Knee Brace Guide

Written By: Chloe Wilson, BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board

Knee Brace Guide: Compare makes, models, styles and fits to find the best knee brace for you, whatever your knee problem

Knee braces are a great way to reduce knee pain and improve support and stability.

There are lots of different knee brace options out there suitable for all different types of knee pain but it can be hard to know which is the best one for you.

There are different shapes, styles, support levels, manufacturers and materials with knee braces and they can vary in price enormously. 

Here you will find everything you need to help you choose the right brace for you, whatever your problem. You can search by:

  1. Support Level: Basic, Advanced, Elite
  2. Braces for Specific Conditions: Arthritis, ACL injuries
  3. Style of Knee Brace: Pull Ups, Wrap Arounds, Hinged Braces, Knee Straps, Magnetic Braces, Neoprene braces, Knee Pads
  4. Manufacturer: Ace, Donjoy, McDavid, Mueller, Neo G

In each section you can find a range of appropriate braces, find out how they work, what conditions they are suitable for and read reviews of each brace so you can find the best knee brace for you.

Braces By Support Level

There are essentially three different levels of support that a knee brace may offer. This is to do with the style, fixation, in-built support structures and hinges. 

1. Basic Level Knee Brace

Basic Level Knee Brace: Perfect for mild knee pain and weakness

A basic level knee brace provides gentle support to the knee. They are light-weight, comfortable and great value for money. 

They range from pull-up sleeves to wrap-around braces with velcro straps. Some also have a hole at the front to reduce the pressure through the knee cap.

A basic level knee brace is perfect for mild cases of knee pain where there is minimal instability. Find Out More > 

2. Advanced Level Knee Brace

Advanced Level Knee Brace: Perfect for mild to moderate knee pain and instability

An advanced level knee brace provides a moderate level of support to the knee and helps reduce the forces going through the joint.

They usually have in-built stabilisers on both sides of the knee brace which help to control sideways movements and twisting of the knee, which particularly helps to protect the knee ligaments.

Advanced level knee braces are perfect for people with mild to moderate knee pain and instability e.g. following a knee sprain. Find Out More >

3. Elite Level Knee Brace

Elite Level Knee Brace: Perfect for severe knee instability or following knee surgery

An elite level knee brace provides maximum support and protection for the knee.

They are perfect if you have significant knee instability or your knee keeps giving way e.g. with ACL injuries or following knee surgery.

They typically have hinges and side supports and on some of them you can set the hinges to only allow a certain amount of flexion/extension. Find Out More >

Braces for Specific Conditions

Whilst most knee braces will be suitable for a number of different knee problems, some conditions will benefit from specially designed braces to provide targeted support for the specific issues associated with that knee problem.

1. Arthritis Knee Braces

Arthritis Knee Brace: Offload your arthritis knee with one of these knee braces

An arthritis knee brace is specifically designed to off-load specific parts of the knee.

Knee arthritis is often worse on one side of the knee than the other, most typically the inner side, and these knee braces help to redirect the forces away from the arthritic areas.

Not only does this help reduce knee arthritis pain, it can actually slow down the disease progression and help delay the need for surgery. Find Out More >

2. Knee Stability Braces

Knee Ligament Braces: Support sprained or torn ligaments with these knee ligament braces

A knee stability brace provides ultimate support and protection after ligament injuries.

The knee ligaments are the key stabilising structures in the knee so when they are torn, then instability can become a real problem and puts you at risk from further knee injuries.

Knee ligament braces are particularly useful with ACL tears, both following an injury or after reconstruction surgery. They provide much more support than other knee braces. Find Out More >

Knee Braces by Style

There are a whole range of knee brace styles on the market, each suitable for slightly different knee problems. People often prefer one style over another depending on what level of support they are after and what activities they'll be doing when wearing their knee brace.

1. Pull Up Knee Sleeve

Pull-Up Knee Sleeves: Find the right one for you

A sleeve style knee brace is perfect for minor knee injuries and mild knee pain where there is little instability.

