The 5 Best Carpal Tunnel Braces of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Pain in the carpal tunnel region can make everyday activities like typing at your computer challenging if left untreated. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can start as a slight pain in your hand or a tingle that runs down to your fingers, but over time the symptoms can worsen into persistent pain or numbness. Besides seeing a doctor or physical therapist, a wrist brace is an affordable treatment option at home to reduce your symptoms.

Physical therapist Susan Eby of Eby Physical Therapy in New York City says wrist braces can effectively relieve carpal tunnel symptoms, particularly in the early stages. Since carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed, a brace can keep your wrist in a neutral position, reducing that compression and strain. 

There are limitations: The experts we spoke to recommended only wearing the brace at night unless your symptoms prevent you from being able to function during the day without one. It’s also important to make sure your symptoms are actually due to carpal tunnel syndrome and not something like arthritis. But in the right circumstances, a brace can go a long way toward providing relief. 

To find the best on the market, we tested 12 carpal tunnel braces by having editors each use one at night while they slept for four weeks. During testing, we rated the carpal tunnel braces on a scale of 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (highly recommend) for effectiveness, comfort, and adjustability. We also had a doctor of physical therapy from our Medical Expert Board review this article for medical accuracy regarding carpal tunnel syndrome, how to use carpal tunnel braces, and the best way to evaluate them.

A true superstar at relieving wrist pain, the BRACEOWL Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace impressed us with its easy adjustability and nighttime comfort, making it our best overall pick. After just a few uses, one of our editors noticed that most of her pain was gone when using her computer during the day.

The BRACEOWL also performed well regarding adjustability. We found that the straps were easy to adjust, and the brace adapted to use on both the left and right hand without any trouble. Technically, we think the brace could be a bit more breathable for sleeping, but almost every carpal tunnel brace will be somewhat noticeable when worn at night. 

Still, the BRACEOWL remained completely compatible with sleep. It didn’t get in the way of a comfortable night’s sleep, and its benefits (legitimate effectiveness at preventing carpal tunnel pain) were well worth it. Compared to some of the other braces we tested, we couldn’t find one that was as comfortable and offered as much relief as the BRACEOWL. 

Key Specs: 
Sizes:
One size | Adjustable: Yes | Material: Cotton/nylon/neoprene | Washing Instructions: Not specified

Best Overall Runner-Up

Action Tribex Wrist Support Brace

Action Tribex Wrist Support Brace

Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Comfort

    3.5/5

  • Adjustability

    5/5

  • Overall Value

    4/5

The Action Tribex Wrist Support Brace is just as effective as the BRACEOWL brace, but it’s in the runner-up position because the product packaging is a bit misleading. The product descriptions and marketing give the impression that this brace can also be used during the day while working at a desk, which our experts advise against. Plus, when we attempted to use the brace at a desk to see how it performed, we found it too confining and uncomfortable.

That issue aside, we couldn’t have been happier with how comfortable the brace was to wear at night, and we thought the brace was highly adjustable for how securely it fits around the hand. The brace gave us a nice, snug fit that kept the wrist in a neutral position and relieved the ache from being on the computer all day,

The bottom line? If you’re looking for a sleep brace exclusively, the Action Tribex may be more comfortable than the BRACEOWL. It does wonders for relieving hand pain, so while it can’t be worn throughout the day, anyone seeking all-night support will find this the perfect option. 

Key Specs: 
Sizes:
One size | Adjustable: Yes | Material: Neoprene | Washing Instructions: Not specified

Best Budget

Wellgate PerfectFit Wrist Brace

Wellgate PerfectFit Wrist Brace for Women

 Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Effectiveness

    4/5

  • Comfort

    4/5

  • Adjustability

    4/5

  • Overall Value

    4/5

Cons

  • Sized for women, so may not accommodate larger wrists

  • Takes time to find the right fit

The Wellgate PerfectFit Wrist Brace is often marked down to astonishingly low sales prices, but even when it’s full-priced, our testing showed it is still a good quality brace that’s both comfortable and effective. 

The Wellgate brace felt secure during sleep, the material was light and breathable, and wearing the brace at night reduced wrist pain the next day. Getting the right fit took some time, but once we were able to adjust the straps correctly, any initial tightness went away.

This one isn’t a miracle worker, and it’s sized for women’s hands (according to the manufacturer), so there’s a limit to the adjustability. Still, we thought the Wellgate brace was a good budget pick that was generally comfortable and useful in relieving pain.

