Best Knee Sleeves
No matter what type of activity you are engaging in, it’s of the utmost of importance that your knees remain protected. We use our knees for pretty much everything we do, so it’s important that we take the time to ensure that they’re taken care of. Utilizing knee sleeves can not only help you get back out there faster after an injury, but can also provide preventative support. Most sleeves on the market are made of neoprene and apply pressure to the joint to alleviate joint pain without the need for medications. If you are experiencing pain while exercising outdoors, it’s best to identify the reason for the pain to ensure the knee sleeves will be a solution for your joint pain and not just a temporary fix.
There are a lot of knee sleeves currently on the market, and many just don’t offer the same level of support as others. In our research, Nordic Lifting Sleeves and Rehband Knee Sleeves came out on top as the most trusted knee sleeve for not only running, climbing, and cycling, but for providing enough support for heavy weightlifters. If you are looking to gain some additional knee support and alleviate mild to moderate joint pain, we have comprised a list of some of the top knee sleeves currently available on the market.
- Nordic Lifting
- Warming effect
- Brand recognition
- Rehband Rx
- Do not slip
- Stoic Performance
- Great stability
- Great design
10 Best Knee Sleeves
In every market, there is one brand that everyone compares all comparable products against, and in this instance, it’s Nordic Lifting. They are the go to brand for athletes looking for quality, without sacrificing price.
Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves are available in sizes XS-XXL. The XS sleeves are for knees that measure under 11.8”, and the XXL sleeves are for knees that measure between 17”-18.3”.
These knee sleeves are made from 7mm neoprene with reinforced stitching to ensure that each sleeve provides a perfect fit for any size of knee. The neoprene provides a warming effect to reduce stiffness in joints in the short term, and can minimize the potential of injury in the long run.
For the quality and reliability that these sleeves provide, they are priced perfectly. They aren’t too expensive, but aren’t the cheapest knee sleeves out there. They are a good quality knee sleeve for the price point.
Since these knee sleeves were designed primarily for weightlifting, that makes them perfect for any type of indoor or outdoor activity such as running, cross country skiing, cycling, and climbing. Basically, any type of environment that calls for some extra knee support.
These knee sleeves top our list for a reason. They carry the Nordic Lifting 1 year guarantee, they are sleek and stylish, and meet the needs of anyone looking to help prevent knee injury.
- Excellent warming effect
- Brand Recognition
- Users report legs recover faster after strenuous exercise
- Many sizes available to offer perfect fit to knee
- Per past users, the sizing chart runs a little small
Rehband has been researching joint technology and knee supports since 1955, and are a highly trusted brand in the industry. Many athletes have come to depend on Rehband as being a product of the highest quality for their joint pain relief needs.
For a knee sleeve, the most important feature to ensure that it is effect is a proper fit. Luckily, Rehband is available in a seven sizes that range from XS to XXL.
These sleeves are made from neoprene 5mm, which means that the material is strong and sturdy and up for taking quite the beating. The patented design technology ensures that this sleeve will stay in place and won’t slip down your knee over time. Also, there are no seams or straps that tend to dig into knees, providing an overall comfortable fit.
The Rehband Rx sleeves are perhaps the most expensive knee sleeves to make this list, and almost double the price of Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves. Additionally, they are one of the only products on this list to be sold in singular quantities. If you want to purchase two sleeves, you will have to buy this product twice.
These sleeves are designed for knees that lift heavy weights, so you know that you are getting the highest level of support for cross country running, climbing, skiing, and cycling.
Rehbrand Sleeves do all of the things that one would want when looking to protect their knee joints- they’re stylish, trusted, and comfortable. If you are in the market for a durable and dependable knee sleeve, you can’t go wrong with these. However, due to the higher price point they fall down this list only slightly.
- Patented technology prevents slippage
- Many sizes to choose from
- Runs a tad too big
- Not sold in a pair
The brand isn’t as recognizable as brands such as Nordic Lifting or Rehband (who have dominated this particular space), but loyal users of this brand are very positive about the product, and they have received many high marks and reviews over the years.
