There is no doubt that knee braces are incredibly crucial when you are nursing an injury or preventing one. However, picking the best knee brace can be a nightmare as individual needs vary among different people. Besides, there are many types, shapes, and designs that can confuse you when picking one. Wear knee braces only to prevent injuries during high contact sports or if there is a higher risk of a knee injury.
The good news is there are many best knee braces in the market. These braces are useful for rehabilitating your knees when recuperating from an ACL injury. They make your movement slow and limited, enabling you to regain your range of motion gradually. They also reduce pain and inflammation, which makes them handy to arthritis patients.
Related:The 10 Best Knee Pads
Best Overall: Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace
If you’re looking for a knee brace that prevents and heal minor patella instability, medial, and lateral instability, then this brace is suitable for you. It’s also effective in the treatment of other conditions such as arthritis, meniscus injuries, hypertension, and minor ligament strains. The product incorporates antimicrobial and airflow vented tech that reduces odor, moisture, and bacteria so that you’ll stay comfortable all day and during workouts.
It also offers enhanced movement and comfort due to its heavy-duty bilateral dual hinges that offer support while enabling you to move comfortably. It’s also latex-free, offers premium stitching, and includes integrated flexible side stabilizers that enable it to stay in place. There are also easy grip tabs that give you a more accurate fit.
Besides, it comes with compression that supports joints alignment, pain relief, and boosts therapeutic heat that is vital for improving blood flow for faster healing of injured muscle and tendons.
- Heavy-duty bilateral dual hinges for maximum support
- Integrated aluminum stays for increased stability
- X-fit strap system for a more secure fit making it easy to adjust
- Has integrated antimicrobial technology that reduces odor-causing bacteria
- Brand: Shock Doctor
- Product Weight: 1 pound
- Product Dimensions: 15*6* 4 inches
Best for Post-Op: Breg T Scope Premier Post-Op Knee Brace
Breg T Scope Premier postoperative Knee Brace is the knee brace you require to stabilize your knee in any situation, including post-up and post-injury applications where your knee must be immobilized for proper and faster healing. This knee brace was designed with a special motion hinge that locks your knee in position tightly, which prevents it from closing or extending past a certain angle. Its locking cushions also prevents you from accidentally hyperextending or re-injuring your knee while you’re wearing the brace.
Besides, it’s a universal knee brace that fits different knee sizes. Also, those with large legs can try the optional XL model that accommodates legs of up to 35.5″ circumference. Besides, putting on or removing these knee braces is easier thanks to the easy-to-use & straightforward adjustable straps. Also, it comes with optional incision pads that are useful for preventing discomfort in some operated knees.
It also contains a patented and user-friendly hinge that controls the patient’s ranges of motion. What’s more, since it is universal, there is less need to use SKUs. It also features an optional accessory, also called the Innovative Bridge Tech Incision Pad that enhances comfort to the patient’s incision site making it more wearable. Overall, it’s a high-performance knee brace of 2020 and is also lightweight to ensure maximum wearability in post-injury or post-surgery.
- Comes in a universal size that fits most legs with ease
- Super simple adjustable straps for easy application and removal
- It’s lightweight for maximum wearability
- Easily adjustable for a personal fit
- Brand: Breg
- Product Dimension: 21.5*10*5 inches
- Product Weight: 2.3 pounds
Best Value: Vive Hinged Knee Brace
Vive Hinged Knee Brace is ideal for people with knee injuries and other health issues. It features strong compression support for your joints, knee tendons, and muscles. It also contains hinges on both sides of the knee that offer extra support; if you require less support, just remove these hinges. This brace is effective in improving medial and lateral stability as well as sprains, strains, instability, and patellar tracking.
Its compression material also offers support to your injured joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. This Vive product is manufactured from neoprene material that is lightweight and breathable. It’s ideal for exercises and daily activities. The adjustable and strong anti-slip fasteners also prevent the constant readjusting of the knee braces and also enables you to customize the brace to fit your knee.
Combined with the top and bottom straps, you’ll enjoy a more personalized fit in your knees. You’ll also like the 60-day guarantee that comes with this product. It’ll help you shop with more confidence.
