What Are The Best Knee Sleeves And When To Wear Them?

Professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts have a knack for wearing sports gear like knee sleeves. I’m pretty sure you must have spotted this very cool looking band around their knees. Knee sleeves are a very popular item for athletes, weightlifters, and the like.

And why? Because the best knee sleeves are specially designed to provide additional and valuable support to the knees so every player or athlete can up their game to a whole new level.

Quick Comparison: Top 5 Best Knee Sleeves

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.com

What are Knee Sleeves?

Before we begin, let me tell you that knee sleeves are not anything like knee braces. So please don’t confuse the two. Both provide knee support but the kind of knee support that each has to offer functions in different ways. Knee braces are created to protect the knees that have already been injured or damaged.


Credit: roguefitness.com

While knee sleeves are created to protect your knees from any future or potential harm or injury. They are mainly used when your knees are subjected to immense daily pressure due to weightlifting, running, or jumping.

Knee Wraps Versus Knee Sleeves

Knee sleeves are the kind of gear one uses mainly for the compression element. What this particular feature does is increase blood circulation, which minimizes pain to a great extent. In fact, wearing knee sleeves can go as far as reducing pain as well as swelling in your knees even after the performance. Pretty neat, isn’t it?

Why do You Need Knee Sleeves?

I would like to share my experience with you in order to provide you with the best possible answer to the question, do I need knee sleeves? And why?

When I decided to actually make use of my gym membership, I started to hit the gym almost regularly. Running on the treadmill and then doing some cardio exercises, weightlifting and then stretching afterward became my daily workout routine.

Kunto Fitness Knee Brace Compression Support Sleeve for Sports, Arthritis, Joint Pain, Injury Recovery and More!

Becoming a fitness enthusiast was as fun and liberating as it was tough and challenging. Working out like that every day led to the development of crazy muscle pulls, knee injuries, and joint pain. So every time I felt any such strain and discomfort, I took a good 7 days off before resuming those activities again.

But with time I realized that no matter how many ever days of rest I took, it didn’t really prove to be helpful in reducing my knee pain or discomfort at all. So finding another effective and permanent solution became absolutely necessary. And that is how I was introduced to the best knee sleeves, thanks to my doctor.

So this is why the answer to your question, are knee sleeves worth it, is always on the positive side. Running the unfortunate risk of injuring or damaging your knees due to an impressive daily fitness plan or workout regime is something that you should avoid at all costs. And this is exactly why you need to start wearing knee sleeves.

Types of Knee Sleeves

Open Knee Sleeves

CALIBRE KNEE BRACE SUPPORT WITH OPEN PATELLA- Helps Stabilising And Recovery - High Quality Neoprene Adjustable Compression Sleeve Knee Pad - Perfect For Training, Arthritis, Strains and Knee Injuries

These are the kind of knee sleeves that are designed with a front hole. Such a design significantly reduces pressure on and around the knees, enabling maximum breathability.

Closed Knee Sleeves

Neoprene Knee Support Brace and Compression Sleeve, for Best Squats, Crossfit, Running, Basketball, Jumping, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Acl, Knee Pain, Protection for Women and Men

The closed knee sleeves boost the level of heat retention in the knees. And this provides effective support to the entire knee cap.

Built-In Stabilizers

Some of the knee sleeves on the market are manufactured with additional inbuilt side stabilizers. They carry out the job of providing extra support to the ligaments located in the knees.

Knee Compression Sleeves by Clever Compression (1 Pair) - Unisex - Good Recovery For Running, Yoga, Crossfit, Basketball, Working Out & All Types Of Outdoor Activities

The Best Way to Choose Knee Sleeves

When it comes to knee sleeves, there are only two very important factors that you should take into consideration.


In order to buy not only the best but also the most suitable knee sleeves for yourself, you must get the correct measurement of your knees. And the way this needs to be done is very simple. Gauge your leg’s circumference right above the knee cap, which should be 2.5 inches, more or less.

You should know that the sizes of knee sleeves vary with different brands. But the standard size is something like this; 17 to 19 inches is large, 15 to 17 inches is medium and 14 to 15 inches is small.

The most commonly asked question, when it comes to the size of knee sleeves, is how tight should knee sleeves be? Based on my personal experience, I would advise you to select a size that is comparatively smaller than your actual size. It gives you additional security and minimizes slippage. So please don’t forget to opt for snug knee sleeves every single time.

best knee sleeves


This particular factor is another equally important element that we must look into if we want to buy the most suitable knee sleeves for our precious knees. Choosing a width that suits your particular needs as well as your knees can go a long way in providing extra support.

