Proper wear & care
When should I put my compression stockings on?
Put your stockings on first thing in the morning before any swelling can occur, and remove them before bed in the evening.
How often and for how long should I wear them?
Every day! Regular usage is a cornerstone of effective compression therapy. If wearing compression for wellness reasons, wear them through your work day or during your flight or car journey. When flying, don't rush to take them off. Let your body acclimatize to being on land again before taking them off. If you are wearing compression for a medical reason, follow your doctors orders/recommendation for how long they want you to be wearing them.
How long do compression stockings usually last?
Because repeated use causes the elastic fibers within compression garments to stretch and eventually lose their strength, it is recommended that compression stockings are replaced every 4-6 months. Replacing your stockings regularly is an important investment in your health. Over-stretched stockings may not deliver proper levels of compression.
A helpful tip for maximizing the life of your stockings is to invest in several pairs and to rotate those pairs on a daily basis throughout the week. This allows the elastic fibers in your garments to relax between wearings and should help prevent any accelerated stretching from occurring. Proper washing & care will also help protect the life of your stockings (see below).
I’ve worn white anti-embolism stockings in the hospital before. Are those the same as graduated compression stockings?
No, there is a difference between the two. The white stockings, called TEDs, are most often used in hospitals and are designed for immobile patients confined to a bed for a prolonged period. Designed exclusively for resting legs and the prevention of blood clots while lying, they aren’t meant for active patients. Remember, TEDs are for beds! Ready-made graduated compression stockings offer the proper support for daily wear and activity.
Washing instructions vary by brand so be sure to check each garment’s package or label before laundering.
In general, most manufacturers suggest hand washing and line drying. Do not use bleach, softeners, or other additives.
Select brands are also approved for machine-washing and drying. Just be sure to always air dry thigh highs to protect the integrity of their adhesive stay-up bands. If the silicone band no longer feels like it has grip to it, this is probably due to natural oil or lotion build up. Wipe the silicone down with some rubbing alcohol or wash the band with dish soap and they will be good as new!