Were you aware that knee injuries are the most common injuries in nearly every sport, including weight lifting? Were you also aware that you can lend support and protection to your knees with knee sleeves? Protecting and supporting your knees is extremely important and our review and buyers guide covering ten knees sleeves can help you choose the best one to suit your needs.
What is a knee sleeve and why would you use them?
Knee sleeves are just one of four types of support and protection for your knees. For the sake of clarity and in helping to define what a knee sleeve is, we’ll take a brief look at all four. Here they are:
• Postoperative and rehabilitation braces. Used to immobilize the joint during recovery from surgery.
• Functional knee braces. Are used to act as a substitute for damaged ligaments after surgery and are often used as an advanced step in rehabilitation.
• Prophylactic knee braces. Provides support, but allows the joints and ligaments to function. You will see these on a lot of offensive linemen at college and pro levels.
• Knee sleeves. Not really a brace, but a means of support and protection against future injury. They are typically made of neoprene and are slipped over the knee. They are designed to allow full movement of the joint.
Benefits Of Knee Sleeves
Through compression, knee sleeves help increase blood flow, create warmth, and reduce swelling and pain. Besides providing warmth, which helps the joint function more efficiently, knee sleeves limit the movement of the patella and increase proprioception. It is proprioception which provides the greatest benefits of knee sleeves.
“Proprioception: The ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium. Even if a person is blindfolded, he or she knows through proprioception if an arm is above the head or hanging by the side of the body.” Medicine Net http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=6393
It is important to note that the benefit of a knee sleeve is to make you feel more stable and in proper position during activity rather than to support damaged ligaments. It is used to prevent injury instead of correcting one that has already occurred.
Things to consider before buying a knee sleeve
First and foremost, if you have chronic knee pain, do not use a knee sleeve without consulting a health care professional. If you already have ligament damage, you might require a different form of treatment, rehabilitation and a brace rather than a sleeve. Let’s take a look at five more factors to consider.
1. Neoprene Thickness
Neoprene thickness is a major factor in choosing the proper knee sleeve. Here is a general guide to assist you:
• 3mm is typically used for endurance sports. These are lighter weight and provide less resistance, which are important factors in endurance sports.
• 5mm allows for more support, but still allows for agility. These are great for competitive sports and cross-training where both greater support and lighter weight are necessary.
• 7mm provides heavier support for heavier activities like weight lifting. Additionally, this sleeve thickness provides the greatest proprioception, which is most necessary during weightlifting.
The ergonomics of your knee sleeve are an important factor. Let’s face it, if you are not comfortable wearing them, then you aren’t going to be focused on your workout or performance, but distracted by the discomfort. This is difficult to judge initially, because comfort is highly subjective. Too long or too short, too tight or too loose, etc. are factors that can very from one person to the next, so a return policy becomes important.
Knee sleeves should last a couple of years even with heavy use. The quality of material and stitching become extremely important when speaking about durability. Often times durability also means higher price, but there tends to be a guarantee or warranty associated with them as well.
4. Value for the Price
You certainly want to get the most bang for your buck, so getting the proper support, durability, comfort, warmth and flexibility in your knee sleeves all add up. If you are seriously happy with all of these factors, then it is worth paying a higher price. If you are not, then any price you pay is too much.
5. Right Size
Each manufacturer has its own sizing guide. Pay close attention to their sizing specs and keep in mind that most athletes advise that you size down rather than up when you take the necessary measurements. A loose fitting sleeve is completely useless and many sleeves lose some elasticity with use. On the other hand, a sleeve that is too tight will be uncomfortable and restrict movement.
Best Knee Sleeves For Weight Lifting – Reviews
Bear KompleX Knee Sleeves
Bear KompleX knee sleeves come in a variety of colors and designs, but also in a broad range of sizes. They are constructed of durable, high quality neoprene and durable stitching to make them last. These knee sleeves come in both 5mm and 7mm thicknesses allowing you to adapt your knee sleeve to the specific type of weight workout you prefer.
