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Compression socks and hosiery are worth their weight in gold in comfort and safety when taking care of our legs’ circulation. Not only am I on my feet much of the day but while traveling between assignments I know too well how easy it is for blood to pool and run the risk of having a dangerous blood clot build up. The best compression socks gently supports the lower leg where it needs circulation support the most, without being tight and binding.
For most of us, a range between 10 to 20 mmHg gives decent support without sacrificing comfort. Anything under the 10 mmHg mark means that the compression socks or stockings probably aren’t doing much good. Before buying, be sure to measure legs according to the hosiery manufacturer’s guidelines, best done in the morning before the blood has a chance to pool downward.
Several nurse respondents suggest starting out wearing them as knee-highs and if more compression is needed, progress to thigh-highs. As always, it’s a good idea to see a doctor if pain, swelling and other circulation problems develop or persist.
Stockings or socks should be well-constructed and made to last through many wearings, although they should be washed by hand to preserve their elasticity. There are several good brands available of the best compression socks for nurses, both in stores and online:
Cherokee offers the full range of styles from trouser socks to pantyhose. Not “your mother’s support hose”, these now come in a fun range of colors and patterns as well as a variety of sizes, compression and price ranges.
Nurse Mates offer kicky stripes, butterflies, and other colorful patterns on their products, from sporty anklets to trouser socks and knee highs. Prices are fairly moderate, mostly in the under-$15 range.
Jobst is one of the oldest and well-known brands in leg support wear, offering compression and support hosiery for women and men in a variety of styles, colors, weights and prices. Not quite as much style variety as some but they do the job.
Mediven makes several lines of compression and related therapeutic hosiery products, including knee -highs, pantyhose, thigh-highs, and men’s support socks. Find them at online and retail stores specializing in medical, home health and nurse products.
Juzo offers latex-free compression legwear, with a wide array of colors for the fashion-conscious professional. Founded in 1912, the company makes a wide variety of therapeutic products, including compression and lymphedema garments, prosthetics and more. Their website offers a dealer-locator page.
Sigvaris makes compression garments, sports and related accessories, accommodating a wide range of styles pressure needs for men and women. They can be found through approved dealers online and in retail stores.
Therafirm produces therapeutic legwear for women and men, including socks, knee-highs, thigh-highs, pantyhose, maternity and open-toe. Pressure ranges from Light (10-15mmHg) to Firm support (30-40mmHg). Prices range from between $10 to $80, depending on the product, according to their website.