Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts for Compression Stockings

Bauerfeind Compression Socks Micro Batik -

Has your doctor prescribed compression stockings for you?  They are recommended for a wide range of conditions, from tired, achy legs and varicose veins to more severe problems such as chronic venous insufficiency and DVT or blood clots.  Graduated compression is strongest at the ankles, decreasing gradually going up the leg to help transport the blood back towards the heart. 

Here are 5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts when it comes to compression stockings.

Compression Stocking Do’s

1. Do Wash Them After Each Use 

The material will stretch as you wear them all day, it’s important to wash them after each use as washing will help the stockings return to their original shape. This will also extend their usability over time.

2. Do Wash Them According To The Care Instructions 

Hand washing is best, but some stockings can be machine washed on the gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent if they’re placed in a mesh delicate bag.  To dry, gently squeeze excess water and hang dry.

3. Do Wear Donning Gloves While Putting Them On 

This will prevent holes or snags in the material from fingernails.  Gloves also provide additional grip and will make distributing the material on your leg easier.

4. Do Put Them On First Thing In The Morning

Your legs and feet can swell during the day so it’s easier to put them on in the morning rather than later in the day.

5. Do Wear Them Daily

You’ll benefit the most by wearing your compression stockings every day, all day long.  Especially if you are travelling or are sitting still for long periods of time.

Compression Stocking Don’ts

1. Don’t Apply Moisturizers Prior To Wearing

Creams, lotions and oils can damage the fabric.  Only apply in the evening once your compression stockings have been removed.

2. Don’t Wear Them At Night

When you are lying down, your legs are already in a position that allows regular blood flow. Unless your doctor has specifically prescribed to wear them at night, it is best to only wear when standing, sitting or walking.

3. Don’t Place Them In The Dryer Or Near A Heat Source

Excessive heat exposure may weaken or damage your compression stockings. Even leaving them in the trunk of your car during the hot summer months can damage the fabric, making them less effective.

4. Don’t Alter The Stocking

Resist the urge to cut off any loose threads or labels, as this may affect the durability of the garment.  If your stockings feel too tight around the toes, consider a custom made stocking.

5. Don’t Wear The Same Pair Indefinitely 

If worn daily, medical compression stockings can be worn for up to 6 months and a new, unused pair can be stored for up to 36 months. Custom made medical compression stockings are intended for immediate use. You will probably need to replace your compression every 4-6 months as the elastic fibers will break down eventually. This is normal, especially with daily use.