There are seven sizes available, and they span a wider range than previous sleeves on this list. If you have a small knee (or a larger knee) these sleeves might be a better fit than others. Sizes range from XXS to XXL. The XXS fits a knee that is approximately 27.5-30 CM, and the XXL fits knees 45.5-48 CM.
These sleeves are made from 7mm neoprene, and claim to be indestructible based upon their patent-pending design technology. Unlike other sleeves making this list, the Stoic Performance sleeves are a bit longer than others, and cover a small section of upper thigh and calf, taking more pressure off tired knees. They are only available in one basic color: black.
More expensive than the Nordic Lifting sleeves, but not as expensive Rehbands. These sleeves fall in the middle of the road in terms of price.
Primarily, they are used for lifting and weight training, but the ample support make them great for knees that you want to take on a hike, climb, or bike ride. The thick neoprene makes it ideal for any activity that involves putting an extensive amount of pressure and strain on your knees.
The simple, classic design make these sleeves a great fit for someone looking for something simple. They check all the boxes for what one would want in a knee sleeve- great support, reliability, ability to take a beating, and ample sizes to choose from to ensure you find the perfect fit.
- Longer design covers more leg area
- Great stability
- Material can bunch up behind knee
- Unreliable sizes
MAVA is a trusted name in the market, and one of the highest-rated products to make this list. Whereas Nordic Lifting and Rehband are leading names in the lifting realm of knee sleeves (that offer the most support to the user) MAVA is a popular brand among runners and hikers. They are also known to have great customer service that has helped users find the perfect product for their particular needs.
There are less size options available for this product than others, making finding a perfect fit a little more difficult. Sizes available range from XS to XXL. The anatomical shape makes its a great fit for a run right out of the package.
Most knee sleeves are made from neoprene, but these are different. They are made from a blend of bamboo charcoal fiber, spandex and latex. The use of these materials over neoprene make them lighter, more breathable, and a softer fit against skin.
These knees sleeves are incredibly affordable, and one of the most least expensive sleeves to make this list. If you were looking to try a pair of knee sleeves to comfort your knees on your runs, these would be an excellent start.
Due to the fact that these are composed of a lighter blend of materials, they would not be idea for anything that involves heavy lifting or anything that puts a great deal of strain on the knee. They were designed to alleviate light arthritis, tendonitis, and to protect the knee from strain for runners, hikers, and cyclists. They are also great for athletes recovering from an injury and need just a little extra joint support.
The lightweight design make these knee sleeves the perfect fit for runners, hikers, joggers, those recovering from an injury, or those looking for compression for improved circulation. They don’t offer the extreme support as some of the other sleeves on this list.
- Breathable and soft material
- Brand Recognition
- Can slide/roll down easily
As stated earlier, MAVA is a trusted brand within the knee sleeve market. They make a myriad of different types of sleeves that accommodate the needs of any athlete. Their customer service is fantastic and they stand behind their products.
MAVA offers less size options than their competitors. There are only five size options available to consumers, and they range from S to XXL.
For optimum support, these knee sleeves are made from extremely durable neoprene that offers the maximum in joint support. They are smaller than other sleeves, meaning they fit directly over the knee. This design allows for less slipping and rolling down. They are available in four lively colors that include: blue, black, red, and grey. The edges are lined with a black and white striped design.
As far as price is concerned, they run the middle of the road. They are not the cheapest knee sleeves on the market, but they are still affordable.
The thick 7mm neoprene material make these sleeves a perfect fit for any high intensity, heavy lifting, but can also provide support for climbing, running, or cycling. They can be used for athletes suffering from arthritis, tendonitis, or recovering from an injury.
Much like many of the neoprene knee sleeves on the market, these are an excellent choice for the athlete looking to protect their knees from potential injury, or as a tool to help recover from an existing injury.
- Compact design prevents slipping/rolling down
- Made of sturdy neoprene
- Brand Recognition
- Sizes run a little small
- Not very breathable
EXO is a company founded by a group of crossfit athletes that were looking to make a product that not only looks great, but also protects knees and joints from possible injury. The company doesn’t have the same brand recognition as many of the others, but users of this product continued to be impressed by quality, style, and performance.
