Which wrist brace is best?
Wrist braces are helpful for treating various conditions and make for excellent preventative care tools, too. However, there are many aspects you should consider before finding the right wrist brace for your needs.
The best wrist brace is the Mueller Sports Medicine Green Fitted Wrist Brace. It’s a no-nonsense brace that’s simple to adjust, and it’s made of soft, recycled materials.
What to know before you buy a wrist brace
Wrist brace types
There are many types of wrist braces, but these are some of the most common.
- Cock-up braces completely immobilize the wrist. This is perfect for severe conditions such as tendonitis and ligament issues. It does make it difficult to complete everyday tasks, so only use them if strictly necessary.
- Overnight braces keep your wrist stable while you sleep. They’re stiffer than daily-wear braces, but they’re still comfortable enough to sleep in.
- Repetitive strain injury braces are commonly used as a preventative measure for those that repeat the same motion all day. They aren’t quite as stiff as other braces, so you can still complete these repetitive motions as needed.
- Sports braces balance the need for flexibility and range of motion while providing support. You can wear them both for treatment and as a preventative measure.
- Orthoses braces require prescriptions and are commonly used as an alternative to casts for treating fractures. They’re also used as post-surgery support.
Many wrist braces have one-size-fits-all sizing. These work well for most people, but they may not provide the best possible support. This is especially true for those with smaller or larger wrists. It’s best to choose a brace that has specific sizing options. Most braces come with sizing charts, so you can compare the sizes to your wrist measurements.
Most wrist braces are black or tan to mesh with outfits and call less attention to the injury. Some come in other colors too, like pink and blue.
What to look for in a quality wrist brace
Most wrist braces use synthetic materials, such as nylon and neoprene. These synthetics have enough stretch and breathability for all-day comfort. Many have moisture-wicking or antimicrobial properties to fight off bacteria, which can cause nasty smells or infections.
The more padding a wrist brace has, the more comfortable it will be. However, it makes the brace stiff and can warm up quickly over time. You may need to try a few braces before you find one that has the right level of padding.
Some braces compress the wrist to increase blood flow while reducing swelling and inflammation. This not only helps your wrist feel better, but it can also speed up your recovery rate. However, too much compression can be uncomfortable or even cause further damage. As with padding, you may need to try a few braces to find the right amount of compression.
How much you can expect to spend on a wrist brace
Wrist braces range in price for little as $5 or as much as $100 or more. Basic braces shouldn’t cost more than $15, while more specialized braces cost up to $50. Typically only prescription or customized braces reach or exceed $100.
Wrist brace FAQ
What can I use a wrist brace for?
A. Some of the most common reasons for needing a wrist brace are:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries.
- Sports injuries or offering extra support to prevent sports injuries.
- Fractures and sprains, as well as support after surgeries.
How do I wash a wrist brace?
A. Many wrist braces are machine-washable and -dryable. If they aren’t, you can wash them by hand in a sink full of hot soapy water. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly and let them air dry. If motions involved with hand washing are painful to you, make sure your brace is machine-washable.
Do I need to see a doctor before getting a wrist brace?
A. That depends on what you’re trying to prevent or heal. You can manage most everyday injuries with an average over-the-counter brace. If your injury is severe or if you’ve just had surgery, your doctor may prescribe a specific brace for you.
What’s the best wrist brace to buy?
Top wrist brace
What you need to know: This is an excellent no-fuss brace with soft fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.
What you’ll love: The straps are easy to adjust, and the brace doesn’t restrict your range of motion. It comes in two sizes for both the left and right hand. It’s great for carpal tunnel.
What you should consider: Those with very thin wrists were too small for the smallest size. Others had issues with the brace digging in around the thumb.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top wrist brace for the money
What you need to know: This is another great basic brace for a few dollars less, and BraceUp offers a money-back guarantee.
What you’ll love: It’s lightweight, soft and highly breathable, so you can wear it all day and night. The straps are easy to adjust, and it comes in two sizes for the left and right hand.
What you should consider: A few customers had issues with the hook-and-loop straps being too strong. Others found the straps weakened after a few months.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This brace has some extra features like targeted compression.
What you’ll love: The fabric is moisture-wicking, breathable and infused with copper that doesn’t wash out. It’s machine-washable for easy cleaning and comes in two sizes for the left and right hand.
What you should consider: A few purchasers had issues with a clump of stitching around the thumb hole causing blisters. Others found the thumb hole to be too small.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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