeves that use an antibacterial neoprene material.

Nonslip

Similar to how parts of a long sock can slip down to the ankle area of the leg when active, there are some knee sleeves that slide up or down your leg, especially when working out or doing a lot of movement. Nonslip sleeves are best. 

Machine-washable

Even though hand-washing a knee sleeve is fairly easy, sleeves that are machine washable are useful in saving time. Look for sleeves that are labeled machine washable and pay attention to the recommended water temperature.

Four-way stretch

Fabric may have a two-way or four-way stretch design, where two-way stretch fabric either stretches widthwise or lengthwise. Four-way stretch fabric stretches widthwise and lengthwise, allowing more flexibility and mobility. Two-way fabric for knee sleeves will feel more restrictive when wearing it.

How much you can expect to spend on a knee compression sleeve

A knee compression sleeve costs $15-$150. If you just need one sleeve, then you can find cheap ones for $15-$25 that are flexible and support your knee. For packs of two sleeves and sleeves that use straps for extra support and gel padding, you may pay $25-$75. In the $75-$150 range, knee sleeves have extra padding and support, be specifically designed by an orthopedist or be medical-grade knee sleeves geared toward people with specific knee conditions.

Knee compression sleeve FAQ

Is it OK to wear a compression sleeve all day?

A. It’s best to consult your doctor to see if it’s suitable to wear a knee compression sleeve all day. But in many cases, it’s common for people to wear compression sleeves all day. It’s generally not recommended to wear one while going to sleep for the night unless your doctor says it’s OK.

How thick should knee sleeves be?

A. Knee sleeves range from 3-7 mm thick, where thicker sleeves provide slightly more support and stability for your knee. If you want something lighter, then sleeves on the thinner side are more suitable. 

What are the best knee compression sleeves to buy?

Top knee compression sleeve

POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

What you need to know: Using two silicone gel strips, this compression sleeve won’t slip and provides a soft feel when worn.

What you’ll love: There are various sizes and colors to choose from and the sleeve is highly breathable with its neoprene fabric. It has a four-way stretch design that provides extra flexibility.

What you should consider: Only one sleeve is included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top knee compression sleeve for the money

Mueller 4-Way Stretch Knee Support

Mueller 4-Way Stretch Knee Support

What you need to know: One of the most trusted brands in sports medicine, this Mueller knee sleeve uses a unique infrared technology to improve blood circulation around the knee area.

What you’ll love: It features a four-way stretch design and latex-free material that makes it highly comfortable. The sleeve’s compression design can improve recovery time for certain ailments.

What you should consider: It is not machine washable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

ProFitness Bamboo Fabric Knee Sleeves

ProFitness Bamboo Fabric Knee Sleeves

What you need to know: Get two sleeves for a very good price with these knee sleeves that are highly underrated.

What you’ll love: The bamboo fabric stands out from many other competitors, and it helps the sleeve be more breathable and unnoticeable when wearing. The nonslip material makes sure this sleeve won’t slide up and down your leg.

What you should consider: The fabric may be too thin for some.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Ade Hennis writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss