Best Elbow Sleeves For Protection And Compression 2020

These elbow sleeves will offer a warm, snug fit to provide protection and compression for any workout you have.

You may see fitness folks wearing knee sleeves in the gym all the time. You know what they’re for. Offer a snug fit to provide protection, support, and comfort to a vulnerable or recovering knee. But you may not be as familiar with elbow sleeves and the role they can play in enhancing your health and fitness goals. As beneficial workouts aids for those in the gym for casual training, those in the heat of serious athletic training, or even those competing, elbow sleeves can give you an edge when it comes to safe and effective lifts and overall performance.

Elbow sleeves are worn to keep your elbows warm, help relieve aches and pains, and avoid injury. By providing compression and improving muscle tissue oxygenation, your performance will elevate to new heights, especially with shorter, more intense workouts. Keeping that muscle primed and warmed is key in developing effective muscle growth as you advance in your training and competitive performance.

Benefits Of Elbow Sleeves

You see everyone from professional athletes to everyday gym-goers wearing elbow sleeves and its no wonder why. Compression, support, stability, protection, and warmth are all great benefits of elbow sleeves. Elbow sleeves can:

  • Provide compression and warmth to increase blood flow and enhance recovery (1)
  • Support the elbow to distribute tension equally around other smaller muscles
  • Offer support and stability to really increase big lifts and see growth in strength (2)
  • Aid in recovery by improving blood flow and providing comfort to the muscle

We’ve reviewed some of the best elbow sleeves around to provide you with a solid list of high quality products from top tier companies in the sports equipment industry. Check out our list of the top 5 elbow sleeves for protection and compression to find the right pair for you!

Best Overall: SBD Elbow Sleeves

elbow sleeves

SBD elbow sleeves are a serious contender in the market for a number of reasons. SBD as a company prides themselves on bringing athletes the best equipment around to enhance all aspects of their health, fitness, and performance and they do just that. Designed with powerlifters and strongman events in mind, these elbow sleeves are made to minimize the risk of injury and increase performance while maximizing longevity. Manufactured in Great Britain, these elbow sleeves are made of high grade neoprene with a thinner interior panel for easy fitting and free movement. Sold as a pair and available in all sizes, these elbow sleeves are for those looking to seriously advance in their weightlifting goals.

Pros: High quality neoprene ensures durability but also free movement. A reputable company with strength sports in mind and proven results.

Cons: A premium priced item, these are only available on their website.

Price: $62.50

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Best For Support: Gymreapers Elbow Sleeves

elbow sleeves

These elbow sleeves from Gymreapers are designed to help take you to the next level and improve all of your workouts. With a 5mm neoprene sleeve, it will slide easily up your arm and fit comfortably around your elbow, offering great support as you train. The thick padded material adds to the comfort but also to the durability of the sleeve as it won’t tear with any lift. Able to increase muscular control and reduce elbow swelling, these sleeves from Gymreapers will support you no matter what.

Pros: Good quality and stitching to ensure longevity. Offer great support and don’t inhibit movements. Great customer service from a company who cares.

Cons: The sizing chart is wrong so potentially go one size up. The forearm is as big as the upper arm and there is no taper so it tends to be less snug as you move away from your upper arm. Slightly more expensive than others.

Price: $39.99

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Best For Compression: Mava Sports Bamboo Elbow Compression Sleeves

elbow sleeves

Mava Sports is known for quality equipment and these elbow sleeves add to the list. Made for pain relief and recovery, these sleeves can reduce inflammation and swelling while also alleviating soreness. Best known for compression, these sleeves will improve endurance and promote faster muscular recovery so you can attack whatever comes your way next. Made from bamboo charcoal fiber, these sleeves are designed for sensitive skin and top tier durability, really putting these up there as some of the best elbow sleeves.

Pros: They don’t roll down and have a snug fit. The bamboo charcoal fiber keeps your skin sensitivity in mind and provides for solid durability. Great compression to aid in recovery.

Cons: They may be slightly more stiff than other sleeves and the measurement scale is off.

Price: $13.71

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Best For Pain: PowerLix Elbow Brace Compression Support Sleeve

elbow sleeves

PowerLix offers great protection with these elbow sleeves as it applies stable pressure across your elbow with the ultimate goal of relieving pain from any ailment. While doing all of this, it still allows for peak performance and a full range of arm motion. Providing superior support and comfort, this tight, breathable compression fabric helps with joint stability and increased blood flow. The neoprene material wicks away moisture and its special knitted technology ensures it stays put right on your arm for any pain support you need.

Pros: Offers nice compression to alleviate any unwanted pain and comes in at a very reasonable price.

Cons: Durability comes into question after multiple uses and the sizing chart seems to be off. The fabric is not as smooth so it can be uncomfortable after prolonged use.

Price: $19.97

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Best For Recovery: Rehband RX Original Elbow Sleeve

elbow sleeves

Rehband offers the opportunity to unleash your full potential with these elbow sleeves to support peak performance and superior protection against any injury. The patented technology is engineered to provide elbow stability, compression, and warmth all with the goal of controlling power, leverage, and really boosting recovery. The 5mm thick elastic elbow sleeve does the best of both worlds for a tight fit as well as good mobility. Great for any activity, Rehband works to support performance, comfort and recovery to keep you grinding as long as you want.

Pros: Offer nice tightness while also providing for free movement. Supports any pain and recovering injury for added recovery enhancement.

Cons: While the benefits are great, some of the quality concerns are disappointing, especially given that this is a highly priced item compared to others.

Price: $31.29-$65.69

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Wrap Up

Elbow sleeves are great workout aids to really enhance comfort and compression for enhanced training and performance. Make sure you keep longevity in mind as well as overall fitness so you last longer in whatever your competition requires. Whether professionally or recreationally, you deserve to enjoy what you’re doing and work hard at it for as long as you can and elbow sleeves are just one great way for you to really achieve that. From increased blood flow, compression, protection, and recovery, elbow sleeves should be in your locker, gym bag, or both. Check out our list above and see what these elbow sleeves can do for you!

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  1. Duffield, Rob; Cannon, Jack; King, Monique (2010). “The effects of compression garments on recovery of muscle performance following high-intensity sprint and plyometric exercise”. (source)
  2. Tohoku University (2020). “Compression garments reduce strength loss after training”. (source)
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.