Best Hernia Belts

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

20 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
126 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best hernia belts

Last Updated September 2019

Hernias usually occur due to muscle weakness and strain and can either come on suddenly or slowly develop over time. As they’re located in the abdomen and groin areas, hernias are painful and uncomfortable. They often require surgical intervention if they don’t resolve on their own, and hernia belts aid in different phases of the healing process.

Hernia belts are medical devices specially designed to provide targeted support to the area of the hernia, including the abdomen or groin. Many models feature compression, either in the form of strapping systems or removable compression pads. Hernia belts are also used by individuals who experience back pain as well as new mothers postpartum or post C-section.

Hernia belts could make a big difference during the healing process, so our team examined which ones offered the best features for your support and compression needs. We invite you to take a look so you can be well on your way to healing.

If you’re experiencing weight loss or believe the elastic sections have become overstretched, you may need to change the size of your hernia belt. Because compression and support are of the utmost importance, a belt that is too loose won’t meet your needs.

Key considerations

Hernia location

  • Abdominal hernia: For hernias located throughout the abdominal region, a binder or wrap style is ideal. These typically span all four quadrants of the abdomen to maintain even distribution of support and compression. For the most part, you can expect them to cover the area that’s right below your breastbone down to the top of your pelvis.
  • Inguinal hernia: If your hernia is in the groin area, you’ll likely need an inguinal belt. While these vary quite a bit in design, they tend to share the same components, including a frontal harness and side- or rear-fastening mechanisms. Because of the location of inguinal hernias, these almost always have compression pads as well. However, be sure you order the belt for the correct side. You’ll often have the choice of left, right, or double compression pads in this case.

Healing process

How far along you are in the healing process also affects which type of hernia belt you should choose. If you’re waiting for surgery, you could opt for one with moderate support to manage your immediate support needs and make you as comfortable as possible. Postoperatively, it’s recommended to defer to your doctor for the right hernia belt. Sometimes a highly compressive style is ideal, whereas gradually less compressive (and supportive) hernia belts could be introduced during later phases of the healing process.

Ostomy support

A subsection of hernia belts also support ostomy bags for those who have undergone urostomy or colostomy. These special belts support the midsection and secure bags and pouches so they don’t get in the way of activities. They’re typically constructed in a binder style with a special space in the front for the bags and are often padded with thin layers of gel or memory foam around them.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re experiencing weight loss or believe the elastic sections have become overstretched, you may need to change the size of your hernia belt. Because compression and support are of the utmost importance, a belt that is too loose won’t meet your needs.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Materials

  • Elastic: Hernia belts often feature elastic materials that provide a moderate degree of stretch to allow for movement. Spandex, Lycra, and neoprene are typically used either throughout the entire belt or are put in strategic places to complement more rigid areas of support. Elastic bands are also used to improve fit, particularly around the edges of the hernia belt.
  • Breathable: Because hernia belts have some bulk to them and sometimes come in direct contact with skin, they’re often constructed with breathable materials. Quality cotton and mesh increase airflow around and through the belt. Some elastic materials that are part of the hernia belt have loose weaves, which also help with airflow.
  • Boning: Some hernia belts with increased support feature boning, which is similar to that seen in bras and corsets. The bones are typically made of a strong plastic that retain their shape but allow for a slight degree of pliability. Other types of boning are made of vertical sections of rolled fabric for a soft feel.

Fastening

Hernia belts feature multiple methods of fastening. Some are designed strictly for convenient wear and removal with well-placed closures that are easily accessible. More sophisticated fastening systems include a combination of Velcro, hook-and-eye closures, and straps. These are typically present in more advanced models, particularly ones that aim for immobilization. Strap systems are nearly always present in hernia belts for the groin area, as they have to be slipped on and attached to achieve the right degree of support.

Compression

Compression is provided by soft pads that fit into specific areas of the hernia belt and are often removable. They’re usually made of padding, like gel or foam, to provide direct compression to the site. While all hernia belts provide some degree of compression due to their bracing function, some models include separate compression features. Inguinal belts focus their compression on the site of the hernia, while other abdominal belts aim to distribute it throughout the midsection, sometimes including the back.

