Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List

The holidays are almost here and it’s time to shop! Save big on holiday sales and find awesome gifts for everyone on your list. Time seems to fly by faster every year, and finding the right gift can be difficult and time consuming. Check out some of the gifts we put on our wish list this year. You can either pick a category or start scrolling to see our favorite finds:

Gifts for the Traveler

Gifts for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Gifts for the Home

Gardening Gifts

Gifts for Foodies

For most people, the holidays = travel, travel, travel. Whether you’re going on a long road trip or catching a flight, make sure you wear compression socks to protect your legs against fatigue, swelling and blood clots. They help to keep your legs feeling fresh and energized, so you can enjoy your time when you get to your destination. To keep yourself entertained, check out some of the gadgets and accessories we’re hoping to get this year:

Universal Travel Power Adapter – $16.58

This is a great present for someone who travels internationally a lot. This power adapter will work in over 150 countries. Perfect for traveling to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

AmazonBasics 4 Piece Packing Cube Set – $19.99

Figuring out how to pack in an organized way for a trip can be stressful. These cubes are a great way to smartly store all your things for your next vacation. Great to take on any road trip or flight!

Coloring Book and Colored Pencil Set – $8.99

Coloring books are a great way to relieve stress and keep yourself entertained on any trip. Adult coloring books are the new trend, and I can get behind it! Coloring can be a fun way to unwind and kill a few hours on a long car or plane ride. I suggest colored pencils….crayons can melt and if a cap falls off a marker it can leave an unwanted mark on your vacation!

Rosetta Stone 12 Month Subscription – $117.99

For the international traveler, a subscription to Rosetta Stone is a huge help! Get your fellow traveler a gift they can use this holiday season. Choose from a variety of subscriptions and language options. The Rosetta package we chose is a 12 month subscription for 24 languages.

Airbnb Gift Card – Any Amount!

Traveling can be expensive. What better way to encourage your friends and family to travel than to help them out with accommodations! This also makes a great stocking stuffer. Choose the amount you would like to give on the Airbnb website.

Sockwell Compression Socks – $24.99

If you are a die-hard traveler, you’ve heard about the wonders of compression socks. If you haven’t, here’s the travel game changer you’ve been waiting for: 15-20 mmHg compression is recommended for travel to prevent fatigue, swelling and blood clots, all while keeping your legs fresh, energized and ache-free. Skip boring beige and opt for some fun compression socks, like these ones from Sockwell! Choose from a variety of patterns and colors for men and women.

Bose QuietComfort Noise-Cancelling Headphones – $179.00

Music is a great way to pass the time while traveling, but there’s nothing worse than a baby crying right behind you. Leave those days in the past with a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Throw in an iTunes gift card with these headphones and your friends or family will be singing praises!

Travel Notebook – $11.95

Get your favorite traveler this vacation-inspired notebook. Great for jotting down notes, attractions and fun things to do. Can’t go wrong!

Go Pro Hero5 Black – $399.00

This present is definitely a splurge, but a worth-while treat at that! Any athlete or traveler would love, and excessively use a pocket-sized weather-proof camera like this. There are tons of camera devices nowadays, so see what they would want! Digital cameras and Polaroids are great options too!

Priority Pass Subscription – $99.00+

This is a great present for anyone who flies a lot. This subscription gives you access to lounges with free WIFI in various airports. Finally, a quiet place to relax before catching their flight!

Habor Digital Luggage Scale – $9.29

I’m one of those people who always needs to check the weight of their suitcase before flying to make sure the weight limit isn’t over 50 lbs. If you have friend or family member like me who has to sit on their suitcase to close it before a trip, this luggage scale could come in handy!

Book Club Subscription – $14.99/month+

Another way to pass the time is to put your nose in a great book. Since everyone loves getting lost in different adventures, finding a good book, especially for someone else, can be difficult. Instead, opt for one of these book subscription services! Here are few different book clubs to see what would be best for your friends and family.

