You may have heard from a friend or doctor that compression stockings, socks, or sleeves will help you with varicose veins in your legs and feet.
Doctors and other medical practitioners recommend and prescribe compression as one of the best ways to passively relieve pain and soreness.
Compression not only helps with varicose veins, they also help with other medical conditions such as being used to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and improve lymphoedema swelling.
But the most common one is varicose veins, so check out our top 10 picks to help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins:
Our Top 10 Picks
- Overall: Jobst Relief Thigh High Stocking (20-30 mmHg)
- Non-Slip: Lemon Hero Thigh High Compression Stockings (20-30 mmHg)
- Women’s Budget Pick: Blue Maple Compression Socks for Women, 7 Pairs, 15-20 mmHg
- Footless: ToFly Footless Thigh High Compression Socks & Stockings (20-30 mmHg)
- Open Toe: Mojo Open Toe Opaque Compression Socks & Stockings (20-30mmHg)
- Men’s Pick: Absolute Support Medical Stockings for Men (20-30 mmHg)
- Men’s Upgrade Pick: Truform Men’s Thigh High Compression Socks (20-30 mmHg)
- Pantyhose: BriteLeafs Opaque Pantyhose (20-30 mmHg)
- Light Compression for Women: TherafirmLIGHT Women’s Footless Support Tights & Compression Stockings (10-15 mmHg)
- Most Fashionable: EvoNation Women’s Sheer Compression Socks
Our Top Picks
These compression socks/stocking combo hit the sweet spot. They address the medium-range concerning graduated compression. If you don’t know if your symptoms are too mild or too severe, I would recommend starting with these to gauge the effectiveness with varicose veins. This level should be perfect for dealing with most cases of DVT and lymphoedema swelling as well.
Another significant point to add:
You want socks that are comfortable.
And these are comfortable, the weave-knit design is ideal for long-term, passive wear. It has a sleek, latex-free design made out of comfortable, nylon material which provides added benefits. Finally the unisex design makes them perfect for men and women to wear on-the-go.
I highly recommend these Jobst stockings if you need a trusted brand to help you with your symptoms of varicose veins.
Best NonSlip: Lemon Hero Thigh High Compression Stockings (20-30 mmHg)
To combat symptoms of varicose veins, you will need a medical-grade stocking that is comfortable, won’t slip off, and provides a healthy level of compression.
With that in mind, I recommend getting the thigh-high compression stockings by LemonHero.
I had the opportunity to try them out recently and was impressed by the snug and secure fit this stocking provides. After further investigation, I noticed the attention to detail the manufacturer implemented into the overall design. The elastic band features silicone ribbing for prolonged, secure wear. The open-toe design allows proper air circulation and comfort for lounging around.
The 20-30 mmHg is strong enough to help alleviate some of the symptoms of soreness and pain that come with varicose and spider veins. Since it is a thigh-high stocking, the compression coverage spans most of the leg.
Best Women’s Budget Pick: Blue Maple Compression Socks for Women, 7 Pairs, 15-20 mmHg
These socks are perfect for individuals who are on a budget or want to find out if wearing compression socks is right for them.
They come in somewhere in the middle at 15-20 mmHg, which is suitable for most people with smaller varicose veins and spider veins.
The package includes seven pairs of quality compression socks for a low price. The best thing about having several at once is that you can cycle through them more often. They come in a minimalistic, sleek design with several color choices and options of your choosing.
We chose these compression socks because of their unique, footless design, they’re a lot more like sleeves.
Some people will have personal preferences when it comes to stockings, and these cater to those individuals. If you don’t necessarily need the full coverage and want to target the varicose and spider veins themselves, these would be a good option.
Quick warning: These come fitted for individuals with less muscle tone or fat in their calf and thighs. It is vital for you to size them correctly to ensure you don’t have to pull them up constantly.
They still come in a 20-30 mmHg gradient compression range, which will support and apply enough pressure to promote blood flow and combat swollen and bulging veins.
Here’s another stocking with a different and unique design. These manufacturers designed their socks with an open-toe design.
The benefit of an open-toe stocking is that it promotes increased breathability and air circulation compared to a regular stocking. It allows for additional comfort during long-term wear.
You get all the benefits of compression with a little more comfort from the high-quality nylon/lycra material; this makes for a soft feel against the skin. It is also in the 20-30 mmHg gradient compression range for a firm direct pressure to help alleviate a moderate level of compression.
These stockings are the best for men. Each pair is specially designed to come in a sleek, low-profile, black color with ample thigh-high coverage. You can comfortably wear these under a pair of pants, jeans, or shorts when you’re at home and during or after work.
