Sometimes our bodies can reel from the effects of our work conditions, our involvement in sports, recreational activities or due to age and family history.
Some of these conditions include pain, swelling, improper blood circulation, tendinitis, muscle soreness, and arthritis just to name a few.
Thankfully, elbow compression sleeves were created to address these, and other related issues.
The consistent use of elbow compression sleeves has been known to help alleviate many of the symptoms previously mentioned.
In this article, we’ll review 7 of the best elbow compression sleeves on the market today, then chose our top pick from the list.
Benefits of Using a Compression Elbow Sleeve
An elbow compression sleeve is a close-fitting, compressive covering that is usually made from nylon, elastic or other stretchable fabric.
It is worn on the elbow and parts of the arm to help with elbow pain, swelling, muscle tightness and soreness, blood circulation, and to treat and/or prevent other elbow related injury and conditions.
Elbow compression sleeves can be used to treat certain medical conditions, the most common being arthritis, tendinitis, tennis and golfers’ elbow, and bursitis.
Verywellhealth also notes that elbow compression sleeves can aid in reducing the symptoms of lymphedema.
Moreover, elbow compression sleeves are popularly used by athletes, both professionals and amateurs, to not only aid in preventing and alleviating muscle pain but to also regulate blood flow and circulation in the arms.
Elbow compression sleeves can also keep your muscle at the ideal temperate, some are known to keep the area cool during hot temperatures and warm during cold temperatures.
They also aid in muscle recovery after or during strenuous activities so if your job involves heavy lifting or puts strain on your arm, this might be a solution.
Elbow compression sleeves can also lessen the risk of sports-related injuries since they are known for reducing muscle movement during sports, thus limiting the swelling on your muscles and joints.
Types of Elbow Compression Sleeves
If you play sports basketball golf, volleyball, or you’re involved in weightlifting or physical activities that put a strain on the elbow, you might need to invest in some type of support sleeve.
These are many variations available to suit a range of conditions or needs. They include:
An elbow brace is often used for medical conditions and not usually for playing sports since some of them can restrict movement (however there are some made for sports use).
Webmd lists the elbow brace as a treatment option for tennis elbow, and a journal from the National Institute of Health highlights the fact that elbow braces are used for numerous clinical situations and objectives.
These can be ready-made or customizable depending on your condition; if you are unsure about the type of elbow brace you need to consult your physician first.
These are straps designed to wrap around the elbow or arm with adjustable bands and fasteners for targeted compression.
Elbow straps are small and flexible and, in most cases, they offer more versatility since they only cover a small section of the arm or elbow.
Persons who play sports often opt for this due to the mobility and range of motion that it allows.
These are often made from softer, thinner and more flexible materials than elbow straps and they wrap around the elbow joint and parts of the arm, offering more coverage.
Elbow sleeves serve multi-purposes and can be used during sports to prevent injuries or to help with other elbow related conditions.
What to Look for When Choosing an Elbow Compression Sleeve
Although there are varied support sleeve options on the market, today our main focus is on the elbow sleeve.
If you’ve never purchased an elbow sleeve before, the process might be overwhelming so here are some helpful factors to consider.
If you are on a budget there are some moderately priced compression sleeves on the market, but some can also be costly.
There are different factors that account for the price such as special features, fabric, quality, etc.
You will need to figure out which features are most important for you based on your specific condition or need.
The size of your elbow sleeve will play an essential role in the comfort level, and ultimately the effectiveness of the product.
Your elbow compression sleeve must be fitted enough to offer the right amount of compression around your elbow joint but not so tight that it hurts or restricts your range of motion.
Most are available in different sizes, so follow the size chart to ensure correct sizing.
The fabric of your elbow compression sleeve is especially important if you have allergies or sensitive skin.
Some products are made from hypoallergenic material, while others are might be odour-resistant, anti-bacterial or non-irritating.
If you are hypersensitive ensure that the product explicitly states these features in their description before you make a purchase.
The 7 best Elbow Compression Sleeves
Now that we’ve explained the benefits and what to look for, we will now compare some of the best elbow compression sleeves on the market today.
Durability, price, effectiveness and customer feedback factored into our list.
1. Crucial Elbow Brace Compression Sleeve
Whether you have a physically demanding job or you’re actively involved in sports, this elbow sleeve by Crucial Compression has a lot to offer.
It is designed to aid in reducing fatigue, injuries, swelling, and provides elbow pain relief thanks to its vascular support.
Available in nude and black, this elbow compression sleeve comes as a pair.
It boasts the company’s Premium ComfortfFlex design which promises a comfortable, ergonomic fit around your elbow without cutting off blood circulation to your hands and fingers.
