Finding the best knee sleeve to protect you when you’re doing squats is not as simple as you may think. There are so many different brands and materials used, so the quality can vary a lot.
So our team has spent over 20 hours researching knee sleeves as well as testing many of them out. We compared dozens of knee sleeves and ran them against a set of criteria including:
- Material used
- Stitching used
We found the Rogue knee sleeves to be the best for squats. They mix comfortable neoprene with some SBR, which makes them very durable so they won’t fray over time. It’s hard to find some that are such high quality for this price.
9 Best Knee Sleeves for Squats
ProFitness knee sleeves
Rogue knee sleeves
Sling Shot knee sleeves
- 9 Best Knee Sleeves for Squats
- Best Knee Sleeve for Squats – Our Pick: Rogue Knee Sleeves
- Best Knee Sleeve for Squats – Runner-up: Iron Bull Knee Sleeves
- Best Budget Knee Sleeves for Squats: ProFitness Knee Sleeves
- Best Knee Sleeves for Weightlifting: Rehband Knee Sleeve
- Best Knee Sleeves for Powerlifting: Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
- Best Knee Sleeves for Warmth: Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeves
- Best Cheap Knee Sleeves: Aeolos Knee Sleeves
- Best Knee Sleeves for Women: Nordic Lifting Sleeves for Women
- Our “If Money was No Object pick”: Sling Shot Mark Bell Strong Knee Sleeves
- Why use knee sleeves?
- Buyers Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
|Rogue Knee Sleeves||Overall||$$$$|
|Iron Bull Knee Sleeves||Runner up||$$$|
|ProFitness Knee Sleeves||Budget||$$|
|Rehband Knee Sleeve||Weightlifting||$$$|
|Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves||Powerlifting||$$$|
|Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeves||Warmth||$$|
|Aeolos Knee Sleeves||Cheap||$|
|Nordic Lifting Sleeves for Women||Women||$$$|
|Sling Shot Mark Bell Strong Knee Sleeves||Money no object||$$$$$|
Best Knee Sleeve for Squats – Our Pick: Rogue Knee Sleeves
The Rogue knee sleeves may not be perfect, but they’re the best overall option because they allow you to do most types of squatting better for longer.
They offer you lots of choices, with a size range from 31cm-43cm and three thickness options, but they’re also a lot more durable than some imported knee sleeves.
Yes, they stretch fast, which means you might have slippage issues after a while, but for the price you pay, they’re good enough across the board.
If you’re a CrossFit nut or use lighter weights at home, the Rogue knee sleeves will give you warmth and flexibility, without freaking you out with too much rebound.
There are better knee sleeves for specific tasks, like weightlifting and powerlifting, but if you’re doing a little of everything, go Rogue.
- They’re IPF and IWF Legal for Raw and Open Competition
- They come in three thicknesses – 3MM, 5MM, and 7MM – so you can choose the ones that best support the squats you do
- SBR/Neoprene blend flex-material
- Reasonably priced and sold by the pair
- They stretch pretty fast, which means they get loose quickly
- They soak up sweat, which means you could end up with clammy squats and rawness behind the knee
Best Knee Sleeve for Squats – Runner-up: Iron Bull Knee Sleeves
These comfortable sleeves are a great choice if you are looking for a bit of extra support when it comes to your squatting journey.
The compression they offer is impressive, especially when considering the price, making them a fantastic value for money option.
Although they can get sweaty thanks to the material, you need not worry about them falling down, even after a particularly heavy session.
They are also very versatile, suiting a manner of different workouts such as powerlifting, CrossFit, and of course, regular squatting.
- They stay in place throughout your exercise routine thanks to the silicone in the inner lining
- Excellent support for the knees even when doing more intense squats than usual
- Thick, durable material for longevity
- keeps knees warm
- Available in 4 sizes-small, medium, large, and extra-large – as well as eight color choices
- Sizing can be hit or miss
- The Neoprene Flex Material can cause you to sweat more than usual, meaning they need to be cleaned often
Best Budget Knee Sleeves for Squats: ProFitness Knee Sleeves
These heavy duty 7mm Neoprene sleeves make powerlifting a breeze, even for those with unpredictable knees.
