BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details

Best Lifting Knee Sleeves

Updated September 2023
Bottom line
Best of the Best
ProFitness Lifting Knee Sleeves
Lifting Knee Sleeves
Check Price
Comfortable Support
Bottom Line

Offering a good blend of compression and comfort, these knee sleeves earn our expert's praise for being very versatile.


Boasts a sturdy neoprene construction that’s comparable to more expensive varieties. At 7mm thick, they provide optimal support for weightlifting. Graduated compression promotes blood flow while easing discomfort. Contoured design delivers an improved fit that doesn't slip or bunch. Suitable for all types of exercise. Available in 3 colors.


Sizing can be a little tricky, but phenomenal customer support is always on hand.

Best Bang for the Buck
Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeve
Mava Sports
Knee Compression Sleeve
Check Price
Contoured Design
Bottom Line

Our expert loves the design and look of these knee sleeves and notes that they are very durable.


Features a contoured design for a better fit and extra stability. Thick neoprene construction provides good compression and warmth without limiting movement. Doesn't shift or slip during training. Double stitched for durability. Easy to get on and off. Available in multiple colors. Great customer service.


Some owners feel the sizes run small and report pinching at the hems. Strong neoprene odor upon opening.

Rehband Lifting Knee Sleeves
Lifting Knee Sleeves
Check Price
Bottom Line

With a top-of-the-range construction and unique design, this competition-approved knee sleeve is our fitness expert's top choice.


Ergonomic design is based on the actual contours of the leg for improved support and comfort. IFP and WIFP approval makes this an ideal option for professional lifters. Soft, flexible neoprene adds stability and warmth without compromising range of motion. High quality construction delivers long lasting durability.


Some feel the sizes run a bit large. Not as easy to find as others. Sold as a single sleeve. Pricey.

Stoic Knee Sleeves for Powerlifting
Knee Sleeves for Powerlifting
Check Price
Best for Professionals
Bottom Line

Created with professional weight lifters in mind, this rugged pair delivers superior support and durability and earns our expert's praise.


Heavy duty construction with triple reinforced nylon stitching can take a serious beating without showing signs of wear and tear. Firm fit hugs the knees for reliable support. High density neoprene provides warmth and compression, reducing discomfort during heavy workouts. Added length for hamstring and calf coverage. Excellent customer service.


Not suitable for general use. Can be difficult to get on and off.

Nordic Lifting Lifting Knee Sleeves
Nordic Lifting
Lifting Knee Sleeves
Check Price
Versatile & Stable
Bottom Line

These versatile and durable knee sleeves provide support whether you're squatting or running, earning them our expert's approval.


Handcrafted from thick neoprene with reinforced stitching for added durability. Provides excellent stability, compression, and warmth without sacrificing comfort or flexibility. Snug and secure without pinching. Reduces the risk of injury, promotes circulation, and alleviates aches and pains throughout any workout. Comes with a 1 year warranty.


High levels of heat retention can cause sweating. Some users found that the logo peeled off rather quickly.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About 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.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

Category cover

Buying guide for Best lifting knee sleeves

No matter how fit you are, you may still feel occasional aches and pains. Our joints are particularly susceptible to trouble, and in fact, many weightlifters and other exercise buffs struggle with knee pain. Investing in a pair of lifting knee sleeves can help contribute to the success of your workouts.

A lifting knee sleeve is a supportive piece that slides over your knee to protect your joints and provide stability when you squat. The extra support takes pressure off your knees and allows you to generate more force during your workouts. Sleeves also help keep the knees warm so the joints stay loose and are less likely to stiffen between sets. Knee sleeves come in handy for weightlifters, powerlifters, and CrossFit devotees, but you can use them for any activity that puts a lot of stress on your knees, such as running or biking.

Finding the right size, choosing the best material, and determining the proper thickness are three issues you may encounter when shopping for knee sleeves. This buying guide has you covered with facts and product recommendations that’ll set you up for success.

By improving circulation and increasing blood flow to the knees, lifting knee sleeves can help prevent swelling and pain after a workout.

Key considerations


To be effective and comfortable, your knee sleeves must be the right size. Each brand typically uses different measurements, so it’s important to pay attention to sizing charts.

Knee sleeves should be snug. A loose sleeve is essentially useless because it cannot offer the support and warmth you need. Knee sleeves typically stretch out over time, so you’re better off starting with something a little too small rather than a little too big.

Expert Tip
A 5mm sleeve is great for general gym use. A 7mm sleeve is ideal for HEAVY weightlifting and powerlifting.
BestReviews Fitness Expert


Neoprene: Lifting knee sleeves are made from stretchy materials that conform to the knee to provide support and warmth. Most are made of neoprene, a synthetic rubber material commonly used for wetsuits. Neoprene sleeves are incredibly durable and hold up well to repeated use. It’s not the lightest material, but it is breathable and comfortable enough to wear through an entire workout. Neoprene lifting knee sleeves aren’t likely to chafe or irritate your skin, either, and they are easy to wash and keep clean.

Nylon and spandex: You can also find knee sleeves made with nylon, spandex, or a combination of the two. These options are usually thin and lightweight, so they don’t offer as much support as neoprene. They generally don’t last as long, either. On the plus side, you’ll pay less for knee sleeves made of these materials.