- Hinges on both sides of the knee for added support
- Has compression material that supports the injured joints, tendons, and ligaments
- Lightweight and breathable neoprene for maximum comfort all-day
- Extra fast strengtheners that prevent constant readjusting
- Brand: Vive
- Product Dimension: 10.6*7*2 inches
- Product Weight: 10.4 ounces
Best ComfortEXODUS Knee Brace Support
Are you looking for a knee brace that will effectively stabilize and protect your knee? Well, then Exodus Knee protector is your perfect choice. This knee brace is one of the unique braces with a patent design and 4-way compression that supports you in many ways. It is designed to facilitate your knee in multiple ways and has an open patella design that provides adjustable compression.
Besides, it is crafted using high-quality neoprene that fully supports and offers compression to your knees. In addition, this material is lightweight and comfortable to wear, which ensures you get the most of your workouts. Its design also offers the perfect fit and adjustment to your knee. The additional 2 large straps and 3 crossover small traps provide all-around support to your knee. This enables you to work out or exercise freely with fewer chances of slipping. What’s more, it is ideal for patients with a knee injury as it provides the ultimate comfort and relaxation that is vital during workouts.
- The unique 4-way compression system provides stability to weak knees
- -point strap system prevents knee slipping
- The comfort gap on the back of the knee enables you to bend low comfortably
- Has slide stabilizers which makes it ideal for activities that require extra stability
- Brand: EXODUS
- Product Dimension: 0.2 * 0.1 inches
- Product Weight: 5.6 ounces
Best Plus Size: KARM Adjustable Knee Brace Plus Size
Rated #5 in our review, this knee brace improves your mobility and gives you more confidence while on your daily activities. Its unique 4-way compression hugs your knee at every position to provide you more lateral and medial support and more stability for your weak knees. Besides, its two dedicated patella straps give your patella tendon& jumpers quick pain relief and increased stability. Moreover, it offers you high-level support without restricting your range of movement. Also, its 3 same-way and fully-customizable hook-and-loop straps, make it easier to adjust knee compression regardless of your body size and type. Its sewn-in straps are also comfortable for large calves and thighs.
This knee brace is also made of 60% neoprene that increases your blood flow and retains heat that protects your joints and muscles. It also offers premium comfort and stability that makes it ideal for those with arthritis and knee injuries. There is also an accompanying size chart which you can use to pick your choice from the three different sizes.
- Dual-side stabilizers offer you enhanced comfort
- adjustable hook-and-loop straps make the brace stay on place
- The easy-to-use design makes it possible for everyone to use without extra help
- Comes in three sizes to ensure you get your perfect fitting design
- Brand: KARM
- Product Dimension: 9.37 inches * 4.764 * 1.929 inches
- Product Weight: 7.8 ounces
Best supportive: VieVibrante Hinged Knee Brace Plus Size
Well, if you are looking for a rigid, supportive, and lightweight knee brace, then this is your ideal product. This product is designed based on thousands of surveys on the features customers admire in knee braces. With its strong anti-sliding strips, you’ll enjoy using your knee braces without fear of them sliding down while working out. In addition, the anti-slip feature prevents the braces from falling even when worn for long periods.
The removable & adjustable two-side metal stabilizer and the four metal springs also offer you the extra support in your knees and help improve your flexibility. What’s more, its superior wraparound design supports your knees and is ideal for people with large upper thighs & lower calf. the silicone gel patella on the other hand cushions your kneecaps to improve the overall comfort.
The 4 D-rings hinged locking mechanism also protects the back of your knees from cutting back. Overall, this product is sturdy, durable, affordable and also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Enhanced anti-sliding strips prevent the braces from falling down
- Removable& adjustable two-side metal stabilizer for extra flexibility
- Exclusive 4 D rings-hinged locking mechanism prevents cutting back of the knees
- The superior wraparound design supports your knee
- Brand: VieVibrante
- Product Dimension: 29.5* 13.2*7.4 inches
- Product Weight: 576 ounces
Best Protection: POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve
POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve offers your knees phenomenal protection with its myriad of knee support and protection features. Whether you need optimal muscle support or enhanced stability between workouts and daily activities, then this brace is your ideal match. What’s more, it comes in different brace sizes, and you’ll only need to measure your circumference base and choose one that fits you better.
