How Do You Know Which Level of Compression for Compression Socks Is Right for You?

Home » How Do You Know Which Level of Compression for Compression Socks Is Right for You?

How Do You Know Which Level of Compression for Compression Socks Is Right for You?


Do you have a feeling of heavy legs? Or have your ankles/calves/feet swollen? Do you have night muscle pain? Or do you feel tingling or an irrepressible need to move your legs? Don’t look far. These are signs of venous insufficiency.

As a general rule, the higher the compression level or force, the tighter the compression sock is. The pressure is indicated in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). This is the same scale used to measure blood pressure.

The most useful compression socks are those with progressive rather than uniform compression levels. Progressive compression socks are narrower at the ankle than at the calf. Progressive hot compress promotes the return of blood to the heart and thus the blood flow.

The Compression Levels

What compression levels for what medical conditions? General guidance below. It is provided for information purposes only. The severity of a problem determines the level required.

As we mentioned earlier, it is advisable to consult a doctor to identify the level of compression that is right for you.

Compression Level 1

18–21 mmHg

Slight pain, heaviness and fatigue of the legs

Support and comfort in case of standing or prolonged sitting

Beneficial to general health and energy levels

Improved circulation, especially in the legs

Additional support in case of intense activity or travel

These products can prevent the formation of varicose veins and telangiectasias during pregnancy

Compression Level 2

23–32 mmHg

The level of compression most prescribed by medically reviewed doctors

Varicose veins with mild edema

Varicose veins during pregnancy

Following surgical treatment of varicose veins, such as sclerotherapy and phlebectomy

Treatment of orthostatic/postural hypotension, a form of low blood pressure

Deep vein thrombosis

Post-thrombotic syndrome

Healed leg ulcers

Niveau de Compression 3

34–46 mmHg

Moderate edema and lymphedema


Following bone fracture or orthopedic surgery

Treatment of skin lesions with healed ulcers

Compression Level 4

min. 49 mmHg

Severe lymphedema

Severe post-thrombotic syndrome

When should I consider wearing compression socks or see a doctor?


Chronic swelling, pain or fatigue of the legs

Poor circulation in the legs

Varicose veins or venous ulcers in the lower legs

Known risk of blood clot, especially in legs

Personal/family history of deep vein thrombosis

Prolonged bed rest, for example following surgery

In prevention: it is wise to wear compression socks to solve a problem before it gets worse.

In what situations should compression socks be used with caution?

Arterial insufficiency, intermittent claudication, ischemia

Uncontrolled congestive heart failure (CHF)

Acute dermatitis, oozing dermatosis, cutaneous septicemia

Signs of leg infection


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