Having the best compression socks for women is a great way to increase your circulation, and help reduce swelling in your feet and legs.
They help lessen the appearance of varicose veins by promoting healthy blood flow, and are a great way to help with daily aches and pains in your legs to help you manage your busy day to day activities.
Doctors tend to recommend these type of socks for patients of chronic venous defects or when their blood circulation requires improvement.
These socks are also commonly used by people who travel long-distance trips as they reduce the risk of leg-swelling and deep vein thrombosis.
What are the benefits of compression socks ?
- Helps reduce swelling in your feet and legs.
- Increases the circulation in your legs.
- Helps prevent venous ulcers
- Prevents blood pooling in the veins of your legs.
- Can help reduce leg pain caused by varicose veins.
- Can help ease the pain in your calves when walking.
- Helps reduce and control lymphoedema in your legs.
- Lessen the risk of orthostatic or postural hypotension, a condition where your blood pressure drops significantly when you stand up.
- Reduces the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.
Best Compression Socks for Women 2023
1) Medical Compression Socks – TOFLY Knee High Graduated Compression Socks
These TOFLY knee-high graduated medical compression socks are made of a premium quality medical grade material. With their seamless woven construction, they are both lightweight and breathable with a durable anti-slip finish.
- Quick and really easy to put on.
- Comfortable feel when wearing especially with your toes out.
- They keep their shape and stretch well even after washing regularly.
- Excellent fit and compression – a great sock for flying.
- Lots of different colours available to choose from.
- Lightweight feel, durable and feet won’t sweat even in hot weather.
- You might need to buy the next size up based on the size guide.
2) Rymora Ergonomically Fitting Cushioned Compression Socks for Men and Women
These unisex graduated compression socks from Rymora offers gives you not only extreme comfort and support to all areas of your leg, but the nylon, polyester mix ensures a breathable, long-lasting stylish sock you can wear for all occasions.
- The tensioned elastic top gives the right amount of support, and they won’t fall down.
- Nicely cushioned around the bottom of the foot, and won’t bunch up under your foot when walking.
- They have ventilation strips around the foot and ankle that helps keep your feet cool.
- Available in lots of different stylish colours to match your need.
- The graduated compression gives you the right amount of support where you need it.
- Really comfortable lightweight feel to them.
- Some people might find these socks quite hard to put on, but they do have great compression.
3) Physix Gear Compression Socks for Men & Women
The Physix Gear compression sock is a stylish, durable sock that is designed to last. Double stitched, and with anti-bacterial fabric, these graduated socks give you unprecedented comfort and support.
- Even though they are a compression sock, they are really easy to put on and off.
- These socks wash well and keep their shape and elasticity.
- The moisture wicking of them means you can easily air dry them in a few hours.
- Good quality and comfortable fit.
- When walking or exercises these socks don’t slide down your leg, so you don’t have to keep pulling them up.
- The graduated compression gives you the right feel around the ankle and calf, but they are not to too constricting in the foot area, unlike some lesser brands.
- Might be ideal if they offered a mid range size.
4) CAMBIVO Compression Socks for Women & Men (2 Pairs)
These long-lasting compression socks from Cambivo are designed with an anti odour moisture wicking fabric to keep your fresh and cool all day long. The seamless, stretchable sock will give you great comfort and support all day long.
- Great for absorbing sweat and the stretchable material feels really breathable.
- The anti-slip to cuff keep the socks in place and stops them slipping down your leg.
- Your feet will feel cool all day due to the moisture wicking fabric.
- The graduated compression of 20 – 30 mmHg provides a comfortable, supportive fit on your leg.
- Stretchable, thin material that is easy to wash and dry.
- You get two pairs of socks which is great value for money.
- Check what compression size fit you need as some people my find the 20-30 mmHg a little tight on the fit.
5) Cotton Compression Support Socks for Women
No more tired aching and swollen feel with these stylish compression socks for women. These medical grade compression socks are made from combed cotton that are naturally fresh and breathable, but also the anti-allergen fibres won’t irritate your skin.
- They have ultra-soft reinforced heel, sole and toe areas so you will feel comfortable wearing them all day long.
- The extra large cuff area is great as the socks stay up and won’t roll down your calf.
- They are designed with 65 % combed cotton and high quality anti-allergy fibers that reduces the risk of you developing any skin irritations.
- Lots of different colours and designs which doesn’t make them look like a compression sock.
- Really breathable feel when wearing that wicks away any moisture.
- Look and feel great with even compression throughout your leg.
- Some people may find that they need a different compression fit to these which are Medical-Grade Graduated 15/20mmHg Compression.
