Best Knee Braces for Osteoarthritis for 2024 (2024)

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When you have osteoarthritis in your knees, even daily activities like walking can cause pain. Research shows a knee brace may help. Here are products from ACE, Vive, Shock Doctor, and more to help keep you moving.

Best Knee Braces for Osteoarthritis for 2024 (1)Share on Pinterest

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition that can affect any of your joints.

In OA, the protective cartilage that cushions your joints gradually deteriorates, causing increased friction between the bones. This friction contributes to pain and stiffness, ultimately limiting your range of motion.

If you have OA in your knees, a brace may help. A knee brace can support the joint as you walk, possibly reducing the amount of friction and subsequent pain. It may also make you feel more stable in everyday activities.

Many knee braces are available, but not all of them work well for arthritis. In this article, we share which may help for a range of activities if you have osteoarthritis in your knees.

While knee braces may provide considerable relief and symptom improvement for arthritis, several factors influence their effectiveness, including the specific type of brace.

Types of knee braces include:

  • Unloader/offloader knee braces: These braces help shift weight away from the affected part of your knee, reducing pain from knee osteoarthritis and improving mobility. They are ideal for moderate to severe arthritis in active people. However, they are relatively cumbersome.
  • Customized braces: Customization allows for a more precise fit and load distribution, which can enhance the benefits of the brace and reduce the risk of injury or discomfort. Custom-fitted knee braces, particularly unloader braces, are often more effective than off-the-shelf braces.
  • Soft braces: These flexible, comfortable braces provide support and relief. Soft braces have also been shown to relieve OA-related pain. They are ideal if you run or play sports.
  • Hinged knee braces: Hinged braces facilitate controlled movement, providing support and stability to help make daily activities and exercise more manageable.

Pricing guide

Knee braces can range in price from under $10 to hundreds of dollars. Most, however, run less than $100. Here’s a guide the general prices of recommendations in this article.

  • $ = under $30
  • $$ = $31–$50
  • $$$ = $51–$99
  • $$$$ = over $99
Price SizesTypeFeatures
ACE Adjustable Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers$adjustableopen patella • side stabilizers
• inner sleeve
Powerlix Knee Brace$S–XXLcompression sleeve• breathable
• moisture-wicking
• anti-slip gel strips
Vive Hinged Knee Brace$adjustableopen patella• removable hinges
• slip resistant
KARM Adjustable Knee Brace$$XS–6XLopen patella• side stabilizers
• padded patella ring
MODVEL Knee Sleeve$S–XXXLcompression sleeve• ergonomic design
• breathable
• moisture-wicking
Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support$$$XS–XXLcompression sleeve • medical-grade materials
• padded patella ring
• breathable
Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support with Bilateral Hinges$$$S–XXXLopen patella• bilateral hinges
• padded
• breathable
Ossur Unloader One Knee Brace$$$$adjustable, customunloader• single hinge
• quick buckles
• medical grade
• lightweight frame

We selected the knee braces on this list based on the following criteria:

  • Verified customer reviews: We read hundreds of customer reviews to get a feel for what people love about these products and the red flags to look out for.
  • Peer-reviewed literature: Dozens of published, peer-reviewed studies have investigated whether knee braces help with arthritis pain and other symptoms. We used these studies to determine what was most important in a knee brace for arthritis (see below for more information).
  • Materials and construction:We looked for durable and, wherever possible, washable products so they’ll last you a long time.
  • Brand reputation: We looked at each company’s reputation to ensure customers can confidently trust the product’s safety, quality, and effectiveness. We also favored companies with excellent customer service policies.

The goal of all of the knee braces on this list is to help stabilize the knee joint, minimizing the pain you experience during your daily activities. Additionally, they may enhance the comfort of certain movements and prevent potentially harmful ones.

Different types of braces work for different people. Some people with OA find a lot of relief and improvement of their symptoms with braces, while studies show that others may not.

