Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List

The holidays are almost here and it’s time to shop! Save big on holiday sales and find awesome gifts for everyone on your list. Time seems to fly by faster every year, and finding the right gift can be difficult and time consuming. Check out some of the gifts we put on our wish list this year. You can either pick a category or start scrolling to see our favorite finds:

Gifts for the Traveler

Gifts for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Gifts for the Home

Gardening Gifts

Gifts for Foodies

For most people, the holidays = travel, travel, travel. Whether you’re going on a long road trip or catching a flight, make sure you wear compression socks to protect your legs against fatigue, swelling and blood clots. They help to keep your legs feeling fresh and energized, so you can enjoy your time when you get to your destination. To keep yourself entertained, check out some of the gadgets and accessories we’re hoping to get this year:

Universal Travel Power Adapter – $16.58

This is a great present for someone who travels internationally a lot. This power adapter will work in over 150 countries. Perfect for traveling to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

AmazonBasics 4 Piece Packing Cube Set – $19.99

Figuring out how to pack in an organized way for a trip can be stressful. These cubes are a great way to smartly store all your things for your next vacation. Great to take on any road trip or flight!

Coloring Book and Colored Pencil Set – $8.99

Coloring books are a great way to relieve stress and keep yourself entertained on any trip. Adult coloring books are the new trend, and I can get behind it! Coloring can be a fun way to unwind and kill a few hours on a long car or plane ride. I suggest colored pencils….crayons can melt and if a cap falls off a marker it can leave an unwanted mark on your vacation!

Rosetta Stone 12 Month Subscription – $117.99

For the international traveler, a subscription to Rosetta Stone is a huge help! Get your fellow traveler a gift they can use this holiday season. Choose from a variety of subscriptions and language options. The Rosetta package we chose is a 12 month subscription for 24 languages.

Airbnb Gift Card – Any Amount!

Traveling can be expensive. What better way to encourage your friends and family to travel than to help them out with accommodations! This also makes a great stocking stuffer. Choose the amount you would like to give on the Airbnb website.

Sockwell Compression Socks – $24.99

If you are a die-hard traveler, you’ve heard about the wonders of compression socks. If you haven’t, here’s the travel game changer you’ve been waiting for: 15-20 mmHg compression is recommended for travel to prevent fatigue, swelling and blood clots, all while keeping your legs fresh, energized and ache-free. Skip boring beige and opt for some fun compression socks, like these ones from Sockwell! Choose from a variety of patterns and colors for men and women.

Bose QuietComfort Noise-Cancelling Headphones – $179.00

Music is a great way to pass the time while traveling, but there’s nothing worse than a baby crying right behind you. Leave those days in the past with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Throw in an iTunes gift card with these headphones and your friends or family will be singing praises!

Travel Notebook – $11.95

Get your favorite traveler this vacation-inspired notebook. Great for jotting down notes, attractions and fun things to do. Can’t go wrong!

Go Pro Hero5 Black – $399.00

This present is definitely a splurge, but a worth-while treat at that! Any athlete or traveler would love, and excessively use a pocket-sized weather-proof camera like this. There are tons of camera devices nowadays, so see what they would want! Digital cameras and Polaroids are great options too!

Priority Pass Subscription – $99.00+

This is a great present for anyone who flies a lot. This subscription gives you access to lounges with free WIFI in various airports. Finally, a quiet place to relax before catching their flight!

Habor Digital Luggage Scale – $9.29

I’m one of those people who always needs to check the weight of their suitcase before flying to make sure the weight limit isn’t over 50 lbs. If you have friend or family member like me who has to sit on their suitcase to close it before a trip, this luggage scale could come in handy!

Book Club Subscription – $14.99/month+

Another way to pass the time is to put your nose in a great book. Since everyone loves getting lost in different adventures, finding a good book, especially for someone else, can be difficult. Instead, opt for one of these book subscription services! Here are few different book clubs to see what would be best for your friends and family.

 

If you have a friend or family member that practically lives outdoors, we have some great ideas for gifts this holiday season. Check out some of our favorite camping, hiking and outdoor lounging finds below:

Arctic Zone Cooler – $30.99

This cooler can hold 16 cans and is very durable. It is great for camping, hiking, day trips, or sitting on the sidelines at a game. There are other sizes than can hold up to 48 cans! This one is available in three colors.

Winner Outfitters 2 Person Hammock – $25.99

Nothing says relaxation like a hammock! This one fits two people, or up to 500 lbs. This lightweight hammock takes about 3 minutes to set up and is small enough to bring on hiking trips. Choose from four color combinations.

Shrink Sports Collapsible Water Bottle – $15.99

This nifty collapsible water bottle is lightweight, durable and versatile. It expands into a normal, functional water bottle, but when you don’t need it, collapse it and save the space in your bag. Great stocking stuffer!

Cairn Subscription Box – $27.45+

This is a pretty cool gift. There are a few options to choose from, but this subscription service through Cairn will surprise you with a mystery a box each month filled with surprise gifts you’ll love. You’ll get 3-6 full-sized outdoorsy products monthly. These subscription boxes like Cairn and FabFitFun are the hot new presents to get this year.

Evocrest Collapsible Trekking Poles – $59.95

If you love hiking, grab yourself a pair of these trekking poles. They are collapsible so they can easily be stored when they’re not needed on your hike. They are also shock absorbing and adjustable so either kids or adults can use them. These lightweight poles are a great gift for your favorite explorer.

Venture Pal Backpack – $20.99

This backpack is perfect for a day trip or going for a hike. This durable backpack has plenty of pockets to keep your friends or family organized. It is very lightweight and can be folded up to save space! Great for traveling too. Available in nine fun colors.

KuchenChef Picnic Backpack Set for 2 – $34.95

A picnic to go! This cool backpack has silverware, picnic blanket and room for lots of food, all in one place. This picnic set is set for two, complete with wine stakes for holding glasses upright, a wood cheese board, wood handle cheese knife set, stainless steel cutlery, non shatter acrylic cups, salt and pepper shakers, wooden corkscrew with bottle opener, matching gingham plates and napkins, salt/pepper shakers and fleece blanket with a waterproof backing. This lightweight picnic basket even features a cooler section. What more can they want?