Key Specs: 
Sizes:
One size, left or right | Adjustable: Yes | Material: Memory foam | Washing Instructions: Hand wash in cold soapy water and air dry

Most Comfortable

ComfyBrace Sleep Support Brace

ComfyBrace Night Wrist Sleep Support Brace

 Amazon


Our Ratings

  • Effectiveness

    2/5

  • Comfort

    3.5/5

  • Adjustability

    5/5

  • Overall Value

    2.5/5

Pros

  • Soft, comfortable cushioning

  • Doesn’t overheat during sleep

  • Lots of adjustability for larger sizes

Although the ComfyBrace Night Wrist Sleep Support Brace would be most effective for someone with larger wrists, we appreciated just how comfortable and adjustable it was. With a soft, squishy cushion and breathable fabric, the brace didn’t heat up during sleep, plus it offered a lot of flexibility in sizing down to a certain point (and can be used on either hand, eliminating the need to buy two).

That said, if your wrists are smaller in size, it can be difficult to get a secure and snug fit, causing the brace to move around a lot on the wrist. With tiny wrists, using this brace will require frequent adjustment and re-tightening. If a brace doesn’t stay in place well, it won’t keep the wrist in the neutral position required for carpal tunnel pain relief. 

If your wrist is on the larger side, you might think the ComfyBrace is the perfect combination of comfort and adjustability, but people with smaller wrists should consider a different product. 

Key Specs: 
Sizes:
One size | Adjustable: Yes | Material: Neoprene | Washing Instructions: Hand wash

Best Glove

Copper Compression Arthritis Gloves

Copper Compression Arthritis Gloves at Amazon

Copper Compression


Our Ratings

  • Effectiveness

    4/5

  • Comfort

    4/5

  • Adjustability

    5/5

  • Overall Value

    4/5

The Copper Compression Arthritis Gloves are a snug-but-comfortable option for anyone looking for streamlined support for their wrist. In testing, we found these gloves to be flexible and supportive but not cumbersome, providing firm support that molded to the hand.

While the gloves aren’t technically adjustable, their stretchy construction allows them to adapt to various hand sizes. They did a good job of keeping hands from twisting or turning (i.e., preventing movements that can aggravate carpal tunnel symptoms), but the downside is that these gloves overheat easily. The gloves aren’t very breathable, so wearing these at night may feel like sleeping with normal gloves on. 

If the glove-style of wrist support is what you’re looking for, the effectiveness and adjustability of these gloves are top-notch. However, if you’re someone who runs hot at night or usually has sweaty palms, you might want to search for more breathable gloves. 

Key Specs: 
Sizes:
Small, Medium, Large, X-Large | Adjustable: No | Material: Nylon | Washing Instructions: Not specified

Verywell Health / Jessica Hill


How We Rated the Carpal Tunnel Braces

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best carpal tunnel braces we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These carpal tunnel braces are excellent. They might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great carpal tunnel braces, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These carpal tunnel braces are just average.

3.4 and below: We don’t recommend carpal tunnel braces with this rating; you won’t find any on our list.

We Also Tested

  • MUELLER Green Fitted Wrist Brace at Amazon: In testing, this brace was the most uncomfortable product we tried. It was excessively tight, with little room for adjustments, even on an average-sized hand. 
  • BraceUP Adjustable Wrist Wraps at Amazon: This wrap was comfortable and easy to adjust but almost too flexible to provide any noticeable support or relief.
  • Featol Carpal Tunnel Wrist Brace at Amazon: We found the design of this brace to be too bulky for comfort and lacking coverage in a key area (between the thumb and pointer finger) where we needed extra support. 

How We Tested the Carpal Tunnel Braces

To find the best carpal tunnel braces, we asked editors experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome to evaluate their braces for effectiveness, comfort, and adjustability. We read the manufacturer’s instructions for use, placed the brace on the arm or hand with symptoms, and wore the brace for four weeks only at night while sleeping. 

For comfort, we considered fit, wrist position, and hardness. Braces that held our wrists in neutral positions, allowed for mobility in the fingers and thumbs, and provided the right amount of support without being too firm or rigid scored high for comfort. For adjustability, we considered how easy it was to adjust the brace with one hand. For effectiveness, we rated our overall symptom improvement after four weeks of nightly use. 

We also spoke to experts to discuss what to look for when selecting carpal tunnel braces. The experts we spoke to included:

  • Physical therapist Susan Eby of Eby Physical Therapy in New York City
  • Heather Swain, DPT, owner of Ally Total Physical Therapy in Toledo, Ohio
  • Karena Wu, DPT, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in New York City

What to Look For in a Carpal Tunnel Brace

Cost 

According to Heather Swain, DPT, owner of Ally Total Physical Therapy, a carpal tunnel brace can cost anywhere from $5 to $50. But spending more money does not necessarily mean it will be a more effective brace, she warns, so you don’t have to break the budget. It’s better to choose a more comfortable and effective brace, even one at the lower end of the price range, than an expensive one you can’t wear or that doesn’t work. 

