If you’re into weightlifting, powerlifting, or any other kind of strength training, you know that protecting your joints is crucial to avoiding injury and getting the most out of your workouts. That’s why we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best elbow sleeves for lifting. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, we’ve got you covered with our top picks for quality, durability, and performance.
What Are The Best Elbow Sleeves For Lifting?
Here are the 5 best weightlifting elbow sleeves in 2023
Iron Bull Elbow Sleeves – Best Overall
Iron Bull Strength’s elbow sleeves are designed to provide maximum support, compression, and stability during weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, bodybuilding, and other exercises.
Made with 5mm neoprene flex-material, these elbow sleeves feature a 3-D design that provides a contoured fit for optimal breathability and comfort.
The thick 5mm neoprene creates a combined mental and physical frame to keep athletes safe while maximizing performance.
The elbow compression and support helps to provide joint compression and warmth, reducing the risk of injury and supporting proper form. Iron Bull Strength’s elbow sleeves are a must-have for anyone who wants to protect their elbows during heavy lifting and push their limits while minimizing the risk of injury.
The Iron Bull elbow sleeves are at the top of the list because they are more easily accessible than for example SBD elbow sleeves, their design makes them very comfortable to wear while lifting weights, and their price to quality ratio is great.
They also look great because of their minimalistic and simple design. They provide a good variety of different sizes so that you can find the best elbow compression sleeves that provide the most support and elbow compression for you.
Design: 5mm Neoprene, double stitching
Size ranges: 9” – 16”
Color options: Black combined with either: Black, Blue, Green, Gray, Pink, Purple, Red, or White
Rehband RX Elbow Sleeves – Best Quality
Rehband RX elbow sleeves are truly the best elbow sleeves in terms of quality. But because of that, they’re also expensive. Their unique and patented design, stitching, and quality makes them stand out amongst other elbow sleeves.
The high-quality ensures that they are durable and long lasting. They tolerate water very well, which allows you to wash them frequently and keep the smell away.
Rehband Rx elbow sleeves are high-quality supports designed to provide warmth, compression, and flexibility during heavy workouts and sports activities.
These elbow sleeves have 2 variants: the RX Original Elbow Sleeve, which is a heavy-duty support made of 5mm thick neoprene material and features a two-panel design and anatomical construction for maximum support and mobility, and the 5mm RX Core Line Elbow Brace, which is a versatile product scientifically proven to prevent overuse, wear and tear injuries and pain.
In addition to their supportive function, Rehband elbow sleeves provide comfortable support through a combination of compression and elasticity, making them ideal for preventing and treating injuries.
They are anatomically shaped support sleeves that provide both compression and warmth to increase performance and prevent injuries. The RX Elbow Sleeve is available in different sizes and colors to fit a variety of needs and preferences.
Design: 5mm Neoprene
Size ranges: 8.7” – 13.4”
Color options: Black combined with either: Gray, Pink, Purple or Camo
GymReapers Elbow Sleeves – Best For Beginners
GymReapers come in as the best weightlifting elbow sleeves for beginners because they come with wrist wraps.
Now if you already have wrist wraps, this might not be the best option for you. But for a complete beginner looking for some budget equipment to save themselves some wrist and elbow pain, this is your go-to.
Gymreapers elbow sleeves are designed to provide premium support and improved blood flow to the elbow joints during heavy workouts or powerlifting exercises. Made from thick premium-grade performance Neoprene, these elbow sleeves are durable and can withstand heavy use without tearing or stretching.
Pros and Cons
They also feature reinforced stitching and 5mm neoprene to increase muscular control through tightness and support, reduce wasted energy, and provide noticeable joint support and stability.
The compression brace and joint warmth and heat retention capabilities help reduce elbow pain and swelling. These elbow sleeves come with a warranty and have received 76% 5 star ratings out of 3000+ reviews on Amazon.
Design: 5mm Neoprene
Size ranges: 9.4” – 13.4”
Color options: Black/Red, Black/White, Military Green/Black
Inzer Elbow Sleeves – Best For Powerlifting
Inzer is known for producing the most hardcore equipment for lifters looking to move the most amount of weight possible. As you can already see from the image, they have a unique design.
The purpose of that is to make them more comfortable and adjustable to provide maximum joint support while maintaining proper blood flow to the muscles. The straps also allow you to release the tension between sets and pull them as tight as you want when it’s time to lift.
Inzer Elbow Sleeves XT are designed for serious lifters who require optimal support and safety for their elbows during heavy lifts. These adjustable sleeves provide much more comfort and better blood flow than traditional neoprene sleeves, allowing your skin to breathe.
Pros and Cons
Inzer Elbow Sleeves XT are great for rehab and injury prevention in heavy lifts, and are subject to Inzer Advance Designs’ rigorous quality control. They are sold in pairs and made in the USA.
From NFL locker rooms to World Strongman competitions, these elbow sleeves are trusted by serious lifters for their ease and adjustability, providing the freedom for your best gains and best pumps ever!
If you’re looking for a bench press PR, Inzer elbow sleeves are your best choice. The following paragraph will be a short guide on how to select the correct size.
Measure around lower bicep. The lower bicep should be measured 3” up from the middle of elbow joint. Make sure arm is relaxed (not flexed) for this measurement. If in doubt or in between sizes, go with the larger size because you can adjust the tightness with the straps.
Design: 5mm Cotton
Size ranges: 11” – 19”
Color options: Black/Red
Stoic Elbow Sleeves – Best For Heavy Lifting
Stoic elbow sleeves are the best elbow sleeves when one wants to lift heavy. These powerlifting elbow sleeves are thicker than other options on this list, providing the most elbow support and stability.
