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What to Look for When Buying Support Hose

When choosing a compression garment, there are so many things to think about it can be dizzying. Take a moment to relax, breath, and break down exactly what you are looking for in your support hose.

First, of course, you want to be sure of the fit. To get the best fit, be sure to measure first thing in the morning, before any swelling. (Check here for more information on how to measure) You may need something more specialized than just small, medium, and large. For instance, you may have a short leg length or a wide calf which requires a special size. Many of the premium lines offer special sizes to be sure everyone gets the perfect fit.

If this is your first time buying compression stockings, you should also consider the level of compression you need. This will depend on your physical condition and your reasons for buying compression stockings in the first place. Check this guide for a rough idea of what you might need:

  • 8-15 mmHg - The lowest compression. This level is perfect for people suffering from minor leg fatigue and minor swelling. This includes those who work on their feet all day, such as nurses and waitresses, and is also good for expectant mothers with mild swelling.
  • 15-20 mmHg - Medium compression. This level is most commonly recommended for travel socks and for those suffering from minor varicose veins and swelling. This is also a good level of compression for expectant mothers who are experiencing mild to moderate swelling.
  • 20-30 mmHg - Heavy compression. This should only be used by doctor’s recommendation and is for moderate swelling, varicose veins, and edema.
  • 30-40 mmHg - Extra heavy compression. This is only to be used by a doctor’s recommendation. It is intended for severe swelling, varicose veins, and post-surgical use.

Remember, this is only meant as a guide. Check with your individual health care provider for specific compression recommendations.

You should also be aware of the different styles of compression garment. We offer many different styles, from socks to thigh highs to pantyhose. When trying to choose the length you want, there are a few considerations. If you are wearing the hose for varicose vein relief, the hose absolutely must cover the veins. In this case, the condition dictates the length of the hose. If your varicose veins go above the knee, you will need thigh highs or panty hose to ensure full support. If you are simply preventing swelling at your ankles, knee highs will be sufficient. Remember, if your compression garments are too short, you will not get the full benefit of compression therapy. Your garments can of course go higher on the leg than needed.

Fashion can be a concern for many. For men, we carry a full line of dress socks in a variety of colors that are sure to suit any need. From silver soled to ribbed cotton, we have what you need for work and for travel. We also carry a full line of women’s fashion hose from sheer nudes to fashion-forward patterns. Many of our thigh highs come with sexy lace tops and silicone borders, so you can say goodbye to those uncomfortable garters. For hot weather, we even offer a line of open toe support stockings. These are easier to put on than regular support hose (especially with a Slippy Gator) and allow you to wear sandals without feeling constricted.