Best Back Braces
If you suffer with back pain, struggle to maintain correct posture, or have a health condition like spinal stenosis you will likely be recommended a back brace.
Back braces can serve many purposes, but is most commonly used to support the muscles and correct posture.
The type of brace you buy will depend largely on what you need it for, so take some time to consider which one is best for your needs.
Here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Picks for Best Back Braces
- Best for Posture: Flexguard Back Brace Posture Corrector
- Best for Lower Back Support: King of Kings Lumbar Support Belt
- Best for Spinal Stenosis: Back Brace by Sparthos
Best Back Braces Reviews
NMT Back Brace Lumbar Support Belt (👑 Top Pick)
The NMT back brace lumbar support belt is our top pick overall, as it provides excellent lower back support.
If you’re looking for a back brace that can address discomfort and pain in your lower back, then this support belt from NMT should be a strong contender.
One of the standout features of this back brace is the tourmaline magnets integrated into the design. What these magnets do is help to stimulate the circulation of blood around the lower segment of your spine. This will keep your back as flexible as it should be, and minimise pain and discomfort caused by inflammation.
You will also be able to adjust the fit of this back brace easily with the dual outer elastic straps, which makes it easy to get just the right level of support. This is something which shouldn’t be underestimated, since a lot of back braces will only provide one level of compression and support.
- Available in 4 sizes
- Uses magnets to help blood circulation
- Adjustable fit
Flexguard Back Brace Posture Corrector (🚶♂️ Best for Posture)
As our top budget pick, these arthritis gloves from Vive offer excellent value for money.
If you’re looking to try compression gloves out to see if they can help with your arthritis, then this is a great option. Available at a very affordable price, these gloves are fingerless in design. As a result, they are best suited for use in warm weather, or for everyday use. If you are very active and enjoy activities like sports or hobbies which heavily involve the hands, then you would love a pair of fingerless gloves like these. With just the fingertips exposed, your hands will stay warm, but you will maintain a lot of your dexterity which is necessary for a lot of manual tasks.
Just because these compression gloves are fingerless, that alone doesn’t guarantee they’ll be practical for carrying out a lot of activities. However, what sets them apart from other fingerless styles is their textured grip. This makes it easy for you to grip and hold everything from your mobile phone to your kitchen knife or garden tools. The non-slip composite material used ensures that you don’t accidentally drop everything you pick up while wearing these gloves.
The material of these gloves is a hybrid of cotton and spandex. This gives you the benefits of breathability and cooling that come with the natural fabric, combined with the durability and elasticity of the synthetic material. Most importantly, the design of these gloves makes them comfortable to wear at any time of year, but especially when it’s hot out. There are also 3 different sizes to choose from, so you should be able to find the perfect fit for your hands.
- Fingerless design
- Textured anti-slip grip
- Cotton/spandex material
- Available in 3 sizes
- 60 day guarantee
King of Kings Lumbar Support Belt (💪 Best for Lower Back Support)
This lumbar support belt from King of Kings should be exactly what you need if you struggle with lower back pain.
What makes this back brace so effective is the pulley system it uses. This unique design allows you to find the level of support you need at any given moment. If your lower back muscles feel like they are under a lot of pressure during the day, this type of back brace can really help lighten their load and give them the support they need. The pulleys provide a level of adjustment that’s unparalleled, and lets you take control of your back pain.
The other main benefit of using this back support is that it’s a simple belt, and so won’t dramatically limit your range of motion. That is to say you should have no problems carrying out your daily tasks and even exercising in this support belt. The flexible design makes it a great choice for going about your business with extra lower back support.
- Available in 4 sizes
- Lumbar support
- Pulley adjustment system
Back Brace by Sparthos (⚡ Best for Spinal Stenosis)
We chose the back brace by Sparthos as the best support system for those with spinal stenosis.
The main reason we picked this back brace for spinal stenosis is due to its adjustable lumbar pad and great stabilising support. If you need something that will keep everything in place and take the weight off your lower back muscles then this back brace could be what you’re looking for. The lumbar pad can be altered to provide just the right amount of compression to manage your back pain whenever it occurs.
Made from breathable fabrics, you will find this belt incredibly comfortable to wear even under your clothes. That makes it ideal for going about your life while still receiving the support your back needs. The last thing you want is to be encumbered by a heavy brace which will restrict your movement and range of moment. You can work your way to a healthier spine with this effective back brace from Sparthos.
