Arthritis, pains, ligament tears, a blown ACL, the list of potential knee problems seems endless and, quite frankly, more than a little scary! That’s why now is the time to invest in some kit that will not only help heal problems like these, but also prevent them: the knee compression sleeve.
Knee-dless to say (get it?!), this is a simple yet hugely effective way to add that extra support to your knee.
Here at OriGym, we’ve found 15 of the best knee compression sleeves so you can get back to your workouts in no time. We’ve also answered some important FAQs at the end (such as ‘how long can you wear a knee compression sleeve?') to make sure you’re fully clued up on what compression sleeves for knees can offer.
Before you get started on our knee compression sleeve reviews, have you ever thought about putting your fitness knowledge to better use? Have a look at our online personal trainer courses, or even download our latest course prospectus to find out more!
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What are knee compression sleeves?
A knee compression sleeve is a piece of kit used to help relieve pain and protect the largest joint in your body - the knee. Usually made of fabric such as neoprene or latex, these sleeves provide a level of compression around the knee that boosts blood flow and provides warmth - all key aspects in the healing process.
There’s a compression knee sleeve for running, basketball, cycling, a knee ice compression sleeve for extra therapy, and the more targeted knee compression sleeve for meniscus tear, arthritis, and pains. Generally, they’re all quite interchangeable.
We've got a great article on how to prevent ACL injuries, so be sure to check that out for some extra tips!
One of the best knee compression sleeves (UK), the McDavid Knee support brace features elastic cross-straps for ligament support around the knee. Lightweight, hand washable and easy to put on, simply pull it over the knee and fasten the cross straps above and below the kneecap. The McDavid knee compression sleeve is available in a range of five sizes from small to extra large.
Made from latex-free, 3/16" inch thick neoprene, a flexible rubber used to provide therapeutic warmth to the knee and surrounding tissues, the McDavid knee brace compression sleeve has nylon on both sides, is breathable, anti-allergy and seamless. This compression knee sleeve has adjustable, high-quality, durable velcro straps plus two adjustable hook and loop straps for a custom fit.
This knee compression sleeve for cycling, running, and other sports, features an open knee for airflow, geared polycentric hinges for upright support, a cushioned design for protection and comfort, and an adjustable metal lever which prevents overextension of the knee. You might find our list of the best running gear useful if you're an avid runner looking for products to make your runs more comfortable!
As well as a perforated back panel to allow the skin to breathe, the McDavid knee sleeve support is fitted with geared, aluminium, lightweight hinges on the inside and outside allowing the knee to move with ease and which will lock when the leg is extended at 180°.
A top contender for the best compression sleeve for knee conditions, the McDavid Knee brace can help give knee support after trauma and reduce the stress placed on the ligaments. Useful as a Runner's Knee compression sleeve, the product can also be used for support during sports, inflammatory knee conditions and knee injury.
This product from Vitto is a great option for anybody looking for a knee compression sleeve that provides stable support throughout the knee joint.
Our favourite feature is its non-slip wave which adds further stability and ensures that the support remains firmly in place whilst running, jogging, weight-lifting, or playing sports.
Whether you suffer with pain from meniscus tear, arthritic knees, or a ligament injury, this is one of the best (not to mention cheapest) knee compression sleeves that you will find.
Even if you don’t suffer from any of the issues stated above, this product also works great as a gym knee support and is great to use to prevent injuries, ligament instability, sprain, or muscle strain.
This knee support is suitable for both men and women, and comes in multiple sizes so that you can find the perfect fit.
Available in 6 different sizes ranging from small to 3XL, this product from Vital Salveo caters for everyone looking for relief from muscle pain and stiffness during an active recovery period.
The fact that the product is manufactured to hold a 3D gel pad means that its capabilities include the ability to stabilize the kneecap, provide extra support to the patella and the surrounding area, and to prevent further injury from occurring.
The 3D and breathable weaving provides a comfortable experience, whether the product is used during competitive sports or everyday activities. It can be worn for longer periods of time thanks to the comfort that it provides, which is a plus considering the fact that other products on the market can be difficult to wear.
On Amazon where it is sold here in the UK, this knee compression sleeve from Vital Salveo has 72% positive reviews.
