Arm sleeves are commonly seen in most local running trails. Do you know why people consider buying arm sleeves? Undoubtedly, the arm sleeves wore during running has gained popularity as it is regularly worn by elite athletes. However, athletes use it daily regularly. Using the arm sleeves includes many reasons, and it deals from the comfort to speeding recovery.

Arm sleeves are worn primarily as it offers the compression benefits. It includes medicine for various sports and helps in increasing blood flow, stabilizing arm muscles, and in recovery after minor injuries or rigorous activity.

Why runners opt to buy arm sleeves?  The runners use arm sleeves as compression sleeves. These arm sleeves help to reduce the swelling that is induced in longer runs. This may be due to tears and muscle vibrations that stimulate an inflammatory response. It draws surplus fluid into the runner's arms, and wearing the arm sleeves prevents arm swelling.

1. Know your purpose

There are several reasons to wear arm sleeves. Yet you must know what the basic reasons are or purpose to use arm sleeves? Generally, the arm sleeves uses are mainly worn for activity, work, and health purposes. Here is a list of these areas:

Arm sleeves used relating to activity

  • Cycling and Running- Sun protection, Muscle support, safety, visibility, and cooling.
  • Weightlifting and Crossfit Workouts- Recovery and muscle support.
  • Hiking and Fishing- Sun protection, Muscle support, mosquito protection, and cooling.
  • Exercise- Recovery and muscle support.
  • Tennis– Sun protection, muscle support, and cooling.
  • Golf- Sun protection, muscle support, mosquito protection, and cooling.
  • Walking-Sun protection, muscle support, safety, visibility, and cooling.

Arm Sleeves used relating to work

  • Construction and Outdoor work-Sun protection, muscle support, scratches, cuts, and cooling.
  • Tattoo covering- Protecting tattoo and tattoo cover.
  • Always out in the sun or on your feet- Sun protection, no messy sunscreen, muscle support, comfort, and recovery.
  • Landscaping- Sun protection, muscle support, poison ivy, mosquitoes, cooling, scratches, and, cuts.

Arm sleeves used relating to health

  • Post surgery and Deep Vein Thrombosis - Pain relief, compression, oxygenation, blood flow, and protection.
  • Psoriasis/Eczema-Sun protection, covering, and protection.
  • Sore muscles- Pain relief, comfort, and muscle recovery.
  • Swelling/Lymphedema- Pain relief, compression, oxygenation, and blood flow.
  • Sun Allergy- Protection from the sun.
  • Burn Care- Blood flow, compression, protection, and oxygenation.
  • Skin Unsightly conditions- Covering and protection.

arm sleeves for cycling

2. Compression

How to choose arm sleeves offering compression? Arm sleeves are basically worn for the compression benefits it provides. There are reputable brands of arm sleeves offering ideal elasticity featuring technical fabrics that provide compression to the arm muscles.

Various studies show that during sports, there is a need for arm sleeves to offer compression, and this helps in stabilizing the arm muscles.  It also helps in increasing the flow of blood and in minor injuries or rigorous activity recovery. These studies highlight the significance of having the right fabric and fit to enjoy the benefits. It also makes sense to ensure the arm sleeve is not too tight if so, the blood circulation gets restricted and can cause harm to recovery. At the same time, have loose arm sleeves also is of no great use as it provides no compression and also slips down.

3. Material

Speaking of arm sleeves material, it is important to know what are the materials best for arm sleeves?

The arm sleeves are referred to as compression sleeves, and they are in different fabrics. Knowing the material is beneficial.

  • Generally, arm sleeves are in nylon material. This is a good choice and can be worn underneath any long sleeve as this fabric is thin. It is a durable fabric, inexpensive, and easy to wash.
  • Spandex provides wonderful benefits. It expands and returns to original size. The spandex sleeves fit your arm and eliminate the custom fit need.  Spandex fabric is not breathable. It is good to wear with another fabric in conjunction.  However, it is long lasting and durable.
  • Microfiber arm sleeves stretch less and are good when more compression is required.  This offers the required comfort, but the material is bulkier to nylon and cannot be worn under any other clothing.
  • Silk is a durable, soft, and wonderful fabric.  It is a wonderful choice for sensitive skin. Silk does not stretch as nylon and silk is thicker than nylon that it cannot hide under clothing.
  • Wool offers more warmth and does not hold well as compression sleeves. Wool features moisture wicking properties.

Knowing the material helps to know how to pick arm sleeves based on their advantages. You can also decide the sleeves to use.

4. Breathability

Why is the breathability factor to be considered in arm sleeves? Breathability is when the fabric has the ability to allow moisture to pass through. This is vital as it contributes to thermal and physiological convenience. The advantage of wearing super breathable material is that it keeps you cool and kicks away sweat; thereby, your skin is fresh.

breathability fabric

Breathability is measured by MVTR, and it is a fabric greater than zero.  In fact, natural fibers, blending fibers, or man-made fibers are breathable. Linen also is breathable, and all the man-made fibers can be regarded as breathable fabric.

5. Comfort

Is it comfortable to wear arm sleeves?  What is the expected feel and fit on wearing arm sleeves and is a snug fit considered normal in arm sleeves?

