Having compression underwear and briefs in your wardrobe is an essential part of any athlete’s training apparel.
But keep in mind, the benefits of compression gear is applicable for daily activities and routine as well.
They’re the perfect alternative to regular cotton underwear and briefs.
But you can’t just grab any pair.
They’re a bit more pricey than regular underwear, but they’re worth it, they’re an investment into your health and general well being.
With that in mind, you have to be conscious of what briefs or underwear you go about choosing, which is where this buying guide will coming along.
What are the Benefits?
For the uninformed, you may be wondering why the need to pick up compression underwear and briefs.
Is there any real benefit?
The honest answer: it’s complicated.
There haven’t been any wide-scale research demonstrating improved performance with compression underwear, but performance shouldn’t be your focus.
There are other benefits besides incremental performance improvements.
Antibacterial properties that combat odor, snug comfort and fit, moderate levels of compression, sweat-wicking, and regulation of moisture and sweat.
These are possible due to that material used to manufacture them, usually either polyester or nylon.
It helps tremendously for the regular person but it multiplies as you exercise and work out in them.
What to Keep in Mind and How to Use This Guide
There is no concrete best choice when it comes to selecting a piece of compression equipment.
It all comes down to your personal needs and lifestyle.
For example, if you’re on a budget and need multiple sets of underwear I would opt for the briefs made of nylon because they’re usually cheaper but still perform the same function.
But if you’ve got the capital to spend and are serious about investing in training apparel,
You can’t go wrong with going with that somewhat higher price but equal quality to last you a long time and through years of training.
Keep in mind, most of these pairs of underwear are a single pair, so I recommend you purchase multiple sets for hygiene sake. (But I did include some that come in a package deal)
At the end of the day, just make sure to get what accommodates you.
Compression Briefs vs Compression Shorts
There is some confusion when it comes to purchasing compression briefs or shorts. A few questions that may come to mind:
Is there actually any difference between the two types? Aren’t they essentially the same thing?
The short answer: Yup…kind of?
Personally, I distinguish the two with the length and how close it is to the knee. I found that shorts that are 6 inches in length seem to be more suitable as briefs while the ones that are 9 inches should be considered shorts.
But at the end of the day, they both serve the same purpose which is to apply compression to the area around the thighs and also regulate all the moisture that is accumulated there from exercising or going about your day.
So with that in mind, I also included some compression shorts to the list that can be used as compression briefs if you so choose.
Top Choices Among Compression Underwear and Briefs
When it came to selecting what I thought were the best compression briefs I took into account several factors such as comfort, fit, functionality, durability, etc.
I will go into further detail with each individual piece of apparel. Also, keep in mind that I have full reviews for a couple of this compression underwear for a more detailed explanation.
To avoid further stalling, these are the best compression briefs you can pick up right now. In no particular order…
Copper Compression Recovery Underwear/Briefs
I wanted to start off this list with one of the compression briefs that immediately caught my eye that instant I saw them.
The reason being is that the material used to manufacture them is different from other brands: copper infused nylon.
For your own reference, nylon and polyester are the most common fibers used in manufacturing compression apparel. Its natural properties are excellent material to handle moisture and sweat in the lower area of your body especially when wearing underwear.
But one of the questions that also popped into my head is if this copper nylon would actually be better than just sticking to regular polyester or nylon. I was unsure if it was a gimmick that jacked up the price a bit, so I did some searching around.
Here’s what I found:
There haven’t been any large concrete studies with the benefits of the copper-infused underwear and regular compression underwear, so I was only able to go off based off of customer’s experiences.
The majority of people have experienced a much more comfortable and snug fit with Compression Underwear. They’ve mostly noted that the material is much thinner while still providing a good layer of protection and support. The compression aspect was tight, but not constricting, with plenty of stretch to expand the shorts to the desired circumference. Other briefs, although good, haven’t received such an enthusiastic response from its customer base.
Based on personal customer satisfaction, I can say that these briefs are of a high-quality caliber and should be picked off looking for top-tier apparel.
Adidas Climalite Compression Underwear
Next, on the list, we have a piece of compression underwear from a recognizable brand in the athletic apparel industry, Adidas.