 

If you have a friend or family member that practically lives outdoors, we have some great ideas for gifts this holiday season. Check out some of our favorite camping, hiking and outdoor lounging finds below:

Arctic Zone Cooler – $30.99

This cooler can hold 16 cans and is very durable. It is great for camping, hiking, day trips, or sitting on the sidelines at a game. There are other sizes than can hold up to 48 cans! This one is available in three colors.

Winner Outfitters 2 Person Hammock – $25.99

Nothing says relaxation like a hammock! This one fits two people, or up to 500 lbs. This lightweight hammock takes about 3 minutes to set up and is small enough to bring on hiking trips. Choose from four color combinations.

Shrink Sports Collapsible Water Bottle – $15.99

This nifty collapsible water bottle is lightweight, durable and versatile. It expands into a normal, functional water bottle, but when you don’t need it, collapse it and save the space in your bag. Great stocking stuffer!

Cairn Subscription Box – $27.45+

This is a pretty cool gift. There are a few options to choose from, but this subscription service through Cairn will surprise you with a mystery a box each month filled with surprise gifts you’ll love. You’ll get 3-6 full-sized outdoorsy products monthly. These subscription boxes like Cairn and FabFitFun are the hot new presents to get this year.

Evocrest Collapsible Trekking Poles – $59.95

If you love hiking, grab yourself a pair of these trekking poles. They are collapsible so they can easily be stored when they’re not needed on your hike. They are also shock absorbing and adjustable so either kids or adults can use them. These lightweight poles are a great gift for your favorite explorer.

Venture Pal Backpack – $20.99

This backpack is perfect for a day trip or going for a hike. This durable backpack has plenty of pockets to keep your friends or family organized. It is very lightweight and can be folded up to save space! Great for traveling too. Available in nine fun colors.

KuchenChef Picnic Backpack Set for 2 – $34.95

A picnic to go! This cool backpack has silverware, picnic blanket and room for lots of food, all in one place. This picnic set is set for two, complete with wine stakes for holding glasses upright, a wood cheese board, wood handle cheese knife set, stainless steel cutlery, non shatter acrylic cups, salt and pepper shakers, wooden corkscrew with bottle opener, matching gingham plates and napkins, salt/pepper shakers and fleece blanket with a waterproof backing. This lightweight picnic basket even features a cooler section. What more can they want?

Sigvaris Athletic Compression Socks – $28.76+

Compression socks are a great way to keep athletes healthy and active. 15-20 mmHg of compression promotes muscle recovery to help you get back out there the next day. 20-30 mmHg of compression helps to enhance performance so you can run farther and train harder at the gym. Save an extra 10% off all Sigvaris compression socks through December 31st – no coupon code required.

Toasis Multi Tool for Camping – $8.98

This handy tool is small enough to fit in your pocket to help you out of a quick jam when you’re camping. It can convert into pliers, a knife, wire cutter, screwdriver, bottle opener, saw, nail file, fish scaler, and can opener. Great for Mr. Fix It!

Omni Inflatable Lounger – $34.99

This inflatable lounger doubles as a place to lay down and as a pool floatie! Great for the beach, the backyard, the pool or to take camping. Best of all? This lounger folds into a small, lightweight backpack so it can be taken anywhere.

SuBleer Collapsible Lantern 2 Pack – $15.99

This 2 pack of lanterns are the size of an iPhone 6 and are collapsible for easy storage. Great for camping or emergencies like hurricanes or power outages. Up to 12 hours of battery life with regular, continuous use.

Teryei Portable Solar Powered Charger – $21.99

Low phone battery? No problem! This phone charger is great for hiking, camping or even a day trip to keep your devices alive so you never miss a picture. This is a great present for anyone on your list.

 

Whether you’re looking for a housewarming gift or something to brighten someone’s day, here are some great gifts for around the house:

Handmade Watercolor World Map – $49.99

Looking for a handmade gift? This world map will make an awesome present for your favorite traveler. What better way to mark old memories and plan new ones?

Bonsai Tree – $26.99

This dwarf tree is a great gift for the greenthumb in your life. Bonsai trees are believed to bring good luck. Growing and taking care of it is thought to relieve stress and can be a great hobby!

