10 Best Elbow Braces Tested In-Depth
Given the nature of their jobs, athletes are very prone to injuries. Although injuries are common and almost considered to be normal in sports, there are some injuries that could be easily prevented or avoided. The introduction of technology in sports has been assisting in developing products to improve the fitness level of athletes, thereby improving their performances. Elbow braces are very useful – especially for sportsmen who mostly make use of their arms – in preventing avoidable injuries and relieving the already sustained ones. Below are 10 of the best elbow braces that have been proven to be very helpful in sports.
- Zensah Elbow Sleeves
- Moisture Wicking + Anti-Odor
- Band-it Therapeutic Band
- Padded Compressor Plates
- Bracoo Elbow Strap
- EVA Pad for Stabilization
10 Best Elbow Braces
1. Zensah Compression Sleeves
The lightweight design of the elbow sleeve provides a full range of motion unlike the hard elbow braces. It has a cuff that is able to be folded over to provide greater amount of compression to the upper forearm.
Cost or Value:
The cost is a little bit on the high side, considering its functions and quality. It is a guarantee for money well spent.
- breathable; ensuring you do not get hot while wearing it. This must be because is made of nylon and spandex blend.
- helps to prevent injuries by stabilizing the muscles in the elbow area.
- does not work too well with heavy duty due to the light nature of the fabrics made in producing this product.
2. Bracoo Strap
The EVA pad helps to reduce muscle inflammation during activities and provide stabilization to boost performance. One size fits elbows up to from 7.7” – 11.5”, fits both arms.
Cost or Value:
It is a great product to invest in. the price is relatively cheap and affordable.
- Best for those who extensively use their forearm during sporting events.
- Adjustable so it fits most users
- Gentle compression fights swelling and pain
- The fabric tends to become loose after a few days of heavy duty exercise, thus leading to a reduction in the support provided.
It is lightweight, durable and comfortable for all day wear or usage. There is also the presence of improved liner material with softer and comfortable feel.
Cost or Value:
It is very cheap and affordable. Doesn’t cost much and it has a great discount when purchasing it.
- Improved shape for more comfort when worn.
- Improved soft gel pad for more comfort
- comes in regular and large size options for people of different sizes.
- It helps to improve sore forearm problems and also tendonitis
- It is simply a Velcro strap that adjusts around the arm with no pressure plate present and does not support heavy duty exercises.
4. Kunto Fitness
The Kunto elbow sleeves were designed to provide support, comfort and relief without hindering the user's mobility. The sleeves are made of a breathable form fitting compression fabric in order to maintain joint stability, irrespective of activity.
Cost or Value:
This is a pocket-friendly product that guarantees excellent satisfaction and money well spent.
Generous manufacturer’s warranty- due to the manufacturer’s dedication to offering superior service
Irrespective of the size of your arm or elbow, Kunto is designed to fit any size of arm.
- It is a compression sleeve without copper and this could make users feel a little scratchy on the skin.
5. DashSport System
The copper compression makes this brace odor resistant, antibacterial and antimicrobial. Your health is safe when you choose this product.
Cost or Value:
The cost of this product is well above average, although it isn't considered too high given the benefits you get.
- works greatly in relieving pains, elbow tendinitis, and other injuries
- offer great support for athletes of different sports.
- It has a targeted compression band, with quality support and strong fasteners.
- The compression sleeve could limit blood circulation around the forearm if worn for too long.
6. Simien Sports
It can be used for many purposes and in various fields. It is good for runners and athletes in many other sports. It is a very versatile and useful product.
Cost or Value:
The price is above average, but with all the goodies that come with it, it could be well worth it.
- It is made up of 65% neoprene and 35% nylon. the strap does not wear or tear
- The straps of the brace offer great support and fits perfectly without limiting blood flow and circulation.
- The Velcro straps often curl up
7. Copper Joint Sleeve
It is produced from active copper materials which makes it very durable, and lined with silicon which makes it difficult to slip off the elbow.
Cost or Value:
The price is average when compared to other braces, given the many advantages this could well be worth it.
- prevents odors that might come from sweat since it does not absorb moisture.
- does not cause skin irritation or itches
- It may not work extremely well enough for people suffering from tendinitis
The strap is made of Velcro, neoprene and nylon. This provides great comfort around the elbow without causing irritations or itches.
Cost or Value:
The brace is affordable as it is not very expensive. The price can be considered to be a bit above average in comparison with similar brands.
- It comes with a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the results.
The strap is adjustable; this makes it easy for all sizes of forearm. It takes only little time to adjust the strap.
