Article Last Updated: April 1, 2020
Are you looking for the best knee brace for arthritis?
A knee brace is helpful when it comes to managing pain and swelling.
According to research, 10% of men and 13% of women who are over 60 years old have arthritis. There are several things that you can do to manage this disease. Top of this list is using a knee brace.
However, some of the challenges that many people face when they’re looking for the best knee support for arthritis is finding a brace that is the right size for them so it stays in place, besides it’s important to look for a brace that’s made of quality materials.
Read on for our in-depth guide on how to choose the best knee brace for arthritis and reviews of some of the best models available on the market right now.
Top 3 Best Knee Brace for Arthritis Comparison
#1 Sable Knee Brace
Lifetime Warranty- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed for Sable Knee Braces sold by Sunvalley Brands
#2 Bracoo Knee Support
#3 McDavid Knee Compression Sleeves
Enhanced fit and comfort while maximizing protection
Best Knee Brace for Arthritis in 2019
There are various kinds of knee braces in the market that can provide you with the support and stability that you need.
Buying a good brace will reduce the level of swelling and inflammation around your knees.
Here’s a review of some of thebest braces for arthritic knees.
If you’d like to have lots of flexibility, then the Sable knee and compression knee sleeve brace is your best bet.
The key thing about this brace is that it aims to provide ample coverage to the patient. This means that you can use it while performing any kind of activity, including sports activities.
This brace provides good coverage from the knee, as it stretches slightly above the knee and slightly below it. This provides more room for the distribution of pressure. It also works using the same principle as a back brace, as it greatly helps to relieve pressure on the knee.
This brace is ideal for use since it’s made out of durable material that can give you the kind of support you need when you’re engaged in high impact exercises, such as football, basketball, tennis, weightlifting, among many other activities.
You can freely engage in these exercises without being worried that you’ll get injured. What’s more, the manufacturer provides a lifetime guarantee when you buy this product.
In addition, the braces come in pairs when you make a purchase, so you’ll essentially be getting a great deal for the price that you’re paying.
If you’re active, then Sable is the best knee brace for arthritic knee. Therefore, when you need something that will give you the support that you need when you’re going outdoors or you’re looking forward to engaging in a high-impact activity, this is the best brace for you.
Nevertheless, this brace has its shortcomings. It can result in skin irritation, itchiness, and can develop a bad odor or chemical lag.
Therefore, to minimize the chances of this happening, you’ll have to wash the brace on a regular basis. This can cause wear-and-tear on the brace, making it age faster.
- Fits snugly around the knees
- Minimizes inflammation
- Available in 4 different sizes
- May irritate your skin
The Bracoo Knee Support is known for being long-lasting. It’s designed for individuals who are active on their feet and who want something that will allow them to perform at the optimum level, as it can withstand high impact exercises over a long period of time.
Bracoo is one of the best knee braces for arthritis as it uses an open patella system. This system has many advantages that make it unique. It helps the user not just to stand but also to engage in high impact exercises.
The qualities of Bracoo match its tagline, which states that the brace can be used by anybody for any occasion.
The brace works quite well and provides the knee with the support it needs. However, it has one downside, which primarily stems from its straps.
Over time, the straps become loose and are no longer effective. However, replacing the straps isn’t a good idea, since it’ll reduce the quality and effectiveness of the brace.
Bracoo is most suited for dealing with minor injuries that take a short time to heal. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for major cases as well, as it can be quite helpful in such circumstances as well.
The ideal situation would be to use this brace for minor injuries rather than major injuries.
- Can be personalized
- Fits snugly
- Strong stabilizer ring
- Open patella design
- Very thick neoprene
- You won't get value for your money
If you have trouble with your knees yet you’re actively engaged in sports, there’s no need for you to quit your sporting activities.
What you need to do is to get the McDavid Hex knee pads compression, as it provides the kind of support you need.
This brace features a grid-textured nylon sleeve, which provides protection like no other brace does.
It’s aesthetically appealing and is useful when it comes to protecting your knees, especially when you’re actively engaged in high-impact activities. However, it has one major disadvantage in that it isn’t long-lasting.
It wears out fast and develops holes after a short period of use. Though this doesn’t stop many people from using it, as they can simply replace it with a new brace when the quality deteriorates.
- Absorbs sweat well
- Can be used in a daily basis
- Fits snugly
- Doesn’t cause the affected area to become hot
- Patented HEX protection
- Not long-lasting
If you’re looking for the best knee brace for arthritis and you’re not sure what to buy, consider buying the PowerLix compression knee sleeve. It’s one of the most effective braces that we’ve come across.
