Wrist braces protect, stabilize, and support your wrist in a neutral position, which helps limit movement. Some wrist braces are designed to take pressure off the median nerve, which causes carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
Wrist braces also alleviate pain, inflammation, and stiffness due to repetitive strain injuries or conditions such as arthritis or tendonitis. Plus, they can help you recover from an injury or surgery.
It’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before using a wrist brace to make sure it’s suitable for your needs.
Read on to take a look at some of the best wrist braces available. You’ll learn about their benefits, tips for use, and what to look for when shopping.
Wrist braces hold your wrist in a straight position and reduce movements that cause irritation. This helps alleviate wrist pain and inflammation from repetitive movements and conditions like CTS. Plus, they can help you recover from an injury or surgery.
In the case of CTS, using a wrist brace to immobilize your wrist decreases pressure on the median nerve. Symptoms of CTS often occur at night, so you may need to use a wrist brace in the evenings or while you sleep. Before wearing a wrist brace for an extended period, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your doctor.
To select the best wrist braces, we considered the following criteria:
- Wrist support. We chose braces that support the wrist in a neutral position.
- Size options. Our selection includes braces that are adjustable or available in different sizes.
- Comfort. The wrist braces on this list are lightweight and breathable and use durable materials.
- Price. We included wrist braces offering quality and value for the price.
- Customer feedback. The wrist braces on this list have mostly positive customer reviews.
Best for overall support
Mueller Carpal Tunnel Wrist Stabilizer
Made of breathable materials free of latex and neoprene, the Mueller Carpal Tunnel Wrist Stabilizer features a removable metal spoon and padded side splints for comfort and support. The brace strengthens and stabilizes your wrist so you can go about your everyday activities comfortably.
At the same time, this brace prevents you from moving beyond your range of motion, which helps reduce pain.
The Mueller Carpal Tunnel Wrist Stabilizer is ambidextrous and available in two sizes.
Best pick for typing
ComfyBrace Day Wrist Brace
The ComfyBrace Day Wrist Brace features an ambidextrous, adjustable design that fits a range of hand and wrist sizes. The brace alleviates discomfort, pain, and irritation from repetitive movements. The lightweight design provides support and stability without restricting mobility, which gives you the flexibility to type or perform similar activities.
Best pick for support in sleep
ComfyBrace Night Wrist Brace
The ComfyBrace Night Wrist Brace is sturdy, supportive, and durable, yet comfortable enough to wear while you’re sleeping. The brace helps prevent you from placing your wrist under your body while you sleep. It provides compression and padding to alleviate nighttime discomfort, and features cushioned beads on the palm that mold to the shape of your hand and help keep it in position.
Best pick for tendonitis
Cooper Compression Wrist Brace
The Cooper Compression Wrist Brace offers stability and can improve comfort if you have tendonitis, arthritis, or CTS. The adjustable brace limits movement so you don’t exacerbate pain, yet it provides enough range of motion for daily movements. It offers compression and protects your wrist so it can rest, heal, and recover.
The Cooper Compression Wrist Brace features copper-infused fabric with antimicrobial properties that may prevent odor and is comfortable enough to wear around the clock. The brace is ambidextrous and available in two sizes.
Best pick for all-day wear
Futuro Comfort Stabilizing Wrist Brace
The Futuro Comfort Stabilizing Wrist Brace features a low-cut design that stabilizes your wrist while providing hand and finger mobility. This can make it ideal if you need a certain level of support and freedom of movement for work. It’s made of breathable, lightweight materials to help provide all-day comfort. The reversible design features three Velcro straps and an adjustable palmar splint.
Best choice for affordability
Vive Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace
The Vive Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace is an inexpensive yet high quality option that comfortably stabilizes and protects your wrist while alleviating pain and swelling.
The adjustable ambidextrous design features supportive metal splints that you can remove if you require more movement or flexibility. The brace is made of lightweight, breathable material to provide comfort.
There are several characteristics to look for when buying a wrist brace. It’s important to select a wrist brace that matches your needs based on your symptoms, lifestyle, and daily activities.
To narrow down your selection, take the following factors into account:
- Customer reviews. Read online reviews to get a feel for customer satisfaction and the product’s effectiveness and durability.
- Material. Choose a soft, breathable fabric that is easy to wash, stays cool, and prevents moisture and odor.
- Fit and comfort. The brace must provide support and comfort. Opt for an adjustable design or select one that’s available in different sizes.
- Mobility. Look for a wrist brace that limits your range of motion enough to prevent overuse injuries and pressure to the median nerve. It must also allow enough mobility for you to perform your daily activities. If you only plan to wear it at night, you may select a more restrictive brace that allows blood flow.
- Uses. You may decide to buy a different wrist brace for working and sleeping, or for days when you need more support due to exacerbated symptoms.
Wrist braces are generally safe to use as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions.
There are a few precautions to consider, including the following:
- Your wrist brace must be loose enough to provide comfort and allow for blood flow.
- Avoid wrist braces that pinch, chafe, or irritate your skin.
- To avoid an allergic reaction, avoid braces containing latex.
- Don’t wear your wrist brace all of the time, as this may cause your muscles to weaken.
How long should you wear a brace?
How long you wear a wrist brace depends on your symptoms, the time of day they occur, and the activities you plan to do. Most importantly, follow your doctor’s recommendation.
When you first start to wear a wrist brace, wear it only for a few hours at a time during your most challenging activities. Over the next few days, you can gradually wear the brace for longer periods. If you’re wearing a wrist brace at night, you can wear it all night.
Be sure to remove the brace if it causes any discomfort.
How tight should a wrist brace for carpal tunnel be?
If you’re using a wrist brace to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, it must provide comfort yet be tight enough to offer support and stability. Loosen or remove your wrist brace if you experience loss of circulation, numbness, or tingling.
If the brace causes skin irritation or makes it difficult to move your wrist or fingers, loosen it until you’re comfortable. A wrist brace shouldn’t interfere with your daily activities.
When to see a doctor
If your symptoms related to carpal tunnel pain or another condition don’t improve or worsen after wearing a wrist brace for a few weeks, talk with your doctor.
They may suggest a different design or suggest treatments involving wrist or nerve gliding exercises, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or corticosteroid injections.
Depending on your needs, your doctor may also recommend alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and yoga.
Surgery is an option if noninvasive treatments don’t reduce symptoms within 3 months. However, this isn’t common.
Wrist braces support your wrist in a neutral position, which may help bring relief to wrist discomfort and pain. They prevent repetitive movements, which is helpful for conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis. Some wrist braces also reduce compression of the median nerve, which causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
Use this list to select a high quality, effective wrist brace that matches your needs. If a wrist brace doesn’t provide symptom relief, talk with your doctor to talk about alternative treatment options.
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