The 10 Best Elbow Compression Sleeves in 2022
From professional athletes to weekend fitness warriors, wearing elbow compression sleeves has drastically risen in popularity. And for a good reason. From improving performance to accelerating recovery and providing protection, there are benefits to be had for every level of athlete.
But with an overwhelming amount of choices on the market, narrowing down the elbow sleeves that are best for what you need them to do can be a daunting task.
We’ve put together the ultimate buyers’ guide to the best elbow compression sleeves. Whether you need them for sport, performance, pain management, recovery, or protection, this article will cover everything you need to know before adding a set of compression sleeves to your gym bag.
- What Are Compression Elbow Sleeves
- The 10 Best Elbow Compression Sleeves of 2022
Mobility Athlete is reader-supported. So if you add some new fitness equipment to your gym bag using one of our links, we can receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) It helps us keep the lights on here at the site. Thanks for your support!
What Are Compression Elbow Sleeves
Elbow compression sleeves are tight yet flexible bands of fabric worn on the arms to improve performance, recovery, and support of the muscles and joints of the arms.
Most compression sleeves are manufactured using blends of polyester, nylon, spandex, or latex. The choice of materials used for a compression sleeve is what determines its balance of tightness, elasticity, and support.
When selecting what kind of elbow sleeve is best for you, your first step is to identify the sleeve’s purpose – since different compression and mobility levels will ultimately determine what sleeve will work best for how you intend to use it.
To help you figure out which type of elbow sleeve is best for you, we’ll break down the science of how they work, the different benefits they provide, and then organize the best elbow compression sleeves for each category.
How Compression Sleeves Work:
Whether you’re competing in a sport, working out, or working around your house, your body needs to supply your muscles with oxygen for energy. And when these chemical reactions take place, you also have to remove the metabolic waste like carbon dioxide. The more efficient your body is at both of these processes, the better your performance and recovery will be.
One of the most significant factors in these processes is blood circulation. And for improving the function of your arms and elbows, finding ways to selectively improve blood flow specifically to that region of the body is the key.
That is precisely what elbow compression sleeves do. Compression garments help reduce the diameter of your blood vessels, which increases the rate and pressure that blood flows in that area.
For compression garments like leg and arm sleeves, the added compression creates a pressure gradient that causes your body to increase circulatory efficiency, specifically for the areas where you are wearing the sleeve.
Improved circulation means better energy production, faster removal of metabolic waste, reduction of inflammation, and improved recovery.
Additionally, some compression sleeves are designed to provide additional support with much stiffer materials. These sleeves are much more restrictive but may be crucial if your intended purpose of the compression sleeve is to prevent injury or to wear while recovering from an injury.
Benefits of Elbow Compression Sleeves for Athletes
- Improved Circulation and Blood Flow
- Reduction of Inflammation
- Accelerated Recovery
- Regulates Muscle Temperature
- Helps Reduce Muscle Soreness
- Reduces Risk of Injury
- Provides Support for Athletic Performance
- Protects Your Skin
The 10 Best Elbow Compression Sleeves of 2022
Nordic Lifting Elbow Compression Sleeves
The Nordic Lifting Elbow Compression Sleeves are an outstanding balance of construction, durability, and cost.
All of Nordic Lifting’s compression sleeves are handcrafted from a Nylon blend of Spandex and Latex yarn to maximize their compression properties while ensuring optimal durability. And they stand by that claim by offering a one-year manufacturer’s warranty on all of their compression products.
These sleeves’ unique design reinforces the joints of the elbow to help avoid injury and pain as well as enhance circulation through a perfect fit of compression around your elbow.
Additionally, the Nordic Lifting compression sleeves retain heat – which helps minimize the possibility of sustaining an injury right along with reducing stiffness in your muscles and joints.
But the best feature of the Nordic Lifting Elbow Compression Sleeves has to be the low cost that accompanies an excellent design. Not to mention, it’s one of the few product lines that come in a pair rather than one singular sleeve. So if you’re looking for use on both arms, you can’t go wrong with the Nordic Lifting sleeves.
