Knee pain and injuries are a common issue for weightlifters and powerlifters.
Knee sleeves are mainly designed to protect your knees from injuries and to help with knee pain when working out, but it also helps to increase performance without inhibiting mobility.
There are a lot of different brands of knee sleeves to choose from, the high amount of different products and brand recommendations can be very overwhelming and confusing.
Make no mistake about it; The difference between good knee sleeves and GREAT knee sleeves are significantly different.
Updated June 11, 2019
Rehband is the most respected brand in the knee compression sleeves market and rightfully so.
Rehband has several different models of knee sleeves to choose from; and they’re all somewhat similar, very high quality.
The one we prefer is the Royal Blue 7051 model. In our opinion, it’s the very best knee sleeve on the market yet today.
Made of quality fabric 7mm neoprene with royal blue color.
Comfortable fit and is easy to get on and off, with that and the durability makes the Rehband knee sleeve the best on the market for CrossFit and other exercises that requires alot of movement.
Where most cheaper knee sleeves would only lasts for several months with regular use.
The very fact that the best of the best athletes in both CrossFit and powerlifting are willing to wear Rehband knee sleeves and elbow sleeves are enough to prove the very high quality.
Provide legitimate support and not just knee warmth; the added rigidity are helpful for heavier.
Reduce the risk of unnecessary injuries in the long term by wearing them.
However, if you already have a serious knee injury, knee sleeves will not save you.
- Sold as single and not in pair
Stoic Performance 7mm knee Sleeves
Stoic knee sleeves are made for professional level weightlifting, bodybuilding, powerlifting and strongman.
The quality of the knee sleeves is very impressive and gives you a very tight and stable support. A very durable knee sleeve that works perfect in both low reps high reps training.
Provides legitimate support, warmth and adds more to your lifts.
Most knee sleeves are made of 7mm neoprene, However, the difference in quality is significant.
Stoic knee sleeves are carefully crafted very high quality neoprene and with their “unbreakable Construction” (Patents Pending on the way they stitch their knee sleeves) makes them one of the most durable knee sleeves you can find.
The added heat retention and compression provided by the unique ultra-high density 7mm thick neoprene can dramatically reduce aches and pains during exercise.
Choose one size smaller for extra support.
Built to support you in reaching the next level of performance.
Let you add some extra weights to your lifts to enable your full potential.
- Somewhat Pricey
Iron Bull Strength 7mm Knee Sleeves for weightlifting and powerlifting
The Iron Bull Strength 7mm knee sleeves offers a very snug fit, comparable to other 4-seam options that we have reviewed.
The main purpose of this product is to keep your knees warmth and give support to avoid unnecessary injuries.
The support allows your knee joint to not be under so much tension when lifting heavy loads and will add a bit of extra weight to your lifts.
They fit perfectly and always stay in place, but still flexible enough for any weightlifting or powerlifting exercise.
You can wear long pants while wearing them without any discomfort. In fact you may actually forget that you are wearing them, which is awesome in the gym when doing different exercises.
Offer awesome support during heavy squats.
Compared to other 4-seam stitching knee sleeves, they feel abit bulky when doing lighter sessions with high reps.
If you have knee pain or a knee injury, this product is not going to save you. That is not the purpose for this product.
The product seems to be identical to SBD knee sleeves, but at half the price and a wide range of different colors and cool design to chose from.
Overall a great choice and among the best knee sleeves you can find.
- Feels bulky in high reps sessions (may not be for CrossFit athletes)
Slingshot STrong Knee Sleeves by Mark Bell
Mark Bell’s Slingshot Strong knee sleeves hugs your knees extremely tight and provide a lot of stability when lifting.
Maximum support and will help you to increase strength and allow you to lift heavier.
Very durable and offers highest-quality compression for the heaviest duty.
If you are looking for a sleeve to keep your knee warm and mobile, then these sleeves may not be your best choice.
Has a unique design with pending patent design utilizes a single seam to create less irritation while working out.
Tested by the world’s top powerlifters and strongmen to deliver the highest quality for the heaviest duty.
You may have seen 4 times the world strongest man Brian Shaw wearing those. That’s how reliable they are when it comes to ultra heavy duty
Our number one choice for ultra heavy duty.
Still it only reaches #4 on our list, simply because of the price. (1 pair cost around ~$90)
- Very few colors and designs to chose from
Mava Sports knee compression sleeves
Mava Sports 7mm knee sleeves are made to promote muscle recovery as well as prevent injuries.
The sleeves offer that little help with knee discomfort and pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, and tendonitis.
The Mava Sports neoprene knee sleeve has pleasing ergonomic design that adjust to the shape of your knees; this delivers both compression and support.
The stitching throughout this knee sleeve is double reinforced for max strength and durability.
