We have reviewed the best compression socks for standing all day and varicose veins. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot. Or you can scroll down for detailed reviews.
Last update 2021-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are specially made socks that fit your legs in a way that lightly compresses them, thereby helping to improve the blood supply to leg.
Graduated compression socks are made in a way that they are tighter around your ankles, gradually being less tighter as you move up.
Compression Sleeves are just the tube part of the socks – without the foot.
Compression stocking may be prescribed for the following benefits:
- For those who have to stand all day for their work
- Improved circulation in your legs
- To support your leg veins
- Preventing blood from pooling together in your veins
- To reduce swelling in the legs
- People with DVT or diabetes
- To reduce orthostatic hypotension (which can lead to lightheadedness or uneasiness when you stand up)
- Preventing Venous ulcers
- Preventing deep vein thrombosis
- Reduce pain caused by varicose veins
- Reverse the ill effects of venous hypertension
- Improve lymphatic drainage
How Do Compression Socks Work?
Compression socks exert pressure on your legs, which helps your blood vessels to perform better. The arteries and veins that carry blood to and from your legs are compressed, thus improving the pace of blood flow.
Compression stockings help your legs from getting tired and achy on days when you have to stand for a long time. They can also reduce swelling and prevent varicose veins.
Because the flow of blood is faster, it does not pool together anywhere in the legs, thus reducing the chances of a blood clot forming. Clots make it harder for blood to flow which further may cause swelling, discolouration of the skin and other problems.
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Compression Stockings: A Buyer’s Guide
How Should I Choose the Right Size?
Each brand has its definition of what is a “small” and a “medium”, therefore one should be very careful while buying compression socks. Follow the below steps:
- Try taking measurements in the morning, especially if you have swollen feet during the day.
- For knee highs: use a measuring tape to measure around the lowest point of your ankles, just above the ankle bone. Then measure around the widest part of your calf and the distance from the floor to the bend of your knee.
- For thigh highs: Take your calf and ankle measurements same as above, then measure around your thigh, 2-3 finger-widths down from the crease of your buttocks. Lastly, measure the length from the floor to the crease of your buttocks.
Finally, do not cut off the foot of the stocking even if it is tight around the toes. The foot provides an anchor, making it easier to put the stockings on. Also, most stockings have graduated compression, which can cause them to roll up and become uncomfortable if you cut off the foot. Instead, consider buying compression sleeves.
Should I Use My Compression Socks Every Day?
For maximum benefit, most doctors recommend using compression socks every day. Therefore it makes sense to have multiple pairs and wash them regularly.
Monitor the effectiveness of the stockings regularly, since it tends to wear off after about 30 days. Like any other item, the effectiveness of the compression does wear off over time, so try to replace them as early as possible when their effect wears off.
How Should I Wash My Compression Socks?
Most compression socks will have clear instructions on how to wash and take care of them.
Some are machine washable, others only by hand. Ideally, machine washable socks should be put in mesh laundry bags for care. Take special care of the elastic while washing by hand, using cold water and gentle soap. To dry, roll them up and pat our excess water, then hang them out. Don’t wring them to dry out the water, which can damage the socks.
Do not use bleach or other chemicals either, since it may harm your socks.
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How Should I Put Them On?
Use donning gloves, which reduce the change of damage by a fingernail. Put them on first thing in the morning and replace them every 3-6 months. Do not roll them up your while putting on or taking off, since that creates a tight band cutting off circulation. There is such a thing as too much compression which can cause sores on your skin. Instead, use Talcum powder or cornstarch to slide on the socks.
Don’t use lotions or other oily substances since these can break down the elastic of the stockings. Instead use moisturizer in the evening after removing your socks. If you’ve accidentally put on lotion, rub it in until it is dried out.
Can I Wear My Compression Socks at Night?
Ideally no. When lying down, gravity is acting perpendicular to your legs, thereby making the flow of blood easier from the leg towards the heart. This makes the added pressure of a compression stocking unnecessary. Instead, try elevating your legs which helps increase blood flow even more.
What Strength of Compression Socks Do I Need?
If you are wearing compression socks for medical reasons, follow the doctor’s prescription. When using them for other purposes, try to use the lower end of 15 – 20 mmHg. For high-intensity activities or to manage mild discomfort, try 20 – 30 mmHg.
Can Wearing Compression Socks Be Harmful?
Stockings that are inappropriately worn can cause problems. Wrongly distributed pressure can cause skin damage, especially in the elderly who are prone to skin breakdown. If you have a peripheral vascular disease on your lower extremities, you should avoid wearing compression socks.
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Best Compression Socks for Standing All-Day
#1 Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks
Physix produces one of the best compression socks for all-day usage.
These are comfortable 70% nylon and 30% Spandex mix, a strong and durable material that lasts longer, without compromising on quality and comfort. It is double-stitched.
