The 8 Best Compression Socks for Varicose Veins of 2020

Get relief with the right pressure

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First Look

Best Overall: CHARMKING Compression Socks at Amazon

"An affordable yet effective under-the-knee, closed-toe stocking for day-to-day wear that will help prevent varicose veins in comfort."

Best Budget: Laite Hebe Compression Socks at Amazon

"A budget-friendly compression sock offering 15 to 20 mmHg that have earned the coveted Amazon Choice status due to their overwhelming good reviews."

Best Stockings: Spanx Graduated Compression Tights at spanx.com

"They feature Spanx’s innovative technology, offering mild compression (8-15 mmHg) to help improve your circulation."

Best Thigh-High: JOMI Compression Thigh High Socks at Amazon

"These offer significantly more compression than many of the other socks on our list."

Best Open-Toed: Made in USA MOJO Compression Socks at Amazon

"Offering 20-30 mmHg for extra support as well as a reinforced toe and heel to provide more support and durability."

Best Footless: Absolute Support Medical Grade Leggings at Amazon

"These nylon and spandex opaque stockings offer 20-30 mmhg for maximum compression and a comfortable control top."

Best Athletic: Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks at Amazon

"They are available in three sizes and also a variety of color options, including white, nude, and black with various color accents added."

Best Cotton: Danish Endurance Organic Cotton Compression Socks at Amazon

"Each pair is constructed out of organic cotton, making them skin-friendly and soft-to-the-touch."

Varicose veins—enlarged bulging veins, bluish in color, that can be seen on the surface of the skin—can happen to anyone. However, some groups of people, like those who are pregnant or have a family history of varicose veins, are more prone to them than others. 

Enter compression socks or stocking: fitted socks that come in varying lengths, usually below the knee or thigh high. While compression socks cannot treat varicose veins that have already formed, they can help with the prevention of new ones, says Bauer Sumpio, MD, a Yale Medicine vein surgeon. This has to do with the underlying cause of the varicose veins—the incompetency or defective valves in the vein, which promotes swelling. 

“The stockings themselves do not treat the varicose veins. Once the veins are enlarged, they're there,” he explains. What the compression stockings do is prevent them from getting worse and prevent the development of any new ones. 

“We commonly prescribe below the knee compression stockings,” says Dr. Sumpio. “These are medical grade stockings because they have to be woven where the specific amount of tension in the leg is, specifically the tension in the stocking at the ankle is much higher than that at the thigh.” The reason for this is to be able to promote a continued flow of the venous blood draining the leg. If the pressure of the stockings were the same, it could impede the flow and cause more swelling in the leg.

“Normally, we will prescribe 10 to 15 millimeters of mercury gradient (mmHg) compression stockings,” he adds. “This means that there's 15 millimeters of mercury pressure at the ankle and 10 at the knee.”

Dr. Sumpio suggests wearing compression stockings during the daytime, usually instructing his patients to put them on first thing in the morning and remove them prior to bedtime. “The reason for this is that when you are laying down in bed the effect of gravity is negated by you being in the supine position,” he says.

Because these stockings will lose some of their spring and elasticity due to the frequent wear, he suggests purchasing two pairs every four to six months and switching them out when needed. 

Due to the fact that compression socks are intricately designed and woven and have to undergo a special manufacturing process to enable the different gradients of pressure that is being transmitted by the stockings, they are much more expensive than your average pair—often costing more than $50 a pair, Dr. Sumpio points out. 

However, you don’t need a prescription to buy compression socks. Here are some of our top compression socks picks that will help prevent varicose veins. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: CHARMKING Compression Socks

CHARMKING Compression socks are an affordable yet effective under-the-knee, closed-toe stocking for day-to-day wear that will help prevent varicose veins in comfort. They provide an ample amount of compression (15-20 mmHg) and are designed to promote blood circulation and oxygen flow.

They're available in different colors and patterns, and don't look anything like a medical grade compression sock. They come in two sizes, a S/M and L/XL, to fit a wide variety of people.

Best Budget: Laite Hebe Compression Socks

Laite Hebe’s Compression Socks are a budget-friendly compression sock offering 15 to 20 mmHg that have earned the coveted Amazon Choice status due to their overwhelming good reviews. Reviewers even claim they are just as effective as medical grade compression socks, and are still comfortable enough for all day wear. They are constructed out of a nylon blend, which makes them breathable and moisture-wicking, so you don’t have to worry about your legs overheating or sweating. 

Best Stockings: Spanx Graduated Compression Tights

Spanx Graduated Compression Tights
Courtesy of Macy's.

