Best Knee Sleeves For Squats, Powerlifting, CrossFit and More

Knee sleeves are an important piece of gear in every gymgoer’s equipment bag. They can help to provide joint protection, warmth, and stabilityThey can even help to inspire confidence when you know you have the right ones on, which is why we have compiled a list of what we think are the best knee sleeves on the market broken down by best overall, then into categories.

Like most pieces of supportive equipment, their use comes with a time and place, so it’s not a bad idea to keep yourself equipped with a pair for times you need them most. A sleeve’s benefits will be dependent on your strength sport, preferences, and knee sleeve wants/needs. We’ve been on a mission to find the best knee sleeve for powerliftingweightliftingCrossFit®-style workouts, knee warmth, and even heavy squats. Below are our current favorites.

Keep in mind that this list was built off of our judging criteria for each knee sleeve, and you may find that a different fit from our top choices works better for you. Overall, our goal is to connect you with the best sleeves for your lifting preferences, or at least to make a knee sleeve’s presence known to you if you’ve never seen them before. 

Best Knee Sleeves

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. We are doing our best to keep this article updated based on what’s currently in stock at various manufacturers.

Índice
  1. Best Knee Sleeves
  • Best Knee Sleeves
    1. Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
    2. Who Should Buy Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
  • Best Knee Sleeves for Squats 
    1. Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
    2. Who Should Buy Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
  • Best Weightlifting Knee Sleeves
    1. Exo 7mm Knee Sleeves
    2. Who Should Buy Exo Sleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Exo Sleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves
  • Best CrossFit Knee Sleeves
    1. Element 26 6mm Knee Sleeves
    2. Who Should Buy Element 26 6mm Knee Sleeves
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Element 26 6mm Knee Sleeves
  • Best Powerlifting Knee Sleeves
    1. Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
    2. Who Should Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
    3. Who Shouldn’t Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves
  • Best Knee Sleeves for Warmth
    1. Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves
    2. Who Should Buy Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves
  • Best Knee Sleeves for the Money
  • Best Knee Sleeves

    When picking the best knee sleeves, there are a number of factors that go into it. The best sleeves have to serve their purpose, have great construction, be reliable and durable, and accommodate the widest variety of users. That is why we decided to pick Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves as our top pick here.

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    Utility and longevity is the name of the game when naming something the best, and to be the best, a product has to check off all of the right boxes (and then some). These knee sleeves from Gymreapers are the real deal. They are made from premium neoprene and designed to provide warmth and joint protection, as well as support throughout even the most grueling leg workouts. They are made with reinforced stitching, and can slip on easily with a full range of sizes to fit even you quadzillas out there.

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    These neoprene knee sleeves come in three different color combinations, and with your purchase, you$0027ll receive a free gym bag. They are constructed with reinforced stitching, and retain heat.

    Shop Amazon

    Who Should Buy Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    • Athletes looking for a solid all-around knee sleeve with support, comfort, and durability built into the design. 
    • Trainees who have sensitive skin and appreciate a non-irritating material, such as neoprene.
    • Those looking for maximum support and compression spread evenly around the knee that can stand up to heavy loads.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    • Those who would prefer a thinner knee sleeve primarily for warmth.
    • Athletes who would prefer a straight sleeve rather than a contoured sleeve.

    The Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves are designed with the strength athlete in mind, and if you are going to be moving heavy weights, then these are going to be your friend. They are versatile enough to support a traditional bodybuilding style workout or CrossFit WOD, and accommodate repeated efforts.

    Best Knee Sleeves for Squats 

    Knee sleeves and squats can go hand in hand. When looking for sleeves to support your knees during the squat they should be supportive, comfortable, and durable since they are supposed to be protecting the knees during heavy loads. These knee sleeves tick all those boxes.

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    One big reason we picked Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves as our top choice for squats is their ability to stand up to repeated heavy squat and leg sessions. These are great for both training and competition, so you only have to buy once, and they can support those who train in both high-bar and low-bar squat. These sleeves are made of a durable neoprene, and are a great value as they are priced lower than similar competitors.

    Gymreapers even includes a free carry bag to neatly store the sleeves. Plus, they come in three attractive colors: black/white, black/red, and green/black to match your other Gymreapers gear. The company suggests sizing down one size for those that prefer a more snug, contoured fit. 