The color choices allow you to add a splash of color to your workout gear, especially the vibrant red or blue version.
They are a great choice for aiding knee joint recovery after an injury or overworking them.
The thick, durable material keeps them toasty warm, even in the coldest of gyms, which will, in turn, help to keep your knees from injury.
Keep in mind that these sleeves are super snug, meaning that if your legs are sweaty from cardio or moist in any way, then they will be almost impossible to get on.
- The snug fit ensures these are effective at supporting your knees and do not slip down when in use
- They allow for a good range of motion, fitting tightly but not restrictively
- There are 4 color options and 5 size options – although it is recommended that you use their size chart to measure what size you will need before buying
- The brand offers a 100% money back guarantee if you are unhappy with the purchase
- These sleeves come in a carrying bag for your convenience
- If you have particularly sensitive skin then these may be irritating
- if your legs are sweaty or have any moisture on them it is very difficult to get them on
Best Knee Sleeves for Weightlifting: Rehband Knee Sleeve
These sleeves from Rehband are in a striking electric blue color that is sure to turn some heads when you are working out or competing.
They come in six different sizes so you can measure your knees and see what pair will suit you best.
If you are looking for durability and convenience in one, then this is the pair for you.
They are easy to get on in comparison to other sleeves we have tried but remain durable and snug. Because of their thick, durable design, they can be a little bit warm and don’t feel as breathable as some sleeves on the list.
Don’t let that put you off though, because, given their versatility and suitability to machine washing (provided they are air-dried), these are a fantastic choice.
- Very durable and can withstand being put in the washing machine if used on a gentle cycle
- Easy to get up over your calves and on your knees
- they don’t slide down easily, staying put where you need them
- They keep their shape well
- They are versatile and can be used for a variety of exercise
- Not as breathable as some of the others that we have tried out
- They are a little thick behind the knee
Best Knee Sleeves for Powerlifting: Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves
These simply designed sleeves are anything but basic when it comes to protecting your knees. The thick, durable material keeps your joints warm, reducing the risk of injury.
If you have ever had issues with your knees and are looking for help easing your way back into squatting and lifting, then these are for you.
They fit super snugly, but be sure to measure your knees accurately according to their instructions or you risk being irritated by the thick stitching.
Simply a must-have if you want to improve your performance, especially since this particular pair is so versatile.
You can use them for CrossTraining, running, and regular weightlifting as well as squatting.
- Durable 7mm Neoprene material with reinforced stitching for extra strength
- the compression quality is excellent and helps to aid recovery
- They stay in place well so you don’t have to constantly pick them up
- Nordic Lifting offer a discount when you buy 2 pairs of sleeves or more… check out our Black Friday gym equipment guide if you love a discount!
- The thick reinforced stitching can dig into your skin a little
- The smell when taking them out of the packet is a little odd, but dissipates after being washed
Best Knee Sleeves for Warmth: Mava Sports Knee Compression Sleeves
if keeping your knee joints warm is your main concern then these sleeves will be perfect for you.
They are thick and durable, keeping your knees supported through tough workouts and helping you look stylish while doing it – the colors are bright!
They stay up on your leg during exercise, reducing the need to constantly adjust them.
That being said, bear in mind that they retain moisture easily, so they may not be the best choice if you sweat excessively.
- Wide range of vibrant colors to suit all styles
- They are designed with support and stability in mind, making them a great choice for helping to overcome knee pain caused by injuries
- They are innovatively designed with an adjustable strap to ensure they do not fall down
- 7mm thick Neoprene material for extra warmth and protection
- They retain moisture
- This pair doesn’t keep their shape as well as others on our list
Best Cheap Knee Sleeves: Aeolos Knee Sleeves
If you are looking for a bang for your buck then these are the sleeves for you.
The biggest bargain we could find whilst still being supportive enough for your squats. These are durable and look great, and provided you look after them well they can last a long time.
They may not fit as snugly as some on this list, and for that reason you should probably avoid them if you have a knee injury that requires extra compression.