Chanasya Faux Fur Throw – $26.99

This super soft, comfy fur throw is a great present that you know they will love! Features velvet on the other side. This particular frost grey throw is available in two sizes. The best part – no animals were hurt making this blanket 🙂

Capri Blue Stargazer Candle – $14.00+

This cute candle is a simple, easy gift that you know they’ll use. Perfect for those who need to de-stress after a long day at work. Choose from three different options.

Destinations of a Lifetime: Coffee Table Book – $27.19

This book covers 225 places to visit and serves as a great flip through or conversation starter. This hardcover book is made by National Geographic so you know the pictures are to die for! It makes a perfect coffee table book.

Therafirm Core-Spun Compression Socks – $16.97

Compression socks help to stimulate circulation so blood doesn’t pool in your legs. This helps to prevent fatigue, blood clots and swelling. Therafirm offers a ton of different compression socks in a large variety of sizes. EASE are soft, stretchy and come in a variety of colors. Looking for something stretchy? Try the Core-Spun line. Shop now and save an extra 15% off through January 2nd, 2018. Prices already discounted.

Clip Collage Frame – $20.24

Give a sentimental gift. Pick up a picture frame or DIY your own and share your favorite memories together. This is a really great gift for moms!

Mixed Color Agate Coaster Set of 4 – $44.99

These cool coasters are a great present that you know will get used.  This unique, fun gift is great for the artsy type and adds a great splash of color to any room.

COOSA 100 ml Glass Essential Oil Diffuser – $39.99

This oil diffuser is great for the office, living room, or bedroom is a great way to freshen up the room and promote relaxation. A cool mist adds moisture to the air to make it feel more like a spa. This quiet diffuser has 4 time settings and features 7 color changing LED lights.

Assorted Antique World Map Glass Magnets – Set of 6 – $21.50

These cute magnets are a great gift for friends and family of all ages. Great for college kids too! This set of six magnets features a world map. This gift makes a good stocking stuffer as well.

 

Gardening gifts always go to use. We searched the internet and found tons of useful and fun things. If you’re looking for excellent senior products you’re in luck. Here are our top picks of fun garden accessories and tools to help make gardening easier and even more fun for people of all ages:

Windmill Birdhouse – $22.97

This cute birdhouse will look great in any backyard. This is great for the nature-lover or birdwatcher in your life. This rustic windmill birdhouse is sure to brighten up anyone’s day, but there are a lot of cute options out there to choose from. Another notable option is this adorable lighthouse birdhouse.

Costzon Cider Press – $89.99

This is a great gift for families with kids or a passion for apples. This cider press holds up to 1.6 gallons and can be used to make various kinds of fruit juices and even wine. I’d say it’s a win for kids and adults!

Mason Jars – Set of 12 – $21.99

They might seem underrated, but these are one of the most useful gifts you could give! Mason jars are great for crafts, canning and so much more. They’re also perfect for meal prepping and storing salads. These make good gifts for artsy, outdoorsy people. They can always find a use for an empty mason jar! Check out some of these DIY mason jar makeover ideas for inspiration.

Wexley 2 Gallon Watering Can – $29.64

This trendy watering can makes a great gift for anyone who spends their time in the garden. This watering can hold 2 gallons and features a beautiful blue color.

Best Choice Gardening Work Seat – $64.94 

This is a great gift for someone who has a hard time getting around. Instead of having to kneel down to garden, sit on this work seat and wheel yourself around as needed. It even includes a basket to keep tools in!

C-Hopetree Flower Box – 3 pots – $39.90

This flower box has 3 pots built into it and can be hung. This stylish planter box makes a great gift for greenthumbs, especially in the winter so they can bring the outdoors inside with them. This also is a good gift for seniors who love to garden but have a hard time bending over. Place it on the windowsill for them to enjoy.

Regal Art & Gift Gecko Decor – Set of 2 – $15.49

There are so many cute animals to add to your garden! Between butterflies, birds, lizards, dragonflies, and even artsy mushrooms, suns, stars, and more, you can help someone create a wonderland in their own backyard!

