Which compression socks for women are best?

Compression socks are an excellent way to address aching legs from standing or sitting all day, as well as varicose veins and mild to severe edema. They also help reduce the risk of blood clots. 

While compression socks are used to relieve medical conditions, these are not the socks a hospital would give you. Manufacturers have created a wide range of colors, designs, compression levels and compression types for every kind of customer. A top pick are the affordable yet high-quality Sockwell New Leaf Firm Graduated Compression Socks.

What to know before you buy compression socks for women

What women’s compression socks do 

Compression socks gently squeeze the feet, ankles and legs. The added pressure prevents blood from pooling in your lower extremities, improves blood flow to the heart and increases circulation. 

While unisex and women’s compression socks perform identically, selecting a pair made for women will ensure the sizing is accurate.

Why compression socks might be right for you

Whether you are an athlete looking to gain a competitive edge or you just had surgery and need to decrease painful swelling, there is a good chance that your perfect compression sock exists. 

While each person might require a different compression level, other common reasons to wear compression socks include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Edema
  • Coach class syndrome, aka deep vein thrombosis 
  • Post-sclerotherapy treatment 
  • Varicose veins and spider veins
  • Sitting or standing for long periods
  • Blood clot prevention
  • Orthostatic hypotension prevention
  • Venous ulcers

Compression level

Since compression socks address various conditions, they are offered in a range of pressure levels measured in millimeters of mercury. 

  • Mild (8-15 mmHg) helps prevent varicose veins and offers light support for minor swelling from sitting or standing for long periods. 
  • Medium (15-20 mmHg) provides relief from mild to moderate varicose veins, treats mild to moderate swelling and is ideal for those who swell when traveling long distances. 
  • Firm (20-30 mmHg) relieves moderate to severe varicose veins, moderate to severe edema and orthostatic hypotension.
  • Extra-firm (30-40 mmHg) relieves severe varicose veins, edema and orthostatic hypotension. 
  • RX (40-50 mmHg) treats venous diseases and acute swelling of the legs, ankles and feet. 

Check with your doctor if you are unsure which compression level is best for you. 

What to look for in quality compression socks for women

Material types 

It is common to find compression socks made from synthetic materials such as nylon, elastane, spandex and polyester. These fabrics are abundant, affordable and stretchy.

More premium compression socks contain natural fibers such as a cotton-spandex blend. Cotton is an ideal upgrade due to its breathability, comfort and moisture-wicking properties. However, it still needs to be mixed with an elastic material to create compression.

Other premium materials added to compression socks include silver and copper ions for their antibacterial and odor-reducing properties.  

Compression types

Compression socks come in uniform or graduated pressure.

  • Uniform compression socks, also referred to as thrombo-embolic deterrent hose or anti-embolism stockings, apply the same pressure throughout the sock and are typically used by bed-restricted individuals or those recovering from surgery. 
  • Graduated pressure socks are more common because they provide the required pressure in the treatment areas without restricting movement. They apply more pressure around the feet and ankles, then gradually loosen toward the top of the sock.  

Sock height

Compression socks come in a wide variety of lengths. Pick from ankle, shin, calf, knee, thigh and waist level socks to best fit your needs. 

How much you can expect to spend on compression socks for women

While features such as materials used, sock height, compression level and brand play a significant role in price, you will pay $15-$150. 

Compression socks for women FAQ

Can compression socks hurt you?

A. Ask your doctor’s opinion before treating new ailments, but over-the-counter compression socks that boast lower pressure levels should not cause any damage. RX-level compression socks can be harmful and should only be used as recommended by your physician. 

Can you sleep with compression socks on?

A. Compression socks are not intended for use while sleeping. Unless your doctor has instructed you to do so, avoid wearing compression socks to bed.

What are the best compression socks for women to buy?

Top compression socks for women

Sockwell New Leaf Firm Graduated Compression Socks

Sockwell New Leaf Firm Graduated Compression Socks

What you need to know: These knee-high cotton socks provide support in all the right places and keep your feet dry all day. 

What you’ll love: Their blend of 31% wool, 31% bamboo rayon, 31% nylon and 7% spandex is moisture-wicking and durable. They boast 20-30 mmHg of graduated pressure. They also feature a turn welt top, arch support and a seamless toe closure for added comfort. 

What you should consider: These socks are a bit pricey for a single pair, especially when you can get more pairs for less by going with a fully synthetic material. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top compression socks for women for the money

Hltpro Compression Socks

 Hltpro Compression Socks

What you need to know: One pack includes six pairs of compression socks in a wide variety of prints, patterns and colors.

What you’ll love: These are a nylon-spandex blend for a snug fit and include ribbing on the sole for targeted arch support. They boast a non-slip cuff, 20-30 mmHg of graduated pressure and a reinforced toe for added protection.

What you should consider: Since these socks are made from synthetic materials, they might not last as long as those made from more premium blends.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

PowerLix Compression Socks

PowerLix Compression Socks

What you need to know: These silky-smooth socks are backed by a one-year satisfaction guarantee. 

What you’ll love: These socks sport 20-30 mmHg of graduated compression, providing full support without restricting your range of motion. They are constructed from a blend of 80% nylon and 20% spandex and come in sizes SM-XL.

What you should consider: They only come in black with accent colors on the foot and shin logo. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Ella Scott writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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