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How to Measure Knee Sleeves for Lifting & Crossfit

knee sleeves leg extension

In fitness and sports, individuals are always trying to protect their knees so that they can maximize their performance. Knee sleeves offer both physical support and increased comfort during workouts. One problem is that most people don’t know how to measure their knee sleeves properly. 

Don't fret, we're here to help! This detailed guide will not only explore the intricacies of knee sleeves but also help you learn how to measure them. Let’s get started.

Steps on Knee Sleeve Measurement

If you want to measureknee sleeves, we recommend you follow our four-step process below:

1. Get a Measuring Tape

You'll need a flexible measuring tool that can gauge in both inches or centimeters and is simple to wrap around your leg. You can also use a rope and ruler to measure the circumference of the rope.

2. Arc the Leg At a 30-degree Angle

Knee sleeves are tailored to conform to your leg shape both when standing upright and when in a squat position. Measure your leg circumference at approximately a 30-degree angle to ensure it fits accurately.

3. Measure Your Leg Circumference

Knee sleeves are crafted to mold around the knee joint and muscles of the calf, quadriceps, and hamstrings. For accurate sizing, measure the circumference of the upper part of your calf. This is about 10.16 cm below the midpoint of your kneecap.

4.  See the Knee Sleeve Size Charts for Reference

Whether you prefer a 5mm or 7mm thickness, the method for measuring knee sleeves remains the same. Use this size chart after measuring your knee to determine what knee sleeves you’ll need. 


Center of Knee (in)


12" - 13.3"


13.3" - 14.5"


14.5" - 15.7"


15.7" - 17"


17" - 17.7"


17.7" - 18.5"


18.5" - 19.3"


19.3" - 20"

Common Errors to Avoid

When buying your knee sleeves, try to avoid these common errors: 

  • Failing to measure snugly enough can result in poorly fitting sleeves.
  • Be sure to consult the sizing chart as it's an essential guide for finding the right fit.
  • Pay attention to the recommended compression level to ensure optimal performance from your knee sleeves.
  • Accidentally measuring forknee wraps instead of knee sleeves.

What If I'm In Between Knee Sleeve Sizes?

If you’re between knee sleeve sizes, many lifters usually choose the smaller size. Keep in mind that knee sleeves initially fit snugly but will stretch over time to conform to your size. Wearing a larger knee sleeve as you lift may cause it to stretch out and slip. This is why it's advisable to lean towards selecting a smaller knee sleeve size.

Should I Pick 5MM or 7MM?

Knee sleeves come in two thickness options: 5mm and 7mm, each serving distinct purposes:

  • 5mm sleeves offer support while maintaining agility, ideal for workouts of the day and metabolic conditioning.
  • 7mm sleeves provide heavier protection, suitable for shorter, intense lifting sessions.

If your priority is safeguarding your joints during heavy Olympic lifts, the 7mm sleeves are recommended. On the other hand, the 5mm sleeves are thinner and better suited for dynamic movements.

What Knee Sleeve Length Should I Choose? 

Knee sleeves are available in a range of lengths, spanning from shorter options to longer ones that extend partially down the calf. The choice of sleeve length is a personal preference. Figure out what feels the most comfortable when you’re lifting and if it aligns with your exercise. 

Closed vs. Open Patella 

Apart from size and material, the style of knee sleeves is also crucial to consider. You can choose between an open patella design, providing extra support to the knee cap, or a closed patella design, which offers more compression. The decision usually depends on personal preference and specific requirements.


Achieving the perfect fit with knee sleeves requires precise measurements, thoughtful material choices, and awareness of your requirements. The world of knee sleeves is dynamic, with ongoing improvements in materials and designs to elevate user satisfaction. As you venture into selecting theright knee sleeves, it's crucial to emphasize not just wearing them but wearing them correctly. Striving for that perfect fit? It begins with accurate measurements today!


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