Besides their shoes, they’re also known for their consistency with a high-quality athlete and sports clothing, but I’m here to make sure I keep them in check and you’re getting the best piece of compression equipment out there.
So are these the best compression briefs on the market?
That question is still up in the air, but what I can tell you is that these compression shorts/underwear are of a high caliber and should be treated as such. The lightweight fabric feels great while you’re wearing them for workouts, running, and overall general exercise.
What I really like about these are they come in a pack of 2 which is great to cycle through training days. (Although I would grab more than a pair to avoid wearing the same pair multiple times throughout the week).
You don’t want to be reusing underwear, right?
If you buy these in bulk you’ll have plenty of quality compression briefs at your disposal that you can cycle through the week and then wash later.
I like the feeling of being able to put these on and wear them to work, at home, or just in my own leisure time, even if I’m not training that day. Life is easier when you are confident and comfortable.
These are the perfect non-cotton alternative that won’t break the bank while still providing high-quality material and design with the brand name to back it up.
Under Armour Men’s Original Series Boxerjock
Although not as recognizable as Adidas, Under Armour put forth their own compression briefs that are a cheaper alternative to compression briefs for those who want to test the waters if they’re unsure if they’re the better alternative to cotton underwear.
They’re not as tight as I would like but this has some benefits as well. People who play sports that require an athletic cup are able to put one in while wearing these particular set of briefs.
I like their fit on the legs and they don’t ride up my pants when I’m doing an activity that involves a lot of cardio like jogging, playing basketball, or being up and about in general.
In addition, they help manage the sweat down under to satisfaction. If you’re someone who just sweats a lot naturally or if you’re in an area with humidity or heavy heat, these briefs can work wonders. It may convert you from cotton to compression due to the fact it absorbs sweat much more efficiently.
I would recommend these for the everyday man who doesn’t need the higher end shorts.
For the price, you’re getting a great set of underwear that you can be used for all your training days (as long as you wash them).
Knocker Men’s Athletic Compression Underwear
These are the best compression briefs/shorts in terms of quantity.
And by that, I mean that you’re getting six briefs for a good price. Before you buy just make sure you’re not getting the cotton variants that are mixed in the options. Pay attention to the color combinations you choose so you know what material you’re getting. You can read my review for additional information on selecting the right set for you.
But back onto the details of the product:
I like to use these as my everyday compression briefs. I’m not a big fan of cotton underwear much anymore and prefer to wear these when I can. You can use these when you go about your daily routine.
They keep everything secure down under while regulating any sweat and moisture that may be produced. The briefs are comfortable and don’t ride up which is a big plus when I am sitting for an extended period of time at work. The compression aspect still comes into play even if you’re just sitting. It helps my reducing any soreness and swelling that may build up from sitting too long in the car, on a plane, or at a desk.
If you’re pretty serious about training apparel, I don’t think these will be the best ones to wear for the gym in terms of quality, but they’re great as a regular use type of briefs to help you throughout the day. As long as you’re not doing any extreme sports or activities and the like with these, I think you’ll have yourself a pair of long lasting compression briefs.
Puma’s Men Volume Boxer Brief
Since we’ve been checking out all the big brands, might as well continue the theme. But if all these big brands are competing for your choice in compression underwear, how can you tell what is actually the best?
In this specific instance, you’re getting a recognizable brand name with quality compression briefs to back it up. But the add-on here is it that it comes in a pack of 3.
Throughout this list, I’ve been advocating to choose the best compression underwear based on your personal needs whether that be true high quality briefs that were a bit pricier or underwear that is relatively less in quality but giving you the ability to buy in bulk.
These briefs are the perfect balance of both worlds.
You’re getting high-grade briefs with all the benefits to back it up as well as multiple sets to use throughout training and work-out days.
Sometimes you can have it all.
Of course, if you have the budget to spend on better briefs, than I always advise to go that route. But sometimes there is a fine line when the return on investments on briefs diminish.
With that in mind, I think these would be the best choice for most people to go with.
Champion Men’s Powerflex Compression Short
As I stated in my introduction, some compression shorts can be considered compression briefs or underwear. It’s just a matter of personal preference and opinion of how someone distinguishes between shorts and underwear. (There are 9 inch alternatives, if you actually want actual short’s length)
For me, it’s length. And these ‘shorts’ were short enough to be considered briefs under my scale.
