The 6 Best Carpal Tunnel Braces to Prevent Wrist Strain, According to Physical Therapists

Made with bendable metal and adjustable straps, these highly rated braces for carpal tunnel support and stabilize.

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Your hands feel fine and dandy until carpal tunnel-related pain starts to settle in. The pain can be so burdensome that you stop typing or working out altogether. Carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition where the median nerve gets compressed under the carpal canal, is not uncommon and affects roughly 4 to 10 million Americans, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

As a result, "people generally experience symptoms of numbness, tingling, or burning into the thumb, index, middle finger, or any combination of the three," Daniel Nowland, PT, DPT, CEAS I, physical therapist and certified ergonomics specialist, tells Health.

While the exact cause of carpal tunnel is unknown, the condition can be exacerbated by your wrist location when typing and even your sleeping position. While carpal tunnel braces aren't a cure-all, wearing them in conjunction with following your healthcare provider's treatment plan can help decrease inflammation and minimize compression of the nerve, Nowland says.

These are the six best carpal tunnel braces:

What should you look for in a carpal tunnel brace?

Carpal tunnel braces work to limit the wrist's movement and prevent further strain, says Ontario, Canada-based physical therapist Jenny Lee, PT. "A good brace is one that holds your wrist in place" and has a "very slight bend," Lee tells Health. Overall, a carpal tunnel brace can provide wrist support and stabilization in between physical therapy and visits to the doctor.

When looking for a supportive wrist brace, Lee recommends one with rigid components, such as hard plastic or metal, to keep the wrist in place. Braces should also offer compression and have "light padding on the inside," Lee says. "If your wrist is going to be in that brace for hours at a time, it needs to be comfortable."

More importantly, braces should fit properly and allow the thumb and fingers to move comfortably. "It should be long enough to cover your entire wrist and halfway down your forearm," Lee says. Remember, the brace should fit snugly, but not cut off circulation. Another tip: Limit the amount of time you're wearing the brace to prevent becoming reliant on it—only wear it at night or during activities that make your carpal tunnel worse. Otherwise, Lee says this can allow "the wrist to become stiff or weak due to inactivity."

Below, Health rounded up the best carpal tunnel braces that'll help stabilize your wrist and alleviate pain.

Best Overall: Mueller Fitted Wrist Brace

Best Carpal Tunnel Braces

Rated second-highest in the Hand and Wrist Support category on Amazon, this brace no doubt helps customers in pain. The brace has a spoon-like shape that contours to the shape of your wrist and a cut-out so that your fingers can move freely, making it a great choice for daytime wear. It comes highly recommended by Nowland for its adjustable straps, breathable fabric, and cushioned fit. "It will provide appropriate levels of support without being too cumbersome," he says. Plus, it comes in right-hand and left-hand options.

It has nearly 11,120 five-star ratings and thousands of rave reviews from Amazon customers. One wrote: "Overall, the 'Mueller Fitted Right Wrist' was just what I was looking for! It helped minimize my wrist pain in less than two weeks and provided much-needed relief which I couldn't get from other sources!" They continued, "With very good support on the bottom section of the item, it felt much more ergonomic than other products I have tried. It ensured minimal hand movement, helping provide the much-needed rest and heal the injured muscles. I felt the relief immediately after wearing it for about a day. It has been two weeks of use and I feel my wrist is progressively getting better!"

Best Wrist Support: Yosoo Wrist Support Brace

Best Carpal Tunnel Braces

Lee likes the Yosoo brace because it holds the wrist in a neutral position, which reduces carpal tunnel pressure and prevents further damage. With three elastic straps, the brace can easily be adjusted, and since it's made from breathable and antibacterial neoprene, it won't smell even if your hands break a sweat. The best part, though? The Yosoo brace can fit both the left and right hands.

