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.

A Comparison of Sheer Compression Stockings

In this update we compare Therafirm Sheer Ease, Allegro Premium Italian Sheers, Allegro Essential Sheers, Juzo Attractive Sheers, Mediven Sheer & Soft, Sigvaris EverSheer and Jobst UltraSheer; the main lines of sheer compression hosiery we sell.  We compare sheerness, knit, construction, color and top band.  To do this, we took a size medium thigh high in a 15-20mmHg compression from each brand in the most skin neutral shade, and put it on a clear leg form in front of a window.  Here’s what we found…..

more-sheers-003Knit and construction were almost identical across the seven brands.  There was no major difference in the construction or size of the foot portion, with the exception of the Allegro Essential Sheers.  This brand has a roomier balloon toe with a seam that runs under the foot between the toes and ball of the foot.  All of the others have a seam running across the end of the toes.  All have a reciprocated heel.  Under a magnifying glass there are differences in the knit, but to the naked eye they look the same, with the exception of the Therafirm which has a less open weave.

We did find a definite difference in the visual sheerness of the stockings.  Sigvaris EverSheer and Allegro Essential Sheers were the clear winners, followed closely by Mediven Sheer & Soft and Allegro Premium Italian Sheers.  Next came Jobst UltraSheer and Juzo Attractive SheersSheer Ease was the least sheer of the group.  For many women, having the sheerest stocking isn’t necessarily an advantage.  The slightly opaque sheers hide skin discolorations, spider veins, and other blemishes while giving the appearance of a sheer stocking.

There wasn’t a huge difference in color.  Again, we chose the nude or natural shade from each brand and placed them in order from lightest to darkest in the photos.  Therafirm nude was the lightest, followed by Allegro Premium nude, Allegro Essential nude, Jobst natural and Sigvaris natural.  Mediven natural was a little darker, and Juzo beige was the darkest.

more-sheer-bands-003

Where these stockings varied the most, aside from sheerness, was in the design of the top band.  All seven have a lace exterior.  The difference was in the design of the silicone on the inside of the band.  Therafirm and both Allegro’s have two strips of silicone.  Jobst gives you the option of traditional strips of silicone, there are two, or silicone dots.  Juzo and Mediven use a low profile honeycomb design.  Sigvaris uses the Sensinnov band, which is a solid sheet of silicone.  They claim this band won’t slip or roll, is very skin friendly, and won’t cause thigh bulge.

By: Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Must-Have Socks of 2015: Best Sellers

Allegro_horiz_generalWith the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time to take a look at our customer favorites this year. Allegro continues to be our most popular brand – with consistently great prices and styles, it’s hard for customers to pass up! Jobst, Medi, Sigvaris and Juzo also make appearances in our best-sellers list.

Check out our best selling socks, armsleeves and braces below!

Best Selling Sheer Compression Lines

  1. Allegro Essential Sheers
  2. Jobst UltraSheer
  3. Medi Sheer & Soft

Best Selling 20-30 mmHg Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Essential – Unisex Cotton Compression Sock 20-30mmHg – # 111
  2. Allegro Essential – Mens Ribbed Support Socks 20-30mmHg – # 102
  3. Allegro Surgical Knee High 20-30 mmHg – # 200/201
  4. Jobst Relief Knee Highs 20-30 mmHg
  5. Medi Assure Knee High 20-30 mmHg

Best Selling Compression Accessory

  1. It Stays – Body Adhesive
  2. Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution
  3. Sigvaris Ridged Donning Gloves

Best Selling Diabetic Socks

  1. Jobst Sensifoot
  2. SmartKnit Seamless Diabetic Socks
  3. Juzo 5760 Silver Sole Socks

Best Selling Lymphedema Armsleeves

  1. Jobst Bella Lite Armsleeves
  2. Juzo Soft Armsleeves
  3. Juzo Varin Armsleeves
  4. Mediven Harmony
  5. LympheDivas Stylish Armsleeves

Best Selling Athletic Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
  2. Allegro Athletic Recovery Sock #387 (15-20mmHg)
  3. Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Sock in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
  4. Jobst Active Socks
  5. Sigvaris 401 Athletic Recovery Socks

Best Selling Knee Braces and Supports

  1. Medi Seamless Knit Knee Support
  2. Therall Joint Warming Knee Support
  3. Solidea Silver Compression Knee Support

What were your favorite products from 2015?