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    These neoprene knee sleeves come in three different color combinations, and with your purchase, you$0027ll receive a free gym bag. They are constructed with reinforced stitching, and retain heat.

    Shop Amazon

    Who Should Buy Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    • Lifters who want maximum support for their heavy training and squat sessions.
    • Athletes who are looking for a pair of reinforced, high-quality, and durable sleeves able to take abuse for many years to come.
    • Lifters who compete in the USPA as they are approved for use in that Powerlifting Federation (though we recommend you always double-check the rules).

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    • Someone who wants less compression and is just looking for warmth.
    • A beginner who may not have the need for a serious knee sleeve yet.

    These are great in terms of function, design, and durability, and if you are looking to get some serious squat sessions in, we are confident these can help.

    [Related: Could Baking Soda Be The Best Workout Supplement You’ve Never Tried?]

    Best Weightlifting Knee Sleeves

    The best knee sleeves for weightlifting need to provide support, but not limit mobility in exercises like the snatch, clean & jerk, and squat. The Exo Sleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves are a prime option for weightlifting enthusiasts. 

    Exo 7mm Knee Sleeves

    These sleeves are supportive, but not mobility limiting. This is key for weightlifting because you want to support without compromising mobility. They form to fit the knee really well with their durable 7mm anti-microbial neoprene. We never experienced air pockets, or bunching when we tried them. Plus, they’re comfortable to wear for long workouts — any Olympic lifter knows that sessions can sometimes run quite long, so you need a sleeve that will go the distance.

    ExoSleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves

    ExoSleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves

    ExoSleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves

    The Exo Sleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves are built to withstand all kinds of squatting. They’re the perfect thickness and come with the right compression to ensure you perform optimally under the bar.

    Shop Exo Sleeve

    Who Should Buy Exo Sleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves

    • Weightlifters who are looking to compete or train weightlifting with some level of seriousness will appreciate the high-quality make of these sleeves.
    • Athletes who want a supportive knee sleeve that also doesn’t hinder mobility or range of motion.
    • Lifters who want a pair of knee sleeves to last with reinforced stitching and a high quality build — these are made of 7mm antimicrobial neoprene. 

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Exo Sleeve 7mm Knee Sleeves

    • The beginner lifter who doesn’t have a specific need for knee sleeves yet in their career.
    • Budget-conscious lifters who want to save money with a cost-efficient pair of knee sleeves.

    For the avid weightlifter, it’s tough to beat Exo’s offering here. Although some weightlifters may prefer more minimal knee support, Exo’s lean 7mm sleeves bring the ideal amount of joint stabilization without significantly tampering flexibility at the knee itself. 

    [Related: The Best Types Of Supplements For Performance, Weight Loss, And Health]

    Best CrossFit Knee Sleeves

    CrossFit® and functional training are chock full of movements that are taxing on the knees and joints. That is why it is important to have gear — like this pick — that you can rely on to provide the much needed support throughout even the hardest WODs.

    Element 26 6mm Knee Sleeves

    Since a lot of the movements require a substantial degree of flexibility at the knee and hip, the thicker knee sleeves can sometimes impair that mobility, and many athletes prefer knee sleeves with similar support and compression without the added bulk — that’s why we picked the Element 26 6mm Knee Sleeves as our top choice for CrossFit knee sleeves. 

    These heavy-duty neoprene knee sleeves are designed with reinforced stitching and provide compression to the knee evenly all around to provide confidence that they can support you through even the toughest WODs. They do double-duty work as well since they are also great for support for your max effort attempts. Each sleeve is 10 inches long to ensure complete coverage of the knees and at 6mm, these sleeves offer slightly less bulk than traditional 7mm knee sleeves.

    Element 26 6MM Knee Sleeves

    Element 26 6MM Knee Sleeves

    Element 26 6MM Knee Sleeves

    These competition-approved, anatomically-contoured knee sleeves are made of 100 percent non-irritating neoprene material. They are six millimeters thick and provide compression alongside their reinforced stitching.

    Shop Amazon

    Who Should Buy Element 26 6mm Knee Sleeves

    • Athletes who focus primarily on functional fitness such as CrossFit training since they provide great support for workouts that can be tough on the knees.
    • People who want significant knee support when performing squat variations.
    • Those who want the support of a heavy-duty sleeve without the extra bulk.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Element 26 6mm Knee Sleeves

    • Folks who want knee sleeves that don’t provide as much compression will want to look elsewhere.
    • Those who prefer a thinner knee sleeve should opt for a different pick on this list. 

