Best Unloader Knee Brace

Article Last Updated: April 1, 2020

Are you looking for the best unloader knee brace?

An unloader knee brace is highly recommend if you have had multiple episodes of knee pain and are looking for an option that will take off the tension from your knee, allowing it to recover and become strong.

In this article, we are going to go through some of the best rated unloader knee braces.

We are also going to explain how to purchase the most suitable knee brace for yourself and answer some frequently asked questions related to purchasing.

Top 3 Best Unloader Knee Brace Comparison 

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PRODUCT


1. Braceit K2 ComfortLine Knee Brace - Best Unloader Knee Brace For Running
 

Most comfortable, easy to use, and light weight knee brace

2. DonJoy OA Reaction Knee Brace

Form-fitting design creates a custom-like fit for most legs that is easy to apply.

3. DonJoy Legend SE-4 Knee Support Brace - Best Rated Unloader Knee Brace


Designed with a patented 4-point dynamic leverage system technology that helps prevent knee subluxations

1. Braceit K2 ComfortLine Knee Brace – Best Unloader Knee Brace For Running

Z ONE has developed the next generation in knee bracing for osteoarthritis and injury with an innovative tri-compartment unloader technology.

Equipped with patented support springs, the tri-compartment unloader is capable of reducing forces throughout the whole knee, simultaneously.

To reduce pressure throughout the knee, the powerful side springs embedded inside the brace absorb body weight when the knee is bent by transferring weight away from the knee.

This helps to reduce the forces normally placed on your knee by up to 64 percent.

The assistance provided by the brace can be dialed back or turned off altogether, as you recover.  

This makes for one of the best unloaded knee brace for osteoarthritis, especially if your condition is serious.

Comfort and Stability

This is a lightweight knee brace that custom fits on your knee and allows you to walk or even run comfortably.

It is stable enough to maintain support for long hours, which is great if you work long hours standing or walking.

Durability and Quality

Supported via high strength steel side frame, this knee brace is exceptionally durable.

The front and back frame is made from high density flexible plastic which conforms to your body, allowing it to give a natural support without getting out of shape.  

Cost and Value

This is a popular knee brace and currently sells for around $140.

It is approved by FDA and is recommended by doctors, which may play a part in its high price.

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • High performance
  • 6 support levels
  • FDA registered
  • High strength stainless steel
  • Patented spring technology
  • Conforms to body anatomy
  • Air condyles
  • Low profile
  • Anti-slip

2. DonJoy OA Reaction Knee Brace

The knee brace comes with a web in the front of the knee.

The web helps absorb shock, like a spring, for your knee and also helps pull the hinge in toward the knee to help off load the effected side of your knee.

The knee brace is very easy to use, with adjustable straps on the back for easy on and off.

It has some unique features on the inside, such as the padding on the side of your knee, an integrated silicone condyle pad that pushes on the side of your knee to help you get the pain relief from your osteoarthritis and little air pockets for complete breathability.

There is also an under sleeve to make it a little more of a comfortable and snug fit.

Comfort and Stability

The brace’s hourglass shape goes right around your kneecap area and supports your knee while maintaining great comfort.

Applying it is easy, just pass it until the opening goes right around the kneecap and then bring the straps through on the calf and the thigh.

Once strapped, it will maintain its position for long sessions of usage.

Durability and Quality

Made from high quality silicone and backed by aluminum hinges, this knee brace is extremely durable.

The front web is bolted to the back frame via multiple screws that prevent the web from coming apart, even under constant stress.

Cost and Value

You can get this web reaction knee brace for around $130.

This is a good price for the quality it offers and the slim profile it comes with.  

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Ideal for mild activities
  • Multiple sizes
  • Ultra-comfortable silicone webbing
  • Custom fit
  • One undersleeve
  • Can be worn on both legs
  • Low Profile
  • Air pockets

3. DonJoy Legend SE-4 Knee Support Brace – Best Rated Unloader Knee Brace

DonJoy’s SE-4 model is a great brace to get if you are enduring a worsening knee condition.

This knee brace delivers renowned performance with an ultimate low profile design.

Its hinged positioning counters rotational tendency, while the dynamic bracing removes side thrust as your knee moves in to flexion.

The knee brace also counter balances any anterior rotational movement.

The SE-4 is a patented pain management tool and has an easy adjustment for pain relief – just push it in, turn the dial with the leg in flexion.

The patient can adapt the brace immediately to resolve their level of pain.  

Comfort and Stability

This knee brace comes with in a universal design that allows patients with different leg sizes to wear it comfortably.

