Have you noticed professional athletes wearing compression sleeves on their arms? Those athletes aren’t just trying to look cool even though they do.
Arm compression sleeves have multiple benefits for those suffering from a bicep injury.
This article will discuss the science behind compression arm sleeves and how they can benefit you in recovery by increasing blood flow and decreasing pain.
Compression Arm Sleeves Explained
A compression arm sleeve is popular as a form of pain management and increased stability for your bicep muscle after an injury.
A study performed on athletes showed that a compression sleeve with the correct level of contraction significantly increased blood flow to specific muscle groups.
Increased blood flow to injuries increases the healing process. Since the bicep works to flex the elbow, an arm compression sleeve helps to decrease elbow pain that can follow a bicep injury.
Usually, an arm compression sleeve fits on your upper arm, but some can extend the entire length of your arm, depending on the reason for use.
Someone with tennis elbow might want a compression sleeve that fits over the elbow rather than the entire length of the arm.
Another person with a severe bicep injury might need a full-length arm sleeve to help with pain management.
Point of Consideration for Compression Sleeves
If you are contemplating buying a compression sleeve to deal with bicep issues, here are some vital points of consideration before you take the plunge.
Size of Compression Sleeve
If you’re The Rock, buying a small compression sleeve isn’t a great idea. Likewise, if your bicep muscles are more petite, purchasing a large compression sleeve that The Rock would wear isn’t a good option.
The size of your compression sleeves is vital to fit, comfort, and the correct level of contraction for increased blood flow. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.
Since the correct size is essential, measuring the circumference of your bicep is your first step.
Once you do that, most websites will offer a size guide to help you decide on which compression sleeve will fit you best.
Keep in mind that the type of material the compression sleeve is made of will determine the sizing too.
Type of Material
There are many reasons why the type of material your arm compression sleeves are made out of is essential.
We mentioned that the material factors into the size of the sleeve. That pertains to how elastic the material is. Also, the elasticity will determine the amount of compression you receive from the compression sleeve.
Look for a material that has a moisture-wicking capability for those hardcore sweat sessions.
Avoid something like 100% cotton as it will get wet and stay that way. The best moisture-wicking material is polyester.
Comfort is key. Choose a material that fits on your skin without itching or scratching.
Chances are, you will use the compression sleeve for an extended time.
A fit that is soft and comfortable on your skin is essential. If it’s not comfortable, you won’t wear it, which could mean being in more pain than is necessary.
Everything we buy should be durable, so we don’t have to purchase it again in just a few months. Compression arm sleeves are no exception.
Buy arm compression sleeves made of durable material that will last, especially if you are wearing them to the gym daily.
Let’s get fashionable for a moment. Get a sleeve that fits your personality.
Sleeves come in a variety of colors to include solids and patterns.
Pick one that’s your favorite color, or go for one with an interesting pattern. While the design doesn’t affect the fit of the sleeve, it’s fun to look cool, right?
If you perform outdoors, UV protection is a must. For one time, having a sunburn or tan around compression arm sleeves takes the farmer’s tan to a whole new level.
To avoid that and skin issues, look for compression sleeves with UV protection of 50 or higher.
That will be enough to protect your skin from any sun damage.
Best Bicep Compression Sleeves
Since we now know what to look for when it comes to a compression arm sleeve, let’s look at some of the best bicep compression sleeves available.
Here at The Fitness Tribe, we’ve done a review of the Theraice RX Compression sleeve already.
However, it’s one of the best bicep compression sleeves on the market, so it deserves more time and attention. Let’s discuss why that is.
It fits comfortably on the skin with the right amount of compression without being uncomfortable.
The material is so soft that you won’t even remember you’re wearing it. It’s breathable, too, so you won’t get overly sweaty when wearing it.
Some compression sleeves feature velcro that can pull hair or feel harsh on the skin.
The Theraice RX is a compression arm sleeve you pull on with no velcro straps that wear with time.
Therarice comes with a gel liner that hardens when placed in the freezer or softens when placed in the microwave.
Use it for hot and cold therapy to bring recovery to your muscles quicker. If compression is all you need, use it at room temperature for as long as you want for pain relief.
