The McDavid 429X Knee Brace has straps to direct pressure around the knee cap.
A torn meniscus is a tear in the cartilage between the femur and tibia. Often caused by movements such as sudden twisting. Turning. And stopping. It helps if the brace isn’t too loose or too tight. According to Kevin D. Walter. MD. Director of the Wisconsin Children’s Athletic and Pediatric Sports Program.
When looking for a brace for a meniscus tear. Look for a brace that provides compression. Dr. Walter. Says braces. That compress. Are usually. Made of neoprene or fabric. Finally. Look for the types of braces called “nose braces.” “They can take pressure off the affected side. Whether it’s medial or lateral. This will help with rest and movement.” says Dr. Walter.
We’ve researched dozens of knee braces for meniscus tears and evaluated them for support. Comfort. Fit. And value. Each of the featured knee braces wins out by one or more of these factors.
According to our research. Here are the best knee braces on the market for meniscus tear
Best Overall: McDavid 429X Knee Brace
Who else recommends it? BestReviews also selected McDavid 429X Knee Brace.2
What do buyers say? 83% of over 2,100 reviewers on Amazon rated this product 4 stars or higher.
We chose the McDavid 429X Knee Brace as our top pick. Because it offers the optimum balance between stability and comfort. The brace features an open patella design. Which is. Designed. To direct pressure around the patella. This will provide targeted support for your meniscus without leaving your patella feeling trapped or overheated.
The adjustable criss-cross straps in the brace will allow you to get the exact fit you’re looking for while providing an extra layer of support above and below the knee. And perhaps most importantly. The brace comes reinforced with geared side hinges. Which will make your knee feel stable and supported without excessively restricting your range of motion.
The knee brace is made from a compression neoprene fabric that promises to keep your muscles feeling warm and comfortable throughout wear. The brace also comes with a breathable back panel designed to manage moisture. So you can rest assured knowing your knee will stay cool. Dry and relatively comfortable while you engage in your favorite activities.
Price at time of publish: $57
Style: Compression brace | Material: Neoprene | Adjustable: Yes
Best Budget: Bodyprox Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers
Many knee sleeves are available at an affordable price. But it is rare to find an affordable knee brace. Bodyprox Knee Brace with Side Stabilizers offers much of what you’d expect from a knee brace – open patella design. Adjustable criss-cross straps. And spring-loaded stabilizers – at a decidedly affordable price. Making it an excellent choice for those looking for support and comfort on a budget.
The knee brace is made of a breathable neoprene fabric that promises to provide compression support without limiting flexibility or comfort. We also love that the fabric absorbs sweat. So it promises to keep your knees dry and comfortable throughout wear.
Since the brace is designed to wrap around the knee. You can adjust its elastic straps to get the exact fit you’re looking for. Like many knee supports. This one is reinforced with spring stabilizers. Which frame the patella. Providing support and stability.
Price at time of publish: $19
Style: Compression, wraparound | Material: SBR, nylon, spandex | Adjustable: Yes
Best Hinged: Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support
For those looking for a heavy-duty knee brace. We recommend Shock Doctor’s Ultra Knee Support. For starters. The bracket comes with flexible side stabilizers. These tires frame the knee – and they run along the left and right sides of the brace – providing stability while also keeping the brace firmly in place during your favorite activities.
The adjustable straps that run along the top and bottom of the brace will allow you to get the comfortable fit you’re looking for while providing extra support. Heavy-duty bilateral hinges on either side of the knee will ensure that you feel fully supported. Without excessively restricting your range of motion.
Although this knee brace is quite bulky. It promises relatively comfort and flexibility. The brace’s pre-curved anatomical design provides a comfortable fit (and you’ll feel comfortable on both the right and left knee). The brace is made of a breathable. Anti-microbial fabric that promises to increase airflow while reducing odor. Bacteria. And moisture.
