The best support (compression)
sleeves and braces
to buy in 2020

Top joint support equipment chosen by athletes
and verified by orthopedics

Joint protection:
What are the support (compression) sleeves and braces?

Every day, the joints of the human body are stressed. In most cases, the load is standard — everyday activities, walking, squats, etc — and it does not harm our joints.

However, sometimes, to cope with increased stress, our joints need support. Most often, such cases are associated with sports, injuries or age-related body changes.

To reduce this load, physiologists recommend strengthening joints through training and maintaining their functionality with special joint protection, i.e. support compression sleeves and support braces. This equipment relieves part of the load from the joint and thus helps it to function efficiently.

These two types of support differ in terms of functionality. Yet, all joint support equipment helps to reduce pain and inflammation during daily activities, active sports, and in cases of chronic joint diseases, e.g. rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.

Support sleeves
working principle

support sleeve illustration

A support compression sleeve is an elastic product that treats, rehabilitates, or supports joints in daily life or after surgeries and injuries.

This product partially immobilizes your joints and supports certain muscles. It creates pressure (compression) of a certain magnitude, which depends on the stiffness and type of fabric from which the product is made.

As the amplitude of joint motion is decreased, the recovery process gets faster, while the joint becomes “anchored” and the risk factors for injuries is reduced.

Support braces
working principle

support braces illustration

Unlike sleeves, support braces have rigid ribs, various inserts shaped like rings or plates, as well as fixing ties and fasteners to adjust the level of pressure. They can provide the complete immobilization of the joint or fix it in the required position. 

With support braces, joints have a higher level of support and are used mostly to recover from serious injuries or surgeries.

Reasons to use support braces and sleeves and main contraindications

Reasons to use

There are different cases for the use of joint protection which can be combined into four major groups:

  • for preventive purposes to reduce the risk for injuries caused by overloading joints during workouts or daily activities for the elderly;
  • as part of the treatment of gonarthrosis, joint diseases (arthritis, synovitis, and bursitis, etc.) or intraarticular fractures;
  • as part of treatment for ligaments injuries
  • as part of rehabilitation after surgery or injury due to the immobilization of the injured joint;
  • to fix joint instability.

Compression sleeves are recommended to prevent fatigue and edema for people whose professional activity is associated with prolonged stress on the joints, who experience age-related changes, as well as to prevent damage to soft tissues during regular workouts.

The main indications for the use of support braces are the elimination of joint instability in the late stages of rehabilitation after injuries and operations, the support of ligaments and meniscus, and the prevention of soft tissue damage when experiencing increased stress and doing sports.

Contraindications

The main contraindication to wearing joint protection of any kind is the presence of open wounds, scuffs, cuts, dermatitis and other skin diseases.

In other cases, there are no contraindications to wearing support sleeves or braces but there is a limitation on the time of wearing. It shouldn’t be used 24/7 to avoid weakening of joints and to keep the full range of motion (ROM).

How to choose compression sleeves or support braces

The best braces or sleeves are those that suit your lifestyle and comply with the recommendations of your physiotherapist. So, consult with your doctor first before choosing a compression sleeve. To choose correct braces or sleeves, you need to define the reason for wearing them: whether it is prevention or treatment. Prevention works for those who frequently deal with lifting heavy loads or practice active sports regularly.  Other indications are excess weight or pregnancy which increase the pressure on the knee joint.

A wise step when buying support sleeves or braces is to find well-known manufacturers who make the tailoring in accordance with strict quality control while using accurate dimensional tables.

ankle compression sleeve example

Choosing
compression sleeves

When buying a support sleeve, it’s necessary to know the measurements of the concerned area. When buying orthopedic support online, choose the retailer with an exchange and return option. The wrong size leads to a slack position of the sleeve, or vice versa, to squeezing the joint area too hard, which harms joints instead of healing them. 

The size of the sleeve should fit the area so that your skin is not rubbed or irritated, the bandage does not fall off or squeeze the joint. In case you have a non-standard size, e.g. thin knees and a full thigh, choose products from those manufacturers who have an extended size range or a detachable design.

wrist braces example second

Choosing
support braces

If support braces do not provide the proper level of support or are not properly sized, it will delay the healing process and create the causes for the reappearance of trauma.

