Picture of a pair of rehband rx knee compression sleaves

The Best Knee Compression Sleeves

by Cole Matthews - Last Updated July 6, 2019

Compression sleeves have become increasingly popular as a way to speed up injury recovery and to protect an area during sport and exercise. Probably the most injury prone joint in the body is the knee and the market for knee compression sleeves is well served. In this article, we discover the top 6 knee compression sleeves on the current market.

The best knee compression sleeve available right now is the Rehband RX Knee Band, with its patented anatomical construction, enhanced patellar stability and triple thickness options. This is a great band for use in the gym. If you are after a sleeve specifically for sports such as basketball, however, you should consider the McDavid Hex Leg Sleeve 6646.

Image of the Rehband Rx Knee Sleeves (1 pair) bundled with Gillingham High Performance Backpack (Black, Medium) 

Rehband RX Knee Band

Image of the Rehband Rx Knee Support, 5mm, Black, Medium 

Features

The Rehband RX Knee Band is an extremely popular sleeve among active people, especially those who are into CrossFit. Its patented anatomical construction promotes higher muscle coordination, increased joint stability and reduced energy waste. The graduated compression increases blood flow, receptive knee input and muscle memory as to correct movement during exercise. Users love this band because it actually allows them to move better when they run, jump and change angles. That’s because it increases your awareness of your knee positon and degree of flexion.

The patented anatomical fit and shape of the Rehband RX Knee Band allows it to follow the motion of the body, ensuring that it stays in place during the workout. This gives it a huge advantage over some rival products, which are constantly slipping down and needing readjustment. The precise anatomical shape of the band also makes the compression much more precise to provide a more effective compression experience.

This knee band is constructed from neoprene which provides both key features of flexibility and rigidity. This is an extremely versatile and rugged band that can be used for all applications, from running to powerlifting. It is light and breathable and has sweat wicking technology built into it. The band is easy to slip on and off and is unobtrusive enough that it can be worn under any garment.

The Rehband knee support will also enhance the stability of the patellar joint while eliminating wasted movement during exercise performance. This band brings together the three key components of warmth, stability, and compression. The result is a device that reduces injury while enhancing your body’s natural muscle memory.

The Rehband RX Knee Support prevents the joints and soft tissue around the knee from getting
injured. This allows for a quick, efficient warm up, followed by a safe, protected exercise performance and this product comes in either a 3mm, 5mm or 7mm option.

Rehband RX Knee Band Pros

  • Patented anatomic construction
  • Enhances patellar stability
  • Three thickness options

Rehband RX Knee Bands Cons

  • Could be a little tighter

Exous BodyGear Knee Sleeve

Image of the EXOUS Bodygear Knee Sleeves Compression & Support 7mm [1 Pair] Performance Neoprene For Weight Lifting Injury Recovery Cross-Fit Powerlifting Squats For Men & Women 12 MONTH GUARANTEE 

Features

The Exous BodyGear Knee Sleeve is a 7mm thick neoprene sleeve that is popular among heavy gym lifters. This sleeve is somewhat longer than most knee sleeves that are currently available. The extra two centimeters of length will provide you with an enhanced level of compression and stability. While many knee band manufacturers use the cheaper SBR neoprene as their fabric of choice, Exous have gone for the more expensive SCR premium 7mm neoprene.

The Exous BodyGear Knee sleeve is more durable than many competitors thanks to its triple seam stitching. This sleeve can be used by both men and women and can be sized to fit any user from small to XXXL. This sleeve is ideal for finding recovery from prophylaxis, mild sprains, weak knees and arthritic knee conditions. It is equally suitable for use in the gym, including heavy weight training. As well as providing warmth, it also limits patella movement and increases proprioception.

This is an impressive sleeve that will not slip down or bunch when you are using it. The extra length can make a big difference when you are coming back from injury.

