The best back braces of 2023, tested and reviewed

Quick Overview

  • Best Overall back brace

    Sparthos Back Brace for Lower Back Pain

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    Best back brace for lower back pain

    Ace Adjustable Back Brace

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    Best back brace for sciatica

    Disc Disease Solutions 300 Decompression Belt

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    Best back brace for herniated disc

    Best back brace for lower back and abdominal support

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    Best back brace for degenerative disc desease

    Freetoo Back Brace

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    Best back brace for posture

    Back Brace and Posture Corrector for Women and Men

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    Best back brace for work and heavy lifting

    AllyFlex Sports Back Brace For Lifting

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    Best back brace with Hot or Cold Therapy

    Magic Gel Ice Pack for Back Pain Relief

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    Best back massager with heat therapy

    Cueheat Heating Pad Back Brace with Heat and Massager

See 4 more

Back pain, whether chronic or temporary, can leave you feeling fully debilitated and bedridden. But you don’t have to take it lying down: Over-the-counter back braces can help alleviate chronic pain caused by myriad conditions, be it sciatica or slipped discs.

These braces are designed to have your back, literally, by reducing pressure on the spine, prevent injury and help maintain proper alignment. Most important, back braces give you the needed support to help you stay mobile, because the fact is, staying as active as possible is the fastest way to get on the road to recovery and feeling pain-free. “Lower back pain can be successfully treated with conservative measures, such as bracing and rehabilitation exercises,” orthopedic spine surgeon Jennifer Woods told us. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor first, especially if your pain is severe or chronic or you have a fever in addition to the pain, she added.

To back up our picks of the best braces, we spoke with leading orthopedic specialists and surgeons to better understand which style is best for which condition and which braces experts recommend most. We then researched more than 40 back braces that fit within the criteria the experts laid out, rating each based on conditions targeted, cost, ease of use, user reviews and in-house tester experience. Finally, we narrowed down the list to the 10 best back braces.

The best back braces of 2023



Best for: Sciatica, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, arthritis, lumbar support | Material: Breathable mesh, neoprene, Velcro | Machine washable: Yes (spot clean lumbar insert)

Pros: Removable lumbar pad; double layer of adjustable straps; breathable material

Cons: Limited sizing

The Sparthos lower back brace is our overall pick and a cult favorite (with more than 35,000 five-star reviews on Amazon), thanks to its breathable mesh, rigid support, adjustable compression and ease of use. The brace is great for strains and lower back pain, yet rigid enough to relieve sciatica pain, as well as a wide range of conditions, such as herniated disc(s), scoliosis, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. It’s also a wonderful brace to have on hand to wear proactively to ward off back pain and strains when engaging in a task that puts repeated pressure on the back and spine. 

The back brace features three firm stays, an adjustable (and removable) lumbar pad and two Velcro straps to ensure the perfect fit. The brace immediately lifts the load off your lower back and offers gentle compression for stability and pain relief. It comes in three sizes — small, large and X-large. While sizing is somewhat confusing with the lack of a medium option, you can easily find the appropriate brace for your size by following the manufacturer’s instructions for taking your waist measurement. 

Yahoo’s health editor April McCormick, who has personally used the brace, said: “I have tried multiple back braces to help with the discomfort associated with my degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, sciatica pain and lower back pain and have found the Sparthos back brace to be the best for support thanks to the double layer compression straps that help keep my spine supported while the adjustable lumbar support hits right where I need it. The ease of use and durability are also a major plus since I regularly wear the brace to help with pain and prevent injury when gardening or engaging in heavy lifting.”

$28 at Amazon



Best for: Minor strains, stress injuries, preventive support during activities | Material: Polyester, nylon, neoprene, spandex, polypropylene, rubber | Machine washable: No

Pros: Anatomical design allows for full range of motion; breathable back panel; designed to resist bunching and slipping

Cons: Not machine washable; one size only (up to 48-inch waist)

Ace’s simple-yet-effective back brace is a perfect example of why the brand is an industry leader, having been dubbed “The #1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand of Braces & Supportsin the Pharmacy Times and U.S. News & World Report 2020-2021 National Survey. The easy-to-use brace provides moderate support and stabilization to help relieve symptoms associated with minor strains and repetitive stress injuries, a saggy abdomen and preventative support during work and activities. Capable of providing support for those with a waist up to 48 inches, the brace features two adjustable straps for customizable support while still allowing for full range of motion. The breathable back panel helps keep your back cool and skin dry, while the palmer stays in the back panel provide moderate rigid support. We also love that the brace is designed to prevent bunching and slippage during wear, which is major issue with inexpensive and knockoff braces. 

