There are different ways to maintain a good posture. The most obvious is to simply try to be aware of your posture as you sit and stand, as well as improve you core strength through exercise.
However, this is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, as the day goes on, it can be quite difficult to keep the motivation to sit up properly! But the undeniable fact remains, the 5 pm slouch is not good for your spine, your back, and your general health.
One way you can maintain a healthy posture even at the end of a long day is by using posture correctors or back braces. They may also help relieve muscular back pain or aching shoulders. In fact, studies have found a link between depression and poor posture, so fixing your posture could even make you feel better within.
The Best Back Braces & Posture Correctors
1. QNTICH Back Brace: Best Back Brace for Lumbar Support
Overall Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Pros & Cons
- Very supportive with waist strap
- Easy to put on
- Four different sizes
- Odd smell when first opened
This full support posture corrector is justifiably very popular. It works by pulling your shoulder blades backward and downwards, thus eliminating any slouching or spinal misalignment you may have.
If you have struggled with unwieldy back braces in the past, rest assured, putting on the QNTICH could not be easier. Just wear it like a backpack with your arms through the shoulder loops. Then, fasten the waistband and pull on the shoulder straps to tighten the top half.
The back support offered by the QNTICH posture corrector has received lots of praise from users. This is mainly because of the waist strap. With upper body or clavicle posture correctors, they can ride up or slide around quite a bit, but the waist strap on this full back brace truly helps to keep it firmly in place.
It comes in 4 different sizes, so you are bound to find one that fits you. If your waist sizing somehow does not correspond, you can check other similar models by QNTICH that have different size categories.
With regards to effectiveness, many users have found relief from neck pain and shoulder ache after using this neck brace. On a side note, if shoulder pain is a persistent problem in your life, here are a few tips on reducing shoulder pain from office work.
There aren’t many complaints when it comes to this posture corrector. One person did complain of an odd smell when using the back brace right out of the package, but the smell did go away with time.
Overall, this is a supportive full back brace, ideal for those who need posture correction with extra support.
An alternative to the QNITCH posture brace is a very similar product by IRZVOPSS.
It looks the same and provides the same type of back support with multiple reviews praising how effective it is.
The main difference between the IRZVOPSS posture corrector and the one above is the size. The IRZVOPSS is available in 3 different sizes, M (24″ – 30″), L (30″ – 35″) and XL (34″ – 40″) whereas the QNTICH model has 4 sizes of different dimensions, S (24.3″- 31.4″), M (28.3″-33.5″), L (32.3″- 37.4″) and XL (36.2″-41.3″). All figures refer to waist circumference measurements.
If you need to choose between the IRZVOPSS QNTICH back brace and the QNTICH, it is likely to come down to two factors – size and cost. The best approach would be to measure your waist and pick one that has the closest size.
2. THEONEAB Posture Corrector: Best Back Brace for Upper Back Support
Overall Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Pros & Cons
- Supportive design with wide back strap
- Breathable neoprene material
- 60 day refund period
- Straps can be difficult to adjust by yourself
- Uncomfortable if you slouch
The ONEAB upper back posture corrector can be summed up in three words – comfortable, supportive and discreet.
The shape of this brace is slightly different than the others on this list because of its modified figure 8 shape. This has its benefits as the wider strap of material between the shoulder blades work to provide you with extra support.
Since the shoulder straps are located further away from your neck, it won’t show through your clothes. The material is neoprene, which is breathable and comfortable. If you are on the larger or smaller side, not to worry, this posture corrector fits chest sizes ranging from 26″ to 48″.
Reviews of the THEONEAB posture corrector are generally positive and most people have experienced significant improvements in their posture by using this for a few hours every day.
The only downside is that it may be a bit uncomfortable in the beginning, more so if you have a significant slouch. This can be a hidden advantage though, as the discomfort goes away as your posture improves.
Another thing to be aware of is that if you need to tighten the brace, the straps can be difficult to reach by yourself. It is even more inaccessible if you are a larger person.
However, there is a 60-day refund if you are not happy with this posture corrector, so it is worth a try.
3. UPITOR Back Brace: Best Posture Brace for Rounded Shoulders
Overall Rating: (4 / 5)
Pros & Cons
- Easy to use
- Comes with resistance band
- Bonus padding for comfort
- May not fit larger people
The Upitor works to correct rounded shoulders by pulling your shoulders back. In combination with the regulated back strap, this automatically puts your spine in alignment and makes you stand or sit correctly.
One common complaint with posture correctors is that they tend to ride up and cause chafing in the armpit area. That is not the case with this model, as the Upitor posture corrector comes with two strategically placed bonus pads. The straps can then sit comfortably against your skin in the underarm regions with the extra padding.
The comfort factor is further upped by the choice of material. It is made of breathable cloth, so you don’t have to worry about the dreaded sweaty back feeling.
Upitor also understands that back braces are best when combined with other muscle strengthening techniques and have cleverly included a resistance band with the posture corrector. We love this emphasis on general fitness and flexibility; it shows that the manufacturers truly understand back health.
For ideas on ways to use the resistance band, check out the article on resistance band exercises.
The posture corrector is also very easy to use – users have had no problems putting it on themselves.
Adjusting it is also straightforward as the straps are easily reached. It fits chest sizes 25 to 43 inches. This allows you to share it with your teenagers or older kids, but it also means that larger sized adults may not fit into it.
To be safe, measure yourself before deciding on the Upitor. If it fits, this can be a good posture corrector to use.
4. Comezy Back Brace: Good Value for Money
Overall Rating: (4 / 5)
Pros & Cons
- Large chest size of 60 inches
- Machine washable
- Could be bulky on a slender person
This posture corrector eases the pressure on your trapezius muscles (the muscles on your upper back) by pulling your shoulders back and bringing your spine into alignment.