- Available in 3 sizes
- Adjustable lumbar pad
- Made with breathable fabrics
- 100% happiness guarantee
What To Look For When Selecting A Back Brace
Selecting a back brace is a process that you shouldn’t take lightly, since it’s a specialist piece of equipment that can make a huge difference to your overall spine health and posture.
Don’t worry though, we’ve compiled a guide of everything you’ll need to know going into this potentially daunting decision-making process.
The most important factors to consider will be the type of brace you get, finding the right fit, and picking out the necessary level of support for your back.
Type of Back Support
The first element you’ll need to identify in your hunt for the perfect back brace is the type of back support you need.
Why do you need a back brace? Has it been recommended to you by your doctor to help with a spine condition? Is it to correct your posture?
These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself to get a clear picture of what kind of back brace is best for your needs.
Lower Back Pain
One of the most straightforward back braces is the one which helps with lower back pain.
This aid will often come in the form of a belt, which will provide crucial support to lower back muscles. This makes it ideal for anyone who works with their hands and does a lot of heavy lifting.
If you’ve ever wondered why powerlifters wear a belt around their waist when they go for the extra heavy lifts, it’s to provide support for the lower back muscles.
With this type of brace you’re going to want to focus on comfort and compression above all else. You want to feel like the brace is stabilising your back and providing the support you need whatever the task in front of you.
This type of brace doesn’t need to be expensive, so if you are on a budget you can still get something to help with lower back pain.
Another popular type of back brace is the posture corrector.
This back brace provides the necessary support to help you achieve correct posture from the minute you wake up to the moment you rest your head on the pillow at night.
For the posture corrector it’s important that you find one which can train your muscles and your spine to maintain healthy posture all day long.
If you’re wondering how it does this, it’s by applying pressure on the right muscles so that they align for good posture. So often we spend the day hunched over a desk or looking down at our mobile phones that we forget to adjust our shoulder and back for ideal posture.
A posture corrector ensures you will move around the world with healthy alignment, whether you remember to adjust your posture or not.
This type of back brace will often have straps that go over your shoulders and around your chest. This is what helps draw your shoulder blades together and raise your chest for good posture.
The other main type of back brace is a more specialist piece of equipment that is reserved for different spinal conditions.
Some spine issues that can benefit from a special back brace include herniated discs, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis.
If you suffer from one of these spine issues or a similar condition then you could retrain your back muscles and give them extra support with a special back brace.
It’s recommendable to seek a doctor’s opinion before going ahead and investing in a specialist back brace, since if used improperly they can ultimately cause more harm than good.
You might even be prescribed a specialist back brace if you have recently undergone surgery to fix a back problem.
Level of Support
Once you have settled upon the type of back brace you need, it’s time to decide the most appropriate level of support for your back.
The level of support of a back brace will determine whether or not it’s suitable for more severe injuries, or if it’s best suited to correcting posture or helping with fitness activities like heavy lifting.
As you might imagine, a very rigid and robust back brace will provide optimal support for your lower back, but at the same time can limit your range of motion.
At the other end of the spectrum you have the light and flexible back brace, which will provide just enough muscle support without taking away from your ability to move and bend.
The first level of support we’re going to look at is often referred to as rigid.
The rigid support back brace is one which can support back muscles which are especially weak, usually due to an injury or underlying health condition.
This type of back brace will typically have hard panels on the outside and a softer interior lining to ensure they aren’t too uncomfortable.
A rigid back brace isn’t something you should consider unless you are in serious need of spinal recovery. Due to how hard and unrelenting this type of brace is, your range of motion will be very limited.
As a result, they tend to be prescribed by doctors post-surgery to recover from injury, and can be dangerous if overused since the muscles can become over dependent on the brace.
The next level of support you’ll find in a back brace is often called semi-rigid.
As you can imagine, the semi-rigid style will still offer great support and protection for your back, but it will also give you more freedom with your range of motion.
This type of back brace is usually made with a combination of flexible brace materials and rigid brace components. The result is a balanced back brace that can help with moderate back pain, but won’t be the best option for exercise or fluid movement.
Some semi-rigid braces take on the appearance of a corset, yet with added support in the form of metal or plastic parts.