Therefore, it is important to remember that only a doctor can choose semi-rigid and rigid support braces. Only braces of mild fixation can be chosen to alleviate the syndromes of arthrosis and arthritis, prevent herbs and reduce pain with mild joint injuries without consulting with a specialist.

The best support (compression) sleeves to buy in 2020

In addition to their functional characteristics, the sleeves in our selection are made of materials that remove moisture from the skin and provide good air exchange.

ankle compression sleeve example
Compression sleeves
for ankles
knee compression sleeve example
Compression sleeves
for knees
wrist compression sleeve example
Compression sleeves
for wrists
elbow compression sleeve example
Compression sleeves
for elbows

TOP 5 ankle support (compression) sleeves

By compressing the joints, ankle support sleeves protect the ankle from injuries and sprains. Depending on the material they are made from, they can also warm up your ankle and even add a gentle massage effect.

Ankle support sleeves are worn in the form of a sock. They improve blood circulation, metabolic processes and accelerate the recovery process after injuries. Such sleeves are often used by athletes to reduce stress during intense training.

top choice
Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve (1 Pair) – BEST Ankle Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis, Arch Support, Foot & Ankle Swelling, Achilles Tendon, Joint Pain, Injury Recovery

You will feel the difference immediately. Get fast pain relief with less swelling, soreness, and discomfort. Power Support ankle stabilizer and protector compression technology improves circulation and provides secure support in all the right places

Best-in-class
POWERLIX Ankle Brace Compression Support Sleeve (Pair) for Injury Recovery, Joint Pain and More. Achilles Tendon Support, Plantar Fasciitis Foot Socks with Arch Support, Eases Swelling

Applies even pressure across your ankle joint, which provides ultimate pain relief from a variety of ailments including plantar fasciitis, arthritis, sprains, swelling, tendonitis, muscle fatigue, and other ankle pain. Tackle any activity life throws your way while ensuring you’re a step ahead 

Customer choice
SB SOX Compression Ankle Brace (Pair) – Great Ankle Support That Stays in Place – For Sprained Ankle and Achilles Tendon Support – Perfect Ankle Sleeve for Sports, Any Use

SB SOX compression ankle brace use elastic layers that work perfectly together to stimulate blood flow, improving oxygen delivery to your feet, including your ankle. Stimulates blood flow and improves oxygen delivery to your feet and ankle

Ankle Support Brace, Breathable Neoprene Sleeve, Adjustable Wrap! One size fits both feet and up to 11″ in feet arch circumference. Protect the ankle and minimize the risk of injury.

Made up of quality Neoprene material that gives you just the right compression on areas where you most needed it. It helps you live and move comfortably while lowering down the risk of ankle injuries. It is specially perforated to keep your foot fresh

Ankle Brace for Plantar Fasciitis Support – Women & Men – Pain Relief Foot Sleeve (Ankle Brace – Single). Provides great compression that helps improve blood circulation and eases pain

Meticulously crafted with just the right amount of compression. These sleeves will keep your feet stable, comfortable and protected. They will provide pain relief from heel spurs, achilles heel, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and other foot related discomfort

TOP 5 knee support (compression) sleeves

These are recommended for mild injuries, when there is a slight swelling or no swelling at all, mild pain and slight restriction of movement, but the knee holds the regular weight of the body.

Knee support sleeves provide the right level of compression and do not limit the movement of the joint.

top choice
UGAIN Knee Sleeve for Crossfit, Running, Basketball, Weightlifting, Gym, Workout. Knee Wrap for Pain Relief, Meniscus Tear, Arthritis, ACL, MCL

Reduces pain and helps recovery after a knee injury, surgery, or chronic knee disease. The knee band provides stability and support for the knee, keeping it in a safe, orthopedically correct position. Has anti-slip silicone gel strips 

Best-in-class
POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve. Knee Support for Running, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Gym, Workout

Applies stable pressure across your knee joint. Offers optimal muscle support between workouts and during casual everyday activities. Tackle any activity life throws your way, while ensuring you’re a step ahead 

Customer choice
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support for Running, Jogging, Sports. Single Wrap for Joint Pain Relief, Arthritis and Injury Recovery

The newest technology with highest quality materials to produce the ultimate Knee Compression Sleeve Support. Designed to reduce inflammation and swelling, soreness, stiffness. Has heating effect for recovery