Sigvaris Athletic Compression Socks – $28.76+

Compression socks are a great way to keep athletes healthy and active. 15-20 mmHg of compression promotes muscle recovery to help you get back out there the next day. 20-30 mmHg of compression helps to enhance performance so you can run farther and train harder at the gym. Save an extra 10% off all Sigvaris compression socks through December 31st – no coupon code required.

Toasis Multi Tool for Camping – $8.98

This handy tool is small enough to fit in your pocket to help you out of a quick jam when you’re camping. It can convert into pliers, a knife, wire cutter, screwdriver, bottle opener, saw, nail file, fish scaler, and can opener. Great for Mr. Fix It!

Omni Inflatable Lounger – $34.99

This inflatable lounger doubles as a place to lay down and as a pool floatie! Great for the beach, the backyard, the pool or to take camping. Best of all? This lounger folds into a small, lightweight backpack so it can be taken anywhere.

SuBleer Collapsible Lantern 2 Pack – $15.99

This 2 pack of lanterns are the size of an iPhone 6 and are collapsible for easy storage. Great for camping or emergencies like hurricanes or power outages. Up to 12 hours of battery life with regular, continuous use.

Teryei Portable Solar Powered Charger – $21.99

Low phone battery? No problem! This phone charger is great for hiking, camping or even a day trip to keep your devices alive so you never miss a picture. This is a great present for anyone on your list.

 

Whether you’re looking for a housewarming gift or something to brighten someone’s day, here are some great gifts for around the house:

Handmade Watercolor World Map – $49.99

Looking for a handmade gift? This world map will make an awesome present for your favorite traveler. What better way to mark old memories and plan new ones?

Bonsai Tree – $26.99

This dwarf tree is a great gift for the greenthumb in your life. Bonsai trees are believed to bring good luck. Growing and taking care of it is thought to relieve stress and can be a great hobby!

Chanasya Faux Fur Throw – $26.99

This super soft, comfy fur throw is a great present that you know they will love! Features velvet on the other side. This particular frost grey throw is available in two sizes. The best part – no animals were hurt making this blanket 🙂

Capri Blue Stargazer Candle – $14.00+

This cute candle is a simple, easy gift that you know they’ll use. Perfect for those who need to de-stress after a long day at work. Choose from three different options.

Destinations of a Lifetime: Coffee Table Book – $27.19

This book covers 225 places to visit and serves as a great flip through or conversation starter. This hardcover book is made by National Geographic so you know the pictures are to die for! It makes a perfect coffee table book.

Therafirm Core-Spun Compression Socks – $16.97

Compression socks help to stimulate circulation so blood doesn’t pool in your legs. This helps to prevent fatigue, blood clots and swelling. Therafirm offers a ton of different compression socks in a large variety of sizes. EASE are soft, stretchy and come in a variety of colors. Looking for something stretchy? Try the Core-Spun line. Shop now and save an extra 15% off through January 2nd, 2018. Prices already discounted.

Clip Collage Frame – $20.24

Give a sentimental gift. Pick up a picture frame or DIY your own and share your favorite memories together. This is a really great gift for moms!

Mixed Color Agate Coaster Set of 4 – $44.99

These cool coasters are a great present that you know will get used.  This unique, fun gift is great for the artsy type and adds a great splash of color to any room.

COOSA 100 ml Glass Essential Oil Diffuser – $39.99

This oil diffuser is great for the office, living room, or bedroom is a great way to freshen up the room and promote relaxation. A cool mist adds moisture to the air to make it feel more like a spa. This quiet diffuser has 4 time settings and features 7 color changing LED lights.

Assorted Antique World Map Glass Magnets – Set of 6 – $21.50

These cute magnets are a great gift for friends and family of all ages. Great for college kids too! This set of six magnets features a world map. This gift makes a good stocking stuffer as well.

 

Gardening gifts always go to use. We searched the internet and found tons of useful and fun things. If you’re looking for excellent senior products you’re in luck. Here are our top picks of fun garden accessories and tools to help make gardening easier and even more fun for people of all ages:

Windmill Birdhouse – $22.97

This cute birdhouse will look great in any backyard. This is great for the nature-lover or birdwatcher in your life. This rustic windmill birdhouse is sure to brighten up anyone’s day, but there are a lot of cute options out there to choose from. Another notable option is this adorable lighthouse birdhouse.

Costzon Cider Press – $89.99

This is a great gift for families with kids or a passion for apples. This cider press holds up to 1.6 gallons and can be used to make various kinds of fruit juices and even wine. I’d say it’s a win for kids and adults!

Mason Jars – Set of 12 – $21.99

They might seem underrated, but these are one of the most useful gifts you could give! Mason jars are great for crafts, canning and so much more. They’re also perfect for meal prepping and storing salads. These make good gifts for artsy, outdoorsy people. They can always find a use for an empty mason jar! Check out some of these DIY mason jar makeover ideas for inspiration.

Wexley 2 Gallon Watering Can – $29.64

This trendy watering can makes a great gift for anyone who spends their time in the garden. This watering can hold 2 gallons and features a beautiful blue color.

Best Choice Gardening Work Seat – $64.94 

This is a great gift for someone who has a hard time getting around. Instead of having to kneel down to garden, sit on this work seat and wheel yourself around as needed. It even includes a basket to keep tools in!

C-Hopetree Flower Box – 3 pots – $39.90

This flower box has 3 pots built into it and can be hung. This stylish planter box makes a great gift for greenthumbs, especially in the winter so they can bring the outdoors inside with them. This also is a good gift for seniors who love to garden but have a hard time bending over. Place it on the windowsill for them to enjoy.

Regal Art & Gift Gecko Decor – Set of 2 – $15.49

There are so many cute animals to add to your garden! Between butterflies, birds, lizards, dragonflies, and even artsy mushrooms, suns, stars, and more, you can help someone create a wonderland in their own backyard!

Vegetable Seeds – $0.50+

If you have friend or family member who’s always in the dirt, seeds are a great gift! Get them seeds of their favorite vegetables or bulbs of their favorite flowers. You can buy seeds at your local farmer’s market or even Home Depot, who even has a guide to help you find the right seed and buy it in the same place.

