Your knees can take a pounding in the gym, especially if you are a regular and heavy squatter. Knee sleeves are designed to not only relieve pressure on your knees but actually improve your squatting power. In this article, we get up close and personal with the 10 best weightlifting knee sleeves on the current market. We’ll also provide some essential tips on how to get the most out of your knee sleeves.
A Quick Overview of the Top 3
The best weightlifting knee sleeve on the market right now is the Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeve, with its great price, functionality, and durability. Coming in a close second is the Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeve which features a unique anti-slip strap. Rounding out our top 3 is the Blitzu Knee Compression Sleeve.
- A Quick Overview of the Top 3
- The 10 Best Weightlifting Knee Sleeves:
- 1. Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
- 2. Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves
- 3. Blitzu Knee Compression Sleeve
- 4. Stoic Powerlifting Knee Sleeves
- 5. Powerlix Knee Compression Sleeve
- 6. Gymreapers Knee Sleeves
- 7. Cambivo 2-Pack Knee Sleeves
- 8. Warrior Kingdom Knee Sleeves For Squats
- 9. ProFitness Knee Sleeves
- 10. Nisrok Knee Sleeves
- Buyer’s Guide
- What are knee sleeves?
- What is the difference between a knee sleeve and a knee brace?
- What are the benefits of using knee sleeves?
- Can Knee Sleeves Make You Stronger?
The 10 Best Weightlifting Knee Sleeves:
1. Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
- Great price
- Double reinforced stitching
- Very comfortable
- Odor when new
Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves deliver the ideal combination of affordability, durability, and functionality in a knee sleeve. Constructed from 100 percent neoprene, these sleeves are 7mm thick and designed for both men and women. Double reinforced stitching provides a high level of strength to this sleeve, which is manufactured in the USA. User reviews rate this sleeve very high in terms of comfort, fit, and compression to provide protection and enhanced performance.
Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves are sold in pairs and come with the protection of a 12-month hassle-free warranty. The only negative we could find with these sleeves is that they tend to emit quite a strong smell when brand new. However, this lessens over time.
2. Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves
- Ergonomic design
- Adjustable strap
- Anti-slip and anti-itch
- Well priced
- Some reviewers report that they fit a little tight
Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and functionality. That means that your exercise motion will never be compromised when you wear these sleeves. These sleeves are also well priced and durable, so your investment will last for many years to come.
Unlike with some competitor sleeves, you will never have to worry about rolling down with Mava Sports Knee Support Sleeves. This is thanks to an innovative adjustable strap which features on the latest version of this sleeve. They are also itch-free and moisture-wicking to prevent sweat build-up. Breathability is also high on these neoprene sleeves. Another thing we like about these Mava sleeves is that they are very easy to get on and off.
3. Blitzu Knee Compression Sleeve
- Unique, patented compression fabric
- 4 D Knit Technology
- Silicone gel strips to prevent slippage
- A little tricky to put on
The Blitzu Knee Compression sleeve makes use of a unique, patented compression fabric that is designed to be lightweight, flexible, and powerful. That technology allows this sleeve to increase oxygen delivery to the knee joint, improve blood circulation, boost performance, prevent injury and promote quicker recovery.
This sleeve is fitted with a pair of silicone gel strips to prevent slippage while you are exercising. The 4D Knit Technology effectively holds the patella in place and stabilizes the knee ligaments. Blitzu has a range of knee sleeves to meet the needs of serious weight lifters and sportspeople alike. All models do an excellent job of absorbing sweat and are odor-free.
4. Stoic Powerlifting Knee Sleeves
- Designed for powerlifting
- Innovative construction methods
- Triple reinforced seam
Stoic Powerlifting Knee Sleeves are specifically designed to meet the unique training demands of the powerlifting community. These sleeves are 7mm thick and have been anatomically designed for optimal performance and support. They are designed to add extra heat to the knee area to reduce aches and pains during your workout.
Stoic is so confident in the patent-pending innovative construction methods used on this sleeve that they claim that it will outlast and outperform any other powerlifting knee sleeve on the current market. The triple reinforced seam ensures that this sleeve will not come apart, even when subjected to intense abuse!
The 30 cm length of the Stoic Powerlifting Knee Sleeve provides you with maximum coverage and support.
5. Powerlix Knee Compression Sleeve
- Applicable to both gym and sports applications
- Looks great
- Anti-slip and anti-itch
- It May be too long for some users
The Powerlix Knee Compression Sleeve is a general-purpose sleeve that is designed for use in the gym and on the sports field or while running on the street. It features a special knitted technical design that provides even compression around the entire knee joint while also making sure that the sleeve does not slip down while you are in the middle of an exercise.
The Powerlix sleeve is the coolest looking model on our list, thanks to the range of colors and the knitted patterning. The fabric feels incredibly comfortable on your skin and you’ll never have to worry about itching or dor build-up.
Powerlix offers a six-month guarantee on the purchase of this product.
6. Gymreapers Knee Sleeves
- 7mm neoprene
- Reinforced stitching
- Comes with carry bag
- 12-month guarantee
- Relatively expensive
Grim Reaper Knee Sleeves are 7mm neoprene sleeves that are emblazoned with the Grim Reaper logo. The reinforced stitching of this sleeve makes for an impressive level of durability while the thick neoprene provides plenty of compression. The ergonomic fit ensures a high level of functionality and performance.
Grim Reaper Knee Sleeves come with a convenient carry bag and a one year guarantee. Customers rate highly Grim Reaper in terms of customer support and responsiveness.