But at the end of the day, it’s just a label. You can wear them however you want.
But as for the quality of the underwear themselves, they’re impressive enough to make an impact on those athletes training or exerting pressure on the legs, or thigh area more specifically.
For example, runners would benefit the most from this short/underwear combo because it feels more impact in helping recover torn muscles from running. It covers slightly more surface area of the thigh allowing the compression to have more space to performs its function.
I’ve found that people who were most inclined to purchase this particular product were people with a focus in track and field.
According to some customers, it has provided comfort and recovery for their athletes in events such as hurdles, sprints, and jumps.
In addition, Champion has the reputation of being a big leader in the apparel industry and have the history to back it up. So if you’re serious about working on your thighs and legs and need ample compression, I would recommend picking these up for yourself.
Tesla Men’s Cool Dry Compression Baselayer Shorts
Although they’re marketed as shorts, they can be considered underwear for the fact of their length, and I personally wouldn’t wear these pair of shorts as outerwear when I go out jogging or whatnot without getting some looks from people.
The thing I appreciate about what this brand is the thing they’re offering something needed from higher end brands:
I know that might not be a deal breaker for some people, but as a person who is cycling through briefs or underwear for training and my daily routine, it is nice to have options in my drawer to change it up.
I appreciate the cheap budget friendly price that comes with these shorts and brief combo. It’s not too much that it will break the bank, but it is enough to justify the purchase of quality.
As for the quality, you’re getting a pretty comparable piece of compression briefs to the top-tier brands in this industry.
The factor that is lacking is comfort, but only by a bit.
I recommend getting these as the go to alternative to cotton underwear. You can wear them to the gym or if you’re going out to do your daily activities. Also, check out the other compression apparel they have such as pants and shirts to combo with it.
Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts
Earlier I mentioned Under Armour’s Boxerjock which is their designated compression underwear/briefs product, but there is an alternative if you’re not a big fan of those briefs.
These compression shorts by them are a great alternative with an efficient moisture system with breathable comfort.
In my personal opinion, I would grab these over the Boxerjock if you want a thicker piece of compression briefs to wear under your shorts or pants.
The only drawback here is the price. It is somewhat more expensive than the Boxerjock briefs, but I believe if you have the capital to spend, I would recommend picking these up for yourself if you want quality training briefs to wear with you the gym.
Nike Men’s Pro Combat Core Compression Six-Inch Short
Although it is labeled as a compression shorts, these are 6-inches in length which for a person of my height isn’t long enough to reach my knee making it more of a briefs/underwear combination for myself.
It should be no surprise that Nike is going to be offering a quality piece of athletic apparel, but you should still know what that entails.
One thing you can definitely expect out of this is the comfort.
Like most compression gear it is made up of polyester and spandex, but the difference here is the overall design.
The mesh panel in the middle provides the needed comfort in your crotch area. The inseams and bands are placed in strategic areas to avoid any discomfort along the thigh and leg area for things like irritation and chafing. In addition, I found that it seems to be easier to put these on compared to some of its competitors.
As always with Nike products, you’re getting that high quality wearing them throughout the day. They don’t interfere with performance, and you can feel them moving with you as you exercise, work-out, jog, etc.
I would recommend these for those who truly want top-tier comfort and recovery.
Defender Men’s Cool Dry Shorts
The thing I love most is the budget friendly price but with similar quality to those of more well-known brands.
It’s made up of a polyester/spandex combination with the same moisture and sweat regulation system like most.
The only difference I would note is the construction of these briefs. The inseams aren’t as conforming to the shape of the thighs as I would like them to be, but besides that, they’re quite the steal.
I would pick these up as my daily briefs or underwear when I go to work of under apparel for workouts and such. They have a snug fit and they get the job done. That’s pretty much all you can ask of a piece of compression underwear.
I hope I gave you an idea of the type of compression briefs, underwear, or shorts that may fit your needs.
I chose each product based on which of their qualities we’re the best for a variety of individuals.
That means they weren’t necessarily the best in quality, but in terms of aspects like quantity, price, lifestyle, etc.
With that in mind, make sure to pick the compression apparel that works best for you.