Copper Fit Pro Series Compression Elbow Sleeve
If you’re looking for a compression sleeve that’s an easy choice of performance mixed with a fantastically low price, then the Copper Fit Pro Series is the right choice for you.
The Copper Fit Pro’s 85% Nylon and 15% Spandex give you an excellent blend of durability and support while still offering great flex to maintain mobility and range of motion. The material also contains copper ions bound at the fiber level to keep your sleeve odor-free after putting it to good use throughout the day.
But by far, the best feature of these elbow sleeves for their low price is the built-in kinesiology bands to target compression around your elbow.
Targeted compression is a technique that helps localize the pressure gradients in compression garments specifically to one region. For elbow compression, the area you want the most circulation is in the region directly surrounding the joint. This is what makes the kinesiology bands the perfect addition to a quality elbow sleeve.
B-Driven Graduated Arm Compression Sleeve
In the ‘How Compression Sleeves Work‘ section of this article, we talked about how pressure gradients are crucial to the effectiveness of any compression garment.
B-Driven really put some thought behind designing how to maximize the pressure gradients delivered by their arm sleeves. Their Graduated Compression Technology starts with a more substantial compression level (30mmHG) at the wrist, becomes more moderate at the middle of the arm (25mmHG), and then eases off at the top of the bicep (20mmHG).
This graduated 20-30mmHG compression is what helps push your blood against gravity and back towards the heart, optimizing blood flow to improve muscle oxygenation, remove metabolic waste, and accelerate recovery after exercise.
The B-Driven Graduated Compression Arm Sleeve is made out of a mix of Nylon and Lycra, providing support to reduce muscle vibration damage while you exercise and works great as an additional barrier against UV rays, turf burns, cuts, and the elements.
If your goal is to enhance circulation, performance, and recovery through compression, the B-Driven Graduated Compression Arm Sleeve is an excellent, well-thought-out design to get you there.
Best for Sports
Nike Pro Combat Elite Sleeve
If you’ve watched any professional sports matchup, whether it be the NBA, NFL, or MLB, you’re almost guaranteed to spot more than a few athletes wearing the Nike Pro Elite Sleeves.
For sports and competition, you want a compression sleeve that provides enough compression to help with improving circulation but is also not so tight that it restricts your mobility and range of motion.
Another important factor is a material that helps regulate your body temperature, and wicks sweat to keep you dry during the game. In fact, just skin contact itself from compression gear helps improve your game by increasing proprioception. Proprioception is your internal awareness of the position and movement of parts of your body without visually seeing them.
The Nike Pro Combat Elite Sleeve’s 80% polyester, 15% Spandex, and 4% silicone DRI-FIT technology keeps you dry, provides support and protection, fits smooth against your skin, and provides just enough compression to help improve circulation while allowing you to move naturally to dominate the game.
Best for Resistance Training and Powerlifting
Gymreapers Powerlifting Elbow Sleeves
Not all compression sleeves are created equal if your goal is tossing heavy weight around. Elbow compression sleeves geared specifically for resistance training and powerlifting require more durable and supportive construction materials to maximize how effective they’ll be and how long they’ll last.
For maintaining support under load, thick premium-grade performance Neoprene is king.
Gymreapers’ Elbow Compression Sleeves are constructed with 5MM of premium Neoprene, giving you the support you need and the performance and recovery enhancements of improved blow flow to the elbow joints, without having to worry about the sleeves degrading, stretching, or tearing.
What makes the Gymreaper’s Elbow Compression Sleeves a sweet deal is that not only does it come in a pair, but their Amazon package also includes a bonus set of wrist wraps. So in one package, you get the added protection and support of your elbows, right along with the added stability and protection of your wrists while under load.
Best for Injury Recovery
Shock Doctor Ice Recovery Elbow Compression Wrap
The Shock Doctor Ice Recovery Elbow Compression Wrap is the Swiss Army knife of injury and workout recovery. It combines compression, support, ice, and heat, all into one compression wrap.
