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.

A new way to recycle your stockings (and other items you should be recycling)

Most stockings are made with a combination of Spandex and Nylon, which can take 30 to 40 years to decompose in a landfill. This durable fabric is great for making stockings, but not great for the environment. Luckily, there are some clever ways to reuse your stockings and help save the earth! We’ve been keeping a running list of ways to re-use and re-purpose your old compression stockings and socks on our website. Here are a few of our favorites:

Super Duper Duster

Old stockings are great for collect dust and pet hair, especially in those hard to reach corners and nooks. (Now you can even get those spots under fridge too!) You can use nylon to scrub sinks and porcelain with scratching it.

Hold Gauze or Bandages In Place

Cut a circular strip from the stocking to keep bandages or gauze secure.

Weave A Rag Rug

Cut your old stockings into strips and weave them together to make a rug! Look on Pinterest or Etsy for inspiration and tutorials.

Let Those Shoes Shine!

Use old pantyhose as a polishing cloth to shine your shoes.

Comfy Handwarmers

Cut your old compression socks up to make soft, comfortable hand warmers. You could also go the other route and cut your socks to use as drink cozies to prevent your hands from freezing.

Make A Cat Toy

Cats have a way of sneaking off with our new clothes or ribbon. Give them your old hosiery to play with and keep them out of real trouble!

 

Read more of our reusable hosiery ideas here, or comment below to share other ways you reuse old hosiery.


Hooked on recycling?

While researching, I actually discovered a lot of innovative recycling programs for items that I had no idea could be recycled (and I’ve admittedly been throwing away myself!). Check out my finds below:

  • Wine Corks – ReCork is grinding up corks and reusing them for all kinds of new products. A lot of Whole Foods locations have also added drop off stations for wine corks, so check to see if your local store has one!
  • Running Shoes – Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program grinds down old shoes and turns them into playgrounds
  • Cigarette Butts – Collect the ends of your cigarettes and send them off to TerraCycle.
  • Greeting Cards – If you’re not keeping the cards you receive for sentimental purposes, you should be sending them to St. Judes.
  • Broken Holiday Lights – Lights not turning on? Send them Christmas Light Source and they’ll send you a coupon for your next purchase.
  • Nespresso Capsules – Don’t throw out your daily source of caffeine! Check the Nespresso website to find a drop-off point for your capsules.
  • Toner & Printer Cartridges – Check with the printer manufacturer. HP and Brother will both pay for the shipping on returns to their company. Staples will also take back most printer and toner cartridges.

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?

New Juzo Dream Colors for Spring/Summer 2017

We’re two days into Spring, which means it’s time for the new Juzo Dream Colors!  Here’s a sneak peak of the newest Dream colors for Spring and Summer. Dream colors are available in the Juzo Soft, Naturally Sheer, and Dynamic lines of compression garments, in knee high, thigh high, pantyhose, leggings, armsleeves and gauntlets.

 

Colors this season are more muted than the recent past, and coordinate beautifully with the colors of nature that are hot this year.  Choose from Magenta, Clay, Cool Gray, Amethyst, Royal Blue and Pewter. These beautiful colors will also be available in tie dye and black tie dye in the Juzo Soft and Dynamic lines. Naturally Sheer Dream colors are only available in solid colors.

For customers that need a durable garment but want something more colorful than the basic black or beige, you’re in luck! The Juzo Dream color program includes the Dynamic Collection and will also be available in tie dye and black tie dye.

These new colors will be available starting on Monday, April 3rd, 2017. Please remember that these products are dyed to order and can take 1-2 weeks to ship.

Join our blog email list on the right, to stay up to get the latest news on the Juzo Dream Collection.

 

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!

Help – I can’t get these compression socks on!

Struggling to don compression socksIf you’ve watched all the videos on properly putting on your compression socks and you’re still having trouble, this blog is for you. Let’s face it – pulling on compression stockings is a challenge. Before you spend another 30 minutes fighting to get your socks on, try out some of these tips, tricks and tools to help you get your socks on fast and easy.