However, if you just want a little extra support, these are a great choice.
- Unique, eye catching designs
- They are a great choice if you are looking for a bargain price. Great design for great value
- Designed with longevity in mind provided they are looked after well
- They can be worn over compression tights with ease
- A little on the looser side compared to other sleeves we have tried, and don’t fit as snugly. They do fit well over compression tights though, and feel more snug like that.
- Although they are 7mm Neoprene like others we have tried, they do feel a little thin
Best Knee Sleeves for Women: Nordic Lifting Sleeves for Women
Designed with a woman’s body in mind, these pink knee sleeves are a great choice for women looking for a little extra support when squatting, lifting, running, and more.
They fit very snugly, so be sure to accurately measure your knees so that they are not too tight.
The 7mm Neoprene material keeps your knee joints warm, reducing the risk of injury regardless of what exercise you are doing.
They are also a great choice if you have prior injuries such as ACL, general knee pain, and patellar tendonitis.
- Unbeatable compression and support for heavy lifting and squatting
- Available in 6 different sizes so you can measure your knees and choose the size you need
- Versatile enough to be used in other exercises as well as squatting
- Great range of movement
- They are a little too snug and seem to run small
- The quality is not as good as some others we have tried and they do not seem as durable
Our “If Money was No Object pick”: Sling Shot Mark Bell Strong Knee Sleeves
Mark Bell’s Strong Knee Sleeves offer unbeatable protection and support when squatting. ensure you accurately measure your knees based on the sizing guide so you get your perfect fit.
Whether you need support for an injury or just to help you when powerlifting, these are the perfect sleeves for you.
They also keep your joints warm to prevent further injury. They are also super versatile, meaning you can wear them during cardio, CrossFit, stretching workouts, and more!
Remember though, they are delicate things so hand wash only!
- Patented design to ensure knees are completely supported no matter what prior injuries you have
- The highest quality polyester covered 7mm Neoprene for maximum comfort and compression
- Great range of colors to choose from, as well as 7 different sizes
- They are stiff and fit securely to prevent them from moving down your leg
- Of course, a product this good is going to be on the pricey side… Whilst it is worth it, it may not be within the budget of most people.
Why use knee sleeves?
There are a number of reasons to use knee sleeves for heavy squats…
When you use a knee sleeve, you are reducing your risk of injury.
The compression and support that sleeves give you have been thought to reduce the risk of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury.
The compression helps to increase blood flow to the area, in turn ensuring they do not stiffen up while exercising. We all know what happens to stiff joints!
Plus, it is no secret that heavy lifting or squatting with weights is hard on our joints! Protect them before an injury occurs with a knee sleeve.
We know that knee sleeves can prevent injury now, but we also need to consider the fact that they keep our knees warm.
Not only does this make us more comfortable, especially when it is mid-winter in our home garage gym, but joint warmth us actually thought to help prevent aches, as well as staving off injuries. Just look at what other people have to say about this.
Fellow lifters and squatters all agree that knee sleeves are important all the time even when warming up – who can argue with seasoned squatting pros, right?
I mean, it goes without saying that if you tackle the injuries and keep your knees warm then it’s bound to help reduce soreness, right?
It’s true though, wearing a knee sleeve (or, indeed, a pair of knee sleeves) can prove massively beneficial for your body overall.
Of course, any good workout is going to leave you feeling a little sore afterward, but knee sleeves can help dissipate any unnecessary soreness caused solely by bending your knees. In fact, they can even help to reduce swelling after a workout too.
There are four factors that you need to consider before buying a knee sleeve for squats in order to make sure you are buying a quality product that is just right for you. These are:
- The exercises will you perform with the knee sleeve
- Quality of the material and stitching
- The thickness of the knee sleeves
- Your budget
Neoprene belongs to the synthetic rubber family and is a great choice of material for your knee sleeves.
It is very popular for use in exercising garments such as knee sleeves due to its excellent levels of flexibility and ability to retain its shape well, even after prolonged use.