FLORA GUARD 3 Piece Gardening Tools – $19.99

Most people who love gardening have some tools in their shed. So what better than to get them something that stands out from all the rest? These cute garden tools are an awesome gift for your favorite greenthumb.

Mod Hod 3 Stackable Bins – $29.95 each

Another great gift for those who have a hard time bending over. Plus, these stackable bins are a great way to store those yummy veggies straight out of the garden!

VegeAQUA Vegetable Soap – $11.49

If you know a germaphob…..they will appreciate this! Finally they can wash off their fruit and vegetables from the store and remove all the pesticides and germs with organic soap that is specifically designed to go on produce. It is safe to use and better for you and your veggies. It uses No Detergents, Oils, or Preservatives. You can pick up soap for produce online or at your local grocery store.

Thick Kneeling Pad for Gardening – $15.94

This kneeling pad is a knee-saver. It is perfect for anyone who’s always got their head in the garden or is always on the ground working on their car. This pad is also great to use to sit on while you’re outside too.

3 SunGrow Glass Terrariums – $11.95

These are a great way to bring the outdoors into the office or house. Place them on your desk or hang them above your table. They can also be hung in a hanger. This set of orbs includes succulents, flowers & colorful stones.

Frog Tree Peeker – $12.98

You’ve probably seen the tree face before…but did you know how many different variations there are these days? There are elf peekers, racoons, bears, frogs, owls and so much more. If you know someone who finds these other tree decals as silly as me, they will love this gift.

 

For the professional chef or the food fanatic, these gifts will take their cooking to a whole new level. Pick out cooking utensils or a funny apron for them to use their next meal. For the friend or spouse that struggles to cook, you could sign them up for cooking classes to learn how to make quick and simple dishes that everyone will love. Check out more gift ideas for foodies below:

Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Clip On Strainer – $12.99

This handy gadget makes life so much easier for the regular pasta eater. Just clip this on to any pot (big or small) and strain without the stress! This present also makes a great stocking stuffer. Made BPA free and is dishwasher safe.

Mr. Beer Premium Homebrewing Craft Beer Making Kit – $49.99

This is an awesome gift for the beer-lover in your life. They can make their own craft beer with this kit. It comes with two beer refills, a convenient 2 gallon fermenter, bottles, caps, carbonation drops, sanitizer and brewing instructions.

Constellation Mug – $15.95

If you know someone who needs a cup of coffee before starting anything in the morning, you know they can always use another mug in the cupboard! This constellation mug will have you thinking big every morning. What’s cooler is that when this cup heats up it reveals the constellations in the starry sky.

Williams Sonoma Gift Card – Any amount!

A Williams Sonoma gift card is a great gift for chefs, waiters, bartenders and passionate food lovers. Let them get the tools they need to run a tight kitchen!

Watermelon Slicer – $7.49

This watermelon cutter is revolutionary. If you know someone who loves watermelon then they need this in their life. This not only slices but picks up each slice easily and without the mess. Bring it to your next picnic and see for yourself! This is an awesome stocking stuffer too.

Deluxe DIY Gourmet Kit With 6 Hot Sauce Recipes – $39.95

This make your own hot sauce kit is a terrific gift for all ages. If heat isn’t your thing, check out other make your own sauce kits like this DIY barbecue sauce kit.

Avalon 7-in-1 Slow Cooker – $69.00

This slow cooker is on my wish list this year! I love meal prepping with a slow cooker –  just throw it in and it cooks itself. It’s the easiest meal and tastes amazing every time. But this handy appliance is a total game changer. Features a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and a warmer. 

Copper Moscow Mule Mug Set – $59.99

This set is a great present for any adult that enjoys a good drink. Includes six straws, two shot glasses, and six coasters.

Allegro Milk Compression Socks – $23.49 

If you work in the food industry and you’re on your feet all day, these Allegro Milk Compression Socks are a match made in heaven – they’re our softest socks yet! These socks will give those tired, achy legs life again after that never-ending shift. Mild compression energizes tired, achy legs and feet to keep them happy and healthy. Save an extra 20% off MSRP on all Allegro socks and stockings through December 4th, 2017. Prices already discounted.

Vegetable Spiraler and Cutter – $14.84

This spiraler is a great way to change up the traditional vegetable dish. Includes a cutter so you can even peel and roll your vegetables. This is a great present or stocking stuffer for any healthy nut.

Kamenstein 20-Jar Revolving Spice Tower – $34.49

This spice rack is pretty cool, and price isn’t bad either, but the real sell is that you get refills on your spices for FIVE years. Yes – you read that right. What a great gift!

DEMMEX Copper Sauce Pan – $54.95

This copper pot is a great gift for any chef or food lover. It will make a gorgeous addition to any kitchen. Handmade in Turkey.

Wood Cutting Board – $12.99

This 14 x 10 inch wood cutting board is great for anyone who spends time in the kitchen. There are a lot of different styles available online for great prices!

Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer – $18.80

This aerator makes your wine taste better than ever. Just attach it to the bottle and pour and taste the difference yourself. Pair this gift with a cute set of wine glasses and voila!

Pineapple Corer – $5.99

Last on the list but certainly not least is this pineapple corer, made from stainless steel. It’s a great price to save a ton of hassle. Just turn the knob at the top and spiral it down and watch it core and slice your pineapple. Pull it out and it’s ready to serve. Yum!

What are some of your favorite gift ideas this holiday season? Comment below to share.

Which compression socks to wear in the summer? The most breathable fabrics and more!

Some of us don’t have the option to go sock-less when the weather heats up. We HAVE to wear compression socks or stockings all year long. So, what are the best options for staying cool and comfortable in compression socks during the summer months? We think fabric choice is the most important decision in selecting summer compression socks and stockings. Here’s what we suggest if you’re looking for breathable socks and stockings for summer:

1. Cotton is a natural fiber that’s ideal for hot Allegro Italian Cotton Socksmonths. It lets air in and quickly wicks away any moisture on your skin. It’s also perfect for anyone who has sensitive skin. A few cotton options to explore:

  • Sigvaris Sea Island Cotton socks for Men and Women are available in 15-20 mmHg and 20-30 mmHg. These Sigvaris socks are great for spring and summer because they are made with a soft and breathable cotton fabric.
  • Allegro Premium Italian Cotton Socks are made of luxurious Italian cotton – imported just for your summer sock needs! Also available in 20-30 mmHg and with an open toe (for your flip flops!)
  • For more stylish cotton options, check out these Vim & Vigr compression socks in camo, argyle, polka dots in a variety of colors in 15-20 mmHg. You can also rock these Vim & Vigr polka dot socks in 20-30 mmHg.