With this knee brace, you’ll enjoy pushing yourself to the limit with any activity that comes across your way. Whether you are playing baseball, soccer, volleyball, or more, you’ll enjoy exceptional knee support and maintain peak performance at the same time.
Besides, it’s manufactured with top quality materials, support & stability in mind, which prevents it from compromising your mobility. Overall, it’s the best knee brace for those looking for more stability at a reasonable price. Besides, its breathtaking design and anti-slip design suit it for those who regularly workout.
- Tight and breathable compression fabric for enhanced stability
- Manufactured with absorbent materials making your legs sweat & odor-free
- Beautiful blue& black design makes it fashionable everywhere
- Comes in various sizes for legs of varying circumference
- Brand: POWERLIX
Best Match: Bodyprox Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers
Well, if you need a knee brace for you, your friends and loved ones at home, then Bodyprox Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers is the best match. It comes with a universal fit; that is, one size fits most design. This makes it a perfect gift for anyone who you don’t know their knee size; it would be a fantastic surprise.
Its flexible stabilizers also relieve pressure and stress in your knees. The manufacturers have also incorporated springs in 2 sides with 1 silicone cone at the kneecap position. This reduces the burden on the joints when you are doing intense exercises or heavy work. This brace is effective for relieving knee pain from MCL, ACL, LCL, tear, sprains, arthritis, and tendonitis.
- It is designed in a universal fit (one size fits all)
- Silicone pad at kneecap position reduces stress on knee-joint during exercise
- Velcro straps allow you to adjust the tightness of the knee brace
- Patella gel pads help you to bend your knee with less stress
- Brand: Bodyprox
- Product Dimension: 9.134 * 7.087 * 0.236 inches
- Product Weight: 7.8 ounces
Best Bedget: UFlex Athletics Knee Compression Sleeve Support
If you’re not much into the price factor and you simply want something that will give your weak knees added support, then try this Uflex Athletics knee brace. It’s ideal for sports activities such as golf, soccer, hiking, skiing, volleyball, and more. It’s also ideal for someone who requires extra comfort while he is recovering from a knee injury. By offering you superior bilateral support, this brace makes your knees stay put; this avoids unnecessary movements such as twisting and hyperextension, enabling you to focus on your exercise.
The brace also contains anti-slip silicone, which prevents the need to readjust it constantly. An accompanying size chart also enables you to choose your ideal size knee brace. This product is useful in a myriad of ways and also helps to reduce inflammation, soreness, and stiffness in your muscles. It’s perfect for muscle recovery and is manufactured with durable fabrics and sound design that provides maximum comfort to your leg.
- Anti-slip silicone offers you stable compression during squats, yoga, and fitness
- Knee sleeve adds warmth and reduces patella movement
- Double silicone anti-slip wave provides the best grip
- Elastic knee compression sleeve support& a 4-way stretch capability offers extreme knee protection
- Brand: UFlex Athletics
- Product Dimension: 3.9*0.4*2.7 inches
- Product Weight: 2.4 oz
IPOW Knee Strap Brace Support
Despite being the last in our review, IPOW Knee Strap Brace Support combines maximum support and comfort to offer you a wide range of motion. Using this device, you will find it easier to adjust the knee brace using the adjustable strap to get the tightness and comfort you desire. Besides, its segmented fix design enables you to make adjustments basing on the curvature of your knees to protect your patella better and make an enormous difference in cushioning your knee.
What’s more, it is manufactured using soft and breathable fabric that enables you to wear it with less discomfort. It is ideal for a variety of sports games such as running, fitness, basketball, training, and other activities that require frequent jumping.
- Fully adjustable strap offers you the flexibility to adjust the tightness of the knee braces
- Soft and breathable fabric to prevent sweat& odor accumulation
- Segmented fix design allows you to make adjustments basing on personal’ knees
- It’s comfortable and stays in place
- Brand: IPOW
- Product Dimension: 5*5*0.7 inches
- Product Weight: 3.84 ounces
When to Wear a Knee Brace?
In general, you should wear braces when you are experiencing knee pains, or you wish to prevent injuries when participating in high contact sports that increase your likelihood of getting knee injury. You can also use knee braces for rehabilitative purposes i.e., following an ACL injury. The brace offers slow and limited movement, which allows the patient to gain his range of motion gradually. Knee braces are also helpful for arthritis patients as it can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor can help you decide if it’s necessary for the condition.
