How to Choose a Knee Sleeve? What to Look For?

Shopping for a knee sleeve? Knowing how to choose a knee sleeve will help you make the best buying decision. We’ve listed the 6 most important qualities to look for in a knee sleeve to get the most from it.

We’ve tried many of the available choices, and like most things in the world knee sleeves aren’t all created equal.  Some are popular brand names and some are knock offs. Some are over the top expensive and some are very affordable.

how do you choose the right knee sleeve right and wrong signs
How to Choose a Knee Sleeve Based On Quality

The following 6 qualities are what anyone should look for when choosing a knee sleeve. These characteristics will ensure you are choosing the best knee sleeve for your needs.

The truth is that there are many well designed and safe knee sleeves on the market. They are lightweight and come in a variety of materials, mostly depending on their use and your goals. The best knee sleeves add support, stability, injury prevention, and pain relief while enhancing mobility. Knee braces, on the other hand, tend to immobilize the knee joint. In contrast, knee sleeves provide excellent support and stability, while leaving your knee completely mobile.

How to Choose a Knee Sleeve

The following are the must have features when choosing a knee sleeve. But, how do you know they are there?

Read the ads and reviews carefully, and only purchase the most well-respected brand names. The reviews are an indicator of why people are wearing knee sleeves.

1. Flexibility

flexibility is a must when choosing a knee sleeve
Choosing flexibility in Knee Sleeves

Flexibility of the sleeve itself is an important indicator of how well it can help you improve your performance.

  • If you are doing heavy lifting in the gym or at work,  you will want sleeves that fit tight with less flexibility.
  • On the other hand, if you’re running, walking, or cycling — your sleeves will do better with more flexibility. Too much restriction and tightness will hinder your movement, and be uncomfortable. If you’re recovering from an injury, greater flexibility is usually best.
  • If you are running or cycling, you will need sleeves with moderate flexibility because too much will restrict your movements.  If you are recovering, you will want sleeves with greater flexibility.

2. Durability

You will find that most sleeves are made with the same material so the durability depends on the quality the manufacturer has in mind.

To determine the quality of a sleeve you haven’t tried before, try reading a lot of reviews to see what other people are saying.

Look for things like:

  • Shape
  • Type of stitching
  • What people are saying about comfort
  • Are they staying up or falling down (many complaints here are from choosing the wrong size)
  • Durability

3. Compression and Support

how to choose a knee sleeve with good compression

To be honest, you are generally going to get what you pay for, right?

The knee sleeves with the best support and compression factors usually cost more to manufacture.

And you find that athletes using sleeves on a regular basis to avoid knee injuries expect higher levels of compression and support than they can get from cheaper models.

So, it’s important to think about whether you will use your own sleeves for competition events, light workouts, or arthritis pain relief.

Higher quality production and materials usually provide higher amounts of compression and support which is why the best sleeves usually cost more.

4. Warmth and Comfort

One of the benefits of a knee sleeve is the warmth created by the compression. This warmth causes increased blood flow to the joint for:

  • Healing
  • Comfort
  • Decreased chance of injury during any physical activity

In general thicker sleeves (often neoprene sleeves) have a tendency to be warmer while thinners varieties are a little cooler.

Comfort is always a factor to take into consideration when choosing the best knee sleeve and includes:

  • Comfort while in use
  • Ease of getting them off and on

If you’re looking for workout support or powerlifting, you can usually count on them being not so easy to put on and off, because of the material and the tightness needed.

However, it’s best to do your research, because who wants to wear something that’s just uncomfortable?

5. Size

Checking and carefully analyzing the size guide from the manufacturer you intend to purchase from in absolutely imperative. 

Always check the size guide because you will want your them to be nice and tight for more support. That is why many athletes suggest sizing down from your measurements because a loose sleeve defeats its purpose.

What makes knee sleeves work is the compression added to the joint and surrounding areas. Even though the compression level and tightness depends a lot on personal choices,

  • If you struggle to keep them on your leg and knee because they are too loose, they are a real pain.
  • If they are too tight, they cut the blood circulation off, which will cause undue pain.

6. Value for Money

Choosing the right knee sleeve based on personal real value compared to money spent takes researching reviews or asking opinions from users.

You can find knee sleeves in several different categories:

Deciding for what and why before hand helps you know what qualities to look for as you shop to fit your personal needs.

The truth is — you don’t need to be an athlete to be concerned about the health of your knees.

Osteoarthritis of the knees affects millions of people all over the world, both young and old.

Here’s just a few ways Knee Sleeves can help you:

  • Reduce the risk of injury from excessive pressure and strain from exercise, sports, work, etc.
  • Provide great support and alignment
  • Pain relief from injured, sore, tired, arthritic knees
  • Help with balance and a sense of where your knees are at all times, especially in sports

Good sleeves act as a compression element encircling your entire knee joint. They protect your knees from injury while increasing blood flow to reduce pain during and after any physical activity.


Still got questions? You might find the answers here: Frequently Asked Questions About Knee sleeves.

The truth of the matter on how to choose a knee sleeve is this:

Read the reviews on this site, follow the links and read more reviews, measure carefully, try to choose on the small end of the spectrum rather than large, and chances are good you will love the benefits of wearing knee sleeves.

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