This video demonstrates three different ways to put your compression stockings on – the heel pocket method, wearing donning gloves, and using a stocking donner:

The heel pocket method is a great way to get on stockings made from a thick fabric or socks that provide a high level of compression (over 20 mmHg). Don sheer or less firm compression socks with donning gloves to protect delicate fabric from snags and runs. Donning gloves are great for anyone with limited hand mobility, arthritis, or have weak hands or fingers to get a better grip on the fabric. These gloves are the easiest, cheapest and most effective tool available to help you put your compression socks on.

Donning Gloves:

The Jobst donning glove is unique because it is actually a cotton mitt with the palm and fingers dipped in a latex solution to grip onto support hose. It is a loose fitting glove which can be easier to put on for people with limited hand mobility. On the downside, there are no ridges or nubs on the latex which limits it’s ability to move stockings up the leg. We have heard from customers that this glove wears out too quickly.

If you are sensitive or allergic to rubber (latex), try the latex free Juzo donning gloves. These gloves work excellent for protecting the fabric, but do not have any nubs to help grip the garment. If you want something that will get a strong hold on the sock, try these:

The Medi glove has textured fingers and palms for additional gripping power to help you get the compression stocking over your foot and heel. Then you can use your palms to slide the hose up your legs rather than pulling. The Sigvaris glove is our highest-rated glove and features very pronounced ridges that makes it easy to don stockings and armsleeves. Here’s what our customer’s have to say about Sigvaris gloves:

“These are the best donning gloves that I and/or my patients have found for compression stockings of all materials and compression amount. I have been working with patients who have Lymphedema and are required to wear high amounts of compression. It’s a struggle to get them on even when you have the strength and mobility, so these gloves are a great aide for everyone. The price is very reasonable compared to other compression stockings manufacturers.”

Stocking Donners:

If you have trouble bending over or crossing your legs, stocking donners do the work for you. Donners come in regular and wide-calf sizes, as well as some for putting on armsleeves and pantyhose. Long story short – there’s a donning device to make anyone’s life easier! Stocking donners require patience and practice, and are most useful for individuals who have trouble bending at the waist. Since there a lot of donners to choose from, we’ll cover our customer’s favorites.

The Jobst and Medi stocking donners make it easy for people who have a hard time bending at the waist. Simply stretch the stocking over the frame and step into the sock until your foot is on the floor. Slowly lift the handles to work the stocking up your leg. Both Jobst and Medi offer donners designed specifically for larger calves. Here’s how it works:

The Doff N’ Donner is an amazing tool! This can be used to get your stockings on and to take them off. This cool device works with open or closed toe knee highs and thigh highs. Watch this video for a better understanding:

Once you master using the Juzo Slippie Gator, you’ll be incredibly happy with it. This tool is especially useful for customers who have a lot of trouble bending over to touch their feet. Using a leg sleeve with handles and a rubber foot pad, you’ll be able to quickly and comfortably pull your stocking on in minutes. Like the Doff ‘n Donner, the Gator can be used to put stockings on and take them off.

A healthcare worker told us, “I bought the Juzo Slippy Gator to try with some of my clients. Most people I work on can’t bend over, much less pull compression socks up. The Gator is a great tool and has moved two of my clients to independently donning their socks.”

Watch this video to learn how to use the Juzo Slippie Gator:

The Easy-Slide for Open-Toe Stockings is only available for open toe socks and stockings, but it is simple to use and makes putting open-toe socks on a breeze. It’s getting rave reviews from customers and therapists alike.

“This device makes placing compression stockings on my patients a breeze. No more pinching, no more struggling to place the stockings on the patient. Saves me quite a bit of time in my busy day.”

This video shows you how the Easy-Slide works:

Going somewhere? The Magnide Easy-Slide for Closed Toe Stockings is washable and easy to transport. This is one of the easiest closed toe stocking donners available. Here’s how it works:

The Juzo Slippie and the Easy-Slides for open and closed toe use slippery and durable “parachute” nylon fabric that you put on your leg and pull the stocking over. Using your new favorite donning gloves, work the stocking up the leg and pull the donning aid out from the top of the stocking or through the open toe. If you wear closed toe stockings, make sure you are using a donning aid designed specifically for closed toe style stockings.