Some brands may use Neoprene that has been coated with another material such as polyester, ensuring their sleeves are as comfortable as possible.
Other knee sleeves may be made with spandex or nylon, or even a blend of all of them! What you choose is totally down to you and your own preferences, though. there is no right or wrong when it comes to the material!
Thickness & Mobility
This is a super important consideration to make when looking for knee sleeves for squatting.
Different sleeves come in different thickness levels. the needs of a runner will be very different to the needs of a powerlifter.
In general, to squat, you will need a material that is around 7mm thick. this will ensure you are adequately protected and supported and that the material will compress your joints enough for them to be effective.
Whilst you can use powerlifting knee sleeves like the ones on our list for CrossFit and other exercising, it cannot be done the other way around.
Knee sleeves that are specially designed for running or CrossFit will not be thick enough for squatting. use our handy guide below for reference:
|Exercise Type||Knee Sleeve Thickness|
|CrossFit and functional exercises||5mm|
|Heavy squats and Powerlifting||7mm|
Consider the design of your knee sleeves as well as their functionality. After all, a true powerlifter or heavy squatter is going to be wearing these almost every day of the week!
With the wealth of choice out there, there is no reason why you cannot choose a design you like.
Whether you want a light baby pink, khaki camouflage, simple but effective black, or vibrant reds and blues, there is a color out there for you!
The length and sizing may also come into ‘design’ factors as your needs may differ from the next person.
Some people may want longer knee sleeves, whereas others prefer to get them as short as possible.
Provided they cover your knees appropriately and protect them well, the rest is up to you. If you want them to be long enough to cover a little part of your thighs or calves then that’s absolutely fine.
Check the lengths of your knee sleeves before buying them to ensure they are suited to your needs.
Stitching and Durability
To ensure the durability of your knee sleeves you should always choose high-quality Neoprene (or another material) and ensure that it is at least 7mm.
Not only will this make sure your knees are protected, but it will also ensure the longevity of your sleeves..
We recommend that you choose sleeves that have reinforced stitching, such as hooked stitching or quadruple stitching.
Lastly, you will need to consider your budget. Of course, when it comes to ensuring you stay fit and healthy, it is hard to put a price on it.
However, given the great quality of knee sleeves that you can get for an even better value price, there is no reason why you should be spending all of your hard-earned dollars!
Figure out what sort of budget works for you and take a look at our table at the beginning of the article to see what products fit your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do knee sleeves do for squatting?
Knee sleeves such as our winner pick – the Rogue ones – can help support your knees during the downward phase of the squat, ensuring they are kept warm to reduce the risk of injury.
The compression can also help to improve blood flow to the area, improving your range of movement and helping you to feel less tight.
If you have had an injury in the past from squatting (or any other reason), then a knee sleeve can help you to ease yourself back into heavy squatting.
How much do knee sleeves add to squats?
Whilst there are no studies that have been undertaken on knee sleeves’ power to get a stronger squat, there have been studies that show knee wraps can help.
Given the similarities between knee wraps and sleeves, and the popularity of knee sleeves amongst the squatting and powerlifting community, we think that in the future there will be many studies proving their effectiveness.
That being said, it is hard to give you an exact figure on how much they add – suffice to say there is a reason they are so popular!
Are knee sleeves worth it?
Definitely! Add a pair of knee sleeves to your next work out and you will be amazed at how your squatting experience will improve.
Even if you have no prior injuries, this small investment will keep you injury-free in the future, as well as helping you to squat more weight!
There you have it, a guide on the best knee sleeves for squats. We have to say, our top pick and best knee sleeve for squats overall, just has to be Rogue Knee Sleeves.
When considering all of the factors in our Buyers’ Guide – the quality material, the durability, the design, and the affordability – these knee sleeves were the clear winner!
They have the best range of choices in terms of size and length out of all the others on the list, and we were thoroughly impressed with how durable they were!
Try them out for yourself today or check out the links for the other products that we loved above.
If you are into powerlifting, you’ll love our article all about the best knee wraps for squats! Wraps may be more suited to you if you plan on squatting some serious weight.