Written By: Chloe Wilson, BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
Knee ice wraps are a great way to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. They can help with recovery from an injury, or with longer term knee conditions such as arthritis.
There are loads of different ways to apply ice therapy. Here I will share with you the most popular ice wraps.
They range from single-use disposable packs to specially designed ice bags, inserts for knee braces to high quality cryotherapy.
There are five different types of ice wraps covered here and you can compare models, read reviews and find the best one for you:
To find out more how cold therapy works, visit the Ice Treatment section.
Ice bags can be filled with ice cubes, crushed ice or cold water. The pleated design allows the bag to easily conform to the shape of your knee (or other limb) so you get the benefit of the ice where you need it most.
The cap means you don’t have to worry about leaking as the ice melts – you get the benefit of the cold without getting soggy! They are reusable and extremely economical and come in a whole range of designs.
Average user ratings for ice bags are 4.8/5 and prices start as little as $5/£3. Here are some options to get you started. #CommissionsEarned from Amazon on qualifying purchases
Simple design, available in a range of colours.
Something more interesting such as sports or superheroes
Make it more fun with hearts, cupcakes or cocktails
Cheer up the little ones with animals or disney characters
You can also get knee ice wraps that provide compression as well as cold therapy thus gaining the advantage of two elements of PRICE at the same time.
They are especially useful if you are moving around or if you are struggling to keep your knee ice wrap in the right place. These styles have velcro straps so you can control the amount of compression.
Here are four of our favourites! #CommissionEarned from Amazon on qualifying purchases
Polar Ice Wrap: Soft fleecy material with three removable ice packs. Average user rating 4/5. Guide price $22/£25.
Compression Ice Wrap: Inflation pump to control amount of compression. Removable gel pads. Average user rating 4.6/5. Guide price $36/£26
Ice Wrap: Knee
wrap with removeable ice pack. Adjustable velcro fastening to control
compression. Average user rating 4.5/5. Guide price $12/£27.
ProSeries Double Ice Wrap: Adjustable
neoprene wrap. Ice packs front and back. Average user rating 4.4/5.
Guide price $65/£45.
These are another great type of knee ice wrap and have the added advantage that they can be used hot or cold, depending on what you are wanting. If you want to use them as a knee ice wrap, simply place them in the freezer for a couple of hours.
Good quality versions are mouldable even when frozen so they fit well and they stay cold for longer than regular ice packs. The quality of the pack material varies affecting comfort and durability, so make sure you choose a good brand. Most of these can also be heated up in the microwave if you prefer using heat rather than ice. #CommissionEarned from Amazon on qualifying purchases
Mueller: Gel ice/hot pack measuring 6" x 9". Moulds well when frozen. Average user rating 4.4/5. Guide price $7/£4.
ACE: Soft-touch fabric for comfort. Remains flexible when frozen. Average user rating 4.3/5. Guide price $10/£16.
Extra Long: If you need a slightly bigger ice pack, these are great. Flexible design. Average user rating 4.5/5. Guide price $10/£11.
NEO G: Hot/cold flexible disc designed for use with most Neo-G braces. Average user rating 4.3/5. Guide price $8/£5.
These instant ice packs are great for immediate first aid treatment, wherever you are – no need for a freezer! They contain granules and a pouch containing the cold activating liquid. Simply squeeze/twist the pack to release the contents of the inner pouch and it reacts with the granules to make the pack instantly cold. They generally last about twenty minutes and are single use only.
These are great to add to the first aid kit for emergencies and they come in various sizes. They are usually sold in packs of 6 (costing around $10/£5) or more cost effectively in packs of 24 (costing around $17/£13)
The Donjoy Aircast Cryo Cuff knee ice wrap can be used after knee surgery and/or after knee injuries. It is the most sophisticated solution on the market and whilst it's simple enough to be used at home, it is effective enough to be used by professional athletes and hospitals. They receive an average user rating of 4.5/5.
If you are wanting to combine cold therapy with compression,
or are wanting something that lasts for long period (up to around 6-8
hours), the Donjoy Aircast Cryocuff is a must. The system consists of an
insulated bucket that you fill with ice and cold water, which connects to a
cuff that you position around your knee.
Strap the cuff around your knee with the velcro straps and simply attach the cuff to the cooler, placing the cooler higher than the cuff (less than 15”). Gravity then causes the cuff to fill with cold fluid (in about 15 seconds). Once the cuff starts to lose its coolness, simply reconnect the cooler, and place it below the level of the cuff so it drains completely. Wait a minute or so, and then refill the cuff as before with fresh ice cold water from the cooler.
Knee ice wraps are just one way to reduce pain and swelling. For other great treatment options, visit the knee treatment section.
If you want some help working out what is wrong with your knee, visit the diagnosis section.
Page Last Updated: 11/11/21
Next Review Due: 11/11/23
March 12, 2023
January 18, 2023
November 11, 2021
*Prices correct as of May 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.