Best Compression Shirts

The Best Compression Shirts On The Market – Buying Guide

Compression garments are all the rage right now with more and more famous athletes wearing them and proclaiming their positive effects.

While compression garments were first used medically to promote better circulation, they have gained popularity in sports and fitness as more people experience the benefits of squeezing into them, namely, better circulation, faster muscle recovery, longer time to fatigue, and additional support.

Although studies are not conclusive on whether they do enhance athletic performance, it has been proven that the true benefit in wearing compression garments is after your exercise, which is why it is advisable to remain in your compression garments for at least an hour post-exercise with some people even sleeping in them!

To decrease inflammation and hasten muscle recovery so you can get back to working out as soon as possible, we give you the best compression shirts available in the market. We weighed in on the pros and cons of each so you can better decide which one fits your needs.

The Best Compression Shirts On The Market in 2017

1. Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Long Sleeve Compression Shirt

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 11:14 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

You cannot talk about compression garments without bringing up Under Armour. This company is always looking for ways to improve their products. The best thing about it is that they don’t come with a price tag that can rob you blind if you let it.

The Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Long Sleeve Compression Shirt is a product of the company’s dedication to quality. It is guaranteed to fit like a second skin, delivering adequate compression with a fabric blend of 84% polyester and 16% elastane.

The trademark HeatGear fabric from Under Armour gives you the benefits of not only great compression that the company is known for, but also makes it comfortable enough to be worn even throughout the whole day.

This fabric innovation from Under Armour gives the right amount of insulation while keeping you dry with their Moisture Transport System that conveniently wicks sweat away from the body. There are also stretch-mesh underarm panels to give you more strategic ventilation.

Other features include four-way stretch fabrication that allows you greater mobility and will not hamper your movements, as well as anti-odor technology that prevents the growth of disgusting odor-causing microbes, and UPF 30+ to give you added sun protection.

Size charts are also available on their website for your guidance if you are purchasing online.


Pros
  • Good compression
  • Comfortable
  • Moisture Transport System wicks sweat away from the body
  • Four-way stretch fabrication that allows greater mobility
  • Added sun protection with UPF 30+
  • Anti-odor technology
Cons
    • Sizes tend to run a bit small
2. CompressionZ Men's Short Sleeve Top - Core Muscle Compression for Running, Cycling, & Fitness

CompressionZ might not be as well-known as other companies in the compression garments department, but they actually create quality products minus the hefty price tag. It uses a proven compression technology to give good compression that promotes good circulation while lessening injuries and encourages faster muscle recovery.

This shirt not only delivers great compression, it is made of high-quality fabric that adapts to the temperature of your environment. It keeps you cool when it’s hot out and keeps you toasty warm when temperatures start dropping.

The flatlock stitching takes care of that annoying chafing you get with regular seams. The four-way stretch technology allows for greater mobility even with the compression.


Pros
  • Good compression promotes good circulation, faster muscle recovery, and lessens injuries
  • Temperature regulation
  • Flatlock stitching
  • Four-way stretch technology for greater mobility
  • Anti-odor and anti-itch material
Cons
  • Sizes run a bit small
  • Not very good at wicking sweat away from body
3. Baleaf Men's Cool Dry Skin Fit Long Sleeve Compression Shirt

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 11:14 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

Compression shirts are meant to promote good blood circulation during exercise and Baleaf makes the compression part their top priority. These shirts are made to increase circulation and encourage faster recovery even after the most strenuous exercises, all while providing optimum support, especially during high-impact exercises.

Baleaf Compression Shirts are made of 90% polyester and 10% elastane. The fabric is soft and breathable with the added feature of wicking moisture away from the body.

The four-needle flat seam minimizes the annoying chafing that comes with regular stitching.


Pros
  • Good compression
  • Good stretch
  • Light and comfortable material
  • Cheaper than more popular brands
Cons
  • Has a weird smell at first
  • Sizes run a bit big
4. 2XU Men's Elite Compression Long Sleeve Top

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 11:38 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

When it comes to compression garments, there are two names that frequently crop up—Under Armour and 2XU. The latter, though, is undeniably pricier than the former but you can’t complain because they make top notch compression garments like nobody’s business.

If you have tried the compression shirts from 2XU and liked it, then you definitely have to try their Elite Compression line, especially if you need more power and support. 2XU uses a graduated pressure technology to provide regulated pressure throughout the garment so you can get all the good benefits of compression during and after exercise.