It is light in weight and has a low profile, which allows you to not feel any weight burdening your leg.  

Durability and Quality

DonJoy is an industry leader and creates some of the most trending medical support aids.

This knee brace comes with the same high quality expected of a DonJoy product.

The knee brace is made from Kraton, a patented material that doesn’t chip or wear with time.

Cost and Value

You can get the pair for around $300; for the convenience of a light and slim brace, the price is justified.

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • For moderate to severe knee issues
  • Daily usage – low-profile  design
  • Aircraft grade aluminum and Kraton built
  • Unisex & multiple sizing
  • 4-point dynamic leverage system
  • Guaranteed improvement
  • Warranty

4. Superior Braces OA Unloader Knee Brace

This unloader knee brace provides joint support and reduces pain.

It is a lightweight device that promotes proper gate mechanics and not only helps with alignment and correction of knee flexion, but it also promotes the correct use of the muscles that are the main knee stabilizers.

This makes it a great choice for people who are really looking to get a control on their knee pain since they are required to walk / stand a lot at work.  

The knee brace will decrease motions that contribute to chronic wear and tear of the joint, which will help extend the health and longevity of your knee reflex.

Comfort and Stability

Like most top braces in our list, this one too is light in weight   and has a soft inner padding for utmost comfort.

It is quite stable, due to the anti-slip gripping on the inner layer.

Durability and Quality

This unloader knee brace has been created after stringent testing.

Made from a top grade composite frame, the knee brace does not break under stress or sweat.

It will keep working like new and allow you to change your stagnant lifestyle to a moving one.

Cost and Value

You can get one of the best unloader knee brace on Amazon for just $89.

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Light-weight brace
  • 3 points of leverage
  • Single strapping design
  • Targeted recovery
  • Fully adjustable
  • Moisture wicking and breathable
  • Warranty

5. Orthomen OA Unloader Knee Brace

Orthomen knee brace is designed to provide a 3 point leverage support for pressure reduction in your knee.

It comes in a universal design and custom fits on your leg, with an easy strapping system with full adjustment.

The hinges have angle adjustment screws for changing the level of support.

In the brace bag, you will find the brace and a smaller plastic bag of accessories, containing the flexion and extension stops;

Another set of condyle pads that are different thickness than the ones on the braces, a small Allen wrench in between the condyle pads for adjusting the active thigh cuff and instructions for use.


Comfort and Stability

This knee brace is not the most comfortable, compared to other more expensive variants out there.

However, it can still be worn for long hours.

You can up the comfort by wearing under sleeves and over sleeves in cotton, lycra and neoprene (sold by Orthomen).

Durability and Quality

This exceptional knee brace comes with a superior construction and has been carefully designed to perform in extreme stress.

It can endure several times your body weight, without compromising on its support.

Just ensure that the hinge is properly seated and screwed, before taking out the brace for regular use.

Cost and Value

You can get one for just under $155. It’s not as expensive as other premium models, but not a cheap option as well.   

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • For mild to severe osteoarthritis
  • Treats several knee conditions
  • Universal sizing design
  • 3 point leverage system
  • Light weight and superior fit
  • Quick release buckle
  • Optional stops for motion control

6. Ossur Unloader One Knee Brace – Best Unloader Knee Brace For Meniscus Tear

Ossur is a world renowned manufacturer of knee braces and it is a brand of choice for many Olympic runners.

The Unloader One knee brace is Ossur’s most popular product.

It is designed to help treat ligament injuries as well as osteoarthritis.

It reduces the load on the damaged knee area by transferring the loads to ineffective parts of the knee.

The knee brace is flexible, lightweight and easy-to-use.

You can wear it under your normal clothes.

It has been clinically proven to reduce pain and improve mobility.

This will help you be less reliant on painkillers and return to a more active life.

Comfort and Stability

The knee brace frame is made of soft silicon and plastic, while the fabric is a nylon / spandex composite.

You can wear it for long hours, while having complete mobility and outstanding stability.

Since Ossur is created by medical experts, the ergonomics and comfort of this unloader knee brace is on point. 

Durability and Quality

Ossur has made its knee brace to be of medical grade. This means that it is very durable.

The silicone and fabric frame is interlocked via several screws which prevent the brace from coming apart.

Meanwhile, the straps get locked safely and do not come apart during use.

Cost and Value

This is a great brace for moderate knee pain.

It starts at only $32, which makes it a great most-bang-for-your-bucks option.

