Top 10 Best Medical Compression Socks for 2021
Date: January 15, 2021
By Burt Cancaster
The Best Medical Compression Socks For Sale
Selecting the best therapy stockings is relative to individual needs. Consider whether the therapy is for prevention or treatment. Reoccurring symptoms require treatment rather than prevention. Treatment requires additional pressure, while the prevention of swelling or pain may involve less pressure. Consulting a doctor is helpful to determine the right amount of pressure to meet specific needs.
Selecting from the Top Brands of Support Socks
Another important consideration is the brand. Some brands of stockings have more respect among consumers and doctors than other brands. The top therapy sock brands include TED, Copper Socks, CEP, Jobst, Pro Compression, Sigvaris, Juzo, Futuro, Truform, Ames Walker, Mediven, and Figs.
Best Compression Socks for Nurses
Nurses are at particular risk for contracting varicose veins due to long periods of weight-bearing on both legs. Nurses have a higher incidence of this disease by 60% than others. Preventative measures include wearing elastic stockings, leg raising, and physical exercise.1
The purpose of these casual support stockings is for preventative circulation care. They have a dressy look and sustain mild pressure to combat swelling and aching associated with being on your feet all day. The construction of these socks is with a blend of nylon and Spandex fabric. The design supports therapeutic compression for extended wear.
Dr. Comfort socks offer moderate pressure from a blend of cotton and Lycra stretch material that provides ultra-soft comfortable support. They improve circulation in the legs to decrease fatigue and pain. Soft-seam construction and stylish design offer supportive wear that is casual in appearance. These socks are a medical-grade trouser sock with graduated compression that increases blood flow to prevent cramping, aching, and pain.
Best Compression Socks for the Elderly
Seniors spend more time each day in sedentary positions. Inactivity often leads to low blood and lymphatic circulation in the lower legs, resulting in swelling and pain. Older adults have a higher risk of venous insufficiency. The use of elastic compression socks helps relieve symptoms and prevent declining health.2
TruForm offers a variety of dress socks for men and women that provide therapy to reduce swelling and fatigue. They prevent varicose veins, aching legs, and pain. The sock construction is with a blend of nylon and Spandex for a pressure level of 8 to 15 mmHg. Other pressure levels are available. Color options include black, brown, navy, and tan to match a wide selection of attire.
Select Comfort, manufactured by Sigvaris, is a stretchable sock made with nylon and Spandex. This product conforms to the shape of the leg and has a smooth feel. The stocking design is open toe for less stress to the toe and better ventilation. The product offers 20 to 30 mmHg to prevent moderate to severe edema and varicose veins. It may also treat severe lymphedema and moderate swelling. They are easier to don and doff than most stockings at this level of pressure. Two colors are available: Crispa and Black.
Best Compression Socks for Swelling
Patients with poor circulation and swelling use compression garments to reduce symptoms. Fluid pooling in the legs causes increased internal pressure on free nerve endings, resulting in pain. It can limit mobility and standing. Athletes participating in strenuous sports or workouts may also experience exercised induced edema that also produces pain and swelling, decreasing their ability to continue with the activity. Therapy socks provide external pressure to the lower limbs to promote fluid return to the vascular system.3
Mediven or Medi USA therapy garments are medical-grade products from German engineering that offer a high-end appearance and soft luxurious feel. These plush socks provide all-day comfort and support. The material is very durable, and the seam at the toes goes unnoticed to provide pressure relief. These stockings offer 15 to 20 mmHg to prevent thrombosis during travel and treat swelling feet and ankles.
The Coolmax is USA manufactured sock that wicks moisture away from the skin. The breathable fabric is comfortable Offering 8 to 15 mmHg pressure; this product is excellent for travel and pregnant women. It prevents DVT, spider veins and treats swelling. Reinforced heel and toe areas help increase comfort and durability. A seamless design also makes this product an alternative for diabetic feet.
Best Compression Socks for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are a pervasive illness that affects 23% of Americans. This disease causes pain, discomfort, loss of workdays, disability, and health deterioration. Varicose veins bring higher risks for other illnesses such as chronic inflammatory response, venous microcirculation damage, and venous hypertension..4
Activa Graduated Therapy Socks offer 20 to 30 mmHg in a knee-high length to prevent moderate to severe varicose veins. The graduated compression serves well to relieve ankle swelling and chronic leg fatigue. This product offers pressure to stimulate fluid circulation in the legs. The fabric is breathable and cool for longer wear times. Its unisex design comes with a padded heel and foot. The combination of these characteristics makes this product the best therapy stockings for varicose veins. They are easier to put on and take off than most socks at this pressure level. Activa, manufactured by Jobst, is available in beige or black.
Venosan offers a knitted stocking made from a multi soft blend of yarns consisting of Lycra and Tactel Micro. The fabric provides superior moisture-wicking and feels smooth and silky against the skin. These socks are available in open or closed-toe. They are easier to put on and off than most comparable therapy products. This stocking helps prevent varicose veins and treats severe edema and lymphedema.
Best Compression Socks for Diabetes
People with diabetes often experience lower extremity edema or swelling. Therapeutic diabetic stockings of less than 25 mmHg reduce edema for diabetic patients without adverse vascularity effects.5
Although DiaSox is not a compression sock, they are the best selling socks for diabetic patients by more than 100 times the next closest competitor. The construction of these stockings is with a mix of breathable fabrics that include cotton, nylon, and Spandex. Manufactured by Medicool, DiaSox has flat-toe stitching for a seam-free feel. The material is antimicrobial to protect against fungus and bacteria.
