There are many devices to help you put on compression garments. Most of our manufacturers offer their own version of stocking donners, which look like metal cages about 1 ½ feet high. You fit a stocking over a round metal shape in the center and then step into it, allowing your downward leg motion to do most of the work. Stocking donners require patience and practice, and are most useful for individuals who can’t bend at the waist.
Easy-Slide, arm slippies, Slippie Gator, rubber donning gloves are other devises which seem to be more useful. However, one of the least known and most effective donning aids is a bottle of fitting lotion. The main ingredient in fitting lotions is silicone. Applied to an arm or leg, it makes the limb very slippery for just enough time to slide on and adjust the garment. For individuals who have difficulty pulling their stockings up the leg, or pulling an armsleeve up the arm, fitting lotion can be a life saver.
We originally posted this blog back in July 2009. Putting on compression stockings continues to be an issue for many of our customers, so we thought it was time for an update.
Donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) compression hosiery can be difficult. Especially for people who have difficulty bending at the waist or with limited hand dexterity. This is especially true if you must wear a compression level over 20mmHg.
There are a lot of “donning aids” available but some are better than others. Based on feedback from our customers we recommend the following, in no particular order:
Except for the fitting lotions (3 & 4 above), these all use a very slippery and durable “parachute” nylon fabric that you place on your leg and then pull the stocking over. Using rubber donning gloves, you work the stocking up the leg and then pull the donning aid out from the top of the stocking or through the open toe. If you wear closed toe stockings, it is important to use a donning aid designed to work with closed toe stockings.
We now have instructional donning videos on our website for the Easy-Slides, Mediven 2in1, stocking donners and a donning video using the “heel pocket” method. You can watch the videos before you make a purchase to determine if the donning aid is right for you. And you might want to watch again after you receive your purchase to ensure you’re using the device properly.
Do you have any donning or doffing tips? Let us know!