Brita

About Brita

Brita joined BrightLife in 2013 as the Digital Marketing Manager.

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.

Wearing pantyhose? Here’s a helpful video on putting on compression pantyhose.

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.

Sigvaris launched the SIMON donning aide in 2018 – and it has been getting amazing feedback from customers. The SIMON is convenient for a number of reasons – its long arms are perfect for anyone with limited bend at the waist or strength in their hands and arms. Unlike many of the bulky donners on the market, it can fold down for easy storage or travel. It can be used for knee highs, pantyhose and thigh highs – it can also be used to help take your stockings OFF. This is available in four different sizes – based on your calf measurement. Check out the video below to see just how magical it is:


Early reviews from our customers say it’s revolutionary! A customer in Arizona said,

“Easiest and most useful donner I’ve ever tried. Can’t live without it so I just called and ordered another one.”

The Jobst and Medi stocking donners have the classic fixed style that our customers have been using for years. 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.

Morning Cayenne? We tried it!

“Well, if the Kardashians are doing it – that’s one reason for me to NOT do it.” That was my coworker Scott’s reaction to my suggestion that we all try a new morning health drink routine in the office. I, personally, love everything Kardashian and want to drink what they’re drinking.

Like me, you’ve probably seen or heard hundreds of suggestions and opinions on how to start your day off right. If you do a quick google search, you’ll find thousands of recipes for morning smoothies and drink concoctions that promise a world of health benefits. And, if you pick up any health or celebrity magazine, you’ll find famous faces listing off the strange things they do to keep slim and healthy. Martha Stewart starts every morning off with a green juice, Jennifer Aniston drinks hot water with lemon, Marilyn Monroe drank two raw eggs whipped in warm milk, Beethoven counted out exactly 60 coffee beans for his morning cup of coffee, and Kourtney Kardashian apparently drinks apple cider vinegar every morning.

I wanted to give one of these morning drink routines a shot, so I did some research to find the best recipe and enlisted the help of my coworkers. I specifically looked for recipes that had ingredients shown to improve circulation and reduce inflammation (since that’s what BrightLife Direct is all about!). The recipe includes, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, honey, molasses and lemon.

What do these do?

  • Ginger – Anti-inflammatory super power! It has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and improve digestion and blood flow.
  • Turmeric – Another anti-inflammatory spice. It has also been shown to prevent and treat cancers, help with depression and lower risk of heart disease.
  • Cayenne – Great for circulation as it improves blood flow. This super spice can also improve digestion, lower blood pressure, boost your metabolism and reduce hunger.
  • Honey – Rich in antioxidants!
  • Molasses – Unlike sugar, molasses contains vitamins and nutrients, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
  • Lemon – Rich in Vitamin C and great for digestion. Lemons also  contain bioflavinoids which can strengthen blood vessels.

Personally – I found the drink PRETTY spicy and hard to get down every morning, but I wanted those health benefits so I chugged it quickly! I was fighting a cold during the week I drank this, and by the third day I felt so much better. I also found that I wasn’t hungry for my morning snack (usually around 10:30 a.m.) and that I didn’t need a second cup of coffee because the spice gave me a kick!

We drank it every morning for a week. Here’s what everyone else in our office said –

“It did help suppress my appetite if I had 2 glasses of it. It also felt like it gave me a better boost of energy than what coffee would do, and I lost 2 pounds from drinking it that week!” – David (was drinking in the morning and lunch time)

“I liked the taste, but I love Bloody Mary’s. I lost three pounds and they’ve stayed off, so I would do it again as a cleanse.” – Scott

“I think I had a bit more energy, not so much a boost, but throughout the day I felt more energized. Still needs vodka but otherwise very good :)” – Mark

“I liked it! The spiciness gave me an instant jolt of energy. I didn’t notice a difference in my appetite until 3 or 4 days in, but after not drinking it today I definitely noticed a difference. I’ve been super hungry! One thing I did not notice a change in is nausea/digestion.” – Catie

Bottoms up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon molasses
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sparkling water or kombucha for topping

Directions:

  1. Combine the water, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, honey, molasses, and lemon juice. Shake or stir well to combine. Chill until ready to drink. Shake before serving.
  2. Add ice to 2 glasses, pour over the water and top with sparkling water.
  3. Drink up!

What is your morning routine? Would you try this?

NOTE: We’re not doctors. Please check that any medicine you’re taking does not interact with these spices before trying. Check with your medical professional or doctor if you’re uncertain.

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.

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. Or, the Allegro Men’s Mosaic Cotton Compression Sock 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?

Cold Shower? Soak up the health benefits in 90 seconds!

Early last week, I saw a segment on the Today Show about a 90-second shower routine that will increase circulation and alertness in the morning. Since BrightLife Direct is all about healthy circulation, I thought it warranted an investigation.