This sleeve fits snugly around the knee, as it conforms to the structure of the knee, making it quite comfortable. The brace distributes weight evenly around the knee.
If you have sensitive skin, then this brace is your best bet, as it’s unlikely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions as a result of the quality of the material it’s made out of.
It’s quite smooth and absorbs sweat well. The brace looks appealing so you won’t mind flaunting it.
According to customer reviews left on Amazon, the PowerLix compression knee sleeve is among the top rated braces on the market.
This is mainly due to its superior quality material and the flexibility that it provides to the user.
On the downside, there have been complaints about its size and length. However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good brace, as it still works well for most people.
- Superior quality
- Aesthetically appealing
- Money-back guarantee
- Good protection
- Anti-slip system
- Moves around when in use
What makes this one a good knee brace for arthritis is the patented Power Support Technology that it uses.
As a result of this technology, when you put on the brace, it immediately fits snugly around your knee without much trouble.
Other benefits that this brace offers are the promotion of good circulation of oxygen in the body and blood flow improvement. In addition, it minimizes the build-up of lactic acid in the body.
In addition, this brace isn’t heavy. It’s quite light, making it ideal for use whether you’re engaged in a simple activity or a more demanding one.
The surface of the brace is quite soft and it allows for free circulation of air around the knee, making it feel quite natural when in use. In addition, it’s quite simple and straightforward to use.
You can easily slip on the brace and just as easily take it out as well. However, the ease with which it comes out can pose as a problem. It’s best used in a static condition rather than in a dynamic one.
It can be metaphorically compared to being able to easily ride a two-wheeler, but having a more difficult time when it comes to driving a four-wheeler.
The major highlight of this brace is that it works extremely well when it comes to dealing with knee problems but it isn’t ideal for use in all situations.
- Provides a firm grip
- Superior quality
- Fits well
- Immediate support
- Doesn’t last long
One of the key considerations to keep in mind when you want to buy a knee brace for arthritis is that you should go for something that fits comfortably without leaving your knee rigid.
The brace should be comfortable no matter how long you use it. One such brace that makes this possible is the Physix Gear Sport knee brace.
One of the things that makes this brace comfortable to use is its four-way stretch system. The brace is so light and comfortable that you can put it on the whole day and forget about it. You can also easily slip it on and off.
The other thing that makes Physix so great to wear is the fact that it looks great. It’s black and pink in color and you can show it off. But if you prefer to be discreet, you can easily cover it up under your clothes and keep it out of sight.
The Physix gear knee support brace is one of the best in the market after the PowerLix knee sleeve, due to the many advantages that it offers.
However, this brace provides some extra compression, which can be a negative factor for some individuals. But this doesn’t entirely negate all the advantages that this sleeve provides.
- Aesthetically appealing
- Reduces pain
- No-slip silicone grip wave
- Money-back guarantee
- Not ideal for sporting activities
The Berter knee brace comes with straps that can be tied around the knee to provide extra support and stability to the affected area.
This helps to protect the knee joint and it also reduces the chances of the injury getting worse.
It also helps to take away the arthritis pain around the joints quickly and effectively, essentially making it one of the most preferred braces on the market.
The technology used to design and manufacture this brace is what makes it one of the best knee braces for arthritis.
The texture of the sleeve is perforated, which encourages good airflow around the joint. The brace also promotes good blood circulation.
However, this brace has one major disadvantage; its strap system might interfere with the effectiveness of the brace in the long run.
This is because the sleeve heavily relies on the strap, so after some time the straps might not work as effectively as they first did when they were still new. This affects the entire functionality of the brace, making it less effective.
The issue of the straps aside, this sleeve works quite well. Assuming that the straps are working well, you’ll be quite happy with the performance of this brace.
The extra compression that the straps provide may not be such a great feature for all users, but this doesn’t mean that this brace isn’t good.
- Minimizes pain
- Reduces chances of injuries happening
- Offers money-back guarantee
- 4-way stretch straps
- Double no-slip design
- Don’t use if you’re allergic to latex
This is one of the most technologically advanced braces of modern times. The KS7 Knee Compression Sleeve offers knee support using Compression Zone Technology.
Compression Zone technology helps reduce swelling on the knees, prolonged knee pain in addition to patellar tendonitis and patellofemoral pain.
What makes the KS7 Knee Compression Sleeve one of the best knee braces for arthritis is that it’ll help you lead an active lifestyle while being pain free.
The support that it provides to your knee also minimizes pain experienced on the knees through the use of gel stabilizers and a wide band on the thigh. It reduces pain that’s brought about by lack of support.