2. Microfiber is another great summer fabric for Therafirm Ease Compression Stockingssocks. It’s soft, stretchy and breathable. It also wicks away moisture from the skin to keep you cool and comfortable. Some people will choose microfiber over cotton because it’s a thinner fabric, which can be better for dress shoes.

  • The Allegro Microfiber collection includes socks, thigh highs, and pantyhose to meet all your compression needs at an affordable price! Choose from 8-15, 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg compression levels. Made from a soft, comfortable fabric.
  • Sigvaris Midtown Microfiber for Men is a collection of men’s knee high socks in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg. These latex-free socks are super stretchy and durable. Looking for stripes? Try Sigvaris Shades for men and women, available in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg in a variety of striped patterns and heather colors.
  • Sigvaris Soft Opaque for Women is a line of stylish compression wear that comes in a wide variety of colors. It features an advanced moisture management system that keeps legs cool and dry.
  • The EASE Microfiber Collection by Therafirm comes in knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose in a variety of colors and compression levels. EASE by Therafirm is available in microfiber, opaque and sheer fabrics with a closed or open toe style.

Juzo Silver Knee Highs3. Silver and Copper infused fabrics are another great addition to your summer wardrobe. Silver and copper will eliminate any dangers of stinky, sweaty summer feet because it kills the bacteria around your feet. Additionally, the fibers in these socks have thermodynamic properties so you will stay cooler in the summer.

  • Juzo Silver Socks are the best of the best. Socks are available in anklets, crew length, knee highs, and thigh highs. Compression options range from zero to 30-40 mmHg.
  • Solidea Silver Wave Products are all infused with bacteria-killing silver! Check out the knee highs, anklets and calf sleeves. They’re also very stylish and contain a unique 3D micro massage fabric which is great for relieving fatigue and stimulating lymph flow. Solidea offers micro-massage compression garments as well as sheer stockings.
  • Allegro Athletic Copper Support Socks has copper, (which kills 99.9% of bacteria), embedded in the foot bed. This soft, ribbed sock is made with a heavily padded foot and features a fitted toe to prevent blisters and irritation. This durable sock is affordable and is great for summer runs!

Allegro Sheer Compression Stockings4. Sheer stockings are great for summer! We offer a wide variety of sheer, open toe stockings for those of you who want stockings that are less visible for summertime. Customer favorites for warm, humid climates are:

  • Mediven Sheer and Soft: Available in 4 different compression levels and a wide variety of sizing, both male and female customers love this line of breathable sheers. A customer in Georgia said, “Living in the south, the summer is very hot and humid but I don’t like to go without hose to work. Compression hose are often uncomfortable hot on a humid day but these are terrific. I can’t say enough about the comfort.”
  • Allegro Essential Sheers: Available in 3 compression levels, with many open toe and wide calf options, these stockings are a great affordable option for summer-time wear. Even our customers in Santa Fe are raving about them, “With it being summer, I wanted something I could still wear sandals with. These open-toe stockings are the answer!  And they are sheer…I have had several people comment that they couldn’t even notice I was wearing them.”

Additional Options: The compression experts have been creating their own technologies and materials to keep you cool. Check out these additional, moisture-wicking and skin-cooling fabric options:

  • Mediven Comfort for Women: Medi’s patented Climafresh and Clima-Comfort systems allow for high breathability, reliable temperature control and the prevention of odor formation.
  • Therafirm Ease: Made of high stretch, moisture wicking CoolMax fibers to provide all-day dry, comfortable coolness. Available in knee high, thigh high, and pantyhose. This line is also available with open toes and an even thinner sheer fabric.
  • Go for a run or hit the gym in Jobst Active compression socks, available in black and white. Wear 20-30 mmHg to enhance performance or wear 15-20 mmHg to speed up muscle recovery or help relieve fatigue and swelling after your workout. Now available in full-calf sizes!
  • Core-Spun Patterned Compression Socks come in a variety of stylish patterns in 4 compression levels for men and women. These socks are made with an ultra stretchy fabric and CoolMax polyester to make them nice and cool!

What’s your favorite summer sock?

Compression Socks for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleeping problems, and tenderness. Other symptoms may include cramping, tingling or numbness in the feet or hands, headaches, anxiety, poor concentration, or depression. Although doctors have not been able to determine what causes fibromyalgia, your family history, trauma, or an infection may increase your risk. You are also more likely to develop fibromyalgia if you are a woman, or if you have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Wearing compression socks can help manage fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Compression stockings help to improve circulation and provide relief for swelling and fatigue. You can even find stylish compression socks for men and women, that don’t even look like traditional compression stockings. If you are unsure about what compression level you need, ask your doctor, then give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 to find a great fit for you.

Shop fashionable compression socks

With fibromyalgia, there always seems to be a new symptom that arises that you finally realize has some connection to the disease.  Swollen ankles and leg pain are one of those symptoms. Support hosiery seemed to be a logical try for a solution. They worked wonders at making my legs less painful, and lessening the swelling. This is just one of the suggestions being offered to sufferers of this strange disease.
– Peggy Bright wears Mediven Comfort

 

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12! If you or a loved one has fibromyalgia, please take some time to share an informative article or educate someone else about fibromyalgia. If you want to help make a difference, here are some ideas of how you can get involved for National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

How do you manage fibromyalgia? Comment to share your tips below!

