The 9 Best Knee Compression Sleeves of 2023

POWERLIX’s Knee Compression Sleeve helps increase blood circulation and prevent injury.

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The 9 Best Knee Compression Sleeves of 2022

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The knees are one of the most easily injured joints in the body. Whether your knee pain is caused by biomechanics, a previous injury, or wear-and-tear due to age, a knee compression sleeve can help to increase oxygen flow to the muscle tissue and decrease recovery time post-activity. 

Reviewed & Approved

Our top recommendation is POWERLIX’s Knee Compression Sleeve, which is made from a tight and breathable fabric for knee joint stability. For a budget-friendly option, we like CAMBIVO’s Knee Compression Sleeve because it comes in a pack of two and provides an optimal balance between supporting your knee joint and comfort.

Before purchasing a knee compression sleeve, it’s important to know how knee sleeves differ from knee braces. “Braces offer an element of structural support that sleeves do not. The rigid elements presented in knee braces help to prevent abnormal movements of the femur and tibia around one another that sleeves cannot do,” says Chris Raynor, BSc, MSc, BEd, MD, FRCSC, founder of Human 2.0. However, a knee compression sleeve will be sufficient for pain relief associated with swelling of the knee.

Keep in mind that knee compression sleeves vary not only in their level of support but also in comfort and cost. Choosing a knee sleeve will depend on your specific needs and which type will work best for you. We spoke with orthopedists and running experts and reviewed knee sleeves based on fit, materials, extra features, cost, and effectiveness.

Here are the best knee compression sleeves available today.

Our Recommendations

Best Overall: POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve

Amazon

Why we like it: This knee sleeve has two silicone gel strips to prevent it from moving, which means that it won’t easily come off during intense exercise or even casual activity.

It's worth noting: This item contains a single compression sleeve so if you want a pair you’ll have to buy two. 

If you’re looking for a knee sleeve to increase blood circulation or to minimize knee pain after working out, our top choice is POWERLIX’s Knee Compression Sleeve. This knee sleeve is made from a tight and breathable fabric, providing stability and protection of the knee joint regardless of the activity you’re doing.

There are two silicone gel strips to lock it into place while you wear it. Sometimes knee sleeves come off during every day or intense activities, but this is not the case with POWERLIX’s sleeve. It’s quick at absorbing sweat and keeps your legs dry and odor-free—which is great because wearing knee sleeves for long periods of time can make your legs sweat. This compression sleeve is non-slip and comes in a wide range of sizes, from small to XXL.

While this item comes as a single sleeve and not a pair, we think it’s worth it in the long run. There’s a 6-month money-back guarantee, and because of the premium materials it's made from, it's a durable option you can trust.

Price at time of publication: $20

Product Details:

  • Type: Closed knee sleeve with stable pressure across the whole knee joint
  • Support: Tight and breathable fabric for all types of the activity
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Non-slip: Yes

Best Value: CAMBIVO Compression Sleeve

CAMBIVO Knee Compression Sleeve

Amazon

Why We Like It: It comes in a pack of two, making it ideal for those looking to wear knee sleeves on both knees.

It's Worth Noting: Because it isn’t made from neoprene, it may not be as comfortable as other items on this list.

For a budget-friendly option, CAMBIVO’s Knee Compression Sleeve is our recommendation. Because it comes in a pack of two, making it ideal for those wanting to wear sleeves on both knees or for those who want an extra sleeve while the other is in the wash. Plus, it’s budget-friendly. 

These sleeves keep your knees warm and can help to reduce stiffness in your joints. We like that it provides an optimal balance between compression and comfort. Even though you’re protected from further injury by wearing these sleeves, it won’t feel restrictive during movement.

Whether you’ve got a muscle tear or have arthritis, another plus of CAMBIVO’s compression sleeve is that it provides a firm level of support not seen in other options on this list. This makes it suitable for any sport or activity that puts extra strain on the knee joint. Because it’s not made from neoprene, it may not be as comfortable as other options on this list. However, the budget-friendly price for a pack of two is a good value.

Price at time of publication: $10+

Product Details:

  • Type: Closed knee sleeve with stable pressure across the whole knee joint
  • Support: Flexible and breathable fabric providing firm support
  • Material: 65% nylon, 20% latex, 15% spandex
  • Non-slip: Yes

Best Adjustable: DonJoy Performance Stabilizing Knee Sleeve

DonJoy Performance Stabilizing Knee Sleeve

DonJoy Performance

Why We Like It: There are two adjustable straps (one at the top and one at the bottom of this compression sleeve) for extra compression and a more secure fit.

It's Worth Noting: This sleeve is a more expensive choice and comes as a single sleeve (not a pair).

