Guide to Basketball Arm Sleeves

While playing basketball, some players like to wear sleeves on their knees, arms, legs, or calves. This might not be a necessary part of the gear required for the game, but it’s a trend that also has some benefits for players. 

Basketball arms sleeves are especially an increasingly common sight for both professional and college basketball courts. Even those who play basketball just for fun might want to don arm sleeves in order to emulate the basketball legends they look up to. However, there are several other reasons why you might be in search of the best basketball arm sleeve this year. 

Reasons for Getting a Quality Basketball Arm Sleeve

Below are just a few factors that might make it a good idea to invest in a decent arm sleeve for playing basketball:

1. Helps to stave off certain health issues

Basketball might be a fun game to play, but it’s quite hard on the body. You have to run after a ball, dodge other players, keep dribbling the ball when you get it, jump up high, and risk quite a few falls and other injuries. Basketball players can also suffer from tendonitis, arthritis, soreness all over the body, and other health issues after playing for some time. For all these conditions and many more, wearing a proper basketball arm sleeve is definitely recommended. 

2. Improved blood circulation

By providing compression and support, certain arm sleeves could even help to promote proper blood flow. This will help in quicker muscle and injury recovery. The same goes for leg sleeves and knee sleeves, but you have to choose which part needs the most attention and buy sleeves accordingly. 

With better blood circulation, one may expect fewer cramps, better performance on the basketball court, and warmer limbs even when playing outdoors during winter. 

3. Protection from harmful UV rays

Arm sleeves also help to protect a player’s skin from potentially damaging UV rays when they’re playing outside. This is an important factor, as too much exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer and sunburn. Plus, a proper breathable material for arm sleeves will also prevent heat rashes. 

4. Protection for impaired limb

Playing any kind of sport can sometimes lead to injury, but the more minor kinds will still let you play. In the case of an impaired arm, a basketball arm sleeve might become essential gear for the game. These sleeves will keep the muscles supported and warm; also, they’ll protect the injured area from suffering more damage. 

In fact, some compression arm sleeves might stave off injury to your arm altogether. These usually have some sort of padding at the elbow, which can break the impact in case of a fall. 

5. Covers tattoos

Players for a conservative-minded basketball team or a conventional school might not be allowed on the court if their tattoos are on display. In such cases, wearing arm sleeves can help in keeping talented players on the team. Of course, you will have to make sure to get a sleeve that properly covers the tattoo completely and won’t slip to show any part of it during play or practice. 

6. Following the trend

Many basketball athletes would like to look their best on the court, and that includes making some fashion statements along the way. If all or most of the other players are wearing them, an individual might want to get some so that they won’t be the odd one out. 

How to Select the Best Basketball Arm Sleeve

There are quite a few considerations to take into account before you decide on any basketball arm sleeve. The table below will briefly glance at these factors and guide you accordingly: 

Purpose of Basketball Sleeve/Features to Consider

Protection from UV Rays

Protection from heat

Protection from the cold

Support for Injury

Ease of Washing

Material

Nylon, polyester

Cotton, Kevlar

Wool, cotton, polyester

Synthetic

Polyester, nylon

Color

Dark or bright

White, red, yellow

Dark

N/A

White (won’t affect other clothing)

Padding

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

This table might give you a start on your search, but it doesn’t cover all the essential factors. Let’s have a look at what else we should consider before moving on to the top choices for basketball arm sleeves today: 

  • Level of comfort: Make sure the arm sleeves doesn’t cause pain or discomfort while wearing them; if they do, this will bring your performance down
  • Moisture-Wicking: The material for your basketball arm sleeve should be able to quickly wick out moisture, whether it’s in the form of sweat, dew, rain, or any other type. This will help a player feel more relaxed and dry while playing, as they will be relatively less hampered by sweat or body odor.
  • Style or Pattern: The colors, patterns, designs, and style of a basketball arm sleeve might be a matter of preference for recreational players. However, they could also be a requirement to fulfill if you’re on a team. If you can, choose a style that makes you comfortable and happy so that you can do your best on the court.
  • Brand: Several known brands such as Under Armour and Nike supply arm sleeves; buying from these names might set your mind at ease regarding the quality of the product. They also usually offer good customer and after-sales services, so there’s less risk here than buying from a relatively unknown manufacturer. 
  • Customer Reviews: Even the market leader’s products might get negative reviews for certain items, so make sure to read the feedback before placing any orders. At times, the cheaper and lesser-known option might turn out to give a better experience to existing customers.  

The Best Basketball Arms Sleeves for 2021

There might be a lot of choices out there when you start looking for basketball arm sleeves. You might not have far to search if you check out these top options right now

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
HOPEFORTH 2PCS Padded Elbow Forearm Sleeves
CompressionZ Youth Compression Arm Sleeves
Kunto Fitness Compression Support Sleeve
Under Armour Unisex-Adult Performance HeatGear Compression Arm Sleeve
McDavid 6500 Padded Shooter Sleeve 


1. HOPEFORTH 2PCS Padded Elbow Forearm Sleeves


HOPEFORTH 2PCS Padded Elbow Forearm Sleeves

If you’re looking for a decent pair of arm sleeves, these provide extra protection within a reasonable price range. The package includes two sleeves, so you can either wear both at the same time or reserve one as a spare. 