Vegetable Seeds – $0.50+

If you have friend or family member who’s always in the dirt, seeds are a great gift! Get them seeds of their favorite vegetables or bulbs of their favorite flowers. You can buy seeds at your local farmer’s market or even Home Depot, who even has a guide to help you find the right seed and buy it in the same place.

FLORA GUARD 3 Piece Gardening Tools – $19.99

Most people who love gardening have some tools in their shed. So what better than to get them something that stands out from all the rest? These cute garden tools are an awesome gift for your favorite greenthumb.

Mod Hod 3 Stackable Bins – $29.95 each

Another great gift for those who have a hard time bending over. Plus, these stackable bins are a great way to store those yummy veggies straight out of the garden!

VegeAQUA Vegetable Soap – $11.49

If you know a germaphob…..they will appreciate this! Finally they can wash off their fruit and vegetables from the store and remove all the pesticides and germs with organic soap that is specifically designed to go on produce. It is safe to use and better for you and your veggies. It uses No Detergents, Oils, or Preservatives. You can pick up soap for produce online or at your local grocery store.

Thick Kneeling Pad for Gardening – $15.94

This kneeling pad is a knee-saver. It is perfect for anyone who’s always got their head in the garden or is always on the ground working on their car. This pad is also great to use to sit on while you’re outside too.

3 SunGrow Glass Terrariums – $11.95

These are a great way to bring the outdoors into the office or house. Place them on your desk or hang them above your table. They can also be hung in a hanger. This set of orbs includes succulents, flowers & colorful stones.

Frog Tree Peeker – $12.98

You’ve probably seen the tree face before…but did you know how many different variations there are these days? There are elf peekers, racoons, bears, frogs, owls and so much more. If you know someone who finds these other tree decals as silly as me, they will love this gift.

 

For the professional chef or the food fanatic, these gifts will take their cooking to a whole new level. Pick out cooking utensils or a funny apron for them to use their next meal. For the friend or spouse that struggles to cook, you could sign them up for cooking classes to learn how to make quick and simple dishes that everyone will love. Check out more gift ideas for foodies below:

Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Clip On Strainer – $12.99

This handy gadget makes life so much easier for the regular pasta eater. Just clip this on to any pot (big or small) and strain without the stress! This present also makes a great stocking stuffer. Made BPA free and is dishwasher safe.

Mr. Beer Premium Homebrewing Craft Beer Making Kit – $49.99

This is an awesome gift for the beer-lover in your life. They can make their own craft beer with this kit. It comes with two beer refills, a convenient 2 gallon fermenter, bottles, caps, carbonation drops, sanitizer and brewing instructions.

Constellation Mug – $15.95

If you know someone who needs a cup of coffee before starting anything in the morning, you know they can always use another mug in the cupboard! This constellation mug will have you thinking big every morning. What’s cooler is that when this cup heats up it reveals the constellations in the starry sky.

Williams Sonoma Gift Card – Any amount!

A Williams Sonoma gift card is a great gift for chefs, waiters, bartenders and passionate food lovers. Let them get the tools they need to run a tight kitchen!

Watermelon Slicer – $7.49

This watermelon cutter is revolutionary. If you know someone who loves watermelon then they need this in their life. This not only slices but picks up each slice easily and without the mess. Bring it to your next picnic and see for yourself! This is an awesome stocking stuffer too.

Deluxe DIY Gourmet Kit With 6 Hot Sauce Recipes – $39.95

This make your own hot sauce kit is a terrific gift for all ages. If heat isn’t your thing, check out other make your own sauce kits like this DIY barbecue sauce kit.

Avalon 7-in-1 Slow Cooker – $69.00

This slow cooker is on my wish list this year! I love meal prepping with a slow cooker –  just throw it in and it cooks itself. It’s the easiest meal and tastes amazing every time. But this handy appliance is a total game changer. Features a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker and a warmer. 

Copper Moscow Mule Mug Set – $59.99

This set is a great present for any adult that enjoys a good drink. Includes six straws, two shot glasses, and six coasters.

