How Long Should You Wear Compression Socks?

How Long Should You Wear Compression Socks?


You can wear compression socks all day, every day. They're intended to be worn for long periods of time—whether you're working a night shift, traveling around the world in an airplane, or sitting at a desk all day. Just be sure to remove your compression socks when you're ready to sleep! 

In order to determine how long you should wear your compression socks, you may want to consider the symptoms you've experienced. For instance, if you're hoping to alleviate discomfort and fatigue after a workout, consider wearing compression socks in the 3-4 hours immediately following exercise. If you want to reduce leg swelling, try to put on compression socks before a long period of standing.

Some people wear compression socks for medical reasons, such as lymphedema or chronic venous insufficiency. (Chung et al. E391, E396) We recommend asking a medical professional to explain the ideal amount of time to wear compression garments in order to treat your symptoms. Although compression therapy should not be used while you sleep, it is sometimes recommended for people on bed rest or with limited movement. Pregnant women and people recovering from surgery can benefit from wearing compression socks during times of low mobility. (Blättler et al.) 

So, whether you're recovering in a lounge chair or sprinting on a sports field, you can use compression socks to prevent poor circulation and reduce swelling and discomfort. They're safe to wear all day. 

How Do Compression Socks Work?

Different kinds of compression therapies exist. Some forms of compression therapy include compression sleeves, compression socks, compression stockings, and compression bandages. Compression socks are inexpensive and easy-to-use, compared to other forms of compression therapy. (Dolibog et al.) 

At Comrad, we offer graduated knee-high compression socks with 15-25 mmHg compression strength. We also offer ankle socks with targeted compression that remains consistent throughout the length of the sock. Graduated compression is more effective than uniform compression for improving circulation and reducing swelling. 

Our graduated compression socks work by exerting 25 mmHg of pressure on your foot and ankle. As the sock moves up your calf, the pressure reduces to 15 mmHg. Graduated compression supports your leg veins by helping blood flow up your legs and against gravity. Not only do graduated compression garments keep blood from pooling in your lower legs, but they can also help to prevent the formation of blood clots deep in your leg veins. (Sachdeva) 

Doctors often recommend that patients use compression socks to alleviate symptoms associated with:

  • Varicose veins and spider veins
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
  • Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS)
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar Fasciitis 
  • Lymphedema 

Compression socks reduce discomfort, lower the risk of blood clots, and encourage vascular health by pressing gently on your legs and pushing blood from your extremities back towards your heart.

After reviewing existing studies on graduated compression stockings, Chung Sim Lim MBBS PhD and Alun H. Davies DM determined that, “...High-quality evidence supports their use by patients with chronic venous insufficiency, especially those with ulcers.” In addition, they cite evidence that graduated compression therapy may protect against deep vein thrombosis in medically ill patients, help with long-term maintenance of volume in lymphedema, and help treat thrombophlebitis when used in combination with surgery.

For a number of vascular and lymphatic conditions, compression therapy can provide relief. Graduated compression therapy, in particular, helps to promote blood flow and lymphatic drainage by helping the body to work against gravity. 

Why Can’t I Wear Compression Socks Overnight?

When you’re asleep you won’t notice if a sock becomes bunched or folded over. When that happens,. your sock could cut off circulation. Whereas during waking hours you would notice the problem, you could sleep through this kind of discomfort, leading to medical problems.

While you’re reclining in bed, your veins don’t need as much assistance pumping blood against the pull of gravity. You’ll experience more benefits, including reduced swelling and discomfort, when you wear your compression socks during waking hours. We recommend graduated compression socks for those times when you’re moving around, standing, or sitting upright. 

How to Put On and Take Off Compression Socks

Take a look at our video, “How To Put On Compression Socks,” to learn best practices for putting on compression socks. 

Follow these steps to put on knee-length compression socks. 

  1. Place your hand and arm inside the compression sock and grab the heal.
  2. Turn the top of the sock inside out, leaving a pocket for your foot.
  3. Place your toes inside the foot of the sock.
  4. Wiggle your foot and toes until your heel lines up with the sock's heel.
  5. Grab the cuff and pull it up.
  6. Smooth out the sock, making sure the cuff hits just below your knee. 
  7. Don't fold or roll the cuff down. 

Some people use tools—like a sock donner or donner gloves—to make putting on compression socks easier. 

To take off the sock, start off in a seated position. Grab the cuff with both hands and remove the entire sock in one fluid motion. 

How Should You Care for Your Compression Socks

Wash your compression socks on a gentle, cold cycle with like colors. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. We recommend air drying your socks to maintain the elasticity of the compression. Do not use dryer sheets. 

Our socks are made of flexible natural and synthetic fabrics that should limit shrinking. With proper care, these socks should retain their elasticity for up to 6 months.

What Should You Look for in a Compression Sock? 

Correct Sizing | Avoid wearing the wrong size compression sock, since you could accidently cut off circulation to your lower leg, feet, or toes. At Comrad, we offer sizes from small to extra large, including wide calf sizes. Our range of sizes will help ensure you have the right fit. 

Make sure to pull the sock all the way up until the cuff hits right below the knee cap. Then smooth out the sock over your skin to help avoid. bunching. Because we offer a Stay-Up Cuff, you won’t need to adjust your knee-length Comrad socks often. 

Compression Level | Each Comrad knee-high compression sock is tested for accuracy in our factory using a Swisslastic MST MK V pressure measuring device for medical compression socks and stockings. Swisslastic is a specialist in compression pressure measuring devices for over 50 years.. Non-medical grade compression levels range from light (8-15 mmHg) to firm (30-40 mmHg). Our graduated compression sock offers compression near the middle of the range (15-25 mmHg) and our merino wool compression sock offers (15-20mmHg).for everyday wear. 

If you’re unsure about the best compression range for your body, ask your doctor. We harness the beneficial properties of compression technology and knitting design, but offer a level of compression that does not require a prescription. 

Fabric Quality | Because we use SmartSilver™ anti-microbial technology, you won’t have to worry about washing your socks as often. We recommend wearing them 3-5 times before each wash. Our socks are constructed out of high-quality materials that maintain their shape, prevent odor-causing bacteria, and wick moisture. They’ll keep you feeling comfortable and supported all day long. 

Who Should NOT Wear Compression Socks?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should take off your compression socks:

  • Loss of circulation
  • Discomfort
  • Redness
  • Corns
  • Pain in joints
  • Tingling feet
  • Allergic skin reactions

People with the following medical conditions should consult a doctor before trying compression therapy:

  • Skin infection
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Ischaemia
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Diabetes

Are Compression Socks Safe to Wear All Day?

Unless you experience one of the contraindications listed above, you can feel confident wearing compression socks all day long. Athletes, doctors, pilots, engineers, and chefs all turn to compression socks to help ease job-related discomfort and make themselves feel healthy and strong. 

Whether you want to prevent vascular issues before they begin or recover from a workout faster, compression socks offer an easy, inexpensive way to achieve your wellness goals.. Compression therapy is proven, and it will help you feel your best.

When you’re getting dressed in the morning, reach for the sock that can help you achieve your full potential. Compression is an effortless way to feel better and be healthier all day, everyday. 

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