Compression Stockings: How to Choose and Use Them

Sep 9th, 2020

Health care professionals recommend using firm compression following injury or surgery to promote the healing process. It’s essential to choose the right compression socks for the job so you can effectively improve circulation through your body.

Wearing compression stockings from is a great way to beat spider veins, venous insufficiency, lymphedema, and post-thrombotic syndrome. Still, they are also comfortable to wear every day to boost circulation.

You can experience several benefits from compression socks, but you need to choose the right size and compression level to get the most out of your compression therapy garments. Before buying, consider what condition you are treating or preventing so you can find the right compression stockings for your needs.

Long Compression socks

How Do Compression Stockings Work?

Compression stockings are constructed of a unique stretch knit which applies steady, regular pressure to your legs, forcing the blood and lymph fluid away from the extremities. This action enables your blood vessels to work more efficiently as your arteries don’t need to work as hard to take oxygenated blood to your muscles, and your veins don’t have to fight gravity when taking blood back to your heart.

The pressure created by compression stockings also facilitates lymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system is a vital component of your immune system, moving white blood cells and proteins around your body. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system has no valves or a pump (heart) to control the lymph flow and requires muscle activity to keep the system moving. Compression stockings apply gentle massaging action to the muscles to transport lymph fluid to the lymph nodes to be filtered.

What are the Benefits of Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings ease swelling in legs and feet, which, in turn, helps prevent fatigue. They can also treat varicose veins or spider veins. If you’re prone to feeling light-headed or dizzy when you stand up, compression stockings can help regulate your blood pressure.

Healthcare professionals recommend compression stockings to prevent the development of blood clots. The socks’ gradient compression encourages your blood to keep flowing through your veins instead of pooling in the extremities, leading to clots.

Should a blood clot form and then break free, or a piece of it breaks free, it can travel through your veins, carried by your blood, and become lodged somewhere dangerous, like your lungs, heart, or brain. Blood clots can prevent blood flowing around them, causing discolored skin, swelling, and other medical issues.

Athletes choose to wear compression socks and stockings to enhance recovery after a workout and deliver better blood and oxygen flow to their muscles. This added support can help prevent injuries or tissue damage caused by regular gameplay. The increased blood flow and lymphatic circulation can prevent soreness and potentially fight off cramps during games.

Who Uses Compression Stockings?

Most people who use compression socks have them prescribed by a doctor for circulatory issues. However, various people can benefit from wearing compression socks, including:

  • Athletes who regularly suffer from leg cramping
  • Pregnant women who have issues with leg cramps or heaviness
  • People who stand all day at work and suffer fatigue
  • People who recently underwent surgery
  • Those who have a hard time leaving their bed or getting around on their own
  • People at risk for circulation problems like diabetes, DVT, or varicose veins
  • Pilots who may be at risk for blood clots due to their time spent in the air

Types of Compression Stockings

Compression sleeves and socks come in various lengths and sizes to accommodate different body types. They also come in different compression levels, which place varying amounts of pressure on your legs. Compression is measured milligrams of mercury (mmHg). The higher the compression garments’ mmHg, the firmer the pressure on your legs.

Mild compression socks come with 5-10 mmHg and are practical for everyday use to prevent tired legs. Moderate compression socks have a range of 15-20 mmHg. They are used to relieve heaviness during pregnancy, reduce occupational fatigue from prolonged standing, and prevent spider and varicose veins.

Firm compression stockings provide between 20-30 mmHg of pressure. These stockings are a medical-grade I garment and should be prescribed by your doctor. They are most often used to control swelling after surgery or for medical issues like deep vein thrombosis.

Compression stockings with a range of 30-40 mmHg provide extra firm pressure and are classified as a class II medical-grade garment. This compression level is recommended for patients with lymphedema, blood clots, and DVT.

Compression should be neither to tight nor too loose; poorly fitting socks are ineffective for treating circulation issues and may even exacerbate your health problems. Your doctor will take measurements for prescribed compression garments so you can find compression stockings with the perfect fit.

They should feel comfortably snug with access to a full range of motion in all your joints. If your socks or stockings feel painful, try a lower compression measurement as this means you could be cutting off blood flow throughout your body.

Our Favorite Compression Stockings

Juzo Soft Stockings 2000 Series

Juzo Soft Stockings are so smooth and lightweight; you’ll forget that you’re wearing them. The unisex socks come in knee-high and thigh-high lengths with a beaded silicone border to prevent them from falling. You can choose between firm and extra firm support and opt for footed or non-footed varieties depending on your comfort level.

Jobsta ActiveWear Socks

Jobsta ActiveWear socks come in a wide array of compression levels and sizes to suit your needs. They are designed to fit discreetly under clothes, making them perfect for everyday use for various activities, from exercise to work. Made from Dri-release moisture-controlling fabric, they feature a reinforced heel for added durability and a cushioned sole for added comfort.

Jobsta ActiveWear Socks

Circaid JuxtaFit Lower Leg Bandage

Unlike traditional compression socks, the  Circaid Lower Leg Bandage allows you to adjust the compression level using Velcro straps. This feature not only allows you to find the right level of comfort and support but also makes the socks more comfortable to apply.

How to Use Compression Stockings

Compression stockings can be worn under your everyday clothes, and with additional standard socks for added warmth. You can put on compression stockings by rolling the open end toward the toe seam, placing it over your foot, and rolling the sock up your leg. If you have limited mobility or are using stockings with higher compression levels, you may need a  stocking donning apparatus.

Avoid bunching the stockings along your legs. You always want the socks to lay smoothly against your skin for optimal compression. If you find them rolling up, down, bunching, or folding, fix them immediately to prevent blood flow loss.

The Takeaway

Compression stockings are an excellent tool for preventing circulatory problems that accompany aging, pregnancy, injury, or surgery. They are also an effective way to relieve tired legs if you have a job that requires you to stand for prolonged periods.

Choosing the appropriate compression is essential so you can get the most out of the garment without accidentally causing discomfort or cutting off circulation. If you have questions and are under a doctor’s care, contact your physician with your questions before making your purchase. carries a wide selection of compression stockings and other post-surgical compression garments. Explore our collection online, or contact us at (877) 413-2272 to determine whether compression stockings are right for your needs.