Price at time of publish: $64
Style: Compression brace | Material: Neoprene | Adjustable: Yes
Best Wraparound Brace: TechWare Pro Knee Brace
The Pro Knee Brace from TechWare is a relatively lightweight way to get the support you crave from a knee brace. The brace features a wraparound design, giving you the flexibility to get the comfortable, snug fit you’re looking for. Since the rolled brace is made up of three straps (which are held in opposite directions), it also ensures that pressure and stability are distributed evenly on and around your knee.
Like many knee braces, these braces come with flexible spring-loaded stabilizers, which frame the knee to provide additional protection and support. We love that the brace is made of a lightweight, breathable fabric that promises to wick away moisture and keep the knee dry and comfortable throughout wear.
The brace also comes with non-slip silicone strips, which run along the top and bottom of the brace to ensure it stays in place as you complete the day’s activities.
Price at time of publish: $16
Style: Compression brace | Material: Neoprene | Adjustable: Yes
Best Compression Sleeve: PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve
The PowerLix Knee Compression Sleeve is made from a tight, breathable fabric that provides support and comfort. The brace is designed to apply constant pressure across the knee without limiting movement or range of motion. We think it’s an excellent choice for those who find traditional knee orthosis too restrictive. Because it’s a sleeve, it’s not reinforced with the side stabilizers or hinges you’d expect to find in a heavy-duty knee brace.
The compression sleeve promises to wick away moisture during wear, keeping your legs relatively dry and comfortable, even when you’re sweating. According to PowerLix, this should also keep the brace overall odor-free, and should reduce some of the irritation typically associated with knee sleeves.
Like many compression sleeves, this one comes with silicone gel strips that run along the top and bottom of the sleeve, promising to keep it firmly in place while you’re on the go. What is cute? It also comes with a six-month, no-questions-asked warranty. So if you don’t like the product, you can get 100% of your money back.
Price at time of publish: $20
Style: Compression sleeve | Material: Compression fabric | Adjustable: No
Best Knee Wrap: Mava Sports Knee Wraps
Mava Sports knee wraps offer maximum flexibility, and each consists of a single 72″ strap that you can wrap around your knee to make a brace as long and as narrow as you want it to be.
The shell is made of a high-performance stretch fabric that provides compression without limiting range of motion. This should give you some of the support and comfort you’d expect from a more traditional knee brace while also giving you the flexibility to create a knee brace that meets your exact needs.
In addition to being incredibly flexible, we also love that the knee wrap is easy to use. Each sleeve comes with an adjustable hook and loop closure, making it easy to install once you have the perfect fit. Mava Knee Wraps promise to stay firmly in place while wearing, so you don’t have to worry about them slipping, opening, or falling out in the middle of an activity.
Price at time of publish: $22
Style: Compression wrap | Material: Elastic, polyester | Adjustable: Yes
Best Low-Profile: Pure Support Knee Brace Compression Sleeve
The Pure Support Knee Brace Compression Sleeve features the sleek, low-profile design you’ve come to expect from a compression sleeve. But it also comes with the fixing and support straps that you’ll find in a knee brace. We love the result, which is a sleek, supportive formula brace—and discreet enough to wear during everyday activities.
The Pure Support Knee Support Compression Sleeve is made from a stretchy compression fabric that promises to apply targeted pressure across the knee joint without restricting your range of motion. Because the fabric is breathable and moisture-wicking, it also promises to reduce itch, bacteria, and other potential irritants.
The casing comes with a non-slip grip tape that runs along the top of the bracket to hold it firmly in place while on the go. And since the brace is fitted with a series of fixed cross-straps, you can expect an extra dose of support above and below the knee.
Price at time of publish: $25
Style: Compression sleeve | Material: Elastic yarn | Adjustable: No
Best for Arthritis: Physix Gear Knee Support Brace
The Physix Gear Sport Knee Support Brace are compression knee sleeves that promise to provide comfort, support, and comfort in equal measure. The wrap is made of durable, flexible fabric that contours to your knee, providing a comfortable fit that moves with you during the day’s activities.
