Best Elbow Support for Comfort & Safety Reviewed
When you say elbow brace, people automatically think about tennis- or golfers elbow. However, not many consider that a lot of other sports use these as well. One of the most prevalent sports is combat fighting. During a fight, you can very easily injure your tendons. This is because you are grappling and throwing each other’s weight around.
Accidents can often happen where you land on your arm funny or it was caught under your opponent. Having a brace that you can wear after your fight will help you on your road to recovery. It can keep you from becoming swollen and also keep your joint stable so that your muscles are able to relax. Once the sleeve is slid on, it can support the rest of your arm while allowing your joint to heal.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 4 hrs of research
Lightweight and thin
Copper Compression material
Simple and stylish
Easy to wear
- Copper Compression Recovery Sleeve
- Venom Compression Support
- Kunto Fitness Brace
- Crucial Compression
- Nordic Lifting Sleeves
- PowerLix Support
- Gym Reapers Sleeves
- Venom Strapped
- SB SOX
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Copper Compression Recovery Sleeve
Lightweight and thin
Copper Compression material
Simple and stylish
Easy to wear
Runs small, purchasing slightly bigger
This is a highly effective product that comes with a killer design. The material Copper Compression used is thin so that it fits close to your skin, eliminating bulk. It also does not weigh you down or make you feel like your arm has something bulk attached to it. Simply slide your sleeve where you want it and let the sleeve work its magic.Read more
This is a unique product as it is infused with copper- as the name of the company would suggest. Recently, fabrics that have copper infused into the material have been making a huge splash on the market. This is because copper is known to have many healing properties.
In fact, copper is also found in our blood and supplies a lot of our nutrients. Wearing a product that is infused with copper will improve blood circulation and also boost your healing. This is especially helpful if you are trying to reduce the length of time in which you cannot train.
This particular product is great as it offers what is known as targeted healing. If you have a stiff or sore elbow, wearing this sleeve will reduce your discomfort. This is because there are compression properties within this sleeve that can get your blood going. This is especially effective for people who are just recovering from a major injury. It will also work really well for people who have chronic pain or stiffness.
2. Venom Compression Support
Four way stretch
Comfortable and light
Fabric can pill over time
Venom has been around for years and they specialize in clothing and equipment for combat sports. Their clothing lines are well known for flashing designs that are durable and long lasting. The protective gear they have made is also reliable and tough. Over the years, this company has created a brand that is well known and trusted in the combat sports industry. This product is no different. It is jammed packed with technology and can easily withstand anything you throw at it. This particular product is suitable for recovery and healing, but can also be used as extra support during your training.Read more
When your muscles are feeling stiff and sore, one of the most common reasons is because they are cold and have not moved in a while. The quickest way to loosen up those muscles is by warming them up. This particular product has heat retention capabilities. Meaning that even after your workout or training, the sleeve will be able to continue providing heat to your sore joints. This will act like a little heat pack to keep your joint a little warmer. This helps lengthen the healing time that your elbow has to become less sore and stiff.
3. Kunto Fitness Brace
Grip and traction
Makes skin itchy after a period of wearing it
The way the product differentiates itself is by the design it has. This particular product has a colorful design that looks classy but also unique. This prevents you from getting it mixed up with someone else’s brace or even your knee brace as many of these products look very similar. This product is suitable for a host of activities.
It can be used as support for when you are trying to lift extra weight during your training or can be used during an injury. This is also a great way to relieve discomfort caused by arthritis or weak tendons.Read more
One of the most annoying things about a brace is that it can slip very easily. This is because there is no way to secure it in place and will slide up and down. Some of the products that are not made very well will even start to roll.
This particular elbow brace has a reinforced elastic to try and prevent it from moving as much. At the ends of the sleeve, there is a thick elastic band that is covered by fabric. If you purchase the right size, this elastic should compensate for the skinnier arm or stretch out a little for a thicker arm. When the elastic has a grip on your forearm and bicep, it should reduce the movement of the brace.
4. Crucial Compression
Sold in pairs
Improves athletic performance
Scratchy material causes itching
This product comes in pairs, which is a fantastic idea that other manufactures have not caught on. It makes logical sense that braces are sold in pairs as you have two elbows. During an injury, you may only get to wear one support system, however, these would be a great investment if you were looking to improve your athletic performance.Read more
In order to be a good combat sports athlete, one of the most important things is to have power and strength. This can be achieved by doing weight training. After a while, your arms will not be able to lift any heavier because your joints are unable to support it. By purchasing a set of these braces, it can give you the extra support you need to lift heavier weights.