Furthermore, you don’t need to worry about it losing compression overtime since it boasts top-quality double stitching and long-lasting construction.
The moisture-wicking fabric is not only breathable and lightweight, but you can wear it underneath your clothes without worry of restriction or heat.
Some complaints were made about the sizing of this elbow compression sleeve being too small or too loose despite following the sizing guide.
While others with sensitive skin and/or eczema complained about the itchiness of the fabric.
However, this elbow compression sleeve is well-made and is one of the most cost-friendly options on the market, so if your job involves strenuous labour or lots of heavy lifting, this might be the best fit for your needs.
Pros: Cost-effective, great quality, moisture wicking and breathable fabric, comes as a pair
Cons: Imperfect sizing, not for sensitive skin
2. DonJoy Performance Trizone Elbow Compression Sleeve
This elbow compression sleeve by DonJoy Performance is equipped with three zones of compression that are strategically placed around the elbow joint to deliver ultimate performance.
If you suffer from weak elbows or if you have strained tendons and ligaments this was designed to address those issues, thanks to the silicone banding injected directly onto the elbow sleeve to offer medial/lateral support.
This banding also supports the bicep and triceps muscles and stabilizes the joints.
This elbow compression sleeve ranges in size from small to x-large but the universal fit allows it to be worn on either the left or right arm.
Whether you chose the black, slime green, or orange this option is thermal regulating and anti-bacterial – made from all-natural carbonized bamboo which helps to eliminate odours.
This elbow compression sleeve is made with reflective materials for enhanced visibility at night.
Some complaints were that the product fits large, while others found it difficult to put on.
However, the Trizone Elbow Compression Sleeve offers great compression and the silicone banding targets pain from golf or tennis elbow, so if you suffer from these conditions, this one might be the solution for you.
Pros: Anti-bacterial, universal fit for left or right arm, silicone banding stabilizes joints, good for targeting elbow pain
Cons: Fits larger than expected, difficult to put on
3. Sparthos Elbow Compression Sleeve
This cost-effective option from Sparthos is designed to provide relief from a wide range of issues, from blood circulation, tendinitis and joint inflammation, to tennis elbow, golf elbow and other elbow related problems.
Available in a range of beautiful colours to include desert beige, cobalt blue, flamingo pink and midnight black, this elbow compression sleeve can be worn day or night.
It is made from non-irritating yarn which is also breathable, allowing moisture to rapidly dissolve from your skin.
This slim-fitting elbow compression sleeve can be seamlessly worn underneath your clothing without restricting your movement.
Some users complained that their elbow sleeves constantly rolled down, while others noted that it runs large in size.
Nonetheless, if you work in a strenuous environment or you are actively involved in athletic activities this non-irritating, slim-fitting, moderately priced elbow compression sleeve is a good choice to consider.
Pros: Made from non-irritating yarn, moderately priced, many colour options available
Cons: Elbow sleeves may roll down, runs large for some users
4. Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve
This unique elbow compression sleeve doesn’t just harness the power of copper, it promises the highest copper content in its elbow sleeves, to ensure proper support and recovery.
These lightweight elbow sleeves are available from small to 2XL and offers support while still allowing you to retain full range of motion – thus permitting the muscles and joints to work and strengthen even during movement.
It is ideal for all ages and fitness levels and can be worn on both the right or left arm.
Made from breathable fabric, this Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve does not itch or irritate the skin, so if you suffer from eczema or sensitive skin there is no need to worry.
Plus, the company offers a money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase.
Some of the most popular customer complaints were about inconsistent sizing, while others had issues with the quality of the material.
On the other hand, this elbow sleeve offers a wide range of sizes, and it does not irritate, plus the money-back guarantee means you have nothing to lose.
So, whether its weightlifting, golfing, playing sports or battling elbow related conditions you can’t go wrong with this one.
Pros: Copper-infused elbow sleeves, No itchiness or skin irritation, money-back guarantee, ideal for all ages and fitness levels, wide range of sizes
Cons: Inconsistent size, delicate material
5. Bauerfeind Elbow Support
This German company has over 80 years’ experience with products that set the standard for comfort, performance, support and fit, and the Bauerfeind Elbow Support stays true to that.
Offering advanced protection for the elbow, this product is made to stabilize the joints, reduce pain and reduce swelling.
It also activates the surrounding elbow muscles thanks to the compression massage effect that it has on the soft tissue during movement.
It is made with breathable, non-irritable knit material that has a cooling effect and helps to keep moisture away from your skin.