Resources:

The National Fibromyalgia Association

Standford Medicine – Fibromyalgia

Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia 

14 Gadgets To Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain

Benefits of Compression Socks For Fibromyalgia

Can Compression Socks Reduce Chronic Pain?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Travel Comfortably: Choose the Best Compression Socks for Travel

Travel Compression Socks

A strong Dollar, compared to the British Pound and Euro, means now is a great time for Americans to travel to Europe.  And every trip to Europe needs a pair or two of compression stockings.  Frequent flyer miles are great, but you don’t want to arrive for your dream vacation with sore, swollen legs and feet. The reason your legs and feet get so achy when traveling is that your muscles are not being flexed or used enough, and blood pools in your leg veins. This lack of fresh oxygenated blood can cause soreness and cramping in your legs, and swelling in your ankles and feet. If you’re at higher risk for blood clots, are overweight, or you have notoriously poor circulation, this could lead to more serious problems like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

There are a number of ways to increase circulation when you’re on a long flight. First, and most important is to get up and move! Stand up, shake your legs, and walk the aisles when possible. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option if the seat-belt light is on. The easiest way to increase circulation is by wearing compression socks or stockings, often called “travel socks.”  Travel socks provide graduated compression from your ankles to your knee. This increases circulation naturally, coaxing the blood to flow back to your heart, instead of getting trapped in your legs and feet. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for compression socks to take on your trip:

  • Medical-grade compression socks will have a compression rating of 20-30 mmHg or 30-40 mmHg, but for traveling, it’s fine to wear socks that have a compression rating of 15-20 mmHg. (This is assuming you don’t suffer from other venous disease.) These ratings simply tell how tightly the compression socks will squeeze your leg (i.e. 15-20 mmHg is a lighter compression than 30-40 mmHg, which will feel much tighter on your legs and be more difficult to put on).
  • Find socks that have graduated compression. This means that the compression will be tighter at the ankle, and will gradually become looser as the sock extends up your leg. This will help return blood to your heart.
  • Pay attention to the material the socks are knit from. Travelers often prefer natural fibers like cotton, because they’re plush, absorb moisture, and are very comfortable.  Polyester, merino wool, and fabrics embedded with copper and silver are great for absorbing excess moisture on the skin, keeping your feet cool, and decreasing foot odor. No one wants stinky feet on a plane!
  • Socks don’t have to be labeled as “Travel Socks” to be used on a long trip. You only need to find socks with a stated compression of 15-20 mmHg, and at least knee high.  If you prefer thigh-highs or tights, they work just as well in the same compression level.

If you’re looking for the best quality compression socks at a great price, be sure to check out our full selection of Travel Socks.  If you think of compression socks as thick, flesh-colored tights your grandmother wears, you will be pleasantly surprised with these. No one will know you’re wearing compression!

Allegro Premium – Italian  Cotton Socks are a favorite among flight attendants – so you know they’re good!  They are priced at $19.09 per pair, and during the month of January, like all our Allegro stockings, they are part of our Buy-3-Get-1-Free Sale.  You can mix and match any Allegro items, so everyone in your travel group can get a pair or two.  Compression socks are great for everyday wear while traveling too.  They provide all day leg comfort while hiking, on city tours, and country walks.

If you’re someone who likes to roam the plane in only socks during flight – try Top & Derby’s Random Stripe, with 15-20 mmHg compression. These socks have a fun striped design you’ll want to show off and cost $24.09 a pair.

Finally, the Sockwell brand offers a wide variety of natural fiber blend socks that are a customer favorite.  We stock the full line, and there are colors and patterns available for every taste. Plus, they’re Sarah Michelle Geller’s travel socks of choice. If Buffy the Vampire Slayer wears them – you can too!

Don’t travel without compression…. And Bon Voyage!

How to remove Painful Wrinkles from Compression Socks

Ruth Buzzi’s Old Lady offered an extreme example of wrinkled stockings, but even small ruth buzzi as old ladywrinkles in compression stockings can be very uncomfortable.  We often have customers tell us that their compression stockings hurt – that wrinkles in the fabric are digging into their skin. This is usually a problem with the size of the stocking and/or the type of fabric.  If sized correctly, and knit from the right type of yarns for your condition, compression socks should not be painful, and there should not be wrinkles in the fabric.

Eliminating wrinkles can be a matter of putting the socks on correctly or finding the correct size. Check the list below to figure out why your compression socks have wrinkles, and what you can do to get rid of them. Whatever you do – don’t give up on wearing compression – once you find the right style and size, the medical benefits will far outweigh the effort spent hunting for the best sock.

  1. Did you smooth out the stockings with the palms of your hands? Sometimes it can be difficult to get compression stockings on your leg properly. You might think you’re done once you pull the sock over your foot and up to its proper place on your leg, but it’s very important to run your hands over the entire stocking to make sure the fabric is straight, and there are no wrinkles or bunching of the fabric.  Wearing a pair of rubber donning gloves will make this job much easier.  Donning gloves give you get a better grip on the fabric and ensure the stocking is evenly distributed from your toes to the top of the stockings. Need more instruction? You can find tons of videos online that demonstrate the best way to put compression socks on – like this one.
  2. If you have the stocking on correctly, and still see wrinkles around your ankles, the stocking is probably too large for your leg. Too much fabric will cause wrinkles at the ankle, or behind the knee for thigh highs and pantyhose. Check these two measurements to see if you’re in the correct size:
    • Length: First, check the length of the stocking. Many companies offer short or petite sizing, in addition to regular lengths, so you can get the perfect fit. For example, Juzo Soft Knee Highs come in three different lengths: Regular, Short and Petite. Measure from the floor to just below the crease behind your knee and compare your length to the size chart. In this Juzo sock, a Regular length fits a lower leg length from 15.75″ to 18.25″. The Short is for 13″ – 15.75″ and the Petite fits lower legs less than 13″ in length. Thigh highs and pantyhose also come in different lengths.  For these styles, measure your leg from the floor to the crease of your buttocks.  For most brands, over 28” is a regular length, and under 28” is a short.  (Hint – If the knee high stockings you’re looking at don’t offer a length option, they are regular length only.  Your leg should measure 15″ or longer. If your lower leg is shorter than 15″, look for a stocking available in a short length.)
    • Circumference: If you have wrinkles at the ankle and length is not a problem, you still may be in the wrong size. Most compression stockings are sized by ankle circumference, and the extra fabric at the ankle could be caused by an incorrect circumference measurement. Remember to measure your legs first thing in the morning, and measure the narrowest part of your ankle, right above the bone. As the day wears on, your legs will swell – giving you an incorrect measurement in the afternoon or evening. Correct measurements are the key to comfortably fitting compression garments.
  3. Lastly, you need to confirm that you’re in the best fabric for your condition. If you swell during the day, and have a good deal of soft, fleshy tissue on your legs, you may not be able to wear sheer fabrics. Sheers don’t offer enough containment for the swelling. Generally, the thicker the fabric, the better it is at containing swelling. “Surgical” weight or opaque fabrics are the strongest and provide the most containment. Try Allegro Surgical Weight or Juzo Dynamic Varin. Remember, the level of containment of a fabric has nothing to do with compression level. Always stick to the compression level your doctor recommended, but try different fabrics to find the right strength and containment your condition.