Tips and Tricks:

Once the stocking is in the right position, use the palms of your hands to smooth out any wrinkles. Your stocking is applied correctly if the toe is in the toe box, the heel in the heel box and their are no wrinkles around the ankles or leg. Ideally, your knee-high should end about one inch below the crease in your knee. Never pull the stocking up the calf or thigh by just the top of the garment.

If you have swelling or edema, it is best to don your stockings early in the morning when you get out of bed. Our legs start to swell while we are standing and the compression stockings applied early will keep the swelling down throughout the day.

Other Accessories:

Before you put your compression socks on, apply baby powder, corn starch or Alps Fitting Lotion to help the stocking glide up your leg more easily. As an added bonus, this lotion protects sensitive skin and makes dry, chapped skin feel silky and smooth.

I’ve been wearing compression hose for 5-6 years now and they used to be a major nightmare to put them on! As soon as I tried the ALPS Fitting Lotion everything changed. Now putting on the hose is as easy as putting on a pair of socks–they just slide right on smooth as silk. ALPS has no odor and seems to protect my skin from some of the dryness and irritation that continuous wear of compression stockings have caused me in the past and a little goes a long long way. It’s an awesome product… a definite buy buy buy! Also BrightLife Direct is a great company with which to work. I can’t recommend them highly enough! You can’t go wrong.

Compression Assist Donning Aide is great if you have no problem bending over to reach your feet but still have a lot of trouble pulling the sock up. Spray your legs with the lubricant before putting on your socks or stockings, and see how easily you are able to pull the sock up! Compression Assist is hypoallergenic and it won’t harm the compression sock fabric. Plus, it reduces wrinkles and creases, all while keeping you comfortable. Here’s what our customers are saying:

“I was somewhat leery of ordering “Compression Assist”. I was starting to get accustomed to taking 15 plus minutes to don each sock. I was pleasantly surprised. It now takes just a few minutes and much of that time is smoothing the sock.”

 

Do you have another tool that helps? Let us know in the “Comments” section. And, check out all of our donning aides at BrightLife Direct.

The Anatomy of Compression Socks

How do compression socks work? What is a sandalfoot or a balloon toe? What’s the difference between a reciprocated and reinforced heel? This blog post covers aspects of compression socks to help you find the most beneficial compression sock for you.

The Basics:

Sockwell Compression Sock Diagram

Here is a diagram of a Sockwell compression sock. This sock uses triple zone graduated compression, which means you feel the most pressure at the ankle and decreases moving towards the top of the leg. Sockwell compression socks are made with Merino Wool for moisture management and natural thermoregulation, which is great for working out or for those with sweaty feet. The seamless toe closure is designed to prevent irritation and is ideal for diabetics or people with sensitive feet. These socks feature a reinforced heel and toe for durability.

What features should I look for in a compression sock?

Ease Compression Socks by Therafirm

The features you want in a compression sock depend on what you find most comfortable and beneficial to you. There is a large variety of options to choose from, including the fabric material, color choice, sheer or opaque styles, open or closed toe, and so on. Start by measuring to determine what size you need. Some socks and stockings are available in short and long lengths, petite, wide calf and plus sizes for the best fit. Depending on the fabric material and compression level, some garments can be softer and more stretchy than others.

If you are worried about wear and tear, look for socks with a reinforced toe for durability. These socks are designed to prevent your toes from sticking through or holes appearing from rubbing against your shoes. However, socks with a reinforced heel or toe may be visibly darker in these areas in order to be stronger to provide more protection to the stocking.

Allegro Essential - Sheer Support Knee Highs 15-20mmHg - # 16The Allegro Essential – Sheer Support Knee Highs (#16) feature a reciprocated heel and balloon toe for added comfort. A reciprocated heel is knitted in to the stocking and contoured for a better fit. This is so the garment feels more natural and and doesn’t wear out as fast. A balloon toe gives you more wiggle room, which is great for those with sensitive feet.