Like many compression sleeves, this one will give you support across the entire knee joint. And according to Physix Gear Sport, the stability provided by the casing makes it a great choice for those with osteoarthritis.
The brace is designed to be lightweight and breathable. And we love that, because of its low-profile silhouette, it can easily be slipped under clothes. While many knee sleeves can be difficult to wear, they are easy to wear. And since the case comes with silicone non-slip straps, it will stay firmly in place during use.
Price at time of publish: $11
Style: Compression sleeve | Material: Nylon, lycra | Adjustable: No
Best for Temperature Therapy: Vive Knee Ice Pack Wrap
The Vive Knee SnowPack Wrap is a knee brace that doubles as an ice pack and triples as a heating pad. The soft and comfortable brace comes with four adjustable straps. This will allow you to get the tight and compression fit you want, providing you with the exact balance between comfort and support you’re looking for.
The bracket comes with three built-in removable gel packs that can be chilled in the freezer for cold therapy or heated in the microwave for heat therapy. The brace is designed with three gel pockets – two at the front of the knee and one at the back of the knee – so you can put each gel pack in place to apply heat therapy where you need it most.
Each gel pack is leak-proof and reusable. And we love that the brace is machine washable for added convenience.
Price at time of publish: $33
Style: Compression, hot or cold therapy | Material: Neoprene | Adjustable: Yes
How We Selected the Best Knee Braces for Meniscus Tears
We began our research by consulting four experts—a sports medicine physician, an orthopedic surgeon, and two physical therapists—about what to look for in a knee brace for a meniscus tear. Next, we examined dozens of well-rated knee braces, and evaluated them for support, comfort, and value.
When it comes to knee braces, support and comfort are often in competition with one another. You’ll find heavy-duty braces, rubber braces, and everything in between. To accommodate a range of needs and preferences, we’ve sought to offer best-in-class options at various points along this spectrum, favoring brackets that have been stable, flexible, or offered a little of both.
We also looked at whether the braces were breathable, moisture-wicking, or adjustable (all pluses are in our book). We weighed the pillar’s strengths against its price point to assess the overall value.
What to Look for in Knee Braces for Meniscus Tears
There are a variety of knee braces to choose from, including bypass options, compression sleeves, unloading braces, and hinged braces. “A simple knee brace may be sufficient for some people, while a brace with metal or plastic braces on both sides may be necessary for someone who is still working to restore knee strength and mobility,” says Irene Pereira, PT, DPT.
If stability is the main concern, the sleeve will perform better. If you need to displace weight from an injured knee, it may be best to use a vacuum or articulating brace.4 Pereira notes that while a brace may help, not a single brace will provide complete support for everyone, and she encourages people to talk about their body. Therapist or doctor to determine what is best for them.
The knee brace can be made from one type or several types of materials. Some, like sleeves, are made of fabric, while unloaders often feature plastic and metal struts, which help with lateral support.
“Breathable materials like mesh and moisture-wicking fabrics increase comfort,” Pereira says. She adds that neoprene is used to create a tight, comfortable fit, while Velcro straps can help provide a more stable structure. It is important to be aware of comfort because an uncomfortable brace will not be worn as often.
Most over-the-counter orthotics include a simple guide to sizing based on the circumference of your calf, thigh and knee. Depending on the severity of your meniscus tear or the type of support you’d like to have, a custom brace — fitted by a doctor, physical therapist or specialist — may be most helpful.
Pereira notes that a well-fitted brace should not slide down your leg during normal activity. It also shouldn’t cut off circulation or cause numbness or tingling in your leg, or it could be too small.
The stability of the brace should be directly related to your injury or activity level. Pereira says that if your knee is weak and you are concerned about stability in your daily activities, a more supportive brace, physical therapy, or surgery may be necessary. “If it’s very stable and you just want a little bit of support, don’t opt for the big truss with studs, it will probably just do a compression sleeve,” she says.