We’ve narrowed down our top pick for best compression sleeves for basketball to the Copper Compression Recovery Elbow Sleeve. The reasoning behind this choice was due to the comfort, recovery benefits, as well as the support it provided while playing basketball whether it be a pickup game or a league game. We felt it had a significant impact on our shooting form as well as during the recovery process after practice or when a game ended.
But if you’re looking for something different…
As always we have a runner-up if you want to change it up, and that runner-up is the Compression Arm Sleeves by CompressionZ. We liked the 2-count that is included when you buy it but personally didn’t feel the need for covering my forearms. That’s just a personal choice. But overall these are excellent sleeves that are durable and help increase your recovery speeds on and off the court.
|Compression Sleeve||Reasons||View on Amazon|
|Copper Compression Elbow Recovery Sleeve||Stabilized support in shooting form & significant recovery benefits||Buy on Amazon|
|Compression Arm Sleeve by CompressionZ||Full arm coverage, snug and comfortable fit, quality compressions||Buy on Amazon|
Why We Picked the Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve
When you put the sleeve on and start going at it on the court, naturally, you tend to feel minor strains in your muscles and joints after dribbling and shooting. And when you relax and rest those muscles, the ‘magic’ happens.
After checking out multiple compression sleeves, we felt that these particular sleeves had the most significant impact during the recovery process. By that I mean you could feel the compression aspect squeezing and pressing against your skin and you could sort of feel that blood pumping and going throughout your body. Also, it felt like it was massaging your muscles and helping them recover.
And this recovery was noticeable.
Compared to not wearing a sleeve, I felt that I felt less sore quicker while wearing the sleeve for a prolonged amount of time, sometimes even when I go to bed (which I do not recommend for hygienic reasons). Some people may have different experiences, but after checking what other people have experienced with this compression sleeve, they also noted quicker recovery time and overall felt their muscles and joints in the elbow after shooting practice.
Another thing to factor into the sleeve was its comfortability.
On its first wear it felt a little tight, but as it started to contour to my body, it began to feel like a snug and great fit. When wearing this for a 48-minute game, a pickup game, or practice, it didn’t feel like it restricted my play style and shooting form. Sometimes I wouldn’t feel like it was there, and that it was just another layer of skin. The copper-infused nylon material played a role in the softness and cozy wear.
As for the support of the sleeves, they also excelled well in this area and provided to the overall benefits of the sleeve. When I get into shooting form that slight tightness that comes from the compression helps stabilize that shooting arm for a better and more accurate shot. I don’t know if that translates to more baskets made, but it will help with your overall shot attempt.
Last on my list is style.
There is a sort of aesthetic that comes with basketball. That goes from the jersey/shirt to the shorts to the shoes. The sleeves are the cherry on top for that overall look. Unfortunately, the manufacturer only offers black, but the good news is that black is a versatile color that mixes well with almost any and all color choices. This creates an extra benefit if you want to look good when you go up for a shot.
The Runner Ups for Best Compression Sleeve
Although we listed out our top pick for the ideal sleeve for basketball. There are several other contenders that may be up your alley. There are individual factors that set these compression sleeves apart. Several of these may be better or the best in a respective category.
This could range from the style, price, material, comfort, fit, etc.
If you’re still undecided in what you want or if you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal and cross-checking with other products, then I advise you to check out the following list of runner-ups. Besides the runner-up we mentioned earlier, all the other products listed will be in no particular order.
Compression Arm Sleeves by CompressionZ
This was the 2nd place compression sleeve we chose because we felt it was different from the Copper Compression Sleeve in a good way.
Unlike the Copper Sleeve, we get 2 sleeves for the price of one. You could put on both sleeves when you go to play but let’s be honest: that looks kind of weird. In that case, you put one sleeve on your dominant shooting arm and save the other sleeve for a rainy day. If you have practice on a regular basis or if you play basketball normally, you can cycle between each sleeve for hygienic purposes (just remember to wash it regularly too). This is great for when sweat builds up or if you just feel dirty wearing it repeatedly.
The other good thing about these sleeves is that it is an arm sleeve meaning it covers the length of your arm all the way to your wrist. If you’re not a fan of an elbow sleeve and would prefer a longer alternative to cover your shooting arm than this might be the better choice for you.
While the benefits remain the same, there are some differences that might be a deal breaker for you.
The benefits of an arm sleeve allow for the compression levels to take effect to your forearm as well for a speedy recovery in that area if you find yourself having pains or feeling sore there after a game or practice. In terms of preserving your shooting form, I would say it does the same job relative to the Copper sleeve because all you need is the slight squeeze and brace on the elbow when you get into shooting position.
