Should I Sleep With a Knee Brace on? – How to Wear a Knee Brace in Bed?

person holding black knit cap knee brace

Should I Sleep With a Knee Brace on?

Do you wake up with knee pain?

You may be wondering if you should sleep with a knee brace on.

The answer to this question is not always clear cut and will depend on a variety of factors.

Is it ok to wear knee support while sleeping?

Yes, it is ok to wear a knee brace while sleeping, as long as you have been instructed to do so by your doctor. Wearing a knee brace while sleeping is crucial for stabilizing the joint and allowing it to heal, as well as alleviating pain and preventing further injury. This is especially important if you have had surgery, as it helps to keep the joints intact.

To sleep more comfortably with a knee brace on, it’s important to:

sleep on your backelevate the knee with a pillow
use the correct knee brace with adjustable strapsapply the RICE protocol
Sleep more comfortably with a knee brace on

To add extra comfort, try using an extra pillow and try to sleep with a weighted blanket. If the weight of the blanket is not too much, you can use it for a few hours or even you can use it for the all night.

person holding black knit cap

What are the benefits of wearing a knee brace while sleeping?

The benefits of wearing a knee brace while sleeping are numerous.

  • It can provide pain relief and comfort to those dealing with knee issues, such as osteoarthritis
  • It can also help reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Can help keep the knee joint stable and protected from any further injury, as well as providing support
  • Can also help speed up the recovery process,
  • Reduce pain caused by movement during sleep
  • Can help keep the skin clean and free from irritation

What are the disadvantages of sleeping with a knee brace?

1. The brace can be uncomfortable and may disturb your sleep.

The lack of mobility and restraint can cause a feeling of claustrophobia and heat, making it difficult to get comfortable. In addition, wearing a posture brace to bed can restrict your movement, which means you may wake up feeling stiff and sore.

If the brace is too tight, it can cause your muscles to weaken over time and interfere with your sleep. Finally, the pressure of the brace and the straps can cause discomfort and can rub against your skin.

2. The brace may cause skin irritation

The use of a knee brace can cause skin irritation due to the continuous wear of the material and shape of the brace, which can lead to it scratching the skin in certain areas and causing lesions, rashes, and discomfort.

It can also lead to dryness, itchiness, and abrasion from the brace rubbing against the skin. Sweat and dirt can accumulate in one area, leading to itchiness around the knee area and making it difficult to get a restful sleep.

3. The brace may be unsafe if it is not properly adjusted

It is essential to properly adjust a knee brace while sleeping in order to ensure maximum immobilization of the knee and prevent any further injuries.

  • A brace that is too loose may slip and move around while the wearer is asleep, leading to further damage.
  • On the other hand, a brace that is too tight can restrict circulation and cause pain, numbness, or tingling in the leg below the knee.

To ensure the best fit, one should use the two-finger method to check the tightness of the straps. The ankle brace should also be adjusted to the specific size and length of the wearer’s height and injury.

4. The brace may cause heat and discomfort around the knee

Sleeping with a knee brace can have an effect on the temperature and comfort around the knee. Wearing a knee brace can restrict movement and cause a feeling of constriction, leading to discomfort and heat. This can be particularly troublesome when trying to sleep as it can cause restlessness and keep you up throughout the night. As the knee brace can also trap sweat and heat against the skin, it can further contribute to an increase in temperature and sweating especially if you use weighted blanket on top of it.

should i sleep with a brace on and weighted blanket
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5. The brace may cause pressure on the surrounding tissues and organs

Sleeping with a knee brace can have a number of effects on your tissue and organs. Wearing a brace while sleeping can provide support and stability while allowing the ligaments and muscles around the ankle to naturally strengthen and heal. However, wearing a brace for too long or having a brace that is the wrong type, size, or fit can cause further damage to the knee.

What does a knee brace do?

A knee brace is a device used to protect and provide support to the knee joint, as well as to limit its movements and provide comfort in cases of injury or medical conditions such as osteoarthritis. It works by compressing the surrounding muscles and stabilizing the joints.

In addition, a knee brace can be worn to reduce the risk of further injury during physical activities. Knee braces come in three types:

  1. those designed for preventive use during high-impact activities,
  2. those used to limit mobility during rehabilitation
  3. and those providing additional stability and protection to mildly injured knees.