Finding the right size and style of stocking for your legs can be a trying task, but it’s worth it! Customers write to us every day with stories about how compression garments have made a huge positive impact on their lives.  Ask a medical provider or a friend to help you measure your leg, so you have the correct measurements from the start. Our certified fitters are available to consult on sizing, style, and fabric choices Monday through Friday from 9am-6pm, ET at 1-877-545-8585 – so never hesitate to call and speak with us.

Meet Cindy, Marathon Master

Cindy wears compression socks for marathons for this reason.

At the age of 76, Cindy Peterson has run 49 marathons, is a founding member of the Mercury Masters running team, and is also a member of the Seven Continents Club, a privilege she earned from running in at least one marathon on each continent. Cindy ran her first marathon at the age of 55 back in 1994 and has no plans to stop running anytime soon. She is currently looking forward to running her 50th marathon in a few weeks.

We found out about this amazing woman when she called our customer service staff to reorder one of her favorite running accessories – Allegro compression hosiery! She mentioned her upcoming milestone and we just had to know more.  We had the opportunity to get to know Cindy in a recent interview, and pick her brain about marathon advice, strategy, training. Here are Cindy’s best tips and what fuels her motivation and dedication to marathon training.

Q: What motivated you to start running?

It all started about 35 years ago when Cindy made a bucket list of 30 things she wanted to achieve in her life. She looked at it for 2 weeks, then put it away, and forgot about it for a little over 10 years…only to find that 28 things were achieved without even trying! The 29th thing was “own a Jaguar”, and the 30th goal was “RUN A MARATHON”.

“I watched the NYC Marathon in 1993, when the Founder, Fred Lebow, ran with a brain tumor. I was so motivated that if he could run with a brain tumor and complete the Marathon, I could also run it, even though I had varicose veins, couldn’t walk a block, and was 20 pounds overweight. I was motivated!!”

Cindy crossed off the last item on her bucket list in 1994, (a year after rediscovering the list), when she completed her first marathon in NYC. Now, flash-forward to 2016, as she prepares to run her 50th marathon back in NYC in a few weeks.

“Reaching my goals with the training every day, makes me feel great, makes my mind sharp, and feel a lot younger than my 76 years of age.”


Q: Tell us about your experience with the “Mercury Masters.” How does getting involved with a group change the running experience for you?

Cindy is one of the Founders of the “Mercury Masters,” a running team for women 50 and over. It all started with a handful of runners who met in NYC once a week and trained together in Central Park.

“We really bonded together when we ran the Mini Marathon, which is a 10K women’s only race in NYC. Then we set out to run the 1996 100th Boston Marathon, where 5 of us came through the finish line together holding hands. Since then, we have 74 members in the group.”

The Mercury Masters team encourages each other by running together, attending running classes together and supporting each other. The President keeps the group motivated and informed about upcoming team races, as well as any other member news. This group of ladies have played a big role in encouraging Cindy to run.

“Running with The “MERMS” as we are referred to by other teammates, has been a wonderful experience through the years, without which I would not have completed so many marathons. We motivate each other.”


Q: How do compression stockings benefit you during training? Why do you love Allegro Sheer Open Toe Pantyhose for running?

Many runners wear compression socks to enhance performance, speed up muscle recovery afterwards and prevent injury like shin splints. Cindy loves wearing our Allegro Sheer Compression Pantyhose for training and marathons. In her early running career, she started wearing compression hosiery to manage varicose veins and relieve the pain caused by them. Compression socks have played a vital role in allowing Cindy to train.

“The support pantyhose were a big relief. I will not go out for a run without wearing support pantyhose. They give me stability, comfort and confidence, and are a part of my uniform. I would not train without them because I would not be able to run very far with the pain from the varicose veins. They were a miracle for me. I had absolutely no pain after a 6, 10, or even a 15 mile run.”

Cindy wears the Allegro Essential Sheer Open Toe Pantyhose (#32) in 20-30 mmHg compression for long training runs and marathons. This level of compression is ideal for boosting athletic performance and for managing varicose veins. Cindy also likes to wear the Allegro Essential Sheer Open Toe Pantyhose (#14) in 15-20 mmHg, which is great for speeding up recovery and relieving muscle fatigue and minor swelling.

“The Allegro open toe pantyhose gave me great support on my calves, quads and my toes were free. They had more stability than my previous hose, and I was able to start running again. It was an amazing find!!”

You may have seen runners wearing bright colored athletic knee high socks. Other runners and gym-goers opt for compression leggings or pantyhose for full leg coverage. Cindy loves wearing sheer pantyhose with an open toe. Since there is no difference in the compression provided between an open or closed toe style or between a sheer or opaque fabric, it’s mostly up to personal preference.

“I love the sheer style because it gives my legs a great look. It does not look like I am wearing pantyhose at all. The reason for the open toe is so my toes are not constricted at all. Two years ago I had major surgery on my toes, which made my feet wider. My support pantyhose would constrict my toes and cause me great pain and discomfort.”


Q: What’s an overall week of training look like for you?

When Cindy isn’t training, she is running about 6 miles a day, 6 days a week, adding up to a total of 30 miles each week. While prepping for a marathon, Cindy averages 50 miles weekly. If you want to run a good marathon, Cindy advises completing at least three 20 mile runs. To prepare for a marathon, it’s a complete lifestyle change. Diet is also important, just like exercising and staying hydrated.

