Best Tennis Elbow Supports – Top 5 Solutions REVIEWED
Suffering from Elbow Tendonitis (commonly known as Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s elbow) can be such a pain in the…elbow. If you are unfortunate enough to have picked up this condition, you should look into buying an elbow support brace specifically made to combat its symptoms and help you recover.
In this product review, we will help you speed up the process by recommending some of our favourite products on the market right now. When it comes to a solution for your tennis elbow, there are a number of options to choose from, and we tried to reflect this in the products we chose. We’re sure you’ll find the perfect support for you on our comprehensive list.
Ionocore Elbow Support System With Copper Compression
The most versatile product on this list
PlayActive Sports Tennis Elbow Brace With Compression Pad
Best value for money
KYUSports Adjustable Elbow Brace Support
Standard Fit Technology
Mava Sports Elbow Sleeve Recovery Compression
NeoTech Care Elbow Brace
The 5 Best Tennis Elbow Support Solutions
Ionocore is not as recognisable as a brand, but they make very high-quality sports gear. This is an interesting product as it’s a sleeve and a support brace rolled into one. You get a separate sleeve and compression brace which work best when used together but can also be used separately. This makes this support extremely versatile. You can use it for all the normal elbow ailments, injury, recovery and as a weightlifting support brace.
If you have doubts about the sleeve’s quality, the fact that it consists of 88% copper nylon and 12% Spandex should dispell them. Copper provides superior compression as well as anti-odour and moisture-wicking properties, which are needed if you plan to wear it during activity.
The sleeve itself is thin, which makes it more breathable and even less visible. The design is all black, and you can choose from three different sizes. You only get one sleeve per pack, which makes it one of the more expensive products on this list. However, it comes through with great features and quality.
First of all, the PlayActive elbow brace is an amazing value for money. For a very affordable price, you get two elbow braces. On top of that, you get two small-medium and two medium-large support straps to make sure your braces fit perfectly (a crucial factor in an elbow brace).
These braces can be used for both types of Elbow Tendonitis: Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) or Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow). If you suffer from Arthritis or Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, you will also find relief when using these braces, as one of their main features is pain relief. The material consists of 65% Neoprene and 35% Nylon, meaning this is a high-quality and very durable brace.
The only slight problem we have with this brace is that the fastening mechanism is slightly hard to use on your own and may take a few tries to get right. However, it does a good job of staying in place despite not being a full sleeve. As a nice bonus, it also comes with an e-guide that includes extra tips for dealing with your tennis elbow.
Now, for something a little different. This adjustable compression brace from KYUSports actually makes use of internal springs to give that extra bit of compression. It’s a full brace, meaning it covers most of the surface area below and above your elbow. To allow for a bit of breathability, the elbow and the inside of the elbow have been left open.
The material is comprised almost completely of neoprene. Because it’s rather thick, you shouldn’t expect the same breathability and mobility as that of the other braces and sleeves (though, in our experience, it doesn’t run too hot). That’s the compromise you’ll have to make for a superior amount of support, compression and muscle warmth. Handily, the material is also waterproof.
The KYUSports Adjustable Elbow Brace is on the higher end of the pricing scale, which is to be expected from a product with this level of performance. It’s a one-size-fits-all sleeve, and there is only one included per purchase.
Mava makes a lot of quality sports gear, especially items aimed at preventing injury, aiding recovery and providing extra support. Its elbow compression sleeve is no exception. You can wear this sleeve for anything from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome to Arthritis to Elbow Tendonitis (Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow) to Arm Hyperextension, making it the perfect recovery sleeve.
This sleeve is exceptionally soft, lightweight and breathable, which means that you will barely feel it underneath your clothing and it will stay comfortable and cool all day. Because it has a very low profile, it won’t interfere with your wardrobe or be visible unless you wear tight clothing.
The only downside to a sleeve like this, as opposed to the braces, is that it’s not as supportive to the area of the forearm above the elbow. However, it provides a bit better overall compression and doesn’t press as uncomfortably hard. You can choose from a grey (more like off-white) and black design as well as a number of sizes.