One customer writes: ‘there is nothing to dislike about this woven knee support. If you carefully measure knee circumference as directed, the delivered sport sock fits like a glove and protects your knee with woven fabric. You will find that this is a very well engineered medical product. I am wearing the sock comfortably for 6-8 hours per day.’
Not only is it a favourite amongst online customers, but the product is also incredibly easy to wash, which is great to know if you’re planning on using it every day. Simply soak it in mild detergent for 3-5 minutes, and allow it to dry in a well-ventilated room. This could easily be done overnight, so that it is ready for your next use!
A hot and cold option, the knee ice compression sleeve by TheraPAQ is Amazon UK's Choice and is ideal for rheumatoid arthritis, injury recovery, sprains, swelling and chronic knee conditions.
This compression knee sleeve features a non-toxic and leak-proof gel ice pack for cold therapy. To cool the pack, place the TheraPAQ sleeve into the freezer for a minimum of 90 minutes, or for heat therapy, place the sleeve either in hot water or the microwave for around 30 seconds.
The TheraPAQ knee compression sleeve can be secured around the knee with the ice pack without impeding range of motion, has adjustable straps for a comfortable and secure fit, is flexible whilst being durable, has a contoured design for a snug fit around the knee and strong stitching for long-term wear.
TheraPAQ offers a money-back guarantee with each purchase, making for a risk-free choice for a well-designed, whole-knee support sleeve that is the best knee compression sleeve for arthritis and swelling, or anyone looking for both hot and cold therapy or suffering from post-operative pain or chronic inflammatory conditions.
If the thought of a knee injury has put you off your workouts, why not check out our article on fitness journals to find a new way to keep yourself motivated!
The Pure Support knee compression sleeve has a triple silicone dot lined brim to prevent the sleeve from slipping or riding up and incorporates an advanced elastic yarn which contours to the shape of the knee to provide optimum compression.
This knee support sleeve is breathable, antimicrobial and uses a sweat and odour eliminating cloth-like fabric as opposed to a nylon blend or neoprene, which is also less likely to irritate the skin or cause itching. The innovative design applies both graduate and optimum compression on the knee joint for effective support and pain relief.
In a sleek black and steel design with the Pure Support running man logo, the Pure Support compression sleeve has been designed to improve blood circulation, minimise the chance of blood clots, provide support without compromising flexibility and boost athletic performance. If these things are important to you whilst running, as well as safety, check out our guide to running at night.
With no additional straps or buckles, the Pure Support compression sleeve is a straightforward compression sleeve with a high-quality, contoured design that won’t impede movement and is comfortable for all-day wear.
The Winline adjustable knee brace compression sleeve is made from 80% extra thick and breathable neoprene, an ultra-flexible rubber, which can help insulate and heat the knee encouraging circulation and ease inflammation, soreness, and pain.
This knee compression sleeve is strapped over the knee and incorporates a reinforcement ring and 4 metal stabilisers to support the knee joints and ligaments and limit the chances of injury during high-intensity exercises such as running and hiking.
The Winline has an open patella (patella is also known as the kneecap) design with a small, circular opening over the knee to allow the skin to breathe minimising the chance of excess sweating and odour. The neoprene is manufactured with breathable holes to minimise the chances of discomfort and skin irritation during long term wear, and it has two adjustable velcro straps above and below the knee for extra compression when necessary. The knee sleeve support inside is lined with non-slip grip dots to help the sleeve stay up.
Along with shock absorption, sweat absorption and pressure distribution, the Winline is the best compression knee sleeve for features, and it comes with a 100% money-back guarantee from brand Winline when purchased through Amazon UK! It’s available in sizes medium through to triple XL.
The Modetro Sports Knee Compression Sleeve is a specifically designed compression sleeve for knee pain. With the use of advanced, antimicrobial bamboo charcoal this compression sleeve has an elastic, non-slip fit to allow for maximum support (a compression of 13-20 mmHg).
Non-irritating to sensitive or allergy-prone skin and super flexible, the Modetro has moisture regulation to allow the skin to breathe whilst the knee is kept warm and their bamboo charcoal fibre fabric is odour resistant, perfect for walking or gardening in warm weather.
