Basic Elastic Knee Brace Supports
Elastic knee braces and supports can be a really helpful tool if you are suffering from knee pain. They are really simple to use, cheap and provide some support and warmth to the knee.
Whether you have suffered a minor knee injury or sprain, or have ongoing knee problems, an elastic knee support can help to reduce pain and instability. They are also great to have in the cupboard for those inevitable knocks!
Here, we start by looking at how they work and what conditions they are most suitable for, then we compare the different basic elastic knee braces on the market and help you find the best one for you. We will look at how they differ from each other and you can use the size guide to help you get the perfect fit for you.
How Do They Help?
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
What Are They Suitable For?
Basic elastic knee braces provide mild support and protection and are perfect for mild knee pain and instability from
They are not suitable for moderate to severe instability and pain – in these cases you need advanced or elite protection.
Best Basic Braces on the Market
Overview: Made of anti-slip silicone and with 4-way stretch capability this sleeve offers superior protection. It is ultra lightweight combining comfort, flexibility and support.
Designed for optimal compression grade to improve muscle endurance, protect the knee and enhance recovery. Available in three sizes S, M, L.
My verdict: This is the top selling knee sleeve on Amazon and it receives amazing reviews. It's design means it stays firmly in place unlike many cheaper knee sleeves. Currently only available in the US. Average user rating 4.8/5.
Overview: The Mava compression sleeve provides support and compression, increasing circulation to the knee and relieving pain. Made from breathable, moisture-wicking, antimicrobial material, it is suitable for everyday wear. Sold in pairs and available in grey or black and in four sizes.
My verdict: Mava elastic knee braces are extremely popular and come with a 30-day money back guarantee. They are good value as you get two sleeves in the box, perfect if you need one for each knee, or so that you have a spare for when washing etc. Average user rating 4.5/5.
Overview: This Neo G brace improves stability by
eliminating unwanted gliding and twisting at the knee. The brace
ensures that the weight through the joint is evenly
distributed, which helps ease
pain. It features an opening at the front with a stitched buttress giving
reinforced support to the patella and anterior knee.
This brace is a
Class 1 medical device registered with the Medicines and Healthcare
products Regulatory Agency.
My verdict: This is my favourite open knee design basic brace. Some people prefer
open patella braces like this as they give better support to the kneecap
without putting pressure through it. They also allow the leg to
breathe better so get less sweaty. Average user review 4.4/5.
The Best of the Rest
Overview: A popular pull on sleeve providing basic
support. It is sized and shaped to ensure it fits well, which is
something you don’t always get with cheaper brands. It is also seamless
behind the knee for extra comfort.
Provides compression and retains
warmth to promote healing and reduce pain. Fits left or right leg and
comes in five sizes.
My verdict: This popular elastic knee brace is
excellent value for money and is my favourite closed knee sleeve. It is
easy to apply, stays in place and is made of heavy duty material so is
long lasting. McDavid is a trusted brand worldwide so you can’t go far
wrong. Average user rating 4.4/5.
Overview: This Neo G elastic knee brace provides
compression, support and warmth to the knee
without restricting movement.
It is only 2.5mm thick so can easily be
worn under your clothes, providing support whilst still allowing
My verdict: This wrap around elastic knee brace provides good basic
level support and actually stays in place, unlike many other knee
braces. Reviews are extremely positive however if you have problems
with your kneecap, the Neo G open sleeve above may suit you better. Average user rating 4.3/5.
Overview: This black pull-on sleeve combines
superior stabilization with the benefits of heat retention. It is made of elastoprene – an innovative combination of breathable elastic
and neoprene blend materials. This provides support and retains heat to
help reduce swelling and aid healing, whilst releasing moisture to
prevent excess sweating.
Has comfortable reinforced edges which prevent
rolling and slipping. Available in sizes Small/Medium 11-15" and
Large/Extra Large 16-20”.
My Verdict: This is a great simple pull
up sleeve that provides moderate support. I like the elastoprene
material that gives the benefits of heat retention to improve healing
without making the leg all sweaty. And a great price too making it the perfect budget option. Average user rating 4.3/5.
Overview: A popular pull on knee sleeve providing
compression and soft tissue support. This model features a hole and
buttress at the front to reduce pressure on the patella, improving
comfort and flexion. Made of neoprene, it retains heat to reduce pain
and promote healing.
It has an inner rubber surface reduces slippage and
is seamless behind the knee for extra comfort. Has the added advantage of bring Latex-free.
My verdict: People report that is very comfy even when worn all day. It comes in a reversible black/red. Average user rating 4.1/5.
Pros and Cons
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.
1) Full Sleeve Knee Support
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.
2) Open Sleeve Knee Support
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.
3) Wrap Around Knee Support
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
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!
Other Brace Options?
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.
Elastic Knee Brace Size Guides
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.
Knee Pain Guide
Page Last Updated: 09/10/18
Next Review Due: 09/10/20
*Prices correct as of November 2023. 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.