If you are thinking of buying compression stockings online, you probably already know what they are. These specially designed garments provide controlled pressure to your legs in a way that gives support to your veins and improves blood circulation.
Compression socks are used by people to manage venous and lymphatic disorders but are also used during pregnancy, long periods of sitting and standing, long-distance travel, and sports. Read more about how compression stockings work and who can use them here.
Picking the right compression socks online based on your individual need is essential, but this can be a difficult decision to make! They are available in several compression classes, lengths, fabrics, and if you have managed to figure all these out, the sizing system can surely leave you second-guessing! Well, we are here to help! Below is a complete guide on choosing the correct compression stockings for you or your loved one.
Know which type you need before buying compression stockings online
There are 3 types of compression stockings: support, anti-embolism, and medical.
- Support Socks:
Support socks provide mild graduated compression. They can be worn by healthy adults of any age and are ideal for those who:
- Are at risk of developing venous disorders due to age, genetic predisposition, or lifestyle
- Travel long distances by flight, bus, car, train, etc.
- Sit or stand for long periods due to their jobs or lifestyles
- Suffer from mild pain and swelling in the legs
- Experience heavy and tired legs
- Are into sports and running
- Want to maintain good leg health in general
Sigvaris support socks are available in below-knee length and in a closed-toe style. The sizing system for these socks is based on your shoe size, making it very easy to buy!
- Anti-embolism Stockings:
Also known as TED stockings, this type of compression garment is used for immobile or bedridden patients. They are meant to prevent the formation of a blood clot in your veins and are not suitable to manage an already existing venous condition. These stockings are most commonly prescribed by the doctor post-surgery.
- Medical Compression Stockings:
Medical compression stockings are suitable for those who already suffer some form of lymphedema or venous condition such as varicose veins, deep veins thrombosis, or venous leg ulcers.
Know which class of compression stockings you need
Medical compression stockings are available in different compression levels that provide moderate to very strong compression. The compression level of the stocking identifies how much pressure it gives. The higher the class, the higher the compression it provides.
The compression class must be prescribed by your doctor. They will identify the correct pressure level for you based on the need and severity of your condition.
Below is a general guideline on the various compression levels and their uses. However, this does not replace medical advice and is not binding. Ask your doctor which compression class is right for you before buying compression stockings online.
Class 1 Compression stockings
Moderate graduated compression (18 – 21 mmHg)
- Relief from symptoms of mild varicose veins
- Preventive measure for pregnant women at risk of developing varicose veins
- Relief from swelling and tired legs during pregnancy
- Prevention of ‘economy class syndrome’ or deep vein thrombosis during travel
- Preventive measure for immobile patients at risk of developing thrombosis and embolism
Class 2 Compression stockings
Firm graduated compression (23 – 32 mmHg)
- Relief from chronically painful, heavily fatigued legs
- Relief from symptoms of pronounced varicose veins with swelling
- Relief from symptoms of severe varicose veins during pregnancy
- Post-surgical applications
- Management of healed venous ulcers
Class 3 Compression socks
Very firm graduated compression (34 – 46 mmHg)
- Healing active and recurring venous ulcers
- Relief from symptoms of severe cases of varicose veins
- Management of severe post-traumatic edema
- Management of DVT and post-thrombotic syndrome
- Relief from symptoms of lymphoedema
Please note: Compression stockings are generally very safe to use. However, people with conditions such as peripheral arterial disease, congestive heart failure, advanced peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), must use compression stockings only under the guidance of their doctor.
Know which length you need before you buy compression stockings online
Medical compression stockings are available in 2 lengths:
- Below knee-length stockings provide graduated compression from the ankle to the calf. Sigvaris below-knee stockings have a top band that is soft and non-constricting. This provides a perfect hold without increased pressure.
- Thigh-length stockings provide graduated compression from the ankle to the upper thigh. Sigvaris thigh-length stockings have a grip top with silicone dots. These are gentle on the skin and provides a good grip.
Ask your doctor about which length is right for you. Usually, your doctor will recommend a thigh-length stocking if you have venous or lymphatic issues in your thigh region.
Choose the fabric
Medical compression stockings are available in cotton blended material and nylon blended material.
Cotton is undoubtedly the preferred material for compression stockings due to the superior comfort they provide. Sigvaris cotton compression stockings are particularly special due to their design. These stockings are knit so that the inside of the socks is 100% cotton, so no other fabric comes in direct contact with the wearer’s skin. This makes it ideal for those with sensitive skin. In addition, the optimal percentage of cotton keeps legs cool in hot and humid climatic conditions and warm in the winter months.
The Sigvaris nylon stockings are a great economical option without compromising on quality and efficacy of the compression stockings. The soft fabric of the garment conforms to the leg shape providing support with comfort.
Select the correct size
This is the most confusing but also the most important step in selecting the correct compression stockings!
The 2 most common mistakes that people make in size selection are:
- Choosing the size in compression stockings based on the size of clothes you wear
- Choosing the size in compression stockings based on the size of compression stockings you wear in another brand
Size in compression stockings must always be based on leg measurements! This ensures correct fit and, therefore, right compression. But did you know that wearing the wrong size can actually make your condition worse?
Once you have the measurements, you must select the size based on the size chart. Each brand and product range has a different size chart, so be sure to check your size before you buy Sigvaris compression stockings online.
Now that you know how to order the right compression stockings online, browse through the products on NovoMed Shop. You can also check out some other suitable products such as calf wrap, knee wrap, and foot wrap for better comfort. If you need help with product and size selection, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer to this blog for information on the benefits of compression stockings and how they help varicose veins.