7. Cambivo 2-Pack Knee Sleeves
- 3-D elastic breathing and weaving fabric
- Anti-slip silicone prevents slippage
- Suitable for gym and general sports applications
- Slight odor when new
Cambivo 2-Pack Knee Sleeves are a multi-use sleeve designed for weight training as well as such other activities as running, hiking, and playing sports. The 3-D elastic breathing and weaving fabric that these sleeves are made from are extremely comfortable and form-fitting. The fabric is also extremely breathable and flexible so that you avoid sweat build-up. Each sleeve is also fitted with anti-slip silicone to ensure that they do not slip.
8. Warrior Kingdom Knee Sleeves For Squats
- 7mm thick neoprene
- Double stitching
- Lifetime warranty
- Not anatomically contoured
Warrior Kingdom Knee Sleeves for Squats are made from 7mm thick neoprene to provide a snug and secure fit. They feature reinforced double stitching for enhanced durability and a contoured design for the most comfortable fit. The premium compression generated by this sleeve will prejudice the chance of injury and allow you to train without pain or discomfort.
Warrior Kingdom Knee Sleeves for Squats are the only sleeves on this list that comes with a lifetime warranty.
9. ProFitness Knee Sleeves
- 7mm neoprene
- 12-month warranty
- Relatively expensive
ProFitness Knee Sleeves are 7mm neoprene sleeves designed for use by powerlifters and bodybuilders. They have been created to protect the knees and provide enhanced support during intense training. They provide orthopedic support and compression while ensuring that you get a full range of motion. These sleeves are designed with an anti-slip element so that you never have to contend with them falling down halfway through your workout.
ProFitness Knee Sleeves come with a convenient carry bag along with a 12-month warranty.
10. Nisrok Knee Sleeves
- Neoprene/Polyamide construction
- High level of support and compression
- 14-month warranty
- Produce a slight odor
Nisrok Knee Sleeves are a budget-priced functional knee sleeve made from 7mm neoprene and polyamide. They feature a black front and camo design on the back. These sleeves deliver an impressive level of support and compression and are designed not to slip. They are also good at moisture wicking. The combination of neoprene and polyamide gives these sleeves extra strength and durability.
Nisrok Knee Sleeves come with a 14-month warranty.
Though they may look similar, not all knee sleeves are alike. Here are the 5 key things to be on the lookout for when shopping for your next pair of knee sleeves:
- Functionality – different knee sleeves are designed for different purposes. Powerlifting sleeves, for example, are different from squatting knee sleeves. Identify what your key workout purpose is and purchase accordingly.
- Construction – the best knee sleeves are constructed from neoprene. This is by far the preferred material due to its flexibility, durability, and breathability. Neoprene is usually also more comfortably fitting than other materials.
- Comfort Level – as with anything, you are only going to use knee sleeves regularly if they are comfortable. That means that they shouldn’t itch, slip or feel too tight. If you are unable to personally try on a pair before buying, which will usually be the case, we suggest checking verified user reviews to see what others have to say about the comfort level.
- Knee Support – the main point of a knee sleeve is to provide a high degree of support to your knee joint when you are lifting heavyweight. Check the product advertising to see just how it does that. The sleeve should also provide you with a good length of support both above and below the knee joint. It is important in terms of support to also buy a knee sleeve that is the right size for you.
- Style – knee sleeves are available in open and closed knee designs. An open knee sleeve provides a hole where the kneecap is. This is intended to provide a free, more natural movement and give enhanced support to the kneecap. The closed sleeve distributes compression more evenly. You can also buy knee sleeves that have built-in stabilizers. These provide an extra element of knee support and are usually worn by people who have a pre-existing condition or who are recovering from injury.
What are knee sleeves?
Knee sleeves are a neoprene sleeve which you slip onto your leg to cover your knee and an area a few inches above and below it. They are mainly used when doing squats.
What is the difference between a knee sleeve and a knee brace?
The main difference between a knee sleeve and a knee brace is that knee braces are made from more rigid materials and designed to protect an existing injury from further movement. Braces are purely and simply mechanical support, whereas sleeves also improve proprioception. Knee braces provide a protective cushioning that is designed to give protection to the anterior knee and the patella.
What are the benefits of using knee sleeves?
There are five main benefits of using knee sleeves:
- Increase blood flow
- Keep the joint warm
- Reduce patella movement
- Increase VMO activation and proprioception
- Provide a sense of stability
Perhaps the greatest benefit of wearing a knee sleeve is the sense of mental security that it provides. When you wear a knee sleeve you will feel more stable and secure. This, in turn, helps you to be more in control of the movement you are about to do. As a result, you will be less guarded in your movement, and more able to move naturally and recruit the right muscle at the right time.
Can Knee Sleeves Make You Stronger?
Some lifters get knee sleeves that are a size too small for them in the belief that the extra tightness will help them to lift heavier weights on squats. The tighter the sleeve, the more you are able to store energy behind the knee when you descend into the squat. This gives you more explosive energy coming out of the hole. So, tighter sleeves may actually allow you to push an extra 5 to 10 pounds on your squat.
A pair of knee sleeves will enhance your time under the heavy iron, helping to ward off knee pain while increasing functionality and performance. The best weightlifting knee sleeve on the market right now is the Nordic Lifting Knee sleeve which provides the best combination of price, comfort, and functionality.
This article was last updated on January 25, 2021 .
The Fitness Blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.