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- Best knee brace for runners with arthritis: ACE Adjustable Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers
- Best knee compression sleeve for arthritis: PowerLix Knee Brace
- Best hinged knee brace for arthritis: Vive Hinged Knee Brace
- Best knee brace for people with more weight: KARM Adjustable Knee Brace
- Best budget-friendly knee brace for arthritis: MODVEL 2 Pack Knee Compression Sleeve
- Best knee brace for arthritis for post-workout recovery: Vive Knee Ice Pack Wrap
- Best knee brace for athletes with arthritis: Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support
- Best knee brace for arthritis pain relief: Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support with Bilateral Hinges
Osteoarthritis (OA) is an extremely common condition that can affect any of your joints. When you have
A knee brace can help with arthritis pain and stiffness by providing support to the joint as you walk. A brace may also give you more confidence in your stability as you complete your daily activities.
Many knee braces are available, but not all of them will work well for arthritis. We did the work of narrowing down which knee braces work best for arthritis. Read on to find out which one might be a good fit for you.
All knee braces basically serve the same function. Their job is to help the tendons and ligaments in your leg stabilize your knee joint. Most braces stabilize by compression or through straps that tighten around your knee. When your joint is stabilized, it may minimize the pain you feel as you go about your day.
For people with rheumatoid arthritis, some rheumatologists prescribe medical-grade braces as a first-line treatment for pain in the knee.
Even if you don’t have a prescription for this type of medical device, you can get one:
- over the counter at pharmacies
- at some medical supply stores
- at sporting goods stores
We selected the knee braces on this list based on the following criteria:
- Verified customer reviews. We read through hundreds of customer reviews to get a feel for what people love about these products, as well as red flags to look out for.
- Peer-reviewed literature. Dozens of published, peer-reviewed studies have investigated whether or not knee braces actually work to help with arthritis pain and other symptoms. We used these studies to figure out what was most important in a knee brace for arthritis.
- Materials and construction. We looked for products that were durable and, wherever possible, washable so that they’ll last you a long time. Brand reputation and customer service policies were also key factors.
- $ = under $30
- $$ = $30–$50
- $$$ = over $50
Best knee brace for runners with arthritis
- Price: $$
What we liked: Running puts a lot of stress on your knee, even if you don’t have arthritis. This brace is supportive enough to hold your knee joint in place while you move, but it’s also adjustable for comfort with three Velcro straps. Reviewers say that the material has just the right amount of rigidity to provide support without becoming uncomfortable.
Side-stabilizers are a unique feature. They hold all the parts of your knee joint in place, even when you’re exercising. As a bonus, the brace can be hand washed, so it won’t get too stinky even if you exercise with it regularly.
What to know: Some customers noted that the Velcro on this product’s adjustable straps does wear out over time. While this brace is pretty durable and should last you a while, don’t expect it to last forever.
Best knee compression sleeve for arthritis
- Price: $
What we liked: Compression sleeve-style knee braces are great for giving your knee support without limiting mobility. This brace gets high marks from reviewers for breathability and ease of use. It’s highly recommended for sports like basketball and for working out.
Customers say it’s easy to put on and moisture-wicking, so it doesn’t slip around even if you get sweaty. Two strips of silicone on both ends of the brace keep it from rolling up and moving around on your knee.
What to know: To get the right compression level, it’s essential that you choose the correct size when you purchase this brace. Check out the sizing guide on the product page, and read reviews to make sure you get the sizing just right.
Best hinged knee brace for arthritis
- Price: $
What we liked: If you’re recovering from an injury and have arthritis pain, too, an orthopedist or physical therapist may recommend a brace with hinges. The hinges limit medial and lateral movement of the knee, providing a more stable environment for the knee to heal in.
This hinged brace allows you to remove the hinges when you need less stabilization, and add them back on days when you need heavy-duty support. The open patella design leaves space for your patella, or kneecap, to breathe. The brace also has adjustable Velcro straps and comes in three different colors.
What to know: A common complaint among reviewers is that this brace is a bit bulky, and some people report itching after a full day of wear. As with many products that use Velcro straps, you may need to replace the Velcro on your own at some point if you want the brace to last.