Its multi-use Neoprene design comes with adjustable straps for a customized fit and variable compression levels. It includes three gel packs for ice therapy to maximize inflammation reduction. And additionally, it can also be used for heat therapy as well.
- Ice therapy is excellent for sprains, strains, relieving tendonitis, and recovering from post-workout soreness and swelling.
- Heat therapy works great to loosen stiff muscles, relieve arthritis, and soothe muscle spasm pain.
The great thing about the Shock Doctor is you have all of these recovery features in one package that you can use on both your right and left elbow for 360-degree coverage.
When it comes to injury recovery and reducing swelling and pain in the elbow after training, the Shock Doctor Ice Elbow Compression Wrap is the complete solution.
Best for Stabilization
Yosoo Health Gear Dual-Spring Elbow Brace
If you’re looking for an elbow sleeve that’s optimized for stabilization, you need something with customizable compression and added support on both sides to maximize the stability it provides.
Yosoo Health Gear’s Dual-Spring Elbow Brace has a unique design featuring two built-in spring stabilizers on both sides of the elbow sleeve to enhance stabilization without compromising mobility.
Additionally, the Dual-Spring Elbow Brace has adjustable hook and loop closures to give you a custom fit and allows you to change how much compression you want on the top and bottom of the sleeve.
So if you need added support without compromising on mobility, comfort, or breathability, the Yosoo Health Gear Dual-Spring Elbow Brace is an excellent choice for added protection and stability.
Best for Skin and Muscle Protection
2XU MCS Elite Compression Arm Guard
If you need ultimate protection, you want a sleeve covering your entire arm. The 2XU MCS Elite Compression Arm Guard doesn’t only give you complete protection of your arms from the elements, but it also helps protect your muscles during competition or exercise.
2XU’s Compression Arm Guards use Muscle Containment Stamping (MCS), which anatomically maps to your elbow, forearm, and biceps to contain muscle vibrations and oscillation that can cause muscle damage and fatigue.
The 2XU arm sleeves are constructed out of PWX Flex-70 Lycra for certified gradient compression. And the medical 360-degree knit construction ensures you have consistent pressure around your arm to maximize the benefits of improved circulation and blood flow.
This arm sleeve isn’t just great for added protection. It also qualifies as an excellent sleeve to use for any sport or physical activity where you want the benefits of added compression.
Best for Arthritis
Copper Joe Elbow Sleeve
If you’re looking for an elbow compression sleeve to help you manage arthritis pain, you’re likely looking for a sleeve you can wear throughout the entire day.
There are three qualities of a compression sleeve you’ll want to look for if you need something for all-day wear:
- Enough pressure to experience the benefits of compression, but not too much to be restrictive.
- Comfortable construction.
- Odor-resistant material.
The Copper Joe Elbow Sleeve is designed for all-day wear. Its nylon fibers and four-way stretch give you just enough pressure to experience compression benefits but not too much to be restrictive and uncomfortable for extended wear.
But most importantly, a compression garment that you plan on wearing all day (especially during physical activities where you’ll likely break a sweat) needs to be odor resistant, or you’ll quickly find wearing it an unpleasant experience.
The Copper Joe Elbow Sleeve infuses their nylon with 85% copper ions which helps eliminate bacteria that causes odors on garments. Additionally, the sleeve is safe for machine washing. Meaning your elbow sleeve stays odor-free for longer and makes washing it as simple as tossing it in with your regular load of laundry to keep it fresh.
Best for Any Activity
Kunto Fitness Elbow Compression Sleeve
The Kunto Fitness Elbow Compression Sleeve is an excellent all-around sleeve that performs well for most use cases you can throw at it.
Its 70% nylon, 15% spandex, and 15% rubber construction provide an outstanding balance of compression, comfort, and non-slip design that stays in place throughout any sport or activity.
It looks great and works well, and as a bonus, Kunto Fitness confidently stands by the quality of its products. If you’re not happy with the elbow sleeve and their support can’t fix the issue, they’ll give you 100% of your money back.