Compression Stocking and Sock Buying Guide Compression stockings and socks are used to help relieve tired, achy legs, swelling of feet and ankles, and to increase blood flow. Compression stockings and socks come in different compression levels. The measurement used for compression stockings, is mmHg, otherwise known as millimeters of mercury. The higher the number of mmHg, the firmer the compression will feel when wearing the socks or stockings. The different levels of compression are worn to combat different medical conditions. The best way to know which compression level is best for you is to discuss your needs with your doctor. Below is a breakdown of the different compression levels.

    15-20 mmHg* (Moderate Compression)
  • For the prevention and relief of minor to moderate varicose and spider veins
  • Used during pregnancy to help prevent varicose veins
  • Used in deep vein thrombosis (DVT) treatments
  • Used in post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose veins and spider veins
  • Best compression when you are traveling long distances
    20-30 mmHg* (Firm Compression)
  • For the prevention and relief of moderate and severe varicose veins
  • Used during pregnancy to help prevent varicose veins and for moderate swelling of the ankles
  • Used in the treatment of moderate to severe edema or lymphatic edema
  • Helps with the management of active ulcers and signs of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS)
    30-40 mmHg* (Extra Firm Compression)
  • For the prevention and relief of severe varicose and spider veins
  • Used in post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment to help lessen the reappearance of varicose and spider veins
  • Recommended for use during pregnancy only under a physician's guidance
  • Used in the treatment of severe edema and lymphedema
  • Helps reduce symptoms of Orthostatic Hypotension and Postural Hypotension
  • Helps with the management of Venous Ulcers and manifestations of Post-Thrombotic Syndrome(PTS)
  • Used in the treatment and prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

How to measure for compression stockings and socks:

How to Measure for Compression SocksCompression socks and stockings will not work properly if they do not fit.  Many people find that they will buy compression socks for men for the larger foot size even if they were originally looking for compression stockings for women.  Anyone who has a longer foot can benefit from an open toe compression stocking.  Open toe will help if your toes feel cramped in closed toe socks.  Before you purchase any compression, you will need to take some measurements to ensure the best possible fit and feel.  Always measure for compression stockings first thing in the morning before your ankles or feet begin to swell.  I would recommend taking measurements prior to getting out of bed when you wake up.  This is also the best time to put on your compression stockings once you buy them.  It is ideal to use a flexible body tape measure for taking the measurements.  If you don't have a tape measure, you can use string and then measure the string with a ruler.  Whether you use a tape measure or string, make sure it is not crooked or twisted when you are measuring because it will cause inaccurate measurements.  Do not wear shoes or socks while you are measuring.  Whether you are purchasing knee high compressions socks or thigh high compression stockings, you will need to take measurements.  If you find it too difficult to take measurements yourself, please call your doctor's office, they will help you get the measurements you need.  Your doctor or caregiver understands how important accurate measurements are to this process.

1. Ankle Circumference:

Measure around the smallest part of the ankle, right above the ankle bone.
ankle measurement

2. Calf Circumference:

Measure the largest part of the calf.  You may need to check several parts of the calf to make sure you are measuring the largest part.
calf measurement

3. Knee Length:

(Used when purchasing Knee High Stockings and Socks): Measure from right below the back of the bend of the knee to the floor right behind your heel.  Make sure you are not right on the bend of your knee, you wouldn't want your sock bunched up there.  Measure right below the bend of the knee.
compression stocking and socks calf length

4. Thigh Circumference:

Measure the largest part of the thigh at the top of your leg.
Thigh measurement

5. Leg Length:

(Used when purchasing Thigh High Stockings and Socks): Measure the length of the leg from the top of the thigh to the floor right behind your heel.  Make sure your tape measure is smooth and straight.
compression stocking leg length



Comments (4) -

  • Bob

    5/14/2016 4:15:26 PM | Reply

    If one foot and leg are swollen ,do you wear one stocking on that leg or do you wear both stockings?

    • Tnn Nahm

      5/16/2016 9:41:10 AM | Reply

      Bob,
      For best results wear one stocking on each leg, it will help make your over-all results better! Thanks for reading Smile

  • Tina

    12/10/2016 4:45:29 AM | Reply

    So I have all these measurements how to figure what size I need??

    • Tnn Nahm

      3/1/2017 2:07:28 PM | Reply

      The best way to figure out what size you need is to take the measurements and then use the size chart provided by the company who makes the compression socks you want to purchase. Each compression stocking and sock has their own size chart. Always check to make sure you have the correct measurements so when you use the chart you will find the perfect fit for you.

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