The material at the edge of the elbow compression sleeve is softer and has more elasticity at the edge of the support so that it can adapt with your movement.
It ranges in size from 0-6 and is available in black, nature (nude) and titanium.
One of the downsides noted by users is the high price tag of this support sleeve; it is the most expensive on our list.
Some users have also noticed that the elasticity of the product wore out quicker than expected.
The pros, however, are that this support sleeve is available in more sizes than most elbow sleeves, plus its non-irritable and the moisture free fabric has a cooling effect on the skin.
So, if you’re recovering from an injury or elbow surgery, suffering from arthritis, golfer’s or tennis elbow or if you simply want to prevent elbow related injuries, this might be the one for you.
Pros: Not irritable on the skin, fabric has a cooling effect, available in 6 sizes
Cons: Expensive, wears out quickly
6. DashSport Tennis Elbow Brace
Touted as the original tennis elbow system, DashSport is unique in that it’s the only brand on our list that pairs an elbow brace with the elbow sleeve, and for a moderate price at that.
Another important factor is the inclusion of copper nylon in the fabric of the brace and sleeve.
It makes the claim to have the highest quality copper content, combined with 200GSM fabric.
This makes the elbow sleeve breathable, comfortable, and effective in relieving elbow pain and stress from tennis elbow, golfers’ elbow and similar conditions.
Plus, your purchase comes with a PDF eBook on the most effective use of the sleeve and brace.
The elbow sleeve offers gentle compression for all-day support and can be worn on the left or right arm.
Meanwhile, the fully adjustable elbow brace can provide light to very strong support as is needed.
The elbow sleeve and brace can be worn together or separately.
The high-performance fabric of the sleeve and brace is designed to keep the area cool in hot temperatures and cold in warm temperatures.
The copper nylon material is also anti-bacterial, itch-free and odour free.
Both the sleeve and brace are available in black, with sizes ranging from x-small to x-large.
Some users noted that the Velcro was weak, while others complained that the elbow sleeve loosed with use.
However, this is a two-for-one deal with a 100% money-back guarantee and a free eBook with instructions and tips.
So, if you are an athlete or engage in sporting or other physical activities this is a great pick; it works as both a preventative method and a solution for elbow related issues.
Pros: Sleeve is paired with an elbow brace, PDF eBook with purchase, highest quality copper content, the original tennis elbow system
Cons: Velcro is weak, elbow sleeve loosens with use
7. McDavid Elbow Compression Sleeve
With this inexpensive elbow compression sleeve by McDavid you’ll get enhanced compression and fit without heat retention, thanks to the four-way stretch elastic material.
This is ideal for persons with neoprene allergies.
This elbow compression sleeve is designed for excellent function in managing olecranon bursitis and also offers relief from golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow, tendonitis and arthritis.
Additionally, the bilateral gel packs included in the design of the elbow sleeve provides soothing targeted compression.
It is the only one on our list with this feature.
Furthermore, this elbow sleeve fits the right or left hand and is available from sizes small to x-large in black.
Most complaints were about the small sizing of the product along with the fact that the company does not offer a money-back guarantee.
Nonetheless, this is a budget-friendly alternative and the inclusion of a gel pack is a unique element especially for the price.
If you suffer from bursitis, tendonitis, golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow, or if you are allergic to neoprene this is a good one to consider.
Pros: Gels packs included, ideal for persons with neoprene allergies, budget-friendly
Cons: Fits small, does not offer money-back guarantee
The Best Elbow Compression Sleeve: Recommendations
It’s not surprising that the Copper compression elbow sleeve is our recommendation as the best elbow compression sleeve.
This lightweight elbow compression sleeve promises the highest copper content to ensure proper support and recovery.
It is ideal for all ages and fitness levels and can be worn on both the right or left arm.
The elbow sleeve is made from breathable fabric, that does not itch or irritate the skin, and if you are unhappy with your purchase there is the added comfort of a money-back guarantee.
This multi-purpose copper compression sleeve is ideal for sufferers of multiple elbow related conditions, and a perfect pick for athletes as well –since it allows for a full range of motion and allows your muscles to work and strengthen while being worn.
It is very inexpensive and comes in a range of sizes, so if you are serious about getting an elbow sleeve this copper compression option is your best bet.
Before this article ends it’s important to remind you to take the necessary precautions and consult your physician if you have an injury or medical condition, to ensure that you are cleared to use these products.
If all is well and you decide to invest in an elbow compression sleeve, you must read the instructions for use carefully to ensure that you get the best outcome.
Also give the product enough time to work; you may not experience a change overnight but with consistent use you’ll start to see the benefits of using an elbow sleeve.