The 11 Best Knee Sleeves and Braces of 2022

PowerLix Knee Sleeve offers four-way compression to stabilize the knee

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Best Knee Sleeves

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Knee sleeves are thin, stretchy pieces of fabric that you can wear over your knees for additional support and comfort. “Someone may wear a knee sleeve because they feel it will help decrease their [knee pain] or improve their function,” says Brandon Schmitt, DPT, ATC, chair of the Knee Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy. While they don't serve as a replacement for physical therapy, knee braces can be extremely useful in-between sessions.

Reviewed & Approved

We recommend PowerLix's Knee Sleeve because it offers four-way compression to stabilize the knee and prevents itching. We also like Cambivo's Knee Sleeve 2-Pack as a lightweight and budget-friendly option.

We researched dozens of knee sleeves and braces and evaluated them for material, comfortability, breathability, and price. Each of the knee sleeves and braces chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

Below, you'll find the best knee sleeves and braces on the market today.

Best Overall: PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve

4.9
PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve

Amazon

Pros
  • Breathable

  • Helps prevent itch and odor

  • Slip-resistant

  • Comes in various sizes

Cons
  • Hand wash only

Who else recommends it? Healthline also picked the PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve.

What do buyers say? 82% of 44,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Lightweight, comfortable, and breathable, this PowerLix knee compression sleeve is a great option for everyday use, which is why it's our top pick. A stretchy blend of nylon and spandex, the sleeve effectively absorbs moisture so you can avoid both itch and odor all day long.

Meanwhile, the sleeve’s four-way compression design applies stable compression across your knee, giving you support without limiting your range of motion. And since it's lined with slip-resistant silicone grips, you won’t have to worry about it sliding out of place as you move. The sleeve is currently available in sizes small through extra-extra-large.

Price at time of publish: $20

Material: Compression fabric | Care: Hand wash | Anti-Slip Features: Knitted design with silicone gel strips

Best Budget: Cambivo Knee Sleeve 2-Pack

Cambivo Knee Sleeve 2-Pack
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Slip-resistant

  • Comes in various sizes

Cons
  • Hand wash only

This two-pack of Cambivo knee sleeves costs less than a single sleeve from other brands, without skimping on quality. They are crafted from a lightweight blend of nylon, latex, and spandex, and they apply consistent compression across your knee that feels both warm and supportive. Plus, the silicone strips that run along the top of the sleeves keep them securely in place, no matter your activity.

These knee sleeves are currently available in sizes small through extra-extra-large.

Price at time of publish: $18

Material: Nylon, latex, spandex | Care: Hand wash and air dry | Anti-Slip Features: Anti-slip silicone waves 

Best Splurge: Bauerfeind Sports Knee Brace

Bauerfeind Sports Knee Brace

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Moisture-wicking

  • Includes padding

  • Comes in various sizes

  • Machine-washable

Cons
  • Must be air dried

If you’re looking for a knee sleeve that offers more support, this option from Bauerfeind Sports is worth the higher price tag. It's constructed from a lightweight Air Knit fabric, which is both flexible and comfortable. And since the fabric wicks away moisture effectively, you can work up a sweat in your knee sleeve without feeling too uncomfortable.

The sleeve also features a ring of contoured padding that lines the center to surround the kneecap, providing ideal amounts of cushion and support as you move. This component makes it feel more like a knee brace without sacrificing the sleek flexibility you expect from a knee sleeve.

The sleeve is currently available in sizes extra-small through extra-extra-large.

Price at time of publish: $90

Material: 3D Air-Knit Fabric | Care: Machine wash and air dry | Anti-Slip Features: N/A

Best Compression: Jiufentian Copper Knee Sleeve

Jiufentian Copper Knee Sleeve

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Antibacterial

  • Moisture-wicking

  • Breathable

  • Comes in various sizes

Cons
  • Hand wash only

Many knee sleeves are made from a blend of nylon, spandex, and latex, but the Jiufentian Copper Knee Sleeve primarily uses copper fiber cloth, a textile that is genuinely infused with copper. Though there is limited research on the benefits of copper-infused fabrics, at least one study suggests it may have antibacterial and water-resistant properties, making it easy to keep clean. This knee sleeve provides plenty of tight, supportive compression and successfully maintains its fit over time.

Meanwhile, there's no need to worry about overheating—this knee sleeve is just as breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying as any other on this list. It's currently available in sizes small through 4XL. 