Lightweight and super elastic, this knee compression sleeve is great for increasing blood circulation, comes in a unisex design of charcoal grey and black, and Modetro offers a 100% money back or replacement guarantee with each purchase to ensure you are satisfied with your compression sleeve.
Another great way to help your muscles before a workout is to use foam rollers during your warm ups. Have a look at our article on the best foam rollers to get all the info!
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Amazon UK's Choice for a "knee sleeve" with 4.5 stars from almost 3500 ratings, the Omeril Knee Support Sleeve comes in a pack of 2 breathable and unisex compression sleeves. Described as a great knee compression sleeve for basketball, running, hiking and numerous other activities, Omeril offers their compression sleeve for the knee in three sizes, small, medium and large, and these feature two non-slip, silicone bands.
The Omeril knee support sleeves feature an ergonomic 4-way stretch compression design ensuring the sleeves are easy to roll on and off and super comfortable for long term wear, advanced 3D knitting for durability and a seamless finish. The Omeril compression knee sleeve is made from a highly elastic, breathable 68% nylon and 32% lycra blend, is lightweight, and thick enough to provide long-lasting support whilst being easy to wear under regular clothes.
Each knee compression sleeve stretches up to 60% of their original size should you experience swelling or inflammation and Omeril offers a 24-month warranty on their knee compression sleeve, and online after-sale customer service should you need them.
The Neotech Care knee and calf compression sleeve is made from an innovative ‘special knitting radial compression technology’ which Neotech states increases the support by an extra 20%, which is perfect if you need a little extra compression. Knitted with an expert blend of bamboo, nylon, and latex for durability and elasticity, this sleeve extends from above the knee to midway down the calf, and is suitable for either the right or left leg.
A brilliant choice for runners, the Neotech knee and calf compression sleeve has a tapering design increasing in tightness down the calf providing support all the way to the Achilles heel. Great for preventing calf cramps, Achilles pain and shin splints, the Neotech knee and calf compression sleeve is an all-season sleeve for increasing blood flow and reducing muscle tightness and strain.
If walking is more your speed but you need a little extra help getting up those hills then why not invest in one of the best pairs of trekking poles? Check out our trekking poles complete buyer's guide to find the right ones for you!
Designed to apply stable support across the knee, the Beister Knee compression sleeve features wide, adjustable, elastic crossing straps with velcro fastening for extra knee support and added compression.
The Beister knee compression sleeve has two anti-slip silicone strips above and below the knee on the brace's inner lining to prevent the sleeve rolling down. The Beister has an advanced 3D polyester weave which provides three-sixty grip contouring tightly around the knee joint.
For increased security the Beister is a knee compression sleeve with an adjustable strap that’s easily removable, and the sleeve uses a 4-way stretch fabric so it can be rolled on easily and provides a strong, contoured compression around the knee joint for better circulation. The woven fabric of the Beister is breathable and moisture-wicking, made from 100% polyester with the compression sleeve being 100% latex-free.
Beister offers their knee support sleeve in three sizes, medium (13" to 16" inches), large (15" to 18" inches) and XL (17" to 20" inches) and suggest when determining your size that you measure the leg circumference 5" inches above the knee. Beister offers a 100% no-risk money-back guarantee with every purchase making this a great budget buy, and with 4.5 stars on Amazon UK this is the best knee compression sleeve for swelling, arthritis, rehabilitation, and for added support when playing sports or working out at the gym.
The Physix Gear knee support compression sleeve has a brilliant 4.6 stars on Amazon UK from over 10,000 ratings and comes in black and pink, black and grey, black and beige, and purchasing options of one pair, two pairs or four pairs.
Made from a breathable blend of nylon, spandex, and neoprene, the Physix Gear knee brace uses 4-way stitching for contouring above, around and below the knee. Physix Gear's three-part blend makes for a fabric which is breathable and quick to dry, the compression brace is lightweight and slides easily under jeans, and woven with a non-slip silicone grip wave, it won't be rolling down once on.
Thick but comfortable, the Physic Gear knee support is built to retain its shape and elasticity over long term wear, is flexible and promises not to chafe. For stiffness, swelling, soreness and support this is a great option, and a contender for the best compression knee sleeve for running, sports, and other high-energy activities.