You can easily put on the brace and take it off. It also fits quite snugly around the knee, making it possible for you to bend your knee without any problem, as a result of its shaped-to-fit design. You can maintain discretion by covering it up under your clothes.
The brace is lightweight. You can easily slip it on and take it off. Whatever activity you’re doing, whether you’re walking, cycling or running, the sleeve will stay in place.
- 100% money guarantee
- Fits snugly
- Good protection
- Misleading sizing chart
The Techware Pro knee brace offers many advantages. This includes comfort and better support for the knee, due to its slim nature.
This makes it possible to flex the knee, making it one of the most preferred braces by sportsmen. In addition, the material is of superior quality and comes with quality stitching.
The brace has three straps. This includes the center strap, upper strap, and lower strap. The straps make it possible to tighten the brace as you want.
The straps are all in one direction, which helps tighten the brace without interfering with the patella, while still ensuring that your knee gets the support that it needs.
A key feature that makes most sportsmen prefer this brace is the uniformity of the compression and tension created around the patella.
This happens with the help of two straps that can be pulled in one direction and one strap going in the opposite direction. This doesn’t in anyway affect the patella. The brace is also ideal for individuals who need a plus-sized brace
Sportsmen get the steady support that they need while using this brace without movement around the knee being interfered with. In addition, the brace has a breathable neoprene that stretches.
However, sleeping with it isn’t a good idea, as you’ll be quite uncomfortable when you do so. But considering all the advantages that the brace provides, this isn’t a big disadvantage.
- Open patella design
- Support that can be adjusted
- No-slip silicone strips
- Doesn’t stay in place
What makes the Bodyprox knee brace unique are the two springs that it has on its sides.
They’re designed to stabilize the knee and the patella and take pressure and stress off the joint. The brace has been well designed and is aesthetically pleasing.
When used during high-impact sporting activities, such as running, the brace relieves pressure off the joint.
This brace can be used by anyone without taking into consideration its size, as it can be easily adjusted using the Velcro strap.
Therefore, when purchasing this brace, you don’t even need to bother asking about its size, since one size fits all. The brace has a patella silicone pad, which goes onto the knee cap. This helps to keep the knee cap in position, while still ensuring movement.
What makes this one of the best knee braces for arthritis is that you can easily control the compression level using the Velcro straps.
Also, it’s made out of superior quality material that’s not harsh on the skin or produces allergic reactions. The neoprene material helps to keep the skin cool by conducting away heat from the body and absorbing sweat.
This brace works well when you’re engaged in high impact exercises. In addition, if you have any injuries, the support that this brace provides will aid in your quick recovery. The brace greatly aids when it comes to minimizing the pain experienced.
- Can fit anyone due to its adjustable size
- Adjustable stabilizers
- Absorbs excess heat and sweat
- Patella silicone pads
- Velcro straps
- Not as big as expected
How Do Knee Braces for Arthritis Work?
You use your knees a lot on a daily basis. This is whenever you kneel, jump, run, climb, walk and stand.
This results in a lot of pressure being applied on your knees, leading to wear and tear on this joint, which can eventually lead to osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that commonly affects older people as they age. This is because the cartilage acts as a shock absorber and your joints will get damaged over the years. The side of your knee will suffer the most from this.
Some of the signs you’ll experience if you have this problem include knee pain and knee shaking uncontrollably.
Types of Knee Braces for Arthritis
There are various types of braces in the market.
Basic Knee Sleeves
Basic knee sleeves are the best kind to buy if your condition isn’t severe. A lot of drug stores stock them, so finding one shouldn’t be hard. You can wear them when you’re actively doing something.
They are quite cheap and don’t need a lot of maintenance. You can easily put them on. The main aim of these braces is to compress your joint area to help minimize pain and inflammation.
Unloader Knee Braces
Unloader knee braces are the most expensive braces and you can use them if you suffer from extreme pain.
These are the best knee brace for arthritic knee, because they help to take off most of the weight from the knee by changing knee angle. Using these braces can prevent you from having to undergo surgery.
Advanced Support Braces
If your condition is mild or medium, your best option would be to buy advanced support braces. These braces can be customized to meet your needs. They help by providing support to your ligaments.
This, in turn, helps to redirect most of your weight from being mainly applied directly on your knees, in effect helping minimize your pain levels.
It comes with large flaps, which help ensure that the braces fit you well.
Things to Consider When Shopping for the Best Knee Brace for Arthritis
When you want to buy the best knee brace for arthritis, there are several things that you should be on the lookout for.