How do compression socks work ?
Compression socks and compression stockings apply pressure to your legs to boost your circulation, and help your veins move blood back up to your heart.
Compression stockings are made of lots of different types of materials, with different compression ratings depending on your symptoms and condition.
The pressure applied is stronger at the bottom of your leg near your ankles, and reduces as you move up your legs.
This pressure can help counteract the symptoms of venous insufficiency, a common condition which is when the one way valves in your veins of your legs becomes damaged and your vein walls stretch out.
This allows the blood to leak backwards and causes blood to “pool” or collect in these veins.
What causes vein damage to occur in your legs ?
- Aging. As we get older general wear and tear on the valves of your veins causes them not to work as efficiently. Both men and women, aged 50 and over are at a greater risk of developing vein insufficiency. However, women are more predisposed to developing it.
- Increased weight or Obesity. If you are carrying any excess weight then this puts added pressure on your vascular system, making it harder for your veins to pump blood. Obesity may be a contributory factor in developing weakened or blocked valves in your legs.
- Smoking. Over time the effects of smoking can lead to varicosities as permanent changes occur inside the venous linings. This in turn muscle tone within the veins. Narrowing of the veins makes it harder for the blood to be pumped against gravity back to the heart, causing a pooling effect in the veins as the hardened veins distend.
- Family history of vein insufficiency. There is definite strong evidence to suggest that having a family history of chronic vein insufficiency puts you at a greater risk.
- If you have one parent with varicose veins, your risk of developing them goes up by 40 percent. However, if both of your parents have them then your risk rises to a staggering 90 percent. Some people think that the genetic component may have to do with the strength of the vessels themselves. You may be more likely to have veins that are at risk of failing if your parent has them.
- Cancer. You are at a greater risk of developing blood clots if you have had cancer. Cancer can increase your risk of getting blood clots, and is a risk factor for developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- Reduced Mobility. If you sit or are standing for long periods then this can contribute to the pooling of blood in your leg veins.
- Tight clothing and high heels. If you wear tight clothing or shoes then this can restrict the blood flow in your legs, and increase the risk of you developing chronic vein insufficiency.
- Pregnancy. Varicose veins can be a problem for some women during pregnancy. Although pregnancy increases the volume of blood in your body, it also slows the blood flow from the legs to the pelvis.
When should you wear compression socks ?
You should wear your compression stockings during the day, typically 8 -10 hours then take them off before going to bed. However, every individual need is different, and some people will only need to wear for several hours per day.
Make sure you put them on first thing in the morning when you get up.
Your compression socks shouldn’t cause any discomfort or pain when wearing them. If they do, take them off straight away.
If your socks cause a lot of discomfort then you will probably need a proper assessment and fitting of your sock. Alternatively, contact your doctor or healthcare professional for further advice about the wearing of them.
Why do my legs ache after wearing compression socks ?
If your legs ache or are painful after wearing compression stockings then this could one of two things. Either, the compression in the sock is too strong, or you are wearing a size that is too small.
It is important to check your sizing regularly as it is possible you could have gained weight since using them.
Your compression stockings should never be painful to wear. If they hurt, this is a sign that you are wearing a size that is too small or you’re wearing a compression that’s too strong.
Check your size by taking new measurements of your legs.
Comparison table for compression sock pressure ( mmHg )
Tips when wearing compression socks for women
- Put your socks on as early in the day as possible, preferably first thing when you get out of bed to prevent the pressure from building in your veins and the fluid (serum) from seeping out of the veins into the surrounding tissue.
- Ideally always have a 2nd spare pair of compression socks handy, so you can alternate the wearing of them each day.
- Wash regularly, preferably by hand at 40 degrees C and dry away from direct heat. You will always have a nice clean pair, but also washing by hand will ensure the socks retain their elasticity for as long as possible.
- If using a detergent ensure that it is a gentle one without additives. Never use softener, conditioners or bleach.
- Never try to dry your socks with a hairdryer, put on a radiator, or even in a microwave as the heat will damage the fibers.
- Always check your skin between each wearing for any signs of redness, sores, lines or dents in your skin, and chaffing.
- Change your compression socks daily and replace with a dry, clean pair so they don’t attach to your skin and become difficult to take off.
Is there a difference between compression socks & compression stockings ?
Compression clothing falls into two main categories: compression socks or support hose, which tend to be for mild conditions, and compression stockings for more severe problems.
The garments are differentiated by four things –
- The purpose they are intended for.
- Length of them.
- Pressure strength (measured in mmHg ).