As for style I personally prefer just an elbow sleeve, but as this is more of an opinion factor that choice remains up to the individual. If you do prefer arm sleeves, I recommend that this would be the best all-around compression sleeve for you.
The Elixir Compression Arm Sleeves
Similar to the runner-up CompressionZ, The Elixir offers their own pair of full arm compression sleeves at a competitive price. So good that I think these are the cheapest pair of sleeves on the list. If you’re on a budget and need a piece of quality compression sleeves that’s bang-for-your-buck, then these are the one for you.
Infomercial tone aside…
At the time of writing this article, they cost less than $10 and keep in mind you’re getting 2 sleeves for the price of 1. If you need to cycle through multiple pairs of compression sleeves from basketball games or practice during the week and you don’t have time to wash it than purchasing these in bulk may be the best bet for you. Also, keep in mind that you usually only need a sleeve for your shooting arm. One sleeve one day and the other sleeve the next. If you bought 3 sets of these sleeves those are 6 individual compression sleeves for shooting that should last you the week. And then wash and repeat and you’re golden.
Some other small details to note that could be deal breakers.
There isn’t any branding or big logos on it. This is great if you’re a fan of that simple, plain, minimalistic looks and appearance when you go out to play. Also, it just looks great without any huge logos or wording, it feels like you’re ruining the overall aesthetic.
As for quality, it performs well for its particular price point. Don’t expect quality tightness and compression levels to our top picks. You can still feel support on the elbow and arm areas when you go into your shooting form.
Adidas Compression Arm Sleeve
Alright, so you probably already know the athletic apparel giants that are Adidas. They have a reputation in sports ranging from basketball, football, and soccer for making quality pieces of apparel, and this compression sleeve is no different. But you should always ask yourself and double check if that’s the best choice.
Adidas is a big brand in the NBA and other leagues. You see it on their jerseys, shorts, shoes, practice gear, equipment, etc. They’re everywhere.
And you might be wondering: why isn’t this a top pick?
Well, I do think it is a quality compression sleeve but I didn’t feel it was as rigid or supportive compared to the top contenders. I felt it wasn’t as ‘effective’ compared to its peers. But what I do acknowledge is the fact that it would still be a great pickup for any baller out there.
Let’s face it. Wearing Adidas is cool. I love it, you love it, everyone loves it. If you like the brand, get it! It’s that simple. You can flex your Adidas compression sleeve in practice or in a game, and your teammates will respect that. It’s not as great in my opinion relative to the top picks in terms of quality and effectiveness but I do feel a little mental boost in confidence when I’m swagged out in Adidas stuff.
One other thing that I applaud Adidas for doing: their color variation in sleeves. Up until now, I’ve shown you simple black color sleeves. For some people that’s boring. But if you want to change it up getting an Adidas branded camo, stripe, American flag sleeve, then that’s all you.
With that in mind pick what factors are most important to you in having a compression sleeve.
CopperJoint Compression Elbow Sleeve
As for the last compression sleeves on the list, we have ourselves another single copper-infused compression sleeve similar to our top pick.
Which might have yourself asking, “What makes this different from the other one?”
The only reason we didn’t pick this one over the other is that they felt a little more constricting compared to the Copper Compression Sleeve. I felt I was less accurate in shooting with these sleeves on and I think that may be due to the sleeve locking up my elbow’s posture too much than I like. I think it was after breaking the sleeves in and loosening it up is when I was able to perform at a better rate.
But besides that, the quality and properties of the sleeve are just as impressive as the top contenders.
I could still use this repeatedly through several days of games and practice. The only downside is if you don’t have multiple sleeves or if you didn’t buy these in bulk then you’ll have to rewash this repeatedly to make sure you’re not wearing a dirty or unhygienic sleeve.
I would still recommend these for their recovery aspect and sweat-wicking technology that is in the fiber. And thanks to the copper-infused material, you can look forward to a more efficient recovery process compared to regular compression sleeves.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying
Makes sure you’re prioritizing what you need or want when it comes to the sleeve. If you find yourself after games or practices than you will want to prioritize getting one of the copper compression sleeves for help with your muscles and joints in your elbow and arm.
If you don’t really care for that and want to wear it for the look and aesthetic with similar benefits, then maybe get the minimalistic compression sleeve or Adidas sleeve. They look great and provide a sense of confidence as it adds to your overall look.
If you need several sleeves than I would go for the 2-count packages and cycle through them during the week.
And last but not least, always double check for sizing. You don’t want to get a compression sleeve that is too tight or too loose. They’re made of stretchy material and may take some getting use to after putting one on. But once you have the perfect fit, you can expect a snug compression sleeve when playing basketball.