The 9 Best Compression Socks for Nurses [Expert Buying Guide 2020]
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It’s not a secret that nursing as a profession is one of the most costly on your legs, feet, and ankles. When you’re on your feet for an average of 12 hours every shift, it takes a huge toll on your body and as a result, there are a slew of potential health risks that come with the job.
While compression socks aren’t too expensive, sometimes the difference in a few dollars can really change the way you feel day to day when doing your rounds. We’ve made your job easier by compiling the following list of the best compression socks for nurses.
Before we go into the specifics of which socks are the best to buy, it’s good to have an understanding of what makes a good pair of compression socks. If we’re going to shell out our money for a good pair of socks, we understand what features and materials are going to work the best.
Our Favorite Compression Socks for Nurses
Vitalsox Silver Drysat Series
Vitalsox are the real deal and have been in the compression business since 1998. As a result, they claim to be a leader in knee high compression socks for nurses. They might be onto something as these socks do have a patented graduated compression system.
They also don’t hold in odors, so while your feet might be stinky, the socks won’t actually smell once they come off your feet. These socks are made in Italy and Vitalsox claims that they are individually-tested before they are produced en masse.
The socks come in 17 different colors and claim to use a chemical free manufacturing process. The patent on the compression system comes from the fact that the graduated compression system starts at the middle of the foot rather than at the ankle as some other socks do. To assess what kind of compression is best for you, consider consulting your physician.
- Made in Italy
We actually didn’t find any cons with this pair of socks, it’s all positive from our perspective. This is an all-around great compression sock and is a best choice for many nurses. They have eight different compression points in their graduated compression system.
- SILVER DRYSTAT infused with Silver, Polypropylene...
- Patented graduated compression, other socks have...
- Reduced injuries, quicker recovery and increased...
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Physix Gear Compression Socks for Men and Women
These socks can definitely rival our first pair in comfort and quality. Physix is a family-owned business and also employs a graduated compression system that starts from the arch of the foot.
These socks come in two sizes and have 18 different colors to choose from. As with the previous pair of socks, these also have antimicrobial properties to keep the socks from smelling after a long day of use. These also have a money back guarantee attached to them, so you can always try them out and return them if they don’t give you the kind of satisfaction that you were expecting.
There are also special offers and promotions available for when you buy several pairs of socks at once so make sure to take advantage if you’re looking to stock up!
- Sizes available for men and women
As with the first pair, there are no negatives that we found with these socks. They are a little pricier than some of the other options, but they still come with a lot of value.
Blitzu Compression Socks for Men and Women
Here’s another pair that pack a punch with their quality, performance, and affordability. These socks are stretchy, comfortable, and support your ankles. They claim to provide 360 degrees of stretch so they should be very comfortable and sit well on your legs.
They also come in two different sizes, small/medium and medium/large, and are available in six different colors. If you love color, then perhaps buy a pair of these in the bright pink or bright purple varieties.
- Very comfortable
- 360 degrees of stretch
- Don’t mention whether they are antimicrobial
The only con we found with these socks are that they don’t mention whether these have antimicrobial properties. The first two pairs we featured did mention that they will not hold in odor which might be something to consider.
- COMPRESSION THERAPY TECHNOLOGY - Provides true...
- BLITZU KINESIOLOGY TAPING DESIGN - The...
- DESIGNED FOR EVERYDAY USE AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES...
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Generic Compression Socks (8 Pairs)
There is ton of value with these socks. First of all, you get 8 whole pairs of socks for the cost of just one, which is a great deal. Additionally, there are many colors and patterns that these socks come in like sharks, frogs, stripes, and polka dots that are sure to brighten up your wardrobe!
Or you can just hide these under your scrub pants and go with the more neutral varieties. These socks come in two sizes as well, which are also small/medium and medium/large. They also claim to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, so smell shouldn’t be an issue with these.
- Lots of color options
- High value, low cost
There aren’t any outright cons here. These are significantly more affordable than the other options we have listed here, which is great. We would add that the Vitalsox and Physix socks are made of higher, quality premium fabrics while these are mostly nylon. There is nothing inherently wrong with nylon, but you might get a higher value with the other fabrics.
- VALUE PACK 8 PAIRS - Finally! Gone are the times...
- COMPRESSION SOCKS - OR new age IMPRESSION SOCKS?...