Depending on the condition, it may be necessary to wear a knee brace while sleeping or during the day.

In case if you struggle to fall asleep quickly you should try breathing techniques like the 478 sleep method. If the 478 sleep trick does not work for you you can try to meditate to fall asleep faster.

How to sleep with a knee brace?

Step 1: Make sure you tighten the straps properly

To tighten the straps of a knee brace properly, you should always start with the strap right below the back of the knee. This strap helps stabilize the brace and keeps it in place while you fasten the other straps.

Make sure to adjust the straps tightly during nighttime, but not too rigid that they affect the circulation. To ensure the best fit, measure the circumference above and below the knee while standing or sitting on the edge of a chair.

Finally, remember to check all your straps etc. before hopping into bed. A loose brace may cause it to come off when you are moving in your sleep.

Step 2: Place a pillow under your knee to reduce pain

Elevating the knee will reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by the injury, as well as preventing the development of edema.

Additionally, the extra cushioning provided by the pillow will help to support the knee while providing extra comfort. You can easier sleep with a knee sleeve on, it can also be used to provide support and stabilization to the knee, without restricting movement.

Finally, by elevating the knee above the level of the heart, it will help to reduce any pain you might be feeling. Therefore, by using a combination of pillows and compression sleeves to support your knee while wearing a brace, you can ensure a more comfortable night’s sleep and promote proper healing of your injury.

Step 3: Use dental wax if needed

If you need to sleep with a knee brace, dental wax can help make your experience more comfortable. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Before you go to bed, pull off a few pieces of orthodontic wax.
  2. Place the wax over any brackets or wires that tend to irritate you or place some wax on all of your brackets. The wax will act as a barrier between your knee brace and your skin, providing comfort and protection.
  3. Make sure that the dental wax you use is made with non-toxic ingredients like carnauba wax, beeswax, or paraffin wax.
  4. Thoroughly clean your knee brace and skin before you go to bed, using a gentle fluoride toothpaste and soft bristled toothbrush.
  5. Re-strap your knee brace after you take it off, so that pet hair and other debris don’t stick to the straps.

Step 4: Ensure the knee brace is suitable for more comfort

Step 1: Select a comfortable knee brace that fits properly around your knee to effectively manage the pain and accelerate the healing process.

Step 2: Stand up with your leg straight at 45 degrees and measure the circumference over the kneecap. If you are unable to stand up, sit on the edge of a chair with your leg straight out in front of you and your heel on the floor.

Step 3: Check the sizing chart and information provided with each knee brace before buying. Make sure to take extra sizing measurements on your knee, thigh, and calf if your brace requires sliding it up over your foot and calf.

Step 4: Choose the right level of support based on the type of injury you have. For mild to moderate support and compression, a sleeve is a good option. For more protection and pain relief, a wraparound or knee strap is a good choice. For the most support and stability, a hinged knee brace is best.

Step 5: Adjust the straps so that the brace is snug, but not too snug. Slide two fingers under a strap, if you’re not able to do it, it may be too tight. If you’re able to fit a third finger, it may be too loose.

Step 5: Allow your knee to breathe to reduce over heating

Allowing your knee to breathe while sleeping can reduce overheating by providing more space and air circulation around your knee area. This is important because when your knee is constantly covered and restricted by bedding, it can cause it to become too hot, which can lead to discomfort and sweating. That is why it is not a good idea to sleep with a heating pad, even on low.

Step 6: Side of the bed for the claustrophobic ones

For those with claustrophobia sleeping with a knee brace can be a challenge. However, sleeping on the side of the bed that matches the broken knee can help to provide some relief. Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to make sleeping with a knee brace more comfortable:

  1. Relocate your partner for a short period to allow you to have the freedom of having the braced leg outside the bed coverings.
  2. Hang the feet off the bed in line with the straight leg to create a more comfortable position.
  3. Align your head, neck, and shoulder with the body by placing a folded or rolled-up towel on top or inside the long edge of the pillowcase.
  4. Place pillows between the knees and underneath the arm coming over the body for added support and alignment.
  5. Place light-cotton sheets or silk beddings on the bed, which will make it easier to toss and turn.
  6. Place pillows firmly along the sides for extra support and to prevent rolling over your stomach.
  7. Experiment with different sleeping positions to find which side is most comfortable and secure.