Allegro Milk Compression Socks – $23.49 

If you work in the food industry and you’re on your feet all day, these Allegro Milk Compression Socks are a match made in heaven – they’re our softest socks yet! These socks will give those tired, achy legs life again after that never-ending shift. Mild compression energizes tired, achy legs and feet to keep them happy and healthy. Save an extra 20% off MSRP on all Allegro socks and stockings through December 4th, 2017. Prices already discounted.

Vegetable Spiraler and Cutter – $14.84

This spiraler is a great way to change up the traditional vegetable dish. Includes a cutter so you can even peel and roll your vegetables. This is a great present or stocking stuffer for any healthy nut.

Kamenstein 20-Jar Revolving Spice Tower – $34.49

This spice rack is pretty cool, and price isn’t bad either, but the real sell is that you get refills on your spices for FIVE years. Yes – you read that right. What a great gift!

DEMMEX Copper Sauce Pan – $54.95

This copper pot is a great gift for any chef or food lover. It will make a gorgeous addition to any kitchen. Handmade in Turkey.

Wood Cutting Board – $12.99

This 14 x 10 inch wood cutting board is great for anyone who spends time in the kitchen. There are a lot of different styles available online for great prices!

Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer – $18.80

This aerator makes your wine taste better than ever. Just attach it to the bottle and pour and taste the difference yourself. Pair this gift with a cute set of wine glasses and voila!

Pineapple Corer – $5.99

Last on the list but certainly not least is this pineapple corer, made from stainless steel. It’s a great price to save a ton of hassle. Just turn the knob at the top and spiral it down and watch it core and slice your pineapple. Pull it out and it’s ready to serve. Yum!

What are some of your favorite gift ideas this holiday season? Comment below to share.

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?

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.

Sigvaris to acquire Biacare

Last month, Sigvaris announced that they have signed a purchase agreement with Biacare, a small manufacturer of lymphedema, wound care and bandaging products.  Sigvaris is one of the largest compression stocking manufacturers in the world.  Still a family owned and managed company, Sigvaris corporate headquarters are in Switzerland, but they have manufacturing facilities around the world.  Their US mill in Peachtree City, GA is in the midst of a major expansion project that will double the size of the facility.

sigvaris-biacare-blogBiacare, also a family owned company, specializes in short stretch velcro wraps, bandaging, and specialty compression garments that are mainly used to treat lymphedema, lymphoedema and serious venous diseases.  Biacare’s CompreFit and CompreFlex lines of compression wraps have excellent customer reviews, and their bandaging is very competitively priced.

The merger of Sigvaris and Biacare completes the consolidation of the small family run businesses that specialize in the manufacture of specialty lymphedema garments in the US.  Mediven purchased Circaid in 2014.  Lohmann & Rauscher purchased Solaris in 2015, and BSN-Jobst purchased Farrow Medical and JoviPak in the past year.

BrightLife Direct has sold products from all of these small specialty manufacturers for many years.  As a whole, we see the mergers between these large stocking mills and small specialty businesses as being a positive one for our customers.  Before the corporate acquisitions, products made by Circaid, Farrow, JoviPak and Solaris could not be returned once they were opened.  Corporate backing has changed this.  Like we do on compression stockings, BrightLife Direct can now offer our 30-day guarantee on ready-to-wear wraps that can often cost hundreds of dollars for just one limb.

reduction-kit-for-blogThese mergers have also fostered some great innovation.  Medi and Circaid have led the way with the development of Reduction Kits used during the initial decongestive phase of lymphedema treatment.  In the decongestive phase, the affected limb is wrapped every day with multiple layers of bandaging, padding, and gauze.  This treatment can go on for months, and the whole wrapping and unwrapping process can take hours each day.  Reduction Kits are customizable short stretch velcro wraps that eliminate all the wrapping.  These garments can change the life of someone dealing severe lymphedema.

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!

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.

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.

The Jobst and Medi stocking donners make it easy for people who have a hard time bending at the waist. 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.

Father’s Day Gift Guide + Giveaway!

