Which neck brace is best?
Neck braces can be worn for a variety of reasons, from small annoyances such as a sore neck to major health concerns such as spinal injuries. But choosing the wrong brace could worsen your condition, and there are other considerations, such as how they close around your neck.
The best neck brace is the Trusted Medical Solutions Cervical Neck Traction Device. The air pump lets you make minute adjustments for a perfect fit.
What to know before you buy a neck brace
Neck brace types
There are three types of neck braces.
- Cervical-thoracic braces are used to help heal neck and upper-back injuries. Chiefly made of plastic, they come in two pieces that extend down over your chest and upper back, then close with hook-and-loop straps to keep your neck secure.
- Rigid braces are also made of plastic and come in two pieces. But they only cover the neck, so they’re just for neck-related injuries.
- Soft cervical braces are basic low-cost braces made of foam and rubber. They help support the neck but don’t keep it as secure as cervical-thoracic and rigid braces, so they aren’t good for serious injuries.
Size and fit
A neck brace needs to fit perfectly to provide its benefits and avoid risking your injury becoming worse. The two measurements you need to know are your neck’s circumference and height. Once you have those, compare them to a brace’s sizing chart.
Neck braces typically have circumferences of 21 to 42 inches and heights of 2.4 to 4 inches.
Neck braces come in a variety of colors such as white, tan and blue. Fashion is usually the last thing on someone’s mind when they have a neck or spine injury, but if you care, you can try finding an appropriate brace in a color you like.
What to look for in a quality neck brace
Some neck braces can be inflated and deflated to finely adjust the amount of support and pressure placed on the neck. These are excellent for injuries that come and go with different severities, or for those who struggle to find comfortable braces.
Neck braces use a variety of closure types, some of which you may prefer over others. These can include hook-and-loops, hook-and-eyes, strings and straps.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval
The best neck braces have been examined and approved for use by the FDA. If your injury is mild, such as a simple sore neck, you can choose a non-FDA-approved brace over an approved one if it saves you money. Otherwise, stick to FDA-approved braces.
How much you can expect to spend on a neck brace
They can cost as little as $10 to as much as $100-plus. Basic braces shouldn’t cost more than $15, with better braces costing up to $30. The best braces for those who need to wear them for a long time start at around $50.
Neck brace FAQ
Can I wear a neck brace in the shower?
A. Many neck braces are safe to wear in the shower if you can’t or shouldn’t remove them. If yours isn’t, you can always have a caregiver safely remove your brace for just long enough to wrap it in plastic, then put it back on so you can shower.
How do I clean a neck brace?
A. You need to spot clean it by hand. Start by soaking a soft cloth in a mixture of warm water and soap, then wring out the excess water and gently wipe the brace’s surface clean. Don’t use any harsh cleaning chemicals — the next time you wear it, the fumes could harm you.
How long do I need to wear a neck brace?
A. That depends on what you’re treating. You could be in your brace for a few weeks, a few months, or off and on for the rest of your life. Speak to your doctor about what to expect.
How restricted are my movements when wearing a neck brace?
A. If you’re wearing it properly, you shouldn’t be able to turn your neck or move it in any other way. So there are many activities you shouldn’t engage in, such as driving and most forms of exercise. You should also avoid sitting anywhere an air bag could strike you and wrench your neck.
What’s the best neck brace to buy?
Top neck brace
Trusted Medical Solutions Cervical Neck Traction Device
What you need to know: This brace is highly adjustable and comes from a U.S. company.
What you’ll love: It uses hook-and-loop straps so you can make it as tight as it needs to be. The air pump can add or subtract small amounts of air at a time so you can put exactly as much pressure on your neck as needed.
What you should consider: A few consumers reported it smelling strange, though it eventually fades away. While the company is U.S.-based, the brace is made in China.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top neck brace for the money
Cozyhealth Soft Foam Neck Brace
What you need to know: This is the perfect budget brace for short-term and occasional use.
What you’ll love: It uses hook-and-loop straps to adjust the fit and has indentations to make the fit around your chin and clavicle more comfortable. There’s no latex and the cover is cotton for breathability. It comes in three sizes and in tan or black.
What you should consider: Some customers found the cotton cover a little rough on their skin. Others found the instructions lackluster.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is among the most comfortable — and fashionable — braces.
What you’ll love: It’s available in three types. The comfort type prioritizes, well, comfort. The dual-use type includes a plastic plate to increase support. The enhanced type uses two layers of foam for extra softness and support. The types are spread among four sizes and three colors.
What you should consider: Some purchasers found none of the sizes would fit right. Others thought the plastic of the dual-use type too hard for comfort.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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