Very comfortable to wear and always stays in place, will not slip or unroll between your sets in the gym.
This is basically Mava Sports version of Rehband knee sleeve.
They have a lot of similarities and both are great for intense training such as CrossFit.
Thought we don’t get the same quality feel as with the Rehband, when it comes to compression and durability.
But stil good enough to reach number 5 on our list, a price worthy choice.
- Sweat build up within the sleeve
- Rapidly absorbs odor
Nordic Lifting Knee sleeves 7mm
Nordic Lifting knee sleeves are constructed from 7mm neoprene with double reinforced stitching; this makes the Nordic knee sleeve a relatively thick band. Offers great support for any Gym workout.
The Nordic Lifting knee sleeves are made of 100% neoprene material, latex free.
Very flexible and thick knee sleeve which is perfect for weightlifting, CrossFit, powerlifting, gym and other fitness workouts.
We’ve noticed many brands trying to imitate the Nordic Lifting knee sleeve, claiming to be identical and the same quality; But make no mistake about it, they simply arent.
Atleast not the ones we’ve tested.
The difference between good knee sleeves and GREAT knee sleeves are significantly different.
Those are very similar to the Mava Sports knee sleeves, actually we have found no different.
A descent choice if you are on a budget.
- Will stretch out after used regulary
- Not even close to the same quality as Rehband
Bear KompleX knee sleeves
Bear KompleX knee sleeves has Four seam design.
Provides joint warmth and compressive support for squats, weightlifting, powerlifting and strongman movements.
Like many knee sleeves, the Bear Komplex knee sleeves are made of 7mm neoprene.
We noticed they offer slightly less flexibility but a more stable and snug fit.
Which makes them better for heavy duty (low reps) and not good for high reps exercises like CrossFit or running.
Bear KompleX knee sleeves comes in 8 different various designs and colors and alot of sizes,
Make sure you get the correct size for you, if you dont find the correct size the product will do nothing for you.
They are very stiff and hard to put on. It definitely takes some time to break them in.
- Not flexible
- Somewhat pricey
Gymreaper knee sleeves
Great knee sleeves for beginners who want to take the next step in their workouts.
Cool design and you get a neoprene bag along with the knee sleeves which adds up the value.
The design of the knee sleeve is perfect for giving warmth and for muscle recovery. It gets the job done.
Your knees will always get protection when you are wearing it.
You will feel comfortable and relax doing any leg exercises.
Good enough to reach our top list,
But nothing too special about them.
Very similiar to Nordic Lifting and Mava Sports knee sleeves.
- Sweat build up within the sleeve
- Rapidly absorbs odor
- Not made for super heavy duty
- Not durable
What are knee sleeves
Knee sleeves are mainly designed to protect the knees from injuries and to help with knee pain when working out, but it also helps to increase performance.
Weightlifters put a lot of pressure to the knees, especially if you are lifting heavy and pushing yourself to the limit in the gym.
If you’ve ever felt the pain of uncomfortable during leg exercises, then we highly recommend you consider starting use knee sleeves.
Knee sleeves are usually made of 7mm or 5mm neoprene material with compression garments around the whole knee.
It gives a snug and comfortable fit in such a manner that the athlete has a good awareness of their knee positioning throughout the training session.
For weightlifting & powerlifting 7mm is far superior than 5mm,
5mm simply doesn’t give you enough quality compression that you need when doing heavy squats, lunges, leg press, etc.
For running however, 7mm are too thick and too stiff.
- Knee sleeves add a valuable compression element that increases blood flow and reduces pain, not only during but also after performance.
- Knee sleeves help to protect the knees from the risk of damage and future injury.
- They help to provide the needed compression, which helps to reduce swelling and pain in the knee joint during and after a workout, they also help to increase blood flow.
- They help to increase your proprioception (the sense of the relative position of your knee joints).
- They provide lateral stability and also help the mechanics of a given movement by limiting patella movement.
- The compression and increased blood flow increases recovery and aids in muscle recovery and rehabilitation.
How to put on tight knee sleeves
Who can benefit from using knee sleeves?
Whether you’re a regular trainee, an advanced lifter or a beginner, you want to protect your knees.
It is a MUST HAVE for squats and to anyone who suffers from knee pain while exercising.
If you’re pushing yourself hard in the gym (which you hopefully are) then you should definitely consider using knee sleeves.
The compression and increased blood flow increases recovery and aids in muscle recovery and rehabilitation.
Although knee sleeves offer support, they’re totally different from knee braces. While knee braces are used to protect your past injuries from further damage, knee sleeves are made to protect your knee from the potential risk of injury and damage. This sort of protection is highly needed for knees especially if you are always exposed to the daily pressure of workouts and sports.
The benefits of compression and the ability of compression to increase oxygen blood flow to the muscles cannot be expressed enough.