The Right Way to Wear Compression Socks

So you bought your first pair of compression socks, but you’re not exactly sure how to wear them, how long to wear them, and how they're supposed to make you feel. That’s okay. We’ll explain. 

There’s a lot of information out there about compression socks; at the same time, there are so many different types of compression stockings on the market. Each garment serves a specific purpose. Thankfully, at Comrad we only offer true graduated compression, which basically means that the pressure is strongest around the ankle and loosens as the sock goes up the leg. No need to do lots of research to find the pair that’s right for you. The Companion Sock is seamless, all-purpose, and made of smart fabric that adapts to any situation. Plus, it's lab-tested to ensure quality compression.

What Are Compression Socks?

People usually start wearing compression socks as a way to reduce discomfort in the lower body. Luckily, compression socks work to improve your overall health as well. Specifically, compression socks facilitate healthier blood flow by applying pressure to the lower legs. Essentially, they treat the symptoms of varicose veins (enlarged veins), prevent blood clots, and reduce swelling.   

Compression garments come in different shapes and sizes, and they can be used for both the lower body and the arms. For your legs, you can choose between pantyhose, thigh-high, and knee-high styles. Across the industry, we measure compression strength in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). At the low end you can find compression socks that measure 8 mmHg at the calves. For serious circulation problems, doctors sometimes prescribe medical-grade compression with 60 mmHg of pressure at the ankles. 

At Comrad, we offer both mild compression socks (15-20 mmHg) and a special level of compression (15-25 mmHg) that we call “the compression sweet spot.” Our socks are ideal for mixed uses—for pregnant women, airline passengers on long flights, athletes, and people who stand or sit for long periods. 

If you want to learn more about the different compression levels, we can help. We recommend finding a pair that addresses your medical concerns while remaining comfortable enough to wear every day. 

When Should You Wear Compression Socks?

Before you start wearing compression socks, you'll need to ask yourself a few questions to make sure they are right for you:

  1. Have your feet felt tired and achy recently, regardless of what you do?
  2. Do you spend most of your time either seated or standing? (You don’t need to be in pain to take action. The best action is usually preventative).
  3. Do you suffer from varicose veins or swelling?
  4. Do you want to prevent dangerous blood clots from forming?

Did you answer yes to any of these questions? If so, then you might want to consider wearing compression socks regularly.

If your doctor has prescribed compression therapy, you should probably get used to wearing compression garments every day. If wearing compression socks is a choice, then you can try wearing them as needed. Many of our customers quickly discover the benefits of compression socks and decide to make compression therapy part of their day-to-day lives.

Can Compression Socks Hurt Your Feet?

With any new medical product, you may experience an adjustment period. 

At Comrad, we do everything we can to ensure that your purchase instantly satisfies you. It’s important that you consult our size guide before selecting your pair of Comrad socks. Purchasing the wrong size can have serious consequences. If the socks are too tight, you may experience bunching fabric, which can prevent healthy blood circulation in your legs.

Even if after you purchase the right size, you’ll want to check in and ask yourself how they feel. Your new socks should be comfortable, and you shouldn't feel numbness or pain. Even slight pain could indicate a problem. 

Here are some issues that you should look out for when you wear compression stockings, no matter what kind you choose:

1. They are uncomfortable.

Do regular socks hurt? No. So, why should compression socks? Check the sizing range and double check to  make sure that the size you selected matches your body. Some people with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart failure, need extra advice from a doctor before they try compression therapy.

2. They slide down.

Comrad socks are special. They feature a slide-free cuff, so slippery socks should never be an issue. Of course, our design only works when you select the correct size! If you’ve been wearing the same pair of socks for over 6 months, you may want to consider getting a fresh pair. All compression garments lose elasticity over time.

3. They bunch up.

Per our instructions, you should wear our socks flat against your skin. If they bunch up, then they’re probably not the right size. Bunching can prevent healthy circulation and create unwanted side-effects. 

4. They don’t stop the swelling.

Edema (swelling) can have many medical causes. Some of them can be improved by compression therapy. Others? not so much. You wouldn't treat a broken leg with a compression sock! Talk to your doctor about your swelling, and read more about the types of swelling that compression therapy can prevent. 

5. They are impossible to put on.

If you've already followed our instructions for putting on compression socks, and you're still having trouble, you probably have the wrong size. Don’t shy away from a larger size in this case. Whatever you do, don't use lotion to try to slip on your socks. You'll just end up with a mess on your hands. For those people who need a larger size than an XL, try ordering compression socks from a medical supply store. Wearing socks that are too small for your body will only lead to poor circulation. 

Is It Safe To Wear Compression Socks To Bed?

Graduated compression therapy should be worn when you are active and alert (and you don't have to be an athlete to be active). Compression socks help the blood circulate by assisting your veins. Graduated compression pushes blood and waste fluid up to your heart, working against the pull of gravity. If you’re lying down, there’s not much to fight back against, and the socks won't be as effective. Wearing them while you're seated or standing gives you all the benefits of graduated compression. Your veins don't have to work as hard, because they're getting a boost from your socks. 

Some people wear compression stockings overnight when recovering from surgery or because an illness leaves them bedridden. In those cases, doctors prescribe low strength, anti-embolism stockings. Be sure to get specific instructions from your doctor if you plan to wear compression garments to bed. We recommend wearing our compression socks during a recovery from surgery—but only after you're moving around. 

If you’re healthy and mobile, you should put your compression socks on when you wake in the morning and take them off before going to sleep. You can also wear them when you lounge. Just be sure to avoid falling asleep in your compression socks, since mild-to-medium compression is not recommended overnight. It's safe to wear compression socks all day long, whenever you're awake. On a long-haul flight, you can wear compression socks in a reclining or supine position. Just try not to fall asleep while wearing the socks. 

How Do I Wash My Compression Socks?

If you’re wearing your socks every day, you’ll want at least two pairs. That way, you can wear one pair while the other pair dries. To clean them, you’ll need to hand wash them—or wash them cold in the machine—and let them air dry. Check out our full list of care instructions here.  

It’s important to monitor how your socks feel. Like any other stretchy garment, the effectiveness of the elastic will wear off after about 30 wears, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for reduced compression and replace them as needed. Our Companions are made with SmartSilver technology. Because we bind antimicrobial silver to the fabric at a molecular level, you can wear them 3-5 times between each wash. That means your socks will last 3-5 times as long as socks from other brands. 

Just remember, a worn-out sock won't do anything to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), leg swelling, leg ulcers, or venous insufficiency. To get the medical benefits from your compression socks, you need to make sure that you take good care of them. 

Trust us. If you take good care of your Comrad socks, they'll support you. You'll experience better blood flow, fewer aches and pains, and proven medical benefits. With so many different kinds of socks on the market, be sure to choose a pair that improves your overall health and circulation. 

Why wait? Learn why 99% of our customers would recommend our socks to a friend.

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Person wearing Black & White ankle compression socks