The 20-30 mmHg range in these help deal with mild to moderate levels of varicose veins swelling. It’s a comfortable pressure that doesn’t feel constricting on the skin. You can wear these for an extended period.
There is an elastic band at the end of the stockings that will ensure the socks stay on for the duration of your wear, so you don’t have to think about having to pull these up all day.
Men’s Upgrade Pick: Truform Men’s Thigh High Compression Socks (20-30 mmHg)
If you’re a man and wan an upgrade, TruForm is a well-known brand in the industry that will have your back.
Their stockings are high-quality and well-made with a nylon/spandex material. These are one of the options that doctors and other medical practitioners recommend to their patients when they want to combat the bulging and swelling of varicose veins.
With reinforced toes and soft materials, the sock doesn’t feel constricting on the skin as it applies compression. You’re getting a durable, well-fitted stocking.
Best Pantyhose: BriteLeafs Opaque Pantyhose (20-30 mmHg)
BriteLeafs offers a compression stocking in a pantyhose variant for those individuals who want full coverage and support.
These are ideal for two reasons:
- Full lower-body compression to relieve soreness or swelling that occurs throughout your legs, plus a stylish choice with medical benefits.
- You’re getting both form and functionality in one with this pair of pantyhose.
It features a 3-D design with reinforced areas in the feet, such as the toe and heel for additional support; these prevent further soreness or injury. It also comes in a 20-30 mmHg range to help alleviate some of the symptoms of most varicose and spider veins.
This is an overall excellent choice for best stocking for women everywhere.
Best Light Compression for Women: TherafirmLIGHT Women’s Footless Support Tights & Compression Stockings (10-15 mmHg)
If you’ve seen some of the items on this list, you’ll know that stockings can come in all shapes and sizes.
This stocking and tights combo by TherafirmLight is no different.
You can take advantage of the 10-15 mmHg compression to help deal with smaller cases of varicose veins and spider veins. In addition to the medical benefits, you’ll look good.
These are one of the more comfortable on the list. So you can trust these to have a relaxed fit when you’re wearing them at home or when going out. Once they’re on, the compression process helps reduce swelling and soreness.
Most Fashionable: EvoNation Women’s Sheer Compression Socks (10-15mmHg)
Last, but not least:
These knee-high compression socks by EvoNation feature a minimalistic, and stylish sheer design if you prefer something a little smaller than tights.
The sheer fabric provides maximum comfort and can be worn throughout the day. The comfort these socks make it easy for people to wear for extended periods of time. These socks also offer the 15-20 mmHg graduated compression needed to reduce varicose and spider veins that may develop in the calf area.
How to Choose the Best Compression Stockings for Your Varicose Veins
If you have not been prescribed or recommended to wear compression socks or stockings directly by your doctor or medical professional, then it becomes much more important to know how to pick the ones for you.
The first step is to determine the amount of graduated compression you require in your stocking.
The graduated compression in a sock determines how much pressure, or compression, will be applied when you wear the stocking. It is important to get the ideal range for you. This is measured in mmHg, or millimeters of mercury.
To determine which range is right for you is to consult your doctor. You may analyze the severity of your varicose veins and find a more immediate solution:
- If the swelling and pain come with bulging veins and ulcers, compression socks or stockings range of 25-30+ mmHg, is ideal for these moderate to extreme cases.
- If the varicose veins are smaller in size, check out mild to moderate compression level, in the 10-25 mmHg compression level range.
Another thing to consider is when, how, and how often you will be wearing them.
If so, you’re going to need a lot of socks which can be expensive when initially purchased, but trust that they are an investment. If it’s currently not in your budget, or you want to try them out, try buying bulk.
What are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins. The reason varicose veins form has to do with a deficiency in closing the valves that sit within the walls of the veins.
As we walk, move, and stand, blood circulates throughout the body and relocates to the next compartment in line. Think of valves as the gatekeepers of these compartments. Opening and closing these “doors” or valves allow blood to move from one compartment to the next.
When the valves are damaged, they cannot fully close, which creates additional stress to the vein because the blood cannot travel to the next compartment. The blood instead pools and the additional amount of blood increases the pressure within the vein, causing it to stretch and bulge. This may lead to pain or soreness.
In more extreme situations, the vein may rupture.
This potential danger is why it is so important to know your symptoms and consult with your doctor to see if compression or other treatments are right for you.
Where to look:
You can see these commonly in the leg and thigh region. Another term for small-sized varicose veins is “spider veins” which are essentially the same thing, except they are web-like in appearance.