While these sleeves will help in providing relief to impaired arms, it will also make sure not to impede their movement. Most of the construction is polyester, though some spandex is used for extra flexibility. There are thick EVA pads on both the elbow and forearms, along with silicone strips to prevent slipping. The fabric is moisture-wicking, breathable, and UV-protected. 

 

Pros



  • Padding on forearm and elbow for extra protection

  • Allow for free movement to both arms

  • Environmental materials may prevent allergies

  • Low chances of slipping down

  • Suitable for all genders and most sizes

  • Moisture wicking

  • Provide relief from soreness or pain


Cons



  • Elbow pads might be too tight for certain players



2. CompressionZ Youth Compression Arm Sleeves


CompressionZ Youth Compression Arm Sleeves

When kids play basketball, they might need an extra layer of protection to prevent major injuries. These compression arm sleeves are a suitable choice here, as they give support to the arm area while also making sure that the player’s movements remain flexible. They’re also suitable for wearing in all kinds of temperatures, so the investment will be worth it. 

The design here includes a nylon and spandex mixture fabric with a 4-way stretch. It also provides a full arm compression experience, with a secure cuff design to prevent slipping. 

 

Pros



  • Sleeves provide muscle support

  • Moisture wicking

  • Durable construction

  • Hand joints also get some stability

  • Optimal pressure on whole arm; enhances blood circulation

  • Easy to put on and take off

  • Non-slip design

  • Controls temperature of arm in extreme weather

  • Reduce injury risk during games and practices


Cons



  • The sleeves are on the thinner side; may not provide much warmth



3. Kunto Fitness Compression Support Sleeve


Kunto Fitness Compression Support Sleeve

This support sleeve is among the best options for applying pressure evenly on your arm and elbow. It might be significantly shorter than most other arm sleeves available, but that's because it’s primarily meant for the elbow area. Overall, this is a good choice for those players who are already suffering from injuries or muscle soreness. 

The design of this arm sleeve is meant to give comfort and relief to the affected area without restricting arm movement much. With the form-fitting yet breathable fabric, it shouldn’t be an issue to keep your joint stable and still stay relatively dry and cool on the court. 

 

Pros



  • Fabric has 4-way stretch for decent flexibility

  • Ideal for several kinds of sports including basketball

  • No-slip grip gives more stability

  • Backed by warranty for customer satisfaction

  • Designed for elbow protection

  • Durable construction


Cons



  • Among the more expensive options on the market

  • No full-length coverage; not likely to cover tattoos or provide warmth



4. Under Armour Unisex-Adult Performance HeatGear Compression Arm Sleeve


Under Armour Unisex-Adult Performance HeatGear Compression Arm Sleeve

This arm sleeve is made with four-stitched technology, with a mixture of EVA, silicone, and polyester fibers. You can find this in four sizes, ranging from small to extra-large. The feedback from customers say that this item fits players like a second skin, so it shouldn’t be an issue to wear it during long practises and intense games. The sleeve is only available in black and white for now. 

 

Pros



  • Moisture wicking

  • Quick drying

  • Helps in boosting blood circulation

  • Comfortable for extended wear

  • Weaving technology gives more accessibility and mobility in several directions


Cons



  • Padding on elbow isn’t very thick 

  • Not available in pairs



5. McDavid 6500 Padded Shooter Sleeve 


McDavid 6500 Padded Shooter Sleeve 

This padded sleeve comes in a variety of sizes, with a somewhat cumbersome appearance and hexagonal cushioning in the elbow area. You can get this sleeve in around 10 colors, though the hexagonal grid is always a dark color. The overall look here is a professional one, and the build is good enough for playing basketball as well as many other sports. 

 

Pros



  • Padding gives good support and traction

  • Hexagon grid prevents slipping or sliding

  • Mixed fabric is stretchy and secures joint support’

  • Keep muscle warm and intact

  • Suitable for machine washing and hand washing

  • Quick drying

  • Meets HDC criterion of keeping cool, dry, odor-free, and sweat-free

  • Offers support for impaired arm


Cons



  • Meant for more muscular and heavy players with developed biceps plus triceps

  • Not suitable for novice players with slim arms




  HOPEFORTH 2PCS Padded Elbow Forearm SleevesCompressionZ Youth Compression Arm SleevesKunto Fitness Compression Support SleeveUnder Armour Unisex-Adult Performance HeatGear Compression Arm SleeveMcDavid 6500 Padded Shooter Sleeve 
MaterialPolyester, SpandexNylon, SpandexNylon, Spandex, RubberEva, Polyester, SiliconNylon and Spandex
Sizes Available S to XXLYouth Small to Youth LargeXS to XLExtra-large, Large, Medium, SmallLarge, Medium, Small, Youth
AppearanceA bit bulkyForm-fittingConsistent design throughoutSlim Bulky
PaddingElbows and forearmsNoThin padding throughout the sleeveYes, but very thinOn elbow
Main PurposeExtra protection for forearms and elbowsGiving support and safety to young playersProvide elbow support without much constructionProviding warmth to musclesFor providing support to muscular players and those with impaired arms
Pair or One PiecePairPairOne PieceOne PieceOne Piece
 

Conclusion

Selecting the perfect basketball arm sleeves could be a little challenging at first, but it helps if you already know the main purpose behind buying it. Make a list of what is required form the sleeve–is it just warmth and a bit of support, or do you also need proper compression and high durability? The high-quality options above might cost more than other choices on the market, but the investment is worthwhile for the protection and safety they provide. If the compression from arm sleeves is helping, take a look at the benefits of compression shorts as well.