You’ve heard your doctor mention compression socks. You’ve seen them advertised on commercials. You’ve had a friend recommend a pair to you for travel or sports. And you’ve even seen a few at your local shopping center. What you might not have realized is that not all compression socks are created equal. Some are medical grade whereas others are non-medical, and there are several differences in quality. This post will help you distinguish between different compression options and find the best high-quality compression socks for you.
Non-medical grade compression socks are popular in sports and athletics. You’ll find them at many pharmacies and shopping centers, and you don’t need a prescription to buy them. Although they claim to provide certain levels of compression, non-medical compression socks are not regulated. This means that the compression levels advertised cannot be guaranteed. If you are using compression socks for a medical condition, you’ll want to be confident in the compression level you’re getting.
Medical grade compression socks, on the other hand, are regulated as medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If a brand claims to offer a certain amount of compression, you can be confident that the compression level is accurate. In Virginia, you do not need a prescription to purchase medical grade compression socks, but it is always wise to get one from the physician prescribing them.
Compression socks are made of elastic, stretchy material in order to provide the correct amount of pressure. The type of material used may also indicate how long the compression is guaranteed for. High-quality compression socks often have a guaranteed compression for 6 months or longer.
If you’ve used compression socks before, you know that they can be difficult to put on, so zippers may seem like they would be a helpful feature. In reality, zippers degrade the compression quality and prevent the socks from providing a guaranteed level of compression. As such, try to avoid compression socks with zippers.
You’ll also want to consider the width of the top band on the compression socks. The wider the top band, the better. That’s because the band helps dissipate the pressure so that you don’t have a ring at the top of your legs when you take off the socks, which could restrict blood flow.
High-quality compression socks are not cheap, so another important factor to consider is whether the manufacturer puts a guarantee behind their socks. In other words, what is the return policy in the event that the compression socks don’t work well for you?
At The Compounding Center, you’ll find a wide selection of high-quality medical compression socks. We carry Jobst—the #1 physician recommended brand—Sigvaris, and TruForm. And if you’re in search of medical grade compression and fashion, try Sigvaris’s stripe and argyle prints. They are available in many different colors and styles, from business casual to bright and festive.