These simple pull-up supports provide warmth, compression and some basic support. Some have a hole at the front to help improve patellar tracking. Find Out More >

2. Wrap Around Knee Brace

Wrap Around Knee Brace: Ensure the perfect fit for your knee brace

A wrap around knee brace has velcro straps so you simply wrap it around your knee and fasten it into the position you want for a perfect fit.

This is particularly helpful if your knee is prone to swelling or is an unusual shape. Some have in-built stabilisers for increase support. Find Out More >

3. Hinged Knee Brace

Hinged Knee Braces: Get ultimate support with these hinged knee braces

A hinged knee brace is ideal if you have knee instability as they can provide moderate to maximum support to the knee.

In some cases the hinges can be locked to only allow a certain amount of knee movement for increased support and protection. Others can be set to off-load one side of the knee and redirect forces away from areas of knee damage. Find Out More >

4. Knee Straps

Knee Straps: Perfect for knee tendon and patellar tracking problems. Find the right knee brand for you

Single or double knee straps can be really useful with a number of knee problems, particularly things like tendonitis and knee cap pain.

They help to off-load the knee tendons and support the kneecap. They are extremely light-weight, comfortable and are great value for money. They may not look like much, but they are incredibly effective. Find Out More >

5. Knee Pads

Knee Pads: Cushioning and protection for people who frequently kneel

Knee pads are perfect for reducing knee pain & providing protection when kneeling, be it DIY, gardening or construction.

Knee pads not only cushion the knee, they help top reduce the forces going through the joint and friction on the knee. They are an absolute must for anyone who spends lots of time on their knees! Find Out More >

6. Magnetic Knee Brace

A magnetic knee brace works in a similar way to other knee braces, but has in-built magnets.

Magnetic therapy is thought to improve circulation, promote healing and well-being and reduce knee pain. There are a range of styles and support levels available and many people find them really helpful. Find Out More >

7. Neoprene Knee Brace

Neoprene knee braces are made of a special material similar to that used in wet-suits. Neoprene is the best material for retaining heat which helps to not only reduce knee pain but also promotes healing and reduces swelling.

Neoprene knee braces come in a whole variety of styles and people often find them more effective than braces made out of other materials. Find Out More >

Braces By Manufacturer

There are loads of different manufacturers of knee braces these days, but it is usually best to go for a trusted brand. Well-known brand knee braces are often designed by experts in knee pain e.g. orthopedic surgeons and are rigorously tested to ensure safety and effectiveness. 

1. ACE Knee Brace

ACE Knee Brace: Find the right one for you

ACE stands for All Cotton Elastic and they have been making knee braces for nearly 100 years.

ACE braces provide mild-moderate support at low cost in a range of styles. Best ACE Knee Braces >

2. Donjoy Knee Brace

Donjoy Knee Brace: Find the right one for you

Donjoy make top of the range knee braces for everyday to elite athlete use. They use pioneering, innovative designs with a particular focus on stability.

They are particularly good with ligament instability and arthritis. They are not cheap, but the level of support they provide is second to none. Best Donjoy Knee Braces >

3. McDavid Knee Brace

McDavid Knee Brace: Find the right one for you

McDavid are a well trusted brand that offer a whole range of products that receive great reviews.

McDavid knee braces are effective, durable, easy to use & good value for money. Best McDavid Knee Braces >

4. Mueller Knee Brace

Mueller Knee Brace: Find the right one for you

Mueller are another well respected brand that have been making knee braces for a whole range of knee problems for over 50 years.

They consistently receive excellent user reviews and there are lots of different styles available. Best Mueller Knee Braces >

5. Neo G Knee Brace

NeoG Knee Brace: Find the right one for you

Neo G are one of the newer manufacturers on the market but their knee braces are taking the market by storm. They receive excellent user reviews for comfort, support and value.

They are even partnered with the Chartered Society Of Physiotherapy in the UK which is a pretty strong endorsement! Best Neo G Knee Braces >

Choosing The Right Brace

If you are feeling a bit lost, start by thinking about what level of support you are looking for from a knee brace:

A knee brace is usually a temporary fix with knee problems until the injury has healed and you have regained full muscle strength, so it is important to do knee strengthening exercises too.

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Page Last Updated: 16/01/24
Next Review Due: 16/01/26