Helpful hints for putting on (donning) your compression stockings

Preparing the leg with a dusting of baby power, corn starch, or Alps Fitting Lotion can help the stocking glide up your leg more easily.

Rubber or latex donning gloves – even Playtex dish washing gloves – can help!  The rubber grips onto the stocking to provide you with extra leverage and also prevents creating a sharp pressure point with your fingers which can result in a run or poking through the fabric.

We do sell donning gloves, which range in price from $3.95-$5.95 depending on the brand and style.  The advantage of these is that they have nubs or ridges on the fingers and palm which are more efficient.

For people with severe arthritis or conditions that prevent good mobility we offer donning aids such as the Donning Butler and Easy Slide.  They are not necessary for most people, but a Godsend for others.

Before putting on the stocking, turn it inside out to the heel.  Slide your foot in and position your heel in the heel pocket of the stocking.  When positioned properly on your foot, use the palms of your hands to smooth the fabric up your leg.  Never pull the stocking up the calf or thigh by just the top of the garment.  When you have it almost to the calf, fold the upper part over so that you have two layers of fabric and start pulling up on that.

Once the stocking is in the right position, 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.

If need any further assistance, call one of your certified fitters at 1-877-545-8585, Mon-Fri, 9AM-6PM ET.

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.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Trouble putting on your socks? Watch a video.

Donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) compression hosiery can be difficult.  Especially for people suffering from arthritis or who have difficulty with bending or dexterity.  This is especially true if you must wear higher compression items, say over 20mmHg (millimeters of mercury).

There are a lot of donning aids available but some are better than others.   Based on feedback from our customers we recommend the following, in no particular order:

  1. Easy-Slide for Open Toe Stockings
  2. Easy-Slide for Closed Toe Stockings
  3. Alps Fitting Lotion (open or closed toe)
  4. Mediven 2in1(open or closed toe)
  5. Juzo Slippie Gator with Pad (open or closed toe)

Except for the fitting lotion, these all use a very slippery and durable “parachute” nylon fabric that you place on your leg and then pull the stocking over.  Using rubber donning gloves, you work the stocking up the leg and then pull the donning aid out from the top of the stocking or through the open toe.  If you wear closed toe stockings, it is important to use a donning aid that works with closed toe stockings.

We now have instructional videos on our website for the Easy-Slide for open toe, Easy-Slide for closed toe, and the Mediven 2in1.  You can watch the videos before you make a purchase to determine if the donning aid is right for you.  And you might want to watch again after you receive your purchase to ensure you’re using the device properly.

Getting compression hosiery off can also be a challenge.  We now offer the Sock-Eez Removal Device.  Slide the plastic paddle between your leg and stocking.  Place the hook over the top hem of the stocking.  While sitting you straighten your leg and push down on the Sock-Eez to push the stocking off.  This device takes advantage of muscles in your upper body and does not rely on just tugging with your hands, which can cause strain and damage the fabric.

Do you have any donning or doffing tips?  Let us know!

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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