“Ace is the best!” wrote one reviewer. “I have scoliosis, joint instability and spinal stenosis. I have tried multiple brands. Ace works the best for support without the added bulk.”

$18 at Walmart$18 at Amazon$40 at HSA store


Disc Disease Solutions

Best for: Sciatica, herniated disc, pinched nerves, stenosis, degenerative disc, lumbar traction | Material: 100% inner cotton lining, outer layer construction not disclosed | Machine washable: Yes

Pros: Four U.S. patents; incredibly effective; ergonomic design; available in 10 sizes ranging from small to 7XL

Cons: Expensive

Disc Disease Solutions’s Neumatic Air Decompression Belt is backed by four U.S. patents and is regularly recommended by one of our experts, Dave Candy, a board-certified specialist in orthopedic physical therapy. “I commonly recommend the back decompression brace by Disc Disease Solutions,” Candy told us. “The brace lifts and unloads the spine, not just compress it like regular back braces.” 

What sets the brace apart from the other braces on this list is the patented Vertical Air Technology (VAP) that helps with spinal decompression. The VAP technology decreases axial loading while increasing intervertebral disc space thanks to the air chambers in the belt you can inflate and deflate using the detachable air gauges. The brace also works to gently stretch the torso vertically and displaces stress away from the affected disc and nerve. The end result is alleviated pressure, decreased pain and improved mobility so you can stay active while healing from an injury.

The belt is rigid enough to provide the lift and support you need, while the 100% cotton lining makes it comfortable enough to wear under your clothes nearly unnoticed. Designed to conform to the natural curvature of the spine for maximum comfort, the customizable air compression with easy-to-read detachable gauge and pump will have you back on your feet and moving and grooving almost instantly.

One relieved belt owner with two herniated discs (one of which is bulging) and a fractured vertebrae said:”If I could, I’d give this belt a million-star rating.” Wrote another reviewer: “The only belt that gave me pain relief for my pregnancy-related back pain.”

$225 at Amazon



Best for: Herniated disc, arthritis, sacroiliac joint syndrome, pain relief, sciatica | Material: Neoprene blend, Velcro, steel | Machine washable: Yes 

Pros: Eight steel stays; double-layer compression; light-weight design

Cons: One size only for both men and women

The Mueller Adjustable Back Brace is a great solution for those suffering from muscular weakness of the back and abdominal muscles thanks to a whopping eight steel springs located in the back of the brace that collectively conform to your back and spine for a truly ergonomic fit (most braces feature only three to five rigid steel stays). The steel springs coupled with the tapered design and double-layer adjustable compression straps that pull tight around your abdomen work to fully and comfortably support your trunk, abdomen and spine while you heal and recuperate. This is a unisex one-size-fits-most brace, but it is easy to put on, easy to adjust for customizable compression and comfort, machine washable and FSA-eligible.

It also boasts more than 6,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. “[It] works!,” raved one reviewer, continuing, “I ordered three different abdominal bands from different companies and this one fit the best. It’s lightweight, comfortable and supportive! My Dr approved this for me.” Another reviewer raved that “this brace is wonderful. I put it on and it helped my low back pain immensely because it makes you stand or sit straight.”

$17 at Amazon$17 at Walmart$24 at Walgreens



Best for: Degenerative disc disease, lumbar support, lower back pain, herniated disc, sciatica, scoliosis, | Material: Air-mesh, four-way stretch material | Machine washable: No

Pros: Six aluminum stays for strong support; air-mesh; four-way stretch material; anti-skid silicone bands

Cons: Hand wash only

The Freetoo back brace’s construction and design are truly impressive, boasting four aluminum memory stays in the back and two steel springs placed along the waist side that work to prevent excessive stress on muscles and decrease the pressure on your sore and inflamed discs. The four-way elastic strap pulley system (which feeds through two clasps on either side of the brace) easily adjusts for 360-degree customizable compression. The inner layer is made of velvety fabric so you can comfortably wear the brace under clothes, while two silicone anti-skid bands on either side of the belt help keep the brace in place to prevent bunching and slippage. For those who fear the heat and sweating that comes with back braces, you will appreciate the breathable mesh channels that help keep your back cool and sweat-free.

