Tommie Copper is a stylish sportswear/lifestyle company capitalizing on its combo of C’s – Copper and Compression – to win hearts, minds, and, of course, dollars. The gimmick here is that they say they use a special “nylon-copper” weaving. This copper allegedly “neutralizes free radicals” and “emits ions” which they say may make you healthier, while the compression helps with muscle soreness. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be?
Tommie Copper has been hocking their wares since 2011. They claim to help you achieve balance in heart, mind, body, and soul and that their products are the “next evolution in performance apparel.” In spite of these New-Agey claims they seem to be legit – the BBB gives them an A- rating.
The Pitch Tommie Copper Makes
Tommie Copper seems to be going after the athlete or “weekend warrior” type. (Justin Gaitlin, a 5x Olympic Medalist is one of their endorsers, fyi.)
It’s almost like they’re trying to get you confused with Tommy Hilfiger, a hot fashion line, or are at least going after the same clientele. They say to “revive your wardrobe” with their new color line. (You need a new color knee wrap?!)
To draw people in, Tommie Copper hypes its fashion, pushes its compression, subtly adds in copper, and slathers it with a whole lot of feel-good.
Tommie Copper has a range of wearable goods from socks to gloves, shirts to shorts. The gimmick is they all are made with what they call PRO+IONIC and say it is a proprietary copper-infused fabric, “which may help reduce the oxidants in the body and is a natural, permanent anti-bacterial agent with skin benefits.” (Key word here is: “may”.)
The main thing all these different products do is compress. You know, when you sprain your elbow playing tennis, or twist your ankle running, you wrap it in a bandage, right? This is a no-brainer technique with some very real benefits, if done correctly. It improves blood circulation and reduces stiffness or sore muscles. (Tommie Copper adds it “promotes lactic acid breakdown after exercise in legs and feet.” Sure, Tommie, whatever you say...)
The Tommie Copper “Benefits”
On a secondary level, they are promoting the supposed benefits of copper. True, the name is Tommie Copper, but they don’t really wear the benefits of copper on their sleeve (well, they DO, but you know what I mean.) You are a couple clicks away from the benefits of the page which says copper:
- Has been used in medicine thousands of years (True.)
- Is one of the necessary micro-nutrients found naturally in the body. (Again, True.)
- Emits Ions (Well...)
- Neutralizes “free radicals” (Perhaps...)
- Increases oxygen transport in compression products (If you say so...)
- Improves muscle tone (Seriously?)
Finally, they try and make you feel all warm and fuzzy with their charity work, which they call “Tommie Cares”. (BTW, Tommy Hilfiger has their own program, which they call “Tommy Cares”. Coincidence?) The Tommie Cares Foundation says it helps “those with physical and developmental special needs gain confidence & self-esteem through real-life adventures” and implored you to visit their separate site to donate and/or volunteer.
This is where Tommie Copper seems to get the most complaints. Many people have said they’ve waited weeks, if not months, for their items to arrive. The good news is that there is free shipping on orders of 2 or more, and they give you a 60-day window to try it out. You still have to pay to ship it back if you don’t like it, and they keep any handling fees (if applicable) but that’s not too shabby.
Bottom Line: Is Tommie Copper a Rip-Off?
The main thing you have to realize is there is nothing really special about the copper – you’re not swallowing it, you’re just wearing it against your skin. There is NO proof wearing copper has any healthful benefits. So there’s that. This website takes a more in-depth look at how Tommie Copper works based on roughly 50 consumer voices.
As for the actual products, they seem to be durable and stylish (at least as stylish as an athletic calf sock can be). One particularly prosaic senior citizen gave Tommie Cooper products an extensive overview elsewhere online, and he was impressed by their comfort and compression, but (rightfully) skeptical about the copper.
Finally, these things aren’t cheap (prices seem to be $24.50 up to $169.50) so you have to ask yourself “can I find these compression products elsewhere and get the same benefits for less money?” If the answer is “no”, go for it...
You may also want to read: Compression Wear: The Good, The Bad, and The UGLY