Choosing a Compression level
How are compression levels measured and marked?
Compression stockings are made in a variety of support levels, each of which is designed to address a different need. These levels are most commonly expressed in millimeters of mercury (abbreviated as mmHg).
The strength of compression needed by each individual wearer depends on the symptoms being addressed and that individual’s particular needs.
Generally, graduated compression is displayed in ranges. The higher the numerical value within a given range, the stronger the support level indicated. For example, a 20-30 mmHg garment will offer more support than a 15-20 mmHg garment. The "graduated" part means that the pressure is strongest at your ankle and decreases up your leg.
What compression level is right for me?
Typically, the reason for wearing compression or in medical cases, the severity of symptoms dictates the level of compression suggested.
For your convenience, we’ve compiled a rough guide of common compression applications. This chart is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice or recommendation of your physician. If you need help determining the right compression for you & your specific medical needs, PLEASE consult your physician to determine the appropriate compression level for your particular usage & medical history.
*The information provided is for general information only and is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of any conditions or diseases. As with any treatment, consult with your physician or healthcare provider if you have any questions or to determine if compression is right for you.
Know your compression level, but unsure of what STYLE to select?
Usually, the most important considerations when answering this question is the location & severity of the issue you’re treating.Mild swelling in your ankles?
Knee highs are likely a great place to start.DVT behind the knee or sclerotherapy in the upper thigh?
Thigh highs, pantyhose or leggings are probably a better selection for you.Baby on the way?
Maternity pantyhose or leggings offer fabulous support for your legs with expandable tummy room for your growing belly. If you are battling the dreaded swollen ankles (otherwise known as cankles), knee highs might also be a good option for you.
Sitting or standing all day?
Any style will help energize your legs, it's just a matter of style preference.
Here are some other “unofficial” pointers & observations we’ve gathered from our combined years wearing compression:
- In addition to considering what and where the issue you’re trying to treat is, we suggest considering your body type. For example: a pear-shaped wearer may prefer pantyhose over thigh highs to avoid any pinching in the upper thigh, while a tall wearer may prefer thigh highs over pantyhose to avoid shortness in the crotch inseam.
- Open-toe models are excellent options for wearers with bunions and ingrown toenails, and are also comfortable for warmer weather. We love pairing nude open-toe thigh highs with sandals in the summer.