EXPERT TIP

When choosing a hernia belt, always stand and sit in it before making a final decision. You’ll be able to identify areas where there is any chafing, rubbing, or shifting between positions.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Wash your hernia belt with gentle detergent. While you want it to be clean, it’s important that the soap formula won’t aggravate any wounds while they’re healing.


Staff  | BestReviews

Hernia belt prices

Inexpensive: Hernia belts are affordable enough to be purchased over the counter without insurance coverage or a prescription. The low end of the range, between $15 and $25, includes models with simple Velcro closures that have a focus on tightening for the main source of compression and support.

Mid-range: Mid-range models between $25 and $35 are well reinforced with advanced strap systems or hospital-grade materials to maximize support. Some models in this range also include removable compression pads.

Expensive: Hernia belts at the highest price points, between $35 and $50, are more specialized in their design, as they accommodate specific types of hernias. Many of these belts focus their support on the groin area for inguinal and low-abdomen hernias.

You may require different types of hernia belts during your healing process. Models with maximum coverage, compression, and support may be preferred immediately following surgery, while downsized versions will work well as you begin to return to your normal activities.

Tips

  • Hand-wash and line dry. A hernia belt is a medical device, so it’s constructed with special materials that require careful handling during cleaning. It’s best to hand-wash and line dry it, though some manufacturers recommend washing it in a lingerie bag on a gentle cycle.
  • Buy more than one. Buy more than one hernia belt so you can rotate them and always have one available when you’re washing the other.
  • Wear breathable clothing. Hernia belts are essentially additional layers, so you could feel warm or clammy when wearing yours. Opt for breathable clothing so your skin has the opportunity to breathe as much as possible. That way, air will circulate around the belt to keep you comfortable.
  • Check if it’s covered under insurance. Depending on your health plan, your hernia belt may be covered. Call your insurance carrier to find out what documentation is required. You could end up paying a lot less for it — or nothing at all.
  • Find out if there are any recalls. Do your homework to see if your hernia belt has been recalled. You want to be sure that the one you’re wearing is a safe well-performing model.

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for an ergonomic hernia belt, the Everyday Medical Abdominal Binder for Hernia Support is an ideal option. It has increased support compared to other models thanks to its vertical plastic support splints and unique placement of Velcro down the centerline of the abdomen. It also provides a light amount of back support, so you can maintain proper posture. The material is also breathable to provide maximum comfort from a fine cotton blend with wick-away fabric.

Even babies can suffer from hernias, so the Meditex Infant and Child Umbilical Navel Hernia Truss Belt is available in three sizes. This belt is equipped with a soft knob designed for babies with hernias in the umbilical area. Some reports from parents say it’s comfortable and fuss-free for their children, and it’s simple to fit over a onesie or above a diaper.

If you find your hernia belt restricts or obstructs some of your movement, it’s probably intended. This protective feature aims to remind you not to overexert yourself in bending, lifting, or reaching, as these activities can be too strenuous for an existing hernia or postoperative healing.

FAQ

Q. Are hernia belts designed differently for men and women?

A. Some hernia belts are designed to be used by men or women, based on their shape and coverage. Other hernia belts are unisex and simply come in different sizes to not only accommodate both men and women but also different body types.

Q. Why is my hernia belt so itchy?

A. It’s not uncommon to experience discomfort while wearing a hernia belt. When it’s in direct contact with your skin, the itch could come from sweating or chafing, especially if the Velcro rubs against your skin. It could also be caused by a skin irritation or reaction to your detergent. The materials are generally medical-grade, which is safe for sensitive skin. However, it’s a good idea to check whether you have an allergy to any of the synthetic materials in it.

Q. Can I shower or swim while wearing my hernia belt?

A. No, you should always remove your hernia belt before bathing or swimming. They’re not designed to be waterproof or serve as a protective barrier to your surgical bandages. If you are interested in some support and compression in a bathing suit, however, talk to your doctor about wearing suits specifically designed with these features. It’s especially important to discuss it with your doctor, as they may not clear you for full immersion in the shower or swimming pools.

Q. Can I apply lotion to my skin before putting on my hernia belt?

A. Some people do, especially to cut down on rubbing against the skin — but it’s a good idea to check with your doctor first. If you’ve already undergone surgery, they may be concerned whether the lotion could contaminate or irritate your wound. They could also prescribe a special lotion that is manufactured for patients with dermatological concerns.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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