The socks wash well without losing compression and fit well according to size. Their moisture-wicking properties rapidly help them to air dry when washed.
The socks have zero stitch stay put cuffs that provide for a soothing feeling at the bottom and sides of the foot without pinching the legs. They can be used in any kind of weather and for extremely long runs/marathons as well.
The socks are available in a large variety of colours. They have a wide-calf design which makes sure that your calf muscles are not too tight. The mouth of the socks is a bit wider but has enough elasticity to easily pull-on.
Here we have a Youtube video featuring Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks.
- Highly durable material
- Wide Calf design
- Comfortable fitting
- Available in several colour combinations of black
- Can be a bit too tight for people with larger calves
- Only 3 sizes to fit all.
#2 Dickies Men’s Dri-tech Moisture Control
Dickies dri-tech comfort is made from a blend of cotton(78%), polyester (19%), spandex (2%) and nylon (1%). This makes it one of the most breathable compression socks in the market.
Another great feature is that these socks are machine washable. Very few compression socks are easily machine washable.
The socks support arch compression supports. Arch compression supports are inserts placed inside the shoe which support the arch of your foot and provide support to it. They help reduce pain caused by common foot problems.
The socks have ventilation channels to enhance the airflow which makes them comfortable during any weather and reduce sweat and heat on the legs.
The socks have durable, reinforced heel and toe for longer-lasting and more reliable comfort on the foot.
- Very breathable material
- Machine washable
- Arch compression support
- Enhanced airflow for sweat and weather control
- Reinforced heel and toe
- Available in very few colours
- Some users complained of holes in the socks after very few wears.
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#3 SB SOX Compression Socks
The SB Sox compression socks are one of the best value for money options available. They provide the perfect compression for your feet (20-30mmHg) and smoothly fit over your legs, calves and ankles.
They are available in 4 different sizes and a range of calf circumferences and shoe sizes. These socks have graduated compression which provides the maximum boost to blood circulation.
The design of the socks provides for premium support and comfort without impacting mobility. The fabric is lightweight and breathable which is important when you are using the socks for the entire day.
The socks are available in 4 different sizes for focused support and use anti-odour and anti-static fabric which inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus. The socks wicking design keeps away the accumulation of moisture and sweat.
- Best value for money
- Graduated compression at (20-30mmHg)
- Premium support and comfort
- Anti-odour and anti-static fabric
- The toe seams are lumpy and can feel uncomfortable
- The size options are not good for people with broad legs
#4 CHARMKING Compression Socks for Women & Men
One of the few compression socks that have multiple colour combinations that are soothing for the eye. These socks have high-quality stitching and are easy to put on.
The material of the socks is comfortable 40-85% nylon which delivers 360-degree stretchability and provides for greater flexibility and a comfortable fit. The product is extremely durable as well.
The fabric is breathable and keeps an optimal temperature on the legs.
- Soft and breathable material
- High Nylon percentage makes them very elastic and stretchable to your size
- Available in multiple colour combinations
- They are prone to damage after a few uses
- The compression element is low as compared to other socks
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#5 8 Pack Copper Knee High Compression Socks
Best value for money (8 pairs of socks at almost the price of 6 pairs in other brands). These socks come in unique colour combinations.
The 15-20 mmHg compression provides good support for non-medicinal uses. They have copper embedded fibres that pull that help to relieve pain.
The anti-Itch UPF 50+ material of the socks is sweat proof and the ergonomically designed socks provide great comfort and mobility without chafing the skin.
The socks come with a 100% money-back guarantee if the user does not find them up to the mark on their requirements
- Best value for money
- Anti-itch and sweat proof material
- Unique colour combinations
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Some users complained that the socks were damaged in the heel after a few wears.
Compression Leg Sleeves for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are swollen veins on the legs and feet. There are tiny valves inside the veins, which when damaged cause blood to flow backwards and collect in the vein. This causes the vein to swell up and appear dark purple or blue. It can also cause cramps and a burning sensation in your leg, as well as swollen feet and ankles. For most people, symptoms worsen during warm weather.
It is suggested that compression stockings and sleeves increase pressure in the veins, causing blood to flow faster thus helping to reduce the clotting of blood and to remove any existing clots.
Below we discuss the best compression sleeves for varicose veins.
#1 Calf Compression Sleeves by Run Forever Sports
Run forever sports have created the best compression sleeve for varicose veins. These sleeves are made of durable, high-quality fabric and painstakingly measured to ensure an exact fit based on your calf and ankle size.
While the compression sleeve is breathable, it also provides warmth to the muscles and veins inside the leg. The material is very sturdy and offers good resistance to give the legs extra support to ensure a strong flow of blood throughout your leg
The compression strength of these socks is in the perfect range of 15-20mmHg, which alleviates leg pain and swelling while working wonders for varicose veins patients.