SensiFoot construction comes with 8-15 mmHg pressure, a seamless toe, and moisture-wicking fibers. It offers mild pressure with extra padding on the foot, heel, and toe. The therapy is not constrictive. The material includes acrylic, nylon, and Lycra. These socks are an excellent choice for ankle swelling, minor varicose veins, aching legs, and pregnancy.
Selecting the Right Pressure
Therapy stockings vary in the amount of pressure they provide. The level of pressure differs for prevention therapy as opposed to treatment therapies. Prevention therapies use less pressure, while treatment therapies tend towards higher pressure levels. Those wanting to prevent swelling and pain should favor products with lower pressure levels. In comparison, those seeking to treat reoccurring or chronic symptoms should select therapy stockings that offer higher pressure levels. Below is a guideline to help determine the right amount of pressure to meet specific needs. More detailed charts follow that allow matching symptoms to an appropriate pressure level. Always seek and follow physician recommendations.
- 8 to 15 mmHg – prevents and treats minor and occasional swelling of feet, ankles, and legs.
- 15 to 20 mmHg – helps prevent DVT during travel and pregnancy. Helps prevent varicose veins and spider veins. Treats swelling of feet, ankles, and legs.
- 20 to 30 mmHg – prevents moderate to severe edema, lymphedema, varicose veins. Treats severe edema, lymphedema, moderate swelling.
- 30 to 50 mmHg – prevents severe varicose veins. Treats severe and acute swelling, severe lymphedema, venous ulcers, and chronic vein insufficiency.
Therapy support socks offer circumferential pressure from the foot up the ankles and calf to the knee. This pressure provides support for blood flow and lymphatic vessels to improve circulation. Many socks offer graduated compression wherein the pressure is higher at the foot and incrementally reduces as it moves up the ankle and then onto the calf. This progressive pressure assists in overcoming gravity to move fluids from the lower extremity back towards the torso. The pressure also helps prevent the pooling of fluids in the lower limbs, reducing swelling and edema. Therapeutic pressure supports long workdays, prolonged periods of standing, travel, and exercise.
Therapy for Prevention
Compression therapy works to squeeze vessels and tissue, preventing fluids from accumulating and causing swelling and pain. Keeping fluids circulating reduces leg fatigue, swelling, and achiness. Compression therapy improves people's lives by boosting stamina and resiliency while reducing inflammation and pain.
As displayed in the chart above, pressure used to prevent symptoms from occurring differs by target group (nurses & elderly) and (diabetes patients). Diabetic patients should not go above 20 mmHg in relief socks to control symptoms, while nurses and the elderly can use the full range up to 50 mmHg. The area highlighted in green displays symptoms aligned with corresponding pressures to select the right pressure socks to alleviate symptoms.
Therapy for Treatment
When illnesses develop from poor circulation in the legs, compression therapies usually employ an increased amount of pressure. The additional pressure forces fluid movement through resistant vessels and tissues. Restarting this blood and lymphatic flow improves the health and life of the patient.
In the chart above, pressure to treat illnesses differs between (nurses & the elderly) and (diabetes patients) as it does for prevention. Men's Compression Stockings and Women's Compression Stockings have no differentiation in terms of pressure levels. Again, diabetic patients should not go above 20 mmHg to treat conditions unless directed by a licensed physician. Nurses and the elderly can use the full range up to 50 mmHg. The area highlighted in green displays illnesses aligned with pressure levels to help select the right amount of pressure to treat the problem adequately.
Medical Socks effectively prevent and treat swelling, varicose veins, leg fatigue, venous leg ulcers, chronic venous insufficiency, and thrombosis. However, their use is not without problems. Therapy stockings are not the simplest socks to put on or take off. Their difficulty to don is one of the primary reasons for non-compliance with doctor recommendations. Putting on therapy socks can be a difficult task for most people, especially seniors. Devices that make donning circulation socks more user-friendly are available.6
Some tips that can help with donning are below.
- Roll the support socks so that they unroll while donning.
- Put a cornstarch-based powder on your feet and ankles to make slip on and slip off easier.
- Some people find that wearing dishwashing gloves provides better gripping power. Donning Gloves may also help.
- Utilize one of the following stocking aids:
- 1 Erding, Li, et al. Influencing factors for lower extremity varicose veins in female nurses in East China. (2017). (Last Accessed January-13-2021)
- 2 Silva, Marcelo Henrique, et al. Every day life of elderly with venous insufficiency, who use elastic compression socks. Estima–Brazilian Journal of Enterostomal Therapy 17 (2019). (Last Accessed January-13-2021)
- 3 Fletcher, Lauran, et al. Efficacy of compression socks to enhance recovery in distance athletes. Sport Art 2.2 (2014): 15-8. (Last Accessed January-13-2021)
- 4 Gloviczki, Peter, et al. The care of patients with varicose veins and associated chronic venous diseases: clinical practice guidelines of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum. Journal of vascular surgery 53.5 (2011): 2S-48S. (Last Accessed January-13-2021)
- 5 Wu, Stephanie C., et al. Safety and efficacy of mild compression (18–25 mm Hg) therapy in patients with diabetes and lower extremity edema. Journal of diabetes science and technology 6.3 (2012): 641-647. (Last Accessed January-13-2021)
- 6 Sippel, K., Burkhardt Seifert, and J. Hafner. Donning devices (foot slips and frames) enable elderly people with severe chronic venous insufficiency to put on compression stockings. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery 49.2 (2015): 221-229. (Last Accessed January-13-2021)