The Best Knee Sleeves

By Carlen Oliveira

February 1, 2021

Not to be confused with knee braces, knee sleeves are quite the popular accessory used by athletes and gym goers alike. Whereas a knee brace is used after an injury to help prevent any further damage, knee sleeves are used to prevent any injuries from happening. If running, jumping, or lifting heavy weights is something that you do frequently, you know that your knees are put under a lot of stress. Why not get a knee sleeve to prevent injuries?

Being aware of where your knees are in relation to your hips and ankles is vital when working on building technical skills. Using knee sleeves can help with your knee proprioception, meaning they have a better spatial awareness of their positioning and movements of the body when wearing them, which is especially useful for weightlifters. Now, will knee sleeves magically improve your technique and help you lift more weight? No. But, they will help prevent injury when lifting, keep your joints warm and prevent tendonitis or any other annoying issues that may pop up.

Also used for rehabilitation, knee sleeves are typically made from a thin, stretchy neoprene material that varies in strength and thickness so you can cater your sleeve to you. Regardless of if you need a knee sleeve to help treat mild pain, or want to throw one on to avoid injury during a workout, knee sleeves are a handy piece of equipment to have around. Check out our list of some of the best knee sleeves ranging in price and style so you can find a knee sleeve that’s right for you.

1. Editor's Pick: UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve for Men & Women

  • Breathable
  • Uses anti-slip silicone grip gel
  • Lightweight 3-layered material
  • Only comes with one sleeve
  • Some people react to spandex/latex blend

Key Specs

Material: Nylon-mesh, spandex
Item Dimensions: 3.9” x 1.9” x 0.35”
Available Sizes: Small: 14.5” - 17”

Medium 17” - 19.5”

Large 19.5” - 22”

X-Large 22” - 24.5”

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By relieving pain and reducing swelling, this breathable and flexible knee sleeve promotes healthy blood flow and helps to guard your joints so you can stay active.

Lined with a double silicone anti-slip design made from nylon and spandex material, the UFlex Athletic Knee Compression Sleeve will stay in place through a wide range of motions and is the perfect solution to soothe any unwanted knee pain and provide support for those who experience arthritis.

2. Best Knee Sleeve for Athletics: Cambivo Knee Brace Support

  • Flexible and breathable
  • 11 different colour options
  • Great for rehabilitation
  • Includes 2 knee sleeves
  • Anti-slip design around top band
  • Fabric may stretch overtime
  • Tends to move from original position

Key Specs

Material: Nylon-mesh, spandex
Item Dimensions: 10” x 2.7” x 0.9”
Available Sizes: Small: 14.5” - 17”

Medium: 17” - 19.5”

Large: 19.5” - 22”

X-Large: 22” - 24.5”

XX-Large: 24” - 26”

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Using a 3D knitted technology and anti-slip design, this knee sleeve provides optimum compression to boost your athletic performance while promoting healthy blood flow.

This high-quality knee sleeve uses a four-way stretchy material that provides comfort, flexibility, durability and warmth to help manage any unwanted knee pain to get you back to doing the things you love.

3. Best Knee Sleeve for CrossFit: Physix Gear Compression Sleeve

  • Sleek design
  • Non-slip grip gel
  • 4-way knee compression
  • Quick dry breathable fabric
  • Available in both 1 or 2 sleeve packs
  • May roll down
  • Tight at the top band

Key Specs

Material: Nylon, lycra
Item Dimensions: 19.2 x 9.6 x 2.8 cm
Available Sizes: Small: 14.5” - 17”

Medium: 17” - 19.5”

Large: 19.5” - 22”

X-Large: 22.5” - 24”

XX-Large: 24.5” - 27”

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If you’re looking for all-day comfort and knee support, this sleeve can be worn under your jeans and works to keep your joints warm while alleviating any stiffness or swelling that may occur.

With a four-way stretch fabric combining breathable nylon and lycra materials, this Physix Gear Knee Support Sleeve provides you with a snug flexible fit that won’t slip or cut off your circulation!