Comfort and Fit 

Carpal tunnel braces are designed to be rigid enough to immobilize the wrist, says Karena Wu, DPT, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy. And it’s important that it fits you well enough to provide that support: It shouldn’t be so tight that it increases compression and pain symptoms nor so loose that it doesn’t neutralize the wrist at all.  

Because you’ll be wearing the brace, ideally, for six to eight hours per day, it should also be comfortable, which means the material shouldn’t rub or irritate your skin. You’ll know you’ve found the right brace for you when you feel better using it, notes Wu: “It should almost immediately make a positive change in [your] symptoms and feel good on [your wrist].” 

When choosing a carpal tunnel brace, ensure it fits you well and isn’t bulky, says Karena Wu, DPT, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in New York City. Bulky braces will interfere with your activities (even if it’s just sleeping!), and one-size-fits-all braces can pose a problem for anyone who doesn’t fit the prescribed sizing, such as petite people.

Adjustability  

Our hands are as different as we are, so a one-size-fits-all brace will never truly be one-size-fits-all. If you can’t find a brace with different sizes, make sure you choose one with velcro straps, says Wu, so you can adjust the fit to your hand. With adjustable straps, you can tighten or loosen the brace as needed, depending on your activity level.

You may also want to consider if the adjustability of a brace allows for you to switch back and forth between the left and right hand, says Swain. Otherwise, you’ll need two separate braces if you experience symptoms in both hands.

Material  

Most braces are made from neoprene, nylon, cotton, or a combination of these materials. There’s no single material that’s best for wrist braces, but there are some things to consider Swain notes:

  • Breathability. If your hands are prone to swelling, trapping them in a material that retains heat will only make your swelling worse.
  • Washability. If you expect your brace to get dirty—either from going about your day or sweating during the night—you’ll need to know if it can be washed (and, if so, how). Check to see if your brace is machine washable or hand wash/spot clean only. 

Design 

Most carpal tunnel braces are made with a rigid insert along the palmar side of the brace, says Wu, to keep the wrist in a neutral position. These braces usually have adjustable straps so you can create a comfortable fit. 

However, some people prefer to use compression-style arthritis gloves, which are less bulky and more flexible but still provide ample wrist support. These are trickier to size correctly, though, unless they’re stretchy enough to accommodate a wide range of hand sizes.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Do braces work for carpal tunnel syndrome?

    As long as your symptoms are actually caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, braces are generally effective. But it’s hard to know exactly how effective since people are often misdiagnosed. 

    According to Swain, carpal tunnel only causes symptoms in certain fingers, so if you have numbness and pain in all of your fingers, especially your pinky, something else is likely to be causing your symptoms. The same may be true if you have symptoms in both hands rather than just one. If it’s not carpal tunnel causing your symptoms, a brace designed for carpal tunnel won’t help much.


  • What type of brace is best for carpal tunnel?

    “Any brace that stabilizes the wrist in a neutral or a slightly extended position,” says Eby, “should help relieve symptoms.” The brace should be snug but not tight, allow comfortable movement of the fingers, and not worsen symptoms by placing too much pressure on the wrist. 

    Most of our experts warned against one-size-fits-all braces, though if you’re lucky enough to have an average-sized hand and wrist, you may be able to wear one comfortably.


  • How many hours a day should you wear a carpal tunnel brace?

    “You should wear a brace at night while you sleep, so six to eight hours is about the right amount of time,” says Swain. Avoid wearing the brace all day since this can negatively affect your muscles and circulation. If you do feel you need to use the brace during the day as well as at night, make sure you take frequent breaks. 

    “It is important to move your hand in order to get good blood flow,” says Swain. “Not moving the hand at all can let muscles become weak or tight and be counterproductive.”

    In the long term, Eby says you can wear the brace regularly for about four to six weeks, then begin gradually decreasing use for about four additional weeks. You don’t want to wear a brace indefinitely or for long periods of time unless under the supervision of a doctor.


  • How long does it take for a wrist brace to help carpal tunnel?

    There’s no definitive answer. For most cases of mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, says Eby, symptoms should resolve within six to 12 weeks. More severe cases, however, may require carpal tunnel release surgery.

    You can maximize the results of your brace, Eby adds, by addressing any underlying causes that might be contributing to your symptoms; consider making workplace modifications, improving your posture, increasing therapeutic exercises, and seeking care for medical conditions that can exacerbate carpal tunnel syndrome, like arthritis and ganglion cysts.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Sarah Bradley has been a freelance writer since 2017, tackling health commerce articles, product reviews, and shopping guides on everything from dry skin moisturizers and wart removers to menstrual cups and toothbrushes for braces. As someone who spends several hours per day on a computer, she has suffered carpal tunnel pain before and knows how important it is to find a comfortable and well-fitting brace to alleviate her symptoms. 

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