Best Selling Products of 2014

As another year comes to a close, we tend to look back on the highlights of this past year. Here at BrightLife Direct, we are excited to share some of our major accomplishments of 2014: Our best sellers! Here is a list of all of your favorite products from this past year. Thank you for supporting us, we couldn’t have done it without you all. Happy New Year!!!

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Best Selling Sheer Compression

  1. Allegro Sheer Hosiery
  2. Jobst UltraSheer
  3. Medi Sheer & Soft

Best Selling Compression Sock

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock
  2. Allegro Ribbed Support Socks
  3. Therafirm Core-Spun Socks

Best Selling Compression Accessory

  1. It Stays – Body Adhesive
  2. Sigvaris Ridged Donning Gloves
  3. Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution

Best Selling Diabetic Socks

  1. Jobst Sensifoot
  2. SmartKnit Seamless
  3. Allegro Pillow Soft Diabetic Socks

Best Selling Lymphedema Combined Armsleeves and Gauntlets

  1. Allegro Armsleeve/Gauntlet Combo
  2. Mediven Harmony Armsleeve & Gauntlet
  3. Sigvaris 912 Advance Armsleeve/Gauntlet Combo

Best Selling Athletic Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock
  2. Jobst Active Athletic Socks
  3. Allegro Athletic Copper Support Socks

Best Selling High Compression Socks (30-40 mmhg)

  1. Allegro Surgical Knee High
  2. Jobst Relief Knee Highs
  3. Allegro Men’s Super Support Sock

Sheer Compression Stocking Color Comparison

When you think of vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon and espresso, smells and tastes come to mind.  Translating those senses into a color, especially a stocking color that works with your skin tone is not so easy.  We’re here to help.

Jobst, Sigvaris, Juzo and Mediven are the four major manufacturers of compression hosiery in the US.  Each of these companies manufacture a line of sheer compression stockings with a bouquet of creative names to describe essentially the same color.  Example: Nude, is vanilla from Juzo, wheat from Medi, and natural from Sigvaris and Jobst.  Following are color chips, plus a brief description from each line of stockings to help you compare apples to apples, or in this case, espressos to mochas.

Jobst UltraSheer
UltraSheer has the most colors available, although every color isn’t available in all sizes and compressions.  Honey was introduced several years ago as a nude shade for latin and mediterranean skin tones.  In addition to the colors below, Jobst recently brought back Navy and Sun Bronze, a popular suntan color that’s darker than Honey and lighter than Suntan.  UltraSheer stockings are also available with a diamond pattern in black and mocha.

Jobst UltraSheer colorsSigvaris EverSheer
Sigvaris has lead the way with fashion colors.  EverSheer also shows consistent sheerness throughout the stocking.  Many sheers, especially darker colors, show light and dark shading depending on how the fabric is stretched.  This won’t happen with EverSheer.  If you wear thigh highs, you’ll love the Sensinnov top-band on EverSheer.  Instead of stripes or dots of silicone, it’s a flat sheet that is so comfortable and secure, plus it won’t cause thigh bulge.

Sigvaris EverSheer colorsJuzo Naturally Sheer
Naturally Sheer was just introduced last year, so many people aren’t familiar with this line of stockings.  The color chips don’t do it justice.  The fabric itself has a wonderful smooth, snag-resistant finish that feels soft on even the roughest skin.  Of the four, Naturally Sheer has the highest spandex content, and won’t bunch behind knees or over the instep.

Juzo Naturally Sheer colorsMediven Sheer & Soft
When Medi replaced their sheer Radiance line with Sheer & Soft a few years ago, many customers were worried… until they tried it.  Sheer & Soft has been a phenomenal success.  As the name implies the fabric is really sheer and it’s really soft.  Medi’s product images aren’t the best, but among the sheers, Sheer & Soft has some of the highest customer ratings online.

Medi Sheer & Soft colorsPete@BrightLife Direct
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Varicose Veins and Pregnancy

The burdens of pregnancy are many for the expectant mother.  In addition to all the normal demands of daily living, which often includes a full-time job on top of taking care of a home and family, there is a special need to eat a healthy, balanced diet, to get proper exercise and for plenty of rest. But even for the expecting mom who is doing an excellent job of keeping all the balls of daily life in the air while also giving herself the tender loving care she deserves, there are still times when her legs are going to feeling tired and achy.