CAMBIVO 2 Pack Knee Brace, Knee Compression Sleeve. Support for Men and Women, Running, Hiking, Arthritis, ACL, Meniscus Tear, Sports

Effective in managing knee pain caused by exercise or any activity that puts pressure on your knees, reduces swelling, inflammation, stiffness and supports in muscle recovery, also it has heating effect for muscular recovery

Copper Fit Ice Knit Compression Knee Sleeve. Infused with Menthol and Coq10 for Recovery. The more you move, the more ICE you release

Boasting a strong circular compression fabric for all-day comfort, the ICE Knee Sleeve is designed to provide more support and help temporarily relieve muscle and joint aches and pains. Breathable, copper-infused

TOP 5 wrist support (compression) sleeves

Wrist support sleeves with neoprene retain heat, warm, accelerate blood flow, help relieve swelling and pain during arthrosis, arthritis, and rheumatism.

For sensitive skin prone to allergic reactions to synthetic fiber it is recommended that you choose arm support sleeves made primarily from cotton.

top choice
Sparthos Wrist Support Sleeves (Pair) – Medical Compression for Carpal Tunnel and Wrist Pain Relief for Men and Women from Innovative Breathable Blend

Sparthos Wrist Sleeve has professional grade compression. The snug fit provides a soothing type of pressure, that does not feel too tight or too loose on your skin. Studies show a compression sleeve will improve oxygen and blood flow through the body up to 40%

Best-in-class
Thx4COPPER Compression Wrist Sleeve-Copper Infused Wrist Support for Men & Women-Improve Circulation and Recovery (1 Pair)

This great compression wrist sleeve made of THX4COPPER fabric which is patented copper infused fabric, anti-odor for over 96 hours, while keeping the wrist dry and fresh all day. Helping relief from muscle stiff, soreness, wrist sprain and pain

Customer choice
Neotech Care Wrist Band Support Sleeve (1 Pair) – Elastic & Breathable Knitted Fabric Compression Brace – for Tennis, Gym, Sport, Tendonitis

This Neotech Care wristband utilizes a SPECIAL KNITTING RADIAL COMPRESSION TECHNOLOGY increasing the support provided by a standard fabric itself by an extra 20%.
The high quality fabric is comfortable to wear

OrthoSleeve Patented WS6 Compression Wrist Sleeve (Single Sleeve) for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, wrist pain and fatigue, and arthritis

Long awaited relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, general wrist pain, hand fatigue and arthritis. Medical grade graduated compression in an anatomically correct wrist sleeve to offer stabilization of the wrist to reduce pain, swelling, and cramping

ABYON New Technology Medical Compression Wrist Brace Sleeves (Pair), Carpal Tunnel and Wrist Pain Relief Treatment,Wrist Support for Women and Men

These wrist braces are common accessories in injury rehabilitation processes affecting the wrist. They support the joint and provide warm and compression to the wrist bones and ligaments. Amazing support both during activities and during rest/recovery

TOP 5 elbow support (compression) sleeves

These are used for sprains, muscle breaks and in rehabilitation therapy or after surgery.

With their help, blood circulation through blood vessels improves, pain decreases, and remission occurs faster. This happens as the load is removed from the diseased elbow joint, and elastic fixation does not allow performing actions that can cause pain.

top choice
Kunto Fitness Elbow Brace Compression Support Sleeve (Shipped From USA) for Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, Golf Elbow Treatment – Reduce Joint Pain During Any Activity

Compression material provides relief from arthritis, inflammation, golf elbow, joint pain, tendonitis and other elbow aches.  Four-way stretch material provides unparalleled mobility and ventilation to regulate your arm temperature

Best-in-class
POWERLIX Elbow Compression Support Sleeve (Pair) — Reduce Elbow Pain. Elbow Sleeve for Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow Brace and Golfers Elbow Treatment, Arthritis, Workouts, Weightlifting

4-way compression sleeve ergonomically designed for full range of arm motion and full protection. Significant pain relief from a variety of ailments including Tennis & Golf Elbow, tendonitis, joint inflammation, swelling, etc.