This way you’ll be able to make the right choice even though there are hundreds of products available on the market. This huge variety can get overwhelming.
Some of the factors you should consider include:
Before you buy a brace, you must know the kind of injury that you’re suffering from.
These are classified under four categories; prophylactic, rehabilitative, functional, and unloader. Consult a doctor to know what kind of injury you have.
Some crucial questions to ask before you make a decision about which brace to buy include: Are you allowed to move your knee at all?
Did you suffer from a meniscus tear and has your recovery path been complicated? Do you have arthritis in your knee joint?
Are you looking for a brace that you can use as you wait to undergo surgery?
Having the answers to these questions will help you make a more informed decision.
Level of Support
The main objective of getting a brace is to have adequate support for your knee.
Therefore, it’s important that you make sure the brace that you get supports your joint well based on the kind of injury you have.
The brace shouldn’t be too loose, based on the kind of activities you do while wearing it, whether you wear it while working out, running or you simply want to minimize pain around your joint.
You want to buy a product that will fit you snugly without being too tight such that you can’t bend your knee. Braces are available in different sizes, so you should always check the size before you buy one.
Lots of braces in the market come with straps, which you can use to adjust how the brace fits. The straps help to support your ligaments.
The good thing is that this article points out different products and the different sizes that they come in ranging from small to extra-large.
Select a brace that’s easy to use. Some designs are pretty complex, which can make it hard for you to properly put on the brace on your own. If you don’t wear the brace well, then it won’t provide you with the kind of support that your joints need.
Comfort is also a key consideration. This is because you’re likely to wear the brace for extended periods of time, so you need to make sure you’re comfortable.
Get something that you can easily clean. For instance, something that you can wash in the washing machine.
This is considering that you’ll need to keep the brace clean and odor-free. Using it for long periods of time will live it dirty and with a foul odor.
The aesthetic appeal of the brace matters. For instance, you can choose to go for something discreet that you can easily wear under your clothes.
Also, choose a style that appeals to you. However, the aesthetic appeal shouldn’t be your sole deciding factor when making your decision about what to buy. Consider other factors as well.
You have to determine how much money you can spend. Prices vary starting from $20 up to $200, therefore you have to buy something that you can afford.
The most basic braces are the cheapest and prices start from $10 to $20. However, if you want the best knee brace for arthritis pain for severe cases, then be prepared to fork out more money. Such braces have more padding and are designed differently, so as to provide more support.
There are varying types of braces in the market produced by different brands, so you’re quite likely to find something suitable within your budget.
How Do Knee Braces Help with Arthritis?
Even though braces provide the best knee support for arthritis, this shouldn’t be your main treatment plan as the main aim of the brace is to help reduce pain in your joints.
Braces should be used alongside other treatment remedies, such as exercising and weight loss.
Some of the main advantages of using a brace include the following:
The main advantage of using braces is that they provide a non-surgical option when it comes to pain management. This can help you go on with your day to day life.
The braces work in various ways. Braces used in cases of severe arthritis are known as unloader braces.
They work by taking the weight off one point of the knee and redistributing it evenly around the whole knee. This helps to minimize the weight put on that knee, hence reducing pain on the affected joint.
For mild cases of arthritis, knee sleeves help to provide, support, cushion and structure to the knee. They also help to keep the area around the knee warm.
32 osteoarthritis patients were studied, whereby half the patients were given unloader knee braces while the other half weren’t given braces.
To assess the outcome of this study, researchers used KOOS or knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome scores and visual analog scale (VAS) scores.
The KOOS scores for patients with unloader braces showed that:
- Pain levels greatly went down (P < .001)
- Experienced fewer symptoms (P = .007)
- Were able to carry on with their day to day life (P = .008)
VAS scores showed that the patients:
- Experienced less pain (P = .021)
- Were more active (P = .035)
Other aspects of the patient’s life weren’t affected, including their sleep, sporting activities and use of non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory medicine.
Help You Do More Exercise
Braces provide best knee support for arthritis, thereby making it possible for patients to exercise without experiencing lots of pain.
Exercising, staying active and losing weight are some of the remedies for dealing with arthritic pain and enhancing one’s health.
Apart from helping to reduce pain levels, patients reported other benefits of using these braces.
For instance, they stated that wearing the braces reminded them to be more careful when using their knee as they went about their day-to-day activities.
It also gave them the support that they needed and the peace of mind.
In severe cases of arthritis, it’s necessary for the patient to undergo surgery. However, in mild and moderate cases, patients can use knee braces to keep their condition stay under control instead of undergoing surgery.
