The Best Knee Compression Sleeves, According to Customer Reviews

Whether you suffer from run-of-the-mill knee pain, arthritis, or something more serious, knee compression sleeves can help support your joints for everyday and active use.

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If you've ever experienced knee issues — whether due to an injury, arthritis, or the natural breakdown that results from wear and tear over time — you know how it can disrupt your life. FTR, knee pain is very common. According to a 2018 article by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), it affects approximately 25 percent of adults, and its prevalence has increased almost 65 percent over the past 20 years. Not to mention, the AAFP revealed knee pain is responsible for nearly four million primary care visits annually.

A dull ache or pang of arthritis could mess up your fitness routine, while a more serious injury, including a torn meniscus, could be totally debilitating and require surgery. Depending on the level of pain, swelling, stiffness, and inconvenience your knee problem is causing you, you should see your doctor to ensure proper treatment. However, upon your visit or diagnosis, your medical professional might recommend investing in a brace or knee compression sleeve for additional support.

While both a brace and sleeve can help prevent injury and manage pain, there is a slight difference between them. A brace is designed with metal or carbon fiber hinges, and braces are typically part of a recovery treatment plan for more severe knee damage or injuries. "The hinges take pressure off the knee ligaments and are generally used to provide stability for knees that are recovering from ligament injury or ligament repair of the ACL," explains Marcus Duda, M.D., a North Carolina-based orthopedic surgeon and founder of Vive Wear compression socks.

A knee compression sleeve is a less obtrusive, lighter option, made from thin fabric that slips on your leg. It offers compression, which can increase circulation, eliminate swelling, improve the appearance of varicose and spider veins, and decreases the risk of developing blood clots, notes Dr. Duda. "An additional benefit of the knee compression sleeve is that it helps improve proprioception [awareness of position and movement] of the knee and may improve balance," he adds. That said, you should consult your doctor on whether your specific knee issues require a brace or a sleeve. (Check out these tips for how to make your knees ache less during runs.)

If a knee compression sleeve is right for you, there are a few things to consider. Some compression sleeves will have a cut-out that should sit directly over the patella (knee cap); others will have some kind of marking to indicate proper placement. If you struggle to maintain the proper alignment of your knee within the sleeve, you may need a different style or size, says Dr. Duda. You should also avoid knee compression sleeves that put too much pressure on the joints or bones — aka tighter isn't always better — which could not only be uncomfortable but could also cause additional irritation.

Knee pain slowing you down? Ahead, the best knee compression sleeves on the market, based on your need.

Top-Rated: PowerLix Compression Knee

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Gain optimal support with Amazon's best-selling "knee brace." The specialized, four-way stretch fabric offers support and protection while being breathable and sweat-wicking to keep you comfortable, dry, and odor-free during exercise, too. This sleeve features two silicone gel strips, which guarantee this sleeve won't slip down, no matter how vigorous your workout may be.

One reviewer wrote: "I absolutely love this knee brace. I've owned a few in my years, and this one is superior. I must admit, I was super excited upon opening it and examining it from the breathable fabric to the silicone gel grip, elastic and overall length. This one fits perfectly, not too tight like others I've had. This fits snug. I hardly remember that I have it on. It doesn't roll up when moving and allows good movement without restricting blood flow and leaving horrible elastic marks like others."

Buy It: PowerLix Compression Knee Sleeve, from $17, amazon.com

Best Value: Modvel Knee Compression Sleeve

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With nearly 9,000 five-star ratings, you can't go wrong with this budget pick that gives you two sleeves for the price of one. This knee sleeve supports joints, stabilizes your leg, and helps relieve arthritis pain, thanks to the highly-compressive fabric. The breathable, comfortable design can be worn daily for a multitude of fitness activities, which makes having a backup ideal when one is in the laundry. Measure to just above the knee to ensure you purchase the right size of this ergonomic knee sleeve.

"I am so very happy I bought these Modvel Knee Sleeves," shared a customer. "They are so much better than what I had been using to support my knee, so that is such a blessing. I need a knee replacement since there is no cartridge left in my right knee. I had a total knee replacement scheduled last year but had to cancel. Now, I'm moving, so these sleeves are doing everything they advertise and more, i.e., stabilizing my knee joint while relieving pain naturally. They are well made, very affordable and you get two in the pack, that's another benefit."

Buy It: Modvel Knee Compression Sleeve, $14 for 2, amazon.com

Best for Knee Pain: Neenca Professional Knee Brace

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This patented knee compression sleeve is composed of a knit fabric designed by 3D technology to perfectly hug the curves of your knee cap, reducing pressure and pain. Contoured patella gel pads deliver comfort and help to stabilize the knee cap, while non-slip strips keep this sleeve in place while wearing it. The thick webbed sleeve is not only comfortable but helps steady your movements and improve balance. Hundreds of Amazon reviewers commented on how it helped ease their knee pain.

"This knee brace really helps with my knee pain," reported a shopper. "I am in need of a total knee replacement. I bought this knee brace and it really does make a difference in the amount of knee pain I experience daily. If you have knee discomfort you should try this knee brace. It will make a world of difference in how much activity you can tolerate daily. If I don't wear it, I can tell the difference."