Customer choice
Crucial Compression Elbow Compression Sleeve. Instant Arm Support Elbow Sleeves for Tendonitis, Arthritis, Bursitis. Treatment, Workouts, Weightlifting, Pain Relief, Recovery

Power Support technology improves circulation and provides secure support and protection in all the right places so you can push through your activity, recover faster, and prevent injury. Comfortable support, where you need it most

Copper Compression Recovery Elbow Sleeve – Guaranteed Highest Copper Content Elbow Brace for Tendonitis, Golfers or Tennis Elbow, Arthritis. Elbow Support Arm Sleeves Fit

Designed to help you get the support you need for all day and all night comfort. Fit extremely comfortable and can be worn everyday to help you get the support you need. Breathable Compression Fabric

Venom Elbow Brace Compression Sleeve – Elastic Support, Tendonitis Pain, Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, Arthritis, Bursitis, Basketball, Baseball, Football, Golf, Lifting, Sports, Men, Women

Eliminates pain, bunching and irritation so your movement will be unrestricted during physical and every day activities. The firm yet flexible grip allows you to focus on the activity rather than worrying about constant readjustment

The best support braces to buy in 2020

Only a physiotherapist can determine how stiff the product should be, as well as the important features of its design and the duration of wearing. Even when it comes to acquiring support braces for preventive purposes.
ankle braces example
Ankle braces
knee braces example
Knee braces
wrist braces example second
Wrist braces
elbow braces example
Elbow braces

TOP 5 ankle braces

Braces for ankles help when there is a tumor (from mild to severe), moderate (tolerable) pain, moderate restriction of movement, and when walking and transferring weight to an injured ankle is difficult. Ankle support braces compresses the joint and secures it with stiffening ribs.

top choice
Bodyprox Ankle Support Brace, Breathable Neoprene Sleeve, Adjustable Wrap

Semi-rigid brace has both protective and preventive features that keeps your ankle from moving. Also, its open heel design lets you move properly making great for any athlete

Best-in-class
Candy Li Adjustable Ankle Brace Support, Breathable Nylon Material, Super Comfortable

Protects against chronic ankle strain, sprains, and fatigue; ideal for post-surgery recovery. Easy-to-use crisscross strapping attaches anywhere along the entire sleeve. Quality breathable material 

Customer choice
Mcdavid Ankle Brace, Ankle Support, Ankle Support Brace for Men & Women

Best for moderate to major instabilities – proactive injury prevention – post-surgical joint protection. Athletes in an independent study had 3x fewer injuries when wearing this brace

Zenith Ankle Brace, Lace Up Adjustable Support for Men, Women, and Children

Zenith Athletics’ support brace features full contoured protection by utilizing figure 8 straps. They hug your foot while also allowing you to customize your level of support for any activity or sport 

Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer Ballistic nylon boot provides superior durability and strength

The ankle brace of choice for numerous professional and collegiate athletes. One of the most recommended ankle supports by athletic trainers, orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists

TOP 5 knee braces

These are used to reduce the risk for injury to the knee joint, menisci and ligaments, especially when practicing active sports.

Depending on medical requirements to fix the joint and provide additional functions, such as support for the ligaments or patella, knee braces provide light, moderate, semi-rigid and rigid fixation.

top choice
TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support – Relieves ACL, LCL, MCL, Meniscus Tear, Arthritis, Tendonitis Pain. Non Slip Comfort Neoprene

Stretch breathable neoprene for everyday use or sports activities. Does not restrict movement while giving continuous support. 4 Flexible Spring Stabilizers Provide Better Protection and Stability

Best-in-class
Bodyprox Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers & Patella Gel Pads for Knee Support. Perfect Holding to Relieve Pressure and Reduce Stress

Carefully engineered from highest grade material that eliminates potential skin irritation thanks to its breathable, sweat absorption material at the same time, restrain possible injuries

Customer choice
Dynamic Gear Open Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace, Dual Aluminum Stability Hinges, Padded Neoprene Adjustable
Compression

Provides comfortable and firm compression and is designed with dual aluminum stability hinges for added knee cap support. This hinged knee brace is great for ACL and MCL injuries

JJhunter Joint Support Knee Pads(Upgrade)- Power Lift Knee Stabilizer Pads – Powerful Rebound Spring Force Knee Protection Booster – Breathable

This knee support brace effectively lightens pressure from a person own weight, providing relief to both tibiofemoral and patellofemoral knee joints. Reduce Ligament Stress

knee support braces bracoo
Bracoo Knee Support, Open-Patella Brace for Arthritis, Joint Pain Relief, Injury Recovery with Adjustable Strapping & Breathable Neoprene

