Knee compressions sleeves are a great tool for many different reasons.
The compressive nature of the sleeves helps to holds the knee tight, provide support and even can help in the reduction of swelling.
People use knee sleeves for a variety of circumstances, and for this reason there are different types of knee compression sleeves.
This guide looks to take you through reasons why a knee compression sleeve may be needed and show you a selection of some of the different knee sleeves that are available on the market today.
The Knee – A Brief Overview
Your knee is one of your main weight bearing joints and it has to bear you bodyweight, produce force and remain healthy whilst doing this.
Your knee is comprised of 3 bones:
- The femur – thigh bone – forms the top part of the knee
- The shin – tibia – forms the bottom part of the knee and acts as the platform for the femur to sit on
- The knee cap – patella – sits in a small groove in the femur and slides up and down as we bend and straighten our knee.
Within the knee we have cartilage discs called meniscus which sit on top of the tibia and on the lining of the femur head we have articular cartilage.
Cartilage is important for keeping our knee healthy, moving and pain free. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber.
Ligaments are connective tissue which hold the bones of the knee together and help to provide control of the joint.
The muscles of the knee are important to bend and straighten the leg – these are the quadriceps and hamstrings. The glutes also play a huge role in stabilising the knee joint and controlling rotation and balance.
Reasons for using a knee compression sleeve
Knee compression sleeve use is a very personal thing and is done for many reasons, here are some of the common reasons why people use them:
If you have a painful knee which is preventing you from moving how you would like top, adding a knee sleeve for support can help to alleviate pain. If there is a ligament or cartilage issue. Adding extra compression to the knee joint can limit movement and take pressure off the joint which in turn can bring down pain levels.
If your knee is weak for any reason – the use of a tight compression sleeve can provide added support whilst your muscles strengthen up. Some knee sleeves have metal springs at the side and they can assist your knees movement when you might not be at your strongest.
Whilst rehabbing from a knee injury, a compression sleeve may help with reduction of pain and support of the joint in order for you to be able to carry out the activities you need to do.
If you have a ligament injury which is causing the knee to be unstable – or you have had a total rupture and you are waiting for surgery – a compression sleeve could be a useful tool to allow you to keep moving safely without the fear of your knee giving way.
Sports such as running or long distance events will commonly see the use of knee compression sleeves to allow added support and make the knees more comfortable whilst performing exercises for long periods.
Look around your gym and you will see compression sleeves are common place with people who lift weights. When lifting heavier weights – there can be added stress to the joints but the use of sleeves can improve performance by supporting the joint to allow better lifts to take place more safely.
Patella dislocation and mal-tracking are 2 problems that certain types of compression sleeves will benefit. There are compression sleeves which are designed to give the patella support and help it to stay within its groove on the femur. If there is a patella issue causing instability or pain – exercise can exacerbate this sometimes, a sleeve can help you to exercise without issue.
7 of the best knee compressions sleeves
Here is a list of the various knee compressions sleeves that are available online currently. There are different variations which have different features that provide different benefits.
Neenca professional knee brace and compression sleeve
First up is the Neenca professional knee brace and compression sleeve. This knee brace comers in a choice of colours so is unisex in its design.
The knee brace comes complete with gel pads which surround the knee for added comfort. The design of this sleeve is an elasticated, pull on sleeve style – with no adjusting required.
The material used in this model is an air knit design which allows your knee to breathe whilst not getting too hot but remains lightweight whilst being able to absorb sweat.
This brace can be used for a variety of knee conditions but it would be great for anyone with a kneecap pain, the gel pad which surrounds the kneecap is designed to fit perfectly but also provide cushioning. The brace comes complete with metal spring stabilisers on the side which add support to the brace and can help to make your knee more stable.
Wotek knee brace
Next up is the Wotek knee brace which comes available in a 2 pack. The design of this brace is ideal for someone looking for general support and compression to their knee and thigh. Their pricing represent great value for 2 knee sleeves.
