Buying guide: compression stockings for women
Now that you’ve reviewed our top picks, you might be wondering what exactly to look for in a pair of compression stockings. After all, there are many different factors to consider when buying compression socks, from material composition to sock style. In this guide, we’ve outlined some of the most important things to look for in a pair of women’s compression stockings below, so you can make an informed decision when buying your next pair.
Factors to consider before buying compression stockings for women
The material used in making your compression stockings determines their durability and comfort level. Most brands use nylon and spandex as their main fabric because they are lightweight yet durable enough to last even with frequent washing. Others use a blend of cotton and polyester while further infusing it with copper ions to minimize heat loss, improving blood flow and reducing muscle fatigue.
Whichever material you choose, make sure you choose compression socks that are moisture-wicking and quick-drying, so you can wear them for a long time without any discomfort.
The construction of your compression socks affects how they fit and feel on your feet. Some models have flat-knit cuffs, others are seamless or have a reinforced heel cap to prevent blisters between your toes. You’ll also find pairs with extra padding around the ankles to cushion pressure points when you walk or run on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt.
Before buying, check the seams, flatlock stitching, and elastics of the socks you like. You also have to look at how well they are made; some brands use a high-quality compression fabric that does not lose its elasticity over time. This is especially important if you plan on wearing these socks every day. It’s also worth noting that not all women’s compression stockings are made of medical grade material, so keep an eye out for brands that are known for their high quality.
The compression level refers to the pressure applied to the legs. It is usually measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher the compression, the more support the socks will provide. For example, a compression sock of 15 to 20 mmHg is usually recommended for runners who suffer from shin splints and plantar fasciitis or pregnant women who experience swelling.
On the other hand, a compression sock of 20 to 30 mmHg is recommended for flight attendants and veterans as it improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This compression scale goes up to 50 mmHg, which is the highest level of compression recommended for people with severe varicose veins and edema.
It is important to note that while 15 to 20 mmHg compression socks are considered non-medical and safe for everyday use, higher levels of compression are only recommended for patients and must be prescribed by a physician.
Sizes and lengths
From mid-calf to knee-high, there are a variety of lengths to choose from. Before buying, consider how you want to wear the compression stockings. If you’re looking for a pair of casual everyday socks that provide general comfort, prevent swelling and can be worn with almost anything, then mid-length or ankle-length compression stockings for women may be more suitable.
On the other hand, if you must wear them for medical reasons such as varicose veins or poor circulation, then longer styles may be better suited to your needs as they give you optimal coverage.
Ease of maintenance
Women’s compression socks are designed to be durable and long lasting, but they are not indestructible. Even the best compression stockings for women will lose their shape over time if you don’t take good care of them. But that doesn’t mean you have to hand wash your compression stockings for hours every week.
If you’re looking for a pair of compression socks that are easy to clean, consider getting one that’s machine washable and dries quickly so you can throw them in the wash without worrying about shrinking or fading.
Color and pattern
Gone are the days when you had to settle for plain compression stockings in black or white. Today, women’s compression socks come in a range of great colors and funky patterns. Depending on your preferences, you can opt for bright and bold designs or something more subtle, such as beige or navy blue. As for patterns, you can choose anything from polka dots to stripes or even prints that look like leopard spots.
Some people like to wear compression stockings with their other clothes, while others prefer to wear them separately. If you’re looking for something that goes well with your workout clothes, choose a pair with a bold color or pattern.