Lifting knee sleeves come in various thicknesses that affect stability. Here’s a look at the most common thickness options.

3mm knee sleeves offer light support. These sleeves work well for first-time users, runners, and those who engage in cardio workouts. Some people wear 3mm sleeves daily for support.

5mm knee sleeves provide excellent support and enough flexibility to allow for a good range of motion. People who lift weights, perform cardio, and engage in CrossFit often appreciate 5mm knee sleeves. 

7mm knee sleeves offer extreme support, generate warmth, and help improve blood flow. This greater thickness doesn’t allow for much flexibility, though, so it’s best used for heavyweight lifting rather than running or other cardio exercises.

Expert Tip
Knee sleeves are meant to be tight BUT not so tight that they restrict movement.
BestReviews Fitness Expert



Lifting knee sleeves vary in length, and the length affects how the sleeves feel on your legs. In most cases, longer sleeves offer more compression and support. They also increase blood flow to the knees, allowing you to power through workouts with heavier weights.

If you’re lifting lighter weights or doing a CrossFit workout, you may prefer shorter sleeves that allow for a fuller range of motion.

Contoured edges

For the most comfortable feel, look for knee sleeves with contoured edges. Contoured edges fit around the quads and calves more snugly, which keeps the sleeves in place and prevents you from having to tug at them during workouts.


Many support garments are infused with copper, which reportedly may aid in healing joints and muscle tissue. Some lifting knee sleeves are copper-infused to help keep the joints healthy and assist with pain relief. Copper is antimicrobial, too, so copper-infused sleeves are less likely to develop odors.


A good lifting workout generates plenty of sweat, so you want to be sure your knee sleeves are easy to wash. Most sleeves are made of materials that can be cleaned in the washer after a workout without losing their compression or shape.


Lifting knee sleeves are available in a wide range of colors, making it easy to match them to your other workout gear. If you’re not sure what color to get, black and gray are safe options that will match nearly any other workout clothes. Other colors for knee sleeves include red, blue, green, and pink. You can also find sleeves in nude shades as well as prints like camo.

Expert Tip
Strength athletes typically use knee sleeves for stability, joint protection, and warmth.
BestReviews Fitness Expert


Weight Set: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell Set
If you want to lift at home, you need a good weight set. This set from Bowflex is an excellent option because it doesn’t require you to unscrew collars or remove plates to adjust the weight, which allows you to move through your workout faster.

Squat rack: Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage
For heavier lifting, you need a durable squat rack to help you power through all those lunges and squats. We love this rack from Fitness Reality because it holds up to 800 pounds and offers 19 height levels.

Lifting knee sleeve prices

Lifting knee sleeves vary in price based on material, thickness, and other features. Most sets cost between $14 and $80.


The most affordable lifting knee sleeves are usually made of nylon, spandex, or a combination of the two materials. They’re fairly thin, measuring 3mm or less in thickness, and don’t provide tremendous support. These sleeves typically cost between $14 and $29 per pair.


Mid-range lifting knee sleeves are usually made of neoprene for greater durability. They’re typically 5mm thick with a moderate amount of support that makes them useful for weightlifting and most cardio activities. They generally cost between $25 and $60.


The priciest lifting knee sleeves are also made of neoprene, but they stabilize the knees to a greater degree. Most provide significant support at 7mm thick, making them ideal for heavy weightlifting. These sleeves cost between $55 and $80.

Did You Know?
Don’t leave your sweaty knee sleeves in your gym bag after a tough workout. In the enclosed area, they can quickly develop mildew, bacteria growth, and odor.


  • Injury can still occur when wearing knee sleeves. It’s true that knee sleeves provide support and warmth, but you must still practice proper weightlifting technique and form. Wearing sleeves isn’t a guarantee against injury.
  • Knee sleeves should be laundered after each training session. This helps keep odor at bay. You may want to invest in two pairs of sleeves so you always have one ready.
  • Knee sleeves can speed up recovery a bit, but that doesn’t mean you should skip rest days. Give your body time to recover after a tough weightlifting workout so you aren’t as likely to experience injury.
  • Don’t use knee sleeves as a reason to overdo it. You may be able to push yourself a little harder when wearing knee sleeves, but don’t increase the weight you’re lifting too much at once. To prevent injury, work up to a heavier set of weights gradually.
While lifting knee sleeves should fit snugly, they shouldn’t be so tight that they’re uncomfortable. If it feels like they’re cutting off your circulation, go up a size.


Q. Why should I wear lifting knee sleeves?

A. The compression provided by the sleeves gives your knees support and keeps them stable, thereby reducing your chance of injury when you’re lifting. If you’re looking to take your workout to the next level, knee sleeves can also help you generate a little more power when you bend and lift.

Q. How should I wash my lifting knee sleeves?

A. Nearly all are machine washable, but some manufacturers recommend hand washing for better longevity. To hand wash the sleeves, fill a sink or basin with water and some laundry detergent, and allow them to soak. Rinse the sleeves thoroughly, and set them out to air dry.

Q. For which weightlifting exercises should I wear knee sleeves?

A. You don’t need to wear knee sleeves for all weightlifting workouts, but it’s a good idea to use them for exercises that draw on your knees as the main power source. That includes squats, lunges, jerks, and snatches.