Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace Review: Great for Athletes, With Limitations

This compression brace provides support but might not be comfortable for all

Sarah is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness. She has written for publications like Women's Health, Healthline, and Parents. She taught creative writing for five years, and has a bachelor's degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University. Waterproof Finger Splint

Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace Review: Great for Athletes, With Limitations

Adjustable for loose or tight fit

Can be worn over or under clothes

Firm but flexible for mobility

Traps heat; would get hot with long-term use

Not comfortable under clothes if you have sensitive skin

The Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace works well for people who need firm compression and added stability (athletes and people who do lots of movement) but is ineffective for everyday use.

The Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace is part of a boom in compression technology in exercise gear–you can find it in nearly every article of clothing designed for working out, from tees and tanks to leggings and bike shorts, socks, bodysuits, and even underwear. According to exercise enthusiasts, compression garments can increase blood flow (which reduces your chances of swelling), help you recover from injury faster, help you avoid overuse injuries and muscle strains, and possibly even help you lose weight.

Now, you should take those benefits with a grain of salt; some research suggests that compression garments can help you work out better and smarter—meaning you’ll get stronger and healthier!—but it’s not exactly a scientific fact. The only benefit that’s been lightly endorsed by researchers is post-workout recovery; a 2014 meta-analysis in the British Journal of Sports Medicine highlighted “recovery from muscle damage” as one area where compression garments can be useful. 

It’s still an open question how helpful compression is for regular people with back pain going about their daily lives, even though many devices market it for just such a purpose–like this one. That’s why I tested the Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace to see how it worked, how it fit, and how I felt during and after a handful of normal activities.

The Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace is marketed to athletes looking to improve their recovery time and provide support, but also to regular Joes (and Janes) who have back pain. The former group will probably find this device the most helpful, as it is easily adjustable (meaning it works for all kinds of bodies) and provides firm support for tired muscles. However, it proved fairly uncomfortable during regular activities and didn’t provide the relief back pain sufferers seek.

The Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace comes in two sizes: small/medium and large/extra large. The small/medium size fits people with a waist between 28 and 39 inches in circumference, while the large/extra large is designed to accommodate a 39 to 50-inch waist. The brace is plain black and gray, making it a unisex design that men or women can wear.

My waist is about 30 inches, so I had no trouble getting the brace to fit. I would note, though, that when I adjusted the brace so it was as tight as it could be (just for research purposes!), the front straps overlapped. It’s possible that if you have a very narrow waist, it could be tough to get a snug fit even with the smaller size.

The Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace fastens two ways; first, with wide straps on each end that overlap one another in the front, and second with a pair of stretchy side straps that you pull forward to attach to the front at your preferred level of support and compression. Everything attaches with velcro, which gets high marks for holding the straps securely while still being easy to remove.

This double-fastened design allows you to not only adjust your specific level of compression but to choose a spot for the brace on your body and trust it will stay put; I didn’t find that the brace slid up or down much when situated correctly around my waist, and it never loosened up over time, either.

Everything attaches with velcro, which gets high marks for holding the straps securely in place but being easy to simply pull apart for removal.

The brace is made from a polyester/spandex blend, which is extremely stretchy and fairly comfortable to leave on. The compression is firm enough to be noticeable (you won’t “forget” you’re wearing the brace) but not so firm that it inhibits movement. The brace is slim enough to be worn over or under clothing. Still, I’m not sure everyone would like the feeling of it against their skin for very long—it’s not a harsh fabric, but it’s not exactly super soft, either. For people like me with sensitive skin, wearing it under clothing would irritate quickly. 

The other issue with the material is that it isn’t very breathable, which could pose a heat problem for anyone hoping to wear the brace for long periods or athletes who may want to use it for long, outdoor workouts. However, to offset the inevitable sweating, the brace is infused with copper (which can prevent odors) and is also machine washable, so if it does get funky, you can toss it in the laundry.

I didn’t mind wearing the brace when I was active, like vacuuming the house, cleaning the yard, or walking our dog. But anytime I was more stationary, I couldn’t wait to take it off. I felt like I needed to have the brace on pretty tightly to reap the compression and support benefits, but once I tightened it that much, it felt uncomfortably restrictive.

I also was not a fan of the four built-in stabilizing supports; the tops and bottoms of these plastic inserts dug into my hips and ribs depending on my movement, and I couldn’t quite understand their placement. There are two on each side of the brace, one in the front and one in the back; I desperately wanted one right in the center of my back, at least to support the curve of my spine. 