The product comes with a lifetime guarantee for a no questions asked refund. If you don’t find the product worthwhile, you can simply return it and get your money. You can also get a replacement sleeve if yours get damaged due to any reason.
The sleeves come in a multitude of sizes and colours to suit every mood and size. They are provided with a never slide stay-up cuff to ensure that they don’t roll down as you walk. The fabric is moisture-wicking, which ensures that sweat does not collect on your legs.
- Perfect compression for varicose veins
- Sturdy and breathable material
- Available in multiple colours and size options
- Lifetime Money-back guarantee
- Never slide stay up cuff
- The sleeves can be very long for shorter people
- Compression is low for people who want to use them for athletic purposes.
#2 Doc Miller Premium Calf Compression Sleeve
Doc Miller has created a proprietary blend of fabric with 77% nylon and 23% spandex which is highly breathable & durable and provides for great compression. These sleeves have a seamless woven construction, which fits snugly on your legs without any loss of compression for a long time.
These socks help you boost your circulation and reduce muscle soreness when you are using your legs for a longer time.
The fit and construction are perfect for each size, providing comfort and avoiding roll down or bunching up during any activity. The pressure of 15-20mmHg is perfect for varicose veins patients
These socks also come with a 100% money-back guarantee in case you are unsatisfied with the product.
- Breathable fabric
- Perfect compression for varicose veins
- Seamless woven construction
- Available in many sizes and colours
- 100% money-back guarantee
- The band at the top may be too tight for people with thicker calves
- Some customers complained that the stocking rolled off from the top.
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#3 TOFLY Calf Compression Sleeve
The TOFLY calf compression sleeves are another great product for your legs. Available in a multitude of colours and sizes, you can always find the right fit for your feet.
The compression calf sleeves are made of 77% Nylon and 23% spandex, making them lightweight, breathable & durable. They are also sweat-absorbent and anti-slip.
The sleeves have true graduated compression of 20 – 30 mmHg. They also have seamless woven construction and do not lose their compression properties even after wearing them several times.
These compression sleeves are great for daily use and can be used for almost any purpose, including during pregnancy and athletic sports. They are great for varicose veins as well.
The sleeves come with a 60-day money-back guarantee in case you do not like the product or find the compression too rough.
- Available in multiple colours and sizes
- Lightweight and breathable material
- Anti-sweat and anti-slip
- True graduated compression
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Product size is very different from normal standards, buy carefully
- Some users complained that they are too tight above the ankles
#4 MGANG Compression Socks, Open Toe 20-30 mmHg
MGANG compression socks are great value for money options for varicose veins patients. These socks are made from 76.6% Nylon, 23.4% Spandex, which gives a comfortable feel to the product.
They also have seamless woven construction and fit snugly on the leg with negligible loss of compression over a long period.
The socks are available in beige and black. The construction of the socks is both durable and long-lasting, while the fitting is perfectly based on size.
There are no-slip cuffs below the knee to hold the socks in place. The sleeves are constructed in such a way that the ankles are tightly wrapped, providing them with extra protection. The socks have an open toe design for usage with any kind of footwear. They also provide arch support for plantar fasciitis patients.
The socks can be both machine and hand washed
- Comfortable and breathable socks
- No-slip cuffs available in the knees
- Tightly wrapped ankles for extra protection
- Open-toe design can be worn with any kind of footwear
- The fitting may be too tight for some people
- The large seam on the toe is uncomfortable for wear
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#5 Truform Sheer Compression Stockings
Truform 1772 provides mild graduated compression. The 15-20 mmHg moderate compression level is great for early varicose veins symptoms and slight ankle and foot swelling.
They provide durable support for an active lifestyle and offer a fashionable choice to women who can use them for both business and casual wear. Their graduated compression technology delivers the highest compression around the ankles whilst gently reducing as we move up.
The stockings have a combination of cutting edge materials and knitting expertise which sets them apart from several other products.
Their soft top does not compress the leg, and a well-defined heel enhances fitness. The no toe design is ideal for sandal wear.
- A fashionable choice for women who need graduated compression
- Durable and soft material
- No toe design for sandal wear
- Available in a variety of sizes
- These stockings are smaller than expected as per size
- The material is very thin and coarse, as per some customers.
Compression stockings provide gentle compression to the legs, which helps increase the flow of blood both to and from the legs, thereby helping to reduce several problems such as swelling of feet, DVT, orthostatic hypotension, venous ulcers, varicose veins etc. Compression stockings should be worn with caution and care, while they are mostly harmless, they can cause skin damage in older patients.
In this article, we have made recommendations on some of the best compression stocking, sleeves and socks that can be used by people who have to stand almost the entire day for their job, and for those who are suffering from varicose veins.
As a rule, however, we always suggest that before buying any medical product, make sure to discuss with your doctor/medical practitioner and take their advice on the type and level of compression that would be perfectly suited for your needs.
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