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Best Compression Socks

Updated June 2023
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Best of the Best
MudGear Graduated Men's and Women's Compression Socks
Graduated Men's and Women's Compression Socks
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Superior Performance
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It's hard to find a better pair with more to offer for your active lifestyle.


Guaranteed fit, attractive style, and graduated compression. Comfortable for most, and they tend not to fall down. Good customer support.


A few reports of holes and tears with normal use. The material can be warm in hot weather.

Best Bang for the Buck
Physix Gear Compression Socks
Physix Gear
Compression Socks
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Simple Yet Solid
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Affordable, easy-on pair designed for use on swollen legs and varicose veins.


Unlike some other products, these are suitable for people with thicker legs. Some pregnant women have found them very helpful.


A few complaints that the socks left red marks on the legs.

NEWZILL Compression Socks
Compression Socks
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Functional Design
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An athlete-recommended pick that boasts great features and a diverse color and pattern selection.


Nonslip cuff for all-day security. Clima-Pro system is breathable, controls temperature, and prevents odors.


Some have had challenges finding an ideal fit.

Copper Fit Energy Easy-On Easy-Off Compression Socks
Copper Fit
Energy Easy-On Easy-Off Compression Socks
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Easiest to Use
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Super-supportive compression socks for easy wear without discomfort.


These compression socks are infused with copper and will keep smells at bay. They provide arch and ankle support to help you feel your best. Simple to slip on and take off. Made mostly of nylon and can be washed in a machine.


Not as easy to put on and take off as is advertised.

Blitzu Performance Compression Socks for Men and Women
Performance Compression Socks for Men and Women
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Very Compressive
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Worth considering if you're someone who stands on your feet all day.


Provides comfort for most all-day wearers. Designed to improve blood circulation and flow of oxygen. Made with durable material. Comes in multiple colors.


Fit is a bit tight and on the long side. The fit tends to get even tighter after washing.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best compression socks

If you spend most of your day sitting or standing and find yourself experiencing painful swollen legs and feet as a result, a pair of compression socks could be just what you need.

Shown to dramatically improve blood flow, compression socks effectively refresh and energize tired legs and are often prescribed as a means to prevent and treat a number of circulatory conditions. Indeed, donning a pair of compression socks daily is a practical measure anyone can take to give their legs a boost. But with the multitude of styles, colors, materials, and sizes available, finding your perfect match can be overwhelming.

If you’re in a hurry, jump straight to our top five contenders to select your favorite pair of compression socks. Or, put your feet up and continue reading our in-depth guide to finding the best compression socks available.

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Compression socks have been in use for over 160 years. Modern compression socks come in a variety of strengths and can be used by just about anyone to maintain and improve leg health.

How compression socks work

In simple terms, compression socks give your veins the much-needed support they require to function properly. Under normal circumstances, our leg muscles contract, squeezing the veins and pushing blood back up toward the heart each time they do. However, during periods of inactivity (such as prolonged sitting or standing), or in cases where the walls of the veins are weakened, the continuous downward pull of gravity can take its toll. By hugging the muscles of the foot and leg, compression socks help narrow and straighten vein walls. This in turn keeps the valves within the veins in alignment, allowing them to open and direct blood flow toward the heart before they snap shut.

Why is this so important? Well, valves that are positioned too far apart and don't meet cannot close properly. When valves don't close, blood is allowed to flow both up and down. This often leads to blood pooling in the lower extremities, causing swelling, discomfort, and a generalized feeling of heaviness within the legs and feet.

More than just a treatment for existing conditions, the use of compression socks can help keep veins healthy by encouraging optimal circulation, and many people report improved levels of comfort when wearing them.

Types of compression socks

Size, length, and compression levels aside, compression socks generally fall within one of two categories: graduated compression socks and anti-embolism or TED hose.

Anti-embolism or thrombo-embolic deterrent (TED) hose

Sometimes referred to as uniform compression socks because they provide equal levels of pressure throughout, TED hose are used almost exclusively post-surgery to assist healthy blood flow during extended periods of immobilization. As anti-embolism compression socks are designed specifically for bedridden patients, the levels of compression tend to be significantly lower than most graduated varieties.

Graduated compression socks

Easily the most common, not to mention versatile, graduated compression socks are commonly used to prevent and treat spider veins, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), edema (swelling), and generalized discomfort caused by prolonged standing/sitting or pregnancy. These types of compression socks are designed to fit tightest at the ankle with decreasing levels of pressure going up the leg.

Graduated compression socks come in a range of styles, including knee-high, thigh-high, and waist-high, as well as varying levels of compression. Designed for everyday use, some graduated socks even sport fun colors and patterns, affording wearers the opportunity to step out in style.

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Certain conditions, such as peripheral neuropathy, peripheral artery disease, dermatitis, skin infections, fragile skin, and massive swelling don't allow for the use of compression socks. Always consult a doctor to avoid unintentionally complicating existing conditions.

Compression sock styles

Compression socks come in a variety of styles. Each style offers its own specific set of advantages and drawbacks.

  • Knee-high and below-the-knee compression socks sport the length preferred by most people for everyday use. Perfect for swollen, achy legs and feet, these compression socks tend to be easier to put on than most other styles. However, they don't offer support for any venous insufficiency stemming from above the knee.

  • Thigh-high compression stockings are a good option for people with problem areas extending to or above the knee. While they are susceptible to riding down, many thigh-high compression stockings feature silicone bands to help keep them in place.

