You don’t have to be vain to hate varicose veins. Yes, these purplish, bulging veins can be unsightly, but they can also cause tired, achy legs. Special compression stockings for varicose veins can help.
To understand what may be going on with your legs, remember that humans have two kinds of blood vessels. Arteries carry oxygenated blood to the body. Veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart to repeat the process.
The veins in your legs have valves to help the blood make the upward trip back to the heart. When the valves weaken and start to fail, blood pools in the legs. The veins become stretched, and blood can leak out, causing swelling. The medical term for this condition is chronic venous insufficiency.
The veins that are the most likely to become varicose are known as superficial veins. They are close to the surface of the skin, so they have less muscle to support them than the veins that are located deeper in the legs. Compression stockings can give superficial veins the support they lack.
In addition to large, twisty veins, you may also get spider veins. Doctors aren’t sure what causes spider veins, but high pressure in leg veins may lead to the appearance of tiny red or purple veins in the feet and legs. You may not find special compression stockings for spider veins, but the ones designed for varicose veins may help smaller veins, too.
Below you’ll learn about the best compression stockings for varicose veins. But first here are some basic facts.
What to Know About Compression Stockings
If you have varicose veins, you may have already looked at compression stockings, only to be overwhelmed by the different varieties that are available. Here’s what you need to know before you shop.
Graduated pressure. If you have varicose veins, you’ll need graduated compression stockings that provide the most pressure at the bottom of the leg. This design helps to gently push the blood in the veins upward. You may hear these stockings called graduated compression stockings or gradient compression stockings. They are different from support stockings that provide the same pressure all over.
Degrees of pressure. The amount of compression is measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. Gradient compression stockings are labeled to show the range of pressure they provide. Typical ranges for use with varicose veins are 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg.
Price and quality. The best compression stockings aren’t cheap. If the price is low, the quality probably isn’t high. Look for reputable manufacturers, or ask your doctor for a recommendation.
Length and size. Compression stockings come in a variety of lengths. The ones that come to the top of the calf are the most popular, but you can buy them longer or shorter. They also come in a range of sizes to fit your legs precisely. Too small, and they’ll be uncomfortable. Too large, and you won’t get the support you need.
Best Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins
These gradient compression stockings should make your achy legs feel better. They could also keep your varicose veins from getting worse. Looking for compression stockings for spider veins? The ones below could slow down the development of spider veins as well.
Juzo Assist Stockings
High in microfiber and with a unique knit pattern, the Juzo Assist stockings are easy to put on and take off. These unisex knee-high stockings are available in five sizes, in short and regular lengths, and in two compression strengths. The open-toe style and generously sized heel mean no bunching or binding on your feet. Located in Germany and the United States, Juzo has been making compression garments for over 100 years.
Sigvaris High Tech Calf
Are there compression socks you’ll actually look forward to putting on? These calf-high stockings by Sigvaris might be the ones. Available in neon shades or classic hues, these socks are sporty and fun. You’ll enjoy the swirly pattern and the extra cushioning in the foot area. The closed-toe model delivers a moderate 20-30 mmHg level of compression. A Swiss company, Sigvaris has been in business since 1864.
If you need support but want a dressy look, the Jobst UltraSheer should do the job. With a breathable weave and just a bit of shimmer, these stockings look good while providing your choice of four compression ranges. They are available in knee-high, thigh-high, and waist-high styles, and in a variety of neutral shades ranging from classic black to silky beige. Jobst was founded in Ohio in 1950.
Mediven Comfort Thigh Stockings
If feeling fresh and cool is important to you, you’ll like the Mediven Comfort line of stockings. The ClimaFresh feature tamps down bacterial growth, so you’ll stay fresh and odor-free. ClimaComfort releases moisture for a cooler, drier experience. These thigh-highs are available in six colors and four compression strengths. Choose open-toe or closed-toe, and select from different bands, including lace. Medi has been making compression garments since the 1950s.
Lemon Hero Zippered Compression Socks
The best-known makers of compression socks haven’t yet embraced the idea of zippered socks, but many users find that they are easier to put on than the regular styles. These socks by Lemon Hero are available in two compression strengths, 15-20 mmHg and 20-30 mmHg. They come in a variety of sizes, and in open-toe or closed-toe styles. Lemon Hero Health is a newer company with headquarters in the United States.
Juzo Soft Leggings
If you only need gentle support, you may find that the Juzo Soft Leggings are just the ticket. Available only in the lightest 15-20 mmHg compression strength, they will let you lead an active lifestyle while caring for your legs. Described as footless pantyhose, these leggings are designed to be worn under clothing. They come in a variety of fun colors and patterns that will give your mood a lift, too.
Sigvaris Casual Cotton Calf
If you’re a fan of the softness and breathability of cotton, you’ll like the Sigvaris Casual Cotton Calf. It’s 66% cotton with some nylon and spandex to provide tension. Only available in light compression (15-20 mmHg), these socks come in five neutral shades. The flat toe seam and no-pinch band mean all-day comfort.
More Ways to Treat Varicose Veins
Although compression stockings can be helpful, they do not cure varicose veins or spider veins. Once the veins are stretched out, they will not return to normal. You may be interested in a more lasting solution for your problem veins. There are six treatment options for varicose veins, and three for spider veins. Most varicose vein treatments are covered by insurance. Want to know more? My Vein Treatment has a locator tool that will help you find a vein specialist to answer your questions.