Choosing Compression Stockings

There are so many types of compression therapy legwear it’s impossible to keep track.  Choosing the correct pair is important not only because it’s a relatively expensive purchase compared to typical socks/stockings/hosiery, but also because choosing the wrong kind can either result in no performance or negative performance.

If you break it down to the features and make your selection, you’ll come to find the perfect of compression therapy stockings.  Here is a brief overview of some of the choices you make when choosing compression stockings, socks, or hosiery:

  1. Stocking Materials – Compression Cotton socks and stockings provide breathable comfort and casual appearance.  Hosiery, typically for women but sometimes for both genders, provide a sheer, fashionable look so the wearer does not have to compromise style for their treatment.  There are also rubber stockings; while most stockings are latex-free, always check stockings materials first if you have sensitivity with latex.
  2. Compression Level – Your health physician will know the ideal level of compression for your individual needs.  Compression levels are measured in millimeters of mercury, known as mmHg.  The higher the mmHg, the more compression.  Compression is graduated through the stocking or sock, so the most compression is towards the ankle while the least compression is at the top of the stocking.  Mot compression therapy ranges from 15 – 60mmHg.
  3. Gender – There are Unisex stockings available in some brands, but generally Men's and Women's stockings/socks are sized a little differently.  Choosing a gender-specific stocking when available will give you the best fit.
  4. Choose a Style – Just like regular socks and stockings, typically most vendors carry both knee-high and thigh-high versions.  Some also have grip tops or adhesives on the top which keep the stocking from slipping down the leg.  There are also stockings with waist attachments and maternity.
  5. Select your Size – Size is critical in choosing your stockings since incorrect sizes do not work as intended for compression therapy.  Stockings can often have a dozen sizes are more; everyone has a different shape of thigh, calf, and ankle.  All three have to be measured to get a correct size of compression stocking.  Most vendors carry specific sizing guides, such as this Sigvaris Sizing Chart and guide.
  6. Choose Colors – As far as medical therapy is concerned, color makes absolutely not difference except for vanity’s sake.  But as far as fashion goes, most series of stockings have numerous color options.  Choose your favorite colors, you’ll appreciate your stockings more!