There are five sizes available in the EXO Compression Knee Sleeve, and they range from small to XL. The small sleeves fit a knee that is approximately 30-32 CM, and the XL fits a knee that is approximately 38-40 CM.
These sleeves are comprised of a triple reinforced and antimicrobial neoprene that is more lightweight and thinner than other neoprene sleeves making this list. The anatomically pre-curved shape provide a comfortable fit right out of the box. It is available in many different colors and designs, including: fisher pink, black, camo, navy blue, neon pink, reversible stars and stripes, sky blue, white, and yellow.
These sleeves are similarly priced to other products found on this list. The price is affordable considering the various styles and colors buyers have to choose from.
The lightweight and study design make these knee sleeves perfect for not only weight lifting and cross fit, but other outdoor activities that require moderate joint support, such as climbing, hiking, and jogging.
What makes these sleeves stand out is the availability of different colors and fun designs. They are comprised of all the necessary materials that make for an superior knee sleeve- like a lightweight neoprene that is triple enforced- yet comes in colors to match your style and personality.
- Antimicrobial neoprene
- Comes in fun colors
- Unreliable sizes
- Has a tendency to slide down leg
HVSKY is a well known company within the crossfit and weight training world, and their products have been recognized and endorsed by notable people within the industry. They pride themselves on constantly improving their product to meet the needs of the users.
Sizes available for them are a little more limited than other knees sleeves available on the market. They are offered in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. The small size fits knees from 33-35 CM, and the large fits knees that are approximately 40-43 CM.
These sleeves are made from 100% premium grade neoprene with reinforced stitching to provide a smooth and comfortable fit, yet without being too bulky. The anti-slip interior prevents bunching, and slipping. It is available in two different colors: black and blue.
Reasonably priced, these sleeves are one of the cheaper 100% neoprene knee sleeves currently on the market.
The neoprene material make these perfect for crossfit and heavy weight training, however, the sleek design and comfortable grip would makes these great for climbing, or hiking, or any place that your knees need added support and compression.
If you are unsure if a heavier pair of neoprene knee sleeves are a perfect fit for your needs, these are an excellent brand to try based upon user reviews, modest price point, and 1-year satisfactory warranty that is included with purchase.
- Don’t slip or roll down
- Have a tendency to be too tight
Spartan Strength was designed by two childhood friends that grew up to be athletes and were looking to design gear to help them not only get the best out of their workouts, but also protect their joints from potential injuries. Users recognize this brand as being a quality product the delivers everything it claims, while offering it at a reasonable price.
There are many sizing options available with these knee sleeves. When it comes to proper support, the most important thing when it comes to knee sleeves is that the fit perfectly. If they do not fit right, the user cannot gain the desired effects. With this in mind, Spartan Strength provides a detailed sizing chart to ensure you buy the ride size for your knee. Sizes offered range from small, medium-small, medium-large, large, and extra large.
These knee sleeves are made from the best neoprene available on the market, and are offered in three different colors: midnight black, indigo, and dark orchid. The soft nylon feels light and comfortable against skin, and triple stitching makes them very durable and able to take quite a beating.
The best feature of these knee sleeves are the very affordable cost. Users will receive many features found on higher rated sleeves, however at fraction of the cost. If you are unsure if knee sleeves are good for you, these would be an excellent brand to try without dishing out a lot of money.
They can offer maximum support for any endeavor that forces user to put strain on their knees. Designed for weight lifting and crossfit, they can benefit any runner, jogger, cyclist, or climber that is looking to protect their knees from injury.
The Spartan Strength Knee Sleeves are modestly priced, highly regarded, and offer all of the protection and support one would want in a knee sleeve. This would be an excellent addition to any activity that requires maximum knee support.
- Tapered thigh prevents slipping
- Very supportive
- Comfortable lining
- Has been reported to tear at seam
- Some find them to be too thick
Blitzu doesn’t exactly carry the same clout as companies such as RehBand or Nordic Lifting, but they offer quality products to consumers at a lower price point and stand by their 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Due to the elasticity of the fabric used, there aren’t as many size options available as knee sleeve made from neoprene. Size options include: small, medium, large, and extra large. The sleeve hugs the knee and also fits at the bottom of the thigh and the top of the calf.