It's "effective as a splint for the relief of carpal tunnel pain," according to one Amazon customer. Similarly, another wrote: "I like the fabric and the adjustable strips on it. I bought it for tendonitis I had on my thumb. It was so painful to especially hold my baby during breastfeeding. The brace gave me the support my wrist needs and it helped with the pain."

Best for Sleep: ACE Night Wrist Brace

Best Carpal Tunnel Braces

Specially designed for sleep, the ACE Night Wrist Brace is filled with cushioning beads and has an adjustable splint to support a neutral hand position while you snooze. "This brace will offer a great deal of comfort on both the inside and outside so you can sleep soundly," says Nowland. It has an effortless slide-on design, and it's made with odor-resistant fabrics to keep funky smells at bay. Bonus: The brace is reversible and can be used for your left or right hand.

"These braces are ridiculously comfortable to sleep in! They feel like wrapping your arms in pillows," wrote one Amazon reviewer. "I have severe carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis in both wrists and hands. My doctor told me to sleep in my wrist braces, but I had never bought a specific sleep brace before. If you're thinking why bother, because these braces can't really be worn in the day since you can't really use your hands as well, I'm telling you it's worth it because they are so comfortable."

Best for Typing: StrictlyStability Wrist Brace

Best Carpal Tunnel Braces

If you're looking for a typing-friendly brace, give this one from StrictlyStability a try. What makes this brace ideal for computer work is the three adjustable straps, which provide support while still offering fingers full range of motion. Plus, with the removable splint, you can have greater flexibility whenever you need it. "It also has cushioning on the underside of it, giving you added comfort if you rest your hands down on the keyboard while you type, Lee explains. Another notable feature? The brace can fit both hands.

According to Amazon shoppers, it's a must-have. "It fits perfect and I can even wear it at night," one said. "Because I do a lot of work on the computer, it allows me to type and work with no issues. It did take me a few minutes to figure out how to use on my other hand, but I figured it out. The splint comes out and I just needed to find the other slit to put it in. I highly recommend."

Best for Activity: Dr. Arthritis Copper Wrist Brace

Best Carpal Tunnel Braces

Lee says that the best carpal tunnel brace for sports provides stability while mobilizing the hand, and this one from Dr. Arthritis does just that. It's made from neoprene, a breathable and moisture-wicking fabric. "This brace does not provide as much stability as the others but is a good option for individuals who require a greater range of wrist mobility for their job or activities. It is lightweight, but adds an extra level of protection to the wrist, increasing proprioception and support," Lee says. It's made with a non-slip strap system, so you don't have to worry about your brace falling off. The brace fits the left and right hand, and it's available in a two-pack so you can have a backup.

With more than 15,600 five-star ratings on Amazon, the brace has been lauded with praise by shoppers. "I've been having wrist pain for a while (from working on computer and carrying toddler probably)," said one Amazon reviewer. "There is constant discomfort when I try to do stuff. The brace helped limit my wrist motion in safe range, and thus gave me the ability to do things without straining it. I felt confident to do everything, including playing sports when I was wearing it."

Best for Swelling: Sozo Adjustable Wrist Brace

Best Carpal Tunnel Braces

Carpal tunnel can cause some people's wrists to swell, making braces too tight one day and too loose the next. Luckily, the Sozo wrist brace adjusts via a dial system, meaning you can tighten or loosen it to your wrist's size with just a twist. Utilizing a metal spoon, the brace prevents your hand and wrist from bending to prevent further strain. "Also, because it does not have Velcro, it lasts longer than traditional braces (Velcro has a life on it, often around 1-2 years)," says Lee. You can buy this brace for your left or right hand in three sizes: small, medium, and large.

"I have carpal tunnel in both wrists. My Dr. wanted me to get fitted for the kind that molds to your wrists. I didn't have the extra money to spend on those. I found these and they are amazing!" one Amazon shopper wrote. "Not bulky like most of the ones you find in drug stores. They are adjustable and that is my favorite feature. They help keep my carpal tunnel from flaring up. Make sure you measure your wrists properly to get the correct size. Totally worth the price."

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