Offers the right combination of support & comfort for your lifestyle. Bracoo puts your needs first and applies the latest technology and design innovation to help you improve quality of life

TOP 5 wrist braces

Wrist braces with rigid inserts and straps provide strong fixation and compression. The main thing to remember when choosing wrist braces is that it should tightly wrap around the joint from all sides and be high enough to keep the joint stable.

top choice
Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace, Night Sleep Wrist Support, Removable Metal Wrist Splint

Provides moderate-stabilizing support to injured wrists. Removable waist brace splint for customizable support and relief from symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Best-in-class
Doctor Developed Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace Night & Wrist Support & Sleep Brace (with Splint)

It was constructed to offer the maximum comfort and support. The durable brace comes with adjustable straps, soft cushioned beads and the material that is breathable and built to last

Customer choice
Copper Compression Wrist Brace – Guaranteed Highest Copper Content Support for Wrists

Can be worn on either right or left hand. Fabric is infused with a high count of genuine copper ions, and is durable enough to withstand washing without losing its function over time

BraceUP Deluxe Wrist Stabilizer Support Brace with Aluminum Splint

The wrist stabilizer helps relieve symptoms associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by securing the wrist with lightweight aluminum splint, reducing pain and irritation from weak or sore wrists

Sammons Preston Thumb Spica Wrist Brace, Thumb Splint, Wrist Splint for Wrist Support

The ideal brace when MP and CMC joint immobilization is desired. Designed to allow full functionality of the fingers the brace stabilizes the joints and wrist during the recovery process.

TOP 5 elbow braces

The choice of elbow braces depends on the “nature” of the pain. It helps to decide which type to buy as there are different levels of fixation. A correctly selected elbow brace fixes the joint, reduces pain, relieves stress, prevents further joint deformation in the event there is damage to the joints and tendons.

top choice
BraceAbility Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Brace

This unique elbow brace for cubital tunnel syndrome treatment immobilizes the elbow at a 122-degree angle and it allows users to easily access any dressing on the elbow

Best-in-class
Elbow Brace for Comfortable Elbow Support – Adjustable Stabilizer

Perfect for elbow pain due to arthritis or tendonitis, carpel tunnel syndrome, RSI, ulnar nerve pain, recovery from surgery or hyperextension, injury protection and stability

Customer choice
American Heritage Industries Elbow ROM Brace

Allows more movement inch by inch, while keeping the injury stable. It comes with an adjustable dial right on the hinge, and comfortable shoulder sling so that the entire arm is stabilized

Elbow Brace, Adjustable Elbow Support with Dual-Spring Stabilizer

Specifically designed to provide soothing support and protect your elbow joint from strain and impact. The elbow brace with two built-in spring stabilizers helps support sore, weak, or injured elbows

Mybow Elbow Brace Elbow Splint Immobilizer

Made of polyester mesh, which is breathable without stuffiness and provides a comfortable feel. Designed with 4 straps to adjust the shape of the arm for a better compression

How to wear
support (compression) sleeves [manual]

1

Before wearing a sleeve, carefully read and follow the instructions.

2

Sleeves are best to wear in the morning when there is no joint swelling.

3

Check the position of the bandage so that it does not slip and does not squeeze unnecessary parts.

How to wear
support braces [manual]

1

The clamps must never be twisted or slipped.

2

If they are detachable products, they must first be wrapped around the damaged joint and tightly fastened.

3

If the product has a silicone suprapatellar ring, it is necessary to place the joint fold strictly in this place.

Frequently asked questions on sleeves and braces

A support compression sleeve is an elastic sock that supports joints. It partially immobilizes joints and certain muscles and creates pressure (compression) of a certain magnitude.

Support braces have rigid ribs and various inserts shaped like rings or plates, as well as fixing ties and fasteners. They can provide the complete immobilization of the joint or fix it in the required position.

When buying a support sleeve, it’s necessary to know the measurements of the concerned area. The wrong size leads to a slack position of the sleeve, or vice versa, to squeezing the joint area too hard, which harms joints instead of healing them.

If support braces do not provide the proper level of support or are not properly sized, it will delay the healing process and create the causes for the reappearance of trauma. Therefore, it is important to remember that only a doctor can choose semi-rigid and rigid support braces.