Hinged knee braces, as well as general knee braces, may help improve functional outcomes, such as walking and exercise, for people with knee osteoarthritis.

In a 2017 study of people with osteoarthritis, participants wearing a soft knee brace had lower pain levels while walking and took less time to complete a 10-kilometer walk than when not wearing a knee brace. Wearing a tight brace was found to help reduce walking time even more.

For people with rheumatoid arthritis, some rheumatologists prescribe medical-grade braces as a first-line treatment for pain in the knee.

Research has also shown that knee braces can be more effective in managing knee osteoarthritis when combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy, exercise, and weight management.

Notably, there is limited long-term research on the benefits of knee braces for osteoarthritis. It’s essential to discuss with your healthcare professional whether using a knee brace is appropriate for your long-term management plan.

To choose the best knee brace for your needs, consider the following:

  • Type: Decide if you prefer a sleeve or wraparound design. Some braces feature hinges, an open patella, and a padded knee ring.
  • Support level: Decide how much support you want, which may vary during different activities. High-support braces may restrict mobility, and low-support options offer more flexibility.
  • Comfort and fit: Choose a lightweight, breathable, supportive, yet comfortable fabric. If you have sensitive skin, look for moisture-wicking fabric and a nonirritating design. Consider the bulkiness and if you can get it on and off easily.
  • Size options: Take measurements accurately for knee braces with several sizes to ensure the correct fit. For adjustable designs, make sure your size is within the range. Custom braces are also available.
  • Customer reviews: Read online reviews, paying attention to those that mention your needs, such as athletic support, injury recovery, and pain relief.
  • Price: If you want a durable, high-support brace, plan to spend more. You may have to replace inexpensive designs more frequently.
  • difficulty moving your knee during daily activities
  • stiffness and tenderness in your knee
  • knees or other joints that are red or warm to the touch

Also, if you have unilateral arthritis, you might benefit from a prescription unloader brace. Talking with a doctor about the specifics of your osteoarthritis can help you decide which brace might be best for your needs.

If you have arthritis, wearing a well-fitting knee brace can help support and stabilize your knee, reducing pain and improving movement.

Manystudies show pain relief and better knee function when people wear knee braces.

More research is needed on the long-term benefits of knee braces and comparing the different types of knee braces. Factors such as the type and severity of OA, age, body weight, activity level, and overall joint health can influence the outcomes.

However, while a knee brace can help alleviate symptoms, it’s unknown whether wearing a knee brace will slow the progression of OA.

To determine the most suitable knee brace for your situation, healthcare professionals consider your needs and factors such as the nature and severity of your knee issue, the level of support required, and your overall health.

Wearing a knee brace can help manage knee pain and enhance stability, especially if it fits well. However, it’s essential to address the root cause of the pain.

Knee braces may help keep your knee joint in proper alignment or provide support throughout your day-to-day activities. These braces can help you feel more empowered to do what you want while managing arthritis pain. Speak with a doctor if you have frequent joint pain limiting your mobility.

Best Knee Braces for Osteoarthritis for 2024 (2024)


Best Knee Braces for Osteoarthritis for 2024? ›

Unloader braces are the most common brace providers suggest for people with knee arthritis.

What knee brace do doctors recommend? ›

Unloader braces are the most common brace providers suggest for people with knee arthritis.

What is the best knee brace for total knee replacement? ›

  • Winner: Donjoy OA Nano Offloading Osteoarthritis Knee Brace.
  • Winner: Thuasne Action Reliever Osteoarthritis Knee Brace.
  • Winner: Bauerfeind GenuTrain Active Knee Brace.
  • Winner: Actimove Arthritis Care Warming Knee Support.
  • Winner: M+D Anatomical Forearm Crutches (Pair)
  • Winner: HurryCane Folding Tripod Walking Stick (Purple)
Jan 5, 2024

What is the new type of knee support? ›

The NEW Cooling Knee Support is designed specifically for the treatment of knee injuries and will provide instant cooling and a rapid reduction of inflammation and pain. All you need to do is pull it onto your knee and you'll immediately get compression, support and cooling.