The length and style of the compression sock determines whether it is a hose, sock or stocking.
Compression socks and stockings come in a huge array of materials nowadays, and differ in both the sheerness and thickness of the material that is used to make them.
Compression socks have sock-like textures and compression stockings inherit the sheerness of ordinary stockings or hosiery.
There is everything available from sheer pantyhose to fluffy cotton-like material.
There are compression socks for men as well as women, whereby compression stockings are normally something that women wear.
Choosing the right material for your compression socks and stockings
Compression stockings can be knitted from a wide variety of materials such as cotton, nylon, natural rubber, polyester, and spandex.
Depending on the desired softness, elasticity and appearance you want, different combinations and thicknesses of the materials are knitted together.
The final use of the compression socks and stockings is determined by the feel, fabric content and compression level of them.
1) Cotton and wool blends
Cotton is a natural fiber that is a strong and long-lasting material.
Cotton and wool blend compression socks are very comfortable, durable and are great for controlling heat and moisture.
These types of material are appropriate for moderate compression levels (20 – 30 mmHg), and conditions such as mild swelling or varicose and spider veins.
The cotton and wool blends tend to lose their effectiveness at higher compression levels.
Opaque compression socks and stockings are a popular choice for both men and women.
Opaque fabrics tend to be more durable than ‘sheer’ fabrics, and are available in a variety of thicknesses.
This type of material is ideal for post surgery, varicose veins and moderate swelling.
3) Sheer fabric
Sheer fabric material is fashionable, lightweight and transparent. It is a popular choice for women who want to have a compression stocking that offers good support, but also looks stylish.
The sheer material is only suitable for mild swelling, and tends to snag or tear quite easily.
Bamboo is a natural material known for its amazing softness against the skin and absorbency.
The bamboo fabrics have channels in them, enabling them to absorb moisture and wick it away from the skin, keeping your feet cool and dry.
Microfiber consists of polyester and polyamide, is extremely comfortable and has a silky texture that feels great against your skin.
Its unique fabric allows it to stretch providing extra stability and support.
Microfiber compression hosiery is ideally recommended for severe leg disorders, such as mild lymphedema, oedema and pregnancy varicosity.
Nylon material has a lightweight, silky smooth finish to it.
Although not as durable as other materials, nylon is transparent for those who want that discreet look.
What is the difference between graduated compression socks and regular compression socks ?
Most compression socks that you buy offer graduated compression, which means that the pressure is greatest nearer the ankle, and then gradually decreases the further up the leg you go.
Compression levels are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and the higher the number, the higher the compression of the sock.
Graduated compression socks offer the most benefit to you, as opposed to regular or uniform strength ones. The graduation of the sock help push blood back up towards the heart helping your circulation.
How do you know what length compression sock to buy ?
The easiest way to put on compression socks
What are the side effects of wearing compression socks ?
If not worn properly or for their intended use, then compression socks can cause discomfort and pain to the wearer.
Here’s some common side effects with wearing compression socks and stockings:
1) Skin irritation and itches
Irritated or itchy skin usual occurs when you either have an allergy to the sock’s material, or there is a reaction between the person’s skin and the fibers in the sock material.
Sweat, dirt and flaking dead skin cells can also cause skin irritation, sore red marks, and itches to occur.
2) Pain and discomfort
Wearing the wrong size compression sock or compression stocking can cause pain and discomfort to you.
Also, wearing compression garments for too long can also be a contributory factor to leg aches and pains.
3) Pins and needles or numbness
Compression socks that are worn too tightly can cause a restriction in your blood flow, which in turn can cause numbness or a prickly, burning or tingling sensation in your skin.
4) Calluses and corns
Calluses are a thickening of the surface layer of the skin caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells that harden and thicken over an area of the foot.
They usual occur when pressure is applied to an area, such as wearing tight-fitting compression socks or compression stockings, and are generally more common in women than men.
Corns normally form on the tops of your toes, in between them, or on the tip ends of them. Again, corns are normally more common in women than men as they tend to wear tight-fitting socks, stockings and shoes.
Conclusion – Best Compression Socks for Women 2023
So there you have it, helpful tips, advice and recommendations on choosing the best compression socks for women 2023.
Compression socks are a great way to increase your circulation, and help reduce swelling in your feet and legs. They help lessen the appearance of varicose veins by promoting healthy blood flow, and are a great way to help with daily leg aches and pains to help you manage your busy day to day lifestyle.
Hopefully you have found the right compression socks to suit you, but if you need any further help or advice, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com and I will be happy to help.