Compression vs Containment

Sheer stocking show thruWe are often asked if sheer stockings provides the same compression as thicker, surgical weight stockings.  And when one thinks about it, how does a fine sheer fabric give the same amount of support as a much thicker, opaque fabric?  This question can be answered by explaining the difference between compression and containment.

Compression is the force pushing in on an object.  For compression stockings, that object is your leg.  If you wrap a fine thread and a thick rope around your leg, and pull on the ends with the same amount of force, you will be applying the same amount of compression to the area under the thread and the rope.   But what happens if your leg swells, and starts pushing back against the thread and the rope?   This is when containment comes into play.  The thick rope will do a much better job of containing the swelling, than the thin thread.

Now let’s examine the two main reasons people wear compression stockings.  The first is venous insufficiency.  This is when the valves in your veins that keep the blood from flowing south, don’t work properly.  Blood pools in the veins and you develop varicose veins.  Compressing the leg helps the valves work more efficiently.   There isn’t a lot of force pushing back or swelling, so the amount of containment the fabric provides isn’t that important.

The second most common reason for wearing compression stockings is to treat edema or swelling.  Excess bodily fluids that would normally be removed by the venous or lymphatic system accumulate in the tissue, causing it to swell.  Edema can be caused by many conditions and medications.   Here both compression and containment are very important in controlling and reducing the swelling, so a heavier or thicker fabric is probably the best choice.

The amount of compression and/or containment you need will depend on the condition being treated and the severity.  Talk to your doctor.

By: Pete@BrightLife Direct
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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?

New EASE Sheers by Therafirm!

A few weeks ago, we got an exciting package in the mail – the newest product line from one of our favorite brands, Therafirm. It was a sneak peak at the new line of EASE Sheers which feature some of the latest technology in knit compression wear. This week, the new line is launching in a variety of colors, styles and compression levels – and we’re excited to finally share our review!

Right out of the package, you can tell that these sheers are different. They’re incredibly smooth and soft to the touch. The 360 degree stretch is obvious with just a gentle pull.

I got a chance to try the 20-30 mmHg pantyhose in Sand. I don’t normally wear this compression level, so I was interested to see how difficult donning them would be. Using the traditional method of donning, I was able to pull the stockings on without too much difficulty. No compression stockings are easy to get on, but these were definitely easier. The extra stretch really helps in getting the stockings up and properly adjusted. The color gives my legs a nice tan, and there is a bit of a shine to the fabric. This gives them a silky look, but might not be appropriate for all occasions. The heel and toe areas are reinforced for durability – as you can see in the picture below.

Sheer Ease Stockings

I especially liked the knit waistband. It’s much smoother than a lot of the stockings on the market. The top of the waistband sits high on the waist so there’s no muffin top to worry about!

All of the stockings – knee high, thigh high and pantyhose – are available in 2 lengths, short and long.  I found them to be incredibly comfortable and perfect for work or a night out!

Sheer EASE Compression Pantyhose

You can try them yourself by purchasing them on our website!

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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