The best knee sleeves for weightlifting, CrossFit and more

The best knee sleeves for strength training and CrossFit, as chosen by our resident fitness expert and the Fittest Man in the UK, Reggie Fasa.

Man pulling on the best knee sleeves

by Bryony Firth-Bernard |
Updated on

If you do weightlifting, CrossFit or powerlifting, having a pair of the best knee sleeves is an important weightlifting accessory in your gym bag. As your training becomes more intense and your lifts get heavier, you’ll need to invest in the right accessories to get the most out of your training and support your body.

The best knee sleeves at a glance:

The best knee sleeves overall: SBD Knee Sleeves - View on SBD
Best value knee sleeves: Strength Shop 7mm Inferno Neoprene Knee Sleeves - View on Amazon
Best knee sleeves for weightlifting: Rehband RX Knee Sleeve 7mm - View on Amazon
Best budget knee sleeves: Gymshark 5mm Knee Sleeves - View on Gymshark

Knee sleeves can enhance your performance, but, most importantly, they provide support and stability to the knee joint — similar to wrist wraps and lifting straps. “They provide compression, which increases blood flow to help keep the knee area warm,” says CrossFit athlete and Fittest Man in the UK, Reggie Fasa. “They also support your knees by preventing your patella from tracking incorrectly, which can lead to injury.”

However, before you jump in and make your purchase, it’s key to know what you need to look for in a decent pair. For Reggie, it’s all about the material. “As I’m a CrossFit athlete, and tend to wear knee sleeves in workouts where I get very hot and sweaty, I like a product that is made from a breathable material such as nylon or polyester," he says. "If you’re just weightlifting, you may prefer to use one made out of neoprene, which traps more heat in as you’ll have longer rests between sets and exercises, where your aim is to keep your knees warm.”

Make sure to also check out our FAQs at the bottom of this page where Reggie also shares what width sleeve to choose and the best exercises to wear them for.

The best knee sleeves in 2024:

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

The best knee sleeves overall

If you’ve never heard of SBD when it comes to weightlifting, where have you been? The brand has been the sponsor for the World’s Strongest Man competition for years and is loved by athletes. These knee sleeves have been made with 7mm neoprene for maximum support and reinforced seams for longevity (don’t expect any ripping here or poor quality). The size range is huge — from XXXS to 5XL — and they even have approval from the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).


  • IPF-approved and IWF compliant
  • Crafted alongside athletes and coaches
  • Ideal for all types of weightlifting
  • Durable with reinforced seams for longevity
  • Available in additional colours


  • Slightly more pricey than competitor products, but get your money's worth

The best value knee sleeves

Strength Shop is a great all-rounder for good quality, affordable products and their knee sleeves didn’t disappoint when we gave them a go. These 7mm neoprene knee sleeves are best for heavier weightlifting and are another product in our round-up with IPF approval, so you know they’re a good’un. There’s a big size range too, from S to XXL, which are all very true to size.


  • Comfy
  • Approved by the IPF
  • Large size variety and true to size
  • Available in various colours/patterns


  • Bunched up a tad during use

The best knee sleeves for weightlifting

If you’re doing weightlifting, whether it be Olympic lifting, CrossFit or powerlifting, then these knee sleeves from Rehband are ideal. Their 7mm thickness provides strong compression and dense support during your lifts to prevent any injuries. They also have approval from two weightlifting bodies — the IPF and IWF — and are one of Rehbands most supportive products. Available in sizes XS to XL.


  • Strong compression, ideal for heavy weightlifting
  • Available in a range of colours and different thicknesses 
  • Approved by IPF and IWF


  • Sleeves are sold individually, not as a pair

The best knee sleeves for women

These KGONE knee sleeves are designed to meet the unique needs of female athletes, providing enhanced knee support without sacrificing comfort. These braces feature a slim, contoured fit that offers effective compression and stability during physical activities. Breathable, lightweight fabric results in supreme comfort and mobility, they're well suited for active women seeking extra knee protection.


  • Incredibly affordable
  • Super support
  • Stylish


  • May bunch up slightly behind the knee

The most durable knee sleeves

Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves 7mmAmazon
Price: $59.99

The Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves have been engineered to enhance performance by providing robust joint support and warmth, reducing the risk of injuries during intense activities. These sleeves stabilize the knee, improve blood flow, and increase proprioception, which is vital for lifting efficiency and safety. They're built for the weightlifters and athletes looking to push their limits safely and effectively.


  • Extremely durable and high quality
  • Brilliant anti-slip technology
  • Suited for all activities


  • Could be too tight around the knee for some

The best budget knee sleeves

New to knee sleeves and looking for a little extra support? These ones from Gymshark will do and won't cost you a fortune either. At 5mm thickness, they’ll provide you with adequate support to prevent aches and pains but don’t expect your lifts to suddenly transform. They’re definitely a good starting ground though. Available in black and olive green and sizes S to XXL.