Price at time of publish: $10

Material: Copper fiber, spandex | Care: Hand wash and air dry | Anti-Slip Features: Rubber anti-slip strips

Best for Running: UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Durable

  • Four-way stretch

  • Comes in various sizes

Cons
  • Hand wash only

Breathable, flexible, and durable, the UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve makes for a great addition to any running routine. The sleeve is made from a blend of nylon mesh and spandex, which is lightweight yet durable. Its four-way stretch design also offers plenty of support and compression without limiting your range of motion. And since the interior is lined with wavy silicone grips, you won’t have to worry about it sliding out of place as you run.

The sleeve is currently available in sizes small through extra-large.

Price at time of publish: $7

Material: Nylon, lycra | Care: N/A | Anti-Slip Features: Double-silicone anti-slip wave

Best for Hiking: Blitzu Knee Compression Sleeve

Blitzu Knee Compression Sleeve

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Flexible

  • Breathable

  • Four-way stretch

  • Machine-washable

Cons
  • Must be air dried

When you're hiking, you need a knee sleeve that’s supportive, flexible, and breathable. This one from Blitzu delivers on all fronts. It's constructed from a flexible performance fabric that’s durable but soft to the touch. Meanwhile, its four-way stretch design delivers the compression you’re looking for without limiting your range of motion. Lightweight and breathable, it also keeps you cool and comfortable on your treks.

The machine-washable sleeve is currently available in sizes small through extra-large.

Price at time of publish: $10

Material: Silicone | Care: Machine wash and air dry | Anti-Slip Features: Silicone gripper

Best for Weightlifting: Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves

Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves

Courtesy of Iron Bull

Pros
  • Thick, stretchy material

  • Slip-resistant

  • Comes in various sizes

Cons
  • Expensive

This two-pack of knee sleeves from Iron Bull Strength is ideal for weightlifters looking for a little extra support during intense workouts. The sleeves are made from a thick neoprene-flex material, which is both stretchy and supportive. Meanwhile, the contoured design of the sleeves ensures that you get the snug, cozy fit you need.

And don’t worry about these sleeves slipping down your legs mid-workout. The top of each sleeve is double-lined with silicone gel strips, which keep them securely in place as you lift. The sleeves are currently available in sizes small through extra-extra-large.

Price at time of publish: $50

Material: Neoprene | Care: N/A | Anti-Slip Features: Double silicone gel strips

Best for Basketball: McDavid Hex Knee Compression Sleeve

McDavid Hex Knee Compression Sleeve

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Moisture-wicking

  • Includes padding

  • Machine-washable

  • Comes in various sizes

Cons
  • Tends to slip

This two-pack of compression knee sleeves from McDavid gives you the flexible support you need while you're on the court. They are padded with foam, giving you plenty of cushion to tackle sports like basketball and volleyball with confidence. They are also crafted from a moisture-wicking blend of nylon and spandex, which allow you to work up a sweat without getting uncomfortable.

Most importantly, the sleeves are durable, holding up to wear and tear from your favorite game. They are currently available in sizes small through extra-extra-large, and they come in a one-size-fits-all youth size as well.

Price at time of publish: $30

Material: Nylon, spandex | Care: Machine wash | Anti-Slip Features: N/A

Best for Arthritis: Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves

Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Great for daily wear

  • Comes in various colors

  • Durable

Cons
  • Hand wash only

This knee sleeve is a particularly soft option that’s comfortable enough to wear every day, making it an excellent pick for folks with arthritis. Some research suggests that wearing a knee sleeve may help with arthritis symptoms during activities such as walking.

While many knee sleeves are made from a stretchy blend of spandex, nylon, and latex, this design uses a bamboo charcoal fiber instead of nylon. The result? Super-comfortable compressive support. This two-pack of knee sleeves is currently available in sizes small through extra-extra-extra-large.

Price at time of publish: $17

Material: Bamboo charcoal fiber, latex, spandex | Care: Hand wash | Anti-Slip Features: Yes

Best with Gel Pad: Neenca Gel Pad Knee Sleeve

Neenca Gel Pad Knee Sleeve

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Moisture-wicking

  • Includes padding

  • Comes in various sizes

  • Slip-resistant

Cons
  • Not durable

If you want a knee sleeve with a little extra support, then try this option from Neenca. The stretchy sleeve is crafted from a woven compression fabric, which absorbs moisture and dries quickly to keep your knee comfortable. There is also a ring of gel padding in the middle of the knee sleeve that contours to your knee to offer additional support every time you wear it. Spring stabilizers lining the sides of the sleeve provide stability and support as well.

This knee sleeve is currently available in sizes small through extra-extra-extra-large. 