This level of support is ideal if you have a recurring back issue that isn’t severe, or if you suffer from infrequent bouts of lower back pain.
The last level of support you’ll come across in a back brace is the flexible kind.
Flexible back braces are intended to adapt to your everyday movement and provide extra support for your back muscles when they most need it.
They are typically made from soft, breathable fabrics like cotton, and they allow a liberal range of motion since they can expand with your body.
This type of back brace is ideal for supporting your back during exercise, or for preventing needless injury through overextending your back.
Something that probably goes without saying, but important to state nonetheless, is that you need to be 100% sure that you are buying a back brace that will comfortably fit around your waist.
While some back braces have a universal size which will adapt to your waist, this isn’t always the case so it’s best to take your measurements before you buy.
A lot of back brace brands will have a range of sizes to choose from, and will specify what each size means in terms of waist circumference. The figures are usually given in inches, so whatever unit of measurement you use, make sure you convert to inches for an accurate number.
You should measure your waist at the level of your belly button to get the most accurate reading. Wrap the tape measure around your back and read the number which overlaps with the start of the tape.
It’s very important that you don’t take this step for granted and just use your trouser or belt size to determine which size you need. The fit of the back brace will have a big impact on how much it can help you and your spine health, so it’s not worth the risk.
The features of a back brace, while not the most important factor, should play a part in your decision-making process.
Mainly because you will be wearing it for long periods of time. The ideal scenario is to find a back brace that’s so comfortable you barely notice you’re wearing it, and extra features can help provide extra comfort.
Of course, comfort isn’t the only important reason for considering the material though. You also want to ensure that you are getting the right support you need, and in the right places.
A flexible back brace that’s made of cotton and not much more is great for exercising in comfort, but the lack of hard materials like metal will limit how much support it can provide for your back muscles.
You will also notice as you look at different back braces that some have extra features built into the back brace that will enhance the comfort and/or effectiveness of the equipment.
Some back braces are fitted with inflatable panels to give the user the ability to increase or decrease the pressure as required.
This is a perfect fix to the problem of having too much or not enough pressure in a back brace.
If you find that your pain comes and goes, or that it fluctuates in severity, then you might prefer a back brace with inflatable panels.
You can even find detachable inflatable panels in some back braces, in case you want to wear it with or without them depending on the day and level of pain you’re experiencing.
Believe it or not, some back braces are sophisticated enough to integrate massagers into their design.
Having a built-in massager in your back brace gives you the ability to self-massage on demand. If you find that it depends on the day which of your back muscles cause the most issues, you could give one of these special back braces a go.
The way the massager is incorporated into a back brace depends on the model, but some examples are compression pads and fitted wooden nodules.
Many people use cooling or heated salves on their backs when they are in discomfort, and this is the inspiration for the temperature control feature you can find in some back braces.
The way this is integrated is usually with a slot that has space for an ice pack or heat pack. This allows you to numb the feeling a little and potentially even alleviate pain caused by inflammation in the back.
This is a great option for managing your back-related symptoms and providing relief for when things get worse.
Back Brace Usage Guide
Before you go ahead and buy a back brace, it’s a good idea to get familiar with how to use it, so you can avoid common mistakes and get it right the first time you wrap it around your waist.
Tips For Proper Use
Here are some tips to bear in mind when it comes to wearing your back brace and getting the most out of it.
- Wear the Brace as Advised
The single most important factor to consider before you start wearing your back brace, and even before you buy one, is the recommendations from the manufacturer or your doctor.
If you’ve been prescribed a back brace by your doctor, then it’s imperative that you follow their guidance as to how you should wear the back brace and how long to have it on for.
The most common mistake you can make with a back brace is to condition your back muscles to become too dependent on it that they start to atrophy. That’s why you should always consult the instructions given by the manufacturer or medical professional.
- Stay Clean
Something you might not realise if you’ve never worn a back brace before, is that it’s important that your skin is clean before you put it on.
If you put your back brace on when you’re already sweating or there’s dirt on your skin, then you leave yourself vulnerable to developing raw skin or even blisters.
To avoid this issue, you can make sure you take a shower or bath before you put on your back brace for the day.
Another way to keep your skin clean while you wear the brace is to use antibacterial wipes regularly if you notice dirt starting to build up under it.
- Wear The Right Clothing
You want to be comfortable when you wear your back brace, and one of the best ways you can ensure that you are is by wearing the right clothing.
