Which lifting knee sleeve is best?
Lifting knee sleeves are used to help in a variety of situations and for a variety of conditions and issues. They predominantly help protect your joints and increase your stability. They can also relieve pressure on your knees and keep them warm, preventing stiffness from settling in. They’re helpful outside of lifting, too, and are frequently used by cyclists and runners.
The best lifting knee sleeves are the Stoic Knee Sleeves For Powerlifting. These aren’t meant for a casual audience, as they’re designed around the needs of professionals and enthusiasts.
What to know before you buy a lifting knee sleeve
Fit and length
To get the most from your lifting knee sleeves, they need to have a proper fit and length.
- Fit: This is also called size. Your sleeves must be tight enough for you to feel the compression without being so tight they cut off your circulation. Proper fit is found by taking measurements around your knee and comparing them to your prospective sleeves’ sizing chart. Keep in mind that sleeves become looser over time, so it’s OK to be a little bit too tight at first.
- Length: Most sleeves are either long enough to include the legs above and below the knee or short enough to only focus on the knees. Longer sleeves offer more support and stronger compression, but shorter sleeves offer a greater range of movement.
Lifting knee sleeves typically come in one of three thicknesses, which provide varying levels of support.
- 3-millimeter sleeves offer light support, light enough to be worn daily without issue. They’re best for those trying lifting knee sleeves for the first time and for those engaging in cardio exercises.
- 5-millimeter sleeves provide moderate support with minimal restriction of movement. They’re excellent for almost any type and level of exercise.
- 7-millimeter sleeves offer the strongest support but limit flexibility. They’re best for powerlifting and other exercises that require high strength and low mobility.
What to look for in a quality lifting knee sleeve
Lifting knee socks are usually made of neoprene or nylon and spandex.
- Neoprene sleeves are much more durable and soft enough that they rarely chafe or cause irritation. They stretch easily without risking tearing, making them easier to put on and take off. Neoprene is also breathable for long session comfort and warm to stave off stiffening.
- Nylon and spandex sleeves are more affordable but come with caveats. They are thinner and provide less support, and they aren’t nearly as durable. These materials are suitable for those trying sleeves out or for those who only exercise on occasion.
Some lifting knee socks are infused with copper, which is proven to be antimicrobial — this leads to less nasty odors developing. It’s also suggested to aid in joint and muscle health as well as pain relief, but these claims aren’t verified.
The best lifting knee socks have contoured edges to help them stay in place. This means more time exercising and less time bending down to pull your sleeves back up or down.
How much you can expect to spend on a lifting knee sleeve
Lifting knee sleeves typically come in pairs at costs of $20-$80. Basic sleeves usually cost less than $30 and occasionally as little as $15. Most cost $30-$60, with the best costing roughly $60-$80.
Lifting knee sleeve FAQ
How do I wash lifting knee sleeves?
A. Most lifting knee sleeves use materials that can be safely machine-washed. However, many manufacturers still recommend that you hand-wash the sleeves to help them last as long as possible. To hand-wash them, let them soak in a sink filled with a mixture of hot water and laundry detergent before rinsing them thoroughly and hanging them up to air dry.
What exercises benefit most from wearing lifting knee sleeves?
A. Any exercises that put a strain on your knees can benefit from using lifting knee socks, not just powerlifting. This can include:
- Leg-based exercises such as squats, lunges and leg lifts.
- Cardio exercises such as running, rowing and cycling.
What’s the best lifting knee sleeve to buy?
Top lifting knee sleeve
What you need to know: These are designed to help professionals push themselves toward greater heights.
What you’ll love: They are 7 millimeters thick for maximum compression and come in eight sizes so you can find your perfect fit. Each sleeve is 11.8 inches long to ensure full and proper coverage. Triple-reinforced nylon stitching and neoprene main material ensure high durability.
What you should consider: These are not meant for anything other than powerlifting. A few consumers had issues getting the sleeves off and on. They’re expensive.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top lifting knee sleeve for the money
What you need to know: These 7-millimeter sleeves provide the best compression for an affordable price.
What you’ll love: They come in five sizes, from small to XXL, and in five designs, including black with either white or red accents. Despite the reasonable cost, these sleeves still are made of neoprene. They are machine-washable and a drawstring storage bag is included.
What you should consider: A few customers found it difficult to find a size that fit appropriately. Others reported torn seams after a few months of regular use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This 7-millimeter sleeve sports a special design and is competition-approved.
What you’ll love: The knee support pattern provides an anatomical fit for comfort and superior assistance — it’s even patented and classified for medical use. The neoprene is soft, warm and tight without sacrificing range of motion. It comes in six sizes, from XS to XXL.
What you should consider: Only one sleeve is included, making this among the most expensive options. A few purchasers had issues finding a good fit, saying they run large.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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