Price at time of publish: $23

Material: Air knit fabric | Care: N/A | Anti-Slip Features: Non-slip seam strip

Best with Strap: Pure Support Knee Sleeve

Pure Support Knee Sleeve

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Slip-resistant

  • Moisture-wicking

  • Comes in various sizes

  • Machine-washable

Cons
  • Fabric tends to snag

Most knee sleeves boast a pull-on design that locks in place with silicone grip strips. This knee sleeve from Pure Support does the same thing, but it also comes with a built-in strap that makes for an even more snug and secure fit. The sleeve is constructed from a breathable, moisture-wicking textile that applies graduated compression across the knee, which means it gets tighter as you move toward the knee and looser as you move away from it.

Since the sleeve fastens using two different mechanisms—internal silicone grip strips and an external strap—you can rest assured knowing it will stay firmly in place as you move. The sleeve is currently available in sizes small through extra-extra-large.

Price at time of publish: $27

Material: High-performance fabric | Care: Machine wash | Anti-Slip Features: Yes

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a classic knee sleeve, the PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve is a solid option. It's lightweight, flexible, and breathable, and its four-way stretch design will give you the comfort and support you need.

If you prefer a more supportive option, the Bauerfeind Sports Knee Sleeve is a great pick. The additional ring of padding designed to surround the kneecap provides additional support and comfort during wear.

What to Look for in a Knee Sleeve

Material

Many knee sleeves are crafted from a blend of nylon, spandex, and latex. However, some are made with softer materials, such as bamboo charcoal fiber, and others use more durable materials like copper fiber cloth. 

“The material is very important because there are sleeves that have extra padding to stabilize your knee and joint to reduce pain and instability,” says Mark Russ, PT, DPT, at OhioHealth in Columbus, Ohio. He warns that these sleeves can also reduce movement, so for very active individuals, he recommends purchasing one that features a breathable material as to not impede movement. 

Consider what you’d like your knee sleeve to feel like before shopping to ensure that you select one that feels comfortable to you.

Padding

Some knee sleeves come equipped with padding, which can offer additional comfort and support. This padding is often designed to surround and cushion the knee joint without detracting from the sleeve’s sleek profile. With that said, some designs feature thicker padding down the front of the sleeve to protect the knees during more intense activities like sports.

“There has been more success in recommending knee sleeves with padding to people who are dealing with symptoms of osteoarthritis or the degeneration of knees,” explains Russ. Throughout his career, he has recommended that patients with osteoarthritis obtain sleeves that have padding to push the patella toward the midline of the body. This helps reduce pain by optimizing alignment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you measure for a knee sleeve?

    To measure for a knee sleeve, you’ll need to measure the circumference of your leg at a certain distance (usually 4 to 6 inches) above your knee cap. When selecting a knee sleeve, consult the product’s packaging or website for specific instructions on where to measure.

  • Can you wear a knee sleeve all day?

    In general, knee sleeves are suitable to wear all day and can be worn for support if you’re going to be walking or on your feet for most of the day. The material is usually comfortable enough that you can wear it for extended periods of time without irritation, chafing, or discomfort.

  • Do knee sleeves help knee pain?

    Yes, knee sleeves can help support the knee, reduce pain, and improve overall functionality. “One way to determine whether a brace is helpful is to simply wear one and determine the response to pain and function,” says Brandon Schmitt, DPT, ATC, chair of the Knee Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy. Keep in mind that wearing a knee sleeve should not be a substitute for an evaluation and treatment plan for knee pain from a doctor or physical therapist.  

  • How tight should a knee sleeve be?

    A knee sleeve should be loose enough to fit comfortably and not impede blood flow, yet snug enough not to slip down, according to Dr. Schmitt. If you feel that it’s pinching or restricting your movement in any way, then it’s too tight.

  • How much does a quality knee sleeve cost?

    A quality knee sleeve will be comfortable, functional, and supportive—and the truth is you can find many high-quality options without spending over budget. A lightweight option, like the UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve, is often available at just $7. Whereas a sleeve with extra support, such as the Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves at Amazon, was $50 when we published this list. Depending on intended use and much support you need, the cost of a knee sleeve will vary.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who have tried them.

3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 7 Best Knee Braces for Arthritis of 2022. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/best-knee-braces-for-arthritis

  2. Hong HR, Kim J, Park CH. Facile fabrication of multifunctional fabrics: use of copper and silver nanoparticles for antipacterial, superhydrophobic, conductive fabrics. RSC Adv. 2018;8:41782-41794. doi:10.1039/C8RA08310J

  3. Schween R, Gehring D, Gollhofer A. Immediate effects of an elastic knee sleeve on frontal plane gait biomechanics in knee osteoarthritisPLoS One. 2015;10(1):e0115782. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115782

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