“When setting out for a run, I eat a banana, and that’s great for a 6 to 8 mile run. When running a long run, I bring “Gu” which is an Energy Gel. I also have a product called “The Right Stuff”, which is an electrolyte drink additive for hydration to make you perform stronger and recover faster. It is developed by NASA for astronauts.”


Q: After completing 49 Marathons, what advice do you have for beginner runners?

Cindy’s advice to a runner preparing for their first race is to partner with a friend or join a group like the Mercury Masters for motivation. This will help you stay dedicated, the time will go by faster and you have someone to push you. When you’re running with a friend, they won’t let you make excuses for missing a run! It also makes it more fun to train for the same race and help each other grow.

“The time spent running will go quicker and you will begin to feel the energy you get from the daily run. Eventually, you can plan for your first 5K, and move on to a 10K. Training is the key, and maybe you can even plan to do your first marathon. All you need is DETERMINATION! I ran my First Marathon at age 55. You can do it too no matter how old you are!!” – Cindy Peterson

Want to know more? Check out this interview Cindy did with New Jersey TV:

It’s Get To Know Your Customers Day!

Here at BrightLife, you’re not just another customer. If you need compression, we’re here to help! For Get To Know Your Customers Day, we would love to hear from you. Don’t be shy, share your story with us! Over the years, we’ve heard from people who use compression for travel and lifestyle, as well as lymphedema, dysautonomia, diabetes and more.

Get to know your customers day - BrightLife Direct

Click to read more of our customer’s posts!

Whether you wear compression garments for traveling, fatigue or to manage a condition, we have what you need to live a comfortable, healthy life. Allegro compression hosiery is our exclusive line of affordable, high quality compression socks and garments. We offer the same kind of products as the bigger brands, but at a much lower cost to you. Allegro is a longtime customer favorite and is one of our best selling brands. To learn more about Allegro, check out the full online Allegro Catalog.

It's get to know your customers day! Thanks from BrightLife Direct

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Our excellent customer service team is here to assist you with any questions you may have. With years of experience and specialized training, our helpful team can help you find the best garment for your needs. BrightLife Direct works hard to offer you the lowest prices on the best products available. Plus, we’re also the only place to get free shipping in the US with no minimum purchase when you order online!

Check out what our customers have to say about us:

BrightLife Direct has the best customers!Laura Baker helps to raise awareness for fat disorders, and recently connected with our company. We’re here to support our customers however we can. If you’re passionate about a cause or are advocating awareness, reach out to us!

Get to know your customers day!

 We take pride in our caring customer service team and offering the latest and great compression products available. If you have questions about the perfect product for you or don’t see what you’re looking for, just give us a call at 1-877-545-8585.

BrightLife Direct has the best customers!Tell us what you think! Is there a brand that you can’t live without, or a product you just have to have? When you love it or hate it, let us know so we can offer our customers more of what they love. Don’t forget to leave a product review for a chance to win each month!

 

Compression Stockings For Large Legs

If you have large legs finding compression stockings that fit well can be a challenge.  For people with cone shaped legs, rolling and sliding is often a problem.  There are solutions for both of these issues.

Large or Thick Legs

Most manufacturers make wide-calf styles designed for customers with larger legs.

The largest knee high available is the Sigvaris Comfort PLUS which comes in 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg. The X-Large size in this product can fit a calf up to 28″ around and they come in short and long lengths.

Therafirm Core-Spun products are a great option for larger legs. Core-Spun Knee High Socks are available for men and women. The largest size will accommodate a 17 inch ankle with up to a 25.5 inch calf. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are now available in sizes up to XXXL. They will fit an ankle up to 19″ in circumference, and a thigh up to 39.5″. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are designed for men and women, come in three compression levels and two colors: black and white. Sizes XL-XXXL are offered in the 15-20 and 20-30mmHg compressions only. You can see where you’d fit on the size chart below:

Allegro Surgical Weight Knee Highs 20-30mmHg are available in Wide-Calf sizes that fit a calf circumference up to 26 inches and an ankle up to 15.5 inches. The Surgical Thigh High and Allegro Sheer Thigh Highs are sized up to XXX-Large to fit a 15.5 inch ankle and 36 inch thigh. A customer who purchased the Surgical Weight Knee highs said, “This product fit perfectly and I have really big calves… not too tight – comfortable. Wore them all day!” The Allegro products are a great, affordable option for most customers.

Mediven Extra-Wide Calf sizes are available in Medi PlusMedi Comfort,  Mediven for MenMedi Assure and Mediven Forte, 20-30 mmHg and higher. Medi Extra-Wide calf sizes vary by size, so be sure to check the specific size chart for the stocking you want.

Juzo has begun carrying a line of Varin Max products designed for larger legs. Size V will fit an ankle up to 14 inches, a calf up to 26 inches and a thigh up to 37 inches. The Max line is available in 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg in knee highs and thigh highs.

Jobst Full-Calf sizes are designed to fit a calf circumference of 18-24 inches and an ankle up to 14 inches. These sizes are available in Jobst for Men CasualJobst ActiveWearJobst Relief, and Jobst UltraSheer in 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40mmHg. Full-Calf sizes are available in Jobst Opaque 20-30mmHg and higher.

Cone Shaped Legs

When I first heard this term, I thought, “Well, nearly everyone has a cone-shaped leg – the ankle is always smaller than the thigh.” But, that is not the shape we’re speaking of when it comes to socks and stockings. When you measure your legs, most people will find that their knee circumference is smaller than the widest point of the calf. In a cone-shaped leg, the measurements do not decrease at any point as you move up the leg – the calf and knee are about the same measurement.

If your leg is cone-shaped, compression knee highs have a tendency to roll or slide. A sticky silicone top-band will typically solve this problem. Knee highs with silicone top-bands are available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg.

Both Jobst and Mediven have launched a new design of the silicone top band where they use sticky silicone fibers that are woven through the top band. This creates a more gentle hold against the skin. The Mediven product is called Vitality and Jobst is called SoftFit.