Even though it’s advertised as a bicep compression arm sleeve, use it on your knee, ankle, quad, and more for pain management and muscle recovery.
It’s versatile and durable even after thousands of washes. We love these sleeves for their help with recovery.
- Sleeve pulls on for an excellent, comfortable fit without straps or clasps that can pull skin and hair.
- No extra inserts are required to use it for heat or cold therapy.
- Limited number of size options available
If you need a compression arm sleeve but also want to look fashionable, then the Compressionz sleeve is the one to try.
Made with a variety of solid colors and designer patterns, you’ll look the part of an athlete and feel it too.
Made of nylon and spandex, it stretches to pull on and gives your muscles the right amount of compression. Beware that the nylon might be itchy or aggravate some skin types.
If you are an avid outdoor athlete, wearing arm sleeves means that you can get a dreadful tan. That’s why the Compressionz sleeve is a 50 for UV protection, so you never have to worry about your skin getting burned.
Fashionable and safe makes it one of our favorites.
- The spandex adds an excellent elasticity to this compression arm sleeve.
- Fashionable colors and designs are available.
- Nylon material can aggravate some skin types
Yes, it’s a compression elbow sleeve, but the fit on the upper arm allows it to support the bicep. Get the right amount of compression for bicep recovery and much-needed pain relief.
Made with a combination of spandex and polyester means that it’s moisture-wicking and has a comfortable fit. No skin irritation to see here!
Using kinesiology technology to support the elbow, the Copper Fit Elbow sleeves are the perfect compression arm sleeves for tennis elbow.
It also has unique copper ions that reduce the odor in the material while increasing muscle efficiency during your workouts. Added to that, it looks stylish.
We like this one for the excellent elbow support.
High-performance copper-infused compression sleeves with built-in kinesiology bands gives you support you need to succeed.
- Combination of polyester and spandex without nylon that often irritates the skin
- Copper ions found in material help with odor and muscle performance
- For those wanting more bicep recovery, this compression arm sleeve might not be enough
When you need full arm coverage, the Skins Essential compression sleeve is the one to buy.
The highly elastic sleeve fits on your entire arm from just below your shoulder to your wrist. Increase blood flow to your whole arm with this sleeve.
Since it’s made with 24% spandex, it features more stretch than most of its competitors, which is excellent for those with larger biceps.
Get the coverage you want with the right amount of compression. With a UV rating of 50, we like this arm compression sleeve for its full arm coverage.
- Made with 24% spandex for more elasticity than most arm sleeves
- Arm sleeve advertises the ability to increase oxygen to muscles.
- Limited on size options
When you need something a little more affordable, the Bucwild Sports compression arm sleeve is there for you.
This arm sleeve only costs $15.99 and features coverage over most of the arm for increased blood flow.
Those who love fashion will also enjoy these arm sleeves as no pattern or color is off-limits.
Get something that suits your personality and protect injured muscles at the same time. We like this one for affordability and fashion.
Bucwild Sports compression arm sleeve is perfect for athletes in baseball, football, basketball (shooter sleeve), volleyball, golf, tennis, bowling, running, cross fit, cycling, weightlifting, spartan, as well as those with:, elbow pain, arm pain, soreness, and swelling.
- Many designs to choose from
- Affordable option compared to some competitors
- Some reviews that the compression is not tight enough
Products to Avoid
If you see red warning lights when you read that, you should. We don’t want you to be a less than ideal product, especially for pain relief and muscle recovery.
That’s why we insist you avoid the Stoic 7mm compression sleeve cuff. As advertised, it is not a sleeve but only a small cuff.
While it fits on the bicep and gives some compression, it’s very lacking. Also, it’s made of neoprene which isn’t comfortable at all against the skin. Don’t buy this one.
When it comes to the best compression arm sleeves, look for comfortable, moisture-wicking material that fits like a glove in the words of Ace Ventura.
Get the compression you need on your upper arm to relieve bicep pain and promote faster muscle recovery. Not all compression arm sleeves are the same so look at the ones we suggested and avoid cheap versions and knockoffs.
They may catch your eye with exciting patterns and colors but do nothing in terms of pain relief and muscle recovery.
Follow our list of recommendations, and you can’t go wrong.