- The straps are too narrow which makes the velcro edge exposed and might lead to contact with the skin, causing irritations.
Unlike other brands that reduce the flow of blood, this brace is very effective in increasing the circulation of blood and fluids in the body system.
Cost or Value:
The price of this product is low when you consider what similar products' cost.
- You can get back 100% of your money anytime, if you feel unsatisfied by the quality.
- It stabilizes both sides of the forearm because the straps are adjustable.
- The padding is too soft and mushy; therefore the brace might not be as firm as users would have wanted.
10. Band-it Therapeutic Band
The two padded compressors have hook and loop strap around them. This is efficient in targeting affected areas and aiding relief.
Cost or Value:
The product is very affordable, although the price is low but it still does a great job.
- It works well in relieving tendonitis, especially when worn regularly.
- It is made of plastic, this makes it easier to clean and less resistant to odors.
- It can be easily worn under long sleeves.
- It hits the inside of the elbow and could make the user feel uncomfortable during exercise.
The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of Best Elbow Braces
When we create our list, we make a list with points, criteria, important factors that should be evaluated before purchasing the product. We used all this factors to compare the products and choose the best ones. There’s a possibility that the product you want to purchase, it isn’t on our list. If so, read all the points here and make sure you will be happy with your purchase. Let’s get it started!
This is the factor that we put on every list. Elbow braces aren’t very expensive but it’s obvious that you don’t want to spend money on something that doesn’t work. You can check the durability before purchasing the product but there is one way that can be really useful. Whenever you search for the product online, you can check the other customer’s reviews. This is very useful if you have found a product which is not on our list and you are unsure how durable it is. In the store, you can touch the material and decide whether the product meet your expectations. When you buy a product, the first good test of durability is washing.
Many buyers don’t read the whole instruction and even if the product can be only hand-washed, people put it in the washing machine. However, if you do everything what is in the instruction and after first or second washing your brace changes the shape or isn’t supportive like before, it won’t stay with you for a long time. If the product becomes too loose, it won’t work anymore- we mean that you will still be able to wear it but it won’t give you enough compression. Good quality product shouldn’t dye. You must know that average lifetime of the brace is two or three years. Washing it from time to time will let your brace to keep the shape and it improves durability.
Construction and material
There isn’t one design for elbow brace and you the construction can be very versatile. For example, many braces nowadays have hook and loop fastener. You may not know this term but it’s only the other name of Velcro. Many models have also additional compression pad which make brace more supportive. Sweat resistant construction is very popular among runners and it gives additional comfort. You can also encounter compressor plates to give more compression.
Special pads also help to absorb the shock. Now, let’s talk about material. Neoprene is the most popular material used for the braces. It is very durable and flexible at the same time. The other materials that are also good are spandex and nylon. There’s usually mix of them used for the brace. If you want to purchase the material that is breathable, nylon is a good option. If you’re not sure about which material would be the best for you, you can choose the mix of materials. You should be really careful if you have any material allergies.
Effectiveness is a key to success. An elbow brace can have very big impact on your running performance as it can relieve the pain of the elbow. The most important function of the brace is to stabilization of the muscles and joints. This will help to treat tennis elbow, tendonitis and many more unpleasant conditions. Brace is also a good way of preventing injuries. With the brace, you should feel it hurts you less and you should be able to do normal activities for example shaking hands. While wearing the brace, your muscles and joints will have more time for recovery and if you want to protect your muscles from overuse, it will be also perfect.
Running with brace shouldn’t be very uncomfortable however it won’t be the same feeling as without it. From our experience we know that lightweight design is a perfect option for runners. When you run, the wind resistance makes you feel like your body is very heavy and it’s harder to run. Wearing additional burden may be a challenge for some runners. This is why you should check the weight of the product before the purchase and make sure it won’t be too heavy for you. Your brace shouldn’t have bad impact on your performance.
What does it mean? Well, you should have full range of motion and the pain should be much weaker. Very annoying thing about the elbow braces is that sometimes they slip. It’s very uncomfortable when you run so better check if you adjusted enough tightness. Breathability is the next thing that makes product worth money. When you wear your brace, you shouldn’t feel hot in it. Many manufacturers create straps like Velcro in order to adjust the tightness. This is excellent for those who have swollen arms or they need more compression. Remember also that if you sweat a lot, materials like neoprene may not be appropriate for you. The brace should be also easy to put on and put off.
Other Important Factors Worth Considering
If you have already read the list above, it’s time for more points. Demanding customers need to personalize their product and that’s why we have also created the list of points that help you to personalize the product. If you think that these points are less important, it’s not true. Enjoy the reading!