The idea is simple. Follow your normal cleansing routine in the shower, but instead of jumping out after your final rinse, stay in for an extra 90 seconds and adjust your faucet to the following:

30 Seconds: COLD
30 Seconds: HOT
30 Seconds: COLD

Then get out of the shower!

Sound terrible? I have to admit the first time it was! A few of us in the office experimented with this showering technique and reported back about a screaming 30-second countdown, dancing in circles and screaming, or simply standing and screaming. The cold water is a real shock, but each of us reported feeling some immediate effects. Hearts were pounding, blood was flowing and we all reported feeling wide awake!

Personally, having lived in Russia, I know that hot-cold therapy is an ingrained part of many cultures including Nordic countries. Russians consider going to the bath house (or banya) an important part of their weekly routine. There they sit in a incredibly hot sauna, jump into a cold pool of water or snow, and then head back to the sauna.

So, why do they do it? A myriad of health benefits! Entrepreneur.com did a full analysis and found that cold showers can help reduce stress, burn fat and improve both the vascular and immune systems!

Not enough to convince you to get under the icy water?

A journalist at the New York Times also experimented with cold morning showers and found that it increased his productivity during the day. He says that turning the shower to COLD every morning is a real struggle for him, but that “…the point is that starting your morning by tackling challenges head-on will help encourage similar behavior throughout the day.” And there’s plenty of research to back that up as well! When people tackle difficult situations first thing in the morning, they’re less likely to procrastinate throughout the day.

Your last piece of trivia on cold showers? Kathryn Hepburn was a huge proponent of them!

After a week of showers, our company’s founder is a full convert! He says that the experiment is “life-changing.” While I’m not a morning shower person, I plan to keep it up on the weekends. How can I skip out on all of the potential health benefits? If you’re a bit nervous to go full throttle on the cold water, ease yourself into it by going a bit colder (in the same short spurts) every day. You can work your way up to ice cold after a few days.

Try it out and let us know what you think!

Disclaimer: Many of the articles I read warned that people with heart conditions should check with their physician before experimenting with cold water therapy! So, please check with your doctor if you have any concerns.

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.

Wool socks are bad for summer – and other myths about wool.

We frequently suggest wool socks to our customers (because we love them!), but our recommendations are often rebuffed. Too hot! Too Scratchy! We get it – wool socks have a terrible reputation, but we’d like to change that. 

Misunderstood Wool Socks

So, what are our favorite wool socks?

Allegro Wool Compression Socks 15-20 mmHg

Allegro Wool Compression Socks 15-20 mmHg
For Men and Women

Sockwell Wool and Bamboo Blend Compression Socks
15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
Men’s and Women’s Styles

Sigvaris Outdoor Merino Wool Socks

Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Compression Socks
15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
For Men and Women

Sigvaris Luxury Merino Wool Compression Socks

Sigvaris Merino Wool Compression Socks
15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
Men’s and Women’s Styles

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!

Try Compression Wraps without the Risk

Solaris ReadyWrap CalfCompression wraps are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to compression socks and stockings. Why? Because with simple velcro straps, they can be much easier to get on than strong compression stockings. Many customers find them to be more comfortable on sensitive or ulcerated skin, and better at controlling moderate to severe edema and lymphedema. But, until recently, we could not offer returns on compression wraps – so trying a wrap for the first time involved a bit of financial risk. In the last few weeks, this has happily changed!

We are now able to offer returns on both Farrow Medical and Solaris. We understand that buying compression products is a tricky process because everyone’s body is shaped differently, and everyone’s personal taste is different. That’s why we’ve always had an easy return/exchange process for compression stockings. The addition of these brands to our “No Questions Asked Return Policy” gives customers more options to find the most comfortable fit.

Have you been wanting to try a Solaris ReadyWrap or FarrowWrap? Now’s the time! See what customers are saying about these great products:

“I love my wrap. It is light weight and easy to use. I have a hard time with my grip so this wrap was the way to go.”ReadyWrap Calf Unit

“This is the best device I’ve found so far for treatment of my wife’s lymphedema in her lower leg. Her leg got very large to the point that compression stockings were almost impossible to get on especially over her calf. The stockings were, also, very uncomfortable as the cut into the creases at the top of her foot near the ankle. The FarrowWrap let’s you adjust the amount of compression you want to use and she says is very comfortable. I usually put it on for her but she can also don it herself with a little effort. I would recommend this product to anyone, any age, and just about any strength level. I just purchased a second one for her.” – FarrowWrap Basic Leg Piece

“My father has very swollen feet and regular compression socks are so difficult to put on. This wrap work really well and helped reduces the swelling in his feet.” – ReadyWrap Foot Unit

“Thank you, FarrowWrap, for designing a comfortable wrap for sleeping…it is light, feels good, and is really easy and fast to wrap and unwrap…it almost makes the lymphedema in my arm fun (only kidding!).” – FarrowWrap Arm Sleeve

In addition to Farrow and Solaris, we also offer an open return policy on CircAid and Juzo compression wraps.

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!