In one of our previous pieces, we talked about knee sleeves and what they can do for you. As support equipment for athletes, they can provide a much needed advantage and bring about improvements to your current training. That being said, there’s more to know about them than just what they do — one must also take thickness into consideration.

A Refresher on How Knee Sleeves Work

Before we talk about the varying thickness for knee sleeves, along with what forms of activities each is good for, let’s go into a little detail about how these things work.

Knee sleeves provide warmth and compression to the knees. Due to the compression, blood flow is increased along with the receptive input from the knee. This helps an athlete perform stable, more controlled movements.

As for receptive input, this means your brain is receiving more information from the particular part of your body where the compression is experienced, thus allowing more awareness of how that body part is being used. When using a knee sleeve, you’ll be able to perform movements better.

Knee sleeves come in differing levels of thickness, measured in millimeters. For now, we’ll talk about sleeves that come in 3mm, 5mm and 7mm variants.

3mm Knee Sleeves

These are ideal for athletes in endurance sports and training. Due to their lighter weight, they are ideal for carrying light equipment, long distance training and the like. These sleeves serve to support an athlete when they’re starting out and at the end of their workout. Additionally, it helps the wearer regain control of their knee movements.

knee sleeve thickness

5mm Knee Sleeves

The 5mm sleeve is applicable to many activities, such as long distance running or simply general gym use. This sleeve provides benefits in varied training areas where both agility and support are required by an athlete. If you’re dipping yourself into mixed activities, rest assured the 5mm will be your sleeve of choice.

7mm Knee Sleeves

This is a sleeve for some of the heavier activities. The benefit of using 7mm sleeves comes in the form of the power stabilization that it offers athletes. When you’re lifting heavy, this is what you’ll want to help you achieve stability. And when you need extra support for when you’re going through rehab, this aids in that as well.

Historically, this sleeve is mostly used by weightlifters that need extra support during their lifts. If you want to ensure that your shorter, heavier activities are performed with more precision and security, the 7mm knee sleeve is the one for the job.

Consider your specific activity, the level you’re at and the kind of assistance you need — these factors will help you find the perfect knee sleeves for your fitness.