For example, when it comes to weightlifting, you might need extra support. Whereas the activity of running doesn’t require a lot of knee support. So for the former, a width of 7mm is simply perfect while the latter requires no more than 5mm in width.

Therefore, based on the activity that you will be performing, select a width that is neither too large nor too small for your knees.

	 AidBrace Knee Brace Support Sleeve with Patella Support and Side Stabilizers for Meniscus Tear, ACL & LCL Injury Recovery

Benefits of Using Knee Sleeves

There are three very important benefits that you will experience once you start wearing knee sleeves. These are the kind of advantages that go a long way in providing ultimate comfort, support, and protection to your knees. So let’s find out what the benefits are, shall we?

  • Why do you think knee sleeves are so important when it comes to weightlifting? It’s because when your knee caps are regularly subjected to grinding onto themselves, due to weightlifting, the development of tendonitis is inevitable. And what knee sleeves do is considerably reduce the risk of tendonitis.
  • You should know that most knee sleeves on the market are constructed using neoprene material, which has its own unique advantages. Neoprene material makes the knee sleeves pretty easy to slide over your knees while also increasing blood circulation and reducing pain. I like to call this the compression effect.
  • I’m sure you must have heard about runner’s knee or jumper’s knee. Swelling in the knees and the pain caused by it are the result of the lack of balance between your quadriceps and inner leg muscles. With runners, this causes runner’s knee while heavy weightlifters and jumpers develop jumper’s knee or Patellar tendonitis.

In such cases, using knee sleeves can really prove to be extremely beneficial to your knees. They help in eliminating the possibility of the unfortunate formation of runner’s knee or jumper’s knee in athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Top 5 Best Knee Sleeves

Nordic Lifting 7mm Neoprene Knee Sleeves

As far as heavy weightlifting is concerned, the Nordic Lifting 7mm Neoprene Knee Sleeves are considered to be one of the best in that arena. Benefits such as increasing blood circulation and reducing the risk of tendonitis and jumper’s knee are all a part of the advantages of using the Nordic Lifting 7mm Neoprene Knee Sleeves.

These knee sleeves are designed with neoprene material, which means you get access to all the compression benefits of knee sleeves. We all know what compression does, right? Compression in the knees has the ability to not only increase blood flow but also considerably reduce knee pain.

Since size is one of the very important factors to take into consideration when buying the most suitable knee sleeves, the Nordic Lifting 7mm Neoprene Knee Sleeves are perfectly true to size. With a width of 7mm, they are thick enough to provide your knees with the adequate amount of extra support for heavy weightlifting.

Nordic Lifting 7mm Neoprene Knee Sleeves

Knee Sleeves (1 Pair) Support & Compression for Weightlifting, Powerlifting & CrossFit - 7mm Neoprene Sleeve for the Best Squats - Both Women & Men - by Nordic Lifting® - Large, 1 Year Warranty

We Like

  • ​These knee sleeves provide remarkable warmth and support to the knee ligaments and tendons.
  • ​They are very easy to take off even in the presence of sweat.
  • ​They are an ideal choice for heavy-duty purposes.

We Don't Like

  • ​The knee sleeves create a swooshing sound when you walk in them.
  • ​They are a tad too short in length.

A Cheaper Way To Buy Knee Sleeves? Nordic Knee Sleeve Review

McDavid 6446 HEX Padded Compression Leg Sleeve

The McDavid 6446 HEX Padded Compression Leg Sleeves are among the knee sleeves that cover the entire lower thigh region as well as the upper calf. And what does this mean? It means that you not only get protection in the knee cap but also the muscles located above and below the knee cap.

The McDavid 6446 HEX Padded Compression Leg Sleeves provide exceptional compression. And that makes them perfect for sports like football, basketball, volleyball, or any kind of such physical activity that requires you to keep your knee caps constantly in motion.

The best part about these knee sleeves is the fact that they are constructed with a moisture wicking fabric which keeps your skin cool and dry throughout the workout or game session.

The reason why the McDavid 6446 HEX Padded Compression Leg Sleeves have an extended length is because the manufacturer wanted to not only support your knees but also protect them from potential cuts, scratches, and injury.

McDavid 6446 HEX Padded Compression Leg Sleeve

McDavid 6446 Extended Compression Leg Sleeve with HexPad Protective Pad, White, Large - One pair

We Like

  • ​The HEX feature offers a wide range of motion.
  • ​The padding of these knee sleeves is truly remarkable at providing adequate comfort to the knees.
  • ​They are machine-washable.

We Don't Like

  • ​The knee cap area doesn’t hold up well with time.
  • ​These knee sleeves tend to bunch up below the padded region.

Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support Sleeve

One of the knee sleeves with an open knee design is the Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support Sleeves. Before talking about any other feature, let me first tell you that these knee sleeves have a remarkable ability to relieve knee pressure significantly and lower maximum fatigue in the knee joint (how to save your knees).

And if you’re an athlete or simply a fitness freak that has a habit of performing demanding workout routines daily, then these two characteristics will prove to be a blessing in disguise.

The Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support Sleeves come with a reinforced patella stabilizer. This feature is extremely useful in holding the patella in the correct position while simultaneously stabilizing your PCL, ACL, MCL, and LCL.

Due to their outstanding knee cap protection, the Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support Sleeves might be an ideal choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who have recently undergone knee surgery.

Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support Sleeve

Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support Sleeve - Active Wear, Adjustable Size, Black

We Like

  • ​These knee sleeves are perfectly tight and snug.
  • ​They provide maximum flexibility and support to the knees.
  • ​The Velcro strap fastens in two different places, which means more adjustability and comfort.

We Don't Like

  • ​Not suitable for skinny legs.
  • ​They are very light in weight.

Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve

One of the best knee sleeves for fitness enthusiasts who simply love doing squats are the Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeves. They are constructed with the exceptional neoprene material that increases blood flow and minimizes pain.

And not just that, the Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeves are also covered with the efficient polyamide material. The combination of these two materials goes a long way in enhancing performance as well as increasing the gear’s durability.

Fitness enthusiasts and gym goers who have a knack for squatting with weights or simply just squatting, truly value the Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeves. They offer a fit that is neither too loose and especially not too tight as that proves to be counterproductive when it comes to protecting the knee caps.

These knee sleeves don’t just perform the job of protecting the knee cap, but also provide plenty of support to the muscles located around the knee cap as well. And this can be really helpful in preventing the knees from getting injured or damaged.

Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve

Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve (Medium (33-36cm)

We Like

  • ​These knee sleeves provide phenomenal joint warmth as well as support.
  • ​Suitable for heavy-duty cardio daily without causing any knee pain.
  • ​They offer remarkable lateral support as well.

We Don't Like

  • ​The knee sleeves are slightly on the thicker side.
  • ​They tend to slip down after a certain point of time.

How to Wash Rehband Knee Sleeves

Mava Sports Neoprene Knee Compression Sleeves

If there are any knee sleeves that provide ultimate comfort to the knees, then they are the Mava Sports Neoprene Knee Compression Sleeves. Built with neoprene material, these knee sleeves offer maximum support and stability to the knees.

And I really appreciate the double-stitched design of the knee sleeves as it provides additional comfort. And that’s great news for those who suffer from tendonitis or arthritis.

The Mava Sports Neoprene Knee Compression Sleeves are the kind of knee sleeves that one would wear for some heavy-duty weightlifting. They are anatomically shaped in order to provide enhanced performance. And that means you can achieve a lot more from your workout sessions with these knee sleeves on.

The best part about the Mava Sports Neoprene Knee Compression Sleeves is that they don’t have the tendency to fall off, slip, or even unroll. So you don’t need to worry about the sleeves causing any kind of discomfort when you’re cross-training, performing heavy squats, or doing some serious heavy weightlifting.

Mava Sports Neoprene Knee Compression Sleeves

Mava Knee Sleeves Recommended for Powerlifting, Cross Training, Gym Workouts, Weight Lifting & Fitness Activity - Support Without Stiffness - Built to Last - - Pair - 1 Year Warranty

We Like

  • ​They provide exceptional support.
  • ​The knee sleeves don’t bunch up and are very easy to remove.
  • ​They are perfect for weightlifting and aiding in recovery.

We Don't Like

  • ​The knee sleeves are a tad too stiff.
  • ​They tend to stretch, loosen up and fit comfortably after a few wears.

The Final Note

When it comes to the knees, it’s always a better idea to care for them in the best possible manner. You should be doing whatever it takes in order to keep them healthy, comfortable, and protected at all times.

And more so if you’re an athlete or gym enthusiast. Because when your knees are subjected to daily heavy pressure and strain, due to the kind of activities that you do, you have to wear the best knee sleeves to pamper them with that extra support and protection.

So keeping this mind, I would recommend the Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeves. Their anatomically shaped design and high-quality, neoprene construction offer unbeatable support, protection, and durability.

These knee sleeves are simply perfect in size as well as width in order to provide maximum security and minimum slippage along with that extra support that your knees need while doing some serious exercises or workout routines.

​You might also like:


1. http://boxlifemagazine.com/knee-wraps-vs-knee-sleeves-whats-the-difference/

2. http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/the-advantages-of-knee-sleeves-what-they-are-and-when-to-wear-them

3. http://www.rxdsleeves.com/knee-sleeve-benefits/