DonJoy’s Performance Stabilizing Knee Sleeve is recommended for those with tendinitis, knee bursitis, or general knee injuries from overuse. It’s a more expensive option compared to other items on our list, but there are many things to like about it.

First, there are two adjustable straps for a more secure and comfortable fit. You can easily tighten the straps when you want added support or loosen them if you want to take a break. Next, its design leaves the kneecap open and exposed, with a hex buttress surrounding it. This provides added kneecap stabilization without limiting your range of motion.

Not only this, but this knee sleeve has added reflectivity for low-light conditions, making it ideal if you’re outside in the dark. You also get a stash pocket—something we’ve not seen in any other option on this list—making it great for storing your bank card, money, or keys. DonJoy’s Knee Sleeve fits either the left or right knee, but you only get a single sleeve with the product.

Price at time of publication: $45

Product Details:

  • Type: Open knee sleeve with adjustable straps, providing stable pressure across the whole knee joint
  • Support: The sleeve provides support for the knee joint, while the hex buttress provides kneecap stabilization
  • Material: Perforated neoprene
  • Non-slip: Yes

Best for Arthritis: Physix Gear Sport Compression Knee Sleeves

Physix Gear Knee Support Brace

Amazon

Why We Like It: It’s slim, lightweight, and elastic—making it ideal to wear under your clothing without it feeling uncomfortable.

It's Worth Noting: Some may find this sleeve can roll down during activity because of the lightweight and elastic fabric it’s made from. 

For arthritis, we recommend Physix Gear Sport Compression Knee Sleeves. For those with arthritis, it’s common to have aches or pains in the knee joints, which is why you’re looking for the right level of support. This compression sleeve is lightweight and elastic, so you can wear it under your everyday clothes without feeling uncomfortable or frustrated. And just because it’s lightweight doesn’t mean it won’t protect your knee. You’ll still get the correct level of support and stabilization while wearing this sleeve.

Even though the product comes with one knee sleeve, it can be worn on either the right or left knee. It also comes in a range of sizes and is machine washable.

Price at time of publication: $14

Product Details:

  • Type: Closed knee sleeve with stable pressure across the whole knee joint
  • Support: Stretchable fabric providing heavy-duty support of the knee joint
  • Material: 67% nylon, 33% latex
  • Non-slip: Yes

Best for Knee Pain: NEENCA Professional Compression Knee Sleeve

NEENCA Professional Compression Knee Sleeve

Amazon

Why We Like It: There’s a gel pad surrounding the kneecap—along with metal stabilizers—for added support of your knee joint.

It's Worth Noting: Some may prefer knee compression sleeves made from neoprene, although this is down to personal preference.

We’ve chosen NEENCA’s Professional Compression Knee Sleeve as our recommendation for the best bet at relieving your knee pain because it keeps your knees warm and lubricates your joints.

NEENCA’s sleeve comes with a patented gel pad and side spring stabilizers, both of which help to stabilize and support your knee. Whether you’re walking or doing more intense exercise, it should stay in place all day because of the non-slip strips. It’s also elastic, helping to increase oxygen flow and reduce inflammation and swelling, both of which can be common for those with arthritis.

The fabric this knee sleeve is made from is lightweight and breathable, and this sleeve can be worn on either the right or left knee. Note that you only get one sleeve in the pack. It’s not suitable for machine washing because of the way it’s made, but can be washed by hand.

Price at time of publication: $22+

Product Details:

  • Type: Closed knee sleeve with gel pad surrounding the kneecap, stable pressure across the whole knee joint
  • Support: Thick and functional fabric for additional support, double-sided metal spring stabilizers for side support and to maintain stability
  • Material: 82% nylon, 10% polyester, 8% spandex
  • Non-slip: Yes

Best for Weight Lifting: ProFitness Knee Sleeves for Weight Lifting

ProFitness Knee Sleeves for Weight Lifting

Amazon

Why We Like It: It’s extra thick and made from neoprene, which helps reduce the risk of injury while working out.

It's Worth Noting: Because it’s extra-thick and designed for weight lifting, it may not be ideal if you’re looking for knee sleeves for everyday use.

Looking for the best knee compression sleeve for weight lifting? Look no further than the ProFitness’ Knee Sleeves. These sleeves are sold in a pair and are 7mm thick, thicker than most other options. It’s made from neoprene, keeping your muscles warm while using it. This means that it’s ideal for preventing knee injuries during squats, deadlifts, lunges, and many more exercises in the gym or at home. 

We like that it’s anti-slip, which is needed when lifting heavy weights. The last thing you want is for your sleeves to be rolling down mid-rep. They come with a lifetime warranty and a zippered outer pocket to store your valuables. Not only this, but you also get a carrying bag for your sleeves too!

It’s worth noting that you can’t wash these knee sleeves in the machine, and because they’re extra-thick, they may not be suitable for everyday use. If this is what you’re looking for, you may need an additional compression sleeve to go with this pair.

