Tommie Copper is advertised as a product which can help a variety of ailments and assist in sports performance. Today we offer our Tommie Copper review from editors and readers.
About Tommie Copper
Tommie Copper is compression wear founded by Tom Kallish, who claims to have created it after finding traditional products to be uncomfortable. The official website, TommieCopper.com, was registered on January 20, 2010, while TommieCopper.tv – which has been used in infomercials – was registered August 5, 2011.
Tommie Copper was originally marketed with Montel Williams as its spokesman, and focused on the pain relief properties of its products. By 2014, Tommie Copper infomercials highlighting its athletic line of products could also be seen.
The chart below shows the rise in Google searches for the term “Tommie Copper.” While a peak occurred in December 2013, it appears that the product is again surging due to late-night informercials running in late 2014.
The rise in popularity of compression wear has been bolstered by high-profile athletes who are often seen wearing them. While most compression wear is marketed for athletic use, Tommie Copper is presented as a product which bridges the gap between sportswear and pain relief.
Recovery and Performance
An infomercial running in December 2014 states that Tommie Copper “has gear for sports performance as well as muscle recovery and soreness relief.”
The recovery line is designed for 24-hour support, while the performance line is aimed at use during athletics. Consumers can shop based on recovery or performance, and the products offered vary in each category.
Does Tommie Copper Contain Copper?
There was some question as to whether or not Tommie Copper actually contained copper in its fabric. The 2011 version of the website’s FAQ explained that copper is used in the product:
After many months of designing and testing various fabrics, Tom invented a proprietary fabric that met his comfort requirement. At the same time, Tom had been studying the healing effects of copper on the body. He felt that the combination of compression and copper would increase the effective results of the product he was designing. By combining the benefits of this revolutionary compression fabric with patented copper infused yarn, Tom created what is now Tommie Copper’s Cu29 Compression fabric which is used in all of Tommie Copper’s Compression wear.
There was also a discussion in the 2011 FAQ about the use of copper in medicine for thousands of years, and that “Copper is an entirely natural and essential nutrient to human health.”
By early 2013, the FAQ said nothing about copper being used in the fabric or about its medicinal purposes, simply stating:
Tommie Copper compression uses multi-directional support and proprietary fabric to provide supportive relief while being comfortable enough to be worn throughout the day.
It also explained that the name Cu29 is used to help remember the Tommie Copper name, which is certainly a big change from the explanation in the 2011 FAQ.
By 2014, the description had once again changed:
Activated copper is at the core of every TC garment. By a proprietary process, it is permanently and densely infused into all performance yarns, releasing ions that provide anti-microbial protection, skin benefits and help you feel better.
In early 2013, we called Tommie Copper to verify if copper is contained in their products. A representative by the name of Brandon answered our call:
TC: Thank you for calling Tommie Copper. This is Brandon, how may I help you?
Waffles: Can you confirm that your products actually contain copper in the fabric?
TC: Yes the copper-infused nylon is used.
Waffles: OK I was just trying to find out if there was copper used before I ordered.
TC: There is copper in the fabric, yes. It’s not like a solid sheet of metal but it’s small particles infused in the fabric.
We also emailed Tommie Copper in February 2013 and received the following response, detailing the materials in their fabric:
Thank you for your recent message & interest in our Tommie Copper Products! For your convenience we have provided a listing of the contents our product is composed of.
Tommie Copper Shirt contents:
56% Copper Nylon
16% Lycra (Spandex)
Tommie Copper Sleeve, Shorts and Glove contents:
57% Copper Nylon
14% Lycra (Spandex)
Tommie Copper Sock contents:
27% Copper Nylon
The material used in the bands (found on ankle, calf, elbow and knee sleeves) contain: 54% polyester and 46% rubber.
It appears that by 2014, there was no longer a standard material used by all Tommie Copper products, as was the case in 2014. Consider the following examples and their materials:
- Men’s recovery compression elbow sleeve: 86% polyester, 14% spandex
- Women’s Performance Compression Socks: 92% nylon, 8% spandex
The website now simply states that “our proprietary fabric is copper and zinc infused.”
Tommie Copper Products
In early 2013, the Tommie Copper line consisted of: Elbow sleeve, knee sleeve, ankle sleeve, calf sleeve, wrist sleeve, shirts, gloves, socks, and tights.
By mid-2014, Tommie Copper had expanded its line to include a sportswear line of compression garments called “Active Fit” which is designed for exercise. The company also added the “Compression Fit” label to their original pain relief apparel.
By late 2014, it appears that “Active Fit” was now referred to as “Performance” while “Compression Fit” was referred to as “Recovery.”
The company now offers gender-specific products for both recovery and performance products. All of the items on the website display icons which represent the purported benefits of that product. Some of those features include relief, recovery, mobility, anti-odor, SPF, game time, ergonomic, wicking, circulation, 4D compression, and comfort.
Our Tommie Copper Review
This review is based on a purchase in early 2013. We ordered a knee sleeve directly from the website for a cost of $24.50 plus shipping, for a total of $32. The item arrived about 10 days after we placed the order. Having worn traditional compression wear and braces in the past, our tester had a good idea of how this product compared to the alternatives. Our tester reported that traditional compression garments and braces were heavier and bulkier than Tommie Copper. He also noted that the Tommie Copper sleeve was lighter in weight and more comfortable, and did not feel as though his knee was being squeezed while wearing it. The amount of actual pain relief was comparable to a $15 knee braces found at any drug store. Considering the lighter, more comfortable fabric, you may find Tommie Copper to be a better solution than less expensive products.
Although our tester wouldn’t swear by the Tommie Copper brand alone, he did feel that compression wear in general helps alleviate pain, and that Tommie Copper offers a product of value in this category. Nearly a year after this article was first written, our tester still wears the Tommie Copper knee sleeve. (Read more here.)
Alternatives to Tommie Copper: Rise in Copper Products
Tommie Copper was an early entrant in what has become a growing industry of copper-infused garments. Miracle Copper Socks arrived on the market in the past year, claiming the “power of copper” helps with circulation, swelling, and pain relief. That product appears to be marketing itself in a manner similar to the original Tommie Copper advertising, that of a pain relief product.
Another competitor to Tommie Copper’s athletic wear is Copper Fit. That product has been seen in heavy rotation in television advertising, and its marketing looks remarkably similar to that of Tommie Copper.
Fake Tommie Copper Reviews
As with any product being advertised, there is always the possibility of fake affiliate reviews, especially when you see glowing endorsements which link directly to the Tommie Copper site. Fake product reviews are rampant, not just for this product, but for virtually all products. If you read a glowing review, following by a link to purchase the product, you may be reading an affiliate review, which should be taken with a grain of salt.
We feel that Tommie Copper offers a valid product in the compression wear category, and its product line has expanded drastically over the past two years. Unlike many of glowing reviews online for this product, however, we believe compression products only offer moderate pain relief, and is not the magic cure that some claim. For some people, however, moderate relief is more than sufficient.
Those with realistic expectations will probably be pleased with the product, while those believing the hype of the infomercials may be disappointed.
There have been no studies to prove that wearing copper provides any therapeutic benefits.
Your Tommie Copper Reviews
Have you used Tommie Copper compression wear? Give us your reviews below.
Updated December 12, 2014
Originally published February 2013