- EFFECTIVE - Our compression socks (20-30 mmHg) are...
Cambivo Compression Socks for Women and Men (2 Pairs)
These Cambivo socks are also excellent and won’t disappoint when you’re up on your feet late at night. These come with two pairs, and they have many sizing options. They also come in six different color combinations.
As with some of the other sock varieties, these also have anti-odor and antimicrobial properties which will help you in caring for the socks later on. These socks claim to be sweat resistant and promise to keep your legs dry and the material is thin so they won’t feel too bulky or too hot.
- Lots of sizing options
- Thin fabric
- Might run a bit long for some nurses
These socks are excellent in all categories. They are also made of a blended fabric that mostly consists of nylon, but they are very thin and breathable so the quality is still very high. These might run a bit long for some of the shorter nurses out there should double check the measurements to make they get a great fit.
- HIGH-QUALITY FASHIONABLE COMPRESSION SOCKS-These...
- BETTER BLOOD CIRCULATION, NO SWELLING ANY MORE-...
- A COMPLETE GAME-CHANGER- When It Comes To Those...
Rymora Compression Socks for Men and Women
These Rymora socks are some of our favorites yet! These socks are made of premium-quality fabric and are breathable and the added bonus with these is that they come with extra padding around sensitive areas in your lower extremities such as your toes, heels, soles, and achilles tendons.
The come in three size options – small, medium, and large. There are 5 color varieties to choose from. The downside here is that they do not claim to have anti-odor or antimicrobial properties so you’ll have to wash them well to keep the odors away!
- Great fabrics
- Padded in certain areas of the foot
- Doesn’t have an antimicrobial function
These are best suited for nurses who would like some extra cushioning around part of their feet. Just make sure you do a great job washing them!
- GRADUATED COMPRESSION: The level of compression in...
- ADDITIONAL PADDING: To help prevent blisters and...
- VERSATILE: Unisex and perfect for sports, work,...
PowerLix Compression Socks for Men and Women
These PowerLix socks are also an incredible value on this list! We know it seems like we love every sock, but they all have excellent features and these PowerLix socks are no different. In fact, they might stand out a bit.
First of all, these are made from a double-stitched anti-odor fabric, and they have antibacterial function as well. They come in two sizes, small/medium and medium/large, and they have two color options.
These socks also come back with a 100% money back guarantee for six months. So, if you’re unsure about whether you’ll love them or not, you’re not taking a big risk by trying them out.
- Antibacterial properties
- Double-stitched fabric
- Only two colors available
- Pricier than some of the others
These aren’t expensive by any sense considering the quality of the socks themselves, but they are on the pricier end as far as some of the other options on this list are concerned.
CS Celersport Compression Socks for Men and Women (3 Pairs)
These are a pack of three for the average price of one, so that’s already a win for these CS Celersport branded socks! They come in six different color options, though all of the options are quite neutral, and they have two sizes as with many of the others – small/medium and medium/large.
These are also nylon and polyester blended socks, which isn’t bad again, but they lack the premium fabrics that some of the others have. These do claim that their ventilated fabric will keep your socks odor-free due to their mesh quality.
- Odor free
- Color options limited
These are great options for both men and women, and are perfect for those that are looking for cheap socks that still do an excellent job in the performance category.
- Three pairs in Every Package: We provide 3 Packs...
- High Quality: We do our best to choose high...
- Alleviates Pain Resulting From Edema, Varicose...
Newzill Compression Socks for Men and Women
These last socks are awesome for many reasons. First of all, they have antimicrobial properties, which is always a bonus. Secondly, they have 12 funky colors and patterns to choose from. So whatever your personality, you can find a style you like.
They are also patented. This means that the breathability, odor-control, stretch, temperature control, and bacterial resistance are all formulated in a way that makes these socks unique. These just might be the all-in-one sock that you’re looking for!
- Patented features
- Lots of colors to choose from
Because of the value, patented properties, and color variety, we didn’t find any cons with these socks. They are a blend of nylon and lycra.
- SIZING CHART – WOMEN (S) 6-8.5, (M) 9-11, (L)...
- TAKE YOUR GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL – Comfortable...
- FIBER CONTENT – Newzill CLIMA-PRO Graduated...
So, what are the health concerns associated with being a nurse?
Among other conditions that impact the overall health of nurses, one of the most common problems is edema, specifically lower limb edema. Two other conditions that nurses also struggle with as a result of their work are varicose veins and spider veins. These health concerns certainly aren’t exclusive to nurses, but they do disproportionately affect those in the nursing profession because of the nature of the work.
According to WebMD, edema is just a fancy medical term for swelling and the types most relevant to nurses are pedal edema and peripheral edema. Both of these forms of edema affect the lower limbs, most notably the legs, feet, and ankles. You can read more about the specifics of pedal, peripheral, and other forms of edema here.
In addition, varicose and spider veins are also major concerns for those that have been in the nursing profession for a considerable amount of time. WebMD also discusses the differences between varicose veins and spiders veins, and you can read about them here. Essentially, the difference between the two is that varicose veins appear more as swollen veins while spider veins are less swollen but more pronounced in color.
Varicose veins tend to protrude from the skin in a thick, winding line whereas spider veins also consist of visible winding lines on the body, but they protrude less. Instead, they appear across your legs and extremities in deep hues of purple, green, and blue depending on the shade of your skin.
Both forms of these vein conditions are unsightly and can have potential health concerns associated with them. While there are many cosmetic procedures that claim to help reduce the appearance of these vein conditions, prevention is probably the best (and cheapest) method to reduce future issues.
Why wear compression socks and who do they benefit the most?
As mentioned earlier, while a large percentage of nurses tend to suffer from the above mentioned conditions, those in other professions do as well. For instance, airline pilots, janitors, retail workers, pregnant women, and athletes also regularly experience some of these issues relating to standing and being active for long periods of time.
Related: What Are Clinicals?
So how do we reduce the harm that these professions can cause the body?
The best way to actively combat these health risks is to simply wear compression socks. According to the American Vein & Vascular Institute, one of the benefits of compression socks is that they lessen the symptoms related to “venous insufficiency.”
To put it in layman’s terms, “venous insufficiency” is what happens in your body when your blood flows in the wrong direction.
What makes a good pair of compression socks?
Choosing a pair of socks might seem like a simple enough task, but it is a little bit more complicated than buying regular socks. Try to follow along with the next few pieces of information.
Essentially, compression socks work by putting a little pressure on your skin to active the blood flowing in your veins. WebMD outlines the way they work quite well, so let’s refer back to them for a minute. According to their site, “the arteries that take oxygen-rich blood to your muscles can relax, so blood flows freely. The veins get a boost pushing blood back to your heart.”
So, what do we need to do in order to choose the perfect pair of compression socks? The most important things to look for are the length of the socks and the amount of pressure they put on your leg. You don’t want compression socks that are too snug, nor do you want socks that are too loose. Both cases would defeat the purpose of the socks, which is to regulate the blood flow in your legs, feet, and ankles.
You also want socks that fit to the length of your leg. There are many lengths to choose from, and you should take your height into consideration when deciding on a good length for you. Most go up to just under your knee, but there are also other options out there. You can decide to buy compression tights or knee high socks as well. Just make sure that they fit comfortably, squeezing your legs a little bit but not too much. You don’t want to have to roll the socks either to make sure they sit on your body as doing so can give you added pressure that will harm rather than help.
WebMD also claims that compression socks can come in a large spectrum of price points, ranging from around 10 bucks up to around 100. We did our best to give you a list of socks with the best value.
So what are the best compression stockings for nurses? Here are our top choices to help remedy some of the risks associated with putting pressure on your lower extremities!
How do you care for these socks to ensure that you have them for many years to come?
Paying attention to care instructions is always a good idea regardless of the garment in question. Your regular clothing deserve your attention so that you can enjoy them to their full potential. Compression socks are constructed in a very specific way to hug your feet and legs in as snugly and as comfortably as possible – this means that their shape is very crucial to their performance.
As a result, it is very important to make sure your socks are cared for in a way that helps them retain their shape for many years. This way, you won’t have to go out and keep rebuying socks.
So how do you do this?
A lot of it depends on the fabric that your socks are made of. Many socks are machine washable but to ensure their quality and longevity, it is always better to hand wash them just in case.
If you do decide to wash them in a machine, consider putting them in a mesh laundry bag in order to protect them as much as possible. Generally speaking, it is better not to use fabric softeners or beach with these socks. Try to go for mild cycles and warm water.
For extra information on care, double check the instructions that come with your socks. Each pair is going to be made differently, so check what the experts say for your specific pair.