Compression garments are also available in thigh-high stockings, pantyhose, gauntlets (arm-socks), and gloves. Recently knee-high compression hose have become popular with runners—and that means I can finally buy them with pretty patterns. (I love it when the mass market adopts assistive technology.) I get by with knee-highs, which are easiest to get on.
Compression garments come in three weights, measured in millimeters of mercury:
light weight -- 8 to 20 mm Hg
A little harder to get on than standard socks
medium weight -- 20 to 30 mm Hg
Depending on your hand strength, you need to use rubber gloves, "donning aids," or folding tricks to get them on. 1
heavy weight -- 30 to 40 mm Hg
Often called Surgical-weight or TED2 in the U.S.; some come with zippers
My doctor prescribed compression hose for me back in the 90s, and the durable medical supply company measured me for my first pair, which cost $90. Since I was supposed to wear them every day, I quickly explored alternative, cheaper sources.
For the last decade, I've been so happy with Bright Life Direct. Their customer service will walk you through measuring—you need another person to get accurate measurements. They'll also help you select the best fit. They'll ship US mail for free, which is handy. I can try them on, and return them for full credit.
They sell the same "perfect fit" brands as the durable medical supply place, but around 30% less—US$60 - $100 and "close enough fit" brands, $8 - $40, similar to what you can find at the drugstore. I've been delighted with Bright Life's "house brand," Allegro:
Allegro come in all weights; microfiber, nylon, cotton and wool, fabrics; men & women sizes and a "petite" that's short enough for my dinky shins.
- YouTube has many videos https://www.youtube.com/results?
search_query=donning+compression+ stockings ↩︎
- Thrombo-Embolic Deterrent ↩︎