Buy It: Neenca Professional Knee Brace, $20, amazon.com

Best for Runners: UFlex Knee Compression Sleeve

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Hit the open road or get back on that treadmill with this chafe-free and cushiony compression knee sleeve. The comfortable, smooth design is made of flexible, four-way stretch, which won't cause irritation and allows for a full range of motion while supporting your joints. Durable and breathable mesh offers additional airflow while you build a sweat on your power walks, jogs, or runs. Anti-slip details and the soft section behind the knee keeps will keep the sleeve from budging and gives you more cushion while you hit the pavement or trail. Plus, it's received a five-star rating from more than 1,000 runners.

One active shopper wrote: "I have run on and off over the years but have never been serious about it and one of the reasons is I couldn't go beyond about 3 miles without experiencing excruciating knee pain and being forced to limp home (I eventually learned my IT band was the primary source of this). This year I got serious, signed up for a 15K, and started a regimented training plan. Even with dedicated training, I was still struggling with the knee pain. I've now been through about three brands of sleeves and this one takes the cake. I am now to the point that if I warm up properly and do some IT band stretches/foam rolls and throw this sucker on I can make 10 miles without major issues. I successfully completed a half marathon a couple of weeks ago and am continuing my training and considering a full marathon. While a lot of this success has to do with the proper strength training I directly attribute a large portion of my success to this knee brace. I feel like it helped me bridge the gap with my really weak knee. Without it, I may have struggled even more, not achieved my goals, and been discouraged from pushing myself to the next level, or even given up."

Buy It: UFlex Knee Compression Sleeve, $13, amazon.com

Best for Sports: Cambivo Knee Brace

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Taking into account that too much compression could end up doing more harm than good, this knee brace delivers just the right amount of pressure, according to reviewers. (FYI, knee sleeves that are too tight can cause skin irritation or discomfort, while the more serious risks include damage of the knee if it does did not fit correctly.) The right knee sleeve not only provides stability but helps keeps blood flowing. Combined with a 3D knit composition, this is a comfortable knee compression sleeve that will see you through all your activities, from running and biking to gym days and HIIT class.

"I grew up playing all sorts of sports and put a lot of strain on both my knees," said a shopper. "This knee brace is a very good brace for supporting and helping to prevent injuries. I use it when I run, train for boxing, and when I snowboard. So far it's helped stabilize my knees even under the most intense activities. Highly recommend!"

Buy It: Cambivo Knee Brace, from $13 for 2, amazon.com

Best for a Torn Meniscus: Physix Gear Knee Support Brace

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Regaining confidence when coming back from an injury or surgery can be daunting — but once you slip into this sleeve, the top-notch compression will help you feel strong and stable. It's designed with four-way stretch fabric that provides support without sacrificing comfort, has no-slip silicone grip waves to prevent it from sliding, and is even lightweight enough to wear under leggings or jeans. Hundreds of Amazon shoppers commented on what a game-changer this sleeve has been even with serious injuries.

"Last year, I tore my meniscus and had to have surgery," said a customer. "And shortly thereafter, injured the same knee in a freak fall. End result? Swollen knee, two injections and I never thought I could ride or jog again. Fast forward a year and I slowly started to go on walks and short jogs. The knee brace I was using really inhibited me. A compression sleeve kept rolling down and cutting off my circulation. I saw this one and decided to give it a try. I can wear it under my jeans. It is flexible enough that I can ride my bike again and also walk comfortably. Just the right support. Now the back of my knee does not swell up after a workout and I am able to continue my rehab. My only regret? Not buying two of them."

Buy It: Physix Gear Knee Support Brace, from $12, amazon.com

Best for Arthritis: Crucial Compression Knee Sleeve

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High-quality materials plus a durable design equals a sleeve that will deliver instant support and stability for arthritis sufferers. The fitted compression helps to eliminate pain and improve recovery and healing. Unlike some styles that can make you hot, or be restrictive and bulky, the double-stitched construction fabric is lightweight and breathable. You'll find bunching or slipping to be minimum due to double grip silicone strips that will hug your knee without cutting off circulation. Anyone with knee aches will quickly appreciate this model.

One reviewer wrote: "I have psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia, (not to mention I tore the ligaments in my knee when I was 16) so I have chronic knee and other joint pain. My rheumatologist said I need new knees, but I'm not even 50 yet and terrified to go under the knife. These amazing knee compression sleeves gave me just the right amount of support and compression to help me through my latest flare. I could still bend my knee when needed but comfortably compressed it enough to make the throbbing tons less. Great support for overnight (I actually slept a couple of hours more than usual, because the pain didn't wake me), not bulky at all, basically invisible under pants. I have nothing but good things to say about them, and reasonably priced too."

Buy It: Crucial Compression Knee Brace Compression Sleeve, $14, amazon.com

Best for Weight Lifting: Profitness Knee Sleeves

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Lunge away in these heavy-duty neoprene knee sleeves. This style from Profitness, made especially for intense workouts like weight lifting, helps reduce the amount of stress any high-impact movement or deep bend can have on your knees. The sturdy sleeve supports joints and reduces the risk of damage, while still providing a full range of mobility. With these, you don't have to worry about if you have the proper support for your goblet squats. (

One lifter shared her experience with the sleeves saying, "This is my first purchase of this sort of knee sleeve, so I don't have anything to compare to, but I don't see how they could be any better! I've been dealing with runner's knee (even though I'm not a runner) probably caused by overuse and too much jumping. But it's carried over and was affecting my lifting as well, especially any type of squat pattern. I've been wearing these to work out since getting them, regardless if I have squats programmed or not, and they really make me feel more stable. Plus they keep my knees nice and warm, and also make me feel a little bit more "springy" — if that's a thing!"

Buy It: Profitness Knee Sleeves, $33, amazon.com

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