Made using 60% copper fibre and 40% spandex, the Jiufentian copper knee support uses 3D weaving for a better fit, is air-permeable, seamless, sweat-absorbing and has non-slip grip from double silicone strips to lock the knee compression sleeve in place throughout your workout.
Copper is antimicrobial and when reacting with oxygen it can have as high as a 58% positive effect in reducing bacteria and infection. In the Jiufentian compression sleeve, copper fibres are used to stop the growth of bacteria after several hours of wear and prevent odours. As well as better contouring to the front, sides and back of the kneecap, Jiufentian's use of 3D knitting gives great insulation warming the knee at rest and during exercise easing the joints and muscle by encouraging better circulation.
Resting your body is just as important as exercising it, so read up on the importance of rest days here to make sure you're keeping your body as fit and healthy as possible.
Jiufentian tested their non-slip, silicone strip design with two hours of strenuous gym-based exercise: their copper knee compression sleeve remained both in place and sweat-free. Jiufentian offers their copper compression sleeve in 6 sizes, small through to three XL, plus a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Comfortable with excellent support, the Jiufentian is a top contender for the best knee compression sleeve for running, knee injuries, pain, rehabilitation and arthritis.
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Amazon's Choice for a "women's knee compression sleeve" with 4.5 stars from over a thousand ratings, the Avidda knee support sleeve comes in grey, pink, blue and black, features three straps for extra support around your knee.
100% latex-free, the Avidda short sleeve knee support is made using premium-grade spandex and nylon, is breathable, lightweight and features 4 flexible spring stabilisers: 2 running laterally up each side for knee support and ligament protection when playing high-impact sports, when rehabilitating a knee injury and pain relief.
Using premium velcro, the Avidda compression brace has three, thick straps above, below and behind the knee for extra knee support and to adjust the brace to the best size, whilst the shorter length means it won’t restrict flexibility or impede on your calf. Using the design of an orthopaedic brace, this knee compression brace has an open patella design where there is a small circular opening over the knee cap to allow the skin to breath, minimising odours, irritation, and moisture.
Across the bottom and top of the Avidda knee compression sleeve are two parallel anti-slip silicone strips and the compression garment is one size, fitting from 12.5" inches to 18" inches knee circumference when measuring 4" inches over the knee. Comfortable and amazing value, this is the best compression sleeve for knee conditions such as osteoarthritis or general support at the gym, when walking or jogging or during Spin classes.
Offering stable pressure across your knee, muscle support, 360° protection, Avidda have designed a compression sleeve for knee arthritis, inflammation and pain that will apply sustained warmth to the knee, and increase circulation to the kneecap and surrounding muscles.
The Avidda knee support brace uses 3D knitting for long-wear compression, is sweat absorbing, has double non-slip silicone strips above and below the knee to keep the compression brace in place, and is available in sizes small (14.5" to 17.5" inches) up to XL (22" to 24.5" inches) measured as the thigh circumference four inches above the knee.
With a sweat-proof design, the Avidda is a cheap knee compression sleeve that is flexible, allowing for a full range of motion, comfortable for all-day wear, and is a brilliant budget buy for the best knee compression sleeve for running, brisk walking, and cycling.
Unisex and available in packs of two, the Befekt Gears knee compression sleeves feature silicone wavy anti-slip strips above and below the knee, 4-way stretch compression for a perfect fit behind, above and below the kneecap, and a 3D woven knit fabric using a breathable blend of nylon and Lycra.
For running, sports, hiking, the gym and cycling, the Befekt Gears knee compression sleeves use graduated compression to reduce the load on the knees during high-impact physical activity or post knee injury. These sleeves are comfortable to wear and their nylon and Lycra blend is perforated and breathable, eliminating moisture for minimum discomfort and skin irritation when exercising.
A great option for a cheap knee compression sleeve available on Amazon UK, Befekt Gears knee support sleeve is also one of the highest-rated with 4.5 stars from nearly 1000 ratings. Great quality with a neat lockstitch and skin-friendly for anyone with sensitive skin or skin allergies, this is a great choice for knee support and surrounding muscle support when playing outdoor sports, recovering from a knee injury, or for enhanced, pain-free athletic performance.
