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What Makes Medical Compression Socks Different?


You’ve stumbled upon Comrad’s line of compression socks, and you’re ready to make your purchase. However, you’re also curious about medical compression socks. Before you shop, you ask the following questions: what are medical compression socks? How are they different from other compression socks and regular socks?

We’ll answer those questions and help you choose compression socks to suit your needs.

What Are Medical Compression Socks?

Medical and nonmedical compression socks relieve pain, tiredness, swelling, open wounds, or other injuries. They improve blood flow and help prevent wearers from suffering from varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, and so on. 

Unlike regular socks, compression socks apply pressure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), which are units of pressure equivalent to the pressure produced by a column of mercury. Standard compression socks deliver 15 to 20 mmHg, which provides the benefits described above but is still low enough to make the socks feel comfortable. Comrad Socks offer graduated compression socks that apply pressure ranging from 10 to 30 mmHg. 

Compression levels above 30 mmHg qualify compression socks as medical products. Comrad socks are not medical products, as our sock compression levels are 30 mmHg and below.

Comrad’s compression ranges include:

  • Light support (10 to 15 mmHg)
  • Medium (15 to 20 mmHg)
  • Firm (20 to 30 mmHg)

Types of Medical Compression Socks

Medical and nonmedical compression socks are sometimes called compression stockings. They come in different sizes, pressure ranges, and styles. You can choose compression socks with light pressure or strong pressure. They also come in different lengths: thigh-high, knee-high, and ankle-length. 

Anti-embolism compression socks are made specifically to prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis in people who lead sedentary lifestyles. A doctor usually prescribes them.

Do You Need a Prescription for Medical Compression Socks?

A prescription isn’t necessary for over-the-counter compression socks. However, your medical provider may want you to use a certain kind that does require you to get a prescription, use your health insurance, or have them specially made. You may need to go to a medical equipment store to have your measurements taken. 

How To Wear and Take Care of Your Compression Socks

With regular socks, you can safely wear them all day without a second thought. And when you are done, you can simply throw them in the wash with your regular clothes. While it’s possible to do these things with some medical compression socks, most require a bit more care and can’t be worn all day. 

How To Put Medical Compression Socks on

Some people have difficulty putting on their compression socks. Some tricks for getting them on your feet are sprinkling cornstarch or baby powder to your legs or feet or putting lotion before pulling them up. You can also buy a device known as a stocking donner, which holds the socks open so you can slide your feet into them.

How Long Can You Wear Medical Compression Socks?

How long you can wear your compression socks depends on why you need them. Some are meant to only be worn for a few hours, such as while you are exercising. Others can be worn for longer, like sitting for an extended period or bed-bound. Athletes often wear compression socks after a performance because of the pain relief they provide. 

Can you wear them to bed? In some cases, if you have open sores or vein issues, yes, you can wear the socks to bed. Otherwise, you should take them off before you lie down. Just to be sure, it doesn’t hurt to ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to sleep in your compression socks all night.

How Do You Take Care of Medical Compression Socks?

Compression socks should be washed separately with similar items in cold water. Use a delicate or gentle cycle, and use a mild detergent. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. You can also hand wash them if that’s your preference.

To dry compression socks, either hang them up or put them in a dryer in a low-heat setting. If you are hanging them up, it’s advised that you do not hang them outside in the sun or near a heater or radiator.


Whatever your needs are, there are countless types of compression socks for you to choose from, both medical and nonmedical. Whether you’re treating symptoms of diabetes, vein issues, leg swelling, or are simply dealing with tired feet; you will be able to find a compression sock that works for you.

Although our socks are not medical grade, Comrad socks offer many compression socks ranging from 10 to 30 mmHg graduated compression. Our socks are made of nylon, recycled cotton, polyester, merino wool, and spandex. 

Ready to try your first pair of compression socks? Shop now!


Do Compression Socks Really Work? | Vein Institute of Westchester

Can You Sleep in Compression Socks? | Cleveland Clinic

Taking care of compression stockings – how do you wash them correctly? | Medi

What You Should Know About Compression Socks | Cleveland Clinic 

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