Tight clothing can cause issues since it can lead to sweating which in turn can be uncomfortable and lead to rashes.
Since you’ll be wearing a brace that’s designed to compress your waist and back, you’ll want to have loose clothing on so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and are less likely to overheat.
- Maintain Your Back Brace
As convenient as it would be to store your back brace after a day’s use for the next time you use it, it’s vital that you clean and maintain it properly so you can extend its lifespan.
To do so, you will need to follow the manufacturer instructions. However, there are some general things you can do to stay on top of wear and tear, and hygiene issues with your brace.
The first way to ensure your brace has a long lifespan is to check it regularly for damage, wear and tear, and cleanliness.
If you find that it’s dirty, depending on the material it’s made from, you can clean it regularly with water and soap. This will keep it bacteria and odour-free.
Rubbing alcohol can also be effective for preventing the growth of bacteria, especially if your brace has a foam lining.
What Not To Do
Here are a couple of things that you shouldn’t do with a belt brace:
- Wear Lotion
The trouble with wearing lotion or other liquids on your skin under a back brace is that you need your skin to be dry.
If you have excess moisture on your skin then you can potentially run into problems like rashes, sores, and general irritation.
- Wear The Brace Too Tightly
While a back brace should be tight to provide your muscles with the necessary support, there is a point at which it can be too much.
If you buy a brace without taking your waist measurements, or you adjust it until it’s too tight, you might find that it’s uncomfortable for several reasons.
You’ll know your brace is fitted too tightly if you have trouble with either breathing or eating, or you develop a rash underneath it.
If you notice any different kinds of pain this should be cause for concern too, and can be due to the tightness of the brace.
Frequently Asked Questions About Back Braces
Do back braces really help?
While it’s important to consult with your doctor before you use equipment like a back brace, there is evidence to suggest that it can help ease back pain and correct posture.
If you do decide to use a back brace, you can better recover from spinal surgery or simply improve your overall spine health with proper use.
Some of the most common health issues that back braces are used for include spinal stenosis, troubles with the lower back and lumbar, and bad posture.
The way that a back brace works is by supporting the muscles in the back or applying pressure through a compression strap which can facilitate correct posture.
Bear in mind that a back brace will only help you if you use it exactly as it’s meant to be used, and if you commit to a healthy lifestyle avoiding bad posture whenever possible.
Do back braces help lower back pain?
The use of a back brace can be a great way to support the lunar and lower back. It should be used as part of a treatment programme for the best results, but can also provide relief when used in isolation.
If you experience a lot of lower back pain, be it from an injury or other cause, then you could stand to benefit a lot from wearing a back brace.
While they won’t necessarily solve the problem and make the pain go away permanently, they can provide temporary relief until you get surgery or are healing from a procedure.
The way a back brace can help you is by lowering back pain and by minimising muscle tension. It can also support healthy, correct posture and help reduce pain associated with range of motion during everyday tasks.
However, it is important to note that improper use or an over dependency on a back brace can lead to muscle atrophy and other issues in the long term.
Which is the best belt for back pain?
The best belt for back pain is the lumbar support belt from King of Kings.
This belt provides excellent support for your back muscles, and allows for a high level of adjustment with its sophisticated pulley system.
How many hours a day should you wear a back brace?
To get the best results from a back brace it will largely depend on what you are using it for, and what the manufacturer recommends.
However, as a general rule you can expect to wear the back brace for several hours in a single session. Since your back muscles will likely need time to adjust and plenty of support to avoid pain, it’s often recommended that you wear it for a long period of time when you put it on.
With that being said, you shouldn’t really be wearing a back brace day in day out for a period of more than a few weeks. In the majority of cases, it’s sufficient to wear a back brace for a few days or weeks maximum at a time.
Any more than that and you can run into the issue of muscle dependency on the brace, which is a whole other issue in itself.
It’s also ill-advised to sleep in your back brace, unless you’re told otherwise by your doctor, since this can cause an over reliance on the back brace.
Related: Best Essential Oils for Joint Pain
A Final Word on Back Braces
Back braces can be crucial in maintaining a healthy posture, recovering from back surgery, or simply reducing discomfort and pain in the spine.
Once you find one that perfectly suits your needs, you’ll be forever grateful you spent the time to do due diligence before you invested.