Squatting is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise for your whole body.
While many fitness fanatics squat daily with the specific aim of toning their glutes and quads, squats (done correctly) also work most of your core muscles, your back, and your lower legs.
Because there are so many squat variations out there, and because you can do squats just about anywhere, this simple strength-training exercise is a fantastic staple move for your fitness regimen that won’t get boring or repetitive.
Unfortunately, there are also some potential disadvantages to squatting. The two most common types of injuries associated with squatting are back and knee injuries. This is because repeated squat movements, especially with added weights, can put a strain on the menisci in the knee joints and exert pressure on the lower spine.
This doesn’t mean you need to cut back on squatting altogether, though! With a pair of deceptively simple accessories, you can increase the stability of your knee joints while you squat, minimizing your risk of injury and letting you focus entirely on your goals! That’s right - today, we’re talking about knee wraps.
The fitness and activewear markets are enormous, and they’re only getting bigger, so discerning the best knee wraps from the rest of the competition can be challenging. We’ve gone ahead and done that bit for you.
Our list of the 8 best knee wraps for squats should help you to up your gym safety and your squat performance with a single purchase!
Want your new knee wraps before your next session? Check out our top pick:
- Polyester fabric
- Adjustable hook-and-loop closure
- 72 inches long
- 10 color options
OUR TOP PICK
These Mava Sports Knee Wraps are some of the most popular on the market currently, so we just had to check them out.
In terms of comfort and support, these knee wraps are right up there with some of the bigger brand-name wraps, but with a more affordable price tag!
The Mava Sports knee wraps are made of elasticated polyester. The polyester fabric is breathable and lightweight, which is important when you’re getting your sweat on.
Meanwhile, the elasticity allows the material to fit tightly around the kneecap, providing compression and stretching to accommodate movement as you squat. Therefore, the elasticated polyester offers the perfect amount of compressive support and freedom of movement for working out.
This superior fabric construction is enhanced by the ergonomic hook-and-loop closure, which makes the wraps fully adjustable and eliminates the problem of loose ends with velcro fastening. The hook-and-loop system is easy and quick to use, so you won’t have to waste any precious workout time readjusting.
An exciting bonus factor to mention about the Mava Sports knee wraps is that they come in a range of fun color options! From understated color combinations like gray and white to patterns like camo and eye-catching blends of yellow and blue, there’s a Mama Sports knee wrap design to suit all activewear styles.
With all of that being said, these wraps measure 72 inches in length, which is slightly shy of the optimal 2 meters, usually favored by squatters and powerlifters. While the 72-inch length will probably be long enough for most people, they might be slightly too short for those with thicker-set legs.
- Elasticated polyester
- Easy adjustment and closure
- Multiple color options
- Only 72 inches long
ProFitness’ Knee Wraps are advertised specifically as weightlifting knee wraps, but they’re perfect for providing support while squatting with or without weights.
These knee wraps perfectly represent their brand in terms of quality and functionality. You’ll look, feel, and perform like a pro with these knee wraps on, and your fitness levels are sure to benefit.
Made of 4 mm thick nylon with reinforced stitching, the ProFitness knee wraps provide plenty of flexible yet compressive support around the knee joint for ultimate stability. The adjustable hook-and-loop closure is really convenient and easy to use, allowing the wearer to adjust the amount of compression relative to the intensity of the exercise.
Like the Mava Sports knee wraps, these wraps are 72 inches long, which is shorter than the standard length for knee wraps. However, because the nylon fabric is elasticated and designed to provide compression, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most customers.
Available in 6 unique color options, including camouflage, stripes, and an American flag design, these wraps will lend a pop of personality to your workout gear while you focus on your form.
While these knee wraps are well-designed and, for the most part, constructed to an extremely high standard, it has come to our attention that a small minority of customers have experienced quality control issues with the stitching.
While these seem to be isolated incidents concerning defective products, and while we have not experienced this ourselves, it’s still worth bearing in mind. The knee wraps are backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, however, which should help to rectify this issue if it arises.
- Elasticated nylon
- Convenient hook-and-loop closure
- 6 color options
- Isolated incidents of defective stitching
If you’ve been looking for an ultra-convenient pair of knee wraps for maintaining your stability during lower-weight squats, the RIMSports Knee Wraps could be exactly what you need!
The RIMSports knee wraps are of excellent quality, made with heavy-duty yet highly breathable, moisture-wicking fabric. The combination of strength and ventilation is crucial for maintaining comfort and hygiene while receiving the support you need.
The wraps also feature strong velcro closures that can be put on, removed, or adjusted in seconds. The simple wrap-around velcro fastening saves you time and effort that you can now put into your squats!