If you still have difficulty keeping the silicone top band in place, using a light adhesive at the band is a great option. It Stays is a water-soluble skin glue that is hypo-allergenic and safe for all compression stockings. It’s available in a 2oz roll-on bottle. A dab or two of It Stays will keep your knee highs and thigh highs up all day.

Can I wear compression stockings swimming?

This blog was originally posted in July of 2014, but it’s a question we are asked often at this time of year, so we felt a refresh and re-post was in order.

It’s summertime, which means pools are open, and people are fleeing to the beach every weekend to escape the heat. For those of us that have to wear compression stockings from morning to night, this can be a difficult time of year.

beach sceneI was excited to see one of my favorite lymphedema bloggers, Monique at LymphedemaRunner.com, addressing the issue in a blog post.  Monique admits to being self conscious about wearing her stockings to the beach and pool at first, but found strength and inspiration in watching CrossFit Athlete Deborah Cordner Carsen proudly rocking her Elvarex stockings during a Triathlon.

Definitely check out the blog above to read more about Monique’s experience wearing compression to the beach and pool. Here are the basic FAQs on compression and water activities:

1. You CAN wear your compression stockings in the ocean, lake, pool or other water source. But, all of these environments will be hard on your stockings – causing them to deteriorate more quickly than regular daily use. We recommend setting aside a set of stockings or armsleeves specifically for water activities. These could be an older pair that you’re not worried about destroying, or a less expensive garment that won’t be a huge monetary loss (like Allegro).

2. If you will be submerged completely in water for most of your water excursion, you don’t need your stockings or sleeves. The pressure on your body under water actually replicates what your compression garment does outside of water. If you go without your compression garment, do make sure your affected limb will be under water and put the garment back on quickly after leaving the water. If your affected limb is not submerged in the water, you should be wearing your compression garments.

3. As always – stay hydrated. Being in the sun at the beach or pool may leave you dehydrated. Pack plenty of water!

Some additional information on water activities and lymphedema can be found on LymphNotes.

Lastly – a few product recommendations. If you have just one affected leg, you might try the Juzo Varin 3511 Thigh w/Hip Attachment and Open Toe – available in 20-30 or 30-40 or 40-50 mmHg. Sigvaris offers a similar option in 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg in the 862 line.

CrossFit superstar Deborah Cordner Carsen recommends the Jobst Elvarex, which is a custom order product.

And – if you’re looking for something that’s very durable and affordable, the Allegro Surgical Weight Line is a great option!

Father’s Day Gift Guide + Giveaway!

With Father’s Day right around the corner, we have the ultimate gift guide for last minute shoppers, plus a chance to win him a gift! Dad’s can be difficult to shop for, but we searched the internet to find some gifts that every dad will love and use! Plus, one lucky winner will bring home a BrightLife Direct gift card for their dad this Father’s Day – giveaway details & entry below.

Father's Day Gift Guide

Instead of going out for dinner, prepare a nice barbecue for your dad this Father’s Day. Pick up his favorite snacks, grill some burgers, and sit back and relax. If your dad is a sports enthusiast, throw around the football or play some backyard baseball. If you really want to surprise him, pick up some tickets to see his favorite sports team, or head over to see that movie he’s been talking about.

When it comes to getting presents, for my dad I always find my mind blanking. I want to get him something that I know he will love and use. Every dad always tells you it’s the thought that counts, but every now and then it’s nice to get him a gift that “wows” even him! For the fitness-friendly dad, pick him up some accessories for his next game or workout, like a golf bag or weightlifting gloves. You can even cheer him on from the sidelines in a customized beach chair.

SIGVARIS MICROFIBER SHADESFor the dapper dad, think of Mad Men’s Donald Draper, and ask yourself what he would like for Father’s Day. If your dad has a beard, introduce him to beard oil or conditioner – it’s all the rage in the beard community these days. No beard? No problem. The Art of Shaving has you covered on travel accessories, aftershave and all the shaving essentials your dad could want. When it comes to grooming, you can’t really go wrong and your dad will appreciate one less stop on his list of errands!

Let’s face it. All dads can use a watch. Whether it’s to be on time to that board meeting or to pick the kids up at school, time is of the essence. If your dad frequently says “if you’re not five minutes early, you’re late,” a watch is a great present for him. Or on the other hand, if your dad tends to run a little late, a watch is a perfect Father’s Day gift to help him keep track of time. You can even get a watch with a built-in GPS and fitness tracker if your dad is focused on being healthy or active. Another practical gift he’s sure to love is a new wallet. Hopefully your dad isn’t rocking the George Costanza wallet from Seinfeld, but if he is, definitely do him a favor and help him get organized. He will be very thankful!

Another thing every dad will be thankful for? Compression socks! If your dad has a bold style, pick him out a pair of Sigvaris Microfiber Shades compression socks. Available in four striped colors and two new shades – heather navy and heather graphite, these socks provide 15-20 mmHg compression to prevent fatigue and swelling while energizing legs. Microfiber is moisture-wicking, so it will keep him cool and dry. These socks are great to wear while exercising, or afterwards to promote muscle recovery.
Sigvaris Shades compression socks in pink  sigvaris shades compression socks in onyx  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy

Give your dad the gift of comfort. The Allegro Milk Socks aren’t your average compression socks. These socks are ridiculously soft and come in a variety of solid colors to pair with suits or jeans. The Milk Socks provide 15-20 mmHg of compression for travel and everyday wear. If your dad sits at a desk all day or is standing for long periods of time, these socks will prevent his legs and feet from being sore and tired at the end of the day.
milk sock in black  milk sock in navy  milk sock in white  milk sock in grey

Lastly, don’t forget a personal touch. A handmade card or nice picture frame goes a long way. Handmade gifts are always worth more than any present. A nice dinner at home, swapping old stories and spending some time together will make a memorable Father’s Day. Plus, it will give him a chance to reminisce about the “good ol’ days.”

And finally, the part you’ve been waiting for – enter below to win a $50 gift card for Father’s Day! Share the giveaway on social media or leave a comment on this blog post to win. The winner will be announced on Friday so you can surprise your dad with a gift card on Sunday. Good luck!

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Shop These Gifts For Father’s Day: