Elastic knee braces and supports are really simple to use, cheap and provide some support and warmth to the knee.
They are great to have in the cupboard for those inevitable knocks!
Here, as well as looking at how they work and what conditions they are most suitable for, we will compare the different basic elastic knee braces on the market looking at reviews to find the best one for you. We will look at how they differ from each other and how to choose the right size for you.
Elastic knee braces work in a couple of different ways:
1) Support: They fit snugly providing some compression to the knee which helps support the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments)
2) Warmth: They retain heat which increases the circulation to the knee and helps promote healing
Basic elastic knee braces provide mild support and protection and are perfect for mild knee pain, sprains, arthritis, weakness, patellar tendonitis, cartilage irritation, bursitis, Runners Knee, Chondromalacia Patella, Osgood Schlatters and knee swelling. They are not suitable for moderate to severe instability and pain – in these cases you need advanced or elite protection.
As you will see, there are three types of basic elastic knee brace: full closed sleeves, open sleeves and wrap around knee supports. Let's look at the pros and cons of each style.
Why Choose this Type? A full sleeve provides support all around the joint and retains heat well. They are very simple to use – just pull them on and you’re ready to go and they are perfect for people who get niggles when doing activities. These are generally the cheapest types of knee support on the market.
Why Choose this Type? This style of elastic knee brace has a hole and support buttress at the front. This reduces the pressure on the patella which can be helpful when there is pain at the front of the knee e.g. from Runners Knee or Chondromalacia Patella. Again, they are extremely easy to use – no Velcro straps to worry about.
Why Choose this Type? Wrap around elastic knee braces have adjustable straps so you can fit them to your own unique shape. This makes them particularly useful with the changing sizes of swollen knees. Some are open at the front for the patella (putting less pressure through it and allowing the knee to breathe) while others are closed all the way round. They are really easy to get on and off – you don’t have to pull them up your leg and they often tend to stay in place better than pull up sleeves. They are one size fits all so you don’t need to worry about choosing the right size.
A lot of it comes down to personal preference when choosing a knee support. I personally prefer wrap around elastic knee braces with an opening at the front as I find they tend to stay in place slightly better and don’t put pressure through the kneecap, which is a common cause of pain. But other people prefer having a sleeve to pull up so they don’t have to contend with Velcro!
Choosing a knee brace can be difficult, especially as there are so many different ones on the market. If you are experiencing moderate knee pain or are looking for a bit more support than these basic elastic knee braces and supports can provide, you would likely benefit from an advanced brace. If you have had a serious injury and need maximum support, you will need an elite level brace to provide you with adequate support and prevent further injury.
To find the best brace for you, visit the brace guide
to find out about the different styles of brace available and what
conditions they are suitable for. We also provide recommendations on
star buys based on the opinions of people just like you.
Where elastic knee braces come in more than one size, it is important to get the right one otherwise they won’t work effectively and may be very uncomfortable. Measure around the widest part of the knee and choose from the options below. If your knee size falls between two sizes, it is usually best to go for the larger size for a better fit.
*Prices correct as of September 2016. All prices are subject to change. Please note we do not stock products directly and therefore have no control over price changes. See advertising policy for more information