We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Finger splints are classed as medical equipment people can wear to immobilize their injured fingers and aim to prevent further damage. There are various types of finger splints, each treating a different condition, and they come in various sizes and materials.

This article explores the effectiveness of finger splints, the types a person can buy online, and the features people may consider before making a purchase. The article also offers some safety tips and how a person can use this medical equipment for a child.

A quick look at the 5 best finger splints of 2023

An orthosis is the correction of disorders of the limbs or spine with the help of braces and other devices to reestablish proper alignment or provide support. Healthcare professionals refer to a brace, splint, or similar device as an orthotic.

Orthotics such as finger splints can protect joints by immobilizing them, reducing pain and swelling while helping acute injuries heal. They can also prevent injuries and facilitate proper joint function.

Arthritis

A 2018 review of studies into treating and managing primary arthritis in the finger and thumb joints, found that orthosis treatments, or finger splints, may help reduce pain and improve pinch strength.

The review’s authors did not find any significant difference between the benefits of custom or ready-to-use orthotic devices.

Healthcare professionals do not recommend finger splints as a standalone treatment for arthritis. Rather, they suggest using them in tandem with other management techniques, such as physical therapy and medication.

Mallet finger

Doctors often recommend splinting when someone has an injured finger, such as a mallet finger. This type of injury occurs when a person injures the tendon that straightens the finger or thumb. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) notes that finger splints can help keep the finger straight and stable as it heals.

According to the AAOS, people must wear it continuously for 8 weeks, including while bathing. After bathing, a person must remove the splint and allow it to dry. While it dries, they have to keep their finger straight to avoid prolonged healing time.

Authors of a 2014 study recommend that a person with a mallet finger wear a splint continuously for 6 weeks and then for an additional 2–6 weeks during sleep. They also note that healthcare professionals should work with the person to teach them how to change the splint and check for signs of skin irritation.

In a 2017 study, researchers note that any of the various types of splints are equally effective for treatment. However, they also point out that a doctor may recommend surgery if a person does not comply with splinting instructions, the injury is more severe, or the person works with their hands.

There are four types of finger splints:

  • Buddy splints: These involve two fingers taped together. People use buddy splints when they have a strained finger — for example, due to a jamming injury. This type of splint is not suitable for fractured fingers.
  • Static splints: These hold a joint in a specific position, either completely straight or slightly bent. People can find metal and foam static splints at local pharmacies, which are available over the counter. However, people can also use custom-made ones that use moldable plastics, which help treat repetitive use injuries, tendon damage, and fractures.
  • Stack splints: They come in different sizes, and they treat the tip of a finger. They fit over the end of the finger and go down past the first joint to hold the finger up straight so it does not bend. These finger splints use plastic with holes in them to promote airflow.
  • Dynamic splints: They consist of plastic, foam, and metal and offer a prolonged stretch for stiff joints. Also, they are suitable to wear at night or when a person is resting.

The features a person may want to consider when buying a finger splint include:

  • Size: A person should check whether the finger splint supports their finger size.
  • Conditions and design: Finger splints come in various designs and shapes to help treat different conditions. Individuals should check which finger splints are suitable for their injury. Many manufacturers will list what they believe the splint will work for. When in doubt, a person should consult a healthcare professional about what type of splint will be most suitable for them.
  • Material: Materials that companies use can vary greatly between products and may include latex-free options, breathable materials, plastics, rubbers, and metal. The materials can affect both comfort and durability of the splint.
  • Ease of adjustment: This helps secure the splint to immobilize the finger and allows the user to wear the splint on either hand.

Medical News Today, chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Condition-specific: MNT chooses products that would benefit specific health conditions. For example, osteoarthritis.
  • Sizes: MNT chooses manufacturers offering a wide range of sizes.
  • Materials: MNT chooses products that use high quality fabrics and that the manufacturer lists any potential allergens, such as latex.
  • Price: MNT chooses products to suit a range of budgets.

Below are some finger splints for a person to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for mallet finger: Mcvcoyh Buddy Splint Tape

Price: Around $8

According to Mcvcoyh, its splint tape works for individuals with a sprain, strain, dislocation, swelling, or jammed finger. It may also work for people who have mallet finger.

The package contains eight wraps that use washable, latex-free, eco-friendly, medical-grade fiber. The material can absorb some impact and help keep the fingers straight.

People can customize the splint tape to wear on either their fingers or toes.

Before using this product, a person should consult their doctor or healthcare professional to ensure it is suitable for their needs.

Best for size variety: FingerPress Static Progressive Finger Straightening Splint

Price: Around $80

This FingerPress static splint comes with a warning about using it under the supervision of a hand therapist or surgeon.

The company claims the design helps correct flexion contracture of the proximal interphalangeal joint, in which a person may experience difficulty straightening the fingers due to overuse, injury, or arthritis.