There are 3 different sizes as again these are non adjustable and have an elasticated sleeve design. A great design feature of this knee sleeve is the fact that they have 2 non slip strips at each end to prevent slippage whilst exercising and using.
Wotek recommend this as a knee support for any support and its main feature being able to provide support all across the knee joint. It comes available in one colour of green and grey.
Actesso elastic knee sleeve support
This knee sleeve support is one of the most basic sleeves you can buy and cheap price point reflects this. If you are after the most basic compression sleeve then this can be a great choice.
The sleeve would be ideal for anyone suffering with knee swelling and needing reliable compression to help swelling reduce. Consider use of the product following a surgery or injury.
This sleeve may not be ideal for sport or prolonged exercise due to its basic nature. The sleeve comes in 3 different sizes and has an elasticated, sleeve design.
Copper knee sleeve
The copper knee sleeve is again an open sleeve design which is not adjustable but comes in various sizes to ensure there is a size to fit you. The price of this sleeve is low budget and represents great value.
This brace has a high copper content woven in to the fabric. The sleeve helps sweat absorption whilst also being of a breathable nature and allowing your skin to remain cool.
This sleeve has a non slip design added to each end to ensure it stays in place whilst exercising. This sleeve will be ideal for any type of sport and aiding recovery from injury. There are 2 colours of green and black or copper and black.
Avidda knee support
The Avidda knee support comes in a 2 pack and is an adjustable knee sleeve focused on providing kneecap support and relief. The price of this support is in the low to medium price range but for 2 supports this is great value.
The design of this knee support has 2 adjustable straps which crossover and fasten below and above the kneecap. Around the kneecap there is a gel pad which provides stability for the kneecap. The compressive nature can also help to reduce swelling – localised to the kneecap region.
Consider this knee support if you have kneecap issues. The design of this support allows for support during exercise and training.
Mamba knee compression sleeve
The mamba knee compression sleeve is probably the most eye catching sleeve on this list! Taking its design from its name and is snake skin inspired in a striking green colour. This knee support will ensure you are seen, and could be especially great for runners on those dark nights.
The design of the mamba knee sleeve features non slip material which allows the knee brace to stay in place during rigorous exercise. The mesh design is breathable to allow for temperature control and sweat absorption.
The sleeve comes in different sizes as it is an open ended sleeve design and non adjustable. Consider this item if you have matching colour clothes and shoes and are particularly fashion conscious!
Important Points to Consider When buying a Knee Compression Sleeve
When deciding on your knee sleeve ensure these important factors before you buy to ensure you get the most out of your purchase. Having to waste money because you’ve bought the wrong product or even the hassle of returning an item can be saved by just taking a few simple measures before selecting what you need:
Think about how long you intend to use the item for and also what your budget is. If the knee sleeve is going to get a lot of use and is going to be worn a lot for sport, buying a good quality knee sleeve that costs a bit more might be the best option as you will not need to replace it and it will last longer if it is a better quality. At the same time, ensure you do get quality for the price you are paying and it is within your budget. A cheap knee compression sleeve could be just the trick for managing a short term injury when not wanting to spend a lot of money.
Most of the items listed above have a size guide to ensure you don’t get the incorrect size. Knee sleeves typically aren’t adjustable so making sure you get the right size is really important. If the knee sleeve is too large you may miss out on the supportive and compressive nature of the knee sleeve and therefore not get the most out of the product. Adjustable ones still need to be sized otherwise it may not fit the features of your knee – such as the kneecap. Look at the sizing guides and ensure you measure your knee and thigh with a tape measure to make sure you get the right fit.
Get the knee sleeve that matches your activity. If you buy a basic knee sleeve without a non-slip fitting and poor breathability, it may not be suitable for sport as it could slip down and even become too wet. At the same time, don’t buy a top speck knee support if you just require gentle compression of the knee to manage swelling.
That concludes our guide to the best knee compression sleeves and we hope that has been helpful for you. If you know someone who would benefit from this article – please share it with them.