The material used in this knee sleeve is a light material that is breathable, elastic, and wicks away sweat. There is an additional gel padding that holds the patella in proper position as well as providing additional support to the ACL, PCL, LCL, and MCL ligaments. The lateral wings serve as an additional support to the gel padding.
These knees sleeves also fall in the mid price range. They only come in packages of one, so if you are in the market to support only one injured knee, clearly you would save more money than if you were to buy a set of knee sleeves.
Since these sleeves are made of a light, elastic fabric, they are not ideal for anything that demands much strain on the knee. Ideally, these would be used for joggers, hikers, climbers, or cyclists.
For the jogger or hiker that is looking to protect their knees from injury, or to recover from an existing injury, these knee sleeves would be an excellent choice. Many of the neoprene sleeves can be a bit stiff, so for the athlete that wants a softer and more comfortable knee sleeve would find that these sleeves are exactly what they are looking for.
- Lightweight and soft fabric
- Gel padding
- Fabric can become itchy
- Unreliable sizing
Fitnessery isn’t exactly a household name in the fitness world, but it has carved out a small group of customers in the knee sleeve market. Not only do they use the best quality materials with the user in mind, but they also offer these products at a reduced price tag. This is a great company to use if you wanted the higher end neoprene materials without spending top dollar.
The drawback of these sleeves is that they are not available in as many sizes as some of the other brands to make this list. Users can select front small, medium, large, or extra large. For heavy lifting it is best to go with a size that is slightly smaller to make sure that your knees are protected, and for lighter work that spans a longer amount of time, it’s best to go a little looser. These sleeves were designed to be used by both men and women.
Just like any good knee sleeve, the Fitnessery sleeves are made from high-quality neoprene that has triple reinforced stitching- to ensure that these sleeves won’t bust at the seams no matter what you throw at them. The knee has something called Boost Performance to provide 360 degree movement so that that you still have the same range of motion that you would without a sleeve, and still have the same level of support from a 7mm neoprene sleeve.
This is the best part about these sleeves- they are made from the highest quality materials, yet they are still offered at an incredible price point. If you are in the market for a heavy duty pair of knee sleeves, but you are unwilling to pay top dollar- this is an excellent pair of sleeves to try without breaking the band.
The 7mm neoprene makes these sleeves ideal for anything that involves heavy lifting for short periods of time. However, if you were to purchase these sleeves in a size that did not fit as tight, these sleeves can be worn while doing a lighter activity over a longer period of time- such as biking, hiking, or climbing. Simply put, these sleeves will offer tired knees the maximum level of support for knees that need it most.
If you were on the fence as to whether a set of knees sleeves will help your knees feel better while you engage in activities that can be taxing on the knees, these sleeves are an excellent choice because they are triple stitched and are made from high-quality neoprene, and comes at an incredibly affordable price.
- Triple stitched
- Made from durable neoprene
- Some users find that these sleeves are a little too stiff
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
How much support do they provide
Optimal support is the most important aspect when searching for the best knee sleeve. However, different knees and various activities require varying levels of support. In the case for knee sleeves, it’s quite simple to detect which sleeves offer the most support- the thicker sleeves. 7mm neoprene sleeves offer more support than 5mm sleeves, and 5mm sleeves offer more support than 3mm sleeves. However, by gaining support you are also losing a bit of mobility. When deciding on which knee sleeve will help you the most, be sure to evaluate your specific fitness goals first.
This is the best way to determine the quality of a product before purchasing. Typically, there are a few handful of brands for which users heavily rely. Oftentimes, the brand names are a bit more expensive than a brand that hasn’t been trusted. If you are willing to pay a little bit extra for a product and know that what you are getting is a good quality product that is used by novices and experts in a particular field, then buying a brand name product is the pragmatic choice.