Exous BodyGear Knee Sleeve Pros

  • Extra 2cm of length
  • Made from more durable SCR neoprene
  • Triple sticthed

Exous BodyGear Knee Sleeve Cons

  • May loosen over time

Workt Compression Knee Sleeve

Image of the Workt Knee Compression Support Sleeve for CrossFit, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Exercise & Sports – Made in the USA with Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Ecoprene Neoprene – 5MM – 1 Sleeve (Blue, XS) 

Features

The Workt Compression Knee Sleeve stands out due to its unique fabric design. Unlike nearly all other knee sleeves, which are made from neoprene, these knee sleeves are made from a patented compound called Ecoprene.

?The key difference is that Ecoprenes cell structure is far more compact and uniform and this translates to a stronger, more elastic, and firmer fitting training knee sleeve. Ecoprene is also easier to slip on and off, is waterproof
and sweat resistant, and has great breathability. It provides a unique four-way stretch that ensures the maximum amount of compression and stability with the effect that blood flow is increased and inflammation is reduced

The Workt knee sleeve provides just the right mix of patellar compression and looseness to allow the joint to track through your exercise range of movement. It also retains the warmth to the joint, ensuring that the entire area is thoroughly warmed up and ready for action.

This sleeve was developed by elite CrossFit pro Chris Spealler and has been rigorously tested in both the gym and the lab for optimal performance. The Ecoprene fabric used in its manufacture makes it one of the most comfortable, elastic and durable sleeves you will ever come across. The sleeve is anti slip so that it will not fall down when you are in the middle of a set of squats. It is available in 5mm and 7mm options and comes in a variety of colors. The sizing runs from x-small all the way through to x-large.

Workt Compression Knee Sleeve Pros

  • Excellent insulation
  • Waterproof
  • Eco-friendly
  • Strong yet lightweight

Workt Compression Knee Sleeve Cons

  • No sweat removal system

Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeve

Image of the Mava Sports Pair of Knee Compression Sleeves Neoprene 7mm for Men & Women for Cross Training WOD, Squats, Gym Workout, Powerlifting, Weightlifting by (Black, Large) 

Features

The Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeve has been anatomically designed to prevent training injury and to speed up recovery. It features an anti slip silicone which prevents the sleeves from slipping down half way through your workout. The elastic support material offers stable compression and there is no danger of this sleeve bunching up or rolling down.

The MAVA sleeve provides a high level of compression which provides for enhanced blood circulation and the resultant faster supply of oxygen and nutrients to the knee area. The fabric used in the manufacture of this sleeve is anti-itch, anti-odor and anti-moisture, ensuring the ultimate in wearer comfort. This sleeve makes use of advanced 4D knit technology to ensure that you get the most durable, reliable and functional sleeve possible.

Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeve Pros

  • Anatomically designed
  • Anti slip silicone
  • High level of heat compression

Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeve Cons

  • A bit tight around the lower thigh

McDavid 6646 Hex Leg Sleeve

Image of the McDavid 6446 Hex Padded Compression Leg Sleeve (X-Large, Black) Bundle 

Features

The McDavid Hex Leg Sleeve features 9mm hexagonal closed cell foam padding, providing an extra length of protection, both above and below the knee, than what you get from most sleeves on the market. The hexagonal cushioning provides extra support and cushioning in the patellar region. This is an extremely popular knee support among basketball players and other athletes who require quick change lower body locomotion. It is more suitable for sports applications than for use as a weight training aid. It is also popular among CrossFit athletes. The sleeve provides a freer flow of movement than sleeves which are designed for weight training applications.

One of the beauties of the McDavid Hex Sleeve is that it incorporates a very effective built-in moisture evaporating system. This means that there will be no sweat build-up inside the sleeve which causes the knee sleeve to swish around. The Hex system also improves the compression of the sleeve to improve the blood flow and resultant supply of oxygen and nutrients to the knee area.

With the Hex technology that is a key part of the McDavid 6646, you get closed cell foam padding that provides you with an enhanced level of protection in the case of  collision.

