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Compression Shirts and Tops (Men and Women)

Compression shirts are designed to fit snugly against the skin and conform to the shape of the body in order to provide compression to the torso. The tight sports tops are used to compress the muscles and increase blood and lymphatic flow in the desired area of the body, which can help with injury recovery and also reduce swelling or muscle fatigue. Athletes use compression undershirts to shorten recovery time after a workout and to enhance their athletic performance. Medical professionals may also recommend a compression shirt to patients who are undergoing physical therapy or who are recovering from an injury or surgery. The shirts are made with material designed to wick moisture away from the skin to ensure long-term comfort and are offered in both short and long sleeve options more men or women. They can be worn as a form of clothing or as a base layer under other clothes.

Be sure to check out Vitality Medical's blog about hot and cold therapy and how it can help with pain relief.

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Mens and Womens Compression Shirts and Tops

What Are Compression Garments Used For?

Compression undershirts can be used for benefits to both athletic performance and healing. The shirts are specifically designed to help blood flow through the body more efficiently, which encourages healing for all manner of wounds or injuries. Their fabrics are typically moisture wicking, which helps keep users dry and comfortable.


How To Choose The Best Compression Shirt

The right compression top can make a world of difference in terms of comfort and effectiveness. Several factors play into picking the best compression undershirt for the situation:


Most manufacturers use their own sizing guide, which should be followed. If they do not provide a sizing guide, measurements will be needed:

  1. Measure around the fullest part of the chest or bust.
  2. Measure around the natural waistline. For most people, this is right above the hips.
  3. Measure around the fullest part of the hips.

Once measurements have been attained, match them to those given by the manufacturer and choose the most compatible size. If the measurements fall between sizes, choose the smaller of the two for best results.


Compression tops conform to the shape of the body in order to provide the actual compression. They should fit snugly like a second skin, but not so tight that it causes pain or discomfort.

Shirts Sleeve Length

With the exception of a recommendation by a healthcare professional, whether to choose a short or long sleeve compression top is entirely personal. A short sleeve compression shirt provides less coverage and leaves more skin exposed to the elements, making it better for warmer climates or those who run hot. Women or men long sleeve compression tops offer more coverage and more warmth.

Level of Compression

There are several mmHg levels of compression available and choosing the correct one is important both for the user's comfort and the shirt's effectiveness. The necessary compression depends on what the shirt will be used for. If it's for a medical need, it is likely that a higher level of compression will be recommended. For athletic use, a basic compression shirt like the Men's Compression Short Sleeve Top may be better.

  • Mild - 8 to 15 mmHg. This is the lowest level of compression and helps improve circulation without being too tight. It is designed for daily wear, travel, and activities such as physical therapy.
  • Moderate - 15 to 20 mmHg. This is typically indicated for patients recovering from injury or athletic use.
  • Firm - 20 to 30 mmHg. This is used for more serious conditions.

Please consult a medical professional before using any level of compression higher than firm.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long can a compression shirt be worn?
Compression shirts should be worn during workouts and for a short while after, or as recommended by a healthcare professional.

How should a compression shirt be washed or cared for?
It is best to follow the care instructions that come with the shirt.

How long do compression shirts last?
Typically 1 to 2 years depending on the frequency of use.

Do compression shirts help with weight loss?
There is no evidence that compression helps with weight loss.

Do compression shirts stretch out?
It is more likely that the fabric will tear before the compression stretches out.

Are male and female tops interchangeable?
No, because compression shirts contour to the body in order to provide the actual compression. Men's compression shirts are designed to fit the male body shape. Women's compression shirts are designed to fit the female body shape. Wearing one not designed for the specific body shape will negate much of the benefits compression offers.

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