Whether you wear stockings to work every day or simply need them for special occasions, it is always a good idea to have a pair of compression tights on hand. Spanx Graduated Compression tights feature the brands innovative technology, offering mild compression (8-15 mmHg) to help improve your circulation. They also offer the brand’s trademark built-in shaper for tummy control as an added bonus. 

Other features include an elastic-free waistband that won’t dig or pinch into your skin and a cotton gusset, eliminating the need for underwear. They are available in one color, Very Black, and five sizes, A to E.

Best Thigh-High: JOMI Compression Thigh High Socks

While most compression socks are knee high, JOMI, a certified medical grade quality brand, makes one of the best thigh high compression socks on the market. This pair of 20-30 mmHg open-toe socks is approved for class i gradient compression therapy, offering significantly more compression than many of the other socks on our list, and are recommended for patients in need of durable gradient compression garments. 

The unisex socks are constructed out of nylon and spandex blend—thinner than your average sock—and are available in nude and black, sizes S-2XL. 

Best Open-Toed: Made in USA MOJO Compression Socks

Many people prefer an open-toed style, especially those with larger or smaller feet, and people who want to wear a sock of their choice over their compression sock. Made in USA MOJO Compression Socks are a great under-the-knee, open-toed option, offering 20-30 mmHg for extra support as well as a reinforced toe and heel to provide more support and durability. 

They are available in three colors, white, black, and nude, and come in a wide range of sizes, S-6X, making them a great option for people with larger calves. 

Best Footless: Absolute Support Medical Grade Leggings

If you are looking for all over (sans foot) compression, Absolute Support Medical Grade Leggings are a great option. These nylon and spandex opaque stockings offer 20-30 mmHg for maximum compression and a comfortable control top. As they are a stronger compression than most tights and socks, if you don’t require as much compression, you should order a smaller size than you usually do. 

Reviewers admit that they are difficult to get on (a general conflict with many compression products) but are extremely comfortable and offer great support. 

Absolute Support Medical Grade Leggings are available in both nude and black in sizes S-5XL.

Best Athletic: Physix Gear Sport Compression Socks

Many of the compression socks featured on our list are geared toward everyday, all-day wear. However, there are specific products intended for athletic wear. Physix Gear Sport’s Compression Socks are designed for use during your most active moment of the day—whether they are spent running, playing sports, or working out at the gym.

Each pair of these lycra socks are breathable, moisture-wicking, and anti-bacterial, making them the perfect option for a sweat session. They also offer 20 to 20 mmHg, giving you maximum support when you need it the most.

They are available in three sizes and also a variety of color options, including white, nude, and black with various color accents added. 

Best Cotton: Danish Endurance Organic Cotton Compression Socks

It's difficult to find a compression sock made out of cotton, due to the stretchy nature of the textile. However, if it is a must for you, Danish Endurance Organic Cotton Compression Socks are your best bet. 

Each pair is constructed out of organic cotton, making them skin-friendly and soft-to-the-touch. They offer 14-20mmHg of support and users maintain they are just as effective—if not more—than more expensive offerings from the pharmacy. 

They are available in three colors—black, blue, and red—and three sizes. 

Final Verdict

Compression socks are an important tool for preventing varicose veins. While there are an abundance of effective options on the market, CHARMKING Compression Socks are a great day-to-day, below-the-knee sock offering an ample amount of compression for the average individual. They are also extremely affordable, comfortable, and fit a wide range of people. However, if you have specific concerns or are simply looking for something more specialized, there are many other socks, stockings, and tights we recommend. 

What to Look for in Socks for Varicose Veins

Compression: First and foremost, you should consider millimeters of mercury gradient (mmHg). Dr. Sumpio usually suggests 10-15 mmHg, but you can certainly find compression socks with more. Just keep in mind that the higher range will fit more snuggly and could be a little uncomfortable. 

Size: Some of the socks we analyzed are only available in two sizes, while others can be purchased in a wider range. If your calf size is below or above average, you should consider a brand that is more size specific. 

Style: While it might be in your best interest to invest in a day-to-day sock, you should also consider others. Compression socks are available in a variety of styles including below-the-knee socks, thigh-highs, and leggings. In addition to the traditional toe-covering variety, they are also offered in footless and open-toed options. There are more formal compression socks and tights and those meant for strenuous activity. 

Color: While some compression tights are only offered in basic colors—like nude, black, and white—you can also find more stylish options in a variety of colors and patterns. 

Why Trust Verywell Health

As an internationally recognized health writer and product guru, Leah Groth understands that nobody wants to waste their time or money on products that fail to rear results. Over the years, she has interviewed the world's top health experts and reviewed hundreds of items, to help readers like you discover the most effective health gadgets, goops, and aids that will help you look and feel your very best.

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