The supports work as a system that holds your muscles in the correct place so they are able to maximize their efficiency. When your muscle groups are in the proper slots and firing, this can lend extra strength and power to your joints. It will prevent the joint from buckling under the extra weight and allow you to become that much stronger. If you are looking to improve your athleticism, this is going to be a worthwhile investment.
5. Nordic Lifting Sleeves
This product has a wonderful design that is subtle yet classy. The brace is black with patterns of white and grey running through it. This will help prevent confusion in the changing room as the design will help you differentiate from other people’s braces.
While elbow braces have many benefits while inside the gym, they can also be used on a daily basis. Wearing one of these during your daily routine can help alleviate the stress on the joint. This will reduce the pain and discomfort you feel.Read more
When people buy a product, one of the first and foremost concerns is how long it will last. If it breaks down quickly, it feels like you have lost value and not gotten your money’s worth. The manufacture of this product understood that and created a brace that is made to last.
This product is made with Nylon yarn, which is incredibly durable if you do not put it under high heat. However, to ensure it does not break, it has been reinforced with a mixture of both Spandex and Latex fibers. These fibers are in the microscopic layers and knitted together with the nylon. This creates a product that is incredibly hard to rip and will stand up to the roughest use.
6. PowerLix Support
Four way stretch
Durable and tough
Comfortable to wear
High performance fabric
Runs small, buy larger size
One of the greatest benefit a company can provide a consumer is the opportunity to try their product. When a product is great, people will tell their friends and recommend their items. This particular company is so confident in their product that it comes with half a year guarantee. Should you decide the item does not suit your needs, you can simply return it.Read more
The technology is inside the material of this elbow brace. Often times fabric will rip easily, especially if you are exercising. This can be a huge problem for combat fighters as there is so much grappling involved. The fabric usually rips or tears because it has been stretched past its abilities in one direction. To prevent the early death of their products from these rips, this company has manufactured a type of fabric that offers four-way stretch.
This means that it has enhanced stretching properties that allow you to pull it up and down, or left and right. The material has been constructed in a way where it can compensate for these kinds of motions and not end up ripping. This will greatly increase the lifespan of the product and allow you to use it for a very long time.
Will not tear
Good quality material
Four way stretch
Hard to manipulate and get in the right place
This product boasts a design that is not like any other products on the market. Rather than being a sleeve, this brace is one thick and sturdy strip of fabric. The material has elastic properties that allow you to wrap the strip around your arm. It can be secured with Velcro at the end. This is a great design as it makes it completely customizable and adjustable. It can be tightened to a specific strength rather than have to rely on purchasing the correct size.Read more
This particular brace was made with one of the toughest and most durable fabrics on the market. It is made using Neoprene, which is the material used to make wetsuits. This material is great at insulating and keeping your injury warm so that the blood keeps moving.
It is also incredibly durable and is completely wrinkle resistant meaning that using it over and over again will not damage the integrity of the brace. Because your elbow is a constantly bending and moving area, it is necessary to make a brace out of Neoprene to increase the life span of your product. Neoprene is also very affordable to make, which translates to a lower price and better savings for consumers.
8. Gym Reapers Sleeves
Tough and resilient
Research and development
Comes in pairs
Comfortable and smooth
This is a product that was made by athletes for athletes. A lot of money was spent in the research and development phase prior to actually creating a prototype. Many serious athletes were looking for a product that would support their joints when they were lifting weights. There is a certain threshold that your body can handle before the wear and tear greatly increases on the joints. This product was designed to prevent and slow down these problems as your joints will not recover once the collagen has been worn away.Read more
One of the most important things that people often overlook when purchasing an elbow brace is how comfortable it will be. When people are buying these sort of products, they tend to forget about the ergonomic factor until they wear it for a few minutes. That’s when the discomfort will kick in. An uncomfortable product will be itchy and possibly slide down.
Some may even restrict your blood circulation. This particular product is made with one piece of fabric, meaning there is only one seam. This will reduce the amount of chafing that happens around your skin. The Neoprene material can also reduce the amount of itchiness as there are no little fibers of fabric sticking out.