Those who prefer color and design in their knee sleeves are going to be thrilled by the color and design selection of the Bear KompleX sleeves. They are more than just pretty, they are also functional, durable and have a broad size range which will help ensure that you are able to find the right fit. You are going to pay a little bit more for these knee sleeves than many of the others, but they have high customer satisfaction.
• High quality neoprene and stitching.
• Variety of colors and designs.
• Broad range of sizes.
• High customer satisfaction.
• You are going to pay more for design and color selection.
Knee Compression Sleeves By FitXpert
These sleeves by FitXpert are specifically focused on providing 4-way compression. They are latex free and made of thin, durable material to provide the best in comfort and support without limiting flexibility. They come with a “no questions asked,” money back guarantee.
The money back guarantee on these sleeves is a testament to durability and customer satisfaction, but you have to keep in mind that these are not 7mm thickness. They will lack the support necessary for weight lifting, though compression and warmth will be accomplished. These are really designed for endurance sports and casual use. Because they are pretty inexpensive, you might have a pair on hand for those kinds of activities.
• Durability and quality backed by guarantee.
• Good compression, warmth and flexibility.
• Not thick enough to provide weight lifting support.
• Sizing options are pretty limited.
UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve
When it comes to sporting use, the UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve is a solid performer. It has a double silicon anti-slip design that makes it stay in place during more aggressive use in a sporting event. These sleeves have a 30 day exchange and replace warranty for proper fitting and a guarantee on factory defects.
Another inexpensive option that is best utilized by those participating in athletic performance, the UFlex compression sleeve is very popular. These knee sleeves do not provide the thicker support required for weightlifting, but can also be kept on hand for cross training use.
• Stays in place during activity.
• Durable design, fit and quality backed by warrantee and guarantee.
• Extremely high customer satisfaction.
• Not designed for weight lifting.
Impulse Sportz Knee Sleeves Best Orthopedic Knee Support & Pain Compression
Impulse Sportz knee sleeves come in thicker 5mm and 7mm neoprene. They have a broader size range than some of the others and come in a variety of designs and colors as well. In addition, they come with a carry bag to keep them in.
These are a more durable knee sleeve than the previous two we reviewed and are more suited for weightlifting. There isn’t a great deal of information to be had about these sleeves other than customer satisfaction comments which are highly favorable for their fit, comfort and durability.
• High comfort and durability.
• Designed for weightlifting.
• Broader size range options.
• Various designs and colors.
• Midrange price for thicker sleeves.
• No warranty or guarantee information readily available.
Bester Knee Sleeves Powerlifting Pair and Compression Knee Support Sleeves
Bester Knee Sleeves are specifically designed for power lifting and weight lifting. They are 7mm 100% non-slip neoprene. Their ergonomic design is particular to their use in power lifting in order to provide the best comfort, fit and support during that activity.
There aren’t any fancy designs or colors associated with these Bester sleeves, but there is quality built all through them. These sleeves are designed to be used in weightlifting and nothing else. If weightlifting is their sole use for you, then you are probably going to be happy with them.
• Durable and comfortable design for weightlifting.
• Non-slip 7mm neoprene.
• Midrange price.
• Broad sizing range.
• Not designed for any cross training.
• No color choices if that is important to you.
Iron Bull Knee Sleeves 7mm – High Performance Knee Support Sleeve
Iron Bull Knee Sleeves are made of premium 7mm neoprene for maximum support, flexibility and compression. They also include anti-slip technology utilizing double silicone gel strips to keep your knee sleeves in place during vigorous activities so that you never have to worry over shifting them back into position.
The non-slip technology on these weightlifting sleeves is one of its top features because this type of design is typically reserved for the lighter weight sleeves. There is a pretty broad range of sizing options to attract your attention to these knee sleeves as well. Their customer satisfaction rating leaves a little something to be desired with the biggest complaint being associated with their durability.
• Nonslip technology keeps them in place.
• Broad range of sizes to ensure a better chance of a good fit.
• Moderately priced.