With Father’s Day right around the corner, we have the ultimate gift guide for last minute shoppers, plus a chance to win him a gift! Dad’s can be difficult to shop for, but we searched the internet to find some gifts that every dad will love and use! Plus, one lucky winner will bring home a BrightLife Direct gift card for their dad this Father’s Day – giveaway details & entry below.

Father's Day Gift Guide

Instead of going out for dinner, prepare a nice barbecue for your dad this Father’s Day. Pick up his favorite snacks, grill some burgers, and sit back and relax. If your dad is a sports enthusiast, throw around the football or play some backyard baseball. If you really want to surprise him, pick up some tickets to see his favorite sports team, or head over to see that movie he’s been talking about.

When it comes to getting presents, for my dad I always find my mind blanking. I want to get him something that I know he will love and use. Every dad always tells you it’s the thought that counts, but every now and then it’s nice to get him a gift that “wows” even him! For the fitness-friendly dad, pick him up some accessories for his next game or workout, like a golf bag or weightlifting gloves. You can even cheer him on from the sidelines in a customized beach chair.

SIGVARIS MICROFIBER SHADESFor the dapper dad, think of Mad Men’s Donald Draper, and ask yourself what he would like for Father’s Day. If your dad has a beard, introduce him to beard oil or conditioner – it’s all the rage in the beard community these days. No beard? No problem. The Art of Shaving has you covered on travel accessories, aftershave and all the shaving essentials your dad could want. When it comes to grooming, you can’t really go wrong and your dad will appreciate one less stop on his list of errands!

Let’s face it. All dads can use a watch. Whether it’s to be on time to that board meeting or to pick the kids up at school, time is of the essence. If your dad frequently says “if you’re not five minutes early, you’re late,” a watch is a great present for him. Or on the other hand, if your dad tends to run a little late, a watch is a perfect Father’s Day gift to help him keep track of time. You can even get a watch with a built-in GPS and fitness tracker if your dad is focused on being healthy or active. Another practical gift he’s sure to love is a new wallet. Hopefully your dad isn’t rocking the George Costanza wallet from Seinfeld, but if he is, definitely do him a favor and help him get organized. He will be very thankful!

Another thing every dad will be thankful for? Compression socks! If your dad has a bold style, pick him out a pair of Sigvaris Microfiber Shades compression socks. Available in four striped colors and two new shades – heather navy and heather graphite, these socks provide 15-20 mmHg compression to prevent fatigue and swelling while energizing legs. Microfiber is moisture-wicking, so it will keep him cool and dry. These socks are great to wear while exercising, or afterwards to promote muscle recovery.
Sigvaris Shades compression socks in pink  sigvaris shades compression socks in onyx  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy

Give your dad the gift of comfort. The Allegro Milk Socks aren’t your average compression socks. These socks are ridiculously soft and come in a variety of solid colors to pair with suits or jeans. The Milk Socks provide 15-20 mmHg of compression for travel and everyday wear. If your dad sits at a desk all day or is standing for long periods of time, these socks will prevent his legs and feet from being sore and tired at the end of the day.
milk sock in black  milk sock in navy  milk sock in white  milk sock in grey

Lastly, don’t forget a personal touch. A handmade card or nice picture frame goes a long way. Handmade gifts are always worth more than any present. A nice dinner at home, swapping old stories and spending some time together will make a memorable Father’s Day. Plus, it will give him a chance to reminisce about the “good ol’ days.”

And finally, the part you’ve been waiting for – enter below to win a $50 gift card for Father’s Day! Share the giveaway on social media or leave a comment on this blog post to win. The winner will be announced on Friday so you can surprise your dad with a gift card on Sunday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop These Gifts For Father’s Day:

Compression Socks for Athletes

TheraSport Athletic Compression Socks

A growing trend among competitive athletes is the use of compression socks to help improve performance. Compression therapy is a hot topic in sports media right now as a growing number of triathletes, marathon runners and professional sport athletes are trying compression socks to improve their performance and recovery.