The RIMSports wraps come in five varied color options with plain and striped designs on offer. They’re also available in two lengths: 72 inches and 80 inches. This means that customers can choose between a length that is slightly under or over the 2-meter mark according to their leg measurements and support requirements.
Even better, unlike many elasticated fabric products, the RIMSports knee wraps are totally safe to machine wash, so you can keep your new workout support gear spick and span without worrying about them shrinking.
However, these knee wraps do have their limitations. Because the closure, despite being very effective, is a simple velcro system as opposed to a hook-and-loop, they tend to shift slightly during workouts. In most cases, this shouldn’t be too much of a big deal since they can easily be readjusted.
However, it can get irritating after a while, and the shifting means that these knee wraps probably won’t provide enough targeted support for heavy powerlifting. We’d recommend these wraps to squatters who don’t mind having to readjust now and again and who typically don’t squat more than about 250 lbs.
- Breathable and moisture-wicking
- Easily adjustable velcro closure
- 72 and 80-inch lengths
- Machine washable
- Not for heavier squats
Inzer knee wraps are considered to be some of the most high-quality and dependable knee support accessories for squatting. However, because they’re not the most affordable wraps on the market, customers on a budget will often opt for a cheaper option instead.
When it comes to fitness gear designed to enhance health and safety, we can’t really criticize Inzer for charging a little extra - especially given the quality of the product.
The wraps are constructed using rubber strands, which help them to fit super tightly around the kneecaps and grip onto the skin beneath to prevent sliding. The tightness of the fit and the non-slip grip means that these wraps provide superior support in targeted areas and won’t need to be continually readjusted.
Despite being elasticated, the Iron Z knee wraps are very stiff. This means that although they offer enough stretch for proper mobility, they aren’t so flexible as to compromise on supportiveness when it matters.
These wraps come in a length of 2 meters, which is the most common choice for squat support wraps. Therefore, these wraps should fit most customers, albeit tightly.
However, despite all of their superior qualities, the tight fit of the Iron Z knee wraps comes with its own issues. Wearing these wraps for too long may cause them to feel painfully tight, and some customers have even reported bruises after long sessions.
- Tighter fit for extra support
- Non-slip grip
- Optimal 2-meter length
- May feel painfully tight
Iron Bull projects strength and toughness through its branding, and these qualities are reflected in the Iron Bull Knee Wraps.
Everything about these wraps is strong and supportive, from the primary material to the velcro in the closure system, which is precisely what you want in a pair of knee wraps.
The premium nylon material is heavy-duty and reinforced with double zig-zag stitching. Meanwhile, the velcro, which secures the ends of the wrap once passed through the hook-and-loop closure, is top grade and extra sticky, so it’ll stay put through even the most demanding workouts.
Something else to mention about the closure specifically is that it’s one of the most ergonomic systems we’ve found out of all the wraps we’ve tried out. There’s no catching or awkward loose ends, and the whole wrap can be fastened or unfastened in a matter of seconds.
Iron Bull has manufactured these knee wraps in an optimal length of 80 inches (just over 2 meters) to suit the majority of its customer base. Additionally, the wraps are available in 8 different colors and a choice of striped or camouflage designs.
These wraps have also been approved for use in competitions by the USPA and IPA. So, you can power lift (or play polo) competitively with the help of the Iron Bull wraps.
While we feel confident that almost anyone who squats regularly would benefit from and be impressed with the Iron Bull knee wraps, they may not be the best choice for those with sensitive skin. This is because the fabric can feel quite abrasive, especially on the thinner, more sensitive skin at the back of the knee.
- Extra-strong construction
- 80-inch length
- 8 color options
- May feel abrasive at the back of the knee
These DMoose Knee Wraps are designed primarily for weightlifting and powerlifting, so you know from the outset that they’ll provide enough support for all of your squatting exercises.
Made out of heavy-duty yet breathable fabric with reinforced double-stitching, these are some really tough wraps that won’t give way under pressure. They’ve been designed specifically with squat-based exercises in mind, so they provide support and compression in all the right places.
The 2-meter (or 79-inch) length of these wraps will offer the perfect fit for most customers, and because of the adjustable hook-and-loop closure, optimal compression and support is all but guaranteed.
There are 10 color options in the DMoose knee wrap range, including plain and striped options in multiple colors and 2 American flag-inspired designs.
However, although we would still highly recommend these wraps for their overall construction, their weak point becomes evident in the closure system.
While the velcro adheres well and keeps the fabric supportively in place, the ends of the wraps often hang loose in the absence of a large enough velcro area. This problem can be rectified by tucking in the ends, but a redesign of these wraps focusing on eliminating the loose ends would be welcome.