Style & Fit
The appearance may be important for some reasons. Firstly, the color can be sometimes a decisive factor. This may sound crazy but it’s true. We know that many of you prefer dark/ black colors rather than the white ones. Creamy and white colors are very easy to get dirty. If you are planning to run off road, we would recommend to buy the dark one. While searching for the best product, we discovered that there are two types of elbow braces which dominated the market. There are straps which are very small and cover only the area of the elbow and bigger compression sleeves that cover big part of the arm. Nevertheless, both are useful and you just need to decide which one works better for you.
When it comes to size, it’s essential to choose the appropriate for you. If you brace is too loose, you won’t have enough support and there’s higher risk of injury. Too small brace is also a bad idea however if the product has straps to loosen it, there’s a chance that when you adjust the tightness, you’ll be able to wear the brace. While reading customer’s comments, there were many information that even with the measuring table, people got bad sizes. This is why you should measure your elbow carefully. There are also braces which are in one size- this may be good if they have for example Velcro straps to adjust the tightness.
When people search for the products, they don’t usually read all the information on the package. This is mistake as there are many information that can help us to decide whether the product is worth buying or not. Let’s start with the way of washing. Many buyers are really happy when they purchase their first brace, they take care of it but then comes the moment of washing. There’s always an instruction on how to wash the brace. Many our readers complained about the products being not usable after washing. In most cases braces are hand washed and putting in the washing machine may result in destroying the product. You must also know that some braces were made for particular season. We encounter the product that was made for spring-summer season. We guess that it won’t work very well in the winter.
This is a question that everybody needs to answer. Our generation is becoming more and more into online shopping. Well, there are many advantages of shopping online. If you want to purchase elbow brace but you don’t want to leave your home or the store is far away, all you need to do is to click ,, buy”. We love this possibility that the Internet gives us. And what about the sales? Everybody likes to buy something for lower price and save some money. Online, you can search much more sales than in the store. The market is full of running braces and there are many brands that sell their products only online. The bigger competition there is, the cheaper product you can get.
Although shopping online is cool, we see also disadvantages. The biggest one is delivery and its cost. Delivery time can be very long and it’s useless especially if you need the product immediately. Then comes the price for the delivery. There were cases that the brace cost 5 dollars and the delivery 6 dollars- that’s really annoying. You can’t also see the product in reality. Many producers use special techniques to make product look more attractive to us. It’s the other story when it comes to shopping in the store. You can touch the product, check the material and decide whether it is durable or not. In stores, there are less sales than online. You may also think that delivery price may be high when it comes to online shipping but remember that if the store is far away from your home, you need to also spend money to get there.
Promises from the brands
It may be very useful for a lot of us to purchase the product with the guarantee. Producers offer even guarantee for 12 months. However, you must know that it may not be so easy to give back your material. Many brands don’t allow to give back the product because of tearing. If you want your money back, this also won’t be very simple. There are usually many documents to fill and that’s why many customers resign. Searching for the product with the possibility of returning it works really well for you if you have problems with choosing the best size. If your product seems to be damaged before the first usage, you should inform customer service immediately. Al in all, we hope that with our list you won’t have to worry about returning the product.
We’re trying really hard to provide for you the most useful information. However, we’re not able to answer all your questions in the comments. That’s why we have created FAQ section. Here are questions that many users ask while searching for the best product and we answer them. Read all the questions and make sure you know all the answers.
Q. What’s an elbow brace?
A. This is a device that will help you to treat many diseases and conditions connected with elbow. Tendinitis, bursitis, tennis elbow can be cured with a brace. Of course, in many cases brace is not enough, sometimes medication or other treatment is needed. In more severe cases like fractures or dislocations, the surgery is the best option. However, elbow brace will help you to recover faster and you will be able to enjoy the running without any pain. Elbow braces are usually used by tennis players, golfers or anyone who loves extreme sports. But it’s also good for runners, the most common reason why we buy the brace is that we want to avoid elbow injuries.
Q. What are the causes of elbow pain?
A. This is a good question. There are many reasons why you feel pain in your elbow. There are many names if issues that may cause elbow pain, we can split it up into 3 sections;
– First group is when you overuse of the elbow- the most common injury in this group is tendonitis
– Second group are chronic conditions- osteoarthritis is the most popular illness in this group
– Third group are all the type of injuries- fractures or dislocations are very common
Q. Why should I use elbow braces?
A.There are many reasons why you should do it. Firstly, brace will help to relieve pain. Running with elbow that hurts really bad isn’t something pleasant. Compression given by the brace will make your elbow more stable and it will reduce the stress. Unwanted movement of your elbow will also disappear and it will let your elbow to recover faster. The other reason to wear it is to prevent from Chronic injuries. We know that running isn’t maybe the most extreme sport In the world but serious accidents also happened here.