  • Available in two colours
  • Very affordable
  • Adequate compression for a little support during leg day


  • Won’t significantly help increase lifts

The best knee sleeves for running

Knee Compression Support BraceDecathlon

The AZENGEAR Knee Compression Support Brace set is specifically designed for runners and those looking to alleviate or prevent injuries. you're getting superior knee stability and support during high-impact activities. Compression technology aids in reducing swelling and pain, while the fabric keeps the joint comfortable and dry. Perfect for enhancing performance and recovery, these knee sleeves are must-haves for any runner looking to protect their knees.


  • Designed to compliment and support runners
  • Sleek design
  • Great value for money


  • Not super breathable

The best expert recommended knee sleeves

Reyllen knee sleeves
Price: £39.99

Recommended by Fittest Man in the UK, Reggie Fasa, these best knee sleeves are ideal for CrossFit training, as they provide enough support for weightlifting, but still offer enough flexibility to perform other functional movements. At the core of these sleeves is a non-slip fabric to ensure they stay put, even through the most intense training sessions, while the reinforced stitching increases durability and longevity. Available in sizes S to XXL.


  • Reinforced stitching for extra durability and longevity
  • Ideal for CrossFit and general exercising
  • Affordable


  • Not the best for really heavy weightlifting

The best high-end knee sleeves

They may come with a hefty price tag, but these sleeves from Inzer have been dubbed 'the most advanced powerlifting knee sleeves in the world' that will help you safely reach your best lift yet. Made from 7mm neoprene, these knee sleeves are ideal for heavy weightlifting moves and powerlifting. They've been crafted with premium construction, with double stitching on the welded seams, for extra durability. And you don't need to worry about them becoming less robust over time, as they return to their original shape once taken off for long-lasting use.


  • Ergonomically designed to fit your knees for comfort and stability
  • Approved for all powerlifting federations worldwide
  • Premium construction with double stitching on welded seams
  • Comes with draw-string carry bag
  • Very large size range


  • Expensive in comparison

The best beginner knee sleeves

MP Unisex Seamless Knee Sleeve (Single) - BlackMyprotein

The MP Unisex Seamless Knee Sleeve provides beginners with essential support and comfort. Made with a seamless design to prevent chafing and irritation, this knee sleeve enhances stability during workouts, promoting confidence and ensuring safety. Its breathable, stretchable fabric gives wearers a snug fit, making it a more than solid choice for those starting their fitness journey. If you are looking for the set though, you will have to purchase two seperately.


  • Solid beginner running sleeve
  • Reputable fitness brand
  • Unisex


  • Not sold as a pair


How much should I spend on knee sleeves?

This entirely depends on your needs, budget and the brand you buy from. We don’t believe you have to spend a fortune on knee sleeves. However, it’s worth noting that the more reputable the brand that you’re buying from, generally the more expensive the sleeves will be.

If you are completely new to knee sleeves and you just want to give them a go, then there’s no need to part with too much cash. However, if you are someone who is serious about their fitness, or at an advanced to intermediate level, we definitely recommend spending a little more and going with one of the brands we’ve listed above.

It’s so important to take care of your knees if you’re constantly putting a lot of pressure on them and a pair of knee sleeves will help.

Why do knee sleeves come in different widths?

“The thicker the knee sleeve, the more support and stability they provide,” says Reggie. “Weightlifters often, therefore, prefer the thicker option (7mm). The middle option is 5mm which is good for the likes of CrossFit workouts, where you’ll have a mix of cardio and weightlifting.

"Whereas if you were to use the thickest option here they may get in the way of certain movements, but you can also roll them down to your ankles for movements you don’t need. The smaller option is 3mm which will provide the least amount of support and are best for more cardio/endurance-based activities.”

What style of training and exercises are they best for?

Knee sleeves are best used for heavy weightlifting movements, such as squats, clean and jerks, snatches and lunging. “CrossFit athletes will also sometimes wear them in workouts that contain a weightlifting element,” says Reggie. “Particularly lunges, as it also provides comfort when the back knee touches the floor. They also sometimes use them unconventionally around their ankles for rope climbs to protect against rope burn.”

However, despite their benefits at reducing pain, Reggie advises knee sleeves shouldn’t be relied on if you are suffering from an injury, because while it may mask the pain it does not resolve the problem. “Instead, you should go and see a medical professional, such as a physio, to find out what is causing you pain or discomfort in the first place.”

How do I clean my knee sleeves?

Unfortunately, a lot of them are hand wash only, so you do need to keep on top of keeping them clean, otherwise they can seriously stink. Check out the video below on how to do this. Also, we know it’s hard, but try and keep your gym bag as clean as possible. So, when you’ve finished your workout, take your dirty kit out immediately. Don’t leave it in there for hours (or days) to fester. This will also contribute towards keeping your knee sleeves smelling fresher for longer.

Bryony Firth-Bernard is a Health and Fitness Product Writer for What's The Best. She specialises in strength training.

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