You can almost tell this is a NeoTech product just by looking at the distinctive white and grey style. No one can deny that this sports brace looks fantastic, but does it measure up to its looks when it comes to performance? To start off with, despite the weaving looking quite thick and rough, it’s actually surprisingly comfortable and offers a snug, secure fit. The material is made from a blend of 60% nylon, 30% latex and 10% spandex.
The design of this sleeve increases blood flow which, in turn, warms your muscles. Wearing this sleeve, you can feel this comforting effect quite quickly. It also offers plenty of mobility, and we found it quite useful as a support mechanism at the gym or while doing sport.
For some, there have been some sizing issues, and there is the odd complaint about it being a little tight, particularly around the bicep. This might just be a case of buyers not correctly using the sizing chart. On a per-sleeve basis, it’s the most expensive product on this list. However, we felt it was worth the money.
Choosing the best of these 5 Tennis Elbow supports could easily come down to your personal preference, needs and budget. The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a full elbow brace like the KYUSport, a sleeve like the Malva, Ionocore, and NeoTech or a brace like the MuscleHaven and Proactive Sports.
When it’s pure performance you’re after, the KYUSport is the undisputed champ. However, you do pay for this extra performance with a slightly uncomfortable and restricting fit. If your condition is particularly bad, this brace is the one for you.
All-around, the NeoTech was one of our favourites. It’s comfortable, highly mobile, supports your elbow well and looks amazing. However, the price makes us a little bit hesitant to recommend it to everyone.
The Proactive Sports and MuscleHaven are almost identical when it comes to the type of support they offer and their performance. However, the fact that the Proactive comes with two sets of straps makes it the winner.
That leaves us with two excellent products: the Mava and Ionocore. The Ionocore just about edges it as our favourite support brace because of its superior materials and the fact that you can use it as a brace, a sleeve or both. It’s the most versatile product and the one that will provide for most people’s needs.
Buyer’s Guide to Tennis Elbow Supports
What is tennis elbow, and how does a brace help?
The technical name for a tennis elbow is lateral epicondylitis. It’s a condition in which you start to develop pain and stiffness (that can range from a mild annoyance to debilitating) in the outer forearm muscle near your elbow.
It develops as a result of excess strain placed on the wrist, forearm and elbow.
A support brace helps by providing compression to the affected area. This helps you to avoid overstraining the muscle, support it during activity and keep it warm so your muscle stays loose.
What to look for in a support brace?
When looking for an elbow support, the most vital considerations are fairly simple: support, warmth and comfort. Finding a balance between those three might be tough at first, but you should start by assessing your condition and asking a medical professional for a recommendation.
This is undoubtedly the most important aspect when looking for a tennis elbow support. Tennis elbow develops because of an inordinate amount of strain placed on your wrist, forearm and elbow. As such, the best thing you can do to prevent the condition from worsening is to provide adequate support to those areas.
Support is usually provided by compressing the affected area. You should always balance your need for support and the severity of your condition with your lifestyle and sense of comfort. The more compression, the less comfortable a brace might be for daily use, however, it will be more effective.
As you may well know, warming up muscles helps to loosen up the fibres and prevents further injury or discomfort. You want an elbow support that provides as much heat as possible to as big an area as possible. However, this should be within reason, as you don’t want to walk around with a sweaty arm all day.
Braces are great for providing heat on the wrist extensor. However, they won’t do the same for the rest of your elbow and arm. That’s where a sleeve comes in. Sleeves are also thinner and more breathable, so they won’t provide the same amount of heat to the whole area.
Type of product
This will largely come down to your personal situation. A brace will press harder on the actual common wrist extensor muscle, which is the main culprit when you are suffering from tennis elbow. This will offer greater pain relief as well as protection against inflammation.
On the other hand, a sleeve will spread out the compression more. This will result in less pressure on the muscle, which will be more comfortable but won’t have as great an effect. This will also make it better for a more general set of problems.