Some people use braces to treatment after severe injuries but you can use it as a protection between any kind of those injuries. Wearing the braces can also let you to save money. Of course, you will have to purchase the brace but it will be the only cost. Going to the doctor, all the check-ups may be very expensive. What’s more, the medication that may be prescribed are often rather expensive so if suitable, braces are a good supplement to include. However, you should know that if the pain doesn’t stop, you should see the doctor immediately. Untreated elbow pain may lead to more severe diseases.
Q. I have really wide elbow and I’m afraid I purchase too small brace? How can I avoid it?
A.Well, the best choice for you will be the brand that offers detailed table of sizes. Take measuring tape and follow producer’s instruction. This will definitely help you to find the best size. There may be also a problem when you will be between sizes. This is a very common situation. You’ve got two options- you can choose smaller one for better compression or you can choose the larger one but the compression may be not firm enough.
Your brace should be tight to give you compression but at the same time it can’t make it harder for blood to circulate. It would be good if your brace had Velcro straps- this would enable to adjust the tightness. Remember also that your elbow may swollen so the best option is bigger size with Velcro straps or anything that will help you to adjust.
Q. I’m not really sure about washing. On the instruction, there is written ,, wash in the washing machine”. How should I wash it?
A.Your brace is made from machine washable material. However, we would recommend to remove Velcro straps if possible. Gentle cycle will be the best option for your brace and you should wash it in the cold water. Laundry detergent shouldn’t have any additives. It’s also not recommended to put the brace in the dryer- let it dry on air. Remember that washing your brace is very important as it helps to keep the original shape.
Q. I want to purchase a product that will last more than 5 years? Is it possible?
A. We don’t think that using the same brace for 5 years would be good for you. Even the most durable braces may not last until 5 years. Well, many of them won’t tear apart but they will lose the elasticity. The shape will definitely change after 3 or 4 years of usage. It’s better to invest in new brace that keeping the one that doesn’t give you enough support.
Q. What is tennis elbow and can I have it if I don’t play tennis?
A.Tennis elbow, or in other words lateral epicondylitis ( this is more medical title) is a very unpleasant condition. It is caused by the inflammation and it causes pain in the outside of the elbow. This condition got its name from tennis game because they’re very common for tennis players. Unfortunately, you don’t need to be a tennis player to suffer from this. It’s all about the movement on the wrist. In fact, even if you paint the walls, you may get tennis elbow.
There are many different symptoms of this condition. The most common is pain in the elbow whenever you hold and object in your hand. When you shake your hands or even use fork knife, the pain appears. There are cases when pain still lasts despite using elbow brace or putting the ice on the elbow. If it’s like this, you should see the doctor. He will examine your elbow and you probably will have X-ray.
Q. What’s golfer’s elbow, and how would that apply to me, a runner?
A. Golfer’s elbow is the next condition that causes pain, both wrist and elbow are involved here. If you overuse your muscles or joints and you don’t let them recover, getting golfer’s elbow is really probable. You can feel pain in the inner elbow, the stiffness is also another symptom. It got its name from golf prayers but runners can also have problems with it. If you have an increasing pain, don’t hesitate to see the doctor’s. You may be given exercices or medicines against inflammation. Don’t worry, the surgery is very rare option. The key to success is also to give your elbow to rest for a few weeks.
Q. Can you explain to me what is elbow dislocation and how it can be treated?
A. In the most simple words, elbow dislocation is a situation when particular bones move from the place in your elbow. There may be also a situation when the joint is dislocated. Elbow dislocation is really serious problem. The most common cause of this condition are accidents on the roads or while more extreme sport. It’s very rare for runners to have it but it’s still possible. In this condition, you should go to the hospital immediately. The doctor will pull your elbow in the place but it’s very painful. You shouldn’t overuse your elbow for many weeks and you should listen to the advice of the doctor. Dislocation is a very severe condition and it will take much more time to treat it.
Choosing an elbow brace isn’t an easy task. There are many excellent products on the market but there are also products that are totally not worth your money. The most important thing when buying the brace is to give yourself firm compression in order to prevent injuries. We know that runners are very demanding when it comes to health of the joints and muscles and we hope that our list helped you with choosing the product of your dreams. Or maybe you used only our criteria and you were searching for the product on your own? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below!
Here are a few sources that we used:
We’re working really hard to provide true and useful information for our readers. Here comes the list of sources that we’ve used during the research.