I could see someone wearing the brace for a workout or extended activity involving a lot of sporadic movement or lifting, but I don’t think I would be able to put the brace on at the start of my day and simply leave it there for the course of a work day.

Generally, compression garments should offer firm but flexible support that keeps your body in check but doesn’t restrict your activity. This back brace does that, but I was frustrated by it.

I would much rather have had a brace that offered some obvious posture support since I spend a lot of my day doing things that result in slouching (working at my desk, cooking, and doing basic housework like washing dishes or folding laundry); in other words, a lot of my lower back aches come from my usual around-the-house activities. I didn’t find the back brace to be all that helpful in reducing strain when it was worn as a daily preventative device.

As for muscle recovery, I tested that out, too: after spending a few hours cleaning out our basement (doing everything from hauling out old toys to organizing the canned goods pantry to vacuuming under the dryer), I put the brace on to see if it could soothe my aching back muscles. At first, it did—the compression felt good! But it was, unfortunately, short-lived; after 15 or 20 minutes, I still had an aching back, the brace was more of an annoyance than a support device, and off it came.

Since the two main issues this brace is designed to address are back pain support and muscle recovery, those are the metrics I focused on. Over the course of one week, I wore the brace for varying amounts of time throughout multiple types of activities.

Twice, I wore the brace for 30 to 60 minutes while performing stationary tasks, like working at my computer or standing in my kitchen cooking or washing dishes. Four times, I wore the brace for two to three hours while completing some kind of physical activity, like vigorous cleaning and yard work or dog walking. These tests were to assess how well the brace provided back support or relieved back pain while I was wearing it. 

Finally, I wore the brace for 15 to 20 minutes twice after some strenuous activity to test its muscle recovery benefits. I also wore the brace under and over my clothes to evaluate its comfort.

At around $20, the price point for this basic back brace is undeniably budget-friendly; considering that simple is usually better with these types of devices, you don’t need to pay for a lot of bells and whistles. Plus, compression devices are pretty individual—you might love or hate them, but you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to try it.

There are more compression braces on the market than you might think; compression items, including both traditional braces and individual pieces of clothing, are part of a new trend promising to enhance workout sessions. Back braces are a particularly popular compression product, and there is no shortage of braces to choose from if you’re looking for lumbar support.

Sparthos Back Support Belt: This back brace is wider than the Copper Fit brace, offering a bit more core stability but possibly also a more constricting design; where the Copper Fit is more narrow and curved, the Sparthos is wider and straighter. It fastens and adjusts in the same way, however, and includes both breathable fabric and rigid support stabilizers. There are three sizes available for both braces, and with adjustable Velcro, most people should be able to find a suitable fit. The Sparthos isn’t infused with copper, but it does include a lumbar pad for added support that the Copper Fit does not feature.

NeoTech Care Adjustable Double Pull Lumbar Brace/Lower Back Belt: The NeoTech brace is wider than the Sparthos, offering the most coverage of these three Copper Fit competitors. Again, this could be a pro or a con depending on how much back support you need. It’s available in six different sizes, though, compared to the three sizes offered by the Copper Fit. Aside from the size and coverage of the NeoTech brace, the biggest difference between it and the Copper Fit is the material it’s made from: the Copper Fit is neoprene, while the NeoTech is polyester. Combined with its overall larger size and the fact that it promotes itself as being able to provide “heat retention,” it’s reasonable to assume the Copper Fit is a much cooler brace option than the NeoTech.

Mueller Sport Care Lumbar Back Brace with Removable Pad: This brace is the most comparable to the Copper Fit on this list of competitors; it’s similar in size and shape, made of neoprene, available in three sizes, and costs about the same amount. It features adjustable compression and stabilizing supports, too. The main difference between the Mueller and the Copper Fit is the additional lumbar pad for lower back support (and it’s removable for maximum comfort).

There’s nothing wrong with the Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace—it’s affordable, adjustable, and mostly comfortable, though it could use some upgrades for maximum comfort. But it’s not a wide spectrum compression device that can prevent or alleviate all kinds of lower back pain; it would provide the most benefit when worn during workouts and, perhaps, immediately after workouts to encourage muscle recovery. For everyone else (i.e., people looking for posture support, daily stability, or intense back pain relief), it’s probably not the best choice.

By Sarah Bradley Sarah has written for Verywell Health since August 2020. Her work has been featured on sites like On Parenting from The Washington Post, The Writer, and O the Oprah Magazine. Sarah has a bachelor's degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University.

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Copper Fit Pro Back Belt Compression Brace Review: Great for Athletes, With Limitations

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