How To Pick The Right Knee Thickness Sleeve

Knee sleeves are designed to protect the knee when you get injured. They are also supposed to protect the knee from injury and re-injury. They provide warmth and compression to the knee joint. The effect of compression increases blood flow. It also increases the knee’s response in terms of input.  

These two effects allow the athlete to have a more stable and controlled knee motion. The warming impact makes the blood flow faster and helps the knee joint keep warm throughout a sporting activity and during extended breaks as the athlete awaits the next session. 

Before we look into what knee sleeve thickness you should go for, let’s first consider what to look for in a knee sleeve. 

i. Thickness

The thickness of a knee sleeve will determine the support and mobility on your knee. Thicker knee sleeves are best for stationery sports activities, such as weight lifting and some gym activities. Other thinner sleeve supports are better for long-distance runners, bikers, and any other sports activity that requires endurance. 

ii. Purpose

All knee sleeves are made to serve different sporting activities. There are those made specifically for weightlifters, runners, biking, riders, volleyballers, and many more. You have the option of a specialized knee sleeve or going for the generalized jacket. Your couch, mentor, or instructor can guide you on the best type to go for depending on the sporting activity you specialize in. 

iii. Padding

You can also choose the filling of your knee sleeve depending on your type of sport. There are those sports that require extra knee paddings like football, volleyball, and basketball. However, there are those sports in which the extra padding will be cumbersome and unnecessarily bulky, like running and weight lifting. 

There are different types of knee sleeves differentiated by their thicknesses for various types of sports. 

1.  3mm Knee Sleeve Support

This sleeve is convenient for athletes whose training involves endurance and long distances. Its lightness helps the athlete during any endurance sport or long-distance running. Long-distance runners and bikers mostly use it because they require the lightest equipment that aids intolerance. 

The 3mm knee sleeves provide the necessary support for an athlete when starting to get tired, mostly at the end of a workout. They assist the individual wearing it to regain control of their knee movement. Almost in all cases of physical tiredness, the knee gives in first before the rest of the body. Thus, a knee sleeve is ideal in helping the individual have control of the knee to the conclusion of the sport.

Check out the Knee Force Running blog for a guide to choosing the best knee brace for running. 

2.  5mm Knee Sleeve Support

This sleeve is proper for use, where support and agility are required. This knee support is generally convenient for all kinds of sports, from boxing to long-distance running and even football. 

So if you aren’t an athlete and only interested in general body fitness exercises like aerobics, this knee support is ideal for you. It will provide extra knee support in a gym fitness activity. 

This medium thickness sleeve is excellent for people who enjoy a variety of physical activities that don’t require much lifting. Or those who only lift weights occasionally. 

The sleeves are not that thin, therefore not as flexible. They are more rigid and are stiffer, giving you the required stability when squatting and weight lifting. But if you want to weightlift frequently, more than twice a week, they are not the ideal knee support because they wear out faster. 

3.  7mm Knee Sleeve Support

The extra thickness in this knee sleeve is essential in providing additional support and rehabilitation of a previously injured knee. It offers robust stabilization of the knee necessary for heavy lifting. 

Traditionally, the 7mm knee sleeve support was used by weight lifters and bodybuilders because their skill needs extra knee support for every lift. Nowadays, however, they are commonly used in the gym by anybody lifting weights. 

These are the thickest knee sleeve option and will require strength to put on even with the right fit. The sleeve will make you feel safer and more confident when you perform deeper squats in preparation for lifting heavyweights. They grip your knee with their thick layer providing the required stiffness and rigidity, which ensures support and stability. 


Knee support is essential for every sports enthusiast. Ensuring that your knee is protected against any unwarranted injury should be your priority as an active athlete. The knee supports our body weight. It is the first to succumb in case of extreme tiredness. That’s why it is essential to use a knee sleeve during light and heavy exercises. 

When considering the sleeve type to go for, consider the sleeve thickness, whether or not you need extra padding, and the purpose you require the sleeve for. Every sleeve thickness serves a different purpose and is ideal for a specific type of sporting activity.