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Fits well
  • Minimizes irritation (quick action)
  • Patented weight off-loading mechanism
  • Anti-slip
  • Snug fit
  • Certified by medical professionals

7. Breg Freestyle OA Medial Knee Brace

This is the latest innovation in conservative treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee and really does a great job at providing relief to patients suffering from this condition.

Unlike conventional unloader knee braces, which are made of rigid materials such as aluminum, this variant is light and comfortable.

It comes with two outer straps and four straps in the middle, making it a very intuitive brace.

It’s very easy to put on with a full anterior opening and numbered tabs. 

The way it offloads is via a hinge with a dial on it; as you dial that hinge, it pushes on the unaffected side and travels inwards to open up the joint space on the affected side and provide relief. 

The unloader knee brace also comes with extra shims, which will allow patients or physicians to build-in additional offset if needed.

Comfort and Stability

The main fabric used in the underlying layer for this brace is neoprene.

The fabric is latex free and very soft to the touch.

This allows the user to wear the brace regularly.

For added comfort, the manufacturer has developed these little holders that will enable patients with weak grip to put their fingers in and really pull over to put get a nice snug fit.

Durability and Quality

Breg is one of the top unloader knee brace manufacturer.

For a premium product such as this one, the company has ensured that it performs for years.

This is made possible via the high end manufacturing, which involves reinforced stitching, double locking and a stringent quality control test.

This means that when the product comes to you, it has been tested for its performance already.

Cost and Value

For about $380, this is an expensive alternative to the traditional aluminum unloader knee braces.

However, if you want a light weight option, then this is one of best medical unloader knee braces.

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Multiple sizing
  • Easy to apply
  • Low profile
  • Compression for heat therapy
  • Innovative thumbwheel dial
  • Added off-loading option
  • Breathable
  • Doesn’t require an external tool
  • Warranty

Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Underloader Knee Brace

Comfort and Stability

Now the most important thing when it comes to buying the best lateral unloaded knee brace is to make sure it’s comfortable and stable.

No matter how great the features of a knee brace are, if it’s uncomfortable, you are not going to wear it regularly and, hence, will not be able to recover from your condition.

Choose a knee brace that has a soft underlining and is made from a fabric that does not irritate your skin.

Also ensure that it is stable and does not slip, since by moving or slipping, the knee brace is compromising on the support.

Durability and Quality

Second to comfort and stability is the durability.

When you are spending a lot of money on a knee support, you want to make sure that it lasts for at least a few years.

Check that you are buying from reputable brands and the knee brace is coming with a warranty program.

Some high quality knee braces even provide lifetime warranties.

Cost and Value

The value of a knee brace is debatable.

So much depends on your own needs, your condition and your budget.

Premium knee braces are usually more reliable, offer greater durability and warranty.

Hence, we recommend you to get one if you have the budget.

Nevertheless, there are some great value for money models in the market.

We have listed some options in our review that offer great features for people with lower budgets.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a knee unloader brace work?

Unloader knee brace helps to prevent you from undergoing knee surgery.

It works specifically by utilizing a leverage system that shifts weight from the damaged part of your knee to another part.

Some leverage systems are 3 points, while others are 4 points.

4 point leverage system provides greater support. This allows the damaged part of your knee to recover.

The unloader knee brace also helps to strengthen your knee, thigh and calf muscles overall to prevent conditions from developing in the future.

Does wearing a knee brace weaken the knee?

Wearing a knee brace does not weaken your knee.

In fact, a knee brace does the opposite.

It protects and strengthens your knees.

Athletes all over the world use knee braces to protect their knees and legs.

Is a knee brace considered durable medical equipment?

Yes, a knee brace is a durable medical equipment since it can be used repeatedly for at least three years.

This means that your insurance will cover a large chunk of the knee brace cost.

Should I wear a knee brace for arthritis?

Yes, medical knee braces have been purposely built to help with arthritis.

By encouraging movement and activity, knee braces help to reduce the stiffness caused by arthritis.

Should I wear a knee brace all day?

You can wear a knee brace all day long if your knees feel weak.

However, if your knees have recovered, you should move without the brace (at least for short durations) to strengthen the knees.

Note: The answers are not a replacement for medical advice. Please visit a doctor for advice on recovery from your ailment, if you have a serious condition.

Conclusion

This concludes our review of the best unloader knee braces.

We have picked seven products that have surpassed most options in the market, in terms of the comfort, durability and features.

Our listed products are from top manufacturers and have a history of positive feedbacks.

If you have used any of the listed knee braces before and want to share a feedback, do contact us via the contact form on the website.

We hope that one of our mentioned top unloader knee brace will help you improve your knee, enhance your balance and reduce the occurrence of any injuries.