Price at time of publication: $40

Product Details:

  • Type: Closed knee sleeves with 7mm thickness and stable pressure across the whole knee joint
  • Support: Made with heavy-duty materials for extra support and injury protection
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Non-slip: Yes

Best for Running: SportsMed Compression Knee Sleeve

SportsMed Compression Knee Sleeve

Ec3d Sports

Why We Like It: It’s designed to fit your anatomy like a second layer of skin, which helps it not feel like a burden when running.

It's Worth Noting: It doesn’t have gel strips or extra features around the kneecap, so it may not provide enough support for some people.

If you’re looking for knee sleeves for running, our recommendation is SportsMed’s Compression Knee Sleeve. We like this because of the fit—it fits your anatomy like a second skin and optimizes the biomechanics of your body. When running, you don’t want something that will feel heavy or slow you down, which is a major pro of this sleeve. Plus, it’s designed to give you better muscle oxygenation while they’re being worn. It’s antimicrobial and moisture controlled, helping to reduce sweat and smell. 

While it doesn’t have gel strips, which would provide additional support, it’s still able to stabilize the knee joint. It also provides full flexibility of movement while worn—helping you keep running while caring for your knees.

Price at time of publication: $18

Product Details:

  • Type: Closed knee sleeve with targeted compression zones to optimize the biomechanics of your body
  • Support: Reduced compression zone directly on the knee joint for comfort, with more stabilization around the knee joint for added support
  • Material: 70% polyester, 30% elastane
  • Non-slip: Not listed

Best for Varicose Veins: Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support

Bauerfeind - GenuTrain - Knee Support - Targeted Support for Pain Relief and Stabilization of the Knee, Provides Relief of Weak, Swollen, and Injured Knees

Amazon

Why We Like It: This product has medical-grade compression, which helps relieve knee pain and swelling.

It's Worth Noting: It’s by far the most expensive knee compression sleeve on this list and only comes as a single sleeve.

Using a knee compression sleeve to help with varicose veins can help alleviate pain and discomfort. This can make all the difference in getting out and about. We recommend Bauerfriend’s GenuTrain Knee Support because it provides medical-grade compression that exceeds competitor options. 

A silicone pad surrounds the kneecap, leaving it pressure-free and providing compression to the joint. This helps to reduce swelling and increases blood circulation. Whether you’re an athlete, or you’ve suffered from a knee injury in the past, Bauerfriend’s sleeve can help to ease pain, stimulate healing, and improve mobility.

We like that it’s machine washable on a gentle cycle, but note that it is the most expensive option on this list. The sizing options aren’t traditional, so check the guide (provided in the “questions & answers” section) carefully before purchasing this product.

Price at time of publication: $140

Product Details:

  • Type: Closed knee sleeve with silicone pad surrounding the kneecap, stable pressure across the whole knee joint
  • Support: Medical-grade compression to support the knee joint, which can be used for arthritis, osteoarthritis, recurring knee pain, and more
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Non-slip: Not listed

Most Supportive: Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves

Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves

Amazon

Why We Like It: They’re competition approved by the USPA & IPL Approved Gear, highlighting their quality.

It's worth noting: Some reviewers say it smells a bit like chemicals upon arrival.

Iron Bull’s Strength Knee Sleeves is recommended for those who want extra support to alleviate knee pain. It’s made from a 7mm neoprene material, making it a dependable choice for maximum compression and for muscle recovery and rehabilitation. We like that it’s competition approved by the USPA & IPL Approved Gear, which highlights its quality.

It has gel strips to lock the sleeves into place whilst you’re active, helping to prevent it from slipping down. This purchase comes as a pair, and can be used in the gym, or if you want extra support from time to time whilst walking. 

Price at time of publication: $50

Product Details:

  • Type: Closed knee sleeves with 7mm thickness, with stable pressure across the whole knee joint
  • Support: Made with heavy-duty materials for maximum support and injury protection
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Non-slip: Yes

How We Selected the Best Knee Compression Sleeves

To determine the best knee compression sleeves on the market, we spoke with three experts—two orthopedic surgeons and one avid runner and running coach—about what features to look for when purchasing a knee sleeve, how effective compression sleeves are, how tight your knee sleeve should be, and more. Since the best compression sleeve for you will depend on individual factors like the level of support you need, we included sleeves that offer varying levels of protection, from lightweight to extra-thick.

When reviewing the various knee compression sleeves available and the level of support, we considered fit, materials, comfort, extra features, and more. We offered a range of knee sleeves so you can find one that best meets your needs—and your budget.

