What Is An Arm Sleeve For?

Like any sport, pickleball can result in injuries, and as a result – some protection during play might be required.

Indeed, you may have seen someone wearing an arm sleeve before when playing pickleball. 

what is an arm sleeve for

But what exactly is it for? How can an arm sleeve assist with things like injuries? Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve written this handy guide below that explains everything you need to know about arm sleeves in pickleball and what they are for, along with how it might be beneficial. 

Ready to learn more? Read on and discover the answers.

Arm Sleeves – What Are They For?

Many years ago now, there was a tennis player named Milo Raonic who walked onto the tennis court wearing an arm sleeve.

When asked about it, Milo said that the arm sleeve was a recommendation by his doctor for protection against the sun. 

This is indeed true. Arm sleeves can protect your arm from the negative effects of the sun, but there’s also a lot more that an arm sleeve can do for you.

Let’s examine some of the potential benefits that an arm sleeve can provide when playing pickleball. 

Skin Protection 

Let’s kick off with further development on what we just discussed.

Wearing an arm sleeve can be incredibly beneficial if you have a skin condition or you are especially sensitive to the ultra violet rays of the sun. 

Like with many other sports outdoors, you can play for a long time and not realize that you are burning.

As a result, it’s entirely possible that you can end up with a serious sunburn – which is dangerous alone as it can lead to skin cancer or infection. 

What’s more, you could end up needing a lot of time away from pickleball, and this can be detrimental to your skill and form. 


One of the best things about pickleball arm sleeves is the added support it provides your arm in terms (see also: The Ultimate List Of Pickleball Terms [+ Their Definitions])of compression.

This in turn can give you more power in your arm for a longer time, allowing you to play at your best. 

Helps With Injury 

A point that is connected to the previous one, if you are carrying an arm injury – you might find that an arm sleeve can provide enough support that you do not have the same feelings of pain or “twinges” when you use your arm. 

Arm sleeves also can help to keep your arm warm, which of course means your muscles remain warm. When you have an arm injury, this is especially important as it can help to prevent further injury. 

One common injury with pickleball is known as “pickleball elbow”, and an arm sleeve can help to provide some relief from that condition. 

Finally, an arm sleeve can help to cushion you if you were to fall – which can prevent open wounds, which in turn can lead to infection.

Protects Others 

One point that is often overlooked when it comes to an arm sleeve is the fact that it can help to protect others.

Indeed, if you have a skin condition which potentially is contagious – an arm sleeve can stop skin-to-skin contact which can prevent the condition spreading. 

It’s also more hygienic when it comes to skin conditions – something which is very important on its own. 

Arm Sleeves – Are There Any Downsides?

You may have read all of these positive points and wondered to yourself if there are any downsides then!

Well, yes – nothing is without scrutiny, and unfortunately there are going to be some downsides to using an arm sleeve. Here’s some of the most prominent ones.

Affects Your Game 

If you are not used to wearing an arm sleeve, then the first time you wear one (and thereafter) can feel completely alien to you. As a result, you may find it affects your game. 

It does not mean that you cannot adapt though, but you may find yourself adapting to the arm sleeve for a while first, before you get back to your usual game. 

Can Get Hot 

Despite most arm sleeves being designed to allow airflow and release moisture, some arm sleeves can get very warm – especially in the direct sun in the summer.

This can make you very uncomfortable and once again, this could put you off your game. 

Not only this, but if your arm sleeve does not release moisture well enough, you can find the sleeve getting very wet due to sweat.

This can potentially lead to rashes, or at the very least – put you off your concentration.

Extra Cost 

Anyone who has ever got involved with pickleball will know that, in order to start playing the game – it requires some financial “investment”.

While the overall cost will depend on where you have purchased your equipment and what it is, it’s not usually low in cost. 

Therefore, when you’re looking at an arm sleeve, one of the major problems is the fact that it is another cost on top of your other equipment purchases.

In some respects, you will question if you even need it.

May Not Be A Necessity

This brings us on to the final point. Some people purchase arm sleeves that in reality, they do not need.

Arm sleeves can of course be very beneficial (as we have seen earlier), but they’re not for everyone. 

Therefore, one of the biggest downsides to an arm sleeve in pickleball is that they are not always a necessity for everyone.

Think carefully about why you are purchasing one before you head out and start your search. 

Final Thoughts 

Pickleball arm sleeves can of course be extremely useful, most notably for injury support or protection for your skin. However, they’re not necessary for everyone.

Therefore, you should always question why you might need an arm sleeve before you buy. 

We hope this helped!

Michael Walter
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