What materials were used
Almost all of the knee sleeves that made this list (and that are currently on the market) are made from varying thicknesses of neoprene. Neoprene has been tested to be the best material for retaining heat (which can reduce soreness and inflammation), and providing support and compression. Some users, however, find that neoprene doesn’t feel good against their skin, can be too tight, restricts movement too much, and doesn’t breathe. In those cases, it is advisable for the user to try one of non-neoprene materials, like that found in MAVA’s Sports Knee Support Sleeve that is made from a blend of bamboo charcoal fiber.
How comfortable it is to wear
As stated above, different people prefer different materials. When compiling this list, those sensitivities were taken into consideration, however, users looking for the best knee sleeves are looking for the best support- and neoprene provides the best support. Many companies make an effort to line the inside with nylon to reduce friction, and many avoid seam lines along the edges that can dig into skin. Those are the kinds of things that you will want to look out for when shopping for the best knee sleeve for you.
More things to consider when selecting a knee sleeve
When shopping for a knee sleeve, it is important that you take into consideration exactly what you intend to gain from its use. Are you looking for an additional support for just one bum knee? If that’s the case, be sure that you only buy one knee sleeve. Most of the knee sleeves that are on the market come in pairs of two.
Knee sleeves are categories by level of impact and need for support. If you are a cross country runner or an endurance athlete, the 3mm neoprene models of the Rehband sleeves, or lighter cloth models such as the MAVA Sports Knee Support, will meet your needs. 7mm neoprene sleeves are designed to accommodate athletes participate in intense and short activities that put large amounts of strain on joints. Be sure that you research sleeves that support your specific needs.
During the course of our lives, our knees and joints and suffer quite a beating- whether you are cross country running on concrete, climbing mountains, or cycling– the knees are our natural shock absorbers and it’s imperative that we take care of them. Generally, knee pain is a result of overuse or normal wear and tear that is a product of getting older. Above all else, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that any knee pain that you are feeling is just a result of normal wear and tear, and not something that may need to be treated or cause you more problems down the line. Your knees are very important, be sure to take good care of them.
Q: What’s the difference between 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm knee sleeves?
3mm, 5mm, and 7mm all refer to the knee sleeves thickness. Basically, the thicker the sleeve, the more support it offers. Powerlifters, weight trainers, and athletes needing maximum support typically utilize the 7mm knee sleeves. 5mm is used primarily for mixed training- runners to gym training, these are used in instances where high impact agility is concerned. 3mm is used for endurance sports- anytime you are traveling a long distance and require support with maximum mobility.
Q: How do you know if you need to use a knee sleeve?
Knee sleeves are used for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they can be used to prevent injury for activities that involve massive strain on your knees. Secondly, they can be used to alleviate common and everyday pain from overuse, tendonitis, arthritis, or recovery from an injury. If you suffer from knee pain on your runs, a set of knee sleeves may help get back to normal and take pressure off of your joints. If you feel like your knee pain may be a symptom of a larger problem, it is important to contact your doctor first just to be safe.
Q: How do you measure for a knee sleeve?
Fit is the most important feature to ensure that you are getting the most out of your knee sleeve. To correctly measure your knee, stand with your knee flexed at a 30 degree angle and with a cloth tape measure, measure the circumference of your knee at the center of the kneecap.
Q: How tight should my knee sleeve fit?
You want your sleeve to fit snug, but not to the point that it cuts off your circulation or it keeps rolling down at the thigh. You also don’t want it to fit too loose because you will not receive the support and benefit from proper compression and you run the risk of it falling down your leg in the middle of your activity.
Q: What’s better: neoprene or cloth knee sleeve?
Neoprene is generally regarded at the superior material for offering substantial support and comfort. However, many find it restrictive and stiff. The answer to this question is purely a matter of personal preference based solely upon the level of stress you intend on placing your knees under as well as how important comfort and breathability is to you.
Q: How long after an injury should I wait before becoming active again?
As always, you should consult your doctor to confirm how long you should wait before becoming active again. After the confirmation date, you should listen to your body and be sure not to push it too hard. It’s prudent to err on the side of caution when it comes to your knees because they are the only ones that you will ever have.