It comes in two sizes, medium and large. Check your waist circumference before placing your order as the two sizes are quite different. The medium fits chests 26 to 40 inches and the large fits chests 40 up to 60 inches, the biggest on this list! Therefore, if you are a larger person, definitely consider the Comezy posture corrector.
Apart from that, many reviewers truly loved the effectiveness of this posture corrector and enjoyed the perks of having better posture like looking better and less body pain. Some reviewers even mentioned how they can now breathe easier with healthier posture.
The fabric is soft, lightweight and best of all, machine washable. You don’t have to mess around with hand washing, just throw in the wash with the rest of your laundry.
One possible issue with the Comezy is that it may be a little bulky. Because of this, it is noticeable if you are a slender person and are wearing the posture corrector with a light item of clothing like a thin t-shirt. But that doesn’t change the fact that this posture corrector is undeniably good value for money.
It is the cheapest on our list, it is comfortable and most importantly, it is effective.
What is a Posture Brace?
An increasingly popular method of training your body towards better posture is to use a posture brace. These are wearable devices that encourage you to sit, stand and move in a healthy way. Generally inexpensive and simple, they have helped a lot of people with back troubles feel instantly better.
The traditional back brace used some years ago intended to limit the movements of the wearer. It was typically used when a person was experiencing a back injury of some kind. The back braces discussed in this article are slightly different. Here, we focus on posture braces. They do not aim to limit your movement. In fact, with a correctly fitted posture brace, movement is not an issue.
It may even be more comfortable to do certain movements (for example, carrying a heavy object) with these types of back braces, as you would be using the correct group of muscles.
Generally, there are two kinds of posture correctors – full back braces which include a band around the waist for lumbar support and upper back braces which focus on the shoulders as well as upper back areas.
How does a posture brace work?
Posture braces are not meant to be used permanently. Ideally, they are temporary devices that encourage your body to assume good posture when you are wearing them. With time, as your muscles get accustomed to a healthy posture, you should be able to wean yourself off the brace.
Eventually, the muscle memory gained from wearing the corrector will help you sit, stand and move correctly without having to think about it.
This is the key concept behind a posture brace – retraining. It teaches your body to adopt a good posture by default.
Relying on postural braces alone is probably not the best idea. The best way to attain proper posture comes from a combination of methods, including regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight, postural stretching exercises and ergonomic furniture that support your body. More of these are discussed in our article on reducing back pain.
Back braces are simply one of the many methods you can use to help achieve that better posture and it would be most effective if combined with the other strategies mentioned above. In fact, one effective way to use posture correctors is to wear it while working out. This will help keep muscles in place and prevent exercise-related injuries. That being said, posture correctors can certainly be helpful, especially if used wisely over a short period of time.
Back Brace Buying Guide
Now that we have gone over our top selection of posture braces, let’s talk about certain questions you can ask yourself when deciding on the best back brace to purchase.
Do you need lumbar support?
As mentioned above, there are two main types of posture correctors. Most people would do just fine with the upper back models, especially if your main concern is slouching and shoulder discomfort.
If you are prone to lower back pain and discomfort, a posture corrector with lumbar support may be a better choice. Also, if you are planning to move around a lot while wearing the posture corrector, definitely consider a full back brace as the waist strap would help keep it in place.
You may however find an upper back posture corrector to be more comfortable, simply because it is less bulky and more lightweight.
Does it fit correctly?
The effectiveness of the posture corrector is highly dependent on how well it fits you. It should not be so tight that you feel constricted and cannot move easily.
At the same time, it needs to be snug enough to keep your muscles, shoulders and back in place.
One easy way to make sure it will fit is to measure before buying. Most upper back braces are sized according to chest measurements but if you are looking for a lumbar back brace, take your waist measurements as well.
Is it comfortable?
As this is something you are going to be wearing on your body for hours at a time, it is important that it feels comfortable. The material should feel lightweight and breathable, and when you start to slouch, the posture corrector should be able to gently bring you back into alignment.
If you are someone who sweats a lot or if you work in a hot environment, then it is extra important to choose a posture brace made out of good fabric. If you have sensitive skin, consider wearing a tank-top or shirt between the posture corrector and your skin.
Is it affordable?
Most posture correctors on the market are very affordable and some of them can be quite similar in specs despite price differences. It is safe to say that when it comes to back braces, more expensive does not necessarily mean higher quality.
As this is an aid you will use temporarily, we suggest getting one that fits well and is comfortable. Try not to place too much value on costs as this is something you can keep, reuse in the future and even share with family and friends. Good posture is worth it.
Is it invisible under clothing?
This is an important factor to consider if you are planning to wear it out, especially to work. In professional environments, you may want to wear a posture corrector that cannot be seen through your clothes.
But if you work from home or are planning to use it during your time off, perhaps appearance is not as big a priority compared to comfort and support.
To sum it all up, back braces or posture correctors can be highly effective devices to train your body towards having a better posture.
If you have a slouch, a chronic back condition, niggling back ache or persistent muscle-related shoulder ache, these correctors can truly help improve your condition. Not only will your body be healthier, you are likely to feel better emotionally.
Just remember that these posture aids are meant to be used temporarily and it is important to choose one that suits your individual needs in order to get the full benefits.
Dr. Praveena Asokan, MBChB has a background in medicine, having graduated from the University of Leicester before working in various hospitals. Her additional experience as a medical researcher helped her transition to a career as a writer, and she now enjoys researching and writing on a number of health-related topics.