How does a Knee Brace Work?
Different knee braces work in different ways. Some are designed to work as a cast. They provide sturdy support and limit the amount of weight exerted in your knee to promote healing. These knee braces are common among people who have injured their knees.
Other knee braces work slightly differently. Lightweight knee braces are designed for less severe knee problems. For instance, if your knees are weak, but you play a lot of high-intensity sports, then a lightweight knee brace will offer extra support to your knees to avoid injury.
In both cases, the work of the knee brace is to keep weight off your knee.
For those with injuries, keeping the weight off their knees is essential for faster healing. This is primarily because of the way we depend on our knees when moving around.
When a wheelchair is overkill, but doing nothing may cause further damage, then the knee brace becomes an ideal option. For those who require something to support their knees when on their daily activities, knee braces come as handy.
By supporting some parts of the leg and/or knee, the knee brace lowers weight and pressure from your knee. This makes your knee less prone to injury.
Levels of Protection
While choosing a knee brace, pick one with levels of protection ranging from 1 to 3+.
- Level 1 Brace offers the least support but is most flexible, such as a knee sleeve. It’s ideal for pain relief and mild to moderate support when remaining fully active.
- Level 2 Braces offer more protection than level 1, they’re less flexible, but still allows for a range of movement. They include knee straps and wraparound braces. They offer mild to moderate knee support for pain relief associated with tendonitis and ligament instabilities.
- Level 3 Brace such as a hinged knee brace, offers more support but a limited movement. This type of brace is also generally heavier. It’s ideal for a patient recovering from surgery when he needs limited knee movement to protect him from re-injuring himself. Also, its enhanced 3+ level offers maximum protection against injuries to your knee. Level 3+ also aids in pain relief and support for moderate to extreme instabilities and conditions.
Types of Knee Braces
There are numerous types of knee braces in the market i.e. sleeves, straps, hinged braces, and wraparound braces.
Knee Sleeves come in different sizes and can be easily slipped right over your knee. They offer knee compression, which aids in controlling swelling and pain. Knee sleeves are also useful for mild knee pain, and they help minimize arthritis. Sleeves are also comfortable and can fit well under clothing.
- Wraparound or Dual-Wrap Braces is ideal for athletes experiencing mild to moderate knee pain, offering more support than sleeves. They are easy to put on and take off and can be used while training- they don’t carry the bulk and heaviness of hinged braces.
- Hinged Knee Braces These are typically used in post-surgery for patients and athletes who need a higher level of support and protection. It keeps your knee in the proper alignment when it bends to enable it to heal and avoid further injuries. Your doctor may recommend a hinged knee brace after surgery, but another type of brace in a particular stage of your healing process. Hinged braces come as soft or rigid, with the soft ones offering less support than rigid ones.
- A Knee Strap This is an excellent solution for those suffering from knee pain due to Jumper’s or Runner’s Knee (Patellar Tendonitis), Patella Tracking or Osgood-Schlatter Disease. It is easy to put on and take off and can fit under your clothes. When you wear this knee brace, it exerts pressure on your Patellar Tendon, which helps to prevent patella injuries and minimize knee pains.
- Closed and Open Patella Braces Knee braces with a closed patella (no hole in the center of the brace) and those with the open patella (a hole) can be confusing. Braces with an open patella allow for quick relief of knee pressure and extra knee cap support with proper tracking and movement. On the other hand, closed patella braces offer compression at the knee cap at the same pressure with other parts of the knee and additional support. Consult your doctor if you’re unsure of the one that matches your needs.
Buying Guide for Best Knee Brace
Since knee braces come in a wide variety, it is challenging to pinpoint universal features that make a good knee brace. Depending on your needs, you’ll want to look for specific qualities that make a particular knee brace ideal for you. These are the qualities to look for:
1. Support System
The first thing to look out for in a knee brace is an excellent support. Without a properly designed support system, your knee brace is as good as nothing. If a knee brace has a poor design or is manufactured with poor quality materials, then it may not offer the results you need. However, this doesn’t mean fewer materials means lower quality. Some knee braces have a simple design, yet they’re effective. Others are designed to encase entire sections of your leg. So despite that size doesn’t determine the quality of your knee brace; the materials used, and the support they offer to do.
