Knee Sleeves

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

Best Knee Sleeves Guide: Suffering from knee pain, an injury or recovering from surgery? Knee sleeves are a great way to reduce pain, instability and swelling. Find the best one for you

Pull-up knee sleeves the simplest type of knee support, offering compression, support and warmth to the knee. 

They are really simple to use, cheap, and come in a variety of sizes to ensure that they fit correctly.

Knee sleeves can really help in the first few days following minor knee injuries to take some strain off the joint and give it some support. 

They can also be helpful for longer term problems to give the knee that bit of extra support so you can keep going with your normal activities. 

They are also a great item to have in the first-aid kit in case of injury.

Knee sleeves provide basic protection and are perfect for mild knee pain, sprains, arthritis, weakness, tendonitis, cartilage irritation and knee swelling.  Not only do they provide some support for the knee, they also help retain heat which boosts the circulation to the joint and can aid healing. 

They are not suitable for moderate to severe instability and pain – in these cases you need advanced or elite protection.

How Do They Vary?

Knee sleeves can usually be placed into three categories

1) Open Sleeves: These have a hole at the front to reduce pressure through the kneecap and allow the knee to breathe
2) Closed Sleeves: A complete sleeve supporting the entire knee and allowing more heat retention
3) Inbuilt Stabilisers: Some have side stabilisers which provide extra support for the knee ligaments.

There are a number of different knee sleeves on the market. Here I share with you my favourite, those that people find comfortable, supportive and good value for money. They are all from trusted brands, and can work really well to reduce pain, swelling and weakness.

You will find size guides at the bottom of the page to ensure you get the perfect fit for you.

Top Rated Knee Sleeves

STAR BUY: Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Sleeve

Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Sleeve

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.  

The Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Sleeve is designed for optimal compression grade to improve muscle endurance, protect the knee and enhance recovery. Available in three sizes.

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.  

Read: User Reviews    Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $20)

STAR BUY: Mava Compression Sleeves

Mava Knee Sleeves

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.

Mava Compression Sleeves are sold in pairs and available in grey or black and in four sizes.

My verdict: Mava sleeves 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.

Read: User Reviews    Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $20/£20/€34)

STAR BUY: ACE Brace with Side Stabilisers

ACE Open Knee Brace with Side Stabilisers

Overview:  This ACE sleeve provides support and stability without restricting movement. Has flexible metal side stabilizers providing medial and lateral stability by simulating the action of the knee ligaments.

The ACE Brace With Side Stabilisers is designed for use with arthritis, general knee soreness and swelling. Supports weakened muscles, tendons and ligaments and helps reduce the risk of injury.

My verdict: I like the side stabilizers here for extra stability. Users rate it highly for comfort, support and durability. Average user rating 4.2/5.

Read: User Reviews    Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $13/£12/€20)

Available in these countries

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The Best of The Rest

McDavid Knee Support

McDavid Knee Support

Overview: A popular pull on sleeve providing mild support, compression and warmth, helping to promote healing and reduce pain. The shape and size ensures it fits well, unlike many cheaper brands. It is also seamless behind the knee for extra comfort.

The McDavid Knee Support is available for the left or right knee and comes in five sizes.

My verdict: This popular knee sleeve is excellent value for money and is my favourite closed knee support. It is easy to apply, stays in place, and is made of heavy duty material so is long-lasting. Average user rating 4.4/5.

Read: User Reviews    Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $10/£7/€10)

Available in these countries

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ACE Closed Knee Support

ACE Closed Knee Support

Overview: Black pull on sleeve providing stabilization and warmth to the knee. 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.

The ACE Closed Knee Support has comfortable reinforced edges which prevent rolling and slipping. It is available in two sizes Small/Medium and Large/Extra Large

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. Average user rating 4.3/5.

Read: User Reviews    Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $9/£10/€20)

Available in these countries

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McDavid Open Knee Support

McDavid Open Knee Support

Overview: A popular pull on sleeve providing mild support and compression to the knee. This model features a hole and buttress at the front to reduce pressure on the kneecap, improving comfort and flexion. 

The McDavid Open Knee Support has an inner rubber surface which reduces slippage, and it is seamless behind the knee for extra comfort. NB Latex free, made of neoprene

My verdict: People report that is very comfy even when worn all day. It comes in a reversible black/red so you can choose which you prefer. Average user rating 4.1/5.

Read: User Reviews    Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $15/£13/€21)

Available in these countries

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Mueller Knee Support

Mueller Knee Support

Overview: This popular lightweight elastic pull on sleeve offers firm support for stiff, weak or sore knees without inhibiting movement.

Its contoured design helps prevent bunching and slippage to ensure a proper fit. It provides compression and retains warmth to promote healing and reduce pain, making it perfect after minor injuries or if you just need that bit of extra support.

My verdict: The Mueller Knee Support is a good basic pull on knee sleeve offering basic support and protection. Average user rating 4.1/5.

Read: User Reviews    Buy Now: ON SALE (guide price $13/£9/€16)

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Other Knee Brace Options

If you are looking for a brace that provides more support, or you would prefer an adjustable brace, I recommend checking out the knee brace overview which explains all about the different types of braces on the market and which ones get the best user reviews.

Knee Sleeve Size Guides

It is really important to get the correct size knee sleeve, to ensure a correct, comfortable fit and to get the right level of support.

To get an accurate fit, measure around the knee and chose from the options below. If your knee size falls between two sizes, it is usually best to go for the larger size.

Ultra Flex Athletics Knee Brace Size Guide
Ace Knee Sleeve sizing guide
Mava Knee Brace Size Guide
McDavid Knee Sleeve Sizing Guide
Mueller Knee Sleeve Sizing Guide
Donjoy knee brace size guide
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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.