Tubigrip Compression

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

Tubigrip compression bandage helps reduce pain, swelling and instability. Find out how it works and how to get the right size for you

Tubigrip compression bandages are very simple to use and come in a variety of colours and sizes. They are a great tool for reducing swelling and providing support for all sorts of causes of minor knee pain.

It is essential to get the right size and to apply tubigrip correctly to ensure it works effectively and safely. Too loose and it won’t reduce swelling or provide support, too tight and it can be uncomfortable and could reduce circulation (blood flow).

Tubigrip should feel tight but not restrictive.

How To Use Tubigrip Compression

Here you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions on how to use tubigrip compression bandages. 

To find out more about how it works to provide support and reduce swelling, visit the tubigrip overview page. 

1. What is Tubigrip Compression Bandage?

Tubigrip is a specially designed elasticated tubular bandage that provides firm but comfortable support for sprains, strains and weak joints. It can also be used to reduce swelling and to keep dressings in place. To find out more about how it works, visit the tubigrip overview section.

2. How Do You Apply Tubigrip?

Tubigrip compression bandages should cover the relevant joint extending up to just below the joint above and down to just above the joint below e.g. for the knee it should go from just below the hip to just above the ankle. Tubigrip should always be applied double thickness for it to work effectively.

  • Cut off the appropriate amount of tubigrip (remembering to double the length to allow for double thickness)
  • Pull a single layer up over your limb to the correct height
  • Fold it over at the bottom and extend it upwards, stopping a couple of centimetres before the top.
How to correctly apply tubigrip compression bandage

3. Where Can I Buy It?

Tubigrip compression bandages come in a variety of sizes, lengths and colours and prices vary accordingly starting out from as little as $10/£4. Most sports shops and pharmacies will sell different brands of Tubigrip Compression Bandages. Alternatively you can buy them online from Amazon.

Find out more in our Tubigrip Sizes & Prices Guide.

4. Which Size Do I Need?

There are 10 different widths of tubigrip compression bandages to choose from and it is really important to get the right size to make sure it is comfortable and effective. When it comes to the knee, you will generally want:

  • Size D: for a small knee
  • Size E: for a medium knee
  • Size F: for a large knee

Check out our Tubigrip Sizes Chart for more information on how to measure your knee (or different body part if you want to support a different joint) to get the right sized tubigrip compression bandage for you. 

5. How Do You Keep Tubigrip in Place?

One of the great things about tubigrip is that it usually stays in place by itself. However, occasionally people find that tubigrip rolls down at the top slightly, especially on legs.

My top tip is to get a coin and fold the top of the tubigrip over it and that should keep it in place. A coin with straight edges e.g. 50p GBP coin often works best.

6. It Feels Too Tight at the Top

Often tubigrip compression bandages can feel too tight at the top, especially with knees as thighs are much bigger than ankles. To rectify this, make a small vertical cut at the top of the tubigrip to make it slightly wider. It will still be effective but should be more comfortable.

7. What Lengths Can I Buy?

Tubigrip usually comes in 10m rolls but sometimes comes in 0.5m or 1m sizes too. 

  • 0.5m: Works for keeping dressings in place, but it is not long enough to double over
  • 1m: Good for covering smaller joints e.g. wrist. Not long enough to work effectively on larger joints e.g. knee
  • 10m: The most cost effective way to give you enough to allow for double thickness and to give you a spare for when one needs washing

Find out more about the different options in our Tubigrip Size Guide.

Tubigrip compression bandage is perfect for supporting joints after an injury and reducing swelling. Find out how it works

8. What Colour is Tubigrip?

Tubigrip is available in either creamy beige, natural skin or blue colour, depending in what country you live. You cannot get black tubigrip. Find out more about the different options available in our Buying Tubigrip Guide.

Want to Know More?

To find out more about tubigrip compression bandages, including how they work, what they are made from and why they are better than other bandages, visit the Tubigrip Overview section.

Tubigrip is just one possible option for reducing swelling and supporting joints. There are lots of other options that work well alongside Tubigrip compression bandages, and you may be interested in the following articles:

Page Last Updated: 29/11/23
Next Review Due: 29/11/25

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