However, compression socks aren’t just for the professionals. Tons of weekend warriors and gym-goers swear by them. Whether you wear compression during your workout to keep your legs energized, afterwards to promote muscle recovery, or even while traveling, athletes are making graduated compression socks part of their everyday attire.

A number of sock manufacturers are claiming to offer “compression” socks for athletic use. Unfortunately, many of these so-called “compression” socks do not have true graduated compression. Instead, they may feature a tight foot band, bright colors or vertical stripes, plus a wide variety of other useless features meant to imply foot or leg support. Make sure to look for a compression level, measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury) when you’re buying compression socks. Compression socks should also be knee high length to get full benefits of compression.

Compression Socks For Performance

Athletic compression socks are designed to improve circulation, reduce fatigue and prevent injury like shin splints. For performance, athletes tend to wear 20-30 mmHg compression socks for longer endurance and to support muscles and ligaments. Many athletic performance socks are made from moisture-wicking fabric to keep your feet cool and dry. Socks that are woven with copper or silver are anti-microbial to prevent odor and bacteria so your feet smell fresh after your workout.

Here are some of our favorite athletic performance socks:

Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Compression SocksThe Sigvaris Outdoor Performance Sock is made with Australian Merino wool, which is anti-microbial, itch-free and absorbs moisture to keep your feet dry while exercising. Despite popular belief, compression socks made with wool are very soft and not only keep your legs warm in the colder months, but will also keep your legs cool in the summer too!

 

Jobst Sport Compression SocksJobst Sport Compression Socks for men and women are lightweight, breathable and soft. These socks also provide moisture control and help to prevent odor to keep your legs fresh and comfortable. Made with a padded foot to absorb impact, these socks are especially great for runners.

 

 

TheraSport Compression Leg SleevesIf you’re looking for lots of color options, the TheraSport Performance Compression Socks are designed with moisture-wicking, anti-microbial fabric and features a cushioned heel and foot to reduce impact. These socks are made for men and women for maximum endurance and energy. TheraSport Compression is also available in calf sleeves.

 

Compression Socks For Recovery

After a grueling workout, put on a pair of 15-20 mmHg compression socks to flush out lactic acid from your muscles. This speeds up muscle recovery and helps to reduce fatigue and swelling. After a marathon or tough gym workout, compression socks will have your legs feeling great the very next day. Wear compression socks for at least a couple of hours after physical activity, but do not sleep in compression socks unless your doctor tells you otherwise – not all compression garments are safe to sleep in.

Here are some of our favorite compression socks for recovery:

Allegro Recovery Compression Socks in BlackThe Allegro Athletic Recovery Sock is one of our best selling athletic socks. Designed for men and women in 4 colors from a super soft material that will sooth your legs and make them feel better in no time – even after a tough workout! These socks feature a ribbed pattern so you can wear them to work or while running errands for continued recovery.

 

 

TheraSport Athletic Compression SocksTheraSport also makes an Athletic Recovery Sock and Recovery Leg Sleeves for men and women. These come in a variety of colors and provide graduated compression to increase circulation and reduce inflammation to help your muscles heal faster.

 

Sigvaris Recovery Compression Socks
Sigvaris Athletic Recovery Socks are made with DriRelease and FreshGuard to eliminate odor and moisture. These compression socks are great to wear during your workout or afterwards to relieve delayed muscle soreness. Designed for men and and women to flush out lactic acid to reduce fatigue and swelling.

 

 

Athletic Leg Sleeves

Sigvaris Performance Leg SleevesCalf sleeves are also great to wear while exercising if you want to wear your favorite pair of ankle socks or shoes. Compression leg sleeves come in a variety of colors and patterns in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg. These are also great to wear everyday with a pair of open toe shoes or flip flops for continued recovery. Many athletes wear calf sleeves while working out to stabilize and support muscles and to prevent shin splints.

Who can benefit from athletic compression socks?

Performance socks and sleeves are great for marathons, triathlons, biking, golfing, crossfit, and working out at the gym. Compression socks also benefit skiers and snowboarders who are on the slopes for long days. A study in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that 86% of participants reported NO muscle fatigue and soreness after extended strenuous activity when they wore compression socks, compared to only 7% that felt no muscle fatigue after wearing regular socks.