- Reinforced construction
- Breathable fabric
- 10 color options
- 2-meter length
- Ends may be loose
These knee wraps from Meister are very affordable, mid-range support accessories for squatting and lifting heavy.
The fabric used to make these wraps is heavy-duty and elasticated, so it combines strength and flexibility to an ideal level.
Unlike the DMoose knee wraps, the Meister wraps don’t suffer from the problem of loose ends because of the large, wide area of velcro that ensures proper end-to-end attachment.
The hook-and-loop fastening is also impressively ergonomic with a full range of adjustability. The system is quick to open and close, so you can easily loosen your wraps during rest periods and quickly tighten them again when you’re ready to start your next set.
Again, as we’ve seen with some of the other wraps reviewed in this article, these are a little on the shorter side at 72 inches, so people with larger legs may struggle to fasten these while keeping the compression at an optimal level.
Otherwise, though, they’re an excellent budget-friendly option that you certainly won’t regret investing in.
- Heavy-duty elastic fabric
- Large velcro area
- Ergonomic hook-and-loop fastening
- Slightly on the short side
The FIGHTECH Knee Wraps are another affordable alternative to some of the pricer options on our list and on the market as a whole.
The fabric feels comfortable and natural against the skin and has just enough elasticity to ensure proper support without restricting the natural bending movement of the joints.
The material is a blend of equal parts rubber and cotton with 20% polyester. This is a highly desirable blend designed to enhance breathability, flexibility, and comfort in a single layer of fabric.
At 78 inches long, these wraps are just a couple of centimeters shy of 2 meters (the difference is barely noticeable), so these are pretty much one-size-fits-all.
The main selling point of these knee wraps, though, is the ‘magic tape’ hook-and-loop closure system. The ‘magic tape’ closure was added to the FIGHTECH knee wraps during remastering, and they certainly improve the overall quality of the product.
The optimal velcro area prevents loose ends for a smooth and secure wrap-around that you can rely on with minimal discomfort.
The only drawback to the closure system is that the placement of the velcro may force users to fasten the wrap tighter than necessary, which can feel uncomfortable. The closure is, however, adjustable, so this can be avoided to a certain extent.
We also really appreciate that these wraps come packaged in a handy mesh storage bag or easy transport and storage when they’re not in use. Wrapping instructions also come in the package to help you figure out your new wraps the first time you use them.
- Ideal material blend
- Easy ‘magic tape’ closure
- Includes mesh storage bag
- Wrapping instructions included
- May feel overly tight
Best Knee Wraps for Squats Buying Guide
Although all 8 of the knee wraps we’ve reviewed today are impressive in terms of quality and construction, it’s important to weigh up other factors to ensure that your new wraps are perfect for your body and your exercise regimen.
Read on to learn how to choose the best knee wraps for squats according to their features.
The ideal length for knee wraps is the cause of a lot of debate (and negative customer reviews) in the workout community.
This debate isn’t helped by the fact that knee wraps are manufactured in quite a wide range of lengths, making choosing the right length difficult at times.
In general, knee wraps range from under 2 meters to around 3 meters. The length is usually expressed in inches, and you’ll typically find lengths ranging from 72 inches to 80 + inches.
While gym-goers with slimmer legs may feel more comfortable with the shorter lengths, we’ve found that most customers find their ideal fit at a length of about 2 meters or 78-9 inches. Buyers with thicker or more muscular legs may do better with longer wraps of anywhere up to 3 meters, although it’s rare for a length of 3 meters to be strictly necessary.
If you’ve never used knee wraps before and don’t know what length is appropriate for you, we’d recommend first investing in a budget-friendly pair of 2-meter knee wraps.
Once you see how well these fit, you can either stick with the wraps you have, upgrade to a more expensive pair of the same length, or opt for wraps that are longer or shorter, depending on your findings.
Once you’ve established what kind of length you’re looking for in your knee wraps, you’ll also need to consider the material it’s made out of.
Because a lot of knee wraps for squats seem to have a similar woven texture from a visual perspective, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that all knee wrap material is roughly the same. However, this certainly isn’t the case.
The most commonly used materials for knee wrap construction are polyester and nylon. These fabrics are cheap to produce (and to buy) and have excellent tensile strength as well as ventilation and moisture-wicking properties.
The breathability enabled by polyester and nylon fabrics is more important than many people realize because the area at the back of the knee is quite prone to sweating.
Excess sweat can cause wraps to slip during your squats, reducing the amount of targeted support they can provide. Moreover, if excessive sweat meets friction on a regular basis, especially if combined with inadequate ventilation, rashes can occur.
Polyester and nylon materials also have high levels of elasticity, which makes them ideal for supporting squat movements. When fastened tightly, they’ll keep your joints compressed in place while you execute heavy lifts without restricting your ability to bend and straighten your legs effectively.