McDavid 6646 Hex Leg Sleeve Pros

  • Full length sleeve
  • Superior sweat and
    moisture removal
  • Compact fit
  • Extra hex knee
    padding

McDavid 6646 Hex Leg Sleeve Cons

  • A little too tight in the thigh area
  • Fabric covering the padded area of the knee is very thin

Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

Image of the Knee Sleeves (1 Pair) Support & Compression for Weightlifting, Powerlifting & CrossFit - 7mm Neoprene Sleeve for the Best Squats - Both Women & Men, Black, Medium 

Features

The Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeve is a high quality, well priced compression band that is made from 7mm neoprene. Double reinforced stitching ensures durability and reliability. This is a heavier band than most, which makes it more appropriate for weight training applications than running or athletic training. This sleeve has been ergonomically designed and constructed to provide a form hugging fit.

The Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeve is a no frills, budget model that does the job of compressing, protecting and stabilizing the knee joint very effectively. It is suitable for use by both men and women and comes in a range of sizes. They are sold in pairs and come with a 12-month replacement warranty.

Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeve Pros

  • Form fitting
  • Well priced
  • Thick construction

Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeve Cons

  • Strong odor

Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve

 

Features

Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve has a reputation or being among the best compression sleeves on the market. They use high-quality anti-slip silicone in their sleeve’s construction which provides you with ample protection without limiting mobility.

They’ve got the compression just right on these knee sleeves. I feel as though this knee sleeve would keep me feeling solid while on the move while minimizing the risk of further exacerbating any injury I might have.

If you’re looking for knee sleeves for running, you can’t go wrong with these. I used to use simple knee wraps for running but since trying out a few products like the Ultra Flex Athletics Compression Knee Sleeves, I won’t go back!

Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Pros

  • Anti-slip silicone construction
  • Comfortable 4-way stretch
  • Excellent compression

Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Cons

  • Sizing can be awkward

Compression Knee Sleeves: General Info & FAQs

What are Compression Knee Sleeves?

Compression knee sleeves are a protective measure worn by athletes to minimize injury risk. They support the knee during the rigors of intense physical activities such as weightlifting or marathon running.

Through the use of compression technology, compression knee sleeves are reported to offer increased blood flow. This increase in blood flow to the knees results in a reduction in pain, and many athletes report that they can keep their knees warm throughout long bouts of activity, decreasing the need for continual warm-up exercises.

Depending on your chosen sport, you’ll find slight differences in the knee sleeves available. Compression sleeves for running will offer adequate compression while keeping mobility at a maximum. Compression sleeves for weightlifting are often more rigid in construction, offering unparalleled stability, resulting in a much-reduced risk of injury during even the heaviest of lifting.

How Compression Knee Sleeves Work

Compression knee sleeves make use of graduated compression, by which the compression decreases as the garment goes up the body. This helps to counter the downward effects of gravity on blood flow, which enables the deoxygenated blood to more effectively return to the heart so that it can more quickly remove lactic acid and waste products away from the injured area.

Compression knee sleeves will also provide stability to the entire knee area during exercises, whether it be running or doing squats. As a result, the wearer experiences less vibration and stress to the muscles and joints.

Compression Knee Sleeve FAQs

What Do Compression Knee Sleeves Do?

Compression knee sleeves provide support to your knees during physical activity. Support is important to athletes who do a lot of activity involving pressure on the knees, such as marathon running or weightlifting.

Compression knee sleeves provide increased blood flow to the knees which keeps them warm. Many athletes report a perceived increase in performance while wearing knee sleeves.

Do I Need Compression Knee Sleeves?

If you run regularly or do a lot of squatting, then you’d likely benefit from wearing compression knee sleeves. While they’re never a requirement, the reduced risk of injury and pain are both something you’ll not want to go without!

What Are the Benefits of Compression Knee Sleeves?

Compression knee sleeves provide support to your knees, which can help protect you from injury, and also help increase the healing time of current injuries.

If you are a weightlifter, knee sleeves may even benefit you by increasing the weight you’re able to lift!

For runners, knee sleeves can also increase the bounce in your step, resulting in an improved rebound while running.

Do I Need Compression Knee Sleeves for Running?

While compression knee sleeves are not a requirement for runners, the benefits they offer aren’t worth going without! No runner wants to risk an injury, so any opportunity to reduce injury risk should be taken.

Compression knee sleeves for running offer improved stability and keep your knees warm, which makes running for long distances much more comfortable.

If you are a runner, you really need to get yourself some compression knee sleeves!

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