Comfort is one of the most crucial factors in determining a good quality knee brace. Since they’re designed to be worn when relaxed or doing strenuous activities, a knee brace should not limit you to certain activities due to comfort.
Make sure you avoid knee braces that cause doesn’t fit well or cause chaffing. Not only will this lower their effectiveness, but it’ll also make the whole experience uncomfortable.
Finally, it is crucial to choose a knee brace that provides discretion. Depending on the severity of your knee injury, hiding the product under your clothes is not an option. But if you have a less severe injury, then it would be best if you go for a knee brace that will comfortably fit under your clothes and remain productive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Brace Choose?A: The right knee brace for you depends on the level of support you need and/or what your doctor recommends. The decision is based on the type of injury you have, and whether or not you are recovering from surgery and the extent of movement your knee should be getting.
How Tight Should The Brace Be?A: Your knee brace should offer you the perfect compression of a feeling of tightness in your knee. It should be comfortable enough and provide you sufficient support based on your individual needs. However, if the brace is too tight and you’re losing circulation, then it’s time to loosen the straps and buy a large-sized brace. Rigid braces feel rigid and offer more support while the compression sleeves allow you more movement but less support. Use a size chart to determine the flexible knee sleeve to pick based on the circumference of your knee below the center of the knee cap.
Q: Can I wear my knee brace to bed?A: People with healthy knees won’t benefit much from wearing their knee brace at night. However, it helps people with some types of knee problems. Some types of knee braces also offer compression that can help lower recovery time after knee surgery.
Q: Do I need a Prescription for a Knee Brace?A: No, once you have consulted a healthcare professional of your knee concerns or injury, then you’re free to use a knee brace without prescription.
Q: What Knee Brace Should I use?A: The right knee brace depends on your individual needs. It’s always best to consult your doctor, who will determine the best knee brace for you.
Typically, a lightweight knee brace works for people who require extra support, while those with injuries can use heavier knee braces.
Q: Is sports knee brace better than athletic tape?A: Taping and bracing are both beneficial in that they can help prevent further damage after a knee injury. However, athletic tapes come with several downsides. The primary disadvantage with athletic tapes is they are less durable. Sweat and movement can lower their effectiveness. This is the reason why athletic tape is ideal for smaller & bonier parts of your body. Therefore, a sports knee brace is a better solution than tape.
Q: Is it true that knee braces can weaken my knee muscles and ligaments?A: Yes, and No. Yes, in that if you become overly reliant on the knee brace, then this could eventually happen. But if you use knee braces only when undertaking strenuous physical activities, then you’ll avoid this problem.
Q: Will a knee brace mask my actual injury?A: Never assume that using your knee brace could aid with every knee problem. A knee brace cannot fix an injury- it’s only designed to offer support as your injury heals. If you suspect a heavier injury, then consult a health professional to ascertain the best type of knee brace for you.
Q: Can I keep exercising with a knee brace?A: If you have suffered an injury, then kindly check with your doctor first. If the doctor says that you might not further damage the knee, then feel free to continue the work out with a knee brace.
Q: How long per day should I wear a knee brace?A: Most knee braces are designed to be worn for a better part of the day. But if your knee braces don’t fit snugly, then it may rub your skin and cause sores. Make sure you select a knee brace that fits so that you’ll wear it for as long as possible. Most people remove their knee braces before sleeping unless otherwise directed by their doctor.
Q: How do I know if the type of knee brace I’ve selected is working?A: You should notice a reduction in the level of pain or swell in the affected area after using the brace for many days. The pain may reduce slowly over time, so don’t expect quick results. Also, you may notice your knee becoming more stable when you’re wearing the brace than when you aren’t.
Since there are many types, sizes, and styles of knee braces, its essential to understand your needs before buying one. Therefore, adhere to the buying guide and pick the one that offers you the level of support you need for the occasion. Also, it’s making sure you notice any red flags when you want to purchase a knee brace. For instance, a knee brace that does not offer enough support to your muscles might be comfortable yet ineffective. It’s also vital that you avoid knee braces that are made of low-quality materials as they’ll do more harm than good in the end.