  • Waist-high compression stockings offer full-length compression from hip to toe. These stockings shouldn’t ride uncomfortably, but they may prove to be a bit too much for some people. For those who prefer or require extensive coverage, many elegant options are available which closely resemble fashionable hosiery. Maternity compression stockings are also available in this style and provide expectant mothers with welcomed support and a reduced risk of developing spider and varicose veins.

  • Compression sleeves, also known as open-fit compression socks, are an option for those who plan on wearing sandals or simply prefer keeping their toes and feet in the open air. However, compression sleeves can be less effective at preventing blood from pooling around the ankles and feet and should be avoided entirely in the presence of swelling.

  • Athletic compression socks are basically the same as knee-high compression socks, with the exception of the fact that they provide some extra padding and flexibility in certain areas. As these socks are designed specifically for active individuals, they may offer improved durability, and, in some cases, breathability. Nevertheless, many athletes still find regular compression socks perfectly suitable for rigorous activities.

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For your safety
Always take the time to make sure your compression socks are straight and wrinkle-free. Bunches and creases are not only uncomfortable, they could actually exacerbate the problem by restricting blood flow.

Compression levels

In the medical field, pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and the level of compression most suitable for you will depend on your personal needs. It's always a good idea to consult with a qualified physician regarding correct compression, and the below guidelines are by no means intended replace medical advice.

Mild compression (between 8 and 15 mmHg)

These compression levels may be used to help maintain healthy legs and alleviate generalized discomfort and fatigue. They can also be used to help reduce the risk of spider veins and varicose veins.

Moderate compression (between 15 and 20 mmHg)

Socks that provide moderate compression aid in the prevention of and relief from mild varicose and spider veins. These socks may reduce swelling, aches, and pains, and they may be used by long-distance travelers to help prevent deep DVT.

Firm compression (between 20 and 30 mmHg)

Socks with firm compression are used in the management of a variety of venous disorders. They may help to prevent and treat moderate to severe varicose/spider veins. They reduce swelling caused by the pooling of blood in the lower extremities and can be used to prevent DVT while traveling.

Extra-firm compression (between 30 and 40 mmHg)

Compression socks with this level of pressure should only be used under the supervision of a doctor. They are most frequently prescribed in the treatment and management of severe venous disorders.

Compression sock size

Figuring out the correct sizing can be a little tricky, but this step is absolutely imperative when it comes to efficacy. If your compression socks are too loose, you're unlikely to experience any benefits whatsoever. On the other hand, if your compression socks are too tight, they could cut off blood flow and actually exacerbate the problem.

  • Knee-high compression socks will need to be measured at three individual points:

    • The narrowest circumference of your ankle

    • The widest circumference of your calf

    • The height from the base of your foot to the crease of your knee

  • Thigh-high compression stockings require four measurements:

    • The narrowest circumference of your ankle

    • The widest circumference of your calf

    • The widest circumference of your thigh, just below the crease of your buttocks

    • The height from the base of your foot to the point measured on your thigh

  • Waist-high compression stockings require four to five measurements:

    • The narrowest circumference of your ankle

    • The widest circumference of your calf

    • The widest circumference of your thigh, just below the crease of your buttocks

    • The height from the base of your foot to the bottom of your buttocks

    • If required, the circumference of the widest point of your hips

Measurements taken first thing in the morning tend to be the most accurate, as any possible swelling will be at a minimum.

Compression sock materials

Many compression socks are a blend of lycra, cotton, spandex, and nylon, woven in different patterns and thicknesses. Some compression socks – athletic and waist-high varieties in particular – feature silver textiles. These are incorporated into the material in the form of silver nanoparticles which are bonded to the fabric during the manufacturing process. Silver is a natural antimicrobial, known to repel and interrupt the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungus.

Athletic compression socks should also include moisture-wicking materials. Microfibers will provide superior comfort and breathability – important features for any intended length of use.

Compression sock prices

The cost of compression socks depends on the length of the socks and the compression level, as well as the brand.

The higher the level of compression, the more you can expect to pay.

  • Mild compression socks can range from $10 and $20+, materials and brand depending.

  • Moderate to firm compression socks usually cost between $40 and $60.

  • Prescription compression socks can set you back anywhere from $70 to $100+.

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Having at least two pairs of compression socks will ensure you always have a clean pair to wear while washing the other.


Q. I don't have any symptoms of an underlying circulatory condition. Can I still benefit from wearing compression socks?

A. Absolutely. Many people wear compression socks to keep their legs feeling energized, and many medical professionals recommend using them as a preventative measure for patients who travel frequently or spend long hours sitting or standing. They can also be worn during pregnancy to prevent spider veins and varicose veins while simultaneously providing relief from achy, swollen legs, ankles, and feet. Athletes and runners can also benefit from the added support and improved circulation.

Q. How long should I keep my compression socks on?

A. This depends on the compression level of the socks and also your reason for wearing them. Those using mild to moderate compression socks for comfort or as a preventative measure can generally wear them for as long as they're comfortable. Individuals diagnosed with venous disorders or other medical conditions should consult with a healthcare professional on the correct usage. Wearing compression socks to bed is not recommended unless you've been instructed to do so by your doctor, as this may cut off circulation.

Q. How can I take care of my compression socks?

A. Although some varieties are machine washable, we recommend gently hand-washing your compression socks with a mild detergent in lukewarm water. Remember to never wring your compression socks out, as this could cause them to stretch and lose elasticity. Rather, roll them in a towel and gently press down on them to remove moisture. Air-dry or tumble-dry on low heat if possible. To avoid damage, always refer to manufacturer instructions before washing or drying compression socks.

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