4. Best Lightweight Knee Sleeve: Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support

  • 3 different colours
  • Moisture wicking
  • Contoured knee pad provides extra support
  • Only one sleeve
  • May bunch up under knee
  • Rubber grip may be rough on sensitive skin

Key Specs

Material: 3D Air-Knit Fabric
Item Dimensions: 36.32 x 11.43 x 5.08 cm
Available Sizes: X-Small: 15” - 16 ¼”

Small: 16 ¼” - 17 ½”

Medium: 17 ½” - 18 ½”

Large: 18 ½” - 19 ¾”

X-Large: 19 ¾” - 21”

XX-Large: 21” - 22”

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We ask our knees to put up with a lot of stress and weight day in and day out, especially for those of us who workout regularly or compete competitively. Sometimes, our joints need a little extra support.

The Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support is a great way to take some of the strain off of your knees and will help athletes fight off the effects of overuse and reduce the chance of injury by stabilizing the knee. Built with air knit breathable fabric, this lightweight, moisture-wicking knee sleeve will become an athlete's best friend.

5. Best Knee Sleeves for Weightlifting: Iron Bull Strength High-Performance Knee Sleeve

  • Comes with 2 sleeves
  • Strong compression
  • Double silicone gel to prevent slipping
  • Expensive
  • Sizing guide not accurate

Key Specs

Material: Neoprene
Item Dimensions: 11.5” length, 7mm thick
Available Sizes: Small: 11.8 - 13"

Medium: 13 - 14.2"

Large: 14.2 - 15.7"

X-Large: 15.7 - 17"

XX-Large: 17 - 18.3"

See Price

Their 3D design and anti-slip technology combine to give users a perfect contoured fit for maximum joint warmth and compression to help you improve your form and avoid injury.

For those who love to push their bodies to the limit, these high-performance Iron Bull Strength knee sleeves made from a strong 7mm SCR neoprene material is built to provide maximum support during your CrossFit, powerlifting and weightlifting sessions.

Factors to Consider Before Buying A Knee Sleeve

Knee sleeves should be used only when needed and as something that supports you during strenuous exercises, not as a crutch. At the end of the day, the type of knee support you choose comes down to your specific health concerns and fitness goals. Check out some of the other factors you should consider when buying.

Material: The type of material used in a knee sleeve has a direct effect on a sleeves’ tightness, stiffness and stability. As we mentioned briefly above, one of the most commonly used materials is neoprene, which is made from a mixture of different synthetic rubbers. The thickness of a knee sleeve typically ranges anywhere from 3 - 7mm. The thicker the sleeve, the more stability it provides, and vice versa. Strength athletes typically choose thicker sleeves of around 5-7mm, while those who need more flexibility in their knee like CrossFit athletes may opt for thinner sleeves.

Other common materials used in knee sleeves are nylon, spandex and cotton which are typically much lighter and softer than neoprene and hug the knee more tightly.

Mobility: Piggybacking off of the points above, the amount of motion you can get from your knee sleeve depends on how thick the sleeve is. While thick sleeves limit your mobility but provide ample support throughout your movements, thin sleeves are form fitting and allow for more mobility.

Design: When it comes to the design of knee sleeves, there are a few different versions on the market. One of the most common styles is the tapered fit, also known as the standard fit, which is quite versatile and works well for a number of different sports. Cylinder sleeves are seen more often in rigid designs, while the four-panel design sews together multiple pieces into one sleeve and isn’t used as frequently.

Durability: When buying a knee sleeve, it's important to consider its durability, because after all, you want to make sure that the product is going to last so you won’t be wasting your money. To get a sense of how durable a product is, take a look at where and how the sleeve is stitched.

Sleeves that use hooked or quadruple stitching will be well secured, and you’ll also want to make sure the stitching itself is in a place that won’t cause any discomfort when it's worn. Noting the sleeves edges and how well secured they are is another great way to get a sense for how durable the sleeve is.

Joint Warmth: These days, knee sleeves have become a source of stability for many serious lifters, but it wasn’t always that way. Originally, knee sleeves were used as a way to keep joints warm while working out.

All sleeves provide some form of warmth, but sleeves that are designed specifically with that purpose in mind are often made from spandex materials that range from 3-5mm in thickness and have light compression levels. This type of sleeve can be useful for people who have a hard time warming up, take long breaks in between workout sessions, or even workout in colder climates.


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