    These sleeves are likely to provide added stability to the knee joint, which athletes who perform single-leg movements like pistol squats and lunges will appreciate. They come with a lifetime warranty and are priced lower than a lot of comparable sleeves which makes these a great value, in our opinion.

    [Related: The Lifter’s Guide To Magnesium: What This Nutrient Does For Strength]

    Best Powerlifting Knee Sleeves

    Competitive and recreational powerlifters alike know that a good pair of knee sleeves can separate a successful squat session from a bad one — we think these sleeves are great for heavy lifts.

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    To perform well in the squat — and even the deadlift, if you prefer — you need a durable pair of sleeves that can handle heavy weights, on top of your own body weight. The Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves can go the distance and then some. Not only are they constructed with reinforced stitching and high-quality neoprene to endure thousands of reps of squats, they’re also USPA compliant, making them a reliable choice for meet day. However, they aren’t the cheapest option on the market, so if you’re looking for a bargain, there are better picks for you on this list. 

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    These neoprene knee sleeves come in three different color combinations, and with your purchase, you$0027ll receive a free gym bag. They are constructed with reinforced stitching, and retain heat.

    Shop Amazon

    Who Should Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    • Lifters who compete or practice the sport of powerlifting will appreciate the durability of these sleeves.
    • Gymgoers who want significant knee support when performing various types of squats.
    • Athletes who need sleeves that are approved by the USPA.

    Who Shouldn’t Gymreapers 7mm Knee Sleeves

    • Lifters who don’t want any restriction in range of motion at the knee.
    • Buyers on a budget who want to get some workable knee compression for cheap. 

    Gymreapers has done their homework in developing their entire line of products, and it shows through with these knee sleeves. They can work for powerlifting main lifts such as squat and deadlift, or provide support for the accessory movements, as well. They are even a solid choice for those who just like doing heavy barbell training

    [Related: The Untold History of the Back Squat]

    Best Knee Sleeves for Warmth

    When you’re working out, keeping the joints warm is important to help prevent injury. There are lots of ways to accomplish joint warmth, but the most common is to throw on a pair of sleeves. The sleeves provide some compression and the neoprene material they’re commonly made from helps to keep the area warm. Exo’s 5mm Knee Sleeves provide warmth to the knee joint and surrounding area, with minimal compression-based support — which is their biggest advantage over other competitors on the market.

    Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves

    These sleeves provide some stability to the knee, offering just enough feedback to stay stable during higher-rep sessions, similar to a light wrap. However, they aren’t so stiff that you could only use them for more explosive movements, like hang cleans or snatches. Exo’s 5mm knee sleeves come in a variety of six different designs, colors, and patterns, and are constructed with a soft material blend that is uniquely tailored to enhance comfort and warmth in the joint without inhibiting flexibility whatsoever. 

    Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves

    Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves

    Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves

    These sleeves are supportive, but not mobility limiting — they form to fit the knee really well with their durable 5mm antimicrobial neoprene.

    Shop Exo Sleeve

    Coupon Copy: These 5mm Knee Sleeves offer warmth and light feedback for stability and comfort. If you’re hitting a high-rep squat session these are there to help without getting in the way. Don’t sacrifice mobility for support.

    Who Should Buy Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves

    • Lifters who are looking for added warmth around their knee joint will like this design.
    • Folks who want lightweight and flexible sleeves that allow for easy movement.
    • Anyone who is doing multiple, higher-rep squatting movements in a workout. The thinner design is less likely to cause discomfort over time.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Exo Sleeve 5mm Knee Sleeves

    • Athletes who want knee sleeves that provide significant stability will want to look elsewhere. 
    • People who would prefer having sleeves with more compression. These may not be the most optimal option for you. 
    • Anyone on a tight budget — there are cheaper options on this list.

    If you need heavy knee support, you’ll want to opt for a thicker set of sleeves on this list, but when it comes to a light compression sleeve that can keep the knee warm, they are a solid pick. They even come in a few different pattern options —black, camo, lightning bolts, stars, and neon pink.

    Best Knee Sleeves for the Money

    Budget conscious shoppers are always looking to get the best product for their money, and we get that. Knee sleeves aren’t the most expensive piece of equipment, but saving some money here might mean you can spend it on something else — like a better belt or pair of lifting