The company states the device can help straighten the finger through gradual changes in the support.

The device is available in multiple sizes.

Best breathable: BBTO Finger Splints

Price: Around $11

BBTO offers ten different splints to fit every finger. They provide breathable support and correction for people with various issues, including cracked fingertips, mallet finger, osteoarthritis, finger stiffness, and dislocation.

Some Amazon reviews note the fabric fasteners used to attach the splints to the fingers are not adequate to hold the splints in place, particularly when wet. Some reviewers recommend using waterproof adhesive tape to fix the issue.

Best for cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease: Semme Finger Splints

Price: Around $10

Semme Finger Splints use a coil to help keep the fingers in a natural position. According to the company, they are suitable for individuals with cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, and muscle tension.

The design of the splints offers stability and protection and allows a person to perform exercises to help strengthen their fingers while wearing the splint.

Best for children: BodyMoves 5 Finger Splints

Price: Around $16

BodyMoves offers these finger splints for men, women, and children. They can be a good option for those who engage in physical activity.

The fabrics are nylon and neoprene, and available in one size. They also come in five different colors.

People may also use these finger splints if they have a mallet finger or ligament tears, and according to the manufacturer, they are breathable and easy to put on and remove.

Before using this product, a person should consult their doctor or healthcare professional to ensure it is suitable for their needs.

Below is a comparison of the products in this article.

PriceFeatureUsesMaterialWhat’s in the box?
Mcvcoyh Buddy Splint Tapearound $8works well for mallet fingerfor sprains, strains, swelling, or mallet fingernylonset of 8 straps
FingerPress Static Progressive Finger Straightening Splintaround $80various sizesfor misshapen fingers affected by arthritis, sports, or injuryplastic1 finger splint
BBTO Finger Splintsaround $11breathable designfor mallet finger, osteoarthritis, and stiffnessplastic10 finger splints
Semme Finger Splintsaround $10recommended for cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s diseasefor osteoarthritis and sprained knucklesstainless steel1 finger splint
BodyMoves 5 Finger Splintsaround $16good option for childrenfor mallet finger or ligament tearsnylon and neoprene5 regular sized and one kids splint

According to the AAOS, people with itchy skin who cannot remove the splint can use a hair dryer or fan’s cool air to ease their symptoms.

Individuals should cover their splint with a plastic sheet before taking a shower, as the splint needs to remain dry.

Those who can take off the splint should ensure that the skin is dry before putting the splint back on.

The AAOS also notes that people should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the following:

  • increased or severe pain
  • a tight splint
  • difficulty moving the fingers
  • numbness
  • an unpleasant smell coming from the splint
  • burning or stinging

An injury or health condition may sometimes mean a child should wear a finger splint.

However, a parent or caregiver should check with a pediatrician before using a splint on the child, as treatment with a splint may not be appropriate.

For example, according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), children may not require treatment if they have a trigger finger, as it often resolves on its own over time. Trigger finger is a condition in which the finger is stuck in a bent position and causes pain and stiffness.

However, splints and hand stretches may help improve the child’s symptoms.

If a child has a fracture, the NHS states that doctors may recommend a splint or buddy loops to keep the bone in place. Further advice may also include some safe hand exercises at home.

A parent or caregiver should use care when removing the child’s splint for washing or other reasons. When they do remove it, they should rest the child’s finger on a flat surface to help keep it stable and in place.

If a child with mallet finger has blood beneath the nail, a parent or caregiver should seek immediate medical attention. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) states that the finger can become deformed if an individual does not receive immediate treatment.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) advises that people may have to see a doctor for some conditions affecting the hands, including broken or fractured fingers. Signs may include swelling, pain, and moving difficulty.

It recommends visiting the emergency room if any of the following occur:

  • The bone is visible through a cut.
  • The finger or thumb is numb.
  • The skin is blue.
  • A person is unable to move a part of their finger.
  • A person suspects torn ligaments or tendons.

Below are some questions relating to the types of finger splints.

How do I know if I need a finger splint?

A person may need a finger splint if they have continual finger pain or finger pain that comes and goes. Individuals may also find them useful if they have numbness and tingling caused by other health conditions such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis (MS).

What is a static finger splint?

Static finger splints hold the joints in one specific position and may be a good option for those with damaged tendons or fractures.

What is a dynamic finger splint?

A dynamic splint supports joint stiffness and does not interfere with an individual’s everyday tasks. They can also wear them while resting.

Finger splints are a type of medical equipment that can benefit individuals who have an injured finger. Finger splints prevent further damage, provide stabilization, and can help treat various injuries, such as damaged tendons and fractures.

People can buy finger splints from online providers or at a local pharmacy. However, they should check with a doctor first to learn more about which device they need for their condition.

A parent or caregiver of a child with an injured finger should contact a doctor right away so that the finger does not become deformed over time.