Athletic compression socks are the new fitness essential for everyone from dedicated competitors to the occasional exerciser. Whether you want to get in shape or are looking to gain a competitive edge, compression will help you surpass your fitness goals in no time.

Check out BrightLife Go for more athletic compression socks and sleeves.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Compression Socks For Men With Big Feet

It wasn’t all that long ago, when a 6’ tall man with a size 14 shoe had a hard time finding compression stockings that provided a comfortable fit.  Times have changed.  Now most brands have sizes to fit big feet and tall men.

big-feet-blogThe latest option is from Sigvaris.  They recently launched Midtown Microfiber as a replacement for Men’s Select Comfort.  Available in knee highs and thigh highs, Midtown is made from a great fabric that’s really soft and elastic.  Midtown is available in extended foot sizes in the 15-20 and 20-30mmHg knee highs.  Sizes MX, LX, and XX will will fit a men’s shoe size of 12.5-17.5.  This is the largest foot size available in any ready-to-wear support sock.  The rest of the Midtown line fits a shoe size up to 14.

Jobst has offered Tall sizes in their Jobst for Men and for Men Casual lines for some time.  These sizes fit a men’s shoe over 12, and a lower leg length over 19.75”.  Their newer Ambition line, which we’ve heard will eventually replace Jobst for Men, is available in long lengths to fit a lower leg up to 20”, but no foot size is given.

Other options that will fit a men’s size 14 foot include Mediven for Men Select, Jobst SensiFoot, and Juzo Ribbed Silver Sole.

If your feet are larger than your budget, and you don’t want to spend $50 or more on a pair of socks, check out Allegro’s Premium Italian socks.  The Italian Cotton is available in 15-20 and 20-25 mmHg compressions.   The Italian Wool is 15-20mmHg only.  Both will fit a men’s size 14 foot.  Priced at $20.96 for the 15-20 cotton, and $24.94 for the wool and higher compression cotton.

BrightLife New Year’s Resolutions!

The end of every year is a time for reflection. As we look back, we set new goals for the next year of things we want to change or improve. This year, we asked the BrightLife family what their resolutions are. Take a look:

Resolution 1:

My resolution is to be able to take on leg day at the gym and actually be able to walk the next day…without limping or feeling like my legs are Jello. TheraSport Recovery Socks are the key to success here.

resolution

Resolution 2:

It’s time to stop kidding myself. My real resolution is to embrace the amount of time I spend on the internet. Sitting there for hours isn’t as bad if I’m wearing compression socks…right??

Resolution

Resolution 3:

My resolution is to wear jeans less often! Good thing I can stock up on Allegro sheers & stockings during the January Buy 3 Get 1 Free sale! 🙂

new year resolution joke

Resolution 4:

My resolution is to be more bold and outgoing this year. Check out these hot new colors! I’m really going to stand out at the gym wearing these Sigvaris Performance Calf Sleeves. The compression helps to enhance performance and speed up recovery, so I can lap all the other “Resolutioners” at the gym.

Sigvaris 412 Compression Calf Sleeves - BrightLife Direct

Resolution 5:

My resolution is to stop spending time sorting laundry by color, what’s machine washable vs. hand washable etc. and to start living life on the edge and just throw it all in. Good thing Juzo is machine washable!

New Years Resolution

Resolution 6:

LOSE WEIGHT. But seriously, just need the time/energy. I have the compression!

Calvin and Hobbs

Resolution 7:

Instead of dreading traveling, my resolution is to start looking forward to new adventures. Between the hassle of flying and the stress of driving in traffic, there’s a lot of time spent sitting around. It’s time to start traveling comfortably and in style. These Sockwell compression socks are a must have!

Sockwell On the Spot Compression Socks

Resolution 8:

This year, I’m going to take it upon myself to spend more time in the kitchen and really learn how to cook. Now, this could take all year, so there’s going to be a lot of standing involved. Compression socks anyone?

Funny New Year Resolution

What is your New Year’s resolution? How do you plan to stick to it?