The comfort of arm sleeves is amazing as it offers performance, long-lasting support, and protection.  However, ensure the comfort of the arm sleeves has the following characteristics:

  • Cooling such that it is breathable, quick-drying and moisture wicking.
  • Sun protection with UPF 50+ to block harmful UV radiation by 99%.
  • High-quality material ensuring long-lasting, effective use.
  • Fabric offering compression and has elastic fiber to 20%.
  • Non-slip gripping material constructed to ascertain the sleeves do not come down.
  • Quality stitching fit, offering durability and comfort.
  • Available in all the sizes offering a perfect fit
  • The material used is absolutely hygienic featuring as odor resistant and anti-bacterial
  • The material is available in different designs and colors complementing the use.


6. Weight

Are you working to increase your speed and arm strength? Weighted arm sleeves are the best for routine workouts. They add weight enveloping the forearms.

Extra weight while exercising gets distributed throughout your body. As you rub arm or workout relating forearm, it is best to weight weighted arm sleeves so that the output receives a boost.

If you are into sports, that arm strength depends on your expertise area, though weighted arm sleeves are a must.

7. Size

How to know the arm sleeve size before buying?  There are three things you must consider relating to the arm sleeve size, your bicep size, the desired feel and fit, and your arm density.

· Bicep Size: Determining the bicep size is easy. This refers to the arm muscle. Flexing your arm reveals the bicep muscle. Keeping arms hanging down and relaxed gives the bicep size. Use a rope, cord, tape measure, strip, or wire to measure around your arm.
· Arm Density: The arm density is equally important as the densities vary from lean to normal and muscular. Your arm density may affect the feel and fit of your arm sleeves. Thus, even with similar arm sizes, people look for different densities to get their feel and desired fit. 
· Desired Feel and Fit: The desired feel and fit to consider is the activity you are doing wearing the arm sleeves. Thinking of the feel and fit is essential. How tight or snug you want your arm sleeve?  This is based on wearing light, average, or tight compression arm sleeve.


arm denstiy

A regular arm sleeve wearer having around 12.5-inch bicep may go for light compression arm sleeve when cycling, running or going for long drives.  However, the same person may go for UPS 50+ sun protection, cooling, and moisture wicking wearing arm sleeve in XL-size. For tennis, golf, gardening and outdoor lawn, arm sleeve with average compression work the best offering the UV compression benefit, and you can wear arm sleeves in large-size. For gym weight lifting, arm sleeves with tight compression are required as it involves support, muscle performance and recovery and choosing arm sleeves in medium-size is recommended.

8. Length

    The arm sleeves come in all types, short, medium, or long. Knowing what length is required in arm sleeves helps in selection. Apart from choosing short or long sleeves, ensure they offer UPF protection and are of good quality.

    Adding to this, size is another important factor worth considering buying or wearing arm sleeves. The arm sleeves should not be very tight or loose to fall off your arm. Many arm sleeves are available in small, medium, large, and XL sizes. Look for arm sleeves featuring UV and get granular sizing suitable from small youth to adult in 4xl. The advantage of granular sizing is that you can get the required size exactly.

    9. Style

    Is it important to consider style in arm sleeves? Considering the style in arm sleeves is important. Fortunately, now the compression sleeves are a lot better and are available in several colors and patterns. There are graphics, and flashy arm sleeves attention-grabbing now available to match your wear. In fact, you can get that you want. Adding to this, the arm sleeves come with extra features such as elasticity and user-friendly features such as no-slip silicone bands, ability to suck the moisture from your skin, and offers UV protection.

    10. Color

    How to choose a color in arm sleeves? Basically, arm sleeves are available in two colors, black and white. However, on wearing arm sleeves, you will realize that the style and color may be important. Conversely, people involved in activities such as cycling and running may find it safe to go with neon colors, especially yellow as these come with reflective strips ensuring safety. For outings and competitive events, people wear designs that are eye-catching, and this helps them to be spotted out easily, even in a crowd. Wearing colored or designed sleeves are also helpful. Nevertheless, look for UV compression quality arm sleeves coming in a variety of colors.

    arm sleeves different colors

    11. UPF /Sun Protection

      What is the significance of sun protection in arm sleeves?  Many arm sleeves do not shield from the sun. There are arm sleeves with UPF 30+ or a little less, and they give sun protection. Choosing UV featuring arm sleeves means consider buying the one with UPF 50+ sun protection so that the sun’s harmful UV rays are away. The sunblock lasts only for 120 minutes, and in the water, the sunblock is for 60-90 minutes only. UV compression with UPF 50 + arm sleeves will ensure your skin is protected and free of any greasy feeling.

      12. Value

        Referring to the value of arm sleeves firstly, they come at affordable prices. At the most, it may cost around $8 to $35 for a sleeve. Even the inexpensive ones coming at prices of $8 to $15 are well-fitting and in good quality.

        The expensive options are in mid-range, and they assure more durability. Adding to this, they offer additional features such as UV protection and may be available as one sleeve or even as a pair of sleeves for $15 and $35.

        The compression sleeves in the expensive ranges may cost $45 and also more. Of course, a higher price does not assure better features or fit.

        13. Construction

          What makes the arm sleeves construction important? The construction of the compression sleeves is made to be the best as seamless construction. This is a technique that features the 3- dimensional knitting textures. The fabric used for arm sleeves needs no seems and can have mesh panels to give breathability, while for targeted support, ribbing is required.


          People wearing arm sleeves wear it for a reason. There are different reasons to consider wearing arm sleeves. Beginning to wear arm sleeves will put you into a practice that you will get into the habit of wearing it regularly. Perhaps you must understand when to wear arm sleeves as per the related activities.