Rubber strands are another popular addition to the construction of knee wraps for squats because they contribute to the elasticity of the wrap. They may also help the wrap to adhere to the skin around the knee for an optimal non-slip grip and unshifting support.
Either polyester or nylon combined with rubber strips is probably the ideal construction for most knee wraps. If you really want to maximize your chances of experiencing comfort, ventilation, support, and firm grip, you could even opt for wraps that blend multiple fabrics.
Cotton, polyester, and rubber are a fantastic combination for incorporating a little extra soft comfort into the construction while maintaining all of the benefits outlined above.
The closure or fastening system of your new knee wraps are equally as important as the other elements of construction.
The closures on your wraps should be just as durable and high-quality as the rest of the product. This is because, along with the elasticity of the fabric and rubber grips, if they’re present, the closure is responsible for keeping the wrap fastened around your knee without slipping.
This is vitally important because if your wraps slip too much while you’re squatting or lifting, they won’t be able to provide support in the crucial, load-bearing areas.
The type of closure you’ll see most often on knee wraps for squats is the hook-and-loop closure. This is generally considered to be the best system for keeping knee wraps tightly fastened in place, mostly because it means that if the velcro comes undone, there’s still something to hold the end of the strap until you’re able to refasten and readjust.
Even with a hook-and-loop closure, knee wrap users frequently encounter the problem of loose ends. This is usually the result of either a poor fit or an area of velcro that is too small.
If you don’t like having to tuck the ends of your knee wraps into the layers of fabric after adjusting, you should prioritize wraps with a large surface area of velcro to stick the ends down to.
It’s always good practice to look for additional features or accessories with any purchase. Doing so is an excellent way to assess a product’s value for money and get the best deal you can.
Besides things like slipping and discomfort, two of the most common complaints about knee wraps for squats are related to storage and wrapping technique.
It can be tricky to get used to putting your wraps on when you first start using them. The technique required for a good, supportive wrap can take a few attempts to master.
If you’ve never used wraps before, you might be confused as to where to start. This is why we really value knee wraps that come with instructions in the package because this saves time that would probably otherwise be spent on failed attempts and looking up Youtube tutorials.
If you’re a first-time knee wrap user, we recommend choosing wraps that come with instructions if you can. This will help you to get the hang of the technique before your next session so you can squat away to your heart’s content without running the risk of injury.
The next common issue comes after the wraps are removed. Storing accessories that come in pairs and are prone to unraveling or catching in your gym bag can be frustrating, to say the least.
However, it seems that some manufacturers have been made aware of this problem because certain knee wraps have become available with the inclusion of a storage bag.
This simple additional feature can really simplify the process of transporting your wraps to and from the gym without getting them tangled or caught on the rest of your gear. It also provides a safe, designated place to store the wraps between sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need knee wraps for squats?
No, you don’t necessarily need to use knee wraps to do squats. In fact, many athletes rarely, if ever, use knee wraps. Working out whether knee wraps are a necessary addition to your workout will involve assessing your usual workout routine in conjunction with what your body is telling you.
If you don’t regularly squat heavy weights, and you don’t experience significant pain in your knees after or during your squat routine, you’re probably fine to continue doing what you’re doing.
However, if you’re frequently squatting heavy weights - especially if you’re pushing yourself to incrementally increase the amount of weight that you’re lifting - it may be a good idea to incorporate knee wraps into your workouts, at least on an intermittent basis.
Using knee wraps intermittently is recommended by many exercise experts because it means that you can benefit from the extra support on particularly heavy lifts (relative to your usual weight) without causing your joints to become completely dependent on them.
A sure sign that your usual squat routine is doing damage to your joints is if you experience recurring or persistent joint pain or back pain during or after squatting.
If you notice this, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. You could just use the extra support of knee wraps, but it’s important to seek a medical opinion to rule out any serious damage or risk of future serious injuries.
What’s the difference between knee wraps and knee sleeves?
The most obvious difference between knee wraps and knee sleeves is in their respective names. While knee wraps are strips of material designed to be wrapped around the knee, sleeves don’t require any wrapping and can be slid right onto the leg.
However, this isn’t the only difference. Knee wraps and knee sleeves are actually designed for quite different purposes, although they’re easy to mix up.
Knee wraps perform multiple functions, including providing compression, reducing strain, and maintaining joint alignment. They’re an excellent way to increase your weight lifting capacity because they encourage the use of a different muscle group to bear the weight.
While knee sleeves also provide compression and are designed to reduce strain, they don’t typically increase the amount of weight you can lift. They’re designed to keep your joints stable and prevent injury.