9. Venom Strapped
Good for injuries
Looks worn very easily
As mentioned previously, Venom is a leader in sports and fitness. Depending on your budget, there are different elbow braces made by Venom that you can purchase. This particular product has a very cool design of white and black with a graphic of their logo. It makes the sleeve stand out and very unique. However, another unique aspect of this product is the extra strap around the forearm.Read more
Soreness in your muscles is a sign of inflammation. This is something that your body naturally does when an injury has been sustained. The immune system is triggered a lot of plasma is sent to the area to try to start the healing process, hence the swelling. During these times, doctors always recommend a cold compress and a way to stabilize your injury.
This particular elbow brace is going to be able to help shave some time off your recovery. When your arm starts to swell, putting on this support will prevent it from being able to balloon. The sleeve restricts the amount of swelling your arm can do. There is an extra strap on this sleeve which allows you to adjust the sleeve tighter should you need. This can be very effective and helpful to keep your muscles in place and prevent further aggravation.
10. SB SOX
flexible and stretchy
the cuffs roll over time
This product is cleverly designed so that there is a no slip cuff on the top and bottom of the brace. There is a bit of grip and traction placed into the fabric so the support can keep hold of your arm. This is a great product for people who have injured their elbows, but also for athletes who are in high intensity training. It has warming properties that can keep your stiff joint ready to perform.Read more
Unlike other products on the market, this elbow support has great moisture wicking properties. When you are wearing an extra layer on your arm, it is natural that you will sweat over time. If there is nowhere for the moisture to go, it can get very uncomfortable. Usually, it becomes itchy because your sweat has reacted with the fabric and caused a rash to develop on your skin. To prevent this from happening, this particular fabric has moisture absorbing properties.
The moisture that is generated from your sweaty training or simply from being warm, will become absorbed through the fabric and brought to the surface. These are tiny microscopic beads of water that are now on the exterior of your brace. With your continual movements of the arm, the moisture is wicked off, leaving you cool and dry.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One of the most important things to look for when purchasing any type of product made for support is whether it comes with compression properties or not. While most of them should include it, you should always double check just in case. When you have sustained an injury, it is incredibly important to be able to get some compression going in your arm as it can greatly speed up your injury. When you are hurt, there is swelling that occurs in your arm. This can press down on the capillaries and veins which slows and restricts the amount of blood circulation in the area.
This causes two major problems: not having enough nutrition being delivered to the injured area and blood that ends up pooling and sitting around. Pooling blood is basically spent red blood cells that are no longer have nutrients and are simply stuck in the area. Wearing a brace with compression is going to give your arm some extra pressure to push more blood cells through the tight areas. The pressure from the compression will get rid of these sitting red blood cells and sent them back to where they get nutrients so they can repeat the cycle over again.
The compression in the brace basically gives the extra strength for the cells to be propelled through a tight spot. The constant pumping will bring more oxygenated red blood cells and nutrients through to the area, thus allowing for a faster recovery. It has been proven by multiple studies that compression can greatly decrease the time it takes for an injury to heal.
Another important thing to consider when you are purchasing any brace is how well does it breathe. Your skin is one of the largest organs in your body and requires oxygen to thrive. Wearing any brace for a long period of time can deprive that particular area of oxygen and cause it to flake or change colors. It is important for the brace to be able to filter through oxygen so that your skin can continue to breathe.
Another thing to consider is that when you sweat, the moisture is absorbed into the material of the gear. If there were no ventilation properties included in the design, this can create the perfect home for bacteria and germs to live. When you sweat, you generate a lot of moisture. Coupled with the heat and darkness, this creates a perfect place for germs and bacteria to cultivate.
Unfortunately, bacteria are all around us and it is not something we can control. So when bacteria ends up in your brace, it will cause your brace to smell funny over time. Both the odor and bacteria can react with the fabric and break it down from the microscopic levels. This will damage the integrity of the product.
As with anything else, you always want to take some time to research what you are looking for. Arm braces come in many different materials but the most recommended one is something with Neoprene in it. As mentioned previously, Neoprene has many great benefits.
One that we have not mentioned is that is it not very susceptible to bacteria and germs. This will reduce the number of bacteria that can live in that dark, moist place. Because combat sports have a lot of fighting and grappling involved, often times there are scratches and nicks that go unnoticed on your body. These are exposed openings that invite bacteria to enter and cause an infection. If your brace was home to a lot of bacteria, this can greatly increase your chances of an infection, which can sideline you if it is very serious.
Because Neoprene is not very porous, there are not very many places which germs can hide and start to procreate. This can decrease the risk of infection and also allow you to use your equipment with a peace of mind.