What is the gold standard for knee osteoarthritis treatment? ›

Total joint arthroplasty (replacement) is the definitive treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) in patients who have failed nonoperative interventions.

What is the new treatment for knee osteoarthritis? ›

One option available as of April 2023 is the recently FDA-authorized implantable shock absorber called the MISHA knee system. It's currently being used to treat mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, decreasing pain and increasing joint mobility.

What are the 3 different types of knee braces? ›

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons,5 knee braces fit into several categories: (1) prophylactic—braces intended to prevent or reduce the severity of knee injuries in contact sports; (2) functional—braces designed to provide stability for unstable knees; and (3) rehabilitative—braces designed to ...

How many hours a day should you wear a knee brace? ›

General Recommendations. In the initial stages of recovery or following a knee injury, wearing a knee brace for 2 to 4 hours at a time can provide good support and stability. Gradually, as your knee strengthens and the healing progresses, you may not need to wear your brace for as long.

What is the difference between a knee stabilizer and a knee brace? ›

The stabilizers offer a slightly more advanced support, while the hinged braces confer the most advanced support due to their ability to more or less mimic the natural movement of the knee.

How do I choose a knee brace for arthritis? ›

The type of brace that will work best for you depends on where your arthritis is located in your knee, how bad your arthritis is, and what your particular issues are. Compression sleeves, for example, might work to treat swelling; unloader braces work to shift the load from one part of the knee to another.

What is the newest alternative to knee replacement? ›

Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell knee therapy is becoming a popular alternative to knee replacement surgery. Through a method known as autologous transplantation, the cells are extracted from the patient's bone marrow or fatty tissue, processed, and immediately injected into the damaged knee. An error occurred.

Do I need a medial or lateral knee brace? ›

The right knee brace for a ligament injury depends on what ligament is damaged, and how extensive the damage is. If the injury is to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) or lateral collateral ligament (LCL) then a medial-lateral hinged brace may provide all the support that you need.

When should you not wear a knee brace? ›

Typically, a complex knee brace is worn for the first year. After that, a brace usually isn't needed for low-level activities. Keep in mind it can take up to two years to return to baseline stability. Once you're returned to full function, you can stop wearing a brace.

How much is a medical knee brace? ›

The Average Knee Brace Price

For more complex and specialized knee braces designed for post-injury recovery, athletic use, or severe knee conditions, prices can range from $200 to $600 or more. These rigid braces are highly adjustable and come with a range of features compared to a basic compression sleeve.

How do you live with severe knee osteoarthritis? ›

Use these basic self-care strategies to manage your symptoms:
  1. Apply ice or heat to help ease stiffness, pain and swelling.
  2. Lose weight (if necessary) to help reduce stress on the knees.
  3. Keep moving with activities like swimming, biking or walking.
  4. Try physical therapy. ...
  5. Consider acupuncture or massage for pain relief.

What is the best treatment for severe knee arthritis? ›

How Is Osteoarthritis of the Knee Treated?
  • Weight loss. ...
  • Exercise. ...
  • Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. ...
  • Injections of corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid into the knee. ...
  • Alternative therapies. ...
  • Using devices such as braces. ...
  • Physical and occupational therapy. ...
  • Surgery.
Jun 30, 2023

What is the most severe form of osteoarthritis? ›

Advanced osteoarthritis is the most severe form of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, meaning it gets worse over time. If medication and other therapies no longer help, surgery can improve symptoms and quality of life.

How can I stop my osteoarthritis knee pain getting worse? ›

If osteoarthritis causes you pain and stiffness, you may think exercise will make your symptoms worse. However, regular exercise that keeps you active, builds up muscle and strengthens the joints usually helps to improve symptoms.


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