This brace is an exceptionally constructed brace that offers full back support and nearly 14,000 five-star reviewers agree! One reviewer said, “This is a winner, hands down. Look no further.” Our in-house tester said the brace provided full back support and the adjustable straps offered a really nice level of customizable compression from top to bottom, which also helped with her posture. Another reviewer called it a “Back saver,” saying: “Fits well, I love the outer straps to adjust the tightness. I have several lower lumbar issues and this helps tremendously. Would highly recommend.”

$37 at Amazon


Fit Geno

Best for: Posture and scoliosis | Material: moisture-wicking and breathable material | Machine washable: Yes

Pros: Shoulder to lower back support; moisture-wicking material; customizable fit

Cons: May be too much brace for some

Nothing leads to lower back pain faster than sitting with poor posture — even if it’s just for an hour. To avoid this, consider giving the Fit Geno Back Brace and Posture Corrector a try. The adjustable brace has four fiber support rods running top to bottom to help straighten your back and relieve pain in your shoulders, neck and waist by taking pressure off the key areas in your back. The shoulder straps further promote better posture throughout the day by gently pulling your shoulders up and back. Four adjustable Velcro straps (two on either side of the brace) allow you to customize compression and tension in the abdominals. The end result is perfect posture and reduced pain through an entire day of meetings or even a long car ride. And no worries about getting too hot in the brace, the moisture-wicking material keeps you cool and sweat-free.

With more than 4,200 five-star reviews on Amazon, it has earned praise from many others besides us. One reviewer declared it “lightweight and sturdy,” adding, “I sit in front of my desk for the most part and was having back pain so i decided to give this a go, Really good quality, and it’s quite customizable too, I enjoyed wearing it. There is like a metal/plastic boning in the back to help support your back, and a sturdy wrap to support your core, I got used to it really quickly. It also looks cute because it’s not too bulky.”

$31 at Amazon


AllyFlex Sports

Best for: Heavy lifting, exercise, lumbar support | Material: moisture-wicking CoolMax fabric | Machine washable: Undisclosed

Pros: Detachable suspenders; moisture-wicking fabric; 3D Lumbar Pads

Cons: Not as rigid as a powerlifting belt

If your job requires constant heavy lifting, then AllyFlex Sports Back Brace is the type of belt you want to have on hand to protect you from freak accidents. The brace features detachable Y-shaped suspenders that help pull your shoulders back for you to maintain good posture and prevent injuries from over-arching your back. Two ergonomic lumbar pads sit on either side of your spine for added support while two Velcro straps pull tight around your abdomen to ensure a comfortable and stable fit. If you’re prone to sweating or working in the heat and loathe traditional bulky and think powerlifting belts, you’ll love AllyFlex’s moisture-wicking CoolMax fabric designed to keep you cool and dry all day.

One reviewer raved: “This back support has wider metal stabilizers than the others I’ve tried. It provides much more support and gives me some relief from my back pain.” Another reviewer and nurse said, “I ordered this for my husband for work. I tried it on and ordered one for me too! We are both nurses and need all the support and help we can get for our backs.”

$39 at Amazon


Magic Gel

Best for: Lower back pain with inflammation and swelling | Material: Polyester, gel, Velcro | Machine washable: No

Pros: Two gel packs included for hot or cold therapy; easy on and off

Cons: One size only

The Magic Gel back brace is an excellent and versatile option for those looking for hot or cold therapy, or alternating both in one sitting. We all agree, this is the kind of brace that’s nice to have on hand for strains after a long day in the garden or too much twisting and diving for the ball on the pickleball court. “In general, cold therapy is most beneficial in the first few days after injury, and heat therapy can be helpful when further along in the recovery phase and attempting to regain flexibility in the joint,” Woods explained. 

Each belt comes with two gel packs, so alternating between hot and cold therapy is easy. The belt stays hot or cold for about 20 to 30 minutes, which happens to also be the recommended amount of time for applying hot or cold therapy in a sitting. We also love that there is a two-year warranty, so if anything happens and one of your gel packs leaks, the company has you covered.

$20 at Amazon



Best for: Lower back pain, sciatica, dysmenorrhea | Material: Neoprene, Velcro | Machine washable: No 

Pros: Heat and massage therapy; cordless; pocket for an ice pack

Cons: Not for all-day use

A back brace that massages your back while heat (or ice) therapy soothes achy muscles? Yes, please! 