 

 

Allegro Essential - Sheer Support Knee High 08-15mmHg - #81

The Allegro Essential – Sheer Support Knee Highs (#81) feature a sandalfoot, meaning the reinforced area does not stand out from the rest of the stocking. Compare this knee high to the #16 stocking above. This extremely sheer stocking is perfect to wear with flats or sandals since there is no dark toe or heel area.

 

What is a silicone top band?

Most knee high compression socks feature a wide knit top band that sits comfortably below your knee without digging in or squeezing.  If you have trouble with your compression socks falling down or rolling, you can choose a sock that is made with a silicone top band that gives a bit of extra grip. The Juzo Soft 20-30mmHg Knee High features a silicone band at the top to comfortably keep them in place all day. This is a great option for people with larger calves or if you move around a lot throughout the day.

Jobst SoftFit Top BandIf you want the strength of silicone without the feeling, check out the Jobst SoftFit and Sensitive Bands. These high-tech, breathable bands are made by cleverly knitting silicone threads into the top band to give you the power of silicone with the comfort and softness of a knit band.

How do compression socks benefit athletes?

Coresport Athletic Compression Socks by Therafirm

The Core-Sport Compression Sock is made with a high-tech fabric that’s antimicrobial to prevent odor and also wicks moisture away from the skin while exercising. Core-Sport by Therafirm features arch protection for added support and a cushioned heel and foot to reduce impact. This sock provides 15-20mmHg graduated compression, which helps to increase circulation to reduce muscle fatigue and recovery time.

What’s the difference between compression socks and sleeves?

If you want the benefits of compression with the freedom to choose any shoe you want to wear, compression sleeves may be for you. However, to get the full benefits of recovery, compression socks are your go-to. Socks more effectively increase circulation to prevent and provide relief for swelling and fatigue, whereas sleeves only cover your ankle up to your knee. But for a nice run or when you hit the gym, compression sleeves are great to wear. Check out this great Zensah infographic to see what’s best for you:

Compression Socks or Sleeves?

Still have questions? Comment below!

BrightLife New Year’s Resolutions!

The end of every year is a time for reflection. As we look back, we set new goals for the next year of things we want to change or improve. This year, we asked the BrightLife family what their resolutions are. Take a look:

Resolution 1:

My resolution is to be able to take on leg day at the gym and actually be able to walk the next day…without limping or feeling like my legs are Jello. TheraSport Recovery Socks are the key to success here.

resolution

Resolution 2:

It’s time to stop kidding myself. My real resolution is to embrace the amount of time I spend on the internet. Sitting there for hours isn’t as bad if I’m wearing compression socks…right??

Resolution

Resolution 3:

My resolution is to wear jeans less often! Good thing I can stock up on Allegro sheers & stockings during the January Buy 3 Get 1 Free sale! 🙂

new year resolution joke

Resolution 4:

My resolution is to be more bold and outgoing this year. Check out these hot new colors! I’m really going to stand out at the gym wearing these Sigvaris Performance Calf Sleeves. The compression helps to enhance performance and speed up recovery, so I can lap all the other “Resolutioners” at the gym.

Sigvaris 412 Compression Calf Sleeves - BrightLife Direct

Resolution 5:

My resolution is to stop spending time sorting laundry by color, what’s machine washable vs. hand washable etc. and to start living life on the edge and just throw it all in. Good thing Juzo is machine washable!

New Years Resolution

Resolution 6:

LOSE WEIGHT. But seriously, just need the time/energy. I have the compression!

Calvin and Hobbs

Resolution 7:

Instead of dreading traveling, my resolution is to start looking forward to new adventures. Between the hassle of flying and the stress of driving in traffic, there’s a lot of time spent sitting around. It’s time to start traveling comfortably and in style. These Sockwell compression socks are a must have!

Sockwell On the Spot Compression Socks

Resolution 8:

This year, I’m going to take it upon myself to spend more time in the kitchen and really learn how to cook. Now, this could take all year, so there’s going to be a lot of standing involved. Compression socks anyone?

Funny New Year Resolution

What is your New Year’s resolution? How do you plan to stick to it?