If you’re a fan of compression socks for reasons of wellness as well as style AND comfort, then you might be wondering: how long can you wear compression socks? Is it advisable to rock them all day long, for example?
The short answer: you can totally wear compression socks all day. The long answer: how long you wear compression socks comfortably depends on how familiar your legs are with compression hosiery and not everyone should just dive into wearing compression 24/7.
In this article, we answer your burning questions about why compression is awesome, what level of compression you need, and how long can you wear compression socks safely and comfortably. Let’s do this!
Compression gear is an invaluable part of an overall wellness strategy, especially for folks who are standing on their feet all day, spend a lot of time being active, or even have desk jobs. Also, if you have a long-haul flight coming up, one of the best ways to promote healthy circulation while you’re stuck in that economy seat for hours is to pull on a pair of compression socks the moment the plane takes off.
First of all, when you’re either on your feet OR sitting all day, blood and fluid tends to pool in your feet and ankles. Not only is blood pooling an uncomfortable and even painful sensation, but it risks leading to cardiovascular diseases, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and edema. Yikes!
Compression socks prevent blood pooling and associated swelling by lightly squeezing your lower limbs, encouraging blood to flow back up toward the heart. The boost in circulation not only improves leg and vein health, but keeping your blood moving is also energizing. This is especially important for elderly folks, athletes, or people whose jobs can lead to occupational swelling, like nurses, teachers, and even delivery drivers.
How Long Can You Wear Compression Socks?
Compression socks are like a warm, cozy bath: it takes a minute to get in, but after that, it’s sheer bliss. When you pull on your first pair, you might be tempted to never take them off! However, if you’re a compression newbie, it’s a smart idea to start slow. Wear compression socks for a few hours at a time, then gradually build up to wearing them for longer and longer stretches of time.
Whether you’re kicking it in knee-highs or thigh-highs, remember that folding or rolling your compression socks can make them too tight—you don’t want too much of a good thing!
So, how long can you wear compression socks? That depends on how long you’ve been wearing them! If you’re a seasoned compression wearer, go ahead and rock those babies all day long. Remember, though, to take them off when you’re ready for bed, giving your legs and feet plenty of wiggle room.
Sounds Great! What Type of Compression Socks Do I Need?
There are two main versions of compression socks: those that offer graduated compression and anti-embolism socks. The latter are created specifically to prevent blood clots and are typically used by folks with limited mobility. They’re often prescribed to patients who are stuck in bed, especially after surgery, and are at risk for developing blood clots.
Graduated compression socks are designed for absolutely anyone who wants to improve their leg health while boosting circulation and reducing swelling and discomfort. Since they’re created with individual needs in mind, graduated compression gear features different compression levels. They range from light compression, to mild, to moderate, to high, and all the way to very high!
Unless you’re treating a serious injury or set of symptoms, it’s best to grab the light or mild compression versions which deliver plenty of benefits. They’ll treat symptoms like swelling or discomfort and can be comfortably worn to work or on long flights. With the lowest compression level, you don’t have to ask yourself, how long can you wear compression socks, knowing it’s perfectly safe and healthy to flaunt your favorite pair day in, day out.