These compression shirts deliver great support to the biceps, triceps, pectorals, deltoids, as well as the core in addition to providing great compression. The new PXW FLEX provides support to the core and upper arms and the PWX WEIGHT panel supports the forearms.

These shirts are made with a combination of certified 70/107 Denier Invista LYCRA Compression with a 360-degree fabric knit construction for a consistent and powerful pressure. It also has the Muscle Containment feature to lessen vibrations and oscillations during exercise to decrease fatigue and muscle damage.

Other features include UPF 50+ for sun protection.


Pros
  • Consistent and powerful compression using graduated pressure technology
  • Muscle Containment feature to decrease fatigue and muscle damage
  • Additional support for arms, chest, and core
  • Provide unrestricted range of motion
  • Lightweight and comfortable material
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Waist and sleeves might be a bit too long
5. Tesla Men's Thermal WinterGear Compression Baselayer Mock Long Sleeve T Shirts

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 11:14 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

Compression shirts actually make great base layers, if you’re considering going out into the snow. They can easily wick sweat from the body and keep you toasty while promoting good circulation and muscle support.

The people at Tesla must know this when they came up with their Thermal WinterGear Compression Baselayer. It delivers compression to promote good blood circulation and faster muscle recovery, making it suitable for all major sports and recreational activities.

Unlike most compression shirts, the Thermal WinterGear are designed specifically for warmth with fleece lining. They came up with their own synthetic fibers to create a product that guarantees warmth and durability that may even outperform other fabrics.

The guys over at Tesla also did their homework studying how body heat dissipates and how thermal insulation is maintained to come up with Over-Heat Series that is used in these compression shirts.

The Over-Heat Series is specifically designed to minimize the loss of precious body heat in cold temperatures and even self-regulates the body temperature in wintry conditions. The products in this line are constructed with three-dimensional patterns and heat retention fabrics to ensure the heat stays in without sacrificing comfort.

It is made of 87% polyester and 13% elastane with enough elasticity to give you a full range of motion and not hamper your movements.

Other features include moisture sensing, quick time dry, and two-way air circulation, which all make it ideal as a base layer for winter gear. In freezing conditions, sweat equals cold and these compression shirts make sure that the sweat stays away from your skin stat!

These compression shirts also have a deodorizing function to minimize the god awful stench brought about by sweat and dirt. It also provides sun protection at UPF 50+.


Pros
  • Good compression
  • Microfleece lining for warmth
  • Retains heat
  • Quick drying
  • Deodorizing function
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
Cons
  • Sizes run a bit small, short so buyers are warned to buy at least one size bigger
  • Not color fast
  • May have a certain smell at first

Benefits of Wearing Compression Shirts

Best Compression Shirts

Compression shirts and other compression garments are pretty popular right now with many athletes proclaiming their benefits from boosting performance to faster muscle recovery. Some are true and some aren’t but there are certain benefits to be gained for sure.

  • Promotes good circulation - Compression stockings were first worn for medical purposes by people with circulation problems like deep venous thromboses to prevent the formation of blood clots by promoting good circulation in the legs. Blood stasis or sluggish blood flow will encourage the formation of blood clots, which could block the blood vessels or worse, lodge in an important organ like the lungs or the brain.
  • Faster muscle recovery - Studies show that wearing compressive garments will clear blood lactate quickly for faster muscle recovery. This study shows that although wearing compression garments will not improve performance, it does promote faster recovery.
  • Lower energy expenditure - The results of this study also revealed that wearing compression garments will lower the energy expenditure while running by enhancing overall circulation and decreasing muscle oscillation.

How to Choose the Best Compression Shirt for You

There are a lot of compression shirts available in the market and deciding which one is the best for you can be a bit tricky. With the increasing popularity of compression garments, manufacturers also came up with all sorts of colors and designs, as well as features to tempt buyers.

1. Fit
Best Compression Shirts

If your compression garments do not fit you well, you will not only feel uncomfortable in it but you will also be unable to reap the full benefits of wearing them in the first place. A compression shirt that is too tight will not only limit your mobility but it might also compromise your circulation instead of improving it whereas one that does not give you adequate compression will be ineffective.

The best way to see if you are getting the right size is to simply try it on but if you are planning to buy a compression shirt online, this could be a problem. Make sure to refer to the size guides or charts from the manufacturers to get the right fit, if that is the case. If you find yourself confused between two sizes, I would suggest going with the smaller size as the larger one might not be able to dish out as much compression.