Why use a knee compression sleeve?
The knees are one of the most important joints (as well as the largest!) in the human body and are also one of the more susceptible joints to injuries - the constant extension, flexion, and rotation means that the joint is prone to tears, inflammation, and a variety of illnesses such as arthritis. Protecting the knee is of utmost importance!
There are a huge range of knee compression sleeve benefits, including:
- Compression - the right amount of compression reduces pain and aids blood flow
- Improved stability - less likelihood of collapse or injury
- Increased flexibility and motion
- Reduced loss of body heat which ultimately assists the healing process
- Extra support when exercising - allows for increased strength training and weight loss which leads to less pressure and impact on your knees
So, if you’re sitting there wondering, do knee compression sleeves help? The answer is yes! Whether as part of your healing process for a knee injury, or just as a little extra help in supporting your knees, these are a cheap enough addition to your fitness routine that can ultimately help in the long run!
When to use a knee compression sleeve?
Knee compression sleeves are generally used in two different ways: either as a preventative aid for added support, or as a post-injury recovery treatment.
If you’ve read this far you’re now probably wondering; do I need to use a knee compression sleeve? Well, whilst they probably wouldn’t hinder your workouts or everyday life, they aren’t entirely necessary for everyone. If you know your knees are on the weaker side, you’re getting a little long in the tooth, or you’re particularly prone to knee injuries, then we would say that knee compression sleeves are worth the money.
Similarly, if you’re a keen weightlifter, avid runner, dedicated sportsperson, or even if your job involves a lot of manual labour, then protecting your knees long-term is essential.
And if you’ve suffered a recent knee injury - whether minor or major - these are a great way to encourage the recovery process and simultaneously reduce inflammation and pain! Just check with your doctor first as they may provide you with more specific advice
How long can you wear a knee compression sleeve?
Another important FAQ on knee compression sleeves is: how long can you wear a knee compression sleeve? Crucially, a knee support sleeve is designed to be worn everyday, with special material that remains breathable and non-irritating. However, you need to be aware of the tightness of the sleeve, as being too tight can cause more problems than it solves!
The length of time you should wear your knee compression sleeve (UK) also depends on the problem or purpose that you’re wearing it for. If you’re using it for support during a workout then you shouldn’t need it on for much longer than the duration of your workout, but if you’re using it more for arthritis relief then you may want to wear it for longer periods of time.
If you’re still unsure then consult your doctor or therapist as they will know what will be best for your injury or condition!
Can you sleep with a knee compression sleeve on?
While sleeping with a knee compression sleeve isn’t always discouraged, it isn’t always encouraged either. This again depends on your condition or reason for wearing a knee support sleeve, but if the compression sleeve isn’t too tight then you will most likely be able to sleep with it on.
Graduated compression generally works more efficiently if it’s accompanied by movement, so sleeping with a knee compression sleeve won’t be as effective. Some injuries require support to keep the joints in the right place or a long-term reduction of pain, so a knee compression sleeve would be beneficial. Ultimately, each condition is different and consulting your doctor would be the best way to find out what’s best for you.
What is the difference between knee compression sleeves and knee braces?
Knee compression sleeves are often lumped in with knee braces as a generic medical term, but technically they’re not the same thing.
Knee braces are more typically used as a protective measure against future or recurring injuries and damage, and often restrict knee movement in order to rebuild strength gradually, and are typically built with mechanical features and hinges.
On the other hand, a knee compression sleeve (UK) is considered more of a preventative or supportive function designed to relieve pain and reinforce the knee, and come in the form of a fabric sleeve that slides onto the leg.
Before you go!
No doubt after reading all the knee compression sleeve reviews and information on this article you’ll knee-d (sorry!) a little while to process it all. Take the time to research the right knee compression sleeve for you and be sure to follow the various measurement guidelines as they aren’t all the same!
If you feel like you’ve absorbed all this info and want to share it with someone else, then you’d probably make a great personal trainer! Have a look at our level 3 personal training course or download our latest course prospectus to see if this is the right career for you.
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Written by Professional S & C Coaches