What to Know About Knee Compression Sleeves

Type of Knee Sleeves

Knee compression sleeves with a hole at the knee cap are known as open patella sleeves (the patella is another name for the kneecap). An open patella sleeve is ideal for those with patellar tendonitis or other kneecap injuries to help ensure the patella is tracking in line with the rest of the knee joint. The other option, a closed patella sleeve, provides slightly more support while still allowing the knee to move freely. The closed option is generally recommended for those who don’t have injuries. Sleeves also vary in levels of thickness. You can opt for anything from lightweight to extra-thick materials. An extra-thick option can be good for weightlifting or working out, or in times when you need extra support. The downside is that it can feel restrictive and can get sweaty if you’re wearing it for continuous periods of time.

Effectiveness and Functionality 

Knee sleeves are effective when it comes to pain relief, recovery, and blood circulation. Although safe to use, we recommend consulting with your doctor before deciding to wear them. Additionally, it’s advised not to wear them all day, every day. This will give your skin a break from time to time. In terms of durability, sleeves can last anywhere from weeks to years, depending on how often you use them and how well you care for them. “Knee sleeves typically last for several months with proper care. However, if you are using them for physical activity, they may need to be replaced more frequently,” says Dr. Kellie K. Middleton, an orthopedic surgeon.

Materials

Knee compression sleeves are made from a range of materials, including neoprene, polyester, elastane, nylon, latex, spandex, and more. When purchasing knee sleeves, you’ll want a fabric that is breathable, odor-free, and easy to maintain. This is especially important if you sweat a lot or you’ll be wearing your sleeves during intense exercise.

Fit 

The knee sleeve should not be excessively tight, but it shouldn’t be loose, either. You should opt for a sleeve that offers both compression and comfort. However, if you need extra support we suggest swinging for a tighter fit. 

Comfort 

Generally, compression sleeves are flexible and do not restrict movement in any way. Depending on the option you purchase, you may even forget that you’re wearing one in the first place after a while. 

Extra Features 

Some knee compression sleeves come with extra features, such as adjustable straps, gel strips to lock it into place whilst you’re wearing it, gel pads to cushion the kneecap, stash pockets for your valuables, reflectivity strips for low-light conditions, and more. Before purchasing a knee sleeve, it’s important to consider whether any of these additional features will benefit you. 

Your Questions, Answered

How much do quality knee compression sleeves cost?

Knee compression sleeves cost between $14 and $140, with most items on this list priced at or below $60 for a pair of two sleeves. It’s worth noting that sometimes, even though a certain product may seem more expensive, it comes in a pack of two, whereas the alternative comes as a single. Consider whether you want one or two sleeves before purchasing. Sometimes, it’s good to have a second option on-hand in case you lose one or when the other is in the wash. 

Do compression knee sleeves actually work?

Yes, knee compression sleeves work for the job they’re meant to do. “Knee compression sleeves help with pain relief, recovery, and blood circulation. They are effective when it comes to these things because they provide support and stability to the knee joint. Additionally, compression helps to reduce swelling and inflammation,” says Dr. Middleton. 

What type of knee sleeve do I need?

There are many types of knee sleeves, from open to closed, lightweight to extra thick, and some have extra features, such as gel strips or gel pads to protect the knee. Your individual circumstances are important and there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the type of knee sleeve you need. If you have severe knee pain, you might want to consider medical-grade compression option.

Whichever knee sleeve you go with, the basics still apply. “When considering purchasing a knee sleeve, you ideally want something that is relatively easy to pull on and pull off. It should also be somewhat breathable, especially if you are wearing it for extended periods or when performing heavy exercise/labor,” Raynor says.

When should you start wearing a knee sleeve? 

Some people wait until they experience pain to start wearing a knee sleeve, whereas others use them earlier on to prevent pain from occurring in the first place. It’s all down to personal preference. If you’re thinking about wearing sleeves—there’s probably a good reason why. If you’re thinking of using a knee sleeve, it’s probably a good idea to try one out sooner rather than later. 

How do you measure for a knee compression sleeve?

Unfortunately, there’s no standard way to measure for a knee compression sleeve when it comes to different brands. Every brand has different requirements so it’s important to check each one and make sure you understand their size guide before purchasing a knee sleeve. Some ask you to measure around the kneecap to determine the right size for you, whereas others ask you to measure 4 or 5 inches above the kneecap. Having a flexible measuring tape measure on-hand is useful either way.

Who We Are

As a qualified personal trainer and health and fitness writer, Ravi Davda understands how important quality product recommendations can be. He recommends products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.

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Sources
Health.com 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. Common knee injuries - orthoinfo - aaos. Accessed December 9, 2022. https://www.orthoinfo.org/en/diseases--conditions/common-knee-injuries/

  2. Uspa approved equipment list - uspa. Published December 8, 2021. Accessed December 9, 2022. https://uspa.net/uspa-approved-equipment-list/

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