In addition to that, their triple reinforced seam offers the strongest stitch ever used on an elbow sleeve. I personally also like the minimalistic design with a simple logo and black&white coloring.
They are quite similar to the Iron Bull elbow sleeves which were the top elbow sleeves. The reason why Iron Bull takes the win is that not everyone likes the extra thickness that the Stoic elbow sleeves bring.
Stoic elbow sleeves are designed to provide exceptional training confidence and build quality, aimed at supporting athletes in reaching the next level of performance. With a thick 7mm outer layer and a 5mm inner layer, the Stoic sleeves offer unparalleled support for even the most extreme athletes, enabling them to push through their most challenging training sessions with ease.
These elbow sleeves are made of high-quality neoprene material, which provides excellent compression to keep the muscles warm, reducing the risk of injuries while increasing blood flow.
Whether you’re a powerlifter, bodybuilder, weightlifter, or into cross-training or strongman training, Stoic elbow sleeves provide ultra-heavy-duty support for your elbows and are ideal for squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and other heavy lifting exercises.
Design: 7mm Outer & 5mm Inner Elbow, Neoprene
Size ranges: 9.5” – 16.1”
Color options: Black
What Are Elbow Sleeves?
Elbow sleeves or elbow compression sleeves are compression garments designed to provide support and stability to the elbow joint during physical activity. They are typically made of materials like neoprene or spandex, and fit snugly around the elbow.
They are often used by athletes who are recovering from an injury, people who want to prevent or relieve elbow pain, or lifters who want to lift the most amount of weight they possibly can.
Benefits Of Using Elbow Sleeves
There are several benefits to using elbow sleeves during weightlifting or other physical activity:
Injury and Pain Prevention
Elbow sleeves can help to prevent injuries by providing support and stability to the elbow joint. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who have a history of elbow injuries (e.g. tennis elbow) or are performing exercises that put a lot of strain on the joint.
You could also say that they provide some sort of pain relief. If you otherwise have pain in your elbow joints when lifting, elbow sleeves may allow you to still get your training done, with less or without any pain.
By providing compression and support to the elbow joint, elbow sleeves can help improve performance by aiding in stability, elbow extension, and proprioception (awareness of body position and movement) This can lead to increased power, speed, and efficiency while lifting.
How To Put On Elbow Sleeves
Here’s a general guide on how to put on elbow sleeves:
- With your arm straight and your palm facing up, insert your arm into the elbow sleeve, pulling the sleeve up over your forearm and elbow joint. It should fit snugly around your elbow joint without feeling too tight or restrictive.
- Adjust the sleeve as needed to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. The sleeve should not slide down or bunch up during physical activity, but should also not feel so tight that it restricts movement or causes discomfort.
- Repeat the same process for the other arm
Some elbow sleeves may have additional features or adjustments, such as straps or hooks, that can be used to customize the fit and provide additional support. Be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific guidance on how to put on and adjust your elbow sleeves.
Watch this video to get a better idea or discover a technique that can be helpful:
How to Choose Elbow Sleeves
Start by determining the activity you’re going to be using the elbow sleeves for.
If it’s a light, dynamic activity such as basketball or tennis, then going with a simple elbow compression sleeve that is made out of nylon or spandex would be your best choice.
If you’re looking for something that provides more support and stability, then going with thicker and more rigid neoprene elbow sleeves is the best bet.
I would consider thick elbow sleeves to be any sleeves that are 5mm or more in thickness. Anything less is not going to help you in lifting weights.
The next step would be selecting the correct size elbow sleeve for your arm.
Most elbow sleeves will come in a range of sizes, so be sure to measure your arm and consult the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer to ensure a proper fit.
Going too big will not provide you with the elbow support you’re looking for and going too small has the potential to restrict blood flow and actually limit your performance.
Although if you really want to push maximal weights, for example on the bench press, then it might be beneficial to go with a smaller size to get that extra tightness. Just keep in mind that getting them on could be a struggle in that case.
So here you have it, my top picks for the best elbow sleeves for lifting. I hope I was helpful in aiding you make an informed decision. Keep in mind to consider your goals and types of activities you are going to use them for before making the final decision.
Always consult the sizing chart of that specific brand when looking for the right size. It can also be useful to ask around your friend group or your gym to see if anyone has had any experience with the sleeves you’re looking into.
As a final tip, it might be a good idea to wash both your elbow, and knee sleeves after you’ve been using them for a while to prevent odor buildup and make lifting more pleasurable for yourself and others around you.
Please consider sharing this article if you found it informative by clicking on one of the social icons below!
Are elbow sleeves good for lifting?
Yes, elbow sleeves are good for lifting as they provide support and compression to the elbow joint, which can help prevent injury and relieve pain.
Why do lifters wear elbow sleeves?
Lifters wear elbow sleeves to provide support and compression to the elbow joint, which can help prevent injury, alleviate pain, and help them lift heavier weights more safely.
Are elbow sleeves or elbow wraps better?
Elbow sleeves and elbow wraps serve different purposes. Elbow sleeves provide support and compression to the elbow joint, while wraps provide additional support and are designed to be tightened during heavy lifts to increase stability and elbow extension capabilities. Which one is better depends on the specific needs and goals of the lifter.
How do I choose elbow sleeves?
To choose elbow sleeves, consider factors such as the level of support needed, the type of activity, the fit and comfort, and the material and durability of the sleeve.
What size elbow sleeve should I get?
To determine the size of elbow sleeve to get, refer to the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer. Different brands require different measurements so it’s important to get the right size as it can affect the effectiveness and comfort of the sleeve.