2. Materials

Most compression garments are made of a blend of nylon and elastane or Spandex. The higher the amount of elastane in the fabric, the more stretchy it will be. This means that you will get a shirt that will fit closer to your skin and give you a slimmer look. It will also be more fitting to your form and give you greater compression.

It is also important to note that compression shirts made of high-quality materials also tend to cost more but will prove to be more durable in the long run.

3. Comfort
Best Compression Shirts

There is a common misconception that exercise is not supposed to be comfortable but this is not true when it comes to choosing compression garments, especially since they are supposed to fit you almost like a second skin. Any form of discomfort can distract you from the exercise and affect your performance.

Watch out for seams and tags that will poke or rub at your skin for the entire duration of your workout. Usually, compression garments do not come with tags or at the very least, they should be comfortable enough. Also, shabbily made compression shirts tend to use rough, cheapo seams that will only abrade your skin.

To avoid this kind of discomfort, look for compression shirts with flatlock stitching as these will be more comfortable compared to regular stitching and not chafe at your skin.

4. UV Protection
Best Compression Shirts

If you are planning to use your compression shirt mostly outdoors under the heat of the sun, investing in one with UV protection is a good idea.

Sun protection is more important now than ever. With skin cancer cases on the rise, we need all the UV protection we can get and not just from sunscreens. Sweat and water tend to erode sunscreen, especially with increased activity. What’s more, you might not even remember to reapply it regularly as recommended.

In this case, then a long-sleeved compression shirt with quality UV protection could be a very good investment, not only for the benefits of compression but also for the added protection against the damaging effects of sun exposure.

5. Environment
Best Compression Shirts

Will you need your clothing to keep you warm or is it the other way around?

There are compression shirts that are designed to wick sweat away from your skin and keep you warm, especially those that are made specifically for skiing and other winter sports. On the other hand, there are also some compression shirts that are made to keep you call when temperatures rise.

Wherever and whatever you will be wearing your compression shirt for, this is a good feature to keep in mind. Remember that a good base layer can mean the difference between keeping warm and hypothermia in the same way that it spells the difference between staying cool and heatstroke.

6. Price
Best Compression Shirts

For most of us, the price of an item is one of the most important deciding factors for making a purchase. In fact, I already have a price range in mind and narrow my choices down from there whenever I make a purchase.

Online and in physical stores, you can find a wide array of compression shirts that will fit your budget as those that will shock you from the cheapest to the most expensive. Really, you might be tempted to purchase a cheap shirt that costs less than $10 but I would advise against it. Most compression shirts in this price range are shabbily made and you might seriously regret it.

On the other hand, you have compression shirts that will cost as much as a whopping $200 with only a handful of reviews because the rest of the masses can’t afford them. These are really great shirts with top notch design, comfort, and features but are beyond the scope of most of our wallets.

If you want to hit the sweet spot that combines quality and a reasonable price tag, I suggest looking at compression shirts within the $30 to $75 price range. At around $30, you get good quality compression shirts that are comfortable, durable, and deliver adequate compression. Around $60, you start seeing shirts of a higher quality with additional features and more designs.

Conclusion

There are a lot of compression shirts out there from the fantastic to the absolute worst, depending on your budget. However, the one which perfectly marries both quality and price are the products from Under Armour. Seriously, you cannot talk about compression garments and not know about Under Armour.

Their HeatGear Compression Shirts are comfortable enough to be worn throughout the day, even as they deliver great compression. These shirts wick sweat away from your body, repel odor-causing bacteria, and also provide adequate support to your arms, chest, and core.

Last update on 2018-07-18 at 11:14 PST  / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API - Details

Working out does not have to be particularly uncomfortable or painful and the right compression shirt will help you get back on your feet faster. Although it is still inconclusive whether they can actually boost your performance, they certainly make it easier to resume working out without the annoying muscle pains you get the morning after.

In your opinion, what are the best compression shirts? Do you have other suggestions to add to our top choices for compression shirts? Did you find this article helpful in looking for the best compression shirts to suit your needs? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

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About the Author Mike R.Bowen

I am Mike R.Bowen, founder of Fitness On The Weekend dot Com and my aim is to help busy people find time for fitness. We will give you actionable advice on how you can keep fit and healthy even on those busy days!

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