The circulatory system in our bodies has two kinds of blood vessels: arteries and veins. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Arteries have thick walls which actually help the heart to pump the blood by gently contracting with each heartbeat.

Veins are the thin-walled blood vessels which return blood back to the heart. The veins have valves that open when the blood flows past them, then close after each heartbeat to stop the blood from flowing backwards in the vein. These valves are especially important in the legs. When weak or damaged valves allow blood to flow backward, it collects at the bottom of the leg. This excess blood increases pressure in the vein and causes that tired aching feeling in your legs. That increased pressure, over time, can eventually stretch and enlarge your veins. These stretched and twisted veins are what we call varicose veins. The smaller veins close to the skin’s surface may be bluish, appearing knotted or like a spider-web.

While anyone at any age can develop varicose veins, the changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy increase the chances that varicose veins may occur. Some health experts have estimated that about 40% of women will be affected by varicose veins during pregnancy. One reason is that pregnancy causes hormonal changes in a woman’s body, one of which results in the vein walls relaxing slightly and stretching out. While this can help in increasing blood flow, important for the developing baby, it can also increase the likelihood that varicose veins may form. That likelihood is also increased by the additional weight a woman adds during pregnancy, weight that puts greater pressure on the veins of the expecting mom’s legs.

Other factors that can increase the risk of developing varicose veins include activities that require you to spend long periods of time standing or sitting. Such inactivity makes it easier for blood and other fluids to pool in your legs, again increasing the pressure on the veins and causing additional stretching of veins and possible damage to the valves within the veins.

Some women, of course, may already have varicose veins prior to pregnancy. There are numerous things that can lead to the development of varicose veins unrelated to pregnancy. Excessive weight, heavy use of alcohol and lack of exercise can all help contribute to the problem, as can smoking. Becoming pregnant will usually aggravate and worsen the condition when varicose veins already exist.

In some cases, however, there is simply an inherited tendency to have weaker vein walls and valve problems. Often, if a woman’s mother developed varicose veins during pregnancy, there is a good chance that her daughter will as well.

The good news for many women is that the varicose veins that develop during pregnancy return to normal after the baby is born. As the conditions that led to the varicose veins disappear after giving birth, so too, in most cases, will the varicose veins themselves. There is a greater chance, however, of the problem disappearing if there are steps taken during pregnancy, as outlined below, to minimize both the occurrence and severity of varicose veins.

For a woman who has an inherited tendency for thin-walled veins or weak valves within the veins of the legs, there is of course a much higher chance that the varicose veins that have developed will not go away once the pregnancy is over. In any case, it is always worth the effort of taking steps to try and minimize the seriousness and permanence of varicose veins that occur during pregnancy.

One of the easiest actions to take to help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy is to wear high-quality compression stockings. Maternity pantyhose like Jobst UltraSheer or Mediven Comfort provide gradient compression, providing the highest level of pressure at the ankle and gradually decreasing the pressure up the leg. This design gently compresses the leg muscles, squeezing the veins, and helping to push the blood back toward the heart.

Regular, sensible exercise is another means of minimizing varicose vein risk. Simply walking regularly helps to strengthen the leg muscles, providing more support for the veins in the legs and helping, through the compression of the muscles as your walk, to move the blood out of the leg and back toward the lungs and heart. Your doctor can offer advice on exercise that is appropriate and healthful during pregnancy.

It is also good advice to avoid long periods of standing or sitting. The lack of activity allows blood to pool in the veins of the leg, increasing the pressure on both the veins and the valves within the veins and thus increasing the risk of varicose veins forming. If you will be facing a prolonged period of standing or sitting, break it up with regular periods of exercise, either taking a short walk or, at the very minimum, doing some foot exercises, such as flexing your toes, rotating your feet at the ankles and doing toe lifts with your heels on the floor. All of these will help keep the blood circulating better in your feet and legs.

While varicose veins generally have few if any immediate health implications, they are something most women wish to avoid during pregnancy. Compression stockings, regular exercise, and keeping active can help minimize the risk. Talk to your physician about the problem and see what he or she has to recommend.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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