The best back brace

Braces & Supports

In addition to a back brace, low back pain can be treated with ice packs for acute onset of pain, while heat should be applied for long-term conditions.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which back brace is best?

You can cause back pain by an injury, strain or even sitting incorrectly. Much of our daily movements rely on a strong and flexible back, so our ability to perform daily tasks is greatly limited when there is back pain. This can affect our job, our hobbies and home life. It can make life miserable.

Back braces provide extra support for your aching back and promote quicker recovery, greater flexibility and pain relief. There are many choices to consider, but the NeoMedina Tech Back Brace is a top choice for overall relief and support.

What to know before you buy a back brace

Which type of back brace do you need?

There are two main types of back braces. Rigid braces immobilize the spine and restrict movement significantly. These braces are typically used for people with significant medical conditions or needing post-surgery rehabilitation.

Elastic/corset braces have multiple panels, come in many sizes and compressions, and are made from rubber, polyester and nylon. These braces allow for a natural range of motion and help with acute injuries and strains. 

What type of pain do you have?

Pain that comes from poor posture is different from the pain that originates from heavy lifting or even injury. Identify where your pain is coming from and evaluate its intensity. More intense pain may require a firmer back brace. Remember that using the wrong back brace will not help your pain, and it may even worsen it. Your healthcare professional can help you determine which type of brace is best for your situation.

How long will you be wearing the back brace?

If you plan to wear a back brace for most of the day, look for braces with sufficient padding to protect your skin. If you are using the brace for a brief moment to lift something or for a short period, you may not need as many of the comfort features that come with most braces.

What to look for in a quality back brace

Removable pads

Adding pads can help with comfort and support while removing pads allows greater movement and forming a tighter fit. It may take some trial and error to find what combination is best for you.

Stabilizing supports

Many back braces feature plastic or metal stays that give extra stabilization and durability.

Mesh straps

Back braces with mesh straps provide more breathability for anyone using the brace while exercising or outside in a warm climate.

Thermal heat

Some back braces use the body’s natural warmth for ongoing heat while wearing the brace. Check the manufacturer’s product description to see if this feature is highlighted.

How much you can expect to spend on a back brace

Prices for back braces vary widely depending on the type of brace needed and whether or not custom fitting is required. Most elastic braces expect to pay $10-$150, while rigid braces used for physical rehabilitation cost $300-$1,000.

Back brace FAQ

Can I keep wearing a back brace after the pain is gone?

A. It is recommended to only wear a back brace for the period in which your pain condition is addressed. Once the pain has subsided, it is best to refrain from wearing the brace unless you plan to do something strenuous that could re-injure your back.

Are back braces washable?

A. Most back braces come with manufacturer instructions for cleaning. Typically, braces are not meant to be used in washing machines and dryers. Follow your back brace’s instructions as provided.

Does my doctor have to order a back brace for me to use?

A. Most elastic back braces are available over the counter without a doctor’s order. However, some back braces are designed specifically for physical therapy or post-surgery rehabilitation. These braces require a doctor’s order due to their specific purpose and often a much higher price that can be submitted to your insurance (check your summary plan document for coverage specifics).

What’s the best back brace to buy?

Top back brace

NeoMedina Tech Back Brace

NeoMedina Tech Back Brace

What you need to know: This brace uses magnets to help increase circulation and fight inflammation.

What you’ll love: It’s Food and Drug Administration-registered and you can wear it for short or long periods. The brace is durable, washable and easily adjustable.

What you should consider: Not everyone finds the magnets to be therapeutic.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top back brace for the money

Mueller Lumbar Support Back Brace

Mueller Lumbar Support Back Brace

What you need to know: This brace has a double-layer design that provides extra support and comfort to both men and women.

What you’ll love: It features a removable lumbar pad for times when less support is all that is needed. The brace is breathable and comes from a long-standing, trusted brand.

What you should consider: Sizing can be challenging, especially for people with larger waists.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

BraceUP Back Brace

BraceUP Back Brace

What you need to know: Ideal for people needing minimal support, this brace provides comfort and full range of motion.

What you’ll love: Lightweight and breathable, this brace is discrete and comfortable underneath your clothes. Easy to adjust, the brace comes with dual adjustment straps that create the right amount of tension.

What you should consider: There can be challenges finding the right size, and some users did not find it supportive enough.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

 

Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.