• Specifically designed for weightlifting.
• Questionable durability.
• No design or color options available.
Knee wraps in the opinion of many are better suited for weightlifting than knee sleeves. The stretchable high performance elastic material is comfortable and durable and is able to provide the right amount of compression and support you need.
An advantage of Mava Sports Knee Wraps over knee sleeves is the ability to adjust the amount of compression desired and the fact that you don’t have to worry about sizing and fit. They don’t slip, roll or fall off in the middle of a squat or other power lifting exercises. They are moderately priced and have very high customer satisfaction ratings.
• Adjustable compression for varying needs.
• Unlimited sizing options.
• Durable material.
• Moderate pricing.
• Broad range of colors to choose from.
• Not a single slip on unit, so you have to know what you are doing when you put them on.
Best Knee sleeves for squats
Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves Support & Compression
Taking your performance to the next level is the purpose behind Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves. These sleeves are designed of high quality 7mm neoprene and include high quality stitching. Their quality is backed by a 1 year, free, no-hassle replacement guarantee.
These knee sleeves are a step up in quality and design. They are specifically designed to provide the proper compression, support and fit necessary for squatting and other exercises that require knee joint flexibility with maximum support. They are priced right for the quality you are receiving as reflected in their extremely high customer satisfaction ratings.
• Durable design and material.
• Heavier compression and support for squatting and power lifting.
• Decent price and guarantee.
• Extremely high customer satisfaction.
• Board range of sizing options.
• No color or design options available.
Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeves Neoprene 7mm
Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeves are made of 100% 7mm neoprene. They are double stitched in or to last, are ergonomically designed for a comfortable fit without slippage. These sleeves are designed to fit both men and women utilizing them for squats and power lifting.
These are also heavier duty sleeves built to provide better compression and support for heavier lifting. They are durable and made to fit well without slipping and come in a wide range of sizes. Replacement for sizing and color selection is a no questions asked proposition, so customer support is something to keep in mind. Customer satisfaction is pretty high on these knee sleeves as well.
• Better compression and support for heavy lifting and squatting.
• Durable material and double stitching.
• Ergonomic fitting for a broad range of sizes.
• Decent price and customer satisfaction.
• Decent color selection.
• Does not size below 11.8”
Rehband Rx Knee Support 7mm
Rehband is considered to be the elite brand for weight lifting knee support. An anatomical design patent helps to provide the best fit possible from the highest quality elastic neoprene available. Its design brings together the sports and medical worlds in order to create uniform, contoured compression over the sleeve’s entirety.
You can pay a few dollars less for a knee sleeve, but will probably come up with less value for each dollar you spend. Rather than investing in color and fashion design, Rehband puts more of their efforts into designing a product that does what it was designed to do; improve proprioception, compression and support. The satisfaction of those who have used these sleeves is almost through the roof and has been for more than 60 years.
• Durable handmade design.
• Patented anatomical design for better fit and uniform compression.
• Extremely high customer satisfaction ratings.
• Moderately priced.
• Backed by a quality name with a 60 year track record.
• Broad range of sizes.
• No bold colored, flashy fashion statements made with these.
Obviously, selecting the right knee sleeve for weightlifting or other cross training purposes is a matter of some personal preference. With our reviews and buyers guide of these ten knee sleeves, you can have a little bit better idea of which sleeves are more likely to fit your needs. In a general sense, we find Rehband Rx Knee Support to provide the best value and benefits.
Rehband Rx Knee Support sleeves do exactly what they are designed to do. They are durable and provide an anatomical fit in a wide range of sizes. When it comes to any weightlifting or squatting, these sleeves provide the best all-around support. The money you spend on the purchase of these sleeves will purchase the value and expertise of this 60 year company which combines the best of sports and fitness into their design.
You can follow along with our pick, choose one of the other models in our review or simply use the information provided as a guide for choosing the knee sleeve which best fits your needs. Regardless of which knee sleeve you choose, get the benefits of knee sleeves to help prevent future injury, reduce swelling and get rid of pain while you lift weights.