The Cueheat back brace features three heat modes and three massaging vibration settings, two removable pads, an ice pack pocket and a Velcro strap closure for customizable comfort. It is also rechargeable so you don’t have to be tethered to a wall socket, which is rare for massage braces. Another standout and rare feature is the pocket for an ice pack (not included) so you can alternate hot and cold therapy while still enjoying the massage option. We also suggest you give it a try on sore shoulders and legs!

One reviewer shared that she “loves it” and that “It puts the vibration closer to the spine than some competing belts do.”

$68 at Amazon

How to choose the best back brace

With so many braces available in varying sizes, designs and price points, it’s important to first consider a few key factors to ensure you get the best back brace for your needs.

Conditions treated: First and foremost, you should know the cause of your back pain so you know what condition you should be treating. Is it a strain from yard work? Degenerative discs from good ol’ aging rearing their ugly heads? Sciatica pain during or after a pregnancy? Or another more serious condition that requires surgery or physical therapy?

Rigid or semi-rigid brace: With the many braces available, it’s important to know if you need a rigid or semi-rigid brace. Rigid braces are designed to offer a higher level of immobilization and often used postsurgery or after trauma or to provide serious support after a severe injury. Semi-rigid or flexible braces allow for more rage of motion and are best for mild pain, to provide extra support during exercise and preventive support during strenuous activities. Semi-rigid braces are the most common because of offering moderate support and flexibility.

Size: It’s highly important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for taking your measurements to make sure you get the right size. A brace with adjustable straps will almost always be your best bet for ensuring a perfect fit when paired with correct sizing.

Material: Breathable, lightweight fabric that can be comfortably worn under clothing is always going to be your best bet. A machine washable brace is also going to be a big plus.

Comfort: If the brace isn’t comfortable, you likely will not wear it. Keep in mind, rigid braces are less likely to feel comfortable but may still be what you need.

Extra features: Extra features are always a welcome bonus. Look for extra stays, anti-bunching elastic, breathable, cooling fabrics and any other features that will help alleviate your pain and keep you comfortable and active. One of our experts, Dr. Stephen J. Wallace, an orthopedic trauma and deformity specialist, tells us he recommends braces that include inserts for ice or heat packs, which can be beneficial for pain, inflammation and swelling.

How we choose the best back braces

To find the best back braces for varying conditions, we first spoke with board-certified orthopedic specialists and spine surgeons to learn which style of back brace is best for which condition, and which braces the experts recommend most for the various conditions. Using the experts’ feedback, our team researched over 40 back braces, including testing quite a few ourselves. The final list is composed of the best back braces based on the condition it’s designed to treat, comfort, first-person experience, ease of use and affordability.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I see a doctor about my back pain?

It’s always best to consult with your doctor after any injury, especially one that is debilitating. Something that may feel like a minor ache or pain could be caused by an underlying condition. For example, Dr. Patrick Dermarkarian, an orthopedic spine surgeon, told us, “Osteoporosis is fairly common, and the smallest of injuries can result in fractures.”

Do back braces relieve pain?

In most cases, a back brace will almost instantly relieve pain if worn correctly. It’s also important the correct brace is worn for the condition causing the pain. If your back pain is chronic or severe, it’s best to check in with your physician before making a purchase.

How long should you wear a back brace?

Dr. Melissa Boyette, and orthopedic surgeon, stresses that, “I would caution against wearing a brace longer than a few weeks if you have not been evaluated by a physician.” Bracing over a prolonged period of time can lead to stiffness and weakness, she adds.

How long should I wear a posture-correcting back brace?

Some may be of the mindset that in order to correct posture issues, they should wear a brace constantly. According to Candy, that isn’t true. “Wear a brace as needed, but you shouldn’t wear it all the time.” The goal with a posture-correcting brace is to get you used to maintaining proper posture on your own. Wear it for a few hours while sitting, then try to mimic the posture without the brace. Great posture is a life-long benefit, once you’re accustomed to maintaining great posture, it should become second nature.

Meet our experts

Melissa Boyette, MD, orthopedic surgeon


Patrick Dermarkarian, MD, orthopedic spine surgeon

Liza Egbogah, BSc, DC, DOMP

Stephen J. Wallace, MD, orthopedic trauma and deformity specialist

Jennifer Woods, MD, orthopedic surgeon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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