Best knee brace for people with more weight
- Price: $$
What we liked: This brace has a ton of stability built in, is made from moisture-wicking material, and will fit the needs of a wide range of knee widths and body types. The Velcro straps are extra long, and the open-face patella design protects the joint without smashing down your kneecap. There’s also a bit of extra padding around the kneecap area to support your joint when you kneel down.
What to know: With side stabilizers and extra padding, this brace doesn’t allow for a lot of movement. Wearing it to walk and do household chores is fine, but you might find it to be too restrictive for sports and other activities.
Best budget-friendly knee brace for arthritis
- Price: $
What we liked: These compression sleeve-style knee braces improve knee stability and fit snugly over your kneecaps, according to over 25,000 reviewers. If you have arthritis in both knees, this two-pack is an affordable solution that allows you to wear a brace on both legs for a very low price.
What to know: While most reviewers say that the sleeve fits well, it does seem like after a few hours the material becomes a bit uncomfortable. You may also have to be careful of fit and sizing, or you may end up with bunching and chafing in the back of your knee.
Best knee brace for arthritis for post-workout recovery
- Price: $
What we liked: This brace is unique in that it offers you the option of hot or cold therapy while your knee is stabilized. If your joints frequently feel warm or inflamed after a workout, popping this brace on may help soothe the pain and boost your recovery.
It’s also fully adjustable and designed to wrap around your entire knee comfortably. Gel packs can be chilled in the freezer or heated in the microwave, according to your preference. It’s even latex-free and machine-washable.
What to know: While this brace might be the most soothing on our list, it’s not the most supportive. This brace is best used when you’re in a reclining or relaxed position. You may also want to consider getting extra gel packs if you’re using this brace frequently.
Best knee brace for athletes with arthritis
- Price: $$$
What we liked: The Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support is significantly more expensive than the other braces on this list. But that’s for good reason: many customers say that it offers the same level of support as many stabilizing braces, without the bulkiness. It’s also breathable and easy to move in, which you might not find in other knee compression sleeves.
Reviewers who like this brace say that it’s comparable to medical-grade compression options, and at a third of the price. It’s also made in Germany with durable, medical-grade materials, which is a plus.
What to know: Some people find the striated fabric of this compression brace to be a little too abrasive for their skin. Chafing has been reported by some customers, especially after wearing the brace for hours at a time or during sweat-heavy activities.
Best knee brace for arthritis pain relief
- Price: $$$
What we liked: This breathable, padded design works well if you need to stand for long hours at work. It’s durable enough to withstand heavier-duty activity, but also gives you a ton of stability for when your arthritis pain is flaring up. The support of the hinges is meant to prevent you from hyperextending your knee and injuring it further. The compression can feel soothing on days when your knee really needs a break.
What to know: This brace is on the pricier side, and the hinge system may not work well for everyone’s needs. Sizing can be tricky with this product, so make sure to read through the instructions and reviews on the product page. Also keep in mind that there are no tightening straps, so you’ve got to pull the brace on. This makes correct sizing all the more important.
- difficulty moving your knee during daily activities
- stiffness and tenderness in your knee
- knees or other joints that are red or warm to the touch
Are knee compression sleeves good for arthritis?
Knee compression sleeves, also known as soft braces, can be good for arthritis, especially if you run or do sports. They’re not so good at stabilizing your knee or keeping the joint in place if you’re recovering from an injury.
How do you put on a knee brace?
It depends on what type of brace you buy, and you should always read package directions carefully. Generally, braces can be either pulled on (like a compression sleeve) and adjusted around your knee cap, or strapped on using velcro straps. Some braces will need a bit of fiddling as you figure out how tightly to pull each strap.
How do you measure your knee for a knee brace?
Every knee brace has different measurement specifications, and you should check product descriptions carefully to figure out what the right size might be. Some braces are “one-size-fits-most,” while others require a more precise measurement.
Knee braces may help keep your knee joint in proper alignment or simply provide a feeling of support as you go about your day-to-day activities. These braces can help you feel more empowered to do the things you want to do, while managing arthritis pain. A knee brace doesn’t replace a long-term plan for treating your arthritis. Speak to your doctor if you’re having frequent joint pain that’s limiting your mobility.