While a knee brace is never something you want to have to wear, there are some good reasons to do so: to avoid injury, recovery from an injury, enhanced mobility, or just extra support when you perform leg exercises. For example, research shows that wearing a compression knee sleeve regularly improves stability and pain relief (1). There’s also research showing it can improve circulation, reduce swelling, and reduce recovery time and soreness.
With that said, I recently bought and have been using the Copper Fit knee brace. For those unaware, Copper Fit (like competitor Tommie Copper) makes “copper-infused” compression equipment and clothing.
What makes copper different? Well, the “natural properties of copper” – according to the company – “help protect the garment from bacteria which cause odors and stains.” Is that true, though? Well, copper does provide anti-microbial properties (2), which means you can help prevent smelling like old socks while wearing copper fit compression braces.
While focusing primarily on knee braces and elbow sleeves, they do make other products such as wrist braces and compression socks. Copper Fit currently has two different knee braces on the market: the “Pro” line and normal ICE (“Relief & Recovery”) line. So what’s the different and which should you choose?
Here’s a quick table with an overview of both:
My goal with the Copper Fit was to give some more support and more compression to my knee after a small injury. Specifically, I had various aches and pains – mainly joint and muscle stiffness – and wanted some additional protection during my light(er) workouts.
Because of that, I bought the normal knee sleeve as I wanted something pretty basic but with some breathability and strong compression. It also needed some reinforcement along the top and bottom bands to prevent excess movement.
The knee sleeve is made up of 49% Nylon, 24% Rubber, 23% Polyester, 4% Spandex. Along with the copper-infusion, it’s also a “menthol infused” cooling knee sleeve with the “energizing properties of CoQ10.” Sounds fancy, right? Here are some of the Pros/Cons of this particular style of knee brace –
- Copper Compression Sleeve contains copper, a known biocide that kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi and will help prevent odors. (6)
- The knee sleeve is unisex and will fit the left or right leg.
- You can use it daily and wash it in a washing machine.
- Copper is very safe, non-irritating, and has no adverse effect or toxicity to the body after long term use. (6)
- Thin material but stays in place during exercise. It does not roll down while running.
- It has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Copper shows to have anti-inflammatory properties (7) to provide pain relief in arthritis.
- Improves blood circulation around the knee via compression and heat retention
- The sleeve offers minimal knee support. The Copper Fit Compression also has a heavy-duty knee brace if you need more support for the joint.
- Not for a major knee injury like tendonitis.
- Not moisture-wicking
If you have knee issues, it is worth trying these sleeves? I think anyone with some restrictions, aches, or pains would benefit from the occasional use of a sleeve.
Did the Copper Fit knee sleeve work well? Yes, it did although I don’t know that’s there’s really much difference between most of the well-reviewed sleeves. In general, the compression from knee sleeves can ease pain in people with arthritis and improve movement (8) and can make a positive impact on anyone with knee pain or problems.
The fit itself was good with strong compression and I did not have any chafing or slipping issues. On the negative side, it was not very moisture wicking but that was to be expected. If you need that, you’ll need to grab the Copper Fit Pro Knee Brace.
I have no complaints about the overall quality. The fabric is pretty thick with a seamless design so there’s no annoying fabric seam to irritate your skin.
Durability was good as well. It’s lasted well with no pilling or tears or other bad artifacts.
The Copper Fit sleeve was effective. It did want I wanted it to do and I have no complaints about it. Is it significantly better than all the alternatives? No, I don’t think there’s anything really special about it per se but it is recommended.
There are four sizes to choose from. Unlike some other compression sleeves, Copper Fit recommends you measure all the way around your kneecap while standing. Using that measurement (in inches), you can then choose the appropriate size. As a general rule, compression products work best when they are snug, so pick the smaller size if you are in between measurements.
Copper Fit offers a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee on their website.
What do others think?
Copper Fit’s generic knee sleeve rates well as of this writing – 4.5 out of 5 stars with the main complaint about sizing. That said, there are some great reviews such as:
“After using this product now for 4-6 months I can safely say it WORKS – I am still amazed as to how nicely it does so. The copper filler along with a high-quality compression fabric makes the pain go away if not minimizing it tremendously.”
“…To anyone considering a purchase of a Copper Knee Compression sleeve, I would say “order with confidence.”…just make sure you measure correctly and consider that this item may run small.”
Where to Buy
As always, you can find these things on Amazon. You may also be able to find them in your local Costco (in a two-pack, even) at a pretty good price. They were around $12 / pack at my local store.
Copper Knee Brace Review Summary (TL;DR)
Copper Fit Compression is a company that delivers top-quality copper-infused products. Does the copper work to control the smell? Well, I didn’t notice a strong odor after wearing them but, let’s be honest, you will have to wash sleeve at some point with regular wear.
Overall, the Copper Fit knee sleeves are great if you are looking for everyday support for your knees and are recommended. Are they leaps and bounds better than the alternatives? No, they’re not but they get the job done well and at good price.
In general, compression equipment can be an important recovery and rehab tool. In fact, I recommend compression garments (such as compression shirts) for performance improvements and a host of non-serious ailments such as reducing soreness, improving range of motion, managing pain, pain relief, and reducing swelling.