Compression and Fabrics

You may have seen the characters “mmHg” next to the compression level of a stocking, such as 20-30mmHg. This stands for “millimeters of mercury.” The equipment that measures the compression strength of a stocking uses a gauge filled with mercury, much like a household thermometer uses mercury. The more mercury displaced, the stronger the compression. When you see 20-30mmHg you know that product has been tested and provides that amount of compression.

Today’s compression stockings are made in a variety of fabrics. Many people assume that a sheer fabric will not provide as much compression as a thicker, opaque fabric. This is not true. The sheerest of fabrics will provide the same amount of compression as the thickest of fabrics, if they are rated with the same mmHg. The sheerness or opaqueness of a fabric is a result of the yarns and the weave that are used in the construction.

Pete@BrightLife Direct

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