By following these steps and tips, those with claustrophobia should be able to sleep more comfortably with a knee brace. For example, if you struggle to stay on your back, place several pillows along the sides and invest in a body pillow or adjustable cervical pillow for extra support and elevation.


Is it safe to sleep with a knee brace on?

Yes, it is safe to sleep with a knee brace on for those who have injured their knee. Wearing a knee brace while sleeping helps to stabilize the joint, protecting it from further damage due to thrashing around in the night. It helps to reduce pain as it restricts unnecessary movement, such as throwing the leg across the bed.

What type of knee brace should I use for sleeping?

When it comes to choosing the right knee brace for sleeping, it is important to choose one that is supportive and comfortable. The best type of knee brace to use for sleeping is one that is adjustable and fits snugly around the knee. It’s also important to look for a soft material that won’t rub or irritate your skin. The best knee braces for sleeping are designed to provide maximum support and comfort while keeping your knee joint stable and preventing further injury.

What are the potential risks of sleeping with a knee brace?

  1. The knee brace may not be adequately tightened, which can lead to instability and further injury.
  2. Pain may prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.
  3. The lack of mobility and restraint can cause a feeling of claustrophobia and heat, making it difficult to sleep.
  4. Sudden movements can aggravate an injury, causing more pain.
  5. Skin irritation due to the accumulation of sweat and dirt from wearing the brace for long hours.
  6. Your partner may need to be relocated for a short period, sacrificing sleep for your comfort.
  7. Not all knee braces are designed for comfort, which can make sleeping difficult.

How long should I wear a knee brace for sleeping?

The general recommendation is to wear your knee brace for at least a week if you have no doctor’s recommendation. It is important to wear the brace to bed in order to keep your knee stable and reduce the risk of further injury to the joint as you sleep. Wearing a knee brace to bed can help stabilize the joint, relieve pain, and prevent further damage. Ultimately, the length of time you should wear the brace while sleeping depends on your individual situation.

Can a knee brace help with knee pain while sleeping?

Absolutely! Wearing a knee brace while sleeping can provide multiple benefits, such as stabilizing the joint and alleviating the pain. If you are dealing with osteoarthritis, wearing a knee brace is an excellent way to reduce the pain and even improve your overall sleep quality.

Can i sleep on my side with a knee brace?

Yes, you can sleep on your side with a knee brace, but it is important to create some room for your braced knee to breathe. This can be done by sleeping on the side of the bed that matches your affected knee and by using lightweight bedding such as satin sheets. Additionally, you may want to elevate your knee with a pillow, preferably below the brace for the best effect.

How to get out of bed with a knee immobilizer?

Getting out of bed with a knee immobilizer can be a difficult task, so it is important to have a strategy. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to do it safely and with minimal discomfort:

  1. Before getting out of bed, loosen the knee immobilizer. This will make it easier to move your leg and put less strain on your knee.
  2. Sit up in bed and use your arms to help you stand up. Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed on both legs and that you are not putting too much pressure on your injured knee.
  3. Once you are standing, slowly straighten your leg by pushing against the mattress with your foot. This will help to stretch and strengthen your leg muscles.
  4. Once your leg is straight, gently swing it forward and take a step forward. Repeat this process until you are completely out of bed.
  5. When you are standing, re-tighten the knee immobilizer to provide the necessary support while you are walking.

Is sleeping with bent knees bad?

Sleeping with bent knees can be beneficial for some people, depending on the situation. If you have recently undergone ACL surgery, it can be beneficial to sleep with bent knees and keep them elevated, as this helps to keep the affected joints in place. This is especially important to promote healing and avoid any further injury.

Sleeping with bent knees can be beneficial for people who are suffering from knee pain or bad posture, as it can provide support and help to alleviate the pain. However, it is important to note that sleeping with bent knees can be bad for some people, particularly those with arthritis or chronic knee pain. This type of position can increase the pain and discomfort associated with these conditions.

Why sleeping with a knee immobilizer is mandatory?

Sleeping with a knee immobilizer is mandatory ater surgery or for those who have suffered an injury to their knee. This is because the knee brace provides crucial stabilization and support to the joint, helping keep the ligaments and muscles in alignment and preventing further damage. Wearing a knee brace at night also prevents the individual from rolling and readjusting in their sleep, which can cause additional pain and discomfort.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.