Many manufacturers have stressed that for these products to work properly, it is important to take note of the size. Many companies have their own size charts that you can measure and match the circumference of your arm. Something worthy to note is that every company will have its own individual chart, so you cannot expect to purchase a medium size for every single brand. Always double check the size charts to ensure that you are purchasing the correct size for your arm.
In general, an elbow brace should not be so tight that it cuts off circulation. When you put it on, it needs to feel comfortable with a slight amount of pressure. Often times, this pressure can be confused with tightness. It is highly encouraged that you try your brace prior to purchasing it if given the opportunity. When you put it on, try to move your arm around and make some wild gestures.
A properly fitted product will not slide or move even with vigorous movements. Any movement means that the brace is too large. However, do not err on the safe side by purchasing a smaller size as a too tight elbow brace can cut off your circulation. A brace is too tight if there is a deep red ring around your arm after you take off the sleeve. Ideally, the perfect fit is something that does not move an has a sensation similar to wearing an elastic band around your arm.
Depending on what your budget is, these designs can come in a large range of prices. Some of the more expensive ones are very specific in the way it needs to be used. For instance, people that need braces for medical reasons may have to purchase ones with specific grades of compression. These products can become very expensive because of the specifications. Another type that runs up quite the bill are ones specific for powerlifting and Olympic lifting. Because these people are lifting an enormous amount of weight, these braces need to be extra sturdy so that it does not cost an injury.
If you are only beginning in a combat sport and do not know if you need something so serious, consider purchasing a workhorse product. These are simple designs with a bit of compression that can help you with your recovery. This will be especially important for you after fights or extra tough training days. Most people will take a few days to recover. However, depending on your body, your joints may need some extra support during those recovery periods. Using these products can help stabilize the muscles in that area and allow them to truly relax.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While the terms are coined tennis and golfer elbows, these are actually the same injury. It is the inflammation of the tendons in your elbow. The only differentiating factor is that tennis elbows refer to the injury of the tendons on the outside of your elbow while golfer's elbows describe the injury to the tendons on the inside
After an injury, it is important to pay attention to your diet. Incorporating nuts, grains, and fatty fish can help your elbow recover faster. These particular foods are very dense in nutrition and can help cover some of the lost vitamins and minerals. The omega-3 can also serve as lubrication to help your joints move better and become stronger so that they are less prone to injury.
Other Factors to Consider
Elbow braces are a great thing to invest in. Regardless of whether you need it for your combat sport or whether you want it to sooth your stiff joints, this is a great product to have to lie around the house. Investing in a simple one is not going to break the bank and is going to be absolutely worth it when you suddenly need it. We do not plan for injuries, but they can happen when you don’t expect it. Having one already on hand that you can use will greatly reduce the amount of stress for you to have to run around looking for something to buy. It is always less stressful to have it purchased ahead of time rather than holding your injury while you shop around.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I keep mine in tip-top shape?
While the most obvious thing to do is to read the packaging, the recommended way to maintain it is to, well, keep it clean! Putting it in a washer and dryer can cause the fibers in the fabric to break down. This will greatly decrease the lifespan your product has.
Instead, use some warm soapy water and rub the fabric together. Then rinse with clean water. To dry it, simply hang it up in a cool place that gets good airflow.
q: Do any of these come in kid's sizes?
While this is more rare and harder to come by, there are braces designed for kids. Elbow injuries do not only happen to adults and many kids can sustain them from a sport as well. However, for kids, most people usually use an elastic wrap as they can heal much faster than adults.
q: Does using a brace cure tendonitis?
Elbow braces unfortunately cannot cure anything. They can only help you alleviate the symptoms. Wearing a brace will can relieve some of the pressure in the muscles but will not cure it. Stabilizing the muscles will help them relax and reduce the pain.
q: Where can I purchase these?
There are actually a lot of places where elbow braces can be purchased. One of the most common places is your local supermarket or pharmacy.
Large sports markets will also carry a few brands, however, the recommended course of action is to purchase from an online retailer. Retailers that advertise online are not restricted by the physical size of their store. This means they can bring in much more brands and provide you with much more options.
q: What happens if I ignore the pain in my elbow?
It is recommended that you treat the pain in your elbow as soon as you can. When you leave an elbow injury unattended for over a period of time, it can get worst. If it does not, it is also significantly harder to treat.
Rather than wearing a brace for a day or two to relieve your soreness, because of the prolonged pain and damage to the joint, you may be required to wear it for a much longer time.