In some cases, using braces helps the patient to delay surgery, while in other cases it helps the patient to completely avoid surgery.
Besides wearing the best knee brace for arthritis, you should also take other steps to help keep your condition under control.
For instance, you should exercise, lose weight, use glucosamine supplements and undergo physiotherapy.
In extreme cases of pain, you can get knee injections, as well in addition to using your braces.
Why Knee Braces Don’t Offer a Quick Solution?
When using braces, it’s important that you don’t use them in isolation. You have to follow a comprehensive treatment plan.
Part of this includes undergoing physiotherapy on a regular basis. This will help to keep the muscles under your braces strong. Cardiovascular exercises are also essential.
Using knee braces won’t completely eliminate the disease, but it’ll greatly help to slow it down to the extent that your condition might be able to improve and you won’t have to use the braces sometime down the line.
In addition, the braces will make it possible for you to engage in exercise and it’ll help you stay active by increasing the functionality of the affected joint.
According to Gillanders, your body tissues will be more tolerant if they’re calm as compared to when they’re irritated.
However, using the braces solely without exercising on a regular basis can lead to negative effects.
According to Dr. Rajat Bhatt, a rheumatologist at Allergy and Rheumatology Specialists of Houston, knee braces are best used for acute conditions.
This is because when they’re used over a long period of time, it leads to the muscles around the knees becoming weak, as a result of the additional support provided to the knee.
Dr. Bhatt states that braces are best used in addition to physiotherapy. An ideal situation would be for you to try out physiotherapy first and if that fails, then use braces in addition to physical therapy.
Braces shouldn’t be used for a long period of time, but they should be used to attain a certain goal. In addition, it’s advisable that you consult your doctor first before making any medical decisions.
How to Wash a Knee Brace
Even though knee braces are very helpful at managing pain, they can quickly get dirty. And if your brace is dirty, then it’ll contain a lot of bacteria that can damage your health. That’s why you should wash your knee brace often to get rid of all that dirt.
One of the best methods of washing your brace is by hand. You can use your washing machine too but we don’t recommend it.
Remove Plastic or Metal Parts
You should remove all plastic and metal parts of the brace if possible, because they can easily get damaged. They can even cause damage to the fabric during the washing process.
Use a soapy towel to wipe these parts if they’re dirty.
Use Cool Water
By using cool water, you’ll make sure you protect the fabric and you won’t burn your hands. Fill the sink with plenty of water so you can completely cover the knee brace.
Put some detergent first in the water and then put the brace.
Soak the Brace into the Water
Make sure the brace doesn’t touch the sink because it can get damaged. The sweat and dirt present in the water will come out. Keep it that way for a few minutes.
Let It Dry
After completing all the other steps, you just have to let the brace dry on a waterproof surface. Or you can put it in a towel to soak the moisture.
If you want to finish the process quickly, put the brace out in the sun. Also make sure you don’t put on the plastic and metal parts until the brace is completely dry.
Can you keep the knee brace on when sleeping?
If you don’t have any problems with your knees, then you won’t get any benefit from using a brace.
However, if you have a problem with your knees, then the compression that the brace provides will be quite helpful to you. For instance, it’ll help you recover quickly after you undergo knee surgery.
Can knee braces weaken knee muscles and ligaments?
If you use a knee brace over a long period of time and you become over-reliant on it, then this can result in your knee muscles getting weaker.
However, if you only use it when needed, for instance when you’re exercising, then it won’t result in weak muscles.
Are sports knee braces better than athletic tapes?
The similarity between a knee brace and an athletic tape is that you can use both of them when you have a knee injury.
However, the athletic tape is best used to cover smaller and skinnier sections of the body, due to the fact that it’s likely to come off or become loose after it comes into contact with sweat or after repeated movement.
Therefore, a knee brace is a better option as you can use it for a longer period of time.
The ten braces discussed in this article are affordable options to help you deal with cases of moderate to severe arthritis.
The option that you choose should be based on the cost, size, how severe your case is, and where specifically your pain points it.
Just keep in mind that before you make your decision about which brace to buy, you should first consult your doctor.
After all that has been said and done, the Sable Knee Brace is the best option out of all the options that have been discussed here.
It’ll provide you with good value for your money, plus it will provide you with the support that your knees need, even when engaging in high impact exercises, such as basketball or running.
The braces stay in place and you can easily put them on and take